Some good news for the 81,384 people in the UK who had their bike stolen in the year to May 2018: Yerka have an anti bike theft bike and it’s here in Europe.
Anybody who has had their bike stolen – and that’s an estimated 15 million people worldwide every year! – knows the awful feeling that creates. It was no different for engineering student Andrés Roi who had a bike stolen twice. With the help of two of his former classmates, he began designing a solution to counter the theft of bikes.
The result was that in 2012 Cristóbal Cabello, Andrés Roi and Juan José Monsalve founded YERKA Bikes as part of a project at the Adolfo Ibáñez University in Chile. After a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2015, their innovation went viral on the internet. Now they have sold over 1,000 anti bike theft bikes around the world so far and without any verified cases of theft. Their design has now gained the recognition and protection of an international patent.
Since May 2018, the YERKA Bikes can be ordered through the company’s own online store or purchased in stores in Madrid and Hamburg. The new optimized generation brings anti-theft nuts and is available in four sizes, three colours and two different speeds.
In just a few seconds, the frame and seat post can be turned into a lock, which can only be opened with a custom key. This anti bike theft bike is optimally protected against theft thanks to the patented technology, since it cannot be used should the lock be destroyed in an attempted theft.
The other positive thing is that the bike weighs in at 11.8kg which is probably less than a comparable “normal” bike plus the weight of a D-lock. The first model comes either as a single speed (€549) or with a Shimano Nexus 3-speed hub gear (€649) so it’s presumably aimed at urban use and shortish distances. There are several sizes (50, 54, 58 and 61cm) and 3 colour choices.
You’ll see from the YouTube video that this it is easy to lock your bike to the usual suitable bit of urban street furniture.