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.


    • That idea is super lame, sorry but true. At least with these steel versions you can’t cut through them with a pair of snips. Also, what a waste of zip ties…unless you take the time to unratchet them with a flat head every single time.

  1. So basically they’ve “created” a product that cops have been using for years but are charging 10 times as much for it! You can buy a KeyCuff from law enforcement supply companies for $2. Does the exact same thing and is made in the USA. Of course you’ll also need to buy a standard handcuff key but those only cost $.50-.75 and unlike the Hiplock if you lose your key any cop will still be able to unlock it for you.

    • Just googled those and found handcuff warehouse and my mind is completely blown away by the stuff they sell for prisons. They had a “no Shank” category with flexible pencils, and tooth brushes you put on your finger. Interesting for a Wednesday morning.

    • Good suggestion…but in Canada at least “KEYCUFF products are only sold to approved Specialty Dealers, Law Enforcement and Government agencies. They are not available to the general public.”…so I guess I’d need to find a “guy” to sell me a pair. Also I saw a warning that they can only be used “15-20 times under normal conditions”.

  2. So these people know about rear wheel chain locks? They have been around for decades in Europe. They are high security and stay bolted to your bike. Key can’t fall off the key hole so you don’t lose it and don’t need to carry it in your pocket (and if you lose it, they have a unique code for you to order new ones) . And you can use a chain with it to lock the bike to a rack

    These people need to go out more and see the three rest of the world ride their bikes everyday…

    • I think you need to consider more use cases. I wouldn’t want that lock you posted permanently attached to my road bike. Being able to put this lock in my pocket or saddle bag is a convenient feature.

    • Your comment is just soooo narrow minded for someone urging others to get out and see the rest of the world.
      I don’t want a lock permanently attached to my road bike. I might want something I can carry in a pocket to slightly deter someone from quickly jumping on and riding away on it while I can’t chase in my clippy cloppy roadie shoes.
      And Hiplok have other products too, if you want something heavier. Their whole premise is locks you can carry on you, not your bike.
      Different people want different things. Glad you’re happy with your lock, others (like the commenters above) may want this.

      • Yes, you’re right. I thought the same after I wrote it. Since I’m mostly an urban and touring cyclist (and former MTBer) I fail to see that some people like roadies might find this useful.

        I think my annoyance stems from the fact that I work in an urban and touring bike shop and we work with many Dutch brands and the quality of their products are on a completely different level. And then you see other brands (mostly American ones, sorry!) with silly products like baskets that attach with zip ties or panniers that are not waterproof or tiny bells that look nice but stop working when there’s rain.

        When we show our customers our urban bikes and accessories,it blows their minds because they have never seen something similar. And I think that a lot of the people that design bike stuff are like those customers in the sense that they need to go out a bit more. They try to “reinvent the wheel”. But they need to see what the experts have been doing for decades and then, maybe, try to improve that or come out with a better solution. I always say that if you need accessories to ride your bike in the city, surely the Dutch have already invented it.

        I’ve seen so many products in this page that are a defective solution to a problem that was solved ages ago by others that it gets annoying. But I have to recognize that sometimes some products might serve people with needs completely different than mine.

    • Seatstay locks are great but they’re also not compatible with many bikes so not really an effective solution for many people.

    • Arrogant post you made. Assuming everyone see’s and experiences life like you do.

      Your solution isn’t for everyone by the way. I wouldn’t like to keep a lock on my bike at all times. That’s just me.

  3. Not a bad idea. The only issue I can see is the universal key. Sure, you don’t THINK thieves will have the key, but it certainly would be easy for one to get a hold of it. I understand you can’t have an individual key for each one of these glorified zip ties, but it is a little sketchy still that one of the keys can open every one of these “locks”. But still, it’s a good idea, and something I might use when I go use a restroom or go inside a business (for a very quick stop only!)

  4. This is not a bad idea, but……here is what I do. I undo my QR’s and shift my fr/rr derailleurs, so if someone does try to ride off, my wheels may fall off and my bike won’t be in gear, slowing the scum bag way down, my bike may get damaged though.That all being said, I will look into getting some of these.

  5. The “professional” bike thief is going to have one of those universal keys in their arsenal as they already buy/use master keys for the standard u-locks (ref. the article penned by the London thief — and they will even like this type of lock because they can steal/use the locks themselves). But it is going to deter the opportunistic scum bag who wants to turn a quick buck. I do like that there are 2 of the straps included and you can strap it very tightly to 2 posts which makes it hard to use bolt cutters (this was the advice from the aforementioned article). Given its light weight and size, I would use this as a replacement for the cheap cable lock I use in pretty secure areas.

  6. Seems like a generic product that others already produce, HIPLOK need to concentrate on their CROWDFUNDED AIRLOK some of us backed in September 2016 and are still waiting on delivery, I like the ziploks but not for cycle application.

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