When cut, San Francisco startup SkunkLock’s bike lock releases noxious gases strong enough to make a would-be thief vomit.
A cycle enthusiast tired of how easy it is for thieves to cut through the strongest bike locks on the market came up with a novel way to deter future theft – the SkunkLock. Like its namesake animal, the SkunkLock is black and white striped, indicating the danger that lurks inside. Made from hardened medium-carbon steel, the SkunkLock is a u-lock that contains internal sealed chambers filled with a proprietary noxious gas mix.
The gas is released only when the seal is punctured by an angle grinder, the most common tool used by thieves. Most bikes are stolen in less than a minute. As well as make a would-be thief vomit, the SkunkLock gas is designed to ruin any clothing it comes into contact with. The lock is also usable on motorbikes and mopeds. Currently funding on Indiegogo, the SkunkLock team says the first batch of locks should be delivered in June 2017.
Cities seeking to improve their sustainability often focus on transport, with cycling a key component of healthy urban areas. In Sweden, bike repairs are included in a reuse incentive scheme, and in Poland, a glow-in-the-dark bike path is solar powered. How else could cycling be further integrated into smart, connected city living?