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An inch-thick steel bar secures your bike and system will send you a smartphone alert if it comes under attack

British company Admium has designed a new bike rack system called BikeVault that uses smart technology to protect your bike when left in a public place.

The idea is that you download a free BikeVault app that’ll allow you to find your closest parking space. Then you slot your bike in place, scan your BikeVault membership card, and use the manual controls to guide a locking bar through your bike’s rear triangle.

Your bike is then secured until you return and rescan the same membership card.

The Admium team says that the inch-thick steel bar that holds your bike in place is over 15 times harder than the strongest lock on the market.

"The locking bar undergoes a specialist heat treatment, where the steel is heated in a carbon rich atmosphere," says Admium's Michael Evans. "This fills holes in the molecular structure of the steel, bringing it close to the harness of diamond. It is then surface-treated a second time against rust, corrosion and metal on metal contact with the bicycle."

 

If the locking bar hits anything while it is sliding into place, smart sensors will cut the power until the path is clear, so it won’t destroy your frame or any spokes.

"To secure the front wheel, cyclists can either bring their existing bike cable lock or remove their front wheel and move it alongside the rear wheel, allowing the steel bar to pass through and secure both wheels," says Michael Evans.

"Our production model will incorporate a retractable cable for the front wheel should cyclists wish to use it, and can come equipped with a bank of bike tools and compressed air for pumping up tyres."

 

BikeVaults are intended to be sited in prominent places to deter theft, but what if someone does decide to attack the hardware?

“BikeVault is fitted with an array of sensors to protect your bike,” says Admium. “When BikeVault’s steel bar recognises the vibration of a cutting tool, its built-in AlarmCore will: trigger an alarm, send your smartphone a notification, and even initiate a full HD video recording of the attacker.”

Admium is scheduled to complete a two month pilot test period from January 2016. Once completed and any necessary adjustments made, it will be available for installations from April 2016.

"There has been a significant number of installation enquiries at everything from UK city councils and university campuses to Silicon Valley technology-giant office complexes and residential buildings," says Michael Evans.

Admium is based in Glasgow. The three designers behind the company - Mason Holden, Daniel Harkin and Michael Evans - met while studying Product Design Engineering at the Glasgow School of Art, where the BikeVault was conceived.

What do you think of the design? Let us know down below.

www.bikevault.co.uk

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

5 comments

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cat1commuter [1422 posts] 1 year ago
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Looks like the bike has a chainring made from as disc rotor!

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KiwiMike [1286 posts] 1 year ago
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OK, this is cool, but the model needs to be one of public free use. No way would I agree to giving up public space for a private business to make money, no matter how virtuous.

OR

Just go the Dutch model. Ride a bike that's not attractive to thieves. Lock it to anything immovable with a huge chain worth more than the bike. Frequently forget it exists. Occasionally have it dredged from a canal. Rinse & repeat.

NOTE: it's 1736 and There Has Been Red Wine. Opinions own. No discourse entered into etc etc

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matthewn5 [1004 posts] 1 year ago
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Good idea. Should have a positive lock into the adjoining pillar, not just a socket. Needs a solution for a. seat/post and b. bars. All too easily stolen off a locked bike.

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ch [188 posts] 1 year ago
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Saw a thief kneeling down to undo the front wingnut and managed to scare him off. Odd thing was the front wheel was Kryptonite locked to the frame and a rack so it wouldn't have done him any good just to undue the wheel. Fortunately double checked the wingnut before starting off - it was loose.

Something to think about if you leave your bike out "securely" locked - never know what might be fiddled with.

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DaveE128 [857 posts] 1 year ago
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ch wrote:

Saw a thief kneeling down to undo the front wingnut and managed to scare him off. Odd thing was the front wheel was Kryptonite locked to the frame and a rack so it wouldn't have done him any good just to undue the wheel. Fortunately double checked the wingnut before starting off - it was loose.

Something to think about if you leave your bike out "securely" locked - never know what might be fiddled with.

Good advice. Do a quick check over. Some numpties tried to steal the suspension fork off my wife's mtb while locked at a station right in front of cctv (inexplicably they couldn't find any usable footage) even though it was locked through the crown. Just think what would have happened if they'd loosened off the stem and then realised and given up? They left the headset in pieces and took the stem cap and a spacer making the bike impossible to reassemble in situ. Scumbags.