Any avid cyclist knows the looming fear of returning to the bike rack, only to find your bike has vanished – at least everything except your wheel. A new Kickstarter called Nutlock is offering a cheap way to protect your wheels by putting unique fasteners on your bike so that thieves can’t pull your wheels off, making it far more difficult to steal your bike.
When you lock your bike, you’re supposed to lock the frame and wheel together to a fixed object. However, your front or rear wheel, if left unlocked, can be pulled off by a thief with nothing more than a wrench or a pair of pliers. Even worse, if you lock your wheel instead of your frame, when a thief can remove your wheel and take off with the rest of the bike. Nutlock solves this by machining unique fasteners that can only be removed with a special wrench. Best of all, the fasteners cost just $39 for two wheels, far cheaper than other wheel locks that exist. If you just want to fasten one set of wheels, you can get the Nutlock for $25.
Nutlock works by taking a steel fastener and creating a special rounded surface that rejects pliers and wrenches, but accepts your Nutlock key, a special tool that can grab onto the fastener and loosen your wheels. It’s also small enough to fit on your keychain and includes a bottle opener – because why not. This ensures you can keep your Nutlock key handy with your U-Lock or other bicycle locks.
The key you get with your Nutlock is not entirely unique, but the Nutlock team says there will be many variations and that a thief cannot buy a few Nutlocks and have access to all the variations. The Nutlock key will also have a code on it that, should you lose it, will let you get a replacement key as long as you write down the code somewhere.
Nutlock is compatible with most bikes on the market and you’ll be able to specify in the Kickstarter whether you have a solid nut or other wheel assemblies, including quick-release. If you have a quick-release, Nutlock can be integrated to still allow easy access to your wheels, but ensure no thieves can steal your wheels either.
If you’re interested in Nutlock, you can check out its Kickstarter. Unfortunately, you’ll still have to wait until March 2015 to get your hands on a set. Keep your bike safe until then.