17 November 2017

REVIEW: Hiplok Superbright Reflective Bike Lock

A bright idea for cyclists

You need a lot of kit while out cycling these days, especially in a city, at night, and in the winter. That is why we get excited when a company comes along and combines two essentials things into one; namely security and safety. Checking out a bicycle lock that is ultra reflective and high-vis, we review the Hiplok Superbright.

This product is first and foremost a bike chain; a lockable metal chain with a tough padlock that you can use to secure your bike when you park it up. However, unlike most other locks and chains, the Hiplok Superbright has been designed to be worn around your waist when not in use, and is coated with a waterproof reflective material, turning it into a large body reflector so motorists can clearly see you at night.

It sounds lie a simple addition, especially considering that cyclists who use those heavy-duty chains to lock up their bikes usually drape them around their shoulders when on the move. It makes total sense, therefore, to wrap that in a reflective material and let it keep working for the rider as a reflector when not in use as a lock.

But before you worry about bolting a chain around your body and having to attend that all-important meeting with it still on because you lost the keys, the Hiplok Superbright doesn't work like that. Despite using a key-operated padlock to secure the thick chain, the reflective material features a long Velcro strap on the non-reflective inner side. Once unlocked and loose, you feed this strap through a loop in the padlock housing, folding it back and over to stick together. That way, the chain is adjustable, as you can secure it to your body regardless of your size and it will come off with an easy yank of the Velcro.

It's a very simple thing to do, and feels very secure while on. Wrapped around your waist just above your hips, the extra weight isn't all that noticeable, and having a reflector up high at rider level, additional to the reflectors on your wheels and bike, makes for a far safer ride.

We can also attest to the reliability of the lock itself. Well, we've used it a dozen times over the past fortnight and nobody has pinched our bikes. The padlock, which is protected by a layer of plastic, can be opened by a unique curved key which inserts and rotates very smoothly. You get a couple extras of these keys, which is nice, as well as metal caribiner to hang them from. Which is also nice.

However, despite the reflective quality of the chain, and how tough it seems to be in terms of bike security, we think our favourite thing about the Hiplok Superbright is how light it is compared to other metal chain locks we've used. It feels very natural to quickly put this on when you leave the house, just like you would your helmet and gloves. Wearing it, come day or night, summer or winter, means that you know you're going to be visible AND have a way to secure your bike when you get to your destination. Double winner – just what we like with out cycling gear.

We tested the Hiplok Superbright Lite, the lightest in the range, which also includes the Original and the Gold. As you increase in price (and weight) you also increase in thickness of chain, resulting in a far more secure, but a far heavier thing to wear. Check the website for details on weight and sizes.

Lite: £49.99
Original: £69.99
Gold: £89.99

Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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