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Monday, November 29, 2010

Clever Bike Lock Can Climb a Light Pole (Video)

by Stephen Messenge


bike climbs pole photo

When it comes to thwarting bike thieves, even the best bike-locks can't guarantee your cycle won't get jacked. But here's a simple idea -- instead of chaining up your ride to an object at ground level, imagine if you had a lock that could hoist it high overhead, safely out of reach from would-be robbers. Well, that's exactly what gave one group of German designers the bright idea to create a bike lock that can climb a light pole.

In this video from the German company Conrad, a group of designers fashion a bike lock that can scale light-poles. The invention looks fairly simply: some inline-skate wheels, fixed onto a metal ring with a small motor. In a matter of seconds, the clever contraption transforms your bike from a tempting target for bike thieves into a logistical challenge few crooks would have the courage to undertake -- unless, of course, they moonlight as coconut collectors.

Inventiveness aside, the pole-climbing bike lock probably won't put an end to cycle thievery as we know it -- but it does make for a cool concept. For starters, the prototype in the video doesn't appear to be able to adapt to poles of varying circumference, meaning it might just work on those types of streetlights. Secondly, each pole could really only hold one bike at a time, lest a 'double-parking' type of situation were to arise. And finally, unless the contraption really cinches-down in place, a rope might just be enough to award a determined thief both bike and high-tech climbing lock with little trouble.

The idea is reminiscent of another bike-storage concept covered here a while back -- the bike tree. Instead of holding just one bike reasonably, this design allows for the safe keeping of four cycles at a time while providing more security with a coded access system.

Whether or not we see such climbing bike-locks on the market anytime soon, with so many inventive minds coming up with ways to make cycling a more practical alternative for getting around, things are looking up -- even if there's no bike up there to block the view yet.

Via BoingBoing