Integrated Lock Renders Bike Useless (to Thieves)

October 29, 2015 | 20:43
Integrated Lock Renders Bike Useless (to Thieves)
Integrated Lock Renders Bike Useless (to Thieves)
After one of them had his bike stolen for the sixth time in a year, two mechanical engineers decided it was time to disrupt the bicycle lock industry. They developed the BluLocks bike which has a lock integrated in the frame.

Though some of the stereotypes attached to nationalities are exaggerated or blatantly false, the one about the Dutch loving their bicycles is definitely true. There are more bikes in The Netherlands than there are people and it is both a popular mode of transport and a leisure activity.

As a result bikes take up a special place in the public space. In Amsterdam for instance, with its tiny houses with steep stairs, most people will park their bikes on the street permanently. Which might explain why, in a city that doesn't have a particularly high crime rate, having your bike stolen is just something that will eventually happen. It is so much a part of life that it doesn't really register as a crime, it's more of an annoyance. Quite literally so, less than 35% of people having their bike stolen, will report it to the police, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Maurits Korthals Alter and Ludo Lambers hope to have found a cure against this national apathy: the unstealable bike. BluLocks is a bicycle with a lock inside the seat tube. The lock consists of a chain that slides into the frame. When the key is turned the pedals and the drive chain are locked, making it impossible to operate the bike. To get to the lock, a thief would have to take an angle grinder to the seat tube, rendering the bike useless.

The two engineers are currently running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise $20.000 to take the Blulocks bikes into production. An early bird Blulocks costs $399. It is not possible to buy a Blulock and integrate it to your own bike yet. But there is a perk for $199 to just buy the frame and build out the bike yourself.

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