Climbing bike storage thwarts thieves?

If you’ve got an expensive bike and don’t mind carrying around a whole bunch of extra weight in your courier bag you’ll like this concept. A design team built a pole-climbing bike rack in about 14 days. The video after the break shows the prototyping process as well as the finished “lock” in use. It’s a commercial for the company that employs the designers, but this is one kind of advert we don’t mind watching.

Square channel makes up the body of the device, with a set of Rollerblade wheels which grab a light pole and use three 12V gear motors for climbing. The controller is a wireless fob similar to those used for keyless entry on cars. In the video you can hear the cliché sound of a car alarm being set once the carrier reaches its finished height. Nice.

[Thanks JonnieCache]


  1. Mouseclone says:

    looks like a town will need more light poles soon.

  2. ReKlipz says:

    What about where the light poles taper as they rise? Perhaps the square tubing doesn’t impede while the device has the tendency to tilt to the heavy side, thus allowing the wheels to still grip and climb.

  3. bogdan says:

    Simply brilliant!
    It has it’s limitations, but it’s brilliant!

  4. h3po says:

    the video is great, but conrad sucks. hackers in germany call it “electro pharmacy” – the smaller the part you need, the more overpriced they sell it.

  5. Evoc says:

    LoL, any real thief would get a laptop and do the same thing and just drive away what a crap idea,
    well, ye you could use encrypted key transmission but it is exactly there where the flaw comes into the game.

  6. CPM M4 says:

    Brilliant = complete impracticality, I suppose.

  7. Great.. until the second guy uses the same pole as you.

  8. Bryan says:

    “Great.. until the second guy uses the same pole as you.”

    Hey sorry i’m late for work, some guy parked underneath me and i had to wait for him to finish his latte before i could get my bike down.

    Of course you could build one with extra torque so it pushes all the bikes below it

  9. M4CGYV3R says:

    Didn’t I see this on HAD in the last week or two? I can never remember where all these passed-around dupe articles have been.

  10. Eirinn says:

    @Evoc Any real thief does not carry around a laptop and certainly doesn’t steal bicycles.

    I’d be afraid of the cops taking down the bike though :<

  11. anon says:

    @Eirinn that’s why I usually leave a laptop close to my bike to distract the thieves from the bike

  12. vonskippy says:

    Good thing no one would think of inventing a stick to lift the bike off the carrier while it’s up the pole.

  13. Aviator747 says:

    A stick or someone building a universal remote of their own. A tv b gone idea.

  14. Nomad says:

    A nice ad for a crappy shop.

    Walked in one of those once…and asked two different guys for the same thing…and got two different answers => bull-feces

  15. ngart says:

    ok nerds, this is clearly more for fun than a practical idea, stop fogging up your glasses and calm down.

  16. tantris says:

    well, I could see cities offering “premium” parking spots.

  17. pff says:

    ..light pole? seriously?
    In my country we call them lamp posts.

    If you’ve got an expensive bike why not dangle it at a height from a lamp post on a busy street using some hobby motors and rollerblade wheels.
    hmmm not sure about this one.

  18. sowhat says:

    okay to all of you who think this is impractical: You obviously have never been to Bremen. Me and my 8 friends lost a total of 18 bikes to that city.
    Since these guys speak a nothern dialect of German it’s save to say the come from Bremen. :D
    That’s about the only place where this makes sense.

    Also nice in the vid he tests the remote saying:
    “Hoch”, “Runter”, “Disco” (“Up, down, disco”) and the leds flash.

  19. iToast says:

    WTF -_- I SUBMITED THIS -.- meh

    i wonder how weather proof it is :D

  20. Greycode says:

    I don’t know what I liked more, the concept, or that guy’s mutton chops. But rock on, rock on.

  21. spud says:

    When I see the guy operating a metal file with obviously no clue, it makes me lost all faith in their design shop.

  22. crizr says:

    @vonskippy & others: you could also simply use a padlocked cable / chain through the frame of the bike and around the pole… this pole-climbing rack certainly would make it a lot more difficult for someone the saw the cable or pick the lock to get your bike or steal the wheels or something.

  23. d3c4f says:

    I wonder what the legal implications are? Also, I can’t imagine the city utility workers would be happy.

    Interesting concept though, and a fun idea. Keep on hacking!

  24. JEDITALIAN says:

    lol a tv-b-gone that just makes them all detach, so they come crashing down instead of rolling/sliding.

  25. pRoFlT says:

    That bike is mine! long pool with hook to yank it down with. or grapling hook ;)

    What happens if the batteries die, does the bike fall? How does it stay in one place once its up there?

  26. Max says:

    @pRoFlT: I’m just guessing, but no small motor has that kind of torque by itself. Therefore, I would bet it’s a worm gear. Which by the way has the nice property of irreversibility (usually), ie. it locks up where it is when you stop driving it. But hey, I could be wrong.

