The Problem with Original Bike Locks
The problem with the traditional type of bike lock is that they can easily be cut open by thieves, making the bikes easy to steal. These types of bike locks can also be purchased at a low cost and they are easy to mount on your bike. The stolen bike can then, with a few simple steps, be made ready for a new owner.
We already know that six bicycles are stolen every minute in Europe, so why not make the locks much more secure?
Inspiration from the Car Industry
Looking at other mobility industries, such as the car industry, there has been a more powerful development. The steering wheel lock was invented in 1916. The lock worked by putting a bar through the steering wheel, stopping it from turning. This idea is pretty much identical to the original bike lock.
However, unlike the typical bike locks, the car lock has more features, making it more secure. The locks and immobilizers are integrated and build in such a way that they cannot be cut or removed. This has been mandatory in all new cars since the 1990s.
Why Are We Using Outdated Bike Locks Today?
A study in the Economic Journal from 2016, found that immobilizers in cars lowered and reduced the overall rate of car theft by 40% between 1995 and 2008. The benefits in terms of prevented thefts are at least three times higher than the costs of installing the device.
Therefore, the question would be: Who would ever buy a car today, where you had to use a slow, inconvenient, and unsecure steering wheel lock? Would the majority not demand an easy-to-use, integrated, and secure central locking system instead?
I think we know the answer, which leads to another question: Why are we still using clearly outdated bike locks today?