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6th August 2018 / Comments (2)

Hiplok – Z Lok Combo and Z Lok

Hiplok

Security on the go for the busy cyclist.

Popping down to the shops for five minutes or just having a quick cuppa in the cafe? Want to be sure your bike is still there when you get back? If so, then these locks are just what you are looking for…or are they?

Z Lok Combo

The Z Lok combo provides the most security with a three digit combination lock and a steel core. Think of it as a reinforced, reusable, zip tie. At £19.99 it isn’t cheap but it is quick, convenient and may well act as a useful deterrent.

Reality check – given that bike thieves seem to go armed with bolt cutters nowadays, this is going to keep them occupied for maybe two or three seconds.

The loop itself is lamentably short so you aren’t going to be hooking it up to the nearest lamp post unless you daisy chain it.

By all means use one if you want but…. Last time I had a bike stolen, the insurance company refused to pay up because the bike was not locked to a “secure and immovable object”. It had a lock, but the swine simply picked the bike up and walked off with it. Net result, I was the only one to lose on the deal.

Hiplok

Z Lok

At £9.99 this is the cheaper option from Hiplok. This time, there is no combination lock, instead there is a funny looking key. Basically it is a piece of shaped wire that forces two mini baffles aside, thus releasing the zip tie.

I would have problems breaking into anything without the real key, but I got into this one within 10 seconds, using nothing but a paperclip.

Flawed Idea

To be fair to Hiplok, they categorise both of these locks as ideal for low risk situations.

When does a low risk situation turn into a high risk situation however? Probably when an opportunist thief wanders along. Personally, I’d prefer something a lot more robust or, at a shove, longer! If your bike is going to be stolen, at least make sure you have complied with your insurance T&C’s so you get a new bike out of it.

I love the idea but I think they need to go back to the drawing board with this one.

Security aside…where do you carry them? They won’t really fit in a jersey pocket and I’m not going to thread it through the rails on my saddle. If you are in bike packing mode, you may have a bag to stash it in. Personally, I’d avoid either of these locks if you are in any danger of your bike being pinched. There are better options out there.

Conclusion

Avoid. At least until they come up with something better.

Hiplok Zip Loks

£19.99 and £9.99
2

Combination or not?

2.0/10

Pros

  • Quick and easy to use.
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Neither will keep a thief at bay for more than a few seconds
  • Not a replacement for a proper bike lock

Last modified: 26th January 2019

2 Responses to :
Hiplok – Z Lok Combo and Z Lok

  1. Stephen says:

    I’ve used them for over a year now. They are very handy. Most walking by thieves don’t carry tools so they are ideal to duck into cafe or for a toilet stop. I find they are long enough to go around small poles or to tie up to a grate, fence, metal tree guard, low window grill etc. they are also great for travelling on trains as you can secure your bike to the pole and pull it tight so your bike can’t move or get scratched. They fit in the back of most jerseys, Castelli, Ground Effect, Pearl Izumi, Garneau etc. just make them into a little circle and slide them in. They weigh almost nothing so you’ll never notice them.

    Lots of people have said they could easily steal my bike so I say “Go ahead .. Show me” and every time they say ” oh, I could but I just don’t have any tools with me”. That’s the point. It stops opportunist walk by theft which accounts for the vast majority of out in the open daytime bike thefts.

    I would never use these as overnight locks or long term locks in basements etc. that would be stupid. That’s when you use a heavy 3 kilo lock or maybe two and even then you run a risk. If I’m riding in city areas that are dodgy then I’ll use another lock and then these are fine to hold my helmet on the bars. The bigger and slightly heavier combo ones are good too. If I am on a mtb with a backpack then I pop one of these in.

  2. Petey says:

    I’m also a fan of these locks, particularly the combo version. Of course they won’t stop a determined thief or anyone with cutters, but they’re not designed to. They’re a visual deterrent that will stop an opportunist walk-by from snatching your bike while your back’s turned. They’re for that unplanned loo break in a quiet village, or while you have to turn away for 20 secs to order and pay for your coffee at the (again, quiet) cafe. Bend it into a horseshoe shape and it slides straight into a middle jersey pocket – then put your rolled rain cape/gilet in the middle of it and everything stays put, even if you take the cape/gilet out when it starts raining. No silly little prong/key thing to bend or lose with the combo version either.

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