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Verdict: 
Okay for briefly locking your bike outside the shop or cafe but nothing longer
Weight: 
69g
Contact: 

Essentially a tough cable tie, the Hiplok Z Lok Combo isn't something you would trust your pride and joy to for a couple of hours outside the office, but for a quick dash into a shop or securing your helmet to the bike it's a useful detterent; it's small, light and relatively cheap.

  • Pros: Okay for popping into shops or cafe, no key to lose, lightweight
  • Cons: Could be longer, won't deter a determined thief

Security is understandably an issue for cyclists. There's a very real risk that even with the most expensive and hefty lock your bike will be gone when you get back. Even popping into the shops to grab a sourdough loaf on the way home from the club run (yes, that's me) is too risky no matter the value of your bike. Or how good the sourdough loaf.

This sort of 'just leaving it for five minutes' is where I feel the Hiplok Z Lok Combo is suitable. It's adequate to deter the casual thief from making off with your bike and gives a little more peace of mind that your flat white (me again) won't cost you a bike.

It has an 8mm reinforced steel core wrapped in a plastic outer, which protects your bike from scratches. You thread the tie through the open mechanism and use the three-digit combination to secure it.

hiplok_z_lok_combo_-_lock.jpg

Another use is for audax and touring rides, where popping into cafes for cake or a brevet card stamp is part and parcel of long-distance cycling. The Z Lok Combo doesn't take up much space or weigh much, and it's useful to secure your bike to a lamppost or railings. (I also like to leave the bike in plain sight for extra reassurance.)

> Beginner's guide to bike security

The two issues I have with it, other than that a determined thief with the right tools could likely break through in a matter of minutes, is that it's a little too short to always reach around whatever solid object you want to lock your bike to.

hiplok_z_lok_combo.jpg

The other issue is what to do with it when it's not in use. It'll just about fit in a jersey pocket but not if you've already filled those, so you'll need a bag on your bike – which you'll probably have if you're doing an audax or on a bikepacking adventure.

For locking your bike outside a cafe or shop it's reasonably effective but it's no substitute for a bigger main lock for longer periods of leaving your bike unattended.

Verdict

Okay for briefly locking your bike outside the shop or cafe but nothing longer

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Hiplok Z Lok Combo

Size tested: 43cm 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?

Hiplok says, "Introducing the Hiplok Z LOK COMBO – an innovative step forward in security. The Z LOK COMBO is super lightweight, with an adjustable zip like tie design as the original Z LOK, but with added benefits of a larger locking circumference and resetable-3 digit combination mechanism. The lock is available in 3 colour ways to match your bike and stand out of the crowd. With endless uses, the Z LOK COMBO will come in many uses, from luggage to securing, your back wheel, don't go without this handy tool."

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

It's more expensive than the company's own Hiplok Z-Lok Cable Tie Lock but the combination means you'll never lose the key, provided you can remember the three digits of course!

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

Kept my bike secure for short visits to the cafe and shop, but I wouldn't trust it for hours on its own.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Light and easy to use.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Could be longer.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

You can get the much more secure Abus Ultra for the same price but it's heavy to lug around all the time.

Did you enjoy using the product? Maybe

Would you consider buying the product? Maybe

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe

Use this box to explain your overall score

It's a reasonably cheap and easy to use lock for short visits to shops and cafes; it won't hold up against serious attacks by determined thieves, but that's not what it's designed for.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180cm  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

9 comments

Avatar
jerome [61 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

"thief with the right tools could likely break through in a matter of minutes"

A matter of seconds! You sure have to stay within meters and constantly keep an eye on the bike.

Avatar
Prosper0 [157 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

Tbf, it’s a tricky thing to review. Harsh to say that it won’t deter a determined thief as a con as it’s clearly not designed for it. 

A bike won’t take me to the moon either. Despite both being transport methods. 

I have the normal key version (not the combo lock) and it’s been a bit of a revelation for quick cafe stops. The key thing is that it weights practically nothing - way less than other cafe locks - and is surprisingly tough for its convenience. 

Would I leave my bike for more than 15 minutes with it? Of course not but that’s not what it’s for. 

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wycombewheeler [1342 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

I have the standard version. I just wrap them round my saddle pack while riding. So light, so easy. Perfect for audax or impromptu shop stops.

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Silversurfmonkey [14 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

Used one for six months and very happy with it. So long as you account for the obvious limitations it's hard to fault. It's clearly only a cafe lock and shouldn't be seen as anything else, but it is lightweight, quick and simple to use and isn't dependent on those easy to break prong-key things. Also, it does fit in a centre jersey pocket if you don't mind the ends poking out the top (and why would you?) - just stuff your rain cape/shell in the middle of it and it stays put.

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Bobbinogs [285 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

Yepp, as per the above, I think this works well for club rides and audaxes. It doesn't make the bike safe...but it is better than nothing and one could say that it does make your bike slightly more safe than the bike next to it! It is a little awkward to carry, but I loop mine around the saddle rails. 70g is not much really.

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robthehungrymonkey [180 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

Agree with those above. I think it's brilliant at its intended purpose. I carry a standard Z lock whenever I go out. It's an alternative to not taking a lock. Not an alterntive to a D lock. 

Perfect if you have to have an emergency stop for a pie when dieing, 50 miles from home. 

I also use it on the bike rack. I now don't worry so much stopping at motorway services. They were also cheaper than the replacement part for the bike rack, so a no brainer really.

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Yorkshire wallet [2371 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Sadly there isn't a ratio of time away from bike to level of security needed. If the well equipped thief goes past your bike as you've just got off it your 5 minutes in the shop will be more than enough.

I watched a video the other day of some courier who literally left his car for 10s and someone was in it and off. Thieves are literally everywhere.

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rjfrussell [501 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

is it shorter than the standard/ key version?

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bob_c [63 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Yorkshire wallet wrote:

Thieves are literally everywhere.

Luckily not quite.