Expo Spotlight: TiGr Lock - Reshaping Bike Security

For this year’s Seattle Bicycle Expo, March 1 and 2, more than 200 vendors and presentors will fill the booths at Smith Cove Cruise Terminal to show off new bikes, accessories, fitness plans and travel opportunities. Leading up to Expo, we will highlight some of them here on the blog

Reshaping Bike Security

By Jim Loughlin 

You walk back to the rack where you left your bike, only to see a void where your precious two-wheeler once stood. Your mind must be playing tricks on you; you must have locked it up in another spot, on another rack. Then panic, confusion and eventually anger when you realize that your bike, which is worth more to you than you can rationally explain, has been stolen.

Unfortunately, if you are a member of the bike riding community, you may have had that scenario play out at some point in your bike riding career. If not you, then maybe someone close to you has fallen victim, even when they thought they were protecting their bike with a sufficient lock.

Because we’ve all heard that story before, most of us do some research or ask a friend to help us find a bike lock that meets our needs in the ongoing trade-off between security, weight, usability, aesthetic and cost. But anyone who has done so knows that evaluating bike locks is a challenging endeavor. Having a common lock rating system would help but, at this time, there is no independent bike lock security standard in the U.S.

Comparing the security of similar looking locks is difficult, and most locks tend to look pretty much the same. So, without clear guidelines, how do we bikers decide which direction to go in the bike security game?

For starters, the proper use of a lock, any lock, is a significant factor in theft protection. Opportunistic thieves (which might be most of them) look for unsecured, or improperly-secured bikes; they go for the lowest hanging fruit. So, any lock is better than no lock much of the time.

However, there are more committed thieves out there who – with the right tools and the opportunity - will take any bike regardless of the quality of the lock.

Better locks take more time and/or better tools to break. A few additional seconds might be all the difference needed to save your bike. A good lock reduces the risk of theft by extending the time it takes to break the lock.  At the end of the day your bike lock choice comes down to balancing your wants as a rider with your needs for security.

Now take a quick second to think about your current bike lock and ask yourself if these “symptoms” sound familiar:

  • Your lock rattles on your frame or even flies off around corners or over a bump 
  • You no longer have a water bottle cage because the lock mount lives there 
  • Securing your bike’s frame and wheels at the same time borders on a Jedi mind trick
  • Your wrists hurt when you ride with your lock in hand, it presses into your back if tucked into your jeans, or worse yet, tears your jeans pocket or belt loop.

Instead of being robbed of your bike, you’re being robbed of your bike enjoyment. In this day and age where search engines are in our eyewear, airplanes fly on carbon fiber wings, and telephones are strapped to our wrists, we ask, isn’t there a better way?

At TiGr, we invite people to reshape their thinking about bike security and to imagine robust, versatile and simple bike lock solutions that allow you to enjoy the ride and carry a good lock. As bikers we’ve made a choice to commute, run errands, cruise on the trail or meander the countryside on two wheels in part because of the amazing freedom that riding provides for us. Our bike security shouldn’t weigh down that experience; it should simply be a there when you need it. 

Jim Loughlin is a co-founder at TiGr Lock, the security design company enhancing bike mobility.