Bike theft is a frustratingly common occurrence. The trouble is, good locks are usually heavy and awkward, so we don’t like carrying them. Fortunately, there is an alternative.
Our article on security is probably worth a read right about now, but put simply, those cable locks are invariably a waste of time. They’re easy to cut through with very little effort, sometimes a pair of gardening secateurs is all that is needed. If you are using one as your main lock, please STOP! Unless you want your bike to get nicked, of course. If your bike isn’t locked with a Sold Secure lock, it arguably isn’t locked at all.
Now, there are ways to mitigate the annoyance of a big, heavy D-lock. Depending on how secure your bike racks are at work, you could leave one there, but this is a risky strategy in a dodgy area, as you might find it has been tampered with when you try to use it. Your best bet is to find room for it in your bag, be that a rucksack or panniers. However, there is another option…
Hiplok has a range of locks on the market now that are designed to be worn around your waist. They start out at the Sold Secure Bronze-rated Hiplok Lite and go all the way up to a Hiplok Gold, which unsurprisingly, is gold rated and hard as nails.
When you are not locking on your bike with it, you wear it around your waist like a belt, using the accompanying padlock as a belt loop and an integrated velcro strap to secure it at the right tension around your hips. It’ll fit everyone with between a 24″ & 44″ waist. They come in a variety of colours and styles including some high-vis options for 2016, but the black one goes with everything…
The Hiplok is a reinforced steel chain, wrapped in a nylon sleeve and secured by a padlock. It’s a very simple yet effective design and the only real variation between each model in the range is the size of the chain links (6mm on the Lite), the padlock…and the weight.
The Hiplok Lite starts out at just under 1Kg and the Gold at around 2.4Kg. Which one you go for will depend on what you intend to use it for and where. My Hiplok Lite is used for cafe rides, popping into the shops and short stops. I’d rather stick to something gold rated for long periods tethered to a stand, but you don’t really want to be carrying something a quarter of the weight of your bike on a long ride. If you are going to be leaving your bike unattended all day, go for the Gold one if you can.
Importantly, the Hiplok is comfortable to wear and even the Lite will put up a reasonable challenge against a thief, more so than a cable lock. Obviously, we haven’t tested it against a set of bolt cutters because we are using our own money to try this stuff out!
The Hiplok Lite starts at around £40, and the Gold around £85.