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Five Clever and Creative New Design Ideas to Fight Bike Theft

The Design Council announces the finalists for its Residential Bike Safety Challenge. Which design concept will cyclists like best?

The Design Council is a U.K. charity that promotes design for the public good. Under their Design Against Crime initiative, the group seeks design solutions for some of the most persistent urban crimes. Their most recent challenge looked for ways to prevent residential bike theft, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of bike theft in the U.K. In addition to ensuring bike safety, the ideas had to be simple and executable, making it easier and more convenient for cyclists to incorporate security at home, with minimal visual and space disruption. Here are the finalists:

1) The Lupin

Rodd Design created two designs that are deceptively simple. The first is Lupin, a lightweight loop made of Dyneema, a reinforced textile that offers chemical and knife protection similar to Kevlar. The Lupin slides through the gap above the bottom hinge of a door. Close the door and it secures the loop in place, giving you a fixed, secure anchor point to chain up your bike with any conventional bike lock, anywhere in your home that has a door.

2) The Armlock

Their second design is the compact Armlock, a fixed wall mounted "lazy lock." An automated trigger mechanism works under the weight of the bike, sliding a boron steel bolt across either the bike's top tube or seat tube. Mountable in many ways, the device holds your bike in place and out of the way.

3) Gearbox

Going outside the home, Submarine Designs created an enclosure that has secure components within the overall design, including a Sheffield rail inside to lock bikes onto, and access from both sides of the enclosure, allowing the possibility for shared, but independent security for two bicycles. Unlike existing bike sheds, it doesn't require time-consuming assembly and has the added security of an internal bolted rail within the enclosure to anchor bikes.

4) Plantlock

Part aesthetically-pleasing garden planter, part bike stand, the Plantlock from Front Yard Company uses the power of plants to secure your bike. When filled with greens and compost, the sturdy metal bins weigh more than 165 pounds, making it difficult for any thief to carry it away. The locking bars are made with boron steel and runs the length of the planter, allowing you to secure the bike frame and both wheels to it with any conventional bike lock. Designed for yards and alleyways, it frees up cluttering stairwells and garages.

5) Bikestand

With several designs for outdoor public bike stands under their belt, Cyclehoop created a residential version that could be easily installed outdoors in the yard or indoors in a hallway or landing. Just like a coat hanger or shoe rack, the Bikestand is meant to be a relatively unobtrusive organizational piece of furniture that can be either free-standing or screwed into the skirting board. (For renters, this makes minimal impact on the walls). When used outdoors, the unit can be bolted to the floor or wall.

Do you know of any other creative bike locking designs? Please share!

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