Do you bikepack on the bike you experience day by day? Or maybe you are worried about components if you go away your steed locked up on tour? We check out the Hexlox system, designed to safe saddles, wheels, handlebars, and even through axle wheels in opposition to theft.
Apr 17, 2019
In the event you’re like me and your bikepacking bike can also be your on a regular basis bike, securing priceless components, like your wheels and your saddle, is particularly vital, lest opportunists get lost with prized parts. Up to now, I’ve used all types of fast launch wheel locks – Kryptonite and Pinhead, for instance – however now that I’m operating through axles, I’ve needed to seek out a distinct resolution.
Which is why I got here throughout Hexlox, a German firm headed by a Swede and an Austrian, and their miniature, crime-fighting merchandise. Much like the best way that I used to position a greased or glued ball within the headset prime cap of my highway bike, to thwart would-be bike thieves from stealing my handlebars in London (sure, they try this), the Hexlox is a tiny, cone-shaped magnetic insert that nests in your hex (Allen key) bolt. Not like the ball bearings of outdated, it’s fitted and eliminated with a key. As soon as in place, its magnetic properties guarantee it’s held securely, foiling all however essentially the most concerted efforts to achieve buy within the socket. Eradicating it’s simply as simple; all it takes is a twist and a pull with the important thing. See this quick video to see the way it all works.
You should buy the Hexlock system as a whole system (£62) or individually (£10 every), in a wide range of sizes to fit your bike. The entire package features a key and a set of tiny magnetic insert of various sizes, catering for almost all of simply eliminated components in your bike, proper all the way down to the bolts in your stem. Every key comes with a singular identifier, in case it’s essential order a further one; usefully, this quantity can also be saved by the corporate on the time of your order, do you have to overlook the place you’ve jotted it down.
It’s, nevertheless, vital that the bolt socket itself is comprised of metal. This implies you’ll want to exchange titanium or aluminium ones, and notice that chrome steel bolts doesn’t work both. In case your bolt is non-magnetic, you may swap it out for certainly one of Hexlox’ excessive tensile 10.9 metal bolts, out there for a euro every. For a bolt the place the pinnacle is uncovered (and may probably be gripped with pliers) there are dome-shaped variations out there. Both manner, Hexlox has all the pieces you want on their web site; decipher all of it right here.
These bikepackers operating fast launch skewers, Hexlox supply replacements for a really cheap £9 every. Via axles are a bit extra sophisticated and significantly dearer at £52. They require an entire new axle with a hardened metal head, which the corporate claims has been torque examined, so it’s appropriate for all makes use of. Don’t overlook that you simply’ll additionally want the inserts themselves – both a single (£20) in case your intention is simply to safe the entrance wheel, a wheelset package (£31) for each, or the whole set for all of the bits and items in your bike, as talked about above (£62). Shopping for the whole set additionally signifies that one key works for all of your bolts.
As for the through axle themselves, there are numerous choices to go well with the mannequin in query (be it 12 or 15mm) and thread sizes; see right here for out there choices and right here for a way the TA system is put in. Be sure you learn the tremendous print and be sure you get the proper one, and notice that a completely different system is required for Trek and Q-Loc. Those that are driving fats bikes which have axles wider than 205mm aren’t in luck proper now… however there’s one thing within the works.
Provided that my fundamental concern is the entrance wheel after I lock up my bike, as my lock runs by way of the rear, I attempted the entrance 15mm common TA, which replaces axle widths starting from from 120-160mm. With its have to be appropriate with a bunch of sizes, preliminary set up generally is a bit sophisticated – you;ll have to be sure you have the proper thread pitch and regulate the size of the axle to fit your hub spacing. Then, again it off to lock it in place. I’d advise watching the video not less than twice! Notice that if it’s essential reset the axle – to a distinct size, for example – there’s a separate video to information you throw these non-intuitive steps, discovered right here. This half wasn’t fairly clear to me intially so I nearly pressured it – it’s vital to do it proper, so that you don’t injury the system.
