The number of people choosing to ride a bicycle, particularly for short journeys, is on the increase. The reasons are clear: environmental concerns, health benefits, the rising cost of fuel; but owning and using a pushbike has its negatives as well as positives. The biggest problem – aside from having to transport bulky shopping bags – is the risk of theft ... and sometimes the numerous traditional styles of locks aren't suitable. Enter Saddle Lock, which seeks to minimize the fuss of locking and unlocking your bicycle.
Saddle Lock is a concept from Korean design students Lee Sang Hwa, Kim Jin Ho and Yeo Min Gu. They decided to design a more efficient way of locking bicycles up for short periods of time, such as in front of a convenience store or coffee shop. The thinking is that in city environments, it's unlikely you'll want to lock your bike up for an extended period, meaning a fast and easy way of securing the bike for just a few minutes at a time is needed.
The designers realized that continuously fastening and unfastening a traditional combination lock, or needing to find a permanent fixture (such as a lamppost or metal fence) to lock the bike to, was a laborious process – hence the need to integrate a locking system into the bike itself, so that it would both always be present and would require a minimum of fuss to operate. Saddle Lock does this in the way its name suggests.
Saddle Lock features a saddle with a circular cutout at the back. This means it can sit over the rear wheel of the bicycle, where a locking bar can secure the two together. The saddle pivots from the vertical position used for riding to the horizontal position used for locking.
As with the Pedal Lock we previously featured, this method wouldn't prevent thieves from carrying the bike away, but it would prevent anyone from riding off on it thanks to the duality of removing the seat from the equation and incapacitating the rear wheel.
Unfortunately Saddle Lock couldn't be sold as a separate product, and would therefore have to be included as part of the original design of the bicycle. It's presently only a concept design, but Lee Sang Hwa is keen to explore the possibility of turning it from concept into reality. Doing so would mean additional work ironing out any issues with the current design.
In its present form, Saddle Lock is a Red Dot Design award winner.