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Bike thieves don’t stand a chance against this self-locking frame

If you’ve ever had your bike stolen, you know firsthand just how crafty bike thieves can be. No matter how tough your lock is, they’ll find a way to break it and steal your wheels.

But not to worry — there’s a startup from Chile that has devised a brilliant solution to this problem. Rather than outfitting the bike with a lock that can be compromised without consequence, Yerka has designed a bike that uses its own frame as a lock — the idea being that, if the thief were to cut the lock, they’d damage a crucial part of the bike and make it impossible to ride away.

How is such a thing possible? Check out the gif below.

Basically, there’s a break in the bike frame’s downtube. If you remove the sleeve that holds it together, the two separate sides of the downtube can swing out. To complete the lock assembly, the bike’s seat tube is removed and inserted through both ends of the split downtube, forming a closed rectangle.

The coolest part about this frame lock system is that it’s big enough to fit around objects up to eight inches deep and ten inches wide — meaning you’ll have no trouble affixing your bike to light posts, park benches, and regular-old-bike racks.

And the smart design doesn’t stop there, either. Even on the off chance that a thief were to break the pole, fence, or rack that your bike is affixed to, he/she still wouldn’t be able to ride it away. When the frame is in the locked position, it blocks the bike’s crank set and pedals, so a thief wouldn’t be able to ride it away.

Right now the bike only exists in prototype form, but the Yerka team has recently launched a crowfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise money for production. A pledge of $200 gets you the Yerka frame, whereas a pledge of $400 gets you the whole bike, and if the project meets its goal before April 18, the company expects to ship in October.