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  1. #1
    Senior Member Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
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    TiGr: A Titanium Lock on Kickstarter

    I'm very pleased to say that John Loughlin (another Bike Forums guy) and I have just fired up a Kickstarter on our TiGr titanium bike lock project.



    It's about as tough as a Kryptonite (we're looking to get that confirmed by a third party with help from our Kickstarter backers) at a quarter the weight, it goes through both wheels and a parking meter post, and it's designed to look like it belongs on an object as elegant as a bike.

    Please help us get the word out!
    Joshua A.C. Newman,
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I can see it as a stationary lock left at a routine parking spot but how do you carry something that long and awkward on your bike?

  3. #3
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    Besides the issue of transport Hillrider mentions, is the issue of saw resistance.

    I have yet to see an alloy of Titanium that isn't vulnerable to the plain old hack saw, though you might need Nicholson or other better blades than the low ens stuff sold at home depot.
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  4. #4
    <3s bikes Re-Cycle's Avatar
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    Looking forward to that third party review. I know my Kryptonite stays at home more often then it should because of how heavy it is. At $100 a pop it would only fulfill a niche market but certainly one which is not over saturated.
    A wild man once explained to me how bicycles came from sailboats.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
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    There are plenty more pictures over on the Kickstarter page, but in short:



    In order to get a hacksaw through an object, you have to be able to hold it rigid. Not only has John chosen a particularly infuriating-to-cut alloy (part of the reason they cost so much), but there's also no real way to hold it in place. The lock body rotates freely on the end of the bow.

    You could go at it with a bold cutter, of course, but the high end one holds off a 48" bolt cutter, while the sleeker one still holds its own against a 36".

    And I would love, love, to see a thief go at one of these with a grinder, throwing an arc of white-hot titanium sparks in a burning ring around themselves. Sure, you can get through it, but it's probably the least subtle thing you can do.

    I'm the designer on the project, not the engineer. That's John, the other guy. I'm the guy behind the camera, the guy making sure there's a simple place to keep the lock, making sure it fits into one's actual bike experience in a way Kryptos don't. But John's really, really excited about the properties of the lock.

    I've been using one for about six months, as has another Bike Forums user. We're both really impressed with it mechanically.

    At $100 a pop it would only fulfill a niche market but certainly one which is not over saturated.
    Well, the $100 is a limited time thing, just for the Kickstarter. I don't think we'll be able to actually retail them for that. If you want one at that price, this is your shot!

    Keep in mind also: this is John and me. We're two guys who love biking, engineering, and design. If you guys back this project (and thanks to those of you who are! There are a couple more backers since I first posted this thread!), it's because you want to see this project become real, not just because you want the project. We're just really excited to be able to give back to the people who help us make it real.
    Joshua A.C. Newman,
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  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    may have to start by paying for space at the next Bike Dealer's Trade Show,
    and having a booth there,do talk to dealers, to get them in their shops.
    Good Luck , in this marketing campaign..

    [looks like it needs a sleeve to keep from scratching the paint]
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-25-11 at 01:32 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
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    [looks like it needs a sleeve to keep from scratching the paint]
    Yeah, it has a PVC or heat shrink jacket. The prototype in those pictures doesn't, but the final will. It's actually more serious than you think: when you put it on a carbon frame, we're making sure it can't abrade or chip the frame itself.

    may have to start by paying for space at the next Bike Dealer's Trade Show, and having a booth there,do talk to dealers,
    Yes and no. In the 21st century, we have to be very careful about losing our margin to retailers. At least for the time being, we're doing all direct, though some dealers have shown interest. In those cases, we can deal with them directly and don't have to deal with a distributor. I just don't think people will be willing to pay the $400 for a lock that the distributor route would require.
    Joshua A.C. Newman,
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  8. #8
    cab horn
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    If this is meant to be a replacement or a superior substitute to the Kypto -locks, it ain't. How the F are you going to carry that around? It's way bigger and bulkier than a u-lock. A mini-krypto fits in back pockets. Some clothes even have a reinforced rear pocket for carrying it in that manner.

    What do you do when you have a modern road bike (re: Anything non cannondale) that has a non level top tube? What about a XS size bikes?

    Does that go around parking meters?

    Over $100 MSRP for the lock, lol.
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  9. #9
    afraid of whales Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    ...How the F are you going to carry that around?....
    There's a picture above that shows how to carry it, try reading the entire thread before attacking....

  10. #10
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    The price is going to be a barrier but not an insurmountable one if the lock works as advertised. Operator does make a good point in that how will the lock be carried on the variety of unconventional, non-round tube and warped main triangle bikes so prevalent these days.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
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    I actually went down to a bike shop to try it on a bunch of frames. It's thin enough that the curve of a top tube doesn't actually make much difference. It's only 20mm wide, and, while there are some super-curvy high-end frames that I haven't tried (Van Dessel comes to mind), most don't seem to be a problem.

    Super small frames can be a problem, though. I put one on a 46, (I think it was) and the seat cluster was so close to the back brake, there wasn't really room for the end of the bow. We're thinking about manufacturing smaller ones in the future, but for now, we have to stay focused to get the funding to do the first production run.

    We've gotten a really funny and attractive suggestion to make a ninja scabbard for it so you can put it over your back for those who don't want to or can't attach it to their frame. I'm inclined to design a messenger bag attachment, too, and a couple of people have suggested tiny bows that are just super light and cover one wheel and the seat tube. So we're thinking about other options. But only focus will get us to the point where we can actually do any of it.

