Bicycles

Bike Mine presents an explosive solution to bike theft

Bike Mine presents an explosiv...
The basic Bike Mine kit comes with three saluting blanks and the hardware to set things up
The basic Bike Mine kit comes with three saluting blanks and the hardware to set things up
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The basic Bike Mine kit comes with three saluting blanks and the hardware to set things up
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The basic Bike Mine kit comes with three saluting blanks and the hardware to set things up
A simple physical booby-trap-style design, the Bike Mine creates an explosive alarm
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A simple physical booby-trap-style design, the Bike Mine creates an explosive alarm
Read won a Guinness world record for smallest caravan with the QTvan
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Read won a Guinness world record for smallest caravan with the QTvan
The 289-lb (131-kg) QTvan sleeps one in its narrow chamber
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The 289-lb (131-kg) QTvan sleeps one in its narrow chamber
One of Yannick Read's other projects, the Paravelo
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One of Yannick Read's other projects, the Paravelo
The Paravelo includes a tent, making it a flying camper or "flamper"
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The Paravelo includes a tent, making it a flying camper or "flamper"
The Hornster earned a Guinness record for loudest bike horn
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The Hornster earned a Guinness record for loudest bike horn
The Hornster was designed to draw attention to the fact that cyclists can have trouble getting drivers' attention
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The Hornster was designed to draw attention to the fact that cyclists can have trouble getting drivers' attention
The Paravelo was developed with help from Parajet, which also worked with SkyRunner initially
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The Paravelo was developed with help from Parajet, which also worked with SkyRunner initially
The Bike Mine is designed to give bike thieves a hearty surprise
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The Bike Mine is designed to give bike thieves a hearty surprise
The Bike Mine can be used on bicycles, motorcycles, PWCs and other valuables that are kept outdoors
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The Bike Mine can be used on bicycles, motorcycles, PWCs and other valuables that are kept outdoors

There are a ton of bike locks and anti-theft solutions on the market, but it seems that no matter how a bike owner attempts to thwart thieves, his or her bike is always at risk of disappearing at the hands of a determined criminal. So maybe it shouldn't be a surprise that one man's solution is to strap a detonator to the frame and blow the thief off the bike – a design we think even Wile E. Coyote (super genius) would approve of. But it still is (a surprise).

When we first spotted the Bike Mine, our initial thought was, "Why rely on an exploding alarm when you can just lock your bike up?" Creator Yannick Read tried that ... twice. And he woke up to find open air where his locked bicycle and locked motorcycle had been the night before.

Read won a Guinness world record for smallest caravan with the QTvan
Read won a Guinness world record for smallest caravan with the QTvan

Read, a digital communications specialist who moonlights as an inventor and designer, is no stranger to thinking and building outside the box. Over the past few years, he's co-developed the Paravelo, a folding bicycle-based powered parachute and camper; crowdfunded a bicycle handlebar-integrated drinking flask; and scored Guinness world records for loudest bike horn and smallest caravan.

Some of Read's works definitely seem less like serious products and more like whimsical, perhaps even tongue-in-cheek, promotional tools for his day job with ETA insurance company. The Bike Mine seems like it was created with that same semi-serious mix of fun and flair, and Read recognizes that it's not a mass-market product. He is confident enough in its potential to present it on Kickstarter in hopes of getting it into cyclists' hands.

The Bike Mine is a very simple mechanical alarm that uses a titanium trip wire, spring-action punch and shotgun blank commonly referred to as a "saluting blank," all housed in a rubber-wrapped steel body and attached to the bicycle via Velcro straps. The titanium wire gets connected to the wheel or nearby structure, so that when a bike thief moves the bike, the saluting blank goes off, creating a 150 dB blast to wake up the bicycle owner (and half the neighborhood) and ideally scare the thief off immediately.

The Bike Mine can be used on bicycles, motorcycles, PWCs and other valuables that are kept outdoors
The Bike Mine can be used on bicycles, motorcycles, PWCs and other valuables that are kept outdoors

It's a novel approach, to be sure, and it might work as intended. The thief might even think that someone's firing an actual shotgun at him and scurry off like his life depended on it. But if he doesn't, he may just say "nice try," have a good laugh and ride off with the bike anyway. Maybe the key is to use it in conjunction with a lock or other anti-theft device.

Read's Kickstarter campaign says that saluting blanks are widely available and legal to use, but an exploding bike alarm seems like something that could find itself on the wrong side of the law, or at least a law enforcement officer's impatient disposition. Read's disclaimers about using it only on private property and not positioning it in such a way that it will blow up in someone's face don't promote confidence – what if the thief is kneeling down working on a lock when it blows? In today's legal climate, it could bring headaches.

In the end, we're not sure that the Bike Mine is a viable product, but we're sure it's an interesting attempt at solving a very common problem. We're also sure it's given some folks an idea for a DIY practical joke (don't try that).

Kickstarters have over a month to decide. Bike Mine pledge levels start at £49 (US$71) or there's a Bike Mine perimeter alarm for £99 ($143), so thieves don't even get close before getting startled by an explosion. Shipping will begin in September, if things move along as Read plans.

The video below gives a good look at how the Bike Mine sets up and works in the field, and our photo gallery includes more shots of the Bike Mine and some of Read's past projects.

Source: Kickstarter

BIKE MINE: the ultimate alarm to protect your precious stuff

14 comments
Nik
Having had several motorcycles stolen, I'd like one of these, fitted under the seat, so that the thief didn't feel like sitting on anything, for a week or more.
phydeaux
Too easy to defeat. All someone needs to do is put a stick in front of the firing pin. Nice idea though.
Bill Johnson
These devises have been around for 20 years that I know of. We use to call them "Acer Mines". Google "12 Gauge Security Control System" and you can pick one up for under $35. They do work well for perimeter warning. They are very dangerous around flammable material and will start fires. NEVER put one bone a motorcycle with exposed fuel line. They can be deadly to animals and humans that are to close. Also they are NOT legal in many area of the U.S.
Jay Finke
Some CS on top of the shell would make it a real bad day for the thief, and a better chance of capture
flylowguy
Hello questionable legality and a whole new division of liability.
wle
what could go wrong!?!???? geez \
HermanLatypov
Does anyone else notice the trolling license plate? Either some unfortunate marketing or hilarious marketing. "EAT A CO*K"
kidsandliz
Seems to me you could just carefully take it off.
kriskret
Another idiotic idea. The best solution is to buy a gun and to kill some thieves.
Sam Sim
Yannick, you should hide it under the seat to have some real impact...