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introduction Bicycle theft in Australia is on the rise (ABS 2007 ). A staggering statistic from the U.K. is that a bicycle is stolen every minute (BCS 2004-5 ). The latest International Crime Victim Survey estimates that cyclists are more likely to have their bikes stolen than motorcyclists their motorcycle or car owners their car (ICVS, 2007). Through my own research, a staggering 30% of people interview stated that the fear of having a bicycle stolen deterred them from riding a bike at all. Bicycles are either stolen as a whole (the bicycle frame along with its components) or the components, including the saddle, seat post, wheels and lights, are stolen off it. The latter problem is compounded by the fact that most bicycles are constructed with universally available fastenings such as hexagon headed bolts and socket headed bolts making the parts an easy target. Further adding to the ease of removal are ‘quick release’ mechanisms that 1

allow the wheels to be changed swiftly as in the case of a race, for example. My aim is to give bicycle users the same feeling of security a car or motorcycle owner has when they leave their vehicles unattended in the public domain.

perpetrators Studies show that men under twenty years are the main perpetrators of bicycle theft and their reasons for doing so are numberous. Bicycles are stolen by joy-riders for transportation purposes and/or enjoyment before the bikes are then often abandoned. These offenders tend to be sixteen years old or younger (Challinger 1986; Loder and Bayly Ltd 1986; and Sokol 1992). There are bicycle focused offenders that will steal speciď€ c types of desirable bicycles to order (Nuttal 2001). Drug addicts and petty criminals are opportunists that will steal anything of value including any type of bicycle which they can trade for trade for cash, goods or drugs. (Van Kesteren and Homburg, 1995).


lifting The bicycle can be relatively easily lifted over a sign post to which the cyclist has secured their lock. The sign on the post is sometimes removed allowing the bike to be removed easier. Sign posts aren’t as secured to the ground as one might think. They are often inserted into a larger metal tube and shoredup using a metal wedge.


theft techniques

As mentioned above bicycles are generally fastened together using bolts. A bicycle that has been solely locked by its wheel may have the rest of the bike stolen. Similarly, if only the frame is secured the thief may help themselves to the components. With the bicycle unrideable the owner will have to ď€ nd the means to return home with the remainder of the bike, as leaving it may provide an opportunity for the thief to return.

cutting Lock and chains can be cut with the use of bolt cutters, hacksaws and angle grinders.


levering The thief can utilise the space between the bicycle frame and the furniture to insert a tool, such as crowbar, levering the lock apart. The bike frame itself can also be used by rotating it vertically until either lock, the furniture or the bike itself breaks. The thief will most likely be indifferent to whichever breaks as none of property would belong to them.

picking A variety of objects can be inserted ‘pick’ it. One particular manufacture the design of their locks after it was simply be opened with the casing

into the lock to recent changed shown they could of marker pen.

striking If a chain is used to secure the bike and is long enough to reach the grounda thief can use a hammerand chisel to break the chain apart.

theft techniques There are numerous ways to relieve bicycles from their constraints and these are dependent on, not only the type of lock used or the street furniture it is locked to but the manner in which the cyclist has locked the bicycle, too. (Know the Enemy, 2006)


chains Chains are similar to the above coil locks in that they are usually encased in plastic, (though sometimes fabric) to reduce damage to the frame, and are locked with a padlock. They also vary in size and weight.

locks Where motor vehicles are concern Webb shows us that improved lock security and immobilizers reduce theft. Whilst immobilisers for bikes are uncommon, the use of strong, robust locks coupled with sensible locking practices may reduce the vulnerability of parked bikes to theft.

D-lock, U-lock or shefď€ eld lock These are generally considered to be the most secure, stronger of locks. They vary in length and width. And are, for the most part made hardened steel making them heavy and unwieldy.


immolisers These devices x to a bike frame locking the rear wheel to the frame when parked. A C-shaped steel ring is rotated within the wheel housing. The ring passes through the wheel’s spokes and encloses the rear rim and tube stopping it rotating. This has the combined effect of blocking the back wheel theft and oppurtunist theft of the whole bike as it cannot be ridden away.


cable locks These are usually plastic coated varying lengths of steel cable with a locking mechanism such a combination lock or padlock. Locks with under 10mm are particularly susceptible to attack.

