Warped Bike Locks Itself
Boy, I just love bike design. You can make your two-wheeler do all kinds of crazy things without having to worry about little factors like structural integrity and riding performance. When a bike only exists on paper, it kind of makes it easier to bend and twist in all kinds of convenient directions.
This here is a bike design by a U.K. designer called Kevin Scott. At first, it looks like your average, albeit flamboyantly painted, urban commuter. But, once it's time to pull over to the curb and head inside, the bike actually bends so far as to wrap itself around a pole and lock up. You can then lock both wheels and the frame securely.
While certainly interesting to look at, this doesn't really seem like a sound solution. First off, I really don't know how a bike can bend like that and still offer the strength needed to sit on top of. Frankly, it looks like a bendable, plastic toy. Second, if you can make a practical bike that flexible, why not just fold it up and take it inside where you're going.
On the other hand, it appears the frame locks into itself in with an integrated locking mechanism. This pulls out the weak link in the equation: the bike lock. You can't exactly saw through the top tube to pull the bike off the pole, so a completely self-locking design seems like it would be a pretty strong theft deterrent, assuming the locking mechanism is sound.
We may get to see how the idea pans out. Scott recently won a pile of cash for taking home second at the U.K. Business Design Centre New Designer of the Year Award contest. He's planning on funneling that money back into his design, and is hoping to get a backer to help make the bike a reality. In the future, you too may be able to ride a Gorillapod bike around the streets of London.