A trio of Chilean engineers say they have found a way to thwart determined thieves with what they claim is the world's first 'unstealable bike.'
The design, called the Yerka, looks like an average bike, but the bottom tube of the frame can be split into two parts and wrapped around a pole. According its creators, the frame can be dismantled and reconnected to make a lock in just 10 seconds. Once the bike's seat tube forms a lock, the only way to steal the bike would be to cut through it, destroying it in the process.
The Yerka is the creation of Cristóbal Cabello, 22, Andrés Roi Eggers, 23 and Juan José Monsalve, 24. The design was first announced in November, but last week, the team said they had put in their first order to produce 300 Yerkas.
While an investment of $100,000 from a state enterprise fund helped the project along, they raised most of their funds on crowdfunding site Indiegogo. The start-up sold the first 100 bikes for $400 then increased the price to $500. In future it will rise to $600, according to a CNN report.
While they call it the world's first unstealable bike, critics have previously said the lock could be picked or the bike easily destroyed. Thieves might also be happy simply to get the handlebars or front wheel.
But the team say that if they weren't working on something as revolutionary as this, they would have their critics. They also add that the wheels have anti-theft nuts that can only be opened with a special key.
The designers are now working on an app that will let users open up their bike using the smartphone.