- by Christopher Jones
- Published: 8 August 2014
It is a sad reality of life that we have to protect our valuables, including our bikes, against thieves. These scumbags also make good people suffer by taking parts from locked bikes. To tackle bicycle wheel security, a young American team have developed Nutlock and taken to the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter to turn their product into a reality.
When you lock up your bike, one or both wheels could still be stolen. The idea of wheel protection is simple – getting rid of the quick release skewers or locking nuts and replacing them with a tamper-proof system. But is this really that big a problem? The co-founder of Nutlock, Mikey Ahdoot took time to discuss the theft problem and the Nutlock solution.
Australian bike theft stats are nonexistent, the majority of stolen bicycles are unreported. In the US, the Justice Department reported “For 22 percent of cycle thefts, only the lock and secured wheel remained at the crime scene. This is important to consider because research suggests that offenders often strip bikes for parts rather than sell them whole.”
Locking a bike just through the front wheel is a bad idea, If you use just one chain you should at least lock the frame and one wheel securely. Follow the advice in Tracking Stolen Bikes and preventing theft. Even when you do lock-up your bike properly, unless you use two chains, bike thieves can still quickly and easily remove the other wheel.
Mikey shared a mountain of data on theft and I was curious how their Nutlock system improves over other skewer security systems. I have used a 5-side Hex lock skewer for years and reviewed the Spyke combination skewer for BNA. “The biggest differentiator,” says Mikey “is a lower price point with higher quality materials, better design, and more variations.”
Competitor charts suggest the the Nutlock, with a retail price of US $25 is comparable in quality and security with $100 solutions such as Pitlock and Atomic22.
Compatibility for skewer security systems can present a limitation so the Nutlock provide four sizes:
• 5mm Quick Release Skewer Replacement
• 9mm x 1.0 Solid Axle Nut Replacement
• 10mm x 1.0 Solid Axle Nut Replacement
• 3/8in x 26 Solid Axle Nut Replacement
So lets get to the good bit!
What makes the Nutlock sexier than other ideas? A great idea without appeal doesn’t sell, so why is nutlock cool and what is going to drive what could be otherwise be a fairly mundane topic?
Mikey says that this is achieved through the branding, partnerships, and design. “We’re going for very non-traditional marketing, We have partnerships in place where we will be working with some big influencers in the cycling space. And our entire team is obsessed with making things as slick and beautiful as possible. In addition to the security aspects Nutlock provides, it just looks so much damn better than the standard hex-nuts or quick release skewers we see that are on every bike nowadays.”
But the Nutlock is not a reality….yet. It has just launched on Kickstart and within a day ahas achieved over 50% of the (USD) $15,000 crowd-funding goal, so the chances are excellent. Checkout the Nutlock on kickstarter.