Bike locks have always served one simple task of keeping your bike in the place you left it. However, bike theft is still a problem everywhere you go in the world, and once the bike is gone you shouldn't expect to get it back.
Here are eight innovative ideas for bike locks that could catch on:
The Hiplok is nothing new to the industry, but it was instrumental in the rethinking of the bike lock. Before the first Hiplok came into being, plenty of riders were carrying flexible locks and chains around their bodies or waists despite the poor fit and lack of adjustability.
The Hiplok took the same 10mm hardened steel chain many had been wearing around their waist, wrapped the chain in a Kevlar sleeve with a velcro extension, and used a padlock that doubles as a belt buckle. This allows the Hiplok to be worn like a belt and be fully adjustable to your waist.
The Lock8 is a first of its kind. It is a keyless smart lock controlled by smartphone. The lock is also equipped with motion sensors, accelerometers, and temperature sensors to combat many of the weapons in a thief's arsenal.
If and when any of the sensors are tripped, the lock sounds a ‘painfully loud' alarm, and sends a notification to your smartphone. The lock also employs a GPS chip, so if your bike is stolen you can track it in real time.
The Lock8 is mounted on the chainstay, charges off the back wheel and comes with a key in case your device runs out of battery. Lock8 is also aiming to use their device for bike sharing, enabling a network for users to rent bikes through its app wherever they are.
The Skylock is similar to the Lock8 in some waysSimilar to the Lock8 in some ways, it is a solar powered smart lock. This keyless U-lock is controlled via a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone, and enables remote monitoring and crash alerts to keep both your bike and – more importantly – you safe.
The lock is disarmed through the Skylock smartphone app, or by a code entered into the lock itself. An integrated theft alert system uses accelerometers to send push notifications to your phone if the lock is jostled or hit. The sensitivity of the alert system is adjustable to help cut down on false alarms.
Fly12 Bike Alarm
The Fly12 combined front light and Full-HD video camera will double (triple?) as a bike alarm for cafe stops. If you plan to leave your bike, simply lock the Fly12 through the app.
If someone attempts to take the bike, the device's light will flash, record video, an alarm will sound, and an alert will be sent to your phone. The Fly12 will maintain a Bluetooth connection with your smartphone for up to 100ft.
Not every lock on this list requires a battery and a smartphone. Clever design and new materials are just as important as gizmos. The Litelok claims to offer a lightweight lock that can stand up to anything a bike thief can throw at it.
Said to weigh just 1kg (2.2lb), Litelok’s inventor Neil Barron told BikeRadar the device can "withstand sustained attack from tools like cable cutters, bolt croppers and hacksaws". This flexible lock is made from a new composite material called Boaflexicore.
Similar to the LoJack automobile recovery system, Bike Angel is a small GPS tracking device that detects when your bike is being stolen and helps you track it down.
Hidden inside the seat tube, the device is ‘locked’ via a smartphone and once it detects movement, triggers a notification on your device using a GPRS and/or GSM message.
The InterLock is a cable lock that is cleverly hidden inside a seatpost, always there when needed.
Integrating seamlessly into your commuter bike, a 90cm cable lock is stowed inside a 3D forged alloy seat post — it's available in common 25.4mm, 27.2mm, or 31.6mm diameters. This KickStarter success received awards at Eurobike and the Taipei Cycle show in 2014
The Yerka bike is one of those, ‘why didn’t I think of that’ sort of ideas. Rather than some fancy smartphone-enabled lock made of unbreakable composite material, the Yerka bike team has instead opted to make the bike itself the lock.
The genius behind the Yerka bike, is if a thief wants to steal it, they have to cut through a main structure of the bike, leaving it unrideable.