The Puma anti-theft folding bike, also known as the ‘Disko’ bike, was designed in collaboration between sports-equipment manufacturer Puma, with technical and manufacturing expertise from Jens Skibsted, founder of Biomega bicycles, and design expertise from Adam Thorpe and Joe Hunter, founders of Vexed Generation. The Disko is a key example of how creative professionals are able to combine the tools of design with crime prevention insights to help reduce bike theft, in this case by using the principle of ‘spoiling’ (making the target of theft less valuable to thieves) as the primary design strategy.
The down tube of the aluminium frame was replaced with a steel cable that becomes the locking mechanism as well as being structurally integral in stopping the bike from ‘splaying’ apart when being used. The cable is used to securely lock the folded bike to parking furniture or domestic storage. If the cable is broken to steal the bike, the frame is left structurally weak and prone to failure. The missing cable is obvious if the bike goes up for resale and a replacement cable and key is only available to those quoting a unique model number known only to the owner and manufacturer.
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