First-Ever ‘Unstealable’ Bicycle Goes into Production

October 13, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. frame / freɪm / (n.) – the basic parts that form the shape of something
Example: I want to change my bicycle’s frame.

2. dismantle / dɪsˈmæn tl / (v.) – to take something apart or into pieces
Example: Please help me dismantle the car engine.

3. reassemble / ˌriːəˈsɛmbəl / (v.) – to rebuild or to put the parts together again
Example: He reassembled the computer after the technician checked it.

4. mechanism / ˈmɛk əˌnɪz əm / (n.) – a part with a specific mechanical function
Example: Breaking into our house is difficult because of our new locking mechanism.

5. dent / dɛnt / (v.) – to hit and make a part of a surface lower than other parts
Example: He hit and dented our wall.


Read the text below.
Three former engineering students from Chile are now producing a type of bicycle that is not only stylish but also difficult to steal.

Cristóbal Cabello, Andrés Roi Eggers, and Juan José Monsalve created Yerka, a bicycle with a self-locking frame. Yerka was launched in November last year, but its production started only in August. The creators of Yerka received a $100,000 investment for research and development, but they still sought more financial help on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo.

A Yerka bicycle is difficult to steal because of its modified frame. The downtube or the tube that connects the upper and lower part of the bicycle can be split into two. The bicycle can be locked around a pole or a bike rack by connecting the seat tube to both the parts of the split downtube. Dismantling and reassembling the bicycle would also not take much time, as one can do them in just a matter of seconds.

Aside from its locking technology, the creators are also developing an app that can help owners automatically lock and unlock their bicycles.

While Yerka offers an effective way to lock bicycles, it still received criticism. Online writer Lloyd Alter pointed out that stealing a Yerka bicycle is still possible. It is because the bicycle uses a locking mechanism that can be opened by using enough effort. Alter also questioned the strength of the bicycle’s frame, as it can easily be dented with just one kick.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Given the chance, would you buy a Yerka bicycle? Why or why not?
·         Do you think this bicycle can be popular in your country? Why is that so?

Discussion B

·         How else can bicycle theft be prevented?
·         How do you think bicycle thieves should be punished?

October 13, 2015