So let’s get this out of the way… if you are looking for actual security from one of Hiplok’s products, get one of their namesake chains around your waist. But if you are in a decent neighborhood and just going to pop into the cafe to get a coffee, and want to simply slow down someone from riding away on your bike, the new Z-lok could be your ticket. It’s essentially an armored version of a zip tie that you open with a small two-pronged key. It even could add a bit more security for wheel tray-style bike racks that otherwise only lock your frame…
The 20g Z-Lok is a 40cm/~16″ long locking plastic (nylon) cable tie with a steel core. That makes it strong enough to be resistant to just janking on it, maybe even prying on it or using a pair or pliers, but not going to stop anyone with even a small set of bolt cutters. It’s idea isn’t high security though, it’s more about packing a first line of defense into something that wouldn’t be out of place in a jersey pocket, even on a road ride.
And that’s just one of its uses. Sure locking up a bike where you are just concerned with it growing legs is one concern. But Hiplok also sees it for securing a helmet to your bike at a pit stop, securing wheels to a tray-mount bike rack, or even off the bike on the ski slope, keeping your dog from running off on leash, or your toddler from sneaking out of the yard.
Security is certainly not high, as it uses a universal two-pin key that just slides into release the locking mechanism, but it is more about a deterrent for the opportunist thief anyway. Hiplok is kind of banking on them not being so popular that too many of the keys will be floating around, or that they will be commonplace enough that thieves would start carrying an appropriate pick to defeat the tie in an instant. So long as that is the case, they can offer a bit of security that might just fit your needs.
The Z-Lok will be sold in pairs for now, retailing for about $18 or 18€, and come in red, yellow, or an almost black gray. They aren’t readily available yet, but should be making their way out to retailers and onto the Hiplok website within the next few weeks.