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LITELOK X3 Review

This costly lock was the toughest that we tested, and due to its rubber coating it also has a soft side and won't scratch your paint
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LITELOK X3 Review (It took 2 separate cuts, 8 grinder discs, and almost 8 minutes to defeat the LITELOK X3, making it our Top Pick for...)
It took 2 separate cuts, 8 grinder discs, and almost 8 minutes to defeat the LITELOK X3, making it our Top Pick for Security.
Credit: Jon Oleson
Price:  $300 List
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Manufacturer:   LITELOK
By Jon Oleson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 8, 2024
70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 23
  • Security - 40% 10.0
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 3.0
  • Ease of Use - 20% 6.5
  • Versatility - 15% 6.0

Our Verdict

There's a lot of marketing hype around the cuttability of bike locks. When we saw the LITELOK X3 being marketed as the next big thing in anti-theft technology, we had our doubts. Once we tried biting into the patent-pending “Barronium” shackle and were thoroughly rebuffed, we started to believe the hype. The patent-pending composite material is the hardest to cut that we've come across. It took almost 5 minutes to cut through the shackle of this lock, but it still wasn't defeated. Due to the double-locking design of the shackle, you will have to make two cuts to remove the lock. On the cons list are things like its weight – it was one of the heaviest U locks – and the price tag, for which you could buy two cheaper albeit less secure locks. If you need top notch security, however, then there's no doubt this is the top pick. To see how it stacks up to the other contenders across the board, check out our article on the top-rated bike locks.
REASONS TO BUY
Top security
Silicone keyhole cover
Soft rubber coating
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy
Costly
No mount

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LITELOK X3
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $300 List$70 List
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Bottom Line The most theft deterrent lock, although it's heavy and doesn't come with a mount despite the high price tagCan fit any bike and rack and is remarkably secure though tough to ferry around townAbove average security in a large, versatile lock that's let down a bit by difficult to use key and annoying mountWear this chain lock around your waist to bring solid security with you whenever you cycleAmong the lightweight, low-security options, this lock is a steal and one of our favorites
Rating Categories LITELOK X3 Abus Ivera 7210 Kryptonite KryptoLok Hiplok Original: Su... ABUS Chain Lock 120...
Security (40%)
10.0
7.5
7.5
5.5
2.5
Ease of Transport (25%)
3.0
5.0
6.0
8.0
9.0
Ease of Use (20%)
6.5
8.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Versatility (15%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
4.0
Specs LITELOK X3 Abus Ivera 7210 Kryptonite KryptoLok Hiplok Original: Su... ABUS Chain Lock 120...
Type U-Lock Chain U-Lock + cable Wearable chain Chain
Time to Defeat Lock 464 seconds 12 seconds 20 seconds 13 seconds 3 seconds
Measured Weight 4.7 lbs 2.8 lbs 2.5 lbs 4.3 lbs 0.5 lbs
Locking Dimension 3.93" x 7.6" 42" circumference U-lock: 4" x 9", cable 5' 33.5" circumference, 2" width 43" circumference
Primary Materials/Thickness 24-26mm, Barronium (patent pending composite material), high tensile steel 7mm hardened steel square chain 12.7mm hardened steel 8mm hardened steel chain, 600D polyester sleeve 4mm hardened steel
Included Keys 3 keys 2 keys 2 keys 3 keys N/A
Defeated by Tin Snips No No No No Yes, requires two cuts to defeat
Defeated by Hammer No No No No No
Defeated by Hacksaw No No No No No
Defeated by 36" Bolt Cutters No No No No Yes, but not very easily. Requires two cuts
Number of Angle Grinder Cuts to Defeat Lock 2 cuts 2 cuts 2 cuts 1 cut 2 cuts

Our Analysis and Test Results

If you like to keep your finger on the pulse of the latest trends in the bike industry, you may have noticed some new designs and materials popping up over the recent years. Amongst the din of marketing hype, there are some standouts who claim that their locks even resist the all-powerful angle grinder. LITELOK, with their patent-pending composite material that they call “Barronium,” is the latest to make a claim. But they wouldn't be the first to overpromise and underdeliver. So we had to try our best to break it. We were believers after a few disc changes hadn't yet cut all the way through. The LITELOK X3 is the most difficult-to-cut lock that we have tested. And even though it's tough, it has a soft side. It's coated in a thick rubber that protects your frame or the contents of your bag when you're lugging it around. If not for the heaviness, jaw-dropping price tag, and lack of means to secure this super heavy and expensive lock to your bike, then this may have been our Editor's Choice. Yet, if your biggest concern is whether or not someone will be able to cut through your lock and steal your bike, then this is definitely the Top Pick.

Performance Comparison


litelok x3 - the hiplok d1000 changed our entire perspective on what it means for...
The Hiplok D1000 changed our entire perspective on what it means for a U-lock to be difficult to cut.
Credit: Luke Hollomon


Security


The LITELOK X3 was top of the class for security. It performed so well, in fact, that we had to reconsider what it means to be a worthy bike lock. The 24-millimeter (~0.95 inches) thick, round shackle is made from a super hard composite material and resisted our angle grinder, unlike the vast majority of bike locks on the market. Although in some testing, we used a battery-powered grinder with diamond-crusted blades to simulate what a thief may use on the street, in order to standardize the cut times, we used a corded grinder and top-of-the-line metal cutting discs. We actually made it as easy on ourselves as possible by clamping the lock in a vice and attacking with the best angles and pressure. And it still took the grinder almost four and a half minutes to complete one cut. And due to the anti-rotation design of the locking mechanism, you would have to make two cuts in order to get it free. By the time all was said and done, and the dust had cleared, it took almost 8 minutes and 8 grinder discs to fully defeat.


