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Are these Balans bikes really “the most secure bicycles in the world”?

Swedish brand says it has “unveiled the future of bicycle anti-theft technology” and could radically change the entire bike industry

Swedish bike brand Balans claims that it has “unveiled the future of bicycle anti-theft technology”, saying that its security system could “radically change the entire bike industry”, and it is on course to smash its Kickstarter funding target.

Okay, so how does Balans justify its claim that its bikes are the most secure in the world?

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“We have designed the OneSafe system to provide unbeatable theft-proof security,” says Balans. “Its efficient nut (above) locks the wheels quickly and securely, enabling riders to secure their bikes in a flash. Plus, with the U-lock option, cyclists can lock the front wheel straight into bike stands without fear of the wheel being loosened by someone.”

Balans’ point is that if you lock most bikes to a rack via the front wheel, you run the risk of coming back to find the wheel where you left it but the rest of the bike missing.

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The saddle, rack, and seat post are fitted with anti-theft solid screws that, Balans says, can’t be removed without the “exclusive tool provided by the company to its riders”.

Every Balans bike is also fitted with “the most robust frame lock design”. The locking mechanism is welded “to ensure an enduring connection that is close to unbreakable”.

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Balans says that the U-lock that comes with each bike is top-quality, although it doesn’t offer any more detail than that. When not in use, the U-lock sits on an oak mount – yes, oak – on the rear rack with an elastic/leather strap to hold it in place.

Balans is offering two bikes on Kickstarter: an 8-speed conventional (non-electric, acoustic, or whatever you want to call it) bike, and an e-bike.

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The e-bike features a Zehus all-in-one hub, meaning that all of the electronic components – battery, motor, sensors, and Bluetooth for wireless connection to your smartphone – are housed within the rear hub. The Vello Bike+ that was among the best electric bikes in our Recommends Bikes of the Year 2022/23 uses a similar Zehus system, for example. 

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The conventional bike uses an 8-speed Shimano Nexus hub, which is a tried and trusted design. You’ll find it on the Canyon Commuter 5, among many other models, which finished highly among the best commuting bikes, folding bikes and urban bikes that we reviewed last year, for instance. It offers light shifting and the internals are sealed away from the elements.

Both models come with all of the integrated safety systems mentioned above.

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In each case, the frame is aluminium and you get roller brakes. The bike is also fitted with lights that are powered by the dynamo front hub, leather saddle and grips, and a brass/stainless steel bell.

You need to pledge at least SEK 17,296 (Swedish Krona, about £1,370) to be inline for the Balans 8-speed (non-electric) bike and SEK 28,426 (about £2,250) for the Balans electric bike. These figures include shipping to Europe, the US, and Canada.

As we always point out, pledging money on a crowdfunding site isn’t the same as buying from a retailer, so check out the rules and regs before committing. The ETA is September.

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At the time of writing, Balans is about £200 short of its funding goal with 22 days to go.

Check out the Balans Kickstarter page here. 

Take a look at loads more Bikes at Bedtime.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. 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 winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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Mybike | 1 year ago

The best theft prevention is to make your bike harder to steal then the one next to it. Learn how to lock your bike properly..

Brauchsel | 1 year ago

"Balans’ point is that if you lock most bikes to a rack via the front wheel, you run the risk of coming back to find the wheel where you left it but the rest of the bike missing."

This is true: it happened to me once, and I had to buy a new bike as a result. I'm not going to buy another new bike to prevent it happening again though, as I've already addressed the issue by learning not to lock my bike via the front wheel. 

Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago

So basically its a bike with some fancy locking wheel nuts, a bog standard dutch rear wheel lock and free d lock?

Do modern roller brakes work?

What happens when you get a puncture?

Steve K replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
1 like

Secret_squirrel wrote:

So basically its a bike with some fancy locking wheel nuts, a bog standard dutch rear wheel lock and free d lock?

And a jazzy holder for the D lock.  Don't forget that.  Though I'm not clear how you get a pannier bag on that side of the rack as a result.

chrisonabike replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago

Yeah - I thought "just buy hexlox" or similar. Welding the ring lock is sensible but a detail. I think they're useful but obviously not on their own in UK!

Obvs. this is a city / utility bike so the main goals are "almost zero maintenance" and "robustness". There's now a fair bit of choice in this bracket between "Omafiets" (a boat anchor but you can leave it out in the rain all its life) and "low maintenance commuter" (sometimes reviewed on

Roller brakes - had a small bit of experience. They obviously "work" as they're used in millions in NL. Not as confidence-inspiring as a rim brake in dry, better in serious wet than most rim brakes I've had. (I've not tried decent pads like kool stop though).

Front wheel is only as difficult to remove / refit as dealing with a dynamo hub. If you've got hub gears you will already know what you're in for with the rear and either patch tube in place or get the spanners out!

Lower - but not quite zero - maintenance.

I ran Sturmey-Archer's combined drum brake and dyno-hub on a utility bike and was very happy with it.

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