The annual RSA Student Design Awards have thrown up some unusual designs for bicycle security devices.

Beating bike crime through design

The RSA the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce, set up in 1754 has been running a Student Design competition for 76 years and aim to bring the talents of student designers to the attention of industry. An estimated 10,000 students work on the SDA projects. Colleges preselect the best entries and approx. 3000 entries are submitted each year.

Of 20 categories there was one this year for bike locks.

Heres the brief:

Cycling offers enjoyable opportunities for personal transportation, health and on environmental grounds, but bicycles pose unique problems when being ‘parked’ in either urban, domestic or even rural situations. Develop design proposals for future products that will be effective in counteracting bicycle and bicycle accessory theft.

Angelika Seeschaaf of the Ravensbourne College of Design & Communication designed a lock integral to the bike. The crossbar on her bike (see pic above) swings out to fit around a post and then locks back on to the frame. When this locking system is in operation the only way to steal the bike is to cut through the frame, rendering the bike worthless, says Seeschaaf optimistically. Her handlebar also pivots in two places allowing the rider to secure the bicycle to a fixed object. Flipping the pedals and locking them in a vertical position, and tilting the seat backwards to be locked to the wheel, also renders the bicycle unusable. She won a travel award of £2500 for her designs.

The runner up (winning £750 worth of travel vouchers) was Timothy Penfold of Loughborough University. His ‘Sentry’ bicycle security system (see pic below) is meant to protect all major components that are commonly subject to theft, as well as the frame itself,

His solution includes a built in D-lock which rotates 360 degrees around the frame enabling the bike to be secured against a variety of objects. The saddle cannot be removed without a key.

More details on both from:

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