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Until recently most bicycle manufacturers considered prevention of bicycle theft to be the responsibility of lock manufacturers and the police, but as cyclists become more aware, often through personal experience, of how easy it is for thieves to break many locks some designers are seeking to address the issue of cycle theft in the design of the bicycle itself.

All of these bicycle designs target urban cyclists, for whom the risk of bike theft is highest. Whether it is an urban commuter bike, a city run-around, or a hire bike that spends all of the time on street– all these designers share the opinion that urban bikes should be resistant to theft and by addressing this issue their innovation has catalysed a new genre in cycle design– anti-theft bicycles.

Most of these designs seek to discourage theft by using spoiling tactics in their designs, making it impossible for a thief to steal the bike without breaking it and therefore reducing its reuse or resale value. Others seek to increase the convenience of cyclists by designing ways that the components at risk of theft (wheels, seats, gears, brakes) can be secure without the need for cyclists to use and carry more than one lock.

©2008 // DESIGN AGAINST CRIME RESEARCH CENTRE // LONDON WC1B 4AP fully funded by the AHRC / EPSRC Designing for the 21st Century Initiative