“If a bike thief really wants your bike, he’ll get it,” the old saying goes. Well, Hiplok thinks that shouldn’t be the case anymore.
Hacksaws, hammers and bolt cutters – Generally, bicycle lock brands do their best to build a device that can withstand all three. At the very least, the idea is to craft a lock that will withstand these threats long enough for a potential bike thief to abandon their attack for easier prey.
But there has always been one predator at the top who feasts on all kinds of bike locks: the angle grinder. A high speed hand grindstone, this tool is the most effective weapon in the bike thief’s arsenal. Even the toughest bike lock will succumb to the relentless onslaught of an angle grinder in under a minute.
Until now, it was just a fact of life. Fortifying a lock to resist such attempts was impractical; the locks became large, heavy and difficult to transport.
Today, Britain-based Hiplok reveals what it calls “the world’s first truly portable bicycle lock to withstand attacks from angle grinders.” The D1000 weighs 4 pounds and is a standard size U-lock, but it claims to withstand attacks from angle grinders thanks to a graphene composite material called Ferosafe.
GearJunkie received a pre-sample of the D1000 to verify Hiplok’s bold claims. Read on for all of our test results and details on this one-of-a-kind lock.
Bike lock for Hiplok D1000 angle grinder
First of all, what is the Hiplok D1000? Like other Hiplok products, the D1000 is a bit bulkier than your average U-lock, but not by much. It weighs 4 pounds and measures approximately 10 x 6 x 1.5 inches. It features dual locking anti-rotation tabs – so a thief has to cut both sides to break and remove the lock and a rubberized surface to protect your bike frame.
A hardened steel core is designed to withstand traditional theft (as with bolt cutters), but the real magic is on the outside. Hiplok incorporated Ferosafe’s graphene composite “specially designed to disintegrate cutting wheels of angle grinders”.
In short, while steel resists blunt force attacks, graphene composite will stand up to cutting and grinding.
But does it work? We had our top secret Vigilant bike – and resident lockdown tester – are doing all they can to shatter Hiplok’s claims.
Angle grinder review: Hiplok D1000 review
My wait is over. When I heard that a new lock was coming out that would prevent damage from a portable shredder, I was more than skeptical. So far nothing has been able to resist a grinder.
That is, until now!
This lock has a thick, rectangular, hardened steel U-rod coated with the new Hiplok Ferosafe material. The lock is wrapped in a generous amount of rubber to protect your bike as well as to slow down thieves. I threw everything I had on that lock and was more and more impressed with each attack.
Here is game by game.
I started by locking the D1000 to a machine in my garage to bring a bike attached to a luggage rack closer. I started my attempt with a ramset, which uses the power of a 22 caliber round to drive a metal rod into the lock. Construction crews typically use them to drive nails straight into concrete all at once, so you can imagine the power.
I pulled the lock twice near the junction of the lock body and the rod. All it did was pop some plastic lids and bend the body of the lock slightly.
Then I took out the nitrogen. I froze the lock and hit it again with the ramset. There was a bit more bending and a crack in a part of the body of the lock that was not an integral part of its security.
And then the key no longer worked. So the lock was now stuck on my machine until I could find a way to remove it.
I cut some of the thick rubber coating around the U-shaped rod and tried two more times with the kickstand on the rod. At this point, I felt like the lock was laughing at me.
Next are the 3 foot bolt cutters. Hiplok had clearly thought of this already, as the shape and size of the lock meant that the jaws of my bolt cutters couldn’t fit around the metal to even attempt a cut.
Then I tried a Sawzall with a metal blade on it. As with the methods above, this would be a very visible and loud attempt to steal a bicycle. But we have to rule out all possible scenarios.
The coated locking rod removed all teeth from the blade in 60 seconds. This left only a small cut mark on the lock.
At that point, I started to get excited. A lock that can withstand all of this abuse is rare, so even here the D1000 is among the best locks on the market.
However, the defending champion was still looming – the angle grinder, patiently waiting for his chance. As thieves and lock makers alike know, this is the tool that outperforms almost any lock on the market in about 60 seconds or less.
I pulled out the mill, excited to see if this lock could live up to the hype. I installed a brand new 5 inch metal cutting blade and got to work.
After 45 seconds my blade was gone, leaving only a small 1.5mm deep groove in the shank. I grabbed another blade… then another… then another.
Five blades later I was almost all along! I then used a pry bar and hammer to punch out the last part to save wasted grinder blades.
Finally, I was done.
But there was a problem. Hiplok built the D1000’s lock rod rectangular – so neither I nor a thief could rotate the body of the lock. This is important because it means that you have to cut both sides. It took over five more blades!
Key points to remember
After the first few attempts at ramset, I could see that the lock body appeared to be a mixture of a few different pieces of aluminum and steel that were bent and formed around each other. You cannot disassemble the lock while it is locked, but the body seems susceptible to attack by a crusher.
This was not the case ! Underneath that first layer of aluminum on either side sits a large strip of Ferosafe that shredded my crusher blade. I tried another place, shredded another blade.
Finally, I resorted to wasting a few extra grinder blades on the other side where the ramset had blown a bit of the Ferosafe, finally completing the lockdown.
Hiplok D1000: Hype or Hero?
The D1000 lives up to all of Hiplok’s promises and more. Thieves would have a better chance of cutting through the bike shelf, so be careful what you lock your bike to.
Third-party rating agency Sold secure gave this lock a “Diamond” rating, which until now included the best locks on the market for 2021.
The D1000 makes me think we need a new category. This lock outperformed all other Diamond rated locks I have tested in leaps and bounds.
Functionally, this lock is like many other U-locks. It has a similar size and feel to some of the other options, and the locking mechanism is a bit clunkier than Hiplok’s lighter DX lock. But for portability, the D1000 still performs well and comes with high security coded keys.
As with any product, I noticed a few things that I didn’t like. Firstly, the rubber cover that protects the keyhole from weather and dust is a bit lacking and will come off if it gets caught on something. On the plus side, this part is friction fit into the holes and can snap back into place with little effort.
Second, the fit between the lock body and the stem has just a bit more play than most other locks, which will shake if you’ve attached it to your bike. Due to the size and weight of this lock, it is best to carry it in a bag and will help remedy the rattling.
Finally, the rubber around the upper makes it harder to slip through your belt. Picky, I know. But after eating five of my blades and a few other tools, I must have found something not to like. Needless to say, the high security makes the D1000 totally worth those little annoyances.
Now, while you can’t put a price on peace of mind, you can put a price on a bike lock. The Hiplok D1000 will retail for $ 345 for full retail. This places it among the most expensive on the market. But hey, there’s a good chance you’ll never need to buy one. And the good news is that the D1000 launches today on Kickstarter with discounts for early risers.