Bicycles

Bike bits protected by magnets in new security system

Hexlox (red inserts) applied to the bolts on a handlebar stem
Hexlox (red inserts) applied to the bolts on a handlebar stem
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Each Hexlox system has its own unique key
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Each Hexlox system has its own unique key
A Hexlox lock, with a euro coin for scale
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A Hexlox lock, with a euro coin for scale
Hexlox (red inserts) applied to the bolts on a handlebar stem
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Hexlox (red inserts) applied to the bolts on a handlebar stem

If you commute on a nice bike, you not only have to worry about it being stolen, but you also have to guard against its components being pilfered while it's parked. In the past, we've seen systems that replace a bike's standard mounting bolts with ones that can only be removed using a special tool. Do you really want to replace all those bolts, though? That's where Hexlox comes in. It can simply be added to existing hex bolts, making them virtually unremovable by passing thieves.

The "lock" itself is a small metal insert that is placed inside the head of a regular hex bolt, blocking access by a hex wrench. Although it's held in there using a built-in magnet, magnetic shielding on its outside surface keeps it from being removed using another magnet.

In fact, apparently the only way of getting it out is to insert and twist an accompanying key. Each Hexlox set has its own unique key, so other users can't steal your parts. Should you lose that key, replacements can be ordered using an accompanying three-digit code.

Each Hexlox system has its own unique key
Each Hexlox system has its own unique key

The locks are being made in a variety of sizes, to fit different sizes of bolts. Magnetic adapters will be available for non-magnetic bolts, such as those made from titanium.

The system was designed by the folks at Sphyke, who previously brought us the C3N combination security skewers. They're now raising production funds for Hexlox on Kickstarter, where a pledge of €21 (about US$24) will get you a set with two locks for either your saddle or wheels. Other packages are available for higher amounts. If all goes according to plans, shipping should begin in June.

It's demonstrated in the following video.

Sources: Hexlox, Kickstarter

Hexlox Bike Protection Explained

5 comments
Stradric
Interesting and clever solution. Are all bolts on a bike ferromagnetic? Or do some builds use aluminum alloys? I honestly don't know.
Bill Bennett
Aluminum bolts on a bike would make me nervous on a ride, how about stainless steel bolts, this product would not work with those.
toolman65
won't work with bolts that are aluminum , stainless steel or titanium. can be removed by anything thin enough to fit into that hole, like a dental pick or a wooden matchstick jammed in.
Timelord
@Stradric, most Allen bolts are steel. Aluminum is too soft and the threads and even heads would likely strip under the torque needed to tighten properly. Some riders like to use titanium bolts, but those are rather expensive. There is a cheaper method to secure Allen bolts, but not as easy. Epoxy a loose ball bearing inside the head so the wrench can't fit in. You'd have to use threadlocker to make sure the bolt won't loosen since you can't tighten it if it does. Removing the bolt would require digging out the ball bearing or melting the epoxy with a torch, which would take time, the enemy of bike thieves.
eug
I am an engineer @ Hexlox, thanks for the questions, to clarify; Tollman - 'anything thin jammed in' will definitely not get the Hexlox out... the conical pin in the middle does not allow this - please see the video we have from the independent testing by Frank at the Berlin lock picking society. Very high end bikes sometime do have some titanium, aluminium or stainless steel bolts - which are non-magnetic. In these cases you do need to swap the bolts, or we can provide a tiny magnetic insert that is press fit into the head of these bolts to make them compatible. Ian
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