Every triathlete knows that getting ride/run bricks in is super important. My aversion to running often tempts me to skip these bricks–especially when I hate to ruin a smooth and amazing bike ride with a lung-blasting, lumbering run. But I always try to remind myself of the time I got passed on the run course by a 61-year-old age grouper (who proceeded to disappear in the distance while pointing to the age written on his calf), which helps me to fully understand the importance of the ride-run brick. In other words, that guy was super fit because he obviously made time for bricks, and also nobody really buys it when you pretend that your calves are cramping up while you’re being passed.
So what do you do with your pretty bike while you push yourself to run faster and faster (or, in my case, a little better than slow and getting close to not slow)? You get yourself a wearable Hiplok.
The folks behind Hiplok were kind enough to send me two of their locks to test out: the Hiplok Lite and the Hiplok Pop. Both cinch easily around your waist–letting you keep your usual bottles, flat-fixing gear, and nutrition on the bike to simulate race conditions.
The Hiplok Lite Review
Hiplock Lite Specs:
Security Level: Medium
Weight: Approx. 2 pounds (in grams, that’s about 1,000)
Cost: $71.40 (Converted from the pound at £44.99)
Chain: 6mm Case hardened steel chain with removable sleeve
Size: Adjustable cinch fits waists from 24″ to 44″
Lock: Keyed–comes with 3 keys
Available in 6 colors: Pink, Black, Urban Green (tested), Cyan, White, and Yellow
How it Works
The Lite is something of a small marvel in that it’s quite heavy duty, but when you strap it around your waist, it doesn’t feel so heavy. The hardened steel chain is fully encased by a padded sleeve with a velcro strap on its outer side. To wear the lock, you simply loop the velcro strap through the padlock and strap it to a comfortable fit around your waist. The best part of this velcro system is its ease of adjustability. Even while you’re riding, you can tighten or loosen the strap as needed. The key here is to wear it tightly enough so that it doesn’t slip, but loosely enough so that you can get into the handlebar drops or a tuck without it pinching.
The sleeve is fully removable by just unscrewing the two bolts on either end–and the Hiplok creators added a nice touch here because these bolts will unscrew with a 4mm key that should come standard on your multi-tool.
When you’re ready to throw on your running shoes and hit the pavement, just unstrap the Lite, use the key to open the padlock, and make sure you secure it to both chain ends (don’t make the mistake of securing it to the velcro strap, and don’t ask me why I’m telling you this). With a 75 cm circumference, this lock fits easily through a wheel and frame and around a post.
Why I Like It
The padded sleeve is slight genius. If you’ve ever tried to lock your expensive carbon bike up with some other heavy duty locks on the market, you might realize that it takes you a while to thread the thing gently and carefully through your frame. Fear of scratches or marring the pretty finish might make you hesitate with other locks, but the encased Hiplok Lite will give you confidence even if you’re rushing to simulate race conditions in a T2. While you do need to take care for the bolts and where the chain and padlock meet, you’ll find it generally a quick snap on and through the frame and you’re off.
How it Rides
I tested the Hiplok Lite on a few rides wearing a tri suit. Tri suits being what they are, minimalist, the lock took a little adjusting to keep it from slipping down or pressing. I made sure the Lite sat a little higher on my waist and that the padlock section fell at my side or back before taking off. This let me get into a tuck without feeling the bulk of the lock as I moved. In reality, I forgot it was around me for most of the ride. Once you get it set just right, you can focus on laying down some serious watts (and the extra grams aren’t bad for a training day too).
The Hiplok Lite seems to have found something of a sweet spot here–it’s heavy duty enough to give you peace of mind that your bike is somewhat safe from theft while you’re running, but light enough so that you don’t really notice the added weight on a ride. Although you may want a heavier duty option for higher risk areas (Hiplok does offer a couple of other options if you’re planning to chain up your bike in a more theft-prone area), the Lite offers a balance between security and weight that make it perfect for those days when you really just want to hit the bricks.
A small note: This lock is not suitable for pregnant women. It also does come with a Prop 65 warning.
Hiplok Pop Review
If you’re not feeling the added weight of the Lite, or you live in and train in an area that doesn’t have you worrying much about theft, the Hiplok Pop might be for you. What’s the difference here? Well, the Pop is more of a simple cable lock with a very cool twist–it’s wearable and totally adjustable. At less than half the weight of the Lite (400 grams versus 1000 grams), this might just be perfect for those days when you’re not going too far from your bike, but you want to secure it.
Security Level: Low
Weight: Approx. 400 grams
Cost: $31.72 (Converted from the pound at £19.99)
Cable: 10mm Plastic coated steel
Size: Adjustable cinch fits waists from 24″ to 42″
Lock: Keyed–comes with 3 keys
Available in 6 colors: Pink, Black, Urban Green, Cyan (tested), Lime, and Cream
How It Works
The Pop is best described in one word: simplicity. It wraps around you, clips onto itself via the two main lock components, and stays secure with an extra s-hook of sorts. Aptly named, you really do just pop it off, wrap it around your frame and wheels, and click it together. Lightning quick and super slick. A turn of the key releases the mechanism, snap it back around your waist, and hit the road.
If the Lite isn’t cumbersome while riding, the Pop is even less so. It’s so lightweight that you really don’t feel it at all. In some ways, however, I almost found the Lite more comfortable because it tends to move with your body while the Pop is more rigid. But for speed, convenience, and simplicity (I know I keep using that word), the Pop can’t be beat.
If you’re really wanting to get into a tuck with this puppy, there’s no trouble at all. Make sure that the mechanisms sit at your back, and you won’t feel the cable at all. Think race belt here.
I actually found the Pop quite useful for locking my bike while I ran on the track. Since I like running on the spongey surface so much better than on pavement or asphalt, I tend to hit the road on my bike and end up at the track to finish my brick. My bike is usually within sight, but I always freak out a bit when there are people meandering around and my back is turned to my Cervelo. The Pop works perfectly to secure my bike to the fence while I run, so I can focus on the burning pain in my legs and lungs instead. Running, amiright?
Get the Hiplok Pop