The Gold is the newest, highest-security lock from the Hiplok, the British company founded by two cycling industrial designers. The company created a solution to carrying a secure lock, without needing to bringing a bag or attaching the lock to the bike while riding.
Despite its hefty mass (2.46kg / 5.4lb), the Hiplok Gold is surprisingly comfortable to wear as a belt, using the built-in clip.
The lock itself consists of burly 10mm hardened steel links covered in nylon fabric and a substantial 12mm steel shackle lock. It comes with three keys. When locking up a bike, the two ends of the chain bolt fairly tightly into the shackle, which makes locking the bike a little fussy, especially if the chain is pulled taut.
10mm steel cables bolt together with a 12mm shackle, which clips into the adjustable waistband
The steel chain is 32in, long enough to wrap around your frame, front wheel and a rack or other sturdy object. It isn't long enough to get both wheels without removing the front wheel though.
The Hiplok Gold can be worn as a belt thanks to a 2in wide nylon strap that runs the length of the chain under the decorated cover, and provided some padding between the steel links and the body.
Including the clip, the belt can be adjusted from 36 to 52in (91 to 132cm). If that sounds too wide to you, consider that the Hiplok Gold isn't designed to fit like a standard belt. Instead it sits down lower on your hips. We found the lock was comfortable on rides from 10 minutes right up to an hour. It was heavy, for sure, but not abrasive or painful.
Safety is always a relative thing with locks. We recently tried to cut the Hiplok Lite with 24in bolt cutters. The Lite weighs 1kg and is less than half the girth of the Gold. When the Lite was on a bike, we couldn’t get enough leverage to cut through it. When it was on the ground, it took 12 seconds to cut through. We feel confident about leaving our bike locked up in the daytime with the Hiplok Gold, and – touch wood – it hasn't yet been cut through.
Update: Since our US testers originally tried the Hiplock Gold, BikeRadar's UK team put it through a brutal grouptest alongside other locks – and it held up superbly, resisting a portable cutter for two minutes 30 seconds. We're pretty sure we managed to get close to picking it, but it took ages (in excess of an hour of fiddling around), and even an experienced friend of ours who works on the lock industry gave up after 30 minutes by saying: "I'd probably get it eventually, but you'd end up only learning that lock, you'd have to learn another one and that takes time". So essentially, you would have to learn each individual Hiplock 'key' to be able to pick them quickly.
The clip is a simple but effective mechanism