There are a number of organisations that rate bicycle locks. One of the most well known is that of Sold Secure, a non-prot corporation set up in the United Kingdom by the Northumbria and Essex Police in 1992 with the backing of the Home Ofce (Carlton Reid 2008) and now run and owned by the Master Locksmiths Association. On the its website it states that “the Mission of Sold Secure to test and provide professional and accurate advice regarding effective security products to Commercial Customers, the Insurance Industry, the Home Ofce, the Police and the Public.” In the U.K. a Sold Secure certied lock is usually required in order to insure a bicycle against theft. Sold Secure certify locks with either a Bronze, Silver or Gold rating, corresponding to an attack resistance of 1, 3 and 5 minutes with various tools. (www. 6

street furniture These can be stands, racks, railing, streetlights or street signposts, either designed to accommodate a bicycle or improvised by the cyclist. Designed solutions offer greater security as they should be designed to offer support and multiple points to lock the bicycles wheels and frame. Cyclists using improvised structures, such as railings, often have their bicycles stolen by thieves that cut through the structure rather than the lock.

contributing factors locking method As mentioned previously, the part, or parts of the bicycle that is locked to the securing structure is important, if not imperative. The most commonly suggested recommended method, including the RMIT website, is to use two D-locks locking both wheels and the frame to the securing structure. If this isn’t possible, due to the lack of sufď€ cient securing structures, a D-lock securing the frame to the structure and a strong cable or chain lock is the next appropriate method.


outcomes environment The environment in which the bicycle is locked is an extremely important factor in preventing theft. This also incudes the length of stay as the longer the bike is left unattended the longer it is vulnerable. The spacing between a large bank or bicycles can give a thief an easy place to hide. Places with a lot of foot trafď€ c deters thieves as they are more likely to be seen. Giving the thief limited access to the bike, for example leaving it in a secure garage or in the home limits the chances of the bicycle being stolen greatly. The bicycle should be locked in a well lit area where it can be easily seen by people or by closed circuit security surveillance.

Judging from these factors it is clear that when securing a bicycle two locks should be used, or a combination of immobiliser and lock, locking the frame and both wheels to a sturdy structure that cannot be lifted or that the bicycle cannot be lifted over. A hardened steel U-lock or chain, with a gold rating from Sold Secure or similar organisation, that leaves little room for an item to slot in and be used for leverage would be the most ideal lock. The picture below shows an example of the best locking method.


video research I have the advantage of working for a wellknown Melbourne based bicycle accessory company in their retail outlet. There is also a very well known bicycle customisation studio above the shop and so customers frequently bring or ride their bicycles to the location, locking their bikes outside to the stand provided. I left a video camera in the window facing out towards the stand to record how people actually lock up their bikes and how long each person took to secure it.


This man was a courier that initially brought his bike into the store. I asked him if he wouldn’t mind locking his bike outside in the manner he usually would. Interestingly, he told me that he didn’t often lock his bike up when he was working due to the short amount of time he spent at locations. Another reason, he told me, was that he wasn’t worried because he was a courier and as such if a courier has their bike stolen all the other couriers stop working to try to nd the thieves. This was just the case about a year ago when they found the culprits down an alley ten minutes later already stripping the bicycle of parts.

This man uses his helmet to secure his bicycle. After speaking to him about his reasoning for not using a proper locking device so he stated that he only does so when he is not intending to spend much time at a location, so an opportunist thief would be momentarily deterred.

This man had his lock wrapped around his top tube and so ready to deploy it as soon as he parked his bicycle only taking seven seconds to secure it.

