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Hiplok Original: Superbright Review

The innovative design of this wearable chain lock increases this heavy lock's portability, which is great news for regular bike commuters
Hiplok Original: Superbright
Credit: Hiplok
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $110 List | $74.79 at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Wearable design, solid security, easy to use
Cons:  Not lightweight, uncomfortable with some backpacks, pricey
Manufacturer:   Hiplok
By Ross Robinson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 26, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 18
  • Security - 40% 6.0
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 8.0
  • Ease of Use - 20% 7.0
  • Versatility - 15% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Hiplok Original: Superbright provides an innovative way to carry your lock with you. Compared to other bike locks in the review, this unique and functional design allows a cyclist to wrap the chain around their waist, adjust it to fit, and comfortably carry the theft deterrence with them. The nylon sheath that protects your bike frame and components from the heavy chain (the lock weighs over four pounds) has a strip of reflective material to make you visible on the road, too. This wearable design makes it easier to transport the weight than most U-locks, which weigh down backpacks. The lock is easy to use with a curved key that inserts into and opens the locking mechanism like butter. Its inherent flexibility makes it more versatile for locking up to oddly-shaped structures. This model is a user-friendly, mid to high-level security lock with a cyclist-first design to up your biking needs.

Editor's Note: We updated this individual gear review on January 25, 2022, to include important information to support your decision-making process.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $74.79 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$110.30 at Amazon
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$80 List$70.95 at REI
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$15.28 at Amazon
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Pros Wearable design, solid security, easy to useVery secure, mounts to bike, convenient size for locking upSecure, includes 5 keys, price is niceInexpensive, more secure than many in its price range, high qualityLightweight, easy-to-carry, easy-to-use
Cons Not lightweight, uncomfortable with some backpacks, priceyHeavy, bulky to transportClunky mounting hardware, heavyLocking mechanism stuck a few times, lackluster frame mountMinimal security, can be compromised with the right tools quickly
Bottom Line The innovative design of this wearable chain lock increases this heavy lock's portability, which is great news for regular bike commutersOur favorite all-around bike lock for high-security needsThis lock provides great security and versatility at an affordable price, and while not our absolute favorite, it's pretty closeThis inexpensive U-lock offers versatility and security that is likely to fit the needs and budgets of many cyclists and commutersIf you're in the market for a highly portable and lightweight lock but without much security, this one has your name on it
Rating Categories Hiplok Original: Su... Kryptonite New York... OnGuard Brute STD Kryptonite Kryptolo... ABUS Chain Lock 120...
Security (40%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
3.0
Ease of Transport (25%)
8.0
4.0
3.0
5.0
9.0
Ease of Use (20%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
Versatility (15%)
7.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
4.0
Specs Hiplok Original: Su... Kryptonite New York... OnGuard Brute STD Kryptonite Kryptolo... ABUS Chain Lock 120...
Measured weight (lbs) 4.3 lbs 4.5 lbs 3.6 lbs 3.2 lbs 0.5 lbs
Type of lock Wearable chain U-lock U-Lock U-Lock + cable Chain
Primary materials/thickness 8mm hardened steel chain, 600D polyester sleeve 16mm Hardened Steel 16.8mm hardened steel 12.7mm hardened steel; braided steel cable 4mm hardened steel
Locking dimension 33.5" circumference, 2" width 4" x 8" 7.5" x 10.5" U-lock: 4" x 9"; Cable: 4' 43" circumference
# of keys included 3 keys 3 keys (one with HID light) 5 keys 2 keys N/A
Tin snips No No No No Yes, requires two cuts to defeat
Hammer No No No No No
Hacksaw No No No No No
Bolt cutters, 36" No No No No Yes, but not very easily. Requires two cuts
Angle grinder Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Number of cuts to free lock 1 cut 2 cuts 2 cuts 2 cuts 2 cuts

Our Analysis and Test Results

This lock consists of an 8 mm hardened steel chain with a 10 mm steel shackle (that doubles as a buckle.) It has an outer nylon sheath with reflective material that covers the chain and a piece of velcro threaded through the buckle and back on itself, allowing the Hiplok to be worn around your hips while riding.

Performance Comparison


Hiplok Original: Superbright bike lock - our far and away favorite for portable chain lock is the hiplok...
Our far and away favorite for portable chain lock is the Hiplok Original. Our testers were stoked that it's actually quite comfortable when worn around the waist.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Security


The Hiplok Original received a Silver Award by Sold Secure (an independent English testing organization) and is rated "Medium/High Risk" by Hiplok. Our tests aligned with these ratings. The padlock on this piece could not be smashed or pried apart. The plastic covering on the padlock had the look of something one could use brute force on, but that wasn't the case at all. We tried to use a hacksaw (and patience) to cut through both the 10 mm lock and the 8 mm chain, but the hardened steel is super hard, and after minutes of sawing, we gave up. Bolt cutters proved to be ineffective as well.


