Hexlox Bike Protection Review
Hexlox Bike Protection Review
A review of the Hexlox Bike Protection System.
The basic idea of the Hexlox System is to prevent thieves accessing the Allen bolts on your bike with the use of a hexagonal ‘Hexlox’. The only way to remove this Hexlox from the hole is to use your unique key.
As a recent arrival to Cambridge I have been a bit scared to lock my ‘commuter bike’ up anywhere public. It’s a Specialized Allez, and cost me around £600 a few years ago. Certain upgrades have added value to it, and increased its likelihood of getting stolen. The fact that it’s worth around £599 more than the average bike in the public racks is also quite worrying! There’s no quick release on my seat post, but there are on my wheels, and although my Hiplok is a pretty chunky lock and good deterrent, it doesn’t fit through both wheels and the bike rack.
So up to now I’ve avoided leaving my bike anywhere public, choosing to leave it mostly in private areas that have restricted access and then walking the rest of the way into town. Hexlox provide a great solution to having loads of chains to lock everything to your frame. All you do is make sure everything is secured using Allen bolts and pop a Hexlox into the hexagonal hole. Then nobody can undo the Allen bolt and make off with your carefully purchased accessories.
All you then need to do is make sure the frame is securely locked to an immovable object. If you currently have quick releases or something without a hexagonal bolt then Hexlox has substitutes for saddles, seat posts, stems and wheels. You can even secure your pedals if yours have a hex bolt at the end of the spindle.
Up until recently you needed stainless bolts because the Hexlox use a strong magnet to prevent removal. Now I notice they sell an adhesive magnetic insert to use with non-magnetic bolts too, which is really handy if you have titanium or alloy bolts.
I was sent a variety of bits to have a look at with a sample pack. For my bike I’d use Hexlox in my stem and seat post, but probably not the saddle bolts as they’re fiddly to get to anyway. I’d do the saddle bolts on my ISM seat, with its central cut out making access to these bolts quite easy. I’d also replace the quick release axles with Hexlox’s own axles and secure my wheels (available with black or silver collars).
I’d even be tempted to Hexlox the pedals. You can have the inserts all keyed to match the same key. Installation is easy. You attach the insert to the end of the key and use it to guide the insert to the recess, then twist the key to break the magnetic field and it’s in there. You do have to be careful not to drop the inserts though. Whilst I was messing about with the samples I was sent I managed to drop a 4mm insert and it vanished. I’m pretty sure it’s still stuck to something metallic either on my bike, my shoes, or belt, maybe my bin? I didn’t find it though. The 5 and 6mm inserts are more common and are slightly harder to drop.
For what I wanted to do it would cost me just over 70 euros, which is the price of a decent lock. If you have parts on your bike that you don’t want stolen that’s not a bad price to pay for peace of mind.
There’s a tiny weight penalty I guess with the added Hexlox inserts, but weigh that against extra locks to do the same job. You only need the one tiny key for the Hexlox just in case you need to undo or tighten your bolts. Although they do require a certain knack to get out, it’s not rocket science, as long as you have the key.
I can’t see anyone but the most determined thief being able to get past the Hexlox inserts, and they’d have to draw plenty of attention to get away with anything. Lots of bikes around here tend to get quick release wheels replaced with either bolted axles or some sort of security skewers. The other options are not all as elegant as the Hexlox, or as reasonably priced.