New Solutions to Residential Bicycle Theft Unveiled

New Solutions to Residential Bicycle Theft Unveiled

The Residential Bike Theft Challenge was aimed to address the prolific theft of bicycles (two thirds of all stolen bicycles) from in or around people's homes. The design challenge asked teams from Cyclehoop, Rodd, Submarine Design and The Front Yard Company to develop design solutions to the problem of bike theft from in or around people's homes. The four design teams had four weeks and 10,000 Pounds each to develop their exciting solutions, which were presented at the Design Council.

Focusing on inside the house, designers from Rodd Design used their methodology of to develop two prototypes: Lupin and Armlock, used for securing bikes in multi-occupancy houses whilst taking into consideration space constraints.

"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," explained Ben Davies, Managing Director.

"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."

Experienced designers of public bicycle parking and street furniture: Cyclehoop, wanted to develop a solution that worked in both the inside and immediately outside the home environment.

"Our proposal is a flat pack product that can be easily assembled and left in a hallway or in the garden," said Anthony Lau, Managing Director. "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."

They produced four final models, computer visualisations to show them within their context as well as details on packaging. In the four week period they produced a product which could be immediately tested within the market.

Submarine Design selected exploring solutions for the environment immediately outside the home and developed GEARBOX - a secure bike enclosure.

"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," explained Jon Barnes. "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."

The existing product that was developed further during this project was the PlantLock. Described 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" by owner Duncan Kramer, this aesthetic product used the four weeks to develop and refine both its market and product offering.

"The desk research documented both the social need and the commercial potential for new innovations, and as we are always looking for new opportunities to bring our home grown IPR to Market the 'grant' was a fantastic catalyst to kick-start the development," commented Ben Davies, MD from Rodd Design.

Design Council