Just running into the convenience store for a pit stop? Sitting at an outdoor café with your bike in sight? Maybe your bike is up on the car’s roof rack. In times like these, when you feel like you need a little more deterrent than just tying your helmet strap around the front wheel, Hiplok Z LOKs are there. These guys definitely do not replace a solid U-Lock or fat chain, but they do provide a little piece of mind in certain situations.
First, there’s the original Z LOK steel core security tie. Weighing in at 20 grams and measuring 420mm long, you can either lock your bike to a pole or lock your wheel to the bike so it can’t roll. The key, (Which has new-and-improved all-metal construction for increased strength over earlier versions), inserts easily into the lock to open. But do note that there is only one key to fit all the LOKS. A single Z LOK will run you 12 bucks or you can get two for $20.
Then there’s the Z LOK Combo. Weighing in at 100g, and sporting a thicker 8mm steel core with programmable 3-digit combination lock so you don’t have to concern yourself with keys. These are $25 each.
I found Z LOKs pretty ideal for securing my heavy cargo bike while unloading at the UPS Store and such. I also used them on casual group rides as a quick bit of security while grabbing a beverage. And Touring! So many times we’ve left our loaded tourers outside the grocery store because we did not want to be carrying a lock, right? Problem solved. Like I said, a little deterrent, a little piece of mind, a little lock. The added convenience and security of the combo model would make that my go-to for most uses.
The unfortunate fact of life and society is that in a lot of places, locks are very necessary if you don’t want your precious bicycle to walk off. They can be clunky, heavy and annoying to carry, but they don’t have to be. Here are a few that seem pretty convenient to throw on your bike or in your bag, as well as an all-new locking wall mount and nifty component-locking devices.
The Kryptonite Keeper lock consists of a number of steel links that fold and store nicely in its own little holder. The steel chain links are covered in webbing to prevent your bike from scratches, and the holder affixes to your bike via velcro straps.
RockyMounts is known for manufacturing bike transportation devices for vehicles (roof rack trays, hitch racks, etc), but it’s recently expanded its offerings to include bicycle security devices (aka locks).
The Carlito is touted by RockyMounts to be “the lightest U-lock in the world.” I haven’t seen all the U-locks in the world (or remotely close—I don’t even own one), but it felt impressively light to me and weighs in at just 395 grams. It’s made up of a 14 mm thick aluminum shackle covered in silicon, so it looks extra beefy but doesn’t feel it in your pocket. This lock gets a 4/10 security rating and retails for $39.95. We have one in for review as we speak, so stay tuned for more in-depth thoughts soon!
The Hendrix is a folding lock that is made up of folding steel plates, similar to the Kryptonite shown above. The steel is coated in rubber to avoid any scratches, and the lock folds down to the size of a smartphone. Also included is a water bottle cage mounting bracket. Price: $67.95 with a security rating of 7/10.
Hiplok’s claim to fame is a “wearable” design—locks that can easily be worn around the waist, diagonally across the torso or however else you can figure out how to sport them.
They had a couple new products at Sea Otter to showcase. The Airlok is a wall-mounted bike lock, so that you can secure your bike in your garage, shed, apartment, wherever. It features secure wall mounts, a steel framework and lockable bolt to keep your bike in place. It carries Hiplok’s maximum Gold Secure security rating and will be available in May in three different colors. The wall mount also comes with three coded keys, which are replaceable in case of misplacement if you register them with Hiplok. Price: $179
Z Lok is a reinforced, reusable zip-tie lock that is meant to be conveniently carried in your bag to throw on as added protection from opportunist thieves. This 40 cm long tie consists of a steel core and nylon outer, and automatically locks when looped into place but only unlocks with a key. This seems like a great option for if you’re only running into a store for a minute, or if you’re in a relatively safe area but just want that bit of extra piece of mind.
And, the Z Lok can be used just like a zip tie in a pinch. Apparently, they were used to secure a broken tent at Sea Otter. Seems legit.
The Z Lok comes in a variety of colors and in a two-pack for $20. They will also be available in May.
The Nutfix lock launched earlier this year and is meant to protect bike wheels and saddles against theft. Nutfix caps go on seat clamps and axles, and can only be unlocked if the bike is on its side. So, if your bike is locked in an upright position, a thief can’t unscrew the nut and release your wheel or seatpost.
Axle locks are $34.99 and the seatpost collar lock is $44.99. Both come in a number of different sizes.