Hiplok Z Lok Bicycle Lock Review
This year at Interbike I got introduced to a rather interesting bicycle lock called the Hiplok Z Lok. You can think of it as a reusable lockable zip tie. It sounded sort of weird and sort of cool at the same time.
Hiplok was found by Ben Smith and John Abrahams who are product designers by trade and cyclists at heart. They launched the company back in 2011 with a lock called the Hiplok. The company is based in the UK in Leamington Spa, a township north west of London.
Hiplok Z Lok Bicycle Lock Review | 2018
I am sure you’re wondering how can a zip tie be very secure, aren’t they just made of plastic. As it turns out the Z Lok has a stainless steel core, which makes it much more difficult to cut than a standard zip tie would be. For example the stainless steel core pretty much eliminates the ability to cut it with a knife, so a thief will have to use a cable cutter.
The Z Lok comes with a 2 pronged key that gets inserted into 2 holes releasing the zip tie like locking mechanism.
It gives you the convenience of added protection without having to lug around a heavy lock. When I lock up my bike in the city, I generally will use a 2 lock method consisting of a heavy gage Chain Lock and a U-lock. I also use two different company brands, to make it even harder for a potential thief. Using 2 different types of locks usually means a thief will have to use 2 different types of lock attacks. It’s not full proof, but usually in the end a thief will probably move on to an easier target.
Funny enough as fate would have it, my chain lock is actually a HipLok that I had purchased a few years back. So far it’s worked flawlessly.
One thing that can be rather annoying is what to do with your cycling helmet after you lock up your bike. You certainly can’t lock it up with a chain lock and a U-lock is also out of the question. It’s not that much fun lugging a helmet around, so that is where the Z Lok comes in handy. Since it works like a zip tie, as long as your helmet has air vent holes, you should be able to lock it up pretty much anywhere on your bike. You can make it even more annoying for a thief by locking the helmet over your main lock, around brakes or even your wheel.
Where I can see the Z Lok really coming in handy is when you’re at a cafe or some other cool spot and you can lock up the bike near your table, without having to pay full attention to it. After a shop ride, we will often put our bikes in the cycling store racks (inside) without locking them up. Usually this is the case because when you’re riding a road bike on a group ride, you don’t carry a lock. It’s simply too heavy and burdensome. A thief could easily walk away with a road bike and probably wouldn’t get noticed until it was too late.
Normally when people go on group rides and stop at a gas station, they leave their bikes unattended for a short period of time. This can and has been easy pick-ins for an opportunistic thief. Having at least a little security could thwart the theft altogether.
The Z Lok is really light and can easily fit in a jersey rear pocket, allowing you to carry some measure of lockable safety.
The Z Lok comes in 3 flavors including Red, Yellow and Grey.
A really great use for the Z Lok is on bike racks to give them a bit of extra theft protection and security.
Description: Secured Reusable Armoured Zip Tie for use on car racks, with accessories and other outdoor equipment.
Security Level: Low Risk
Security Rating: N/A
Product Specification: Double sided ratchet design, reinforced steel core, universal release key.
Locking Size: 40cm locking diameter
Weight: 0.020 kg
Bottom Line | Hiplok Z Lok Bicycle Lock Review
The Z Lok is a really cool concept, something that I sort of took for granted. While it certainly true that the security rating on the Z Lok is low compared to a larger cable or chain lock, it still is really useful and definitely has a place in the cycling market.
For around $20 you get a no frills quick lockable device that in many situations is just about perfect.
To find out more about Hiplok and the Z Lok (http://www.hiplok.com/) check out their website.