GOOD

Anyone who owns a bike in a city knows that protecting it against thieves can be an uphill battle often ending in disappointment. It seems even the priciest “unbreakable” locks are vulnerable to determined criminals, leaving cyclists out not just the cost of their bike, but their pricey locks as well.

After losing his expensive electric bike that was secured by not one but two $120 locks, Daniel Idzkowski from San Francisco thought it was time to try a different approach. Rather than compete on the strength and security of the lock itself, which thieves always seem able to circumvent, he decided to hit him where it hurts…


Their noses.

He’s developed a product called the SKUNKLOCK, which, as you can infer from the name, releases a potently unbearable smell when breached, causing potential thieves to vomit all over themselves uncontrollably. Says Idzkowski to The Guardian, “It’s pretty much immediately vomit inducing, causes difficulty breathing. A lot of similar symptoms to pepper spray.”

See the SKUNKLOCK in action here:

Looks pretty effective, doesn’t it?

This innovative line of defense might just be what urban cyclists need for to protect their bikes. It’s currently being funded on IndieGoGo, and while it hasn’t been tested on any thieves, Idzkowski and some very accommodating friends have subjected themselves to the overpowering odor that the lock releases.

He shared his account with the press, recalling, “At two feet it was pretty bad. It was absolutely vomit inducing in 99% of people. At five feet it’s very noticeable and the initial reaction is to move away from it. At 10ft it’s definitely detectable and very unpleasant.”

Oh, he’s not done.

“You’re basically just puking on yourself the entire time. They could change all their clothes, shower, if the bike is still there come out and cut the remaining 75% of the lock. You can’t prevent a theft 100%, so that’s why we call it a deterrent lock, not a solution. All you have to do is be better than the bike across the street.”

The defense mechanism, as unpleasant as it sounds, is compliant to US and EU laws, so I guess it’s just a function of getting this thing funded. After that, all we can do is hope that we’re not within a city block of any thief looking to take on the SKUNKLOCK.

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