For many riders there is nothing better than a mid-ride pit stop. It could be at a general store, a gas station or a coffee shop. Getting off your bike for a few minutes and getting refueled is not only incredibly pleasant, it can also make you a better rider. Staying fueled and hydrated are key to success on a bike.
This can also be true of commuters who want the serendipity of popping into a brewery, corner store, or boutique on their way home. The problem, though, is that while we are on these rides for fun, fitness, or a commute to a secure bike room, we don’t necessarily grab our big, heavy locks, wary of carrying them for the entire trip. That is why when I am going for a ride around town, a ride down a gravel road, or to a friend’s place where I know I’ll have a place inside to put my bike, I still take my Hiplok Z Lok.
This lock is incredibly useful because it gives me just enough confidence to not have to worry that someone’s going to run off with my bike that I leaned against a wall while I use the gas station bathroom. This is not a lock that I would trust to leave my bicycle on a corner overnight, but for quick pit stops it really is the perfect solution to drink a coffee or buy a Gatorade and a cookie without constantly peering out the window.
The Z Lok is not much larger than a zip tie, and weighs little more than a bike tool. Because of this I can throw it in the pocket of my jersey or store it in the side pocket of my bag. When I need it all I have to do is quickly pull it out and lock my bike to a bike rack with its easy-to-use zip-tie-like closing mechanism.
What you get with this lock is both convenience and comfort in your security. It is just enough protection for those moments when you’d hope the goodness of people would keep your bike safe, but you aren’t willing to risk it.
It is not the longest lock though, so you will need a thin pole or bike rack, and again, I would not trust it overnight. But for most quick stops, it is absolutely perfect. Get it in the key version or get it in combination version so you don’t have to carry anything but the lock itself.
$25; 5 colors; hiplok.com