If you're a competitive or recreational cyclist, chances are that you don't lug a clunky ol' U-lock along with you on all of your rides. So, what happens if you make a quick post-ride stop at a coffee shop? Perhaps you just try to keep your unlocked bike in your peripheral vision, or you use a light-but-flimsy cable lock. Well, Otto DesignWorks has developed an alternative. Its OttoLock works essentially like a big cut-resistant zip-tie.
Although the OttoLock's quarter-inch (18 mm)-wide band may be coated in plastic, inside of it there are four bands of high-temper stainless steel, along with one made of Kevlar. Those inner bands slide against one another, reducing shear forces applied by tools such as bolt cutters.
The head of the device is made of impact-resistant aluminum, and has a three-digit user-resettable combination lock.
When not in use, the OttoLock can be coiled down to a 3-inch (76-mm) diameter loop, and stuffed in a saddle pack or jersey pocket. When it's time to lock up the bike, it really is like using a zip-tie – you just feed the band through the head, the latter of which locks against grooves on the former.
To release the lock, you just key in the combo. According to the company, thieves trying to rip the band through the head without unlocking it would have to apply over 500 lb (227 kg) of force.
The whole thing reportedly weighs less than a quarter of a pound (115 g), and will be made in band lengths of 18, 30 and 60 inches (35, 75 and 150 cm). It's currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge of US$49 will get you a 30-inch model – when and if they reach production.