You’ll never confuse the Hiplok Zlok security tie with a classic u-lock. In terms of bike and gear security, they’re about as different as apples and oranges. Classified as a “security tie”, the Z LOK and Z LOK Combo are essentially overbuilt, secured, and reusable zip ties. Designed for convenient protection against opportunity thefts, they were designed for adding a bit of security in situations where you typically won’t be carrying a “real” bike lock — like that stop to buy a coffee, donuts, or french fries mid-ride.
- Multi-use steel core
- Unique cinch locking mechanism or 3 digit resettable combination
- 400mm Locking length, (Combo: 430mm)
- Listed weight: 20g (combo: 680g)
The Z LOK isn’t intended to replace a bike lock; Hiplok offers a line of u-locks and bike chains to serve in this capacity. Instead, these lightweight security ties are meant to serve as more of a deterrent – one of those “keep people honest” type scenarios — where you might otherwise not be carrying anything.
They could also be useful in conjunction with a proper lock, for securing a wheel or bag, or adding a bit extra while your bikes are on the bike rack.
While riding around town, I generally carry a u-lock or have someone watch my bike, but a Z Lok would be handy for those “Worst day of the year” or “Reach the Beach” style group road rides.
With the ongoing pandemic, I was initially at a loss as to where I would actually put the Z Lok to use until I realized my ideal use case – securing my helmet to my motorcycle.
I added a Kawaski Versys to my commuting arsenal recently and have yet to add a box for carrying stuff. Strapping a Z Lok to my bike means I no longer have to carry my helmet with me into the store while picking up a few items. (as it is lightweight security, I only use it for my back up helmet and not my pricier Arai)
The folks at Hiplok sent over a Z Lok Combo ($24.99) and the basic Z Lok Tie ($11.99). Between the two, the Z Lock Combo is a clear winner for me, as I have zero interest in adding another key to my key chain. It also is slightly thicker and more robust than the more basic iteration, as well as slightly longer in length.
Who’s the Z Lok for?
The compact security ties are useful in any situation you may need to leave something unattended briefly. Though I haven’t been to the ski resort to snowboard yet this season, the Z Lok would be ideal for strapping to my board while eating.. provided we were still eating inside.
If you’re on a bike tour or bike packing, you may not want to tote the extra weight of a more substantial lock. Though they won’t replace your u-lock or more robust chain, they’re handy to have on hand.