Engineering Students Create a Bike that is Safe from Being Stolen

Three Chilean engineering students designed the “Yerka,” a bike that uses its own parts to become locked and safe from being stolen. The prototype joins the recent trend in the bike world trying to secure rider’s transportation from theft.

The Yerka is quite a bit different than some of the other bikes that are in the industry that have seat locks or detachable handles. This bike has a lower seat that opens up and forms two arms that are then connected to the seat post. Once the arms are connected, riders can then lock it to a stationary item. Anyone trying to steal the bike will essentially have to destroy it to unlock it, rendering the bike completely worthless.

Yerka designer, Cristobal Cabello created the design for the bike while taking an engineering class. He teamed up with his good friends Andres Roi Eggers and Juan Jose Monslave to work up a prototype. Cabello said, “That’s why our motto is ‘a bike that gets stolen is no longer a bike.’ What we have here is truly an unstealable bike.”

The use of bikes as a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative to cars, is becoming very popular in Chile and Latin America. The increase in cycling lanes, groups created to share bikes and easily accessible storage racks, provided as a push Cabello and his friends to create the Yerka. Roi’s own bike was stolen as well and brought a personal hint to the creation.

As of 2013, the use of bikes is nearly double what it was five year ago in Chile, according to Cristobal Galban, director of the sustainability research center at Santiago’s Andres Bello University.

Galban recently had his own personal bike stolen and says, “The main problem in Chile and elsewhere are the robberies, so the Yerka could help solve this.”

The Yerka is redefining the way security bikes look and function. The usual chains and locks are left in the dust and it’s physical appearance is far more appealing than other types of security bikes available.

Cabello and his team are still waiting for the Yerka’s patent to be approved and intend to fill the wait time with more testing on other bikes and launching a crowd funding campaign to get some money flowing into the operation. They are also seeking a business partner who is open to investing the $300,000 that is needed to get the first batch of 1000 bikes out on the market by the middle of 2015.

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