Not too heavy to carry, not too easy to crack, not too rigid to get round some objects, but flexible enough to fold down for simple carrying: the real “Goldylocks” position for a bike lock: a foldable bike lock.
The need for locks has existed for centuries
“Since we have locks to safeguard necessaries” ~ Shakespeare (King Henry V, I, ii)
Now Hank Cinq didn’t have a bike – as far as Shakespeare let on – but as the clocks go back one hour, crime statistics show that many types of theft crimes rise.
And who isn’t afraid to lose their bike. It isn’t just that you may have lost your transport home, but you feel violated when such a cherished possession is taken. And that is apart from the financial impact. The latest UK crime figures show that 81,892 people reported their bike stolen in the 12 months ending August 2016, and who knows how many thefts didn’t get reported to the police? To work out what that means where you live, the reported thefts work out around 1.4 bikes stolen per 1000 population each year.
So the timing of Seatylock is pretty spot on. You’ll probably remember that they introduced an innovative design in bike locks around 5 years ago, where the bike’s saddle forms part of the lock. They have used their design skills to go one better.
What is the main problem of the more secure bike locks? Weight! They really are heavy and cumbersome. I tried carrying one in a plastic clamp; if my riding was just the occasional few minutes, that would have been fine for quite some time, but I did several thousand kilometres that year and the plastic fitting just wasn’t up to the weight (and the bumps and vibration of riding some of the local roads and lanes) and snapped. The free warranty replacement didn’t even last as long as the first one. So, do you compromise? I have a “café lock” that is light and which I use when I pull up for a quick refuel at a shop or café, but I’m pretty sure it could be cut by pliers in seconds, let alone bolt cutters. So, do you wear a rucksack or clip on a pannier just to carry your bike lock?
Or go the new “Foldylock” route. The Foldylock Compact bike lock is a fascinating design and gives you a wonderful balance between weight and anti-theft protection as a foldable bike lock.
Being typically British, I was a bit sceptical when Shahaf Levi, the company’s chief designer, said “we believed we can do it better”; as a nationality, I think we Brits are more given to understatement and tend to distrust the brash. He continued “The Foldylock Compact foldable bike lock has a smoother function, better design, better protection, better user experience, better size, better look and feel – just BETTER”. And – almost grudgingly – I have to say that he is right.
Take a look at the product image and you will see that this foldable lock is made of six hardened steel links with a reinforced military-grade UV treated polymer moulding over the top. It makes the lock both “friendly” to your bike’s paint job and protects it against extreme conditions meaning it will maintain its fresh look for a long time and won’t rust. It is constructed from hardened anti-drilling components, so it is built to resist a load of violent abuse.
The Compact foldable bike lock unfolds to 80 cm and weighs about 1 Kg (more than my café lock but very competitive with my Gold Secure D lock). It is easily carried in a purpose designed case mounted onto the bike’s frame and long enough to lock your bike frame and one of the wheels to an external object. The case can be mounted to your bike’s frame using the bottle holder fixing screws or with two specially designed straps. The case has a rattle free mechanism to prevent your lock from shaking while riding, so you will enjoy a silent ride. It is, by far, the strongest folding bike lock you can find if you consider its weight, looks, and function. It is also sufficiently compact to carry in a jersey pocket or in a tool bag or wrap, at under 20cm long and only 6cm across. [Additional note since buying one: it’s a bit heavy in a jersey pocket!]
The Logic Behind the Foldable Bike Lock
Co founder Michael Shenkerman explained a key benefit: “The Chain lock is very flexible and can lock the bike to a variety of objects, but its protection level is mostly low and it is bulky for riding. The U lock, on the other hand, is mostly ranked high on the protection scale, but the same build concept that makes it so secure, also makes it very inconvenient to use – Its iconic “D” or “U” shape is solid, so it limits the variety of objects it can lock the bike to, and it is always in full size – even while riding. Foldable bike locks, like a U lock, rank high on the protection scale, thanks to its tough build – but it also has the flexibility of a Chain lock, due to its unique configuration. Unlike both locks, it can also be folded into a small case while riding.”
The company already has their “Foldylock Classic” on the market at $95. The new compact foldable bike lock is forecast to retail at $85 but is available for early-bird backers on Kickstarter at $55.
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