Folding locks are not anything new, - the first company I am aware of to make them was Abus with their Bordo range of locks, and I own two of these locks, and they are in my rotation for a reason.
HipLok has been a brand I have been aware of, and I have heard a lot of good things about the brand, and I opted to purchase the switch to see if I could switch from the Bordo to the Switch. It meant chatting to the local bike shop and seeing if they had access to HipLok, (Lucky for me, there’s not much Ash can’t get)
HipLok is known for making wearable locks, and this is still the case here with the Switch. It’s mounting bracket does double as a belt Holster… the looks you get though wearing that while riding a bike, - the local cops actually thought I was wearing a baton lol. Which in Victoria those type of weapons is restricted for the police and authorized security officials.
The HipLok has been a pain to mount and there’s a good reason for that, it sits so deep in the holster that the clearance required on a frame is quite high and that’s where the ability to wear the lock is a good thing to be honest with you. (I think if your local bike has it in stock see if you can mount before you buy).
As that would beat you ending up with a lock that you can't use unless you wear it and that could be a total pain and a waste of money cause wearing a lock won't always be for everyone and that's definitely an honest opinion and thought on that one.
HipLok’s Switch has one major design flaw that I have to list as a “CON” it sits way too deep in the holster bracket for mounting on some bikes, like my Fuse by Specialized and that's definitely a issue for me.
Switch is heavier than Abus Bordo 5700K, and Abus Bordo 5700C, by about 100/150 grams depending on the lock you're comparing it too to be honest and that’s not always a good thing to be honest. Sure, weight will often mean a stronger lock and provide more resistance for a thief, but nothing is truly safe to be honest with you.
Are there some things that HipLok has done right with this lock or is it a total bust? I think HipLok has done a lot of things right, and especially the pricing, it's priced cheaper than the Bordo Range and that's not a bad thing, especially in the evolving market, and that's just a fact of life and that's a good thing being at this price point.
The color options are limited to black and urban green. The safe bet for most people will be the Black, it's an 85CM folding lock to will be able to wrap around most things, the key is unique and not a standard key shape, there for it's going to be hard to use a skeleton key or have an easy access to a blank and that's not a bad thing.
CONCLUSION: In closing I have most likely spent way too much time on bike lock, but this is definitely not a bad thing as I want to help you guys make an informed choice when it comes to buying a lock to secure your wheels.
I know there's a lot of choices out there competing to earn your hard earned cash despite the cons of the Switch, I think if your bike can accommodate the mount of the HipLok Switch then this is a no brainer of a lock to purchase to secure your wheels, it's a stiff lock with the folding mechanism and hasn't become overly loose over time and that's a good thing if you ask me, I find the Bordo's by ABUS loosen quite easily to the point where it's freely swinging around as you try to fold it up.
I think the HipLok is a solid and secure lock that is a strong contender for your money, I think originally I was regretting it however over time I have grown to love the lock and everything it can do, the 85cm size is decent to, and that allows everything you may need to secure your bike to, to be able to do it safely and without any issues.
The weight is the biggest issue you need to work out if that's a compromise you're willing to let fly with that as it's not the lightest lock known to man, and that's just a fact of life. I feel like the keys are solid and aren't going to snap, the mounting bracket is great, however the clearance it requires is no ideal for some bikes.
I think addition brackets need to be sold as a spare part by HipLok which would then make this device, next level.
The HipLok Switch is definitely a strong contender. I will recommend this over the Abus Bordo especially if your frame has the clearance to mount this one.