Biking is one of the more favored American pastimes, with nine million bike trips made every day. One of the biggest hindrances to the sport, however, are bike thefts, which are extremely commonplace. Luckily, a new bike lock is in the works to make theft a lot more difficult — or disgusting.
The inventors at SkunkLock have developed a new bike lock that shoots a noxious spray into the face of a bike thief, causing them to vomit uncontrollably.
“Basically we were fed up with thefts,” said Daniel Idzkowski, one of the inventors of SkunkLock. “The real last straw was we had a friend park his very expensive electric bike outside a Whole Foods, and then went to have lunch and chat. We went out and his bike was gone.”
The friend had used not one, but two expensive bike locks, each costing $120.
Indeed, most locks are completely ineffective at preventing theft from those with the right tools — according to Idzkowski, thieves can cut through most locks in under a minute. He said they “talk in seconds: a 15-second bike, a 20-second bike, and it goes up to 30-60-second bikes, with Kryptonite locks that require two cuts, each about 25 seconds”.
So Idzkowsji and his co-inventor, Yves Perrenoud, created a U-shaped lock made of carbon and steel and containing a hollow chamber with three pressurized gasses. When about 30% of the lock is cut through, the gasses erupt in the direction of the gash.
“It’s pretty much immediately vomit inducing, causes difficulty breathing,” Idzkowski said. “A lot of similar symptoms to pepper spray.”
The lock has not been tested on any real thieves yet, but the inventors have tested it on themselves and volunteers at various distances. Their chemical has passed compliance tests and is legal.
The entrepreneurs are crowd-funding their lock, raising funds using an Indiegogo fund — a pledge of $99 promises a SkunkLock of your own in June 2017.