When it comes to bike locks, there are two main types: heavy but effective U-locks, and lighter but less secure setups such as cables with padlocks. Well, Altor Locks is out to change that. Its compact new 560G weighs just 1.23 lb (or 560 grams, hence the name), yet is claimed to be extremely theft-resistant. We recently had the chance to try out a demo unit for ourselves.
The 560G is composed of four solid Grade 5 titanium rods, linked together by stainless steel rivets. Unlike the case with some other folding locks, those links incorporate titanium shields (the gold bits in the photos). This design reportedly makes it much more difficult for would-be bike thieves to gain leverage within the link, in an attempt to pop the rivet out.
While a key is used to open the thing, the 560G's spring-loaded mechanism can be locked simply by pressing it down with a thumb – no key required. When not in use, the lock folds down to a compact package that's much easier to tote than a U-lock.
We definitely liked the solid feel of the 560G, and found that it could quite easily fit around a bicycle's frame, rear wheel, and an adjacent object such as a bike rack or sign post. Additionally, it was a simple matter to run a cable lock through it to secure the front wheel.
The anodized finish looks nice, and the consumer version should have smoother edges to keep it from scratching the bike's paint.
Because the folks at Altor actually wanted the lock back in an unmarred state, we weren't able to conduct any "torture tests" on it. If the videos on the company website are to be believed, though, it can certainly hold its own against bolt cutters, hacksaws, and hammers with chisels.
The 560G is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge of US$150 will get you one – assuming everything goes as planned. The estimated retail price is $200.
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