Hiplok Original: Superbright Review
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Hiplok Original: Superbright
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|Pros||Wearable design, solid security, easy to use||Very secure, mounts to bike, convenient size for locking up||Secure, includes 5 keys, price is nice||Inexpensive, more secure than many in its price range, high quality||Lightweight, easy-to-carry, easy-to-use|
|Cons||Not lightweight, uncomfortable with some backpacks, pricey||Heavy, bulky to transport||Clunky mounting hardware, heavy||Locking mechanism stuck a few times, lackluster frame mount||Minimal 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 commuters||Our favorite all-around bike lock for high-security needs||This lock provides great security and versatility at an affordable price, and while not our absolute favorite, it's pretty close||This inexpensive U-lock offers versatility and security that is likely to fit the needs and budgets of many cyclists and commuters||If 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...|
|Ease of Transport (25%)|
|Ease of Use (20%)|
|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|
|Bolt cutters, 36"||No||No||No||No||Yes, but not very easily. Requires two cuts|
|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.
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 favorite 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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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