And then there's SlunkLock, the u-lock that makes you puke:
Seems to me it's easy enough to have a vomit-inducing bike without the lock:
By the way, back in 2009 I wrote a comprehensive history of the Y-foil "bicycle." Read it and remember when this blog used to be funny.
Those were the days.
Anyway, the concept of the u-lock is that when a thief cuts into it, it releases a noxious gas:
With his co-inventor, Yves Perrenoud, Idzkowski created a U-shaped lock of carbon and steel with a hollow chamber to hold one of three pressurized gases of their own concoction, including one called “formula D_1”. When someone cuts about 30% of the way into the lock, Idzkowski said, the gas erupts in the direction of the gash.
“It’s pretty much immediately vomit inducing, causes difficulty breathing,” Idzkowski said. “A lot of similar symptoms to pepper spray.”
So basically it's like cutting into a hunk of Limburger cheese at a cocktail party, or like a Fred peeling off his chamois after a long ride.
“You’re basically just puking on yourself the entire time,” he said. “They could change all their clothes, shower, if the bike is still there come out and cut the remaining 75% of the lock. You can’t prevent a theft 100%, so that’s why we call it a deterrent lock, not a solution.
“All you have to do is be better than the bike across the street.”
Okay, two questions:
1) What happens to the innocent bystanders? Are they just collateral damage?
2) If this is such an effective deterrent, why not just put some SkunkLock stickers on your current lock and be done with it?
I don't know, but here's the video from the crowdfunding website:
It should be fun when these start deploying accidentally like those Hovding airbag helmets--though it still doesn't seem like as much of a deterrent as the Bike Mine:
Explosive charges, noxious gas...it won't be long before we need the cycling equivalent of the Geneva Convention.
Speaking of destruction and mayhem, remember how my chain broke yesterday? Well when I finally went to shorten my chain for the ride home I noticed that the pins came out way too easily, which undermined my confidence considerably. I also discovered my pulley wheel was cracked:
Did the broken chain cause the pulley to break? Or did the broken pulley somehow break the chain? Or are the two things completely unrelated?
We may never know (or care, for that matter) but I'm ordering a set of $499 CeramicSpeed oversized freak pulleys immediately:
Nah, just kidding. I'm actually ordering the $599 "coated" version:
The OSPW is a carbon-fiber pulley cage stuffed with a pair of 17-tooth, machined-aluminum pulleys. It sells for $499 and is claimed to save you at least 2.4 watts. $100 more gets you the coated version, which claims to have 50-percent less friction than CeramicSpeed’s standard ceramic bearings. A pair of standard replacement pulleys cost $279, or $369 for the coated version.
Wow, the "coating upcharge" has to be the most revolutionary development in bilking Freds since the "SL" suffix. I imagine a visit to the pro shop must go like this:
"Wait, did I say $499? Sorry, I meant $599. It's got a special coating. No, you can't actually see it, and there's no way I can show it to you because it's not visible to the naked eye, but I promise it's there."
What's next, a $1,000 version that's made out of titanium?
On second thought I'm not pulling the trigger on new pulleys until retail prices crack the $10,000 barrier.
Nevertheless, going back to the "Bicycling" review, those $499 derailleur pulleys (a total bargain now that you know they go for twice that in titanium) sound absolutely fantastic...apart from the fact that they can't clear a 28-tooth cog:
But maybe if you spring for the "coated" version the whole friction thing will cancel itself out.
Oh, and you have to use them with that special $135 chain that only lasts for 200 miles and is only good in dry conditions:
The chain’s watt-saving properties are only good for 200 miles, after which it’s about as fast as an unoptimized, but broken-in, version of the chain. Also, CeramicSpeed warns that the chain’s treatment is not corrosion resistant and should only be used in dry conditions during its 200-mile optimized lifespan. Once the optimization wears off, you can protect the chain from water damage by using your favorite chain lube.
But if you do you'll explore the fascinating grey area between riding at your "average ability" and riding at your "best:"
However, there’s "on paper" and there’s "the real world." I learned that gaining time improvements in the real world from a claimed less-than-10-watt reduction in friction—with variables like weather (I tested this in the late winter/early spring) and my wildly fluctuating form—is pretty tough.
It appears there was a little bump in efficiency, but the real-world improvement in time was less than the difference between when I’m riding at my average ability, and when I’m my best. It certainly wasn’t like I bolted the OSPW and UFO on and it started raining easy PRs.
But keep in mind that you suck, so the difference between your "average" and your "best" is about as meaningful as the friction coefficient between the base derailleur pulleys and the "coated" version.
And enjoy climbing with your derailleur pulley grinding away on your cassette.
Anyway, once I buttoned my poor drivetrain back up I decided not to take any more chances with it and instead said "Fuck it" and took the train:
You'll no doubt be pleased to learn I made it from the train station to my home with no catastrophic drivetrain failure and subsequent crotch-on-top-tube contact.
Lastly, on Tuesday I solicited feedback from you, my cherished readers, for my next Walz "limited edition" cap design, and after carefully analyzing your comments and taken all of them totally serious I've finally come up with a template I think will have a little something for everyone:
(See? It's not black!)
Assuming Brooks signs on it should be ready for the holiday shopping season.