Bicycles

Quick Caps made to thwart bicycle wheel thieves

Quick Caps made to thwart bicy...
Quick Caps make it impossible to pull open a bike's quick-release wheel levers – without the key
Quick Caps make it impossible to pull open a bike's quick-release wheel levers – without the key
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Quick Caps make it impossible to pull open a bike's quick-release wheel levers – without the key
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Quick Caps make it impossible to pull open a bike's quick-release wheel levers – without the key
Quick caps also work on mountain bikes
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Quick caps also work on mountain bikes
Each Quick Cap consists of a weatherproof anodized marine-grade aluminum locking body, and a hardened steel shackle
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Each Quick Cap consists of a weatherproof anodized marine-grade aluminum locking body, and a hardened steel shackle
A pledge of £10 (about US$16) will get you one, with £19 ($31) required for a pair – assuming the funding goal is met
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A pledge of £10 (about US$16) will get you one, with £19 ($31) required for a pair – assuming the funding goal is met

While quick-release hubs certainly make it easier for cyclists to remove and reinstall their wheels when doing things like fixing flats, they also make it very easy to steal those same wheels. As a result, riders typically have to remove the front wheel when locking up their bike, or run a secondary cable lock from it to the main U-lock. Quick Caps, however, are designed to make doing so unnecessary – they're little padlocks for the quick-release levers.

Created by British engineer Curtis Dorrington, each Quick Cap consists of a weatherproof anodized marine-grade aluminum locking body, and a hardened steel shackle. To use them, you just slip the body over the bike's quick-release lever, put the shackle around the cylindrical base of that release, then slide the shackle into the body and lock them together.

Once in place, the locked Quick Cap will make it impossible to pull open the lever ... until it's unlocked with the user's key. Should thieves instead try simply unscrewing the lever from the hub axle, a protruding section on the underside of the locking body will catch against the fork/drop-out, keeping the lever from rotating.

Each Quick Cap consists of a weatherproof anodized marine-grade aluminum locking body, and a hardened steel shackle
Each Quick Cap consists of a weatherproof anodized marine-grade aluminum locking body, and a hardened steel shackle

According to Dorrington, each Quick Cap weighs 51 grams, and it takes approximately 900 Nm (664 ft lb) of force to break them. He's currently raising production funds, on Kickstarter. A pledge of £10 (about US$16) will get you one, with £19 ($31) required for a pair – assuming the funding goal is met. You can see a product demo in the pitch video below.

Other recent approaches to making quick-release wheels theft-proof include the Sphyke C3N system, which replaces the levers with mini combination locks; infiniti3D, which replaces them with a key lock; and Pinhead, which only unlocks with the use of a product-specific tool.

Sources: Quick Caps, Kickstarter

6 comments
Freyr Gunnar
> Other recent approaches to making quick-release wheels theft-proof include the Sphyke C3N system, which replaces the levers with mini combination locks; infiniti3D, which replaces them with a key lock; and Pinhead, which only unlocks with the use of a product-specific tool. … and Zéfal which provides a simpler solution: To unlock the lever, just put the bike at a 90+° angle. www.zefal.com/en/locks/81-lock-n-roll.html
toolman65
1) never shows the unit being unlocked.....because fitting a key between the skewer and the frame will be a hassle. units will be left on...keys lost,etc 2) there is no dust cover for keyhole. expect the lock to become fused together after enough water and grit has entered 3) will only work on a certain style of skewers 4) aluminum shell will be no match for bolt cutters or other tools. crack or cut away the shell that contains the skewer, flip the skewer and presto.
snowdenikoff
I drilled a tiny hole near the top of quick release levers then ran black zip ties run through hole and frame. I'm betting thieves are looking at a quick way (under 10 seconds) and the zip ties throw them off just enough to give up.
CaliSun
This is a stupid idea, slightly worse than Zefal, or as we know it here in the states MinPin. Both Zefal and this can easily be defeated with a pair of pliers. All you do is unscrew the fastener with them and every bike thief knows this. This is slightly worse than Zefal because at least with Zefal you don't have added weight or a key. Locks like this are a sham and bike thieves know it. I live in San Francisco and my bike didn't last a week with the Zefal before the wheels were stolen and the bike shop told me the truth about that product. I almost ordered Pitlock but then my friend told me about how you can open it with a gator grip or even with a bunch of allan keys shoved in it. These locks are all just plain stupid. The only one I've used that actually delivers is Pinhead. Gator doesn't work, it has smooth ends on the other side so there are no fasteners, and I can lock everything up with one key (wheels, seatpost, etc.). They even have a good frame lock I got under the same key that's kept my bike safe here, which, if you've ever been to San Francisco you should know is a feat.
Noel K Frothingham
toolman, the locks use alone with prevent the internal workings from fusing together. While I agree that a dust or moisture cover for the key hole would be a logical addition, internal corrosion/fusion are the result of inactivity, not merely the presence of moisture.
Moo Dang
I've been looking at all the comment sections regarding this product looking for critiques. Still haven't seen any good cons. It's not supposed to be the ultimate theft stopper. It's supposed to make a QR quipped wheel, which by it's nature is easy to take off, a less inviting target with a minimum of hassle. Seems about as much protection as a cable lock but more convenient . I'm not going to carry around a u-lock just for my front wheel. Nor am I going through the hassle of taking off my front wheel and re-installing it every time I lock up my bike. He does address undoing the nut on the other side on the kickstarter page.