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Local company wants to make bike security a cinch

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Wilsonville-based Otto Design Works thinks most bike locks are too big and clunky – especially for people riding fast and light road bikes who want something slim and compact.

The Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for their new OTTOLOCK launched today and has already raised over $8,000 of its $50,000 goal.

We’ve been following the development of this product for a few months now. Even though we are huge advocates for only using u-locks, we think this product might have a niche among a certain biking demographic.

Here’s their pitch:

OTTOLOCK is an all-new cinch lock for both cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts who value their gear and need a small, safe, and lightweight solution for their lifestyle. It’s far more secure than a cable lock, and much lighter than a U-lock… There is simply no excuse not to carry a lock now!

The initial idea behind the lock was to create something you could stow easily in a jersey pocket (it weighs less than a 1/4 pound) or a seat pack along with your tube and tire levers. The concept came from local professional road racer Jacob Rathe (who we’ve covered several times in the past) who started thinking about the idea after he got his bike stolen during a brief coffee stop during a ride.


While it’s not as secure as a quality u-lock or heavy-duty chain, the little strap is tougher than you might think. OTTO gave one to the Portland Police Bureau Bike Theft Task Force and the company’s Jake VanderZanden says, “They were surprised they couldn’t cut it.”

The lock is made from several layers of stainless steel bands (coated in plastic) and one band of Kevlar®. “Under load,” reads OTTO’s marketing copy, “the bands slide upon one another and effectively reduce shear forces. Conventional theft tools like wire or bolt cutters are just not enough to cut the OTTOLOCK.”

You might recall OTTO’s last product, a “Tuning System” that attaches to your derailleur and interacts with your smartphone to help adjust your shifting.

We’ll be getting an OTTOLOCK in to test soon. In the meantime, learn more over on the Kickstarter campaign page.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

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