Locking two bikes together with one lock still takes the same amount of time as locking two bike individually. Using one lock is not quicker as one might assume.

outcomes Although the most secure method of locking up is to use two U-locks secured around the frame and wheels only ď€ fty percent of around forty shoppers used U-locks and not a single of them one used two locks. I’m assuming that this is due to the small amount of time they were expecting to be away from their bikes and the public exposure, giving them a sense of security. I would have to do more research into this to ascertain if this is indeed the case The gentleman that used his helmet was initially intriguing as there may have been scope to introduce a helmet/lock design, however, from my research into locks I understand the material used to manufacture them is ultimately heavy and would be impractical in a helmet which need to be as light as possible. The average time it took to secure the bikes was 14.8 seconds. 10

online survey In addition to the video which was shot over a couple of days on a street in Melbourne, Australia, an online survey was undertaken to provide insights into securing bicycles and locking techniques on more of a global scale.

respondents that used two locks almost all used a combination of both D-lock and cable lock, bar one man from Australia that used what he termed as “a dutch-style rear wheel spoke lock�.

Of particular interest was to assess whether techniques and practises varied between country to country and continent to continent. Results were gleaned from twelve separate countries across four continents. Consequently, the results showed that locking practises have no bearing on which country or continent they lived in. The methods of locking were as varied as the as the ones shown in the video. Interestingly, only 44% said that they only sometimes or never lock their bikes up at all whilst visiting a shop giving a massive advantage for the brazen, opportunistic thief. Furthermore, exactly half of the respondents used a cable lock which is more vulnerable to attack than a D-lock or chain. Of those

Half of the respondents carried their locks in a bag or about their person and the other half carried theirs on or about the bicycle. I had thought that the reason why people tend to only use one lock may have something to do with convenience in regards to weight or space. Of even those that carried two locks there was no preferred method of transporting their locks. If weight was an issue then I would have expected more respondents to carry theirs on the bike as the strain on their body would be less. If space on the bike was an issue, however, then I would have expected more to have used a bag. Another potential reason for only carrying one lock could be price and is something that I will address in the near future.



Typically bicycle wheels consists of a central hub that is connected to the cog or series of cogs called a cassette. These are screwed on held in place using a lockring. From this hub run the spokes out to the rim on which the tyre sits. An inner tube lies between the rim and tyre which is pressurised to provide a smoother ride. The components of a bicycle wheel all differ greatly yet the main structure rarely does.

bicycle parts study As most cyclists surveyed have carried only one lock it seemed fruitful to research how the bike can be locked or immobilised using its existing parts as the second form of defence. In order to do this I rst looked at which parts are essential to make the bicycle work and then investigated ways to make it inoperable. I spoke to former bicycle mechanic Will Jetnicov, Shifter Bikes’ owner, mechanic and bicycle builder Dan Hale to get a brief overview of the ways in which bicycles are put together and function. Obviously, there are many different types of bicycle that are used for a great many diverse activities, however most function similarly.

The sizes of chainrings and cogs are dependant of the number of teeth they have. They have four widths dependant on the style of bicycle and can be made from aluminium alloy, titanium, steel, or carbon bre. These sizes are usually matched to the chain which are made from plain carbon or alloy steel, though some are stainless steel or chrome-plated to either prevent rust or for

Pedals are attached to the cranks by means of a screw thread. From this attachment comes the spindle which runs through the pedal allowing it to revolve. The cranks run between the pedals and the bottom bracket and hold the chainring or chainrings on which holds the chain that then drives the rear cog or cogs. The cranks placed over shaped spindle on the bottom bracket, the shape of which often depends on the manufacturers specications and are secured with a bolt. More recently these bolt have socket heads to accommodate allen keys. They’re available in lengths from 165mm to 180mm. Bottom brackets vary in size and shape and their uses are dependent on the frame and the function the frame was built for. 13

The handlebars control the steering and are connected to the front wheel through a tube enclosing a headset, a piece of equipment containing ball bearings.

Finally the frame holds all the components together in the right places. Frames are generally made from steel, steel alloys, aluminium, aluminium alloys, titanium or carbon ď€ bre.


