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Verdict: 
A simple but well-thought-out piece of kit providing extra peace of mind
Weight: 
36g
Hiplok Z-Lok Security Ties
8 10

Hiplok Z-Lok Security Ties are a practical, small, well-designed alternative to a 'proper' lock. They certainly don't have the same level of security as a full-on bike lock, but for some situations they provide just enough peace of mind.

  • Pros: Small, light
  • Cons: Not as secure as a 'proper' lock…

The Z-Loks look just like slightly larger, regular zip-ties. They fit in your pocket easily or you can just wrap them around your wrist to transport them. What sets them apart from run-of-the-mill zip-ties is that they have a reinforced steel core, so you can't just twist them to break them. They are also reusable, with a universal key.

> Find your nearest dealer here

The Z-Loks are never going to provide the same kind of security as a regular lock – you'll get through them fairly quickly with pair of cable snips – but for peace of mind when your bike's on a rack within eyesight or you're sitting outside a coffee shop, for example, they're a great idea.

In terms of use they are very simple: you simply feed one end through the hole in the other, which then secures it in place. Each tie is around 40cm long, so it easily fits around most things you would think of locking, and if not you can attach one to the other and double the length. To undo them you use the universal key by pressing the pins into the slots either side of the tie, then pulling it back through. It's a really simple and quick-to-use design.

Hiplok Z-Lock Security Ties - key.jpg

Hiplok Z-Lock Security Ties - key.jpg

Each tie weighs 18g, so very light for carrying around in a pocket or saddle bag, and they come in a pack of two (hence the scales of truth registering 36g).

> Beginner's guide to bike security

Their RRP is £14.99, which I think is a decent price given how useful they are, for bikes and almost anything else. It's one of the cheapest currently available at Wiggle, for example. Hiplok's wearable cable lock or its FX retractable lock are next up in the Hiplok hierarchy as easily portable alternatives.

Hiplok Z-Lock Security Ties - locked helmet.jpg

Hiplok Z-Lock Security Ties - locked helmet.jpg

I was really impressed with the Z-Lok Security Ties. It's such a simple idea, and one that has been executed really well.

Verdict

A simple but well-thought-out piece of kit providing extra peace of mind

road.cc test report

Make and model: Hiplok Z-Lok Security Ties

Size tested: 40cm locking diameter

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

A small, easily transportable security aid.

Hiplok says: "The first secured reusable zip style tie provides ultra-convenient added protection for use on car racks, with accessories and other outdoor equipment. A cutting edge concept in security with a multitude of applications"

This seems about right. I haven't seen reuseable versions before and given their small size and robustness, they're definitely useful for that little bit of protection.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Hiplok lists:

- Stainless steel core.-

- Double sided locking.

- Security cover.

-Universal key.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Well made, and much more secure than you would expect from just looking at them thanks to the steel core.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Simple to use and add a bit of peace of mind.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Reusable.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
10/10

They hardly weigh a thing, but still offer a bit of protection so somebody can't just snatch your pride and joy.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Difficult to say given that it doesn't really have much competition in this area. Not a huge layout for what it could save you...

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well, easy to store, can fit round most bits of kit, and is simple to fit and remove when needed.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The simplicity; a really easy, simple design that makes using them a breeze.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing springs to mind.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

They look really simple and almost pointless, but in reality are a really useful piece of kit to have in your jersey pocket, small enough that it doesn't really matter if they don't get used.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 29  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: Mercian King of Mercia or Cinelli Gazzetta  My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking

George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc. 

When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.  

15 comments

Avatar
ashliejay [74 posts] 6 months ago
4 likes

one thing i have to say about these is, be bloody careful with the key, as they bend easily and one of the prongs snapped off mine and had to break in to the lock but at least the decent people at hiplok replaced the broken in to Z-lok and gave a set of completely metal keys.

Avatar
bsknight [50 posts] 6 months ago
7 likes

It seems like a good, well designed idea at first. But what if it becomes really popular? Having many people going around with a universal key to unlocking your bike does not sound like a good security idea to me.

