In all corners of the globe, people ride bikes – and others steal them. It’s a pain for commuters particularly, who depend on bicycles to get them to and from their livelihoods. Thankfully more and more ideas for ideas for securing bikes in public places are emerging, like the Laki Lock.
The Laki Lock is designed to fit as many different bikes as possible, and supposedly keep your wheels safe from theft as well. There may be some exceptions to that, as noted below, but it is overall a feasible looking design and I wouldn’t be surprised to see something similar employed in any major city…
The Laki Lock is essentially a metal trough with a lock mechanism in the middle. The rider lifts the front wheel and drops the frame between the notched vertical bars, with both wheels sitting in the trough. A simple bar with a u-lock style cylinder (which is carried by the rider) is slipped onto the notched bars and locked in place, holding the top tube down from above. This idea should work fairly universally as far as frames go, but I could see some issues arising with really odd shaped bikes, not to mention varying wheel sizes…
One of the big claims the creators make is the Laki Lock will keep your wheels safe from theft, but I could only believe this if the lock happened to hold your wheels snugly to the ground, and your wheelbase fit nicely into the troughs.
The lock bar only has so many increments to sit in and I doubt you’d want to cram that thing into your down tube, so it’s hard to imagine how you could secure a full (or even front) suspension bike tightly enough to keep your wheels safe. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you could probably lift most fork’s lowers enough to drop the front wheel out, possibly enabling you to manipulate the bike within the lock to snag the rear.
The Laki Lock is designed to accommodate a wide range of different bikes including road, MTB, commuter and even kids bikes, but of course it won’t fit everything. For example, fat bikes are obviously out due to the trough design, and a 29er’s wheelbase might be a bit long. In either case you could still lock the bike up, but the wheels wouldn’t be securely nestled in the troughs as intended.
The creators say the Laki Lock is ‘easy to install’. You’ll have to drill into concrete and anchor four bolts, and consider welding the bolts to the Loki’s frame for added security… I’m not sure I’d call that easy, but that’s actually good- if it was easy to install, it would probably be simple to remove.
The Laki Lock’s creators make some broad claims about universality and security, but all in all this is a credible concept for public bike storage. With anything less than a full-on bike garage, it’s nearly impossible to prevent all kinds of component theft or vandalism, plus the simple mechanism would be convenient for widespread implementation.
It’s still early in the campaign so it’s hard to guess how the Laki Lock will fare, but for more information check out their Kickstarter campaign here.