A New York-based company has unveiled designs for a bicycle seat that also functions as a one-metre-long bike lock made of steel links that fold up under the seat for storage during travel (+ slideshow).
Seatylock was created by a team led by Israeli product designer Oren Livne to tackle two common problems faced by urban cyclists – carrying around a heavy lock to secure their bike when not in use and the theft of saddles from parked bicycles.
The resulting product is a seat that can be used on most existing bike frames and can be easily removed with a lever, revealing a metre-long thick metal chain made of steel sections that fold up to sit underneath the saddle.
"Locking the bicycle is widely known to be a burden," said the designers in a statement. "Bike riders could sometimes find that they have left their lock back home while needed it the most, some cyclists even face saddle theft. That will never happen with a Seatylock."
The design team said that placing the lock underneath the seat would ensure the device is located in the bicycle's centre of gravity, meaning that riders won't feel like they are carrying extra weight.
Once removed from the bike, the sections of the lock can be folded out, extending to create a chain long enough to wrap around a fixed object like a lamp post or a piece of street furniture. The lock has a similar design to Livne's previous product, the Foldylock, which quadrupled its funding target when it launched on Kickstarter last year.
The device attaches to most common bicycle seat columns using a universal adapter.
"It takes less than 30 seconds from taking out Seatylock from the seat post to a complete lock," said the team. "This is faster than handling the locking of most other locks in the markets."
The position of the saddle can be adjusted vertically and tilted up or down to suit the rider's preferences.
It is coated in plastic to prevent the metal scratching the user's bike frame, and there are currently two different styles of saddle available.
The narrow Trekking saddle is available in three different variations – one with a uniform colour, one featuring stripes and one with a drawing picked out in a highlight colour. The Trekking version weighs 1.3 kilos.
"The total weight of Seatylock, 1.3 kilograms, is less than the average combined weight of 90 per cent of the top saddles and locks together," said the team.
The 1.4-kilogram Comfort version features additional foam padding and is wider. It comes in three base colours with a design picked out in a highlight colour.
The designers are currently working on additional options including a sports saddle and a gel saddle.
The project is currently seeking funding via Kickstarter and is expected to go into production early next year.