August 15, 2014

Make a Lock Out of the Frame

Maybe you've seen the "Gumby bike." Photographs of and stories about this bike-that-can-do-the-pretzel hit the internet back in 2010. I've never seen one of Kevin Scott's bendable bikes locked to itself around a pole, though. As far as I can tell, the concept never became a mass-produced reality. The idea of a bike with an integrated locking mechanism did not die, however, as evidenced by two new bike designs that have come to my attention.

First, there's DENNY, TEAGUE X Sizemore Bicycle's final bike design for Oregon Manifest's Bike Design Project, which partners design firms with bicycle craftsmen to create the Ultimate Urban Utility Bike. The design includes a handlebar quick lock. Check it out starting at ~00:43.

Then there's the Yerka Project, which is promising the world's "first unstealable bike." Three Chilean engineering students, themselves past victims of bike theft, decided to take a novel approach to the problem. "Every lock can be broken leaving the bike intact," explains Yerka's website. "That's why we decided to make a lock out of the frame. The only way to steal it is to break the lock, which implies breaking the bike." The team claims that the bike they've designed "maintains the slick design of an urban bike"—unlike, say, a foldable bike or a clunky rental—and takes a mere 20 seconds to secure. Think they can make it happen? Watch the promo:

Both DENNY and Yerka's bike, of course, are vulnerable to wheel theft, which will be the subject of a future post. Stay tuned.

*Thanks to David Lovit for sending me the DENNY video.

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