Reinventing the Bike Lock: Meet the TiGr!

Bike locks come in only a handful of basic designs. Now an inventor in Tewksbury, N.J., has introduced a radical titanium rethink of the entire genre: the TiGr lock.

The TiGr lock is an ultralight titanium band long enough to secure your bike frame and both tires to a post or other object up to roughly 5 inches in diameter. After wrapping the band around your bike, you secure the two ends with a cylinder lock that "uses a highly pick-resistant and environmentally robust rotary disc key mechanism." When not in use, the TiGr lock wraps around the top tube of the bike frame and is secured with some simple straps (see photo).

Prototypes of the TiGr lock have been developed in two widths: 0.75" or 1.25". The thinner version weighs less than a pound (14.5 ounces, including cylinder lock). The thicker comes in at 22.8 ounces. Compare this to most U-locks, which typically weigh several pounds. No word yet on possible prices for the TiGr lock.

The developer of TiGr, John Loughlin, also touts the theft-resistance of his invention. The 1.25-inch version can't be snipped even with a pair of 48-inch bolt cutters and it takes twice as long to saw through it compared to a classic D-lock made of stainless steel. Here's a "destructive testing" video demonstrating it all (with lots of sawing and failed bolt cutter action).

At the moment, the TiGr is just a working prototype. But you can help make it a reality. Loughlin is attempting to commercially launch his new product with the help of Kick Starter, an innovative web site that helps inventors fund their projects through community-based financial support. You can help make projects like TiGr a reality by pledging as little as $1 to the effort. (Very neat concept—I had never heard of Kick Starter until researching this post.) Here's the TiGr Kick Starter page.

“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.

Labels: ,