Many of us may have heard of horrific stories of how bicycles were stolen from bicycle stands around the MRT stations and the HDB void decks and how thieves used industrial tools to cut the locks that chained the bicycles to the stands. Some of us might even have went through the ordeal of having our bikes stolen! Thankfully, Yerka, a new start-up from Chile, came up with a radical design to mitigate the problem.
In its purest simplicity, Yerka uses the bicycle’s own frame to lock the bicycle. In contrast to the traditional way of using a third-party lock to secure the bicycle, Yerka’s methodology will prevent the bicycle from being stolen because if the frame, which is a crucial part of the bicycle, is cut and damaged, the bicycle will be rendered useless.
Yerka’s bicycle design works by incorporating a break in the frame’s down-tube. The split tubes are designed to swing outwards to one side of the bicycle. To complete the locking process, the rider will simply need to insert the seat-tube through the openings of the split tubes. Once the seat-tube is inserted and held firmly in place, the rider can lock the frame by using a key.
The Yerka’s lock-in-frame design is wide enough to lock itself around objects which can be up to eight inches deep and ten inches wide. In the urban landscape, the Yerka bicycle will not face any issue locking itself around lamp posts, park benches and bicycle racks/stands.
Even if a thief is able to remove the fixture without damaging the Yerka bicycle, the bike will not be able to move. This is because the design of the locked frame prohibits the crankset from spinning. The Yerka bike can only be ridden when the seat-tube is removed and the split tubes are re-joined as a single down-tube.
Currently in prototype form, the Yerka bicycle is sold as a frame for USD 199 (equivalent to SGD 271 as at the time of writing). The complete bike is retailing at USD 449 (equivalent to SGD 612 as at the time of writing). According to Yerka’s website, the bicycle can be shipped internationally.