Hiplok Z Lok Review
Cons: Too small, minimal security
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Hiplok Z Lok
|Price||$12.99 at Amazon||Check Price at REI|
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|$14.99 at Amazon||$58.95 at Amazon|
Compare at 2 sellers
|Pros||Lightweight, flexible, easy to use||Versatile, light (for a U-Lock), easy to use, value||Lightweight, easy-to-carry, easy-to-use||Inexpensive, more secure than many in its price range, high quality||Affordable, easy to transport, nice frame mount|
|Cons||Too small, minimal security||Slightly less secure than other U-Lock models, bulky||Minimal security, can be compromised with the right tools quickly||Locking mechanism stuck a few times, lackluster frame mount||Low security, lacks versatility, can be tricky to feed through bike parts|
|Bottom Line||Great for preventing the "snatch and grab" while you pit stop, these ties do little to prevent a real bike thief from swiping your ride||A versatile U-lock and cable combo that provides strong security at a favorable price point||If you're in the market for a highly portable and lightweight lock but without much security, this one has your name on it||This inexpensive U-lock offers versatility and security that is likely to fit the needs and budgets of many cyclists and commuters||For low security needs, this lock works and packs into your bag easily|
|Rating Categories||Hiplok Z Lok||Evolution Mini-7 U-...||ABUS Chain Lock 120...||Kryptonite Kryptolo...||8 Joints Alloy Stee...|
|Ease Of Transport (25%)|
|Ease Of Use (20%)|
|Specs||Hiplok Z Lok||Evolution Mini-7 U-...||ABUS Chain Lock 120...||Kryptonite Kryptolo...||8 Joints Alloy Stee...|
|Measured weight (lbs)||0.1 lbs||3.5 lbs||0.5 lbs||3.2 lbs||1.6 lbs|
|Type of lock||Cable/ Key Lock||U-Lock + cable||Chain||U-Lock + cable||Folding|
|Lock dimensions||16.5" x 0.4" (0.125" thick)||U-lock: 9.4"x 5.6" (13mm thick U), 4' cable||23.6" x 0.16"||U-lock: 11.1" x 5.4" (13mm thick U), Cable: 4'||28" x 1" unlocked and extended|
|# of keys included||1 key||3 keys (one with HID light)||N/A||2 keys||3 keys|
|Primary materials||Steel cable||13mm hardened "max-performance" steel with braided steel cable||Hardened steel||Steel||5 mm steel plates|
|Warranty/Manufacturer programs||Lifetime Warranty||$2,500 Theft Protection (does not cover cable), Limited Lifetime Warranty; Key Safe Program||None||$1,700 Theft Protection||None|
|Unique Features||Zip-tie style design||LED light on one key; cable in addition to U-Lock; dust cover on keyhole||Steel chain with textile sleeve (available in different colors)||Includes 4 foot cable||n/a|
|Tin Snips||Yes||Cable: Yes; U-lock: No||Yes, requires two cuts to defeat||No||No|
|Bolt Cutters, 36"||Yes||Cable: Yes, U-lock: No||Yes, but not very easily. Requires two cuts||No||Yes|
|Number of cuts required to free lock||1 cut||2 cuts||2 cuts||2 cuts||1 cut|
Our Analysis and Test Results
We envision the HipLok Z Lok for the dedicated minimalist who prefers to own the smallest version of everything. These little zip-tie locks can fit right into just about any messenger bag without appearing bulky, or overly imposing when securing your bike to a thin iron rail near your favorite coffee shop.
On the security scale (where 10 is leaving your bike at home, safe), the HipLok Z Lok security ties rank at about a 1.5. While they will prevent the impromptu "snatch and grab" when you've dashed into the coffeehouse for your morning joe, they're little more than a five-second inconvenience for most of your urban bike thieves. Envision locking your bike up with zip-ties, and you've basically got the idea. Which, you know, is better than nothing, but not much.
The strip of metal inside the plastic cover on the lock did resist our attack with wire snips, which surprised us to a degree. However, every other tool defeated this lock in seconds.
Ease of Transport
At 1.3 oz, this is the lightest option of all the bike locks we included in this review. It's light enough that you could literally put the ties in your pocket and forget they were there (and unlike some of the U-locks in this review, they won't dent the inside of your washing machine if they happen to get tossed in there with your worn jeans).
These ties can fit near anywhere. They pretty much disappear in your backpack. We like that the bright colors make them quick and easy to find inside a dark bag, too. We like zipping them to our bike saddle rails for simple transport, too. Lastly, they weigh nothing in the back pocket of a cycling jersey.
Ease of Use
This is a five-second steal, at best, with other downfalls which include: a key that, if it becomes bent in your bag or purse, has the potential to stop working correctly. A perk, we guess, is that if you are unfortunate enough to lose the key or bend it, you could always ask pretty much anyone to cut the lock for you.
At a not-so-whopping 16.5 inches long, your options are slim as to what you can lock your bike to. Think about it — you're not going to have much clearance after going around your wheel. For thin, immovable structures, though, we were able to get this lock around the rear wheel, the frame, and the structure itself.
The HipLok Z Lok comes in several color options, is small enough to fit into a purse or murse (or the trendiest messenger bag), and has a tiny locking mechanism that really takes the word "tiny" to a whole new level. These little zip-locks aren't exactly expensive, and if you had a few of them, you could secure any part of your bike to pretty much everything. Again, however, this lock is intended for super-short term security (think: minutes, not hours.)
This lock's versatility comes in handy when it's not considered as a primary security lock, or in non-urban settings. We've brought it mountain biking to stash our bikes off-trail to hike up a peak, and we have used it to lock our helmets to our bikes. If your vehicle's bike rack doesn't have a lock, a few Z Lok's work well for running into a gas station or for a rest area pit stop. You can also daisy chain multiple Z Loks together to extend this lock's reach. With some creativity, you can probably find several uses for this small touch of security.
It's really hard to argue with the price tag of the HipLok Z Lok unless your bike is several hundred or thousands of dollars, in which case you might think twice before trusting your investment to something so…well, little. As we've articulated — if you just need something to hold your bike when you stop to use the restroom, this might be a worthwhile investment.
For more expensive bikes or for folks who might leave their bike for more than a minute or two in one location, these locks are just asking for trouble.
Colorful, compact, easy to use; tuck this lock into your jersey pocket to use for the quick pit-stop. If you're leaving your bike for anything longer than a few minutes, though, you're playing with fire. As a helmet, saddle, or component lock, though, it's pretty convenient.
— Rebecca Eckland