HipLok continues to bring innovative designs to bike security, when you are out on the road, but what about when you get home? HipLok’s latest Kickstarter campaign looks to address that with the new HipLok AirLok. A stylish, and importantly secure, bike hanger and bike lock combined.
HipLok AirLok – Secure & Stylish Bike Storage hit Kickstarter
Bike storage is always a bit of a pickle, particularly if you are lucky enough to follow the N+1 rule on the number of bikes which you need. One of the more popular approaches to bike storage, is a wall based mount/rack. This has the benefit of keeping the floor clear, and also giving you something potentially to chain your bike to. However most of the time these approaches are focused
However most of the time bike racks are focused to bike storage first, and security second, being left down to yourself and your chain lock. As avid cyclists, the HipLok team worry about their bike at home, but rather than just sit and rely on existing DIY solutions, they decided to make a secure bike rack that they were happy with, and more importantly, felt proud enough to call a HipLok product
When I’ve been lucky enough to tour HipLok’s HQ before, I’ve talked about how this Leamington Spa based firm likes to 3d prototype and do as much in-house work as possible.
With the HipLok AirLok, the heavy bulky metal frame needs a little more than a MakerBot, hence HipLok have turned to Kickstarter to raise the funds to take the AirLok from prototype, through testing and onto to a mass-produced product
Today I got a sneak a peak at the AirLok as HipLok wrapped up some of their promotional work, at a top secret testing facility…in Leamington Spa, off the Parade, on Windsor Street, next to the Blue Boar pub.
So what is so cool about the AirLok?
Most cyclists are slightly vain creatures. I finally understand what women mean when they talk about matching handbags with shoes – Bar tap and saddles have to match too, it’s just right
So if you want to show off your bike, securely near the front door, the AirLok wil have you covered, and more importantly protected
But protected more than in just someone stealing your precious steed. – The “mouth” of the AirLok is made of dense, durable rubber, so as not to scratch your frame during use
The mounting section for your bike is also wide enough not to put stress on a carbon fibre cross bar.
The construction of the AirLok means it’s also happy to be installed outside, if you have no space at all to store your bike out of the elements
Locks are functional. They are rarely stylish, or visually appealing, but even the rubber insert for the AirLok holder has been beautifully produced.
I’m not sure that I would go as far as describing the AirLok as elegant, but I see no reason why it cant be used as design feature in a pain cave!
The model I saw was mat grey, but three shiny colours will be available at launch – red, white and grey.
However as I have said over many products, I do think it would look good in screaming yellow. If you are going to have something like this on your wall, you may as well really make a statement!
Working from inside to outside, the AirLok is compromised of a central metal core, with a brass disc to hold in the lock bolt welded directly into the frame
The frame is then attached to your wall either permanently, or semi-permanently with four massive screws
I say semi-permanently, as if you have the keys, you can open up the closed loop and remove all the layers of the AirLok, unscrew the thing and take it with you. However if you want to make it a permanent feature, four ball bearings (supplied) can be driven into the centre of each screw, meaning that no one is going to be taking those screws out without drilling the whole thing out!
Over the top of the metal core, we have the coloured plastic casing, which again screws into place.
Over the top of the case goes the rubber insert
Then to close the loop, the bolt is locked in place preventing anyone from managing to open the casing to get into the screws. Yes it’s not Fort Knox, as breaking into any Gold “Sold Secure” lock is possible, but that is going to take some serious firepower and noise, which might alert the neighbours something is going on!
The bolt lock goes into a brass ring, which as shown is actually part of closed loop inner core, giving you the peace of mind your bike is going nowhere you dont want it to
Whilst the installation can be done with one person, at 5kg, two people will make it an easier job. But using the AirLok, is simplicity. Load, lock and leave. No worries.
How secure is secure?
Currently the AirLok is in prototype, and thus cannot be submitted for security testing, although HipLok is confident that they will be able to achieve “Gold” Sold Secure rating when production samples are submitted for security accreditation with SOLD SECURE, SBSC and VAREFAKTA
HipLok is applying for a patent on the concept of a “closed loop” design lock, whereby you must take out the bolt lock, before you can start to even think about removing the two sections which hold the AirLok in place.
Whilst the HipLok team have 25yrs of bike and design experience, and clearly love their products. I’m pretty sure that actually get a kick out of testing their kit to destruction as well
As for the lock, HipLok knows a thing or two about tumblers, and has naturally gone for an unpickable lock as needed for Gold security
Currently there is nothing out there as product with locks and secures your bike in this way
If you are lucky enough to have more than one bike, and purchase more than one AirLok, as the keys are coded, you can have the locks shipped with matching keys, so you’ll only need one key, to unlock both your mountain bike, and the fixie for example
From my perspective, I think it would be great if HipLok could go one stage further, and allow you to match your key with an existing, coded, HipLok lock. Maybe if the KickStarter is exceptionally successful backers might be able to ask for this to be added as a stretch goal?
So the important bit – how do you become a backer?? Easy, click the link –> Become a Backer!
The Kickstarter is running until Sept 22nd, aiming to reach £70,000 in order to raised funds to move from the current prototype stage, through tooling and destruction testing onto mass production. As of 25/08/16, the Early Bird option still has 85 slots remaining, coming in at £99, £30 below the expected RRP of £130, plus free P&P, which is quite good for a 5kg, theft defeating, hunk of plastic, rubber and metal!
Kickstarter is showing itself to be a hot bed of innovation for first time companies and garden shed inventors, but it is also allowing smaller companies like HipLok to test the water with products, and secure the funds to develop products, which would previously have been out of out of reach.
The HipLok AirLok looks like it’s going to be a cracking product, and will certainly be finding a place on the wall of the pending TitaniumGeek Garage!