Will This New Bike Solve All Your Bike-Thief Problems? Maybe.

Slate's Culture Blog
Aug. 25 2014 11:35 AM

Will This New Bike Solve All Your Bike-Thief Problems? Maybe.

screen_shot_20140825_at_11.23.15_am

Bike locks are the worst. They’re clunky and heavy and you often need more than one if you want to properly secure your wheels and seat. Also, they don’t always work—bike thieves can be ruthless. But what if your bike was the lock?

With the Yerka bike, instead of having to lug a separate apparatus around to secure your bike to a pole, you just wrap the bike around the pole. If someone tried to steal it, they’d essentially have to break the bike in the process, rendering it unusable, or at least making it impossible to ride the bike away after stealing it.

Advertisement

Created by three Chilean engineering students, the bike is designed so that the seat can be removed and the down tube split in two. The seat is then inserted through the two halves of the down tube and locked. If the pole is broken, there’s no seat to ride away on.

There have been many innovations over the years that strive to make locking bikes up easier—from building lock holders on bikes to hiding them in the frame—but making the bike the actual lock seems to have more potential than most clever ideas. Or does it?

Setting aside the issue of crowded bike racks that may not have enough room for a lock that takes up so much horizontal space or a pole tall enough for the apparatus to wrap around, Treehugger points out a few major flaws with the Yerka bike: In addition to the added weight this would place on the bike, one good kick to the seat and it will be too dented to reattach, making it unridable not only for a potential thief, but for the owner as well. There’s also the little problem that any lock can be picked, and, in the end, this is just another lock cleverly disguised as a bike. Not to mention that the wheels aren’t secured.

The bike in the video is just a prototype, and perhaps they’ll work out some of these kinks. Either way, I can get behind any effort to make locking up my bike a smoother, and more secure, experience.

Miriam Krule is a Slate assistant editor.

 

TODAY IN SLATE

The Juice

Ford’s Big Gamble

It’s completely transforming America’s best-selling vehicle.

Should the United States Grant Asylum to Victims of Domestic Violence?

The Apple Watch Will Make Everyone Around You Just a Little Worse Off

This Was the First Object Ever Designed

Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison

In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 

Moneybox

How the Apple Watch Will Annoy Us

A glowing screen attached to someone else’s wrist is shinier than all but the blingiest jewels.

Music

A Little Bit Softer Now, a Little Bit Softer Now …

The sad, gradual decline of the fade-out in popular music.

Is Everyone Going to Declare Independence if Scotland Does It? 

I Tried to Write an Honest Profile of One of Bollywood’s Biggest Stars. It Didn’t Go Well.

Trending News Channel
Sept. 12 2014 11:26 AM Identical Twins Aren’t Really Identical
  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Sept. 14 2014 2:37 PM When Abuse Is Not Abuse Don’t expect Adrian Peterson to go to prison. In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 12 2014 5:54 PM Olive Garden Has Been Committing a Culinary Crime Against Humanity
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 13 2014 8:38 AM “You’re More Than Just a Number” Goucher College goes transcript-free in admissions.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 12 2014 4:05 PM Life as an NFL Wife: “He's the Star. Keep Him Happy.”
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 12 2014 5:55 PM “Do You Know What Porn Is?” Conversations with Dahlia Lithwick’s 11-year-old son.
  Arts
Music
Sept. 14 2014 11:44 PM A Little Bit Softer Now, a Little Bit Softer Now … The sad, gradual decline of the fade-out in popular music.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 12 2014 3:53 PM We Need to Pass Legislation on Artificial Intelligence Early and Often
  Health & Science
New Scientist
Sept. 14 2014 8:38 AM Scientific Misconduct Should Be a Crime It’s as bad as fraud or theft, only potentially more dangerous.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 12 2014 4:36 PM “There’s No Tolerance for That” Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh say they don’t abide domestic abuse. So why do the Seahawks and 49ers have a combined six players accused of violence against women?