The Unstealable Bike? With Yerka Project, the Bike IS the Lock

Yerka project unstealable bike frame lock (2)

As more and more citizens look to bicycles as a means of transportation, bicycle locks seem to be under increased scrutiny. Many companies are looking for ways to improve the portability and effectiveness of current lock designs, but some bike designers are looking at it from another angle. Instead of carrying around bulky, heavy locks, why not make the bike a lock. After getting their own bikes stolen, that’s exactly what three engineering students from Chile are setting out to do with the Yerka Project.

The idea behind the project is pretty simple – most lock can be broken while still leaving the bike intact. When the lock is part of the bike, if thieves try to break the lock, it will essentially break the frame rendering the bike unrideable. Continue on to see the Yerka Project in action…


Yerka project unstealable bike frame lock (1)

Currently built into a single speed/fixed gear working prototype, the team behind the Yerka Project maintains that the lock is applicable to any frame shape. Even though their prototype uses bolt on wheels, theoretically you should be able to use the locking mechanism to lock the front wheel as well if you were to remove it as with a typical U lock. Details on how the design would effect frame stiffness are limited, but the project is still in its early stages.

Would you be willing to buy a bike where the lock was integrated into the frame?

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Comments

Antipodean_G - 08/20/14 - 5:38pm

That’s so bonkers I love it. Really great lateral thinking there and while not for me (I don’t leave my bikes unattended), the idea has a lot of merit the the market it’s aimed at.

Antipodean_G - 08/20/14 - 5:39pm

…’for’ the market it’s aimed at.

Ripnshread - 08/20/14 - 5:46pm

Maybe its a “concept prototype” but it looks like all you need is a couple spanner wrenches to steal that bike. Both “hinges” have exposed bolt heads holding the pivots together…I could be wrong…buuuuut… That and claiming something is “unstealable” is not very smart. And a sure way to get that shizzle stolen. lol

Equine Master - 08/20/14 - 6:02pm

“…it will essentially break the frame rendering the bike unrideable.”

Sometimes, that’s all they want to do. There are vandals out there, too.

Philipp - 08/20/14 - 6:34pm

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Joe - 08/20/14 - 6:37pm

Gotta love resetting your seat height every time you grab a coffee.

pile-on - 08/20/14 - 6:53pm

Chainsaw.

EpicThroatBeard - 08/20/14 - 6:57pm

so then my filthy, greasy post is also my lock.
awesome and very professionallish.
So I cleaned my post-lock real well and then didn’t ride for a bit and then my bike lock seized into my frame.
awesomely.

ckmotorka - 08/20/14 - 7:06pm

Even so, it’ll be hard to ride without those wheels…

Raymond - 08/20/14 - 7:14pm

Because the seatpost couldn’t be cut through.. Cracking concept but not worth investing and on that basis, I’m out!

Ben - 08/20/14 - 7:50pm

Sweet bike, where are the wheels?

Mike - 08/20/14 - 8:09pm

what is to stop somebody from using a hacksaw and cutting through the seatpost? At that point the bike frame is still intact.

When I was in school I got a $25 ten speed at a garage sale. Put $50 into fixing it up. Rode it for 3 years to class, locking with a ulock. it was stolen the day after graduation and I was out $75.

It amazes me when I see parents in the bike shop buying their college kid a $500-800 bike. Don’t waste the money.

I now have a $3000 mountain bike which I never lock because it’s either in my garage or with me on the trail. It’s never left alone outside.

JBikes - 08/20/14 - 8:19pm

I’m an engineer. Engineers don’t always come out with the best ideas. That said, it is good to see people thinking and trying new things. This may not be perfect, but nothing ever happens if we just accept the status quo. To that end, it seems like a neat project (which was stated to be early in its development)

Scotty - 08/20/14 - 9:11pm

The unstealable bike…ha. How much do I get for stealing it without damaging the bike?

Arvi - 08/20/14 - 10:16pm

I think it’s a good start. Obviously, its not meant for a serious race bike or FS MTB. It’s really just meant for city/commuter/comfort bike type of user, maybe an SS or Fixie. The wheels can be secured by not using QR’s or regular HEX nuts. The problem at this point is how much are you willing to pay for such a thing. Another is the potential to attract attention and along with that, envious vandals and destructive knuckleheads.

April Marshke - 08/21/14 - 12:59am

Super cool concept, but they should consider where they could sell these is volume – Europe. How well would this design work on cluttered bike racks in cities where random trees and street lamps are spare? I’m excited to see where this is going.

Crushin-it - 08/21/14 - 8:29am

Lots of things seem off with this concept that I wouldn’t want to deal with… Oh let me count the ways.

1. Seatpost. That is one freaking long, freaking heavy post. Not to mention it should be greased, which means messy. Also, I now have to re-set my saddle height and align it to center every time I lock and unlock my bike.

2. The downtube is a structural member of the frame. having pivots that pivot in the direction shown is not helping BB stiffness… And again. Also HEAVY.

3. What’s securing your wheels?

4. Pray you don’t dent that ultra-long seat-tube, and it’s no longer able to re-insert in the seat tube.

5. This complicated solution lighter or simpler than a Hip-lock or any other typical frame lock? Nope.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to see people thinking outside the box, but not sure this is an appropriate solution.

lonefrontranger - 08/21/14 - 12:26pm

it’s a product in early design development, which demonstrates good lateral thinking process.

clearly this is directed towards the commuter crowd, not towards performance, so as such things like weight and BB stiffness are mainly irrelevant to the end user, within reason.

also way to RTFA, on this particular frame they say the wheels are secured with locking bolt-ons.

most of the times in city situations you don’t actually have to make a bike IMPOSSIBLE to steal, just more of a PITA than the other six to ten bikes in the vicinity.

while I concur that a u-lock is not impossible to carry, not having to remember to carry additional stuff with when going out for errands is a feature not a bug. Especially as a woman whose clothing frequently does not have functional pockets and if I’m going someplace nice I don’t want to carry a huge bag.

laetril mctylenol - 08/21/14 - 1:25pm

Heh, one solid kick to that seat tube. Unstealable bike now unridable. “A” for effort, though!

pfs - 08/21/14 - 1:46pm

Seems like a huge liability waiting to happen. People cant even figure out QR skewers. Now you expect them to decouple the downtube and put it back together? Good luck with that. Last I checked, downtubes are kind of important to the overall structure of the bike.

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