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OnGuard Locking Skewers

by Mike Frank in Tech on 01 October 2007

onguardskewers.jpg

New to commuting by bike in NYC, I recently learned about the ingenious design of OnGuard's Locking Skewers.

After several years of hibernating in my parent's garage, I dug my bike out and brought it to the local repair shop for a much needed tune-up. They quickly informed me that my 14 year-old U-lock was not going cut it on the mean streets of New York and then demonstrated by easily opening it with a regular Bic pen.

So I needed a new lock. The recommended approach is to use at least two, one to secure both wheels to the frame and another to secure the frame to a post—which doesn't even cover the seat. I began to review my options. Riding around like the ghost of Christmas past with a long heavy bike chain was less then desirable, so I was excited to discover the Skewers as an alternative.

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The hardly noticeable skewers replace the quick-release wheel and seat bolts (securing all three) and can only be opened with a one-of-a-kind ratchet key. Once the system is installed, the only hassle you ever need to worry about is securing the frame to something solid. I chose a small, light U-lock which is easy to carry and quickly locks up the bike.

The true test is always on the street. After a night of being locked to parking sign on a dark street off Houston, I found the bike with both wheels and the seat exactly where I left if it. The handle bars, however, were gone.

The skewers are available from REI and Bikesmart.

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