We're no experts in lock picking, but we weren't able to get in that way. No matter, though, since our research indicates that it's uncommon for a bike lock to be picked on the street. Most times, thieves use quicker and more destructive methods to break your lock. And speaking about the lock, the LITELOK X3 has a super smooth and functional keyway and comes with three unique keys.

Even once the shackle is cut, the design of the LITELOK X3 prevents enough lateral movement to require two cuts to fully defeat it.
Credit: Jon Oleson

Ease of Transport


If you're designing a lock that is the most difficult to break, then we imagine it also might have a tendency to be one of the heaviest. We found this to be true with the LITELOK X3. Ours weighed in at 4.7 pounds, making it one of the heaviest U-Locks we've tested. Further, this lock does not come with a bike mount. You'll need to purchase that elsewhere and hope it's compatible. On the plus side, the durable, soft rubber coating means it's not going to mar the contents of your bag, nor will it mar your paint if, like us, you decide at times to carry it draped over your handlebars. All that said, it's not the easiest lock to lug around.


Another thing that we noticed while carrying this lock around in our bag is that the rubber is sticky. While the rubber is soft and designed to protect your property, it will stick and rub away all manner of things, including our notebooks and papers. It's not the biggest U-lock, but since the manufacturer does not provide any means by which to secure it to the bike frame for transport, we were forced to carry it in our bag or hang it on the handlebars, which sometimes resulted in knocked knees or clanging on the frame as we rode through town. For the sky-high price tag, we wonder why the manufacturer chose not to include a mount.

litelok x3 - at times we chose to carry the litelok x3 draped over our handlebar...
At times we chose to carry the LITELOK X3 draped over our handlebar, which works ok if you're not going too far and are careful not to knock your knee. The inclusion of a frame mount would greatly improve the portability of this beefy U-lock.
Credit: Jon Oleson

Ease of Use


We found some positive and negative aspects of the LITELOK X3 in this category. The key mechanism is smooth like butter, but one of our keys gave us some resistance and would only turn halfway unless we flipped it around. This was only the case with one of our three keys. Even after a lot of use and abuse and exposing the key mechanism to all manners of dirt, dust, and water, the key continued to turn smoothly and without issue (other than that stated above). The only test that was problematic for this lock was the freezing rain test. We soaked down all its nooks and crannies, then put it in our freezer overnight before attempting to unlock it the next day. The bottom of the crossbar has openings so you can see the end of the shackle when it's locked. Due to this design, it allows a lot of water in, and once frozen, it wouldn't budge until thawed. You may want to consider a different lock if this is problematic for your intended use.


Wondering where else this lock fell short? Although the lock functioned smoothly the majority of the time, there was the aforementioned issue with one of our keys. While the size of the shackle was large enough for most bike racks that we tested, for such a high price, we wonder if the manufacturer could include a cable to secure our front tire as well as our rear tire and frame. Further, it was difficult to lock up our bike with 2.3" tires in some places. If you're riding larger tires, or your frame has a large tube, then you may want to take some measurements before dropping the dough on this lock sight unseen.

Here we're testing the operation of the locking mechanism in the LITELOK X3, which most of the time was smooth and easy.
Credit: Jon Oleson

Versatility


The LITELOK X3 also underperformed a bit in this category, largely due to the size of the shackle and lack of accompanying cable. Together, these two attributes can make it difficult to use in some situations. Our 29" e-mountain bike was difficult to lock up to some racks. The large frame tube size, large tire size, and the placement of the battery made for a puzzle. In general, the oversized tubes of our mountain bikes (we tested 3 with this lock) made it tougher to find a good place to lock.


That said, the locking area is larger than some competitors and sufficient for most bikes in most situations. And, if you usually lock to large tubes or structures or at awkward angles, then you may want to consider an alternative. If you have to lock your bike to a weaker point because it won't fit around the thicker structures, then what's the point of forking out the extra dough for a beefier lock? During testing, we cut through a road signpost (that we purchased… not out on the street). It only took about 4 minutes to cut through, which is about half the time it will take a thief to cut through this lock. This is a point worth considering if you are worried about your property being stolen. It's worth taking measurements of your required locking space before making the purchase.

When using a bike with a larger frame and larger tires, it was sometimes more difficult to lock up with the LITELOK X3.
Credit: Jon Oleson

Should You Buy the LITELOK X3?


If your primary concern is the safety of your locked-up property, especially if you're locking up in a high-risk area, then no doubt this is your top choice. The LITELOK X3 will give you peace of mind, knowing that, more than likely, your property will be secure even if a thief tries to bust this lock. If you don't have the Benjis to fork out for this lock (what's the price of peace of mind?) or you don't want to carry around the extra weight in your bag, then you may want to consider a lock that's cheaper, easier to transport, and more versatile, then you may want to keep browsing the locks in our review.

litelok x3 - although it doesn't come with a mount the litelok x3 will easily fit...
Although it doesn't come with a mount the LITELOK X3 will easily fit in a bag, but at nearly 5 lbs you may get tired of lugging it around.
Credit: Jon Oleson

What Other Bike Locks Should You Consider?


If you need a lock that's relatively secure and also versatile, check out our Editor's Choice Abus Ivera 7210. If you want a larger U-lock that fits just about any frame, and security isn't your top concern, then check out the Kryptonite New York Standard U-Lock.

litelok x3 - all the locks we tested in the most recent update.
All the locks we tested in the most recent update.
Credit: Luke Hollomon

Jon Oleson