However what’s to cease somebody coming together with 1/ a really massive magnet, 2/ a set of needlenose pliers to dislodge the insert or three/ one other Hexlox key? Firstly, the inserts nest and are solely magnetised in such a manner that they’ll’t be eliminated by a regular magnet. Secondly, Hexlox declare that the design has been completely examined in opposition to assaults by screwdrivers, needle nostril pliers, hammers, liquid ice, hacksaws… even medical tweezers and toothpicks! As for eradicating it with one other key, there are three variables that make it distinctive to the person person; the dimensions of the opening that the important thing matches into, the form of the cone, and the third is seemingly a secret Hexlox…
With out really leaving my bike out for days on finish in a excessive crime space, it’s onerous to be 100% positive what the Hexlox are actually able to withstanding. However after digging round on-line, and in search of recommendation from massive metropolis commuting teams, the general suggestions is extraordinarily optimistic. In the end, the principle purpose of a deterrent like that is to make your bike as unappealing/time consuming/sophisticated to steal as doable, encouraging the thief to maneuver on to a different sufferer. On this, the Hexlox is unquestionably profitable. Sorry, neighbouring bike!
Downsides? You’ll want to recollect to have your key with you always – there’s just one in every pack, a second might be ordered for £10 – within the occasion of a flat tire, or for eradicating your wheel to move your bike. In the event you accomplish that in a rush, make additional positive you don’t drop something – the inserts are tiny and simply misplaced. When it comes to concerted assaults, the one problem I can actually see if the conical magnet itself, or the socket that it sits in, is broken to the purpose that the insert is difficult to take away.
Aside from that, this actually does appear to be a really nicely thought by way of safety system for each common parts and through axle customers. Sure, it’s a bit dear, as you’ll want substitute your through axle in addition to shopping for the inserts themselves. Ideally, we wouldn’t have to go to such lengths and expense to guard bicycles… However provided that we do, I’d think about the Hexlox a worthy funding, particularly because it’s modular, so you may get those you want. And, it’s adaptable from bike to bike.
Place of Manufacture Germany
Worth £52 for TA + £20 for single Hexlox and key (free worldwide supply above £30)
Producer’s Particulars Hexlox
Weighs nearly nothing
Thrarts opportunits and extra concerted assaults alike
Huge array of choices to go well with QRs, completely different through axles, stable axles, seats, handlebars, and extra
The essential system is sweet worth for what it’s explicit when you have a pleasant saddle, seatpost, or QR wheels
Don’t overlook to hold your key
Don’t be lulled right into a full sense of safety; make sure you discover a appropriate spot to go away your bike
The TA system turns into dearer (however cheaper than new wheels!)
Readjustment is a bit fiddly; be sure you comply with the video (linked above)
Do you have got a pleasant set of wheels, a Brooks saddle, a Thomson stem, or a dropper seatpost? Though not designed with backpackers in thoughts, the magnetic Hexlox is a intelligent evolution of the ball and bearing trick, serving to make sure the dear components in your bike stay hooked up if you go away it unattended. For through axle customers, it’s in all probability the one possibility of securing your wheels on a motorcycle tour, while including nearly no weight in any way.
In fact, you’re by no means going to go away your prized bikepacking bike locked up for greater than a second in a giant metropolis, particularly if it’s loaded up with gear. However should you use your bike for on a regular basis driving as nicely, then this technique comes into its personal. Worth-wise, the through axle model isn’t low cost, nevertheless it’s additionally eminently extra reasonably priced than dropping a wheel, which makes it nicely well worth the funding. Simply take additional care to not misplace the tiny magnetic insert when eradicating your wheel throughout transportation, and grasp onto that key.
Though the Hexlox might not resist particularly concerted assaults (what’s?), it genuinely seems to work as supposed. I’d nonetheless advocate exercising excessive care and diligence in the place you select to go away your bike, and for a way lengthy you accomplish that. However inside purpose, these nifty little crime-fighting gadgets ought to provide the confidence that if you return to it, the one you love bicycle will nonetheless be full…