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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    5

    Ask for feedback about my bike lock invention

    Hey guys, my name's Liang I'm a college student and cyclist at USC. I've had three bikes stolen while at USC and it really pissed me off so now I'm doing something about it.

    I've created a lock that specifically secures the wheels of a bike. It works by replacing the hex nuts or quick release skewers holding a bike in place. It's designed so none of the common theft tools (i.e. wrenches, vice grips, bolt cutters, flamethrowers, that laser gun from Goldeneye, etc.) can get through it or get any leverage on it.

    The nut can only be tightened / loosened with the specific wrench that comes in each package. There are multiple variations of these nut:wrench combinations.

    I'd love to get some feedback from you guys on the product, whether or not you'd use it, and any advice you have (from business/marketing ideas to product improvements).

    Cheers,
    -Liang

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,828
    So if I'm understanding correctly, this product focuses on keeping the wheels from being stolen, not the whole bike.

    I guess my first question is -- what do I do if I lose the special wrench?

    (I generally only ride for recreation and don't leave my bike locked up anywhere, so I am not the audience for the product.)

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,389
    Lol - it looks like a good idea if you live in a high theft area (NYC, any college campus…). Around here you don't see so many bike parts go missing so much as entire bikes, unless the bike has been sitting out in public for a while - then parts seem to start going missing little by little.

    I'd personally never replace my quick releases. I'm taking wheels on and off way too much to want to have to crank them on and off with an actual bolt, but if the price is right I can see them being popular in places that you can't leave an unlocked wheel or a QR seat post for 5 min without it walking off. Bike thieves are quite sophisticated these days and carry enough tools that I can imagine that even a regular bolt is no contest if they want your wheels.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    5
    I will get a code for each wrench. If you lose it, you can probably get another copy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,828
    Quote Originally Posted by bickeylikey View Post
    I will get a code for each wrench. If you lose it, you can probably get another copy.
    But in the meantime, you can't fix your flat tire so you can't ride your bike.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Not for me - the places I ride and the people I ride with, a cheap cable around the frame is overkill.

    But I'd suggest packaging at least two wrenches with each skewer set, for just the reasons others have mentioned. Raise the price if you have to, but even hypothetically I wouldn't consider a product like that unless it *came* with a spare "key." Someone might lose their wrench years down the road, and no offense, but companies don't tend to stay in business as long as metal parts last ...

    ETA: I'd also suggest modifying the design of the wrench so that it could be put on a key ring without having to take it off to use it. Just a little loop on one end or the other would be enough.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 06-21-2014 at 11:20 AM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    5
    The current plan is to have bundle with skewers and etc. with a small raise in the price. And it is already modified so you can fit into the key ring! You can put it in either of the holes on the left side of the wrench in the picture thats right next to the bottle cap opener.

    We just created a facebook and twitter page so I would love to keep in touch with our developmental phase and launch phase!

    http://www.facebook.com/lockyournuts
    @lockyournuts

    We're still looking for feedback!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    5
    The wrench is small enough to fit into your keychain, so it's convenient for you to carry around. It also can pop bottles open!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Croatia
    Posts
    115
    There is a similar product called Pitlock that uses the same basic idea, but for all the bolts on the bike. The thing you might find interesting is that they have multiple designs for the wrench to make it more difficult for potential thieves to replicate. Other than this, I've seen regular bolt-on skewers that simply use a 5-sided key instead of a hex key. There is also a quick release skewer that is locked in place while the bike sits upright and you have to turn it upside down in order to be able to release the wheels. I don't know if you know of these things but it's good to know your market when you're releasing a competing product.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    No offense, but I wouldn't trust that product (or pitlock for that matter). I could consider it in addition, but then I run into the "will I have the wrench when I need to change a tire scenario). I generally commute with generator hubs, so the wheel is worth half as much as the whole bike (in one case, anyway). I U-lock the rear wheel and frame, and cable lock the front wheel and frame. I have generally heard that most thieves don't want to deal with both cables and U-locks as they require different tools. I also live in an area that isn't horrible for bike theft.

    Of course, YMMV. I do think Pitlock is your most direct competition, though. I would worry about stripping the bolts in your design - but I'm prone to that kind of klutzy.
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    5
    I think my product is doing better than they were.

    1. Mine has a lot of variations, and I think my design looks better.
    2. There is an anti-pinhead wrench accessary available on the market, which can remove any kinds of pinhead product. However, that does not work on my nut lock. So mine is safer.
    3. Mine will probably be much cheaper.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Croatia
    Posts
    115
    Or give an option to purchase an extra key right away? Since the price will probably make or break this product, it's good to keep the base price low. Pitlock is way overpriced in my opinion, so it's good to hear the news about the price.

    edit: +1 for the keychain loop idea!

 

 

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