It all started with an education at Aalborg University with a user-driven invention that had the aim of solving a central problem. Emil Norup, CEO of PentaLock, got his bike stolen two weeks before he and his teammates had to choose the subject for their Master’s Thesis.
The stolen bike made them think that there was a problem that needed to be solved – and the solution might be an unbreakable bike lock. Despite some resistance, the young students succeed in convincing the University that this atypical idea could make a great Master’s Thesis.
During the process, they looked into various actors, including insurance companies, the police, and former professional bicycle thief in order to get closer to the fundamental problem of bike theft. Based on their knowledge, the concept was designed and tested to find factors that make the bike thief not want to steal.
The Perfect Bike Lock
Through many tests, they gained great insight into what was the best way to stop the bike thief altogether, and they developed a secure locking solution for bikes. They found that the best way to stop the bike thief is not to stop him from taking the bike, because he can easily do so with, for example, an angle grinder.
Instead, stopping the bike thief from using or selling the bike afterward, was the ideal way to prevent bike theft. Therefore, they found it necessary to design their bike lock as a vital part of the bike.
Therefore, the PentaLock bike lock ended up being built into the crank of the bicycle, because without the pedals a bike is no longer a bike. This is also inspired by the car industry, which has experienced a lot of innovation – as opposed to the bicycle industry.
Security For Bikes
When the Master’s Thesis was finished, there was a prototype of the bike lock ready in plastic, which worked reasonably optimal. There was quite a lot of interest in the product, both from the University and from the media world, therefore, there was a lot of potential in the project. However, it required that they had to spend all their evenings on the PentaLock project, all the while working another full-time job.
To support the project financially, soft funding, including the Innovation Fund, was used as they support companies that solve a specific problem. In addition, throughout the process, it has been important to get sparring from both bike dealers and bike manufacturers to ensure there are no issues and can succeed.
Selling and Production
Production takes place in China, but before that the product has been tested and prototypes have been made in Randers, which is close to Aalborg. In parallel with the production start-up in China, the sales process has also been started and the sales team worked on investigating bicycle manufacturers.
Initially, the lock was to be launched on Eurobike 2020, but due to COVID-19, it was moved to Eurobike 2021, where we experienced overwhelming success. By 2021, the first locks have been sold and we have already reached our sales target. Therefore, it goes really well and before long, PentaLock will be visible in stores. Keep an eye on our website and social media!