Bikes are easy targets for thieves; you can bring in heavy industrial cutters (like Casey Neistat demonstrated in the New York Times) and cut the heaviest lock in full public view and nobody will stop you. Even if you follow the fifty pound rule , if somebody wants it, they are going to get it.
But what if the bike that you get isn't worth getting? That's what happens with the Yerka bike. Chilean engineering students Juan José Monsalve, Andrés Roi, and Cristóbal Cabello came up with a clever mechanism that lets you pop open the down tube, then you pop your seat post through a hole in one end of the down tube and lock it into the other half of the down tube. Voila. If a thief saws through the seat post the part that is locked into the down tube makes it impossible to put the piece together again, so you have a broken bike. The designers tell Esquire:
Andrés has been a victim of bike theft two times. Since then, he always wanted to create something to stop this problem and help others in the process. We, as a team, came to this idea while working on a class project. We thought this had a lot of potential and decided to keep on with this idea.
Is it "unstealable," as everyone is calling it? Nope. Remember how people used to open those ubiquitous cylinder locks with a Bic pen? Any lock can be picked and the bike stolen.
Is it a good idea? The mechanism probably weighs as much as a lock, and some people have raised questions about the rigidity of the frame. And if you ever lose the keys, you are really in trouble. Over at BikeRumor, the one bike site that I have seen cover this, a commenter noted that one good kick on that seatpost and it will be dented, making the bike unrideable for the owner as well.
But I love the idea of not having to carry around a big heavy U-lock. I think the Yerka would werka.
More at the Yerka Project. And here's how you steal a bike in New York City: