Pedal Lock secures, incapacitates your bike


July 13, 2012

Pedal Lock clamps to the wheel of a bicycle to prevent a thief from making a quick or clean getaway

Pedal Lock clamps to the wheel of a bicycle to prevent a thief from making a quick or clean getaway

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Owning and riding a bike can be very rewarding; it gives you the freedom to explore your surroundings, is cheaper than public transport in the longterm, and healthier than driving a car. Unfortunately being a bike owner means dealing with the possibility of having your favored mode of transport stolen, especially in urban areas where the incidence of bike theft is high. This means the majority of bike owners need to own and use a lock every time they park their bike up. Two Taiwanese designers have concocted a new way of preventing bike theft: one that sees the pedals used to both clamp the wheel of, and (if necessary) incapacitate, the bicycle.

Bike locks come in an increasing range of designs, including one that can be worn as a belt and one which is a lock masquerading as a water bottle. Until now no one had thought of using the pedals themselves as the lock. Cheng-Tsung Feng and Yu-Ting Cheng have done just that, with Pedal Lock providing an ingenious means of adding a layer of security to a bicycle while at the same time removing one of the key components needed to mobilize it.

Pedal Lock comprises the two pedals your bike ordinarily needs to function. When attached to the bike in the normal way they act like any other pedals, but with a few simple steps (pictured below) they can be detached and reformed as a lock sitting on the back wheel. One of the pedals has two small but strong iron bars protruding from it which secure it to the other. Any would-be thief who tries to break this lock is also breaking the pedals themselves.

This bike lock design will prevent thieves from riding off on the bicycle, by both making the back wheel immobile and by removing the pedals, but it obviously won't prevent thieves from simply picking the bike up and either walking off with it or stowing it in the back of another vehicle. To cover both eventualities would require a combination of the Pedal Lock and one which attaches the bike to a solid object such as a bike rack or lamp post.

Pedal Lock appears to be a very promising innovation that could prevent some bike thefts, though it can't be guaranteed to solve the problem altogether. Think of it as a secondary rather than primary security measure.

Sources: Cheng-Tsung Feng via Inhabitat

About the Author
Dave Parrack Dave is a technology journalist with a ravenous appetite for gadgets, gizmos, and gubbins. He's based in the U.K., and from his center of operations writes about all facets of modern and future technology. He has learned more in his five years writing for the Web than he did in 11 years at school, and with none of the boring subjects thrown in to the mix. All articles by Dave Parrack

so.. how is this better than the standard chain or U lock? as mentioned, anyone can walk off with it. with modern locks, they can't. so.. this seems a step backward.

MockingBird TheWizard

Gee, more complicated, time consuming and less secure while making the pedals inferior.

The Hoff

"Pedal Lock appears to be a very promising innovation..."

I am in total disagreement. While I like the thought of having objects handling multiple tasks this often means said objects come with compromises and this idea is flawed in several ways.

It only secures the bike can not be ridden away. As you mention it does not lock the bike to anything but not only that it doesn't even secure the locked wheel to the bike as opposed to what most bike mounted locks do. Pedals need to be firmly tightened to the pedal arms and they automatically tighten when one rides the bike thus removing and reattaching the pedals seems unlikely to be both simple and maintaining the pedals being firmly connected to the bike. Pedals gets dirty. We step on them with the soles of our shoes and they get sprayed with dust and water when riding. I'd think/hope most people would prefer to wash their hands after handling a pair of pedals. BZD

I'd rather see a small GPS tracking deivce embedded in an unseen spot.


Once an efficient way of breaking the lock is figured out carrying a set of pedals to the crime scene is not going to slow down the thief.


don't see the benefit.. I am glad they didn't waste time with a prototype. Still waste of graphic designers time.

Michael Mantion

The problem with chain locks is most can be picked easily or cut and you can ride away on the bike. If you take the pedals off and clip them to the wheel it adds another useful barrier of protection because you now need more than just a set of bolt cutters to get the job done.

My bike doesn't need to be theft-proof, it just has to be harder to steal than the bike next to it :)


Industrial design students. I expected as much. As usual, they are so enamored with their visual concepts that they don't think about the practicality or lack thereof. For this kind of "security," seatstay-mounted wheel locks have been available for a very long time now and are common in countries that are bike-friendly. They're even easier to use since you don't have to fiddle with your pedals.


One of the pedals has two small but strong iron bars protruding from it which secure it to the other. Am i the only one who sees spanish inquisition here? You couldn't drive the bike even yourself, could you..


Same level of security, 0.0001x the time to deploy & retract

I couldn't find a (non ludicrously expensive) bike in Seoul without one.


Skip this, bad idea. Keep the chain or cable locks and add offensive tactical response toys like a triggered stun when the bike is picked up or the chain is tampered with, etc. Works best when there is a handy convenient clean metal surface to conveniently grab onto. Alternatively, or additionally, depending on your funding and level of hostility, a triggered dye spray with microspheres containing all of the following : Tacky Flowery Perfume, Pisciverine, Cadaverine, Ipecac, and a few spheres filled with a persistent high-tack glue. A thief winds up barfing, choking, grossed out and way too smelly to evade attracting attention. Maybe a little hard to decon well enough to put into a patrol car but still effective and fun for almost everyone! All of these were tried out in designing non-lethal weapons for urban operations either for the Army or law enforcement.


Backward thinking at its best! All you have to do is carry the bike away or remove the "secure" wheel; that just takes removing the skewer... Try again boys :)

John Grimes

In NY they cut down trees to steal bikes, so this sure will deter a theft- NOT!


Gadgeteer is right. There is no security advantage to a seatstay mounted wheel-lock or ring lock which comes standard on most city bikes sold in the Netherlands, among other places. And as others have mentioned there are plenty of disadvantages... does Gizmag also exaggerate in its editorial about various weapons systems?


I'm all for the James Bond method of theft deterrant....steal the bike, and it blows up! one more thief off the street!

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