A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
Current bike locks are frustrating to use, and even worse to carry while biking.
-stays attached to your bike
-locks to and unlocks from any bike rack in seconds,
-and easily folds and stows out of the way for riding.
There’s nothing quite like getting yourself from A to B with clean burning human effort. Zipping around town, making errands into exercise, hills into roller coasters, beautiful bikes, dope gear— the benefits are endless.
With the increasing popularity of biking comes the growing menace of bike theft. Bikers have to carry heavy, complicated bike locks in new and crazy ways everywhere they go to combat this threat. The most secure locks are difficult to use and heavy to transport, while more user-friendly cable locks are just speed bumps for experienced bike thieves. On top of all of this, most bike lock mounts are so poorly designed that bikers don’t even use them- many wedge locks into their back pockets, hang locks on handlebars, or carry them in their already loaded backpacks.
Into the fray steps Lobster Lock— a new lock that allows you to lock and unlock your bike without ever detaching from your frame. Lobster Lock can be locked and unlocked in seconds. When unlocked and folded away during riding, Lobster Lock sits flush with your bike’s downtube. It won’t scratch your frame, rattle or move during riding, for both a safer and less irritating ride. Lobster Lock was built with room to lock your frame and front wheel to bike racks, other bikes and even parking meters.
Even with all the locks on the market, no bike lock is theft proof. With enough time and determination, any bike lock can be compromised by a driven bike thief. The secure ones are incredibly heavy, or time consuming to lock and unlock your bike after every trip.
Lobster Lock was based on a “rivet-link” design, a real world proven locking scheme.
Our specific lock features 5mm thick hardened steel coated in rugged injection molded nylon to protect both the lock and your bike during locking and unlocking. Our patent pending design ensures that your frame and wheel are properly secured every time you lock your bike.
Lobster Lock is designed to work with every bike rack we could find. There is enough room to secure your frame and wheel to larger posts, but not enough to be able to lift the lock up and over common parking meters.
Even if the base is unscrewed from your frame while locked, Lobster lock forms a secure closed loop through your frame, wheel and bike rack. For an outside perspective on the security of folding bike locks relative to others, please see https://www.asecurelife.com/best-bike-locks/
The original concept for Lobster Lock came about in college. Stanford campus was massive, and set up to encourage students to walk or bike to class and avoid taking cars. This was awesome, but bike locks were frustrating.
We started with the idea of an attached bike lock— it seemed silly that you had to carry something entirely separate from your bike in order to lock it. You don’t lock your car with a separate device, and your house or apartment likely has a lock built right in to the door.
From there, we iterated, settled on a folding design, and eventually created a working prototype that unfortunately wasn’t quite ready for primetime.
Years went by, and we were fortunate enough to gain valuable experience working in product development, manufacturing and project management, with extensive experience working with and for overseas contract manufacturers.
Once we were confident in these fundamental areas, it was time to revisit the lock project. Using 3D printing we were able to rapidly iterate on the number and length of links, hinge shapes and locations, storage mechanism, and attachment to the bike.
When we finally got to a place where we felt comfortable, we reached out to manufacturers in China and the US for manufacturing feedback. What you see in the photos and video reflects years of testing and iteration- our unique blend of experiences have given us ideal qualifications to build the best lock .
With your help, we hope to finally create production Lobster Locks for the masses. After the kickstarter campaign, we will be confirming the final engineering drawings and kicking off the building of injection molding tooling with our overseas manufacturing partner. From there, we first validate individual tools and parts before moving on to validating the full assembly and packaging processes. Once this is complete, we can begin delivering locks.
Will it work on my bike? As long as you have a waterbottle cage mount on your downtube, (2 screws a couple inches apart) Lobster Lock should work with your bike.
Can I still have a water bottle cage with a lobster lock? Unfortunately, for this first product launch, you will need to either move the water bottle cage to your seat tube if your bike has mounting bosses there, or go without your bottle cage mount. We designed Lobster Lock primarily for “townie” bikes and bike commuters, who seem to have less of a need for water on short rides than do weekend warriors looking to crank out intense milage.
What if someone unscrews the lock from the downtube? If it is properly locked through your frame, front wheel and bike rack, Lobster Lock forms a secure closed loop. This means that your bike will still be locked even if the base is unscrewed from your frame.
What can I lock my bike to? Lobster Lock is designed to be compatible with most every bike rack, parking meter, or fence post that you could reasonably attempt.
Risks and challenges
Making a production physical product is hard. In the world of product development and manufacturing, you expect to learn new things about your design and the way it is made every step of the way. Fortunately, during the design process, Lobster Lock went through intensive design for manufacturing reviews at multiple stages, ensuring our final design was optimized for both bike riders and the factory that will be helping us realize the product. Our experience in product development, manufacturing and working with overseas suppliers will prove invaluable when these issues arise and help us deliver as promised to our wonderful backers. One unique challenge- the current White House administration has taken an unpredictable approach to tariffs on products coming from Overseas. Our current research does not indicate that this type of product will be affected by said tariffs, but we will keep you in loop if anything new develops that would affect Lobster Lock.