Could a textile bike lock make the cut?
Steel cable-style bike locks may be lighter than U-locks, but they're also notoriously easy to cut through, plus their coiled design can make them difficult to use. Chains are one alternative, although they're quite heavy. So, what's lighter than a chain, and more cut-resistant than steel cable? According to an all-female group of German designers, their textile-based lock is.
Known as the tex-lock, its rope is made up of five layers of different types of material. Although we're still waiting to hear back from the women regarding what those materials are, we do know that the middle one is reportedly saw-resistant, followed by layers that are cut-resistant, fire-resistant, waterproof, and dirt-repelling.
In the future, a layer of conductive fibers might also be added, along with some electronics. This could allow the lock to send an alert if anyone tried tampering with it.
Tempered steel eyelets are located at either end of the rope, which engage the shackle of an included mini U-lock or padlock, depending on the size selected.
The designers claim that the tex-lock is much lighter than either steel chain or cable, while being more difficult to cut through using traditional bike-stealing tools such as bolt cutters. It's also very flexible and isn't coiled, making it easier to work with.
The lock is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge of €78 (about US$84) will get you a short one if all goes according to plans. Longer models are available for larger pledges.