CG-Lock

Reviewed by Jack Sadubin - Miata.net

The CG-Lock is not a safety device. By attaching to the seat belt tongue it provides for the ability to tighten the lap portion of the belt so that it keeps the driver (or passenger) tightly in the seat to reduce driver movement during turns and braking. This may be an attractive option for the enthusiast participating in a performance driving event or merely for better seating support on long drives.

The Hardware

The CG-Lock consists of a very sturdy polished steel main body bracket incorporating a spring loaded roller and finger latch measuring about 2.25” x 3.0” x 0.75”. A steel clamp plate attaches to the main body with two screws. Two sets of screws of different lengths are provided to allow for varying seat belt latches. A small Allen key is provided to install the screws. A steel slide fits over the main body to hold the belt against the roller.

Documentation and Warrantee

A complete and informative well written foldout is included along with return and full warrantee information. The company promises to refund within 30 days and a one year warrantee is issued. If in use during an accident it will be replaced free of charge.

CG-Lock claims the device has been thoroughly tested not to interfere with the normal working of the OEM three point safety belt systems and was tested in accordance with FMVSS 208 guidelines. It should fit in most vehicles.

The CG-Lock has been extensively advertised and featured in several automotive sports publications.

Installation

Once you understand how to install the CG-Lock, future installations are quick and straight forward. The first time though, even while trying to follow the written instructions carefully, it can be confusing. I found the installation video found at http://www.cg-lock.com/ to be most useful and made the process easy to understand. With a little experience it only takes a few moments to install.

The CG-Lock remains attached to the seat belt tongue even when not in use. To use it you must operate the CG-Lock slide and the small finger grip.

The small tool provided as well as the other set of screws must be kept on hand however in order to move CG-Lock to another vehicle or to remove it entirely from the seat belt.

Operation

Enabling and disabling the CG-Lock is quick and easy. The CG-Lock slide operates on two channels on either side of the main body as it manages the seat belt webbing and must be moved forward and backwards in order to free up or lock up the tension for the lap portion of the belt. The slide may jam slightly from time to time during this adjustment. Although it is easily freed up, especially once you get used to its operation, it may be frustrating to first time users. Perhaps with use the slide may get less fussy.

The seat belt may be unfastened as usual at any time, even with the CG-Lock engaged.

The documentation warns that the CG-Lock does add some weight to the belt and detracts from the ability of the belt to automatically retract. I found that helping the belt retract by hand was necessary every time in both vehicles I tested and found this to be rather annoying. You will want to avoid slamming the door while the device is in the way of the door frame (Ouch).

Performance

The CG-Lock performed very well in keeping the driver firmly planted in the seat, back straight and better able to control the car in performance driving situations. It was less necessary to focus on keeping the body in place (especially during turns and higher G Force situations) with less effort needed to the dead pedal and provided increased handling feedback.

There is no effect on the upper body of course and the CG-Lock can not replace the planted feeling of a race harness. It did greatly reduce body movement in the seat.

I felt a far better sense of security and control over the vehicle while using the CG-Lock in spirited driving situations. Although no autocross events are available to test the CG-Lock in Canadian winters, I am confident in its ability to improve performance and am looking forward to the first event.

Conclusions

I enjoyed using the CG-Lock and I am planning to use it in Auto Slalom events on my Miata. The retail price of $41.95US makes it an affordable option for any enthusiast.

I prefer to remove the device for normal driving and to only install and use it to enhance planned performance driving situations.

Suggested improvements include lightening the CG-Lock device a bit in order to improve auto-retraction of the seat belt and enhancing the design somehow to allow the slide to operate a bit more smoothly without sticking.


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17 April, 2005