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Momentum Mag reviews the Hiplok Lite wearable chain lock.
FIND IT AT: hiplok.com
The Hiplok Lite is a wearable chain lock for your bike made with a 8mm hardened steel shackle, steel lock body with brass mechanism, and impact resistant, super tough nylon case. Fits waist sizes 24” up to 44”. Weighs 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram).
TELL YOUR FRIENDS
“Hey, cool lock!” I heard this quite a number of times when testing this yellow and black Hiplok Lite. This is the most stylish bike lock I know of – probably because it is the only wearable bike lock I’ve used, and it looks like an actual belt.
The outstanding feature of the Hiplok Lite is the convenience. You just put it around your waist, using the integrated Velcro and belt buckle closures, and ride. Arrive at your destination, undo the Velcro, and you can be lock your bike in seconds. I typically use a U-lock and can’t stand having those things mounted to my bike frames, ruining the aesthetic, and typically rattling around a lot. As a result, I end up having to carry a bag with me just to carry my lock, or for short errands or I end up hanging my U-lock on my handlebars, which is not the best from a safety perspective. The Hiplok Lite is a perfect solution. No frame attachments to ruin the aesthetic of your sweet ride, no fumbling in your bag for a lock, in fact, no need for a bag at all!
At 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram), the weight of the Hiplok Lite was barely noticeable around my waist while I was riding. (The non-lite version of the Hiplok weighs approximately twice that).
Two issues. 1) Lite. I live in a high bike theft area, and have had a number of bikes stolen in the past. Anything bike-security related containing the word “lite” does not inspire confidence for me. The manufacturer suggests this lock for “medium-security” areas, so I’d never use this lock to leave my bike overnight somewhere that I didn’t feel was absolutely secure.
2) Slower to lock than a U-lock if you want to include a wheel as there is some fiddling around required. The fabric sleeve that covers the lock (removable at home with an Allen key for washing) is hard to smoothly thread through the spokes of my front wheel (at least on my road bike, with 36 spoke wheels). The Velcro strap, which is so convenient for putting the lock around my waist, also occasionally gets caught while I’m trying to loop the lock through my wheel. So in some ways the time saved by not having to search in my backpack for a standard lock is lost again while trying to include my front wheel when locking my bike with the Hiplok Lite.
I love the Hiplock Lite for what it is – a very portable lock for those times when you don’t want to carry anything on your bike or in a bag, perfect for short stops. I kept mine at the office during the week to use when going to meetings.
Depending on the city you live in, I would only recommend this lock as your main lock if you never need to lock it overnight. As a second, lightweight lock, it would be perfect.
Tim Tewsley is a green building strategist with Recollective Consulting in Vancouver BC and a cycling instructor with HUB. Though he rides road and mountain bikes, he most enjoys his morning commute to work.