Anyone who tries to steal YERKA will have to break the frame of the bike, rendering it useless
A team of Chilean designers have created what they describe as an “unstealable” bike – called YERKA.
Instead of having to lug around D-locks and chains, the bike itself can be reconfigured so that the frame becomes the lock.
The trick is made possible because the bike’s “downtube” (part of the frame) is actually split into two parts but secured in place with a metal sheath. The sheath can be unlocked so that the two pieces of the tube can be rotated laterally so that they are perpendicular to the bike.
You then take the seatpost and use it to connect the two protruding parts of the downtube. This means that the frame of the bike can wrap around a lamp post or any other available street furniture.
Anyone who wanted to take the bike would have to break the most important structural part of the frame, rendering it completely useless.
Not everyone is convinced by YERKA’s claims.
“Unfortunately the idea of a theft-proof bike is a pipe dream,” says John Moss of Stolen Bikes UK.
“You can make a bike less and less attractive to thieves, for example by using a high-quality lock or, in this case, a lock that makes commonly used techniques unnecessary. But if a thief really wants your bike, they will find a way to take it.”
Moss points out that this bike is still open to lock picking, so the “unstealable” claim is “little more than wishful thinking.”
However, since picking isn’t that common in the UK, he thinks would-be thieves are likely to move on to “easier targets where they don’t have to damage the frame to steal the bike”.
A large number of bicycles are stolen each year, with 92,500 reported to police between May 2013 and April 2014.
Bike theft hotspots include Oxford, Cambridge, London and Leicester.
The YERKA team is currently fundraising to put the bike into production via Indiegogo.