A quick dash into the coffee shop or a stop at the corner market mid-ride is not always possible. Why? Well, because it’s always risky to leave our bikes unattended. Not that everyone is a thief, but we always consider the worst. Enter the lightweight Hiplok Z-Lok that keeps amateur thieves at bay.

Hiplok Z-Lok Features:

  • Zip-style armored cable
  • Adjustable
  • Reinforced steel core
  • Double-sided locking mechanism
  • Universal release key
  • 40cm length
  • Weight: 18 grams
  • MSRP: $18
Hiplok Z-Lok Simple Bike Security

Simple security to keep petty thieves at bay.

Is that a Z-Lok in your pocket?

That’s right, we’re all paranoid about our bikes. Even though 99% of the general public is trustworthy, there’s no getting around that 1%. For instance, a few years ago, my wife and I went on a local MTB ride and stopped for a bite to eat on our way home. This establishment was hopping with people everywhere. We parked right in front with the bikes on the back.

The rack we were using was the first-generation Kuat Sherpa without built-in locks. I had forgotten the long cable lock and assumed that everything was safe. Within a few minutes I got an uneasy feeling and went outside to check on the bikes — mine was gone. Luckily, the culprit was trotting the bike across the parking lot and stashing it in a field of tall grass for later retrieval.

This young man was an employee of the restaurant — uniform and name tag to boot. I confronted him and spent the next hour with the police as I pressed charges to make sure he didn’t take this lightly. Stealing a $5000 bike is no joke.

Hiplok Z-Lok Review

A close-up of the locking mechanism and flexible steel core.

Back to the Z-Lok. Had I stashed a couple of them in the back of the car, I could have slapped them on for just such an occasion and this young man would not have spent the next few months clearing his record.

The Hiplok Z-Lok is most certainly not a high-security lock and Hiplok doesn’t claim it to be. Instead, it’s inexpensive insurance against opportunistic thieves. These aren’t the kind who can pick locks or wield bolt cutters, but the ones that see an opportunity and pounce. You know, the guys who stuff company materials in their backpacks without batting an eye. The Z-Lok is just enough security to keep the casual thief at bay.

Dissecting the anatomy of the Z-Lok, it looks much like a re-usable zip-tie, but with a dual-sided locking mechanism and a steel core. It’s pretty tough and can withstand light duty attempts long enough to discourage someone. Yes, a simple set of medium-duty wire cutters will slice right through the Z-Lok, but again, the amount of would-be thieves that happen to be wandering by with a set of wire cutters is slim.

Hiplok Z-Lok Review

A simple set of pliers cuts right through the Z-Lok

The intended use is for quick locking and is not only suitable for bikes, but other items as well — skis, motorcycle helmets, etc. For cyclists, the Z-Lok fits comfortably in a jersey pocket and can be used when hitting the coffee shop or convenience store for a few minutes. It’s lightweight and the simple key is easily-carried.

Function of the lock is straightforward with 40cm strap wrapping around a top-tube and a pole or a fence and back into itself. The key simply disengages the one-way locking bits for easy opening. Simple and straightforward.

The Good

  • Lightweight and portable peace-of-mind
  • Offers quick protection in a pinch
  • Can thwart off most opportunistic thieves

The Bad

  • Easily cut with simple wire cutters

The Bottom Line: Hiplok Z-Lok

For that quick trip into the coffee shop or corner market, the Hiplok Z-Lok is a lifesaver. It’s not going to thwart a seasoned criminal, but the opportunistic thief will certainly be kept in check. Stuff it into a jersey pocket just in case when going on that long ride and you’ll be glad you did.

Buy Now: Available at Amazon.com

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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