Review: Hiplok – a Wearable Bike Lock

Hiplok Bike Lock Waist

Hiplok was released in America a while back and we snagged one for review. It’s been a great lock and, in addition, gave us cool cat bike culture points.

With a ton of locks on the market, there aren’t many things that separate one lock from the other besides security rating and personal style preference. Hiplok stands alone because it’s wearable. The basic premise of Hiplok – a solution for hauling locks around town without a bag or frame mount. Combining a belt and a lock, Hiplok velcros around the waist fitting men’s sizes 26-42. I’m a solid 32 waist and it fit great.

I have a couple locks I use. Generally, I either jam a u-lock in my belt loop or carry one in a bag. In the belt loop, the u-lock is sometimes uncomfortable or snags on the seat when I stand up. When carrying a bag, u-locks are fine – but oftentimes bags bulk up short trips when they aren’t altogether needed. Hiplok solves the “where do I put my lock” problem with clever design.

Click ‘more’ to read the full review…


Hiplok Bike Lock Table

In terms of security, Hiplok has a Sold Secure Silver rating, a rating described by Sold Secure as “offering a compromise between security and cost”. The chain is large, heavy, square cut, and would give thieves a run for their money. If you’re looking for pure security though, there are u-locks sold for the same price (roughly $100) that offer a Sold Secure Gold rating, a tad better, described by Sold Secure as offering “the highest level of security”.

So, I wouldn’t use Hiplok as a completely fail-proof primary lock to latch the bike up all night. But that doesn’t void Hiplok as an impressive gadget or killer lock. Hiplok packs a different punch than pure security. What you’re paying for is a standard lock with some added function.

Hiplok Bike Lock Chain Bolts Casing

The construction is simple – a padlock laced to a chain secured in a nylon cover. Four keys come with. Just insert a key into the lock and twist. On twisting, one end of the chain can be removed from the lock. The end of the chain that’s removed slips inside the nylon casing until needed again. Then run the velcro strap through the lock and secure it to the body. A fun pamphlet describing the process is provided in the packaging. Eventually, after heavy use, when the lock starts smelling like sweat and waist-grime, the nylon casing can be removed with two hex keys and machine-washed.

Features:
  • The lock never has to be locked to the body, a feature that keeps the paramedics happy. Velcro seems to be the same high quality velcro as what’s sewn into popular messenger bags (Chrome, etc.) so the lock doesn’t slip off too easily.
  • The lettering on the back is reflective – 3M reflective – standard for awesome in the industry. At night, cars will see in big bold letters “HIPLOK” plastered on your booty.
  • Because it’s easy to remove, Hiplok can be swung, heaved, and hucked at a moments notice, making it almost as empowering as a .44 Magnum.

Hiplok Bike Lock Front Hiplok Bike Lock Belt Loop

Hiplok looks cool above all. It’s both a gadget and an accessory. The $100 spent pays for innovation and style as much as function. Offered in a variety of colors – blue, black, red, green, pink, yellow – they’ll probably have one that matches your bike/bag/swatch.

I’ve been wearing the green version. Surprisingly comfortable, Hiplok feels weightless when riding and standing up. It never gets in the way like u-locks do. Also, the nylon casing prevents the bike from getting scratched, granted care is taken positioning the padlock.

How has it held up? After about 4 months, fairly well. The reflective lettering has started to break apart and the velcro has eaten some cotton from my clothing. But, that’s to be expected. Luckily, the velcro has held up structurally. If the velcro latching had failed while I was riding, a 4lb chain would’ve been sitting on my back tire, bike chain, pedal or wherever it felt like landing.

Hiplok Bike Lock Locked Up

My beef:

I only have one complaint: Hiplok doesn’t sit well on the waist when carrying large backpacks with waist stabilizers. I rock a Mission Workshop Vandal, a pack I give 5 stars, but it’s not comfy with Hiplock. Hiplok forces itself under the pack. With a waist stabilizer added to the pack, Hiplok’s nearly impossible to wear. Good thing is, with smaller backpacks or messengers, the lock sits perfectly and makes for an innovative, fashionable lock.

Check out Hiplok here. They’re sold for £69.99 in the UK and retail for around $100 in America at various online retailers.

Comments

Steve - 06/30/12 - 8:33pm

Go buy a length of chain at the hardware store. Buy a lock of your preference. Get a 20″ inner tube and cut it in half. Bam. Just as good.

PaulCJr - 06/30/12 - 10:33pm

Ya this isn’t something new and innovative. All this hiplok is is clever marketing. I’ve been doing this same thing with a Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit chain lock for years now. Just go out and buy yourself a Kryptonite FU chain lock and call it a day.

scam - 07/01/12 - 3:59am

Hummm ! What about the dirty lock on your clean clothes ?
and the last pic is a bad example of way to attach your bike… you can still have your rear wheel stolen…
I don’t even talk about the price…O-o

PaulCJr - 07/01/12 - 10:05am

You would just run the lock through the wheel and around the frame. Front wheel would have to come off though and laid along side the back one.

nick - 07/03/12 - 2:58am

as mentioned in the post, the advantage of this over say “wearing” your cool chain lock is the safety side of you are not locked into your lock.

I have done the above for a while with my master lock for short trips, but as a commuter i like the idea of the paramedic not having to hack me out of my lock should Mr X5 decide to “sorry, i didn’t see you”

Nanci Drew - 07/05/12 - 10:46am

The lock isn’t comfortable when you’re wearing a backpack? Why wouldn’t you just put the lock IN the backpack?

Jaeger - 07/16/12 - 10:45am

it’s so awesome. I want one!

But – what about dirt?
I take of my “belt” in a gracenessous movement, putting it around my dirty (naugthy) bike, and go away for a while, drinking coffe and such stuff, feeling trendy and cool.
When I am done with the coffedrinking (spiced up with some bourbon), I go back to the bicycle, some hot girls give me “the look” in a hot way, I smiles shortly toward the girl in a naughty and dangerous way, but not too much, I don’t want that the police would run after me again. I unlock my bike, putting the lock on myself in a very gracious movement,
rides slowly toward them, still worried about the police.

I talk with them, and becames baffled why they’re became so quickly cold to me.
Later I discovered that my pants and the Hiplock was dirty, full of thick and ugly dirt,
I looked almost like a hobo.

Fatbirds - 10/22/12 - 8:31am

We have just got these in stock and I must say I was impressed with this, yes there is a dirt issue but we are cyclists, when has dirt ever been an issue and you can always clean it (or wear it over your Mack)!?
You certainly shouldn’t have to be ‘Hacked out’ of this lock as you don’t lock it to yourself like many of the above think, it comes with a strap and buckle so it is easily removed without having to unlock and lock the chain
I would also highly recommend against going for a cut up tube, padlock and chain from a hardware store as it won’t come close, especially where security is concerned.
These come in a range of colours and has a great security rating, I would highly recommend this to someone looking for a Kryptonite or Abus alternative.

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