5 bike locks that do double duty
Decent-quality bicycle locks have a tendency to be big and heavy, so they're kind of a hassle to bring along on rides. Some companies have attempted to address that situation, by designing locks that are actually a functional part of the bike. Here are a few of our favorites.
Perhaps the most commercially successful of the bunch, the Seatylock is essentially a conventional saddle that has a hardened steel folding lock built into its underside. When you're riding, that lock stays folded up, attached to the bike's existing seatpost via an included adapter. Once it's time to lock up, though, a flip of a lever on that adapter releases it. And as an added bonus, because the saddle is part of the lock, it can't be stolen by passing parts-thieves.
You can buy one for US$99.
If cable locks are more your thing, then you might want to check out the InterLock. It's also seat-associated, although instead of being integrated into the saddle itself, it gets stuffed down inside a special integrated seatpost. The key-opened cable is made of rubber-coated 8-mm braided steel, and remains secured to the inside of the seatpost once (mostly) pulled out. It's unclear if the InterLock is still commercially available, but it certainly has been in recent years.
It was priced at around $50.
Tired of having to remove your lights so they don't get stolen? Well, they're built into the BrightLoc. While riding, the 1,000-lumen headlight/lock-cylinder unit is attached to a quick-release handlebar mount, while the tail light/lock-shackle unit is attached to a seatpost mount. Once you've parked, the two modules are removed from their mounts and locked together with a bit of the bike between them, just like a regular U-lock
The result of a successful Kickstarter campaign, the BrightLoc should retail for $120.
OK, so the pump isn't really part of the bike, but it's still something that many riders bring along with them on a regular basis – and it is part of the AirLock. The device incorporates a quarter-inch-thick steel cable, with locking attachments at either end. Users just wrap the cable around the bike's frame and an adjacent immovable object, then key-lock the two ends together. One of the locking attachments also features a steel air chuck, however, while the other doubles as a hand-operated aluminum pumping cylinder. The two are connected by a clear vinyl air hose, which the steel cable sits inside of.
Although the AirLock was also a Kickstarter project, it didn't meet its funding goal. Nonetheless, it may still ultimately reach production – its planned retail price is $68.
Finally, suppose there was a lock that wasn't a component, but that was the actual bicycle frame itself. That's what a group of Chilean engineering students supposed, and the result is the Yerka, which is a complete bike. Now in production, it features a two-piece down tube that can be opened up and swivelled out to one side (relative to the rest of the frame), forming a lock when the extra-long seatpost is run through that tube's two ends.
It's available in singlespeed and 3-speed versions, priced at $699 and $799.