Fortified's new bike is intended to be Invincible to thieves
You've no doubt seen lots of them around town – rusting, abandoned bikes with all the components stripped away. Their owners haven't even bothered reclaiming their frames, as they were just cheap old "city beater" bikes in the first place. Well, Boston-based Fortified Bicycle is out to change that scenario. The company's new Invincible bike is well-enough made to not be considered disposable, yet is also highly theft-resistant – enough so that Fortified will replace it if it's nicked.
The bike itself is designed to be weather- and city-tough, with a 6061 aluminum frame, rust-resistant zinc-coated chain and house-brand puncture-resistant 700x32C tires.
It also comes with a house-brand U-lock, and with proprietary locking bolts attaching all the components to the frame. As is the case with the company's Defender and Aviator/Afterburner lights, this means that they can only be removed by someone who has a wrench that's specific to Fortified products – so yes, it is conceivable that one Invincible bike owner could use their wrench to swipe parts off of another owner's bike, but probably not very likely.
Should the bike be stolen and the theft is reported to the company, staff members will start by checking in with the owner's local police force, and monitoring websites such as Craigslist and eBay for the bike to make an appearance within the next 24 hours. If they find it, police will be notified and the bike will hopefully be returned to its rightful owner.
If not, Fortified will ship out a "free" replacement Invincible bike to the client. It is worth noting that customers will have to pay for shipping, plus the FortifiedProtect theft coverage will cost US$100 a year.
Plans call for the Invincible to be available in two models – a 23-lb (10.4-kg) singlespeed and a 26-lb (11.8-kg) 8-speed with Shimano Altus derailleurs. The first model will also feature Promax rim brakes, while the latter will utilize beefier Tektro mechanical disc brakes.
Should you be interested, the Invincible bike is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of $399 will get you a singlespeed or $699 will get you an 8-speed, when and if they reach production. The planned retail prices are $449 and $849 respectively, not including FortifiedProtect.
And if you're happy with your existing bike but like the thought of making its components theft-proof, you could look into something like the infiniti3D system. It replaces a bike's existing locking nuts with ones that can only be removed by a tool which is specific to that bike.