A trio of Chilean engineering students may have found a way to thwart even the best bicycle thief with the world’s first ‘unstealable bike.’ The design, called the Yerka, looks like most bikes on an average city street, but the bottom tube of the frame can be split into two parts and wrapped around a pole. It is then secured to the pole or tree using the seat post to connect the arms, and locked shut.
‘The three of us have always been bike enthusiasts since kids, we love to use them as transportation or as a simple way to have fun,’ Juan José Monsalve told Fox News. He created the bike with partners Cristóbal Cabello and Andrés Roi.
‘Sadly, Andrés had two of his bikes stolen in a short period of tim, Monsale added. ‘A few years ago we took an engineering design class at Adolfo Ibáñez University here in Chile and were asked to solve a problem to an actual commute. Using Andrés’ experience as a starting point we started to throw ideas to the table trying to solve this problem, and finally came up with something very similar to what we have today.’
The company is working on prototypes that will connect combination locks to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
While they call it the world’s first unstealable bike, critics say the lock could be picked or the bike easily destroyed. ‘Remember how people used to open those ubiquitous cylinder locks with a Bic pen? Any lock can be picked and the bike stolen,’ said Lloyd Alter, the managing editor at the website TreeHugger. ‘Over at BikeRumor, the one bike site that I have seen cover this, a commentator noted that one good kick on that seat post and it will be dented, making the bike unrideable for the owner as well.’
Thieves might also be happy simply to get the handlebars or front wheel. ‘If we weren’t doing something as disruptive as this, or something that people aren’t interested in, we wouldn’t receive any critics, and believe me when I say we’ve had lots of them mainly referring to the same ‘what if I cut the seat post’ question,” Monsale shot back. ‘We try to learn and improve our project with every critic, and we are soon to release a video in which we probably answer those kind of questions.’
The bike should retail for between $400 and $1,000 when it hits the market early next year.