Skunklock (Smelly bike lock)

Seen on Dezeen this morning. Bike lock that releases disgusting compound when cut with grinder to make a thief throw up.

Its an unconventional approach, but I suppose it relies on social cues for bystanders to actually take action rather than simply watch the theft happen, or they’ll be punished as well. I hope the people buying and funding this never lose their own key, what a brutal idea for a lock!

  1. By “take action” do you mean put myself into harms way for someone else’s property? And if I don’t put myself into harm’s way I should be punished? When a mugger steals my wallet, should I go to jail?

  2. If I am an innocent bystander, and I throw up because of the noxious gas released, can I sue the bike owner and the company for pain and suffering? Or do I just go straight to jail?

I think a high voltage shock would be better deterrent.

I haven’t said what you should or shouldn’t do in such a situation, nor that you should be punished for someone elses actions. I actually disagree with the concept entirely and wanted to speculate on why the designers went with a method that has the potential to negatively affect innocent bystanders.

Realistically, if I cut through the lock section itself, rather than the rail, I’d avoid the gas and still steal the bike. Alternatively, I cut it, get sick, deal with it and steal the bike anyway. Point being that now the lock is cut, I’m going to go back and get it if I can, meaning that a normal lock would ultimately have achieved the same level of protection, without the gas risk to everybody else.

Did they not consider it affecting the surrounding people (particularly in busy areas)? Have they designed it purely from a ‘get revenge’ perspective from having their own bikes stolen? Their kickstarter says that “the formula that we’ve developed is detectable through even some of the most robust gas masks”, surely this isn’t good for your health, how can it be legal to sell?

It is a horrible idea. What if someone has an adverse reaction to whatever toxin they have in the lock? Administering a chemical dose should never be a “guesstimate”. And that is exactly what this product will do. All just to make a buck or two. You know there will be plenty of yahoos who buy the lock just to cut it open and experience the stink.

I expect this company to go down in flames. I predict a lawsuit within the first year.

This is what I was thinking when I was reading about it as well. Maybe I am jaded from being around our attorneys regularly but this concept just seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen. It seems likely someone will have a reaction beyond vomiting.