A lightweight and sturdy bicycle lock? That’s an appealing prospect for everyday cycling in the city. The new Altor folding titanium bike lock, the lightest weight, high-security lock to hit the market, promises both.
The Bethlehem, PA-based company aims to create innovative security products that help eliminate worries over bike theft while adding comfort and convenience to the daily ride. The co-founders, Dylan Cato and Luke Sahagian, who have backgrounds in mechanical engineering and product and graphic design, respectively, recently exhibited the Altor at Bike Expo New York, where I got a look at it.
The Altor 560G takes its name from its weight: 560 grams, or 1.23 pounds. The secret to its strength is Grade 5 titanium, an alloy used in building fighter jets and spacecraft, according to the company. Further, the patent-pending, three-piece joints substantially differentiate the Altor from other folding locks. The titanium joints are connected with marine-grade stainless steel rivets, with the assembly designed to resist bike thieves’ tools: bolt cutters, hack saws and hammers.
What surprised me when lifting the new lock was the momentary mental dissonance between the expectation of heft, based by on my own daily handling of a steel lock, and the reality of the relative featheriness of titanium.
Other show attendees agreed. Says Sahagian: “When people hold it and realize how light a lock can be, they tend to be very excited.”
Added to its bantam weight and strength, is convenience. The lock folds down to approximately 9 by 2 1/3 inches, for stowing in a bike bag or attaching to a strap or to belt.
The user pushes in the pop-up locking mechanism to activate the lock — basically “set it and forget it,” which is a handy when you are in a rush to work or another destination. A key opens the lock when it’s time to go. That same mechanism allows two or more locks to be joined together to extend reach or add security.
The arms of the lock are precision machined and anodized for a satiny finish, a reflection of “pride in our aesthetic, as well as functionality,” Sahagian says.
Substance plus style. That’s what we like.
Log onto altor-locks.com for more information and to save on a Kickstarter pre-sale.