Weird Crap On Kickstarter can be a pretty depressing beat, but sometimes the odd and terrible offerings can give us opportunities to reflect, to learn, and to better ourselves. Today I present the case of Seatylock: yet another bike lock/bike seat hybrid. This thing addresses a few common complaints about riding in urban areas, namely that it's important to use a strong lock yet irritating to have to bring a strong lock around with you. Additionally, seats are easy to steal with nothing but a crescent or allen wrench. And so, in the age-old tradition of trying to solve too many problems with too little innovation, we get Seatylock. It's a chunky, quick-releasing seat where the attachment rails fold out as a 3-foot folding bar lock.
Yes, it's a neat package. But, obviously, your humble hate-filled author takes issue with several of these "features":
- Two-sizes-fits all approach to ergonomics? Check.
- Dubious attachment mechanism? Check.
- Proprietary parts? Check.
- Questionably tested claims about security? Check.
- Seat that bolts on and off with an allen wrench anyway? Check!
- And colors? Ch-ch-check.
If she's hiding a hex wrench your seat still ain't safe
This thing is a Kickstarter staff pick. However... The attachment mechanism is itself is a jointed piece clamped onto a normal seat post, featuring one large release lever. Considering that people regularly can't figure out how to correctly install their bike lights, I don't believe adding more potential fail points (mechanical or user-error) is a wise move. The idea isn't shocking or terrible by itself - a lot of people have wished for and worked on similar products - but a solution shouldn't produce a lower quality part or system. If you're going to hybridize existing products, don't ignore vital functions of either. Demand doesn't prove the design. Speaking of design, these sleek seat-locks would look most at home on a department store kid's bike... which is appropriate since that's the only type of bike I'd feel comfortable locking with one.
This not-yet-in-production line is rounded out by the Foldylock, the Seatylock's slightly saner brother: a bulky, cartoonish and unconvincing Abus-rip off.