A new bike lock accessory seems like a strange concept

I was recently contacted about a new product called the Lock Loop. I like featuring new innovations and providing some spotlight for any entrepreneurs working to create useful cycling products so I said send one over.

Lock loop

Obviously bicycle theft is a huge problem for cyclists. I’ve lost count of the number of emails I get that say “Someone has stolen my bike what do I do?!”.

Three main problems exist with bike locks. They can be expensive so it is often an area that cyclists incorrectly skimp on paying more, they are heavy and they often don’t secure the entire bike leaving out the wheels.

The Lock Loop is a solution to the final problem. By placing your strong d-lock through the hoop you can then secure your front wheel or back wheel too. In theory that sounds good, in practise however?

Lock loop attached to Kryptonite D lock

In the real world you often have difficulty finding designated cycle parking. You end up locking your bike in strange positions, front wheel off the ground or around a sign post when there is no other alternative. In these situations it’s tough to always align the d-lock with the back wheel. In this respect, I often found the Lock Loop a little inadequate and resorted back to my reliable bike chain as my secondary lock.

The Lock Loop is also a little bit of a pain to carry. The idea is that all cyclists have a lock holster attached to their bike. I personally do not, so I end up keeping my lock in my bag. The Lock Loop is a struggle to fit in there. 

I believe there is one final fatal flaw to the concept. Bicycle locking 101 dictates that you should at all times use two different types of locks. The thinking behind this is that a thief either will not have the correct tools for both lock types or will not want to spend the time trying to crack two locks.

With the Lock Loop you still only have one lock securing your bike. Unless you intend on using your D-lock, the Lock Loop and a secondary lock.

Unfortunately, I’ll have to give the Lock Loop a thumbs down. A little fiddly to use, limits your locking options and fails to provide much more protection.

For more information visit: http://lock-loop.co.uk/

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24 Responses to A new bike lock accessory seems like a strange concept

  1. Mike 07/07/2011 at 10:57 am #

    On the basis of the picture and your write up, i tend to agree with you.

    What your average cyclist does not need is yet another awkwardly shaped (heavy?) piece of kit to lug around.

    • Andreas 07/07/2011 at 11:50 am #

      It’s not hugely heavy but any extra weight without a huge extra security benefit doesn’t score too highly. The lack of weight also makes me wonder how much a bolt cutter/grinder would struggle to get through it.

      • chris 08/07/2011 at 12:31 pm #

        With the portable battery operated angle grinders you can buy nowadays, about 5 minutes

  2. Vicky 07/07/2011 at 11:06 am #

    If the Lock Loop were adapted to that it could clip to a pannier rack and act as a lock holder on the bike, that might make it more useful. It wouldn’t take up bag space and would have extra functionality.

    I use a pannier to carry all my stuff in (eg laptop, work notebook, running stuff) but often find that with a D-lock in there too it gets too heavy and puts too much pressure on the pannier clips. My bike is far too pretty to sully it with a lock holder, plus as a mixte frame there is no space to use the generic holder.

    • Karl Roche 08/07/2011 at 12:25 pm #

      That’s what I started to think. It needs to be integrated into the bike. There are plenty of cables out there that do this sort of thing already but you can instead use a fairly light weight lock with a D-lock too, then have the added advantage of two locks, which is what I have done for ages now.

      What would be nice but unlikely is more bike specific parking with integrated locks, I think people would even pay a small fee to use them as long as it provided a very high level of security.

  3. bycostello 07/07/2011 at 12:21 pm #

    looks good but also looks big and heavy

  4. Kitakatakilburn 07/07/2011 at 12:31 pm #

    If it cd be adapted to automatically ram itself up the bike thief’s derriere I think it would have great potential. Barring that, it looks very clunky.

  5. John 07/07/2011 at 12:52 pm #

    Perhaps you could stand it up vertically on your rack when not in use and convert the bike to a Chopper!

  6. jonomc 07/07/2011 at 1:43 pm #

    I am not impressed by this ADDITIONAL item to lug around. As it is I have bought 2 D locks at £80 each – one for work and one for home in an effort to reduce my cargo load when commuting. I have no intention of adding to it.

    The only innovative lock (not yet available in UK through stores) that I have seen is the

    “TiGr: Titanium Lock as Cool as your Bike”

    I found through a link on another site – I was so impressed with it that I donated $5 to it’s start up (I truly believe that this is the best idea for a lock I have seen yet).

    I blogged about the lock here:

    http://ukmambo.blogspot.com/2011/05/thinking-of-buying-lock-then-stop-and.html

    I have no commercial interest in this product – I just loved what I read about it.

