Reviewing locks is something entirely new for me. That being said I had some fun with testing out Hiplok’s V1.5 chain while waiting for their new D model. After about 5 months of work use, bar hopping and slamming this thing into the ground (literally) I’m definitely impressed.
Hard to deny that this bad boy looks a bit different than other locks in the same style. Rather than a plain padlock or micro u-lock to secure the chain the V1.5 has a plastic/metal cased padlock designed specifically for the purpose. There’s an array of colors from plain black to neons like the green here. A matching chain color and some nice lines on the lock make this look as good as it functions.
Stuffing your u-lock into your belt has it’s advantages but comfort typically doesn’t make the list. That doesn’t mean that a lock designed to be actually “worn” is always better. The Hiplok crew thought a bit about this one and made some killer adjustments to their chain setup.
As mentioned above the lock casing is cut just right to sit flush around the waist. Nothing dangling or poking into you as you cruise around. The chain portion of the lock is shorter than others taking some unnecessary weight off the hips as well. Less links means an alternative to make the lock fit around the waist. The “belt” cover on the chain not only lets you carry less chain but allows for adjustment for various sized people (not all beer guts are alike!). This is one spot where I think they nailed it.
The V1.5 has a Sold Secure Silver rating so you know it’s going to keep your ride pretty damn safe. Keys for the lock are a unique curved shape and open the lock by turning around the circumference of a circle. Not something easily reproduced or picked. Add that to the half hour I spent chucking the the thing 15 feet into the air and bowling it down the alley and I’d say we’re good here. I’ve still got my bike which is an added bonus.
On a side note: I really thought that after beating the lock into the ground for a bit it might have some issues. The tumblers actually seemed to be a bit smother after dare I say “breaking” it in. Stoked.
Only a couple things to even consider putting here. I have 33 inch waist and had about nine inches of extra adjustment. Plenty of room for most but perhaps not everyone? After using the V1.5 for my messenger work I noticed it took a bit longer (maybe 10 seconds?) to secure the whip than with my old u-lock. Expected considering we’re taking a lose chain here not a formed piece of steel…besides they do u-locks too. More on that later this week!