So far, so good, right? We think so. Also, this bike lock measured right up to the U-Locks we tested. It even has an edge up on U-Locks in that thieves cannot use crowbars to pry open the heavy-duty chain (cheap U-Locks, if secured incorrectly with extra space inside the lock, can be compromised with a pry bar). However, the U-Locks outperformed the Hiplok when taking the angle grinder to their steel. It took us 40+ seconds to grind through the Kryptonite New York Standard U-Lock once and another cut to free the bike, whereas the Hiplok shackle succumbed in a scant 17 seconds. It requires just a single cut to let loose of the bike or bike rack. Even with this news, we still gave the Hiplok a high score in this metric because when a thief is using a powered angle grinder, the chances are high they will get the bike.

Hiplok Original: Superbright bike lock - ben started by using the angle grinder on the chain and cutting the...
Ben started by using the angle grinder on the chain and cutting the shackle required only one cut to free the bike.
Credit: Rylee Sweeney

Ease of Transportation


This category is where this product deserves kudos for design and ingenuity. Bike locks increase in weight as they go up in security, which has the unfortunate side effect of making them annoying to transport. So, higher security usually equals a cumbersome bike lock. However, the people of Hiplok came up with the idea that cyclists should wear their locks to transport. We like how this piece became a hip belt and distributed its weight around the center of gravity. The designers at Hiplok also included a fat strip of reflective material on the outside of the nylon sheath for extra nighttime visibility. We dig that.


A massage therapist that wore the Hiplok around for a day felt that the same amount of weight (about 4 lbs) put into a backpack would cause more muscle fatigue in the lower back than this chain worn slung around the hips. This alleviates the problems of being heavy and not having the ability to be attached to your bicycle that the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit U-Lock Mini has. The owner of a Hiplok could still toss it in a bike pannier or basket, but not having to wear a backpack to transport your lock is a significant plus. One consideration that we wanted to test was the wearability of the Hiplok Original: Superbright when it got wet. The nylon sheath was resistant to water but not pleasant to wear without a jacket, so we considered that when scoring. Overall, our reviewers were super impressed with this product and thought it proved to be a great everyday bike lock.

With the shackle locked to a chain link on one end, the strip of...
With the shackle locked to a chain link on one end, the strip of sturdy velcro runs through a bar on the shackle and secures to the nylon sheath. Even during fast and bumpy rides, it never loosened around our testers' hips.
Cruising the streets of Reno with the Hiplok carried around this...
Cruising the streets of Reno with the Hiplok carried around this tester's waist. We like that this model adds reflective material (the white portion of the nylon sheath) to our night rides.

Ease of Use


When using this bike lock, it's clear that someone put time into thinking things through regarding transport and ease of use. The designers streamlined the padlock/buckle into being well-functioning and smooth at both jobs. Even the bike lock's keys (this model comes with three) are user-friendly as they are curved, and our testers agreed that this design improves the process of opening and closing the lock.


Compared to the simplicity of cable locks, like the OnGuard Akita 8041, the Hiplok requires a few more moments of fiddling the chain through the wheel then wrapping it around the frame. Compared to the standard fare of rattling the U-Lock crossbar into the "U" each time you lock up, the Hiplok is pretty simple. With 2' of chain, this allows you to lock your bike up to nearly anything with relative ease.

If you're tired of inflexible U-locks, this chain lock tends to be...
If you're tired of inflexible U-locks, this chain lock tends to be easier to use.
Bike theft is common. If you ever leave your bike outside your home...
Bike theft is common. If you ever leave your bike outside your home, you need a lock, and preferably one that's easy to use.

Versatility


This category was hard to judge for a few reasons. The Hiplok will only cover one wheel and the frame for normal-sized frames. If you want to lock both wheels, you must remove the front wheel and position it next to the back wheel. While this is a pain, this chain lock performed this feat much better than U-locks, like the Kryptonite New York Standard U-Lock and even the larger ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U-Lock, due to its larger area inside the lock and its flexibility. We could lock up a mountain bike with fat tires in this described manner, which was impossible with the folding and U-locks.


This chain is helpful in a garage to secure loose items and could even be used for dirt bikes and motorcycles. However, due to its length, the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain and Disc Lock proved more versatile. You don't need to remove the front wheel to lock the frame and both wheels with that model.

Hiplok Original: Superbright bike lock - a secure way to lock your bike frame and components is to remove...
A secure way to lock your bike frame and components is to remove your front wheel and lock it up with your rear wheel and mainframe, along with the bike rack. The Hiplok has a large enough circumference to lock thick tires.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Should You Buy the Hiplok Original: Superbright?


We've tested some impressive biking gear over the years, and through our testing, we've determined that the Hiplok is a well-designed product worth the investment if you plan to use it often and like the idea of wearing it around your waist. So, if you're a daily bike commuter or own an expensive bike, consider this product as money spent as insurance.

What Other Bike Locks Should You Consider?


This lock is costly (although not the most expensive!), and if you don't have room in your budget, we think the OnGuard Brute STD or Kryptonite Kryptolok Standard could meet your needs. The Brute offers more security than the Kryptolok Standard, but the Kryptolok Standard is slightly easier to transport and use. We highly encourage you to consider what qualities are important to you and the level of security you'll need.

Ross Robinson

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