Bicycles

Locking up your bike with a zip-tie?

Locking up your bike with a zi...
The Z Lok – a lockable zip-tie with a heart of steel
The Z Lok – a lockable zip-tie with a heart of steel
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The Z Lok – a lockable zip-tie with a heart of steel
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The Z Lok – a lockable zip-tie with a heart of steel
The Z Lok has a double locking mechanism, which can only be released using an included two-pronged key
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The Z Lok has a double locking mechanism, which can only be released using an included two-pronged key

Lately we've been seeing a lot of compact bicycle locks that can be easily stuffed in a pocket, then used to temporarily secure your bike while you sit near it at a sidewalk cafe. The Ottolock recently raised a few eyebrows, as it looks like a zip-tie on steroids. Hiplok's Z Lok should raise a few more, as it looks like a regular zip-tie – but there's more to it than that.

For starters, the Z Lok has a stainless steel core, so it can't simply be cut through with a knife. It also has a double-sided locking mechanism, which can only be released using an included two-pronged key. So yes, Z Lok owners could unlock each others' bikes, although they're probably not a big part of the bike-thief demographic.

The Z Lok has a double locking mechanism, which can only be released using an included two-pronged key
The Z Lok has a double locking mechanism, which can only be released using an included two-pronged key

Besides its use as a "coffee shop" lock, it has also been suggested that the Z Lok could be used to secure bikes (or other gear) to car racks, or to lock helmets to parked bikes.

It's available now, priced at £14.99 (about US$19) for a set of two. You can see it in use, in the video below.

Source: Hiplok

Z LOK - Secure Reusable Zip Style Tie

9 comments
sk8dad
The promo photos make me cringe...carbon frames contacting metal racks. I bet one can cut through one of these using a standard shift housing cutter from Park which will fit in your pocket. This seems more along the lines of visual deterrence than security. Probably good for short moments of separation like getting a cup of coffee or run to the bathroom I suppose, but definitely not for leaving your multi-thousand dollar steeds in the urban jungle.
cam
So as long as the bad people don't have a simple key thing your bike is safe
Peter Boulanger
So people can buy one, and use the key to steal bikes? For US$19, you can own a key to $500 bikes.
Daishi
I like the idea. It's easy to transport and it's going to stop any opportunists from quickly jumping on and trying to sprint off before they get chased down.
ChairmanLMAO
Great example to use when explaining the importance of encryption.
MerlinGuy
Did I miss something but it sounded like for $19 you can buy a key to all the ZLoks out there? The more popular the lock becomes the less secure your bike is. But I am being pessimistic. Luckily we live in a society where bike theft is unheard of.
SaysMe
Might not use as bike lock but a resusable ziptie or childproofing...I can see that...
JoeFrederick
Worth the price if it were armed like some of the money packets in bank drawers. One snip of the tie, and you're covered in red dye. As for the "one key fits all" nonsense, instead use a thumb print sensor to unlock. A tiny button battery should suffice for a year powering the tiny circuit needed for that sensor and solenoid.
Nik
On numerous occasions, I've seen the locked part of a bike sitting forlornly against a pole or railings, with the remainder of the bike missing. I dont think that this will deter a determined bike thief for even one minute. By the time one returned with your coffee, it could be gone, unless you used multiple ties to lock all the parts to each other and to the railings, even then......