The pedals could be folded down preventing the bike from being riden away. These are similar in design to pedals used on folding bicycles.

sketches The above information was essential as I could then provide ways in which I could deliberately intervene and interrupt the function of the bicycle as these sketches show.

A diagram showing how a simple pin or pins could be pulled away allowing the pedals to drop.


Here when the pedals are folded down the resulting shapes make them hard on impossible to ride

A rod runs through the spindle of the pedal is activated when parked sliding between the spokes preventing motion of the wheels.


A crank could be bent back into the frame preventing the bike from being riden.

sketches The cranks could be ‘disengaged’ somehow allowing them to fall and become limp.


Although the most secure method of locking up is to use two U-locks secured around the frame and wheels only ď€ fty percent of around forty shoppers used U-locks and not a single of them one used two locks. The average time it took to secure the bikes was 14.8 seconds.



focus group After sketching the designs of the ways in which to incapacitate the bicycle these were then taken to a focus group for evaluation. One of the main outcomes of the focus group was realisation that whilst it may be possible to stop a bike being ridden away, it is entirely feasible for a more brazen thief to simply walk the bicycle away. The average walking speed is about 5 kilometres per hour or 83 metres per minute therefore in 5 minutes the thief can cover 418 metres. (reference) If the thief was in a hurry, and most probably they would be, they would likely be over half a kilometre away, still moving and could be in any direction. The rear cog/s, chain and chainring were all unpopular as places to disable as the consensus was that by directly touching them would leave the user greasy. It was largely agreed that immobilising the bicycle by preventing the wheels from turning whilst disabling another 19

feature of the bike or to render that part also unusable if broken, was ideal. Concerns were raised, however, about these devises failing or being activated during a journey that would cause the rider to have an accident. Other anti-theft, security methods that came from the focus ranged from employing a security guard, installing an electric shock device, pepper spray, cat urine spray to a compartment to hide your mother so she can pop out and tell the would-be thief off.

Taking the most popular designs from the focus group I developed some ‘quick and dirty’ prototypes to see how well they might in action. After making this particular design it became apparent that the rod that slips out from inside the spindle could slide in to a hole in the frame in either the chainstay, the seat stay or the down tube as shown on the right. My main concern with this is whether it will damage the integrity of the frame.



prototypes In this prototype the handlebars slide out, after being unocked. Inside the handlebar would be a solid square bar with a bendable joint allowing for them to either fall down meeting and locking between the front wheel, or folding backward and locking between the frame. Locking the front wheel would immobilise the bike which is preferable but locking them to the frame is also attractive as it prevents the bike from being steered which would making even walking it away difď€ cult. The picture to the right shows how one half might look if locked to the front wheel.


prototypes On the inside of the handllebar shown here runs a cable. Although this design might be more easy to use it would probably be less safe due to the cable being easily cut. Another concern is how to stop the bar rotating during travel.


Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS Cat. No. 3101.0). http://rds.homeof Van Dijk, J.J.M, Van Kesteren, J. and Smit, P. (2007) Criminal Victimisation in International Perspective: Key Findings from the 2004-2005 ICVS and the EU ICS. The Hague: Boom Juridische Uitgevers.

Challinger, D.O. and A.A. Parker (1986). Bicycle Theft Research Project. Challinger and Parker Ltd. Victoria, Australia.

Loder and Bayly Ltd. (1986). Bicycle Theft Research Project: A Report to the State Bicycle Committee. Victoria, Australia: Ministry of Transport.

Sokol, M. J. (1992). Bicycle Theft: Problems and Solutions. Selected Problems in Policing Seminar. The University of Wisconsin Law School.


Nuttall, S. (2001). Bringing Down Cycle Theft in Cambridge. Cambridge, U.K.: Parkside Police Station.

van Kesteren, P. and G. Homburg (1995). Fietsdiefstal: Onderzoek naar de dagelijkse praktijk van  etsdievn (Bicycle Theft). The Hague: Ministerie van Justitie Webb, B (2005). Preventing Vehicle Crime. In N. Tilley (ed.) Handbook of Crime Prevention and Community Safety; 458-485. Cullompton, UK: Willan Publishing. Carlton Reid (Feb-March 2008). “Cycle Magazine: Gone in 42 seconds!”. Cyclists’ Touring Club. p. 42–46.