    And sure, you should have an acrobat on retainer (or at least the Super Marios), in case your battery goes flat (or the electronics get wet) while the bike is up there.

    Oh, and a lawyer, just in case the bike comes crashing down on somebody’s nearby parked car / cat / dog / offspring / head etc. Otherwise, great laugh, sure.

    • Proflt says:

      @max yah but did you see how the bike is held? Looks like they just have it resting there on a bracket. I did not see a clamp to secure the bike to the system.

      Now a tenacle system would be real difficult to build for that. And would need a bigger backpack.

      When I first saw this I thought back to an idea I had for poll cleaners. We have several flag polls at work and I’ve seen them be hand cleaned. I wanted to make a robot that could climb to the top and clean the poll. Like a romba for flag polls :)

      anyways a bike secured this way is no more safe then with a chain. If someone wants it the will figure out how to get it down from thre.

  27. Max says:

    “Great.. until the second guy uses the same pole as you.”

    @Captain Obvious: Elementary, dear Watson. They just need to make a Mk.II, that can pass itself on the way up/down. Perhaps with two of these rings, connected by a worm/arm/tentacle/thingy that can swap them… Hmmm, this is starting to have some serious mad science potential…!

  28. Pogyhauler says:

    This is something thinkable only in the land of the 700cc sedan.

    A nudge from a RAM 3500 would have that bike to th go the ground and in bolt cutter range, in about 8 seconds just lettin it idle. quiet, no fuss, and gone in 60 seconds.

    I imagine ‘d be even easier with a hotwired Hanomag

  29. jim says:

    ITT: lots of guys take a humorous proof of concept way too seriously.

  30. ferdi says:

    what if the power faill and your bike is on the top how you get it down
    this is not leagal i think the streatlicht are proporty off the sity
    but i love the consept

  31. jim says:

    you would call a friend with a ladder

    obviously if this was for everyday use, a lot of time and money would be spent on lightening it and making it failsafe. one motor, carbon fibre, high density batteries and a carrier or permanent attachment to the bike frame might make it more viable

  32. Grovenstien says:

    Fun but flawed in so many ways. I would just shimmy up the pole and take the bike.

    PS all bike thieves should crawl under a rock and die!

  33. Flug says:

    What happens when the world rotates upside down during the night and the bike just falls off.. Completly flawed!

  34. davo1111 says:

    lol this is awesome. the double beep at the end makes it 1000 times cooler

  35. THeOReosv says:

    GREAT, I saw the germany add in german tv few days ago bud didn’t that there’s an instructable for it! :D netver the less i would never ever buy anything there, their prices are muuuuchhhh to overrated!

  36. Hacksaw says:

    A Lot has been said about it’s feasibility but very little about the legality. Where I live you can’t even tape (yes tape or nail or staple) a yard sale sign to any pole owned by the city or a utility operating under permit by the city. Now I guess a person could start a company installing poles for this purpose but then you may as well build the lift into the poles at least then you could put a bike on each side and not have to carry anything with you just your padlock (to lock the bike to the lift) and your (leased) encrypted key fob remote control thingy to raise it and lower it.

  37. Ren says:

    They should have the battery pack recharge while
    pedaling the bike.

    Apparently it can climb a pole covered with lots of rotting posts (i.e. sales, concerts, political flyers)

  38. Chris says:

    Here in canada we have a device called a hockey stick that will flip that bike right off of there.

  39. THeOReosv says:

    Here in germany we have a device called a hockey stick that will flip the guy who tries to steal the bike.

  40. PocketBrain says:

    Make the unit regenerative and get some power back when you lower your bike; reduce the size of the battery pack.

  41. Louis II says:

    @ Chris & his hockey stick:
    Indeed, you put a smile on my face :-)

  42. Lucky says:

    How long before someone hacks one to steal the
    ones locked by others?

  43. munit says:

    If you’ll build one of this, you have to pay at least 1060 bucks, without the wheels and small parts :D

  44. ∗*∗SIKDIDIT∗*∗ says:

    Wow 1060..Amazing
    My bike only cost me $50.00.;)(cuz it was stolen)

  45. bogdan says:

    Regenerative would probably not give you back any useful energy..

  46. Tanja says:

    The construction manual is now online:
    Nice to read that the lock’s popular even outside Germany :) You can build it, but I want to add that there’s no plan to sell it, it really would be too insecure.

  47. ridden says:

    Brilliant! The main flaws (dead battery, no locking clasp) are easily fixed. The rest of the arguments apply equally to any physical security technology. Except you have to be a whole lot more obvious about your attempt with this one. A bloke on a pole is pretty conspicuous.

    Most of the time, you just have to rebalance the equation of risk/effort vs. reward for potential thieves. I think this accomplishes that goal quite nicely.

    This would be great for attending outdoor concerts. Put your bike up a pole, easily keep an eye on it from elsewhere in the park!

  48. soopergooman says:

    Nice, I so could use one of these. Do you take orders?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,401 other followers