The Design Council has unveiled details of the four winning designs in the Residential Bike Theft Challenge, announced earlier this year, as part of the Home Office’s Design Out Crime initiative.
The four designers, each given £10,000 to develop their solutions to the issue of theft of bikes from in and around people’s homes, were Cyclehoop, Rodd, Submarine Design and The Front Yard Company.
Each brought its own innovative approach to the problem, the scale of which was highlighted by a survey conducted as part of the initiative which found that two in three bikes stolen in Britain were taken from the victim’s home, or somewhere nearby.
Rodd Design came up with two prototypes, called Lupin and Armlock, that aim to keep bicycles secure in multi-occupancy households while also taking limitations of space into account.
According to managing director Ben Davies, “Lupin is a portable, lightweight, fixing loop that is slid through the gap above the bottom hinge of a door to which a conventional bike lock can be daisy chained to provide a fixed point in any residential environment.
“Armlock is at the other end if the security spectrum, it is a super convenient, fixed, wall mounted 'lazy lock'. The cyclist simply wheels their bike up, offers up the frame, an auto trigger mechanism secures the bike. When not in use Armlock can be folded back to the wall.”
Cyclehoop, meanwhile, devised a product that could be used both inside and out of the home, as managing director Anthony Lau explains: “Our proposal is a flat pack product that can be easily assembled and left in a hallway or in the garden. The design can either be free-standing or screwed into the skirting board when indoors.
“When used outdoors, the unit can be bolted to the floor or wall, or left free standing if in a relatively secure neighbourhood as it stops the bicycle being easily carried. It is designed to be part of the hallway furniture, like coat or umbrella stand.”
The company came up with four models complete with computer visualisations to show them in situ, with the products ready for market testing.
Submarine Design focused on the issue of theft immediately outside the home, devising a secure bike storage container called Gearbox.
Co-founder Jon Barnes says: “Our product integrates tried and tested ‘secure’ components within the overall design – including a Sheffield rail inside to lock bikes onto, and easy independent access on opposite sides of the enclosure, allowing the possibility for shared, but independent, secure usage, for two separate bicycles.
“Although four weeks is a short period in which to develop such a product design concept, we have addressed the core issues of the strength, rigidity and construction details and the styling of the enclosure,” he adds.
The fourth design was the development of an existing product, the Front Yard Company's PlantLock – if you’ve visited the cycling café Look Mum No Hands in London, you’ll have seen one outside.
Company owner Duncan Kramer describes PlantLock as “Simple to install, secure green bike parking. A planter that you can lock two bicycles to. No drilling or concreting-in, just fill with compost, have fun planting it, and lock your bikes safely outside your home straight away.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.