Avatar
Alb [158 posts] 6 months ago
4 likes

Only x1 key supplied with supplied per pack (x2 locks) was a bit disappointing 

Avatar
handlebarcam [1111 posts] 6 months ago
4 likes

Someone at Rapha is kicking themselves and saying, "Why didn't we think of selling luxury zip ties?" They could've had the Chinese manufacturer colour the plastic pink, it would've been perfect.

Avatar
Chapp3rs [1 post] 6 months ago
1 like
Alb wrote:

Only x1 key supplied with supplied per pack (x2 locks) was a bit disappointing 

I thought the same - emailed Ziplok and they immediately sent me two spare keys for free.  Probably sensible for them to include two in the pack to start off with, but awesome customer service nevertheless.

Avatar
recurs [31 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

While this is a great fundamental idea, I'd repeat the long term observation that the keys are very easily bent. Store them carefully.

Avatar
BarryBianchi [419 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

Or do what sensible people do and get a retractable combination ski lock in your seat bag/back pocket.

Avatar
schlepcycling [91 posts] 6 months ago
1 like
bsknight wrote:

It seems like a good, well designed idea at first. But what if it becomes really popular? Having many people going around with a universal key to unlocking your bike does not sound like a good security idea to me.

Yes, this would seem to be the fundamental flaw, if one key fits all locks and it seems that you don't need to buy one to get a key just email Hiplok and they'll send you free keys.

Avatar
ashliejay [74 posts] 6 months ago
1 like
schlepcycling wrote:
bsknight wrote:

It seems like a good, well designed idea at first. But what if it becomes really popular? Having many people going around with a universal key to unlocking your bike does not sound like a good security idea to me.

Yes, this would seem to be the fundamental flaw, if one key fits all locks and it seems that you don't need to buy one to get a key just email Hiplok and they'll send you free keys.

 

they are only good to stop opertunists by seeing an unlocked bike, but with around a minute and a flat blade screwdriver, toodle pip bicycle.

Avatar
leqin [242 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
ashliejay wrote:

one thing i have to say about these is, be bloody careful with the key, as they bend easily and one of the prongs snapped off mine and had to break in to the lock but at least the decent people at hiplok replaced the broken in to Z-lok and gave a set of completely metal keys.

Confirmed - had mine for about 3 months and then the key snapped. Luckily it happened when I was at home and with tools at hand to remove the broken pin, but I consined the thing to the recycle bin - great idea - flawed implementation.

Avatar
sergius [537 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

I've bought these, though not really used them in anger.  It's 18g of extra weight in my saddle bag, the one key (stingy!) is on a keyring in my phone case.

The only use case for me is those events like Sportives where you occasionally end up leaving your bike on a rack with many others while you have to pop to the loo/registration etc.

I bought this after that chap reported his v expensive bike being nicked in exactly those circumstances - they are obviously not high security, but for leaving your bike somewhere for five minutes I think they are worth it.  

Avatar
andyp [1570 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

That thing in the photo. The locking one's helmet to Sheffield stand thing. Why the hell would anyone do that?

 

Avatar
simonmb [607 posts] 6 months ago
1 like
andyp wrote:

That thing in the photo. The locking one's helmet to Sheffield stand thing. Why the hell would anyone do that?

The range of uses for this type of lock are few, and the company's marketing department is even smaller.

Avatar
peted76 [1034 posts] 6 months ago
3 likes

I've got one of these, it's very light and easy to carry, ideal for the coffee stop. I like the way the z-lok looks, works and feels. The little pronged key is small enough to fit in alongside my credit card, back door key in my pocpac wallet thing. 

Common sense dictates that an opportunist  will follow the path of least resistance, so this kind of lock just gives me better odds in a sea of bikes left unattended at a coffee stop. For my purposes it's brill.

Avatar
gunswick [131 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

Surely as said above, a retractable cable lock with a combination lock is better?

Same security level, smaller, cheaper (£10) and no key to lose, and unique code for you. I must be missing a use case here but I cannot see it!

Example:
https://www.tredz.co.uk/.System-EX-Cafe-Race-Combination-Cable-Lock_6214...