Something you see a lot of in the city are parts of a bicycle, shackled forever to handrails and signposts. (Broken Bike Blog is dedicated to photos of this phenomenon in NYC alone.) After thieves have taken what they can, the dispirited original owners often abandon what's left. Still, companies continue to make conventional bike locks, even though they are clearly no solution to bicycle part theft.
So we like that Glaswegian designer Grant Howarth is thinking about the whole problem with his bicycle security system, designed for entry in the RSA Design Directions competition.
Bike security that protects all quick release components. Modularity was the cornerstone of this project. Once the arms lock into place the bike cannot be moved in any direction protecting the seat, wheels and other quick release components as well as protecting the entire bike from theft.
The bike is rolled up the curved surface untill its back wheel falls into a groove which prevents the bike rolling back. The "gutter", which serves to protect the wheels, also prevents the bike from moving in any direction. Once in place the arm can be moved downwards.
The whole locking process takes less than a minute. Furthermore the product promotes safety in numbers, as the more bikes stored the greater the protection of the "pack".
The product also [recoups] costs within 3 years through the ability to use it for advertising purposes (assuming advertising space costs in Glasgow, Scotland).
While the design seems a bit bulky to us--we can't see this being incorporated in space-tight Manhattan, for example--at least Howarth is trying to design something that will actually solve the problem, and hopefully his important first step will be followed by future versions or built upon by others.