    The price is going to be a barrier but not an insurmountable one if the lock works as advertised.
    Yeah, the price is something we have to contend with. But if we can't sell it at this price point, we can't afford to make it. That's part of what's great about Kickstarter: you can find out if people will buy something before you put in your $37,500.
    Joshua A.C. Newman,
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
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    Oh, hey, about going around things: the reason the bow is made of titanium is so it bends around stuff. Here's a prototype around a parking meter:



    I haven't been able to find something to try it myself, but John tells me he's locked it through both wheels and a 5" tree.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Joshua, in the last picture the support from the parking meter post would stabilize the bow well enough that someone with a hacksaw would be able to get a pretty darn good purchase on the bow for a cut. Is the Ti metal tough enough to at least make this a long and grueling job?

    To put it in perspective this question is coming from a guy that thinks it's not a big deal to go buy steel stock in 20 foot lengths and cut through 3/4 inch round bar with no vise and just a curb step in the parking lot of the metal supplier to let me put the three pieces into the back of my truck. All it takes is a foot on the bar and to keep it in close to the curb. The parking meter or a tree would accomplish the same thing.

    I tend to go by the idea that NO lock is totaly theft proof. Instead the whole idea is to make it less desireable for any number of reasons related to the lock and where it's locked so as to encourage the low life scum to move on to easier pickings. So the key is for the TiGr to be more trouble than it's worth.

    Frankly I've always thought that a hungry timber wolf with bad attitude would be a great security feature for a locked bike. But I ran into troubles with not being able to approach my own bike so it was back to the drawing board for me. On the whole I like your TiGr idea better than the wolf... Having said that the cost of your lock is way beyond what I'd be willing to pay. But then I have not had a bicycle stolen from me. If I had then I strongly suspect that at $150 or so that I'd think this was a great deal provided it does the job of not being beaten by easy methods.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  14. #14
    Senior Member Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
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    Is the Ti metal tough enough to at least make this a long and grueling job?
    Yeah, it's tough and really annoying to cut with a hacksaw, actually.

    I tend to go by the idea that NO lock is totaly theft proof.
    Yeah, and it's sure not a claim we want to be the first to make! Part of the reason we're looking for funding is to have the lock certified by a third party so we can say objectively how much of a theft deterrent it is. On the whole, the TiGr is extremely annoying to cut and outright defeats most other methods. John is actually working on some video footage right now of his own attacks on the lock to demonstrate. I'll be adding it to the video when he completes the shoots.

    But then I have not had a bicycle stolen from me. If I had then I strongly suspect that at $150 or so that I'd think this was a great deal provided it does the job of not being beaten by easy methods.
    The lock is designed for people with much more expensive bikes than mine — riders who are counting grams but want to make sure their bike is still there when they get out of work or when they stop off for a beer at the end of their group ride.

    The price is because it's a carefully designed object made of necessarily expensive materials.
    Joshua A.C. Newman,
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
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    This project is going great! Thank you so much! We're at 83% funded with a month yet to go!

    I just put up some new videos! One is a video of a TiGr in use. The other is John attacking a D-lock and a piece of TiGr stock with a hacksaw, angle grinder, and bolt cutters.

    Check it: http://tigrlock.com/!

    John's doing some more attack testing, too, so we should be able to do another attack video soon.
    Joshua A.C. Newman,
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua A.C. New View Post
    Yeah, it has a PVC or heat shrink jacket.
    Can we get it ($150 pledge) with a transparent jacket?

    Something matching my titanium frame, titanium seat post, and otherwise St. Tullio aproved shiny silver anodized bits would be nice.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
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    Yeah, the laser-etched ones have a clear jacket. I want to do a bunch of colors, too. We're still working on that, though.

    Honestly, that's the one I want to replace the prototype you see in the pics above. Thing would be mad hot.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Michael Angelo's Avatar
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    Cordless die grinder with a carbide cut-off wheel does in any lock out there. Locks only slow the bad guys down.......

  19. #19
    Senior Member Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
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    It's true! Check out the comically long and boring attack video on tigrlock.com. It takes twice as long to go through the 40mm bow as it does through the D-lock, and it completely defeats a bolt cutter.
    Joshua A.C. Newman,
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    If this is meant to be a replacement or a superior substitute to the Kypto -locks, it ain't. How the F are you going to carry that around?
    You can carry it the same way you carry your head - up your arse.

  21. #21
    Senior Member xizangstan's Avatar
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    I like it! I wonder if it would be good enough for my titanium vintage GT Xizang mountain bike? I mean, my bike may be 16 years old, but she's my pride and joy. I'm incredibly paranoid about losing her to some scumbag thief.
    Who is John Galt?

  22. #22
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    If it's designed to bow outwards to accomodate larger objects, what is to stop me from lifting your bike up and flexing the lock around the head of the parking meter, especially if I were to remove your front wheel from the dropouts to give me more slack?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.W. View Post
    If it's designed to bow outwards to accomodate larger objects, what is to stop me from lifting your bike up and flexing the lock around the head of the parking meter, especially if I were to remove your front wheel from the dropouts to give me more slack?
    ^This

  24. #24
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    In the 21st century, we have to be very careful about losing our margin to retailers. At least for the time being, we're doing all direct,
    Infomercials on Nascar, or what?
    Moderator, : Probably should move this to the selling stuff section. now.

  25. #25
    Senior Member xizangstan's Avatar
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    Moderator - I think this thread is okay. Sure, they're looking for free exposure for their product. But I don't know of many of us who manufacture all of our own bike stuff. We all need to be aware of new stuff from time to time.
    Who is John Galt?

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