    • John 07/07/2011 at 7:09 pm #

      I have looked at the information before online about this lock and they certainly make some big claims, made from titanium it takes 15 mins to saw through with a standard hacksaw and cannot be cut with standard bolt cutters.
      Well, I am in no position to quantify these claims, the lock is shown stowed around the cross bar when not in use so I am not sure how it fairs on a Ladies bike with no crossbar, if it can be stowed the same it defeats the object of the ladies style bike frame.
      If the lock itself is a secure and non pickable one then maybe it will become the D lock of the future, watch this space if it is as good as the claims.

      • jonomc4 07/07/2011 at 9:45 pm #

        I believe the majority of the time thieves use bolt cutters because they are so fast and quiet (unlike a hack saw).

        The lock will only last a few minutes longer to a hack saw – but because of it’s shape (and material) it is almost impossible for a bolt cutter.

        With regards to the lock itself – I think that is a separate technology and it will be up to the inventor to make sure he secures a good 3rd party to manufacture that for him.

        But for me best of all – it is light! And you can use it to secure front and back wheels in one go. I also like the fact that it doesn’t need some expensive system to carry on the bike – just a strip of Velcro.

        (good point about women’s bikes though)

  7. Henz 07/07/2011 at 4:06 pm #

    Or you could use half a trombone. It would look pretty much the same, and probably be equally cumbersome. :P

    From the image it just looks too big.

    • Henz 07/07/2011 at 7:15 pm #

      That said, I think it’s a pretty good idea overall.

    • Sonnenblume 08/07/2011 at 11:01 am #

      Ha ha – nice one, Henz!

  8. Amoeba 07/07/2011 at 8:20 pm #

    a) Looks easily cut.
    b) If the U-lock can be broken, because the rider hasn’t filled it with post and bike, the widget’s useless.
    So if a) is true, the thief has a new wheel.
    If b) is true, he has a new bike.

    Definitely only for low to medium risk areas.
    For high-risk areas, it’s definitely two good locks and definitely no cables.
    For me, I’ll stick with a SoldSecure Gold U-lock and SS-G padlock and chain, plus insurance.

    Roll on some new wizzo technological marvel that weighs 10 grams and that can resist all known and remotely likely attacks.

    Otherwise it’s two Rottweiler-Pitbull crosses and a security guard.

    Joking aside, use the best U-lock you can afford. It should also be the shortest U-lock that can lock your wheel to your frame and accommodate a maximum diameter post. Fill the U-lock with bike and post. That way Mr thieving-bastard will have to cut the post or the U-lock or pick the lock to steal your bike. Picking takes time and skill, whereas cutting a U-lock will be noisy.
    If you’ve been sensible and locked it to an immovable object in the open and in plain view, but not overnight, then it will probably be there when you come back.
    Once again, don’t forget to FILL your U-lock with bike and post. A thief can burst a U-lock with a small jack or brake it with a lever.

    Be careful and good luck.

  9. phil 08/07/2011 at 12:40 am #

    For my front wheel if i feel i need to lock it, it either is by a flexi cable that links back to the D lock or a lighter flexi lock.

    I have to say the shape looks awkard to carry around, as you mentioned i also carry everythign on my back in my bag. While a flexi cable or second lock is pretty easy to stuff in somewhere without to much extra hassle.

  10. Boris J 08/07/2011 at 2:56 pm #

    the most common way for a thief to compromise a D-lock is to twist the entire bike round and use it as a lever to break it open – two locks used to secure the front and back wheels through the frame to an object would be more secure and almost the same weight.

  11. Shreds 09/07/2011 at 10:12 am #

    The TiGr that Jonomc mentions certainly appears impressive and the lock mechanism by Abloy will be good, I use an Abloy (Not Abus) and it has done me proud for years.

  12. Jessica 11/07/2011 at 2:14 pm #

    This is a great article, I learnt the hard way how important it is to have a bike lock after my bike was stolen at university! the best thing to do is do some proper research into finding a good bike lock, I found that http://www.cyclexpress.co.uk was a useful website, I bought my D-lock from there and now thankfully I know my new bike is safe when I go to classes!

  13. Velotex 12/07/2011 at 11:17 am #

    I contemplated to buy me one of these ‘lock loops’, but you have convinced me otherwise. I thought it to be a little unpractical. Its a shame that someone can simply take your bicycle and all your cycling apprel that you collected over years. Sad truth! Thanks for the educative article.

  14. Ed H-B 13/07/2011 at 4:16 pm #

    Nice idea, although I prefer 2 small D-locks to lock each wheel to the the frame.

    On a different note:

    I’ve google placemarked the location of the only bicycle tyre vending machine in London (Brick Lane) opposite Al Volo restaurant:

    http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?authuser=0&ie=UTF8&hl=en&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=214688232885853287601.0004a7f4a0d51e632b267

    and it looks like this:

    http://yfrog.com/kj5j2sij

    Happy cycling!

  15. Polish Guy 18/12/2013 at 4:05 am #

    With Electric Grinder Guys you can cut everything ,even tank.I wish they make this with loop for padlock, i will try to contact them and suggest to do that.

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