About this project
The number one incentive for bike theft is an unlocked bike. Standard U-locks are bulky and are difficult to carry on a bike. Consequently a cable lock is generally carried giving low security or no lock is carried giving no security. VIER offers a solution to this problem with its innovative design.
VIER’S unique design features two locking bodies that interlock with two straight shackle sections. You get all the security of a U-Lock but in a convenient compact form.
Our intention was to design a lock that people will want to use so that they can hold on to the one they love, their bike.
- High security in small form factor
- Fits into a bag about the size of a burrito
- Pick and drill resistant lock cylinder
- Laser cut blade style key
- Two sets of keys
- Zipper storage pouch with key holder
- Bike seat mounting strap
- Rockwell hardness of 61 HRC on all metal parts
- Keyway cover for dust and water
- Vinyl cover to protect from marring
- 1.5 tons of pull strength
- 14mm diameter shackles
- Swappable shackle lengths
- Weight: approximately 3.25 lbs. (pending)
- Bag size: 8" long x 3.7" wide x 1.7" tall
The VIER Process
The first concept was to take two locking bodies from a standard U-Lock and have them connected by straight sections. The issues that came to light were that when you have two locking bodies it is too difficult to hold the shackles in place. Also this design had the additional cost of another lock.
Next was to improve upon this design direction. We decided to design a shackle that would attach to one side of the lock and hold in place. Once the shackles are inserted the user would only need one lock body to complete the frame of the lock.
We then contacted a factory that produces high quality locks and shared our concept. We directed them to provide us with their highest security lock. They built up three prototypes. We took these prototypes to Interbike (the largest bike trade show in North America) to get feedback from the trade.
One issue we noticed was that when you insert the shackles they rotated around in a 360-degree fashion. Which positioned the keyway 180 degrees away from the correct position. So we designed a feature that limits the rotation to only turn in one direction and into the correction position.
Final Lock Development
We listened intently to the feedback offered and made other changes as well. Bike enthusiasts wanted the lock to have a lower profile so we ditched the plastic cover and opted for a more svelte vinyl cover. The concept of the lock being stored in a small zipper pouch was preferred. And the possibility of having different shackle lengths was of great interest. (Once the company is off its feet we will offer different shackle lengths.)
Armed with all the industry feedback we worked on refining the lock. We found a supplier for the vinyl covers, which will make the lock very low profile. Designed a very simple keyway cover that is a piece of aluminum tubing cut to length then a small strip of super slippery plastic is attached under it. Also we designed the lock so you can easily find which side of the lock has the keyway.
We found that the top access zipper bag is the easiest way to access and hold the lock parts during installation and storage. Also the bag has some space for extra tools or parts. There is a strap on the bag so you can carry the lock under your bike seat.
With all of the feedback in mind and our intention to develop a high security compact bike lock we tested VIER at 1.5 tons of pull strength. GO VIER!!
More on Lock Strength
Our main goal was to design a lock with the same level of security as a U-lock but in a compact form. VIER will protect your bike against lock picking, prying, hacksaws and bolt cutters. No lock on the market can protect us against angle grinders and hydraulic powered jacks.
We have done a thorough review of the cut resistance of all locks on the market and find that angle grinders will cut through almost any material. Harder materials take longer to cut but are brittle, tougher materials are easy to cut. With hardened steel you have a balance between cut resistance and strength.
Our lock has been tested at 1.5 tons of pull strength, which makes most manual means of breaking the lock dang tough. Most bike thieves target bikes that are unlocked or locked up with cable or chain locks that take seconds to cut. On the most part high quality U-locks are just too much work but given the right opportunity any bike is at risk. We recommend using the VIER lock and a cable for wheels and other items and park your bike in well lit high traffic areas.
Our intention was to design a compact high security lock that people will want to carry and therefore use to keep their bike safe from predators. We always say lock your bike every time you ride, even inside your home.
We've done extensive research on how to keep your bike safe here is what we've learned.
How do bike thieves really work?
- They go first for bikes that are not locked up.
- Then they go for bikes with chain or cable locks.
- They leave U-Locked bikes alone on the most part.
- Being caught with large bolt cutters amounts to a felony.
- Most thieves use small linemen’s piers that do not come with a felony.
- They generally work in teams, one person with the tool cuts the lock, and then the other takes the stolen bike so the two parts of the theft are separated.
- The bike thieves make this a career; it is there job to steal your bike. So do not hire them by using a cheap lock or not locking your bike.
- Lock your bike to a secure object.
- Use a U-Lock or better yet use a VIER lock.
- Use an additional cable lock for wheels and other items you want to lock up.
- Always lock your bike, every time.
- Follow the Sheldon method of locking your bike. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/lock-stragtegy.html
- A bike is stolen every 2.5 secs.
- Most bikes that are stolen are not locked up.
- Lock your bike inside your home, work, on public transportation and in your garage. Never leave it unlocked.
We need your support!
We hope you are as excited as we are to be able to offer a compact high security lock to bike lovers everywhere. The prototypes have been made, the feedback has been optimized and the design is now complete. All we are asking for is the initial start up tooling costs to get VIER out to the masses and help save generations of bikes.
Risks and challenges
During our fifteen years of running Tallac Design we have learned a lot about working with factories and bringing new products to market. We have working prototypes of VIER and have done exhaustive testing for performance and durability. We also have established a working relationship with a proven lock manufacturer that gives us full confidence in the quality of the final product.
VIER’S CURRENT PRODUCTION PARTS WITH LITTLE TO NO RISK
- Main Metal Tubes: Have been in production for years
- CNC Metal Shackles: Use current shackle material cut on a lathe to our design
- Key Cylinders: Off the shelf cylinders used for years
- Keys: This style of high security key has been made for years
- Internal Locking Tabs and Holders: Have been in production for years
- Metal Clips: Off the shelf clips
- Springs: Off the shelf springs
- Vinyl Covers: From a USA supplier
- UHMW tape is made by 3M: Full testing data available. Has been used in the industry for years
NEW PARTS AND TOOLING
- Zinc Die Cast Non-locking Ports: We made a CNC prototype from a solid block of zinc and tested to 1.5 tons
- Punch Tool for Non-locking Metal Tube: This is a standard tool made daily
- Holding Fixture for the Punch Tool for the Vinyl Covers: Vinyl cap supplier has been in business for over 40 years
- Metal Ring that Covers the Keyway: CNC machined from a tube of 6061-T6 aluminum stock diameter tubing, stock diameter tubing means no special dies, they can be purchased from numerous sources
We have a thorough understanding of tooling, production and supply chain. We watch the process like a hawk and have the experience to understand how to keep it working towards a quality product. The final product you get is one that we will be proud to give you.
The final production samples will go through cycle, strength and duty testing before they ship. We have plans to visit the factory in person to make sure that all the correct assembly steps are made. Also, the VIER team will be personally shipping each lock to every backer.
You can be sure that your lock will be of the highest quality. We will reply to all emails from backers and keep you posted about each step of the process from tooling, first article and final shipping.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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