Here in bike-friendly Portland, hipsters tend to stash their U-locks in their back pockets, which makes for an unfortunate view for the rest of us -- the heavy-duty locks can make even the skinniest of skinny jeans sag.
Enter the InterLock, which hides inside the bike frame itself and, with just a few days left on the clock, is nearly funded on Kickstarter. (As of this writing, more than 800 backers have pledged almost $37,000 of the $48,000 needed.)
The lock was first thought up last year, when Vancouver-based product designer Adrian Solgaard Janzen -- who says he "loves everything with two wheels" -- had his bike stolen due to a faulty lock. He decided enough was enough: It was time to make a better lock, one that would be easy to cart around.
The resulting InterLock hides inside any bike frame via the seat post. Just pull the cable out as far as it will go, wrap it around the frame of the bike, and lock it to whatever post you'd deem sturdy enough when using any other lock.
Janzen admits his design can't withstand the rigors that those rigid metal U-Locks can. In fact, he recommends that it be used as a backup lock in high-risk areas.
"The intention of this lock is to make cycling more simple and enjoyable, and to make it possible to run errands and pop into random stores for ice cream, candy, chocolate, etc.," he writes in an e-mail from Europe, where he's meeting with potential distributors. (It helps that Janzen, who has lived in four countries, also speaks five languages.) "It's designed to be the simplest and most convenient bike lock ever!"
Riding with the InterLock alone, then, will always carry inherent risk. Whether that will deter the aforementioned hipsters, who are rarely seen donning helmets, only time and a little more Kickstarter funding will tell.