Finally, a Bike Lock That Can Stand Up to an Angle Grinder

Hiplok promises that the grind is over, but it's gonna cost you.

Hiplok on Tern


We have often written that three things are needed for the e-bike revolution: good affordable bikes, safe places to ride, and secure places to park and lock. We really don't have any of these yet—e-bikes are really expensive and bike theft is a huge issue. I use three locks at once for my Gazelle e-bike. The wheel lock that came with the bike and two fancy Abus locks that together cost more than I have paid for entire bikes, and yet I know any jerk with a $60 cordless angle grinder can get through them both and be gone in a minute.

As David Rider recently wrote in The Toronto Star:

"Bike thefts have surged along with sales during the pandemic, cycling advocates say. Thieves are wildly brazen. Pricey locks, secure condo areas, security cameras, crowds on streets are useless as deterrents — the thieves don’t care. Neither, in reality, do Toronto police, collectively, although some officers make an effort."

We are on our own. Even if you lock your bike in a prominent place with people all around, nobody will step up and do anything. And until now you could spend all that money on locks and still lose it all to the angle grinder.

However, our worries may be reduced a bit with the new Hiplok anti-angle grinder D1000 lock. It is designed specifically to resist angle grinders, a problem that they say "has been largely ignored by the security industry as it has seemed too difficult to solve." They apparently did it by making it out of Ferosafe, "a graphene reinforced ceramic composite - a high performing, patented, material that has been specifically designed to disintegrate angle grinder cutting wheels and carbide tipped drills with its unique combination of material properties."

Lock under attack in test


Ferosafe was developed by Tenmat, a multinational manufacturer of advanced materials, originally for use in safes and security doors. According to the Tenmat website:

"Ferosafe was developed from the Ferobide [tungsten carbide and steel] material platform that has proven itself in arduous wear applications, but with added increased resistance to cutting and drilling. It is the next generation material for defending security products from physical threats. Ferosafe is a weldable composite material that effectively resists high power angle grinders and drills at lower thicknesses and weights than what is possible with conventional materials."

It is weldable with standard welding equipment, so Hiplok turns it into a U-shape and combines it with a steel core to resist bolt cutters and traditional attack methods, and covers it in rubber.

locking up a D-Lock


There is a double locking tab system so even if you could cut the lock, you would have to cut it twice to get it opened. Hiplok isn't saying it will stop everyone every time, but it will slow them down.

"The time it takes for a bike to be stolen is the key to how secure it is. The launch of the D1000 is therefore an important milestone in security... a lock that can be used in exactly the same way as any other portable bicycle lock, but that offers protection against angle grinder attacks on a completely different level."

Hiplok has launched the D-1000 on Kickstarter, which we usually avoid—I am still waiting for a bike helmet I ordered three years ago. But they have been around since 2011, they have delivered on Kickstarters before, and their original Hiplok Wearable lock is one of Treehugger's eight best e-bike locks of 2021. So I was comfortable shelling out 200 pounds ($272) for this, more than I have ever paid for a lock, in the hope that I will actually get it before someone tries to steal my beloved Gazelle.

UPDATE: Gearjunkie had a go at this lock with everything from ramsets to liquid nitrogen to sawsalls to, finally, the angle grinder. It took five grinder blades and a long time to get through it, and then because they had to cut through the other side, another five blades. They conclude that "The D1000 lives up to everything Hiplok promises and more. Thieves would have better luck cutting through the bike rack, so be careful what you lock your bike to." That is a very good point.