This time last year I was longer certain that I wanted a career in industrial design and not sure I would nish my studies. This was partly due to my choosing of an impossible pre-major project my mostly, I think, due to a lack of condence in my abilities. This year although I started without any idea of what project I would undertake I feel I’ve developed a little more understanding of myself particularly in the area of self motivated study. I began the semester still very dubious of my capabilities which led to a lack lustre rst half performance. The turning point for me was submitting my mid semester thesis and only just getting a pass. It dawned on me that I had engage my mind in what really could be engaging project. I am at a point now where the project has now even begun inltrating my dreams, which, while I’m not entirely overjoyed with it, means at least that it is rmly on my mind. The project I eventually chose has proven to work in my favour as working for a bicycle related company and working in a shop beneath one of Melbourne most well known bike mechanics has provided me with a wealth of knowledge, making it simpler for me to do research in the limited time I have available to me.

The most surprising element I found was doing my own research and the insights that can be gleaned that would not otherwise show themselves. Furthermore, I’ve unexpectedly found them fun to do and will actually be looking forward to doing more next semester. A big help to me also was the audio feedback that was available on the internet for me to listen to as, and when, I needed to. Not only was the feedback readily available but it was always constructive which boosted my condence and therefore my performance for which I am grateful. Next semester I hope to continue with the same feeling of purpose as I ended this one on. I need to ‘lock in’ a design which I intend to do it the rst few weeks. In order to do this I will be hosting a re-focus group with the same group of people that attended the previous focus group session during the holidays. I also plan to take the prototypes up to the head-quarters of Knog to get some professional feedback and inquire as to what research methods they may think appropriate in order to facilitate a resolved design.

As yet I have done little research into the area of inclusive design. Given that riding a bike already requires a person to be largely physically able I’ve found it hard to nd a group of people that would have difcultly engaging a lock, however, one of the most interesting comments from the focus group I held was “can a woman do it?”. This was surprising because not only had I not considered that a woman wouldn’t be able to do it but that the comment actually came from a woman! I may have found my excluded faction. I will looking into the area of ‘learned helplessness’ and will be looking at ways in which to combat it.

studio reection

When I have my design I will need to research in to the areas of materials, manufacture, cost and market positioning. Then and only then will I attempt to produce a fully working, full scale prototype. This will be around mid semester if not before, to allow time for oversights to be rectied.



most people living in an urban environment have suffered a little from compassion fatigue when a car or house alarm refuses to adjourn. He also questions whose responsibility it is to respond to the alarm, after all attending to it could position the person in harm’s way. If the alarm is not genuine them the attendee may have wasted time and effort.

An alarm that is activated by movement would be benecial in an immobilisation situation as the opportunist thief nding the bicycle unrideable and unable to push to it, would then have to pick the bike up and carry it away. Every attempt will be made to prevent the alarm from being over sensitive Human beings have always used alarms in one and only activated when the bicycle form or another. Indeed, studies in to monkey is being picked up. As well the behaviour suggest that alarm calls are the sound of the alarm ought to be very basis of human language and were vital differentiated from other alarms to our survival and subsequent evolution (RM to gain more awareness from Seyfarth et al, 1980) . Alarms can be viewed those who’s psyches have as fundamental to the ght or ight principle already become saturated. (Stanton, 1994) . As a thief has nothing to ght Furthermore, the alarm would perse, ight should be the most likely outcome. be extremely shrill like that Stanton also talks about the ‘cry wolf’ of an attack alarm and will syndrome saying that there is danger if be placed in an area on the the alarm is presented too often with no bicycle that would be close consequence that there is a tendency for it to to the thief’s ear should they be ignored on subsequent occasions. I’m sure try to carry it away. 25


Pre-Major Studio Project  

A bicycle security project aimed at short term or "fly" parking