Stemlock discourages bike-stealing by disabling bike-steering
The Stemlock makes your handlebars temporarily useless
Whether it's bicycles, cars or houses, if thieves really want to get past the lock on something, they can. The trick is to simply not make it worth their while to do so, by adding extra hassles. The Stemlock is just such a hassle. It internally disconnects a bike's handlebar stem from its fork, making it impossible for a thief to steer.
For regular riding, obviously, the stem and fork stay securely connected. Upon parking the bike, users insert the included key in the top of the Stemlock, push it down and twist it a quarter turn, then remove it. The stem is then disconnected from the fork, resulting in the handlebars swinging left and right with no effect on the angle of the front wheel.
Not only does this make the bike a much less appealing target, but it also allows for easier parking in cramped spaces such as hallways, as the handlebars can be turned sideways without also turning the front wheel.
The Stemlock is made by IXOW, the same French company that is bringing us the Synchrobox. A rep tells us that both products are scheduled to launch in August at the Eurobike show, with the Stemlock priced at €74.90 (about US$103).
Pricing for a similar existing product, the n'lock, starts at 112 Swiss francs ($126). The Flipphandle also lets you turn your bars sideways for storage and transport, but it doesn't incorporate a lock.
About the Author
An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
All articles by Ben Coxworth
For the same amount of money, the user could get two compact D locks to secure the frame to a fixed point.
Considering how conspicuous angle grinders are, few thieves will bother.
what a great idea, i show you my personal key for that:
Another easy technique to defeat it would be cyanoacrylate combined with an accelerator. Squeeze the superglue into the seam between clamp and stem, spray on the accelerator, then ride away and drill out the key cylinder at your leisure. Elapsed time: less than a minute, and a very inconspicuous technique.
A nail or some other kind of wedge pounded into the seam would also work quickly, although it would be a bit more conspicuous.
IMO, it would be an extra level of protection when used with a U-bolt lock or bike chain. With the cost of some bikes, this extra level of protection would be worth it.
Ever see someone ride a bike without their hands on the bars, steering by leaning?
If the bike is in good mechanical condition and the front wheel caster is right, it can be done.
I'm probably off base here but have you seen how small the pins in a lock are and how few it looks like that key/lock need? I don't know if I would trust the steering to that fragile of a "Woodruff Key".
Over 160,000 people receive our email newsletter
See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning