Yerka is the world’s first anti-theft bike. The ingeniously designed bicycle has been a big hit in its homeland, Chile, since launching in 2015, and now its promise of true urban freedom is catching the attention of city cyclists worldwide.
Cycling in big cities around the globe is on the rise, with more and more cycle lanes opening and more people pedalling, conscious of the adverse effects of the city’s car-heavy traffic. But despite the improved infrastructure, many cyclists still suffer from an affliction that affects urban zones worldwide: bike theft.
That’s why the Chilean YERKA company set to work on a bike that cannot be stolen, spending years building prototypes to configure a new bicycle design that would deter thieves by creating a built-in lock mechanism that would not affect the bike’s rideability.
To create the unstealable bike, YERKA needed to come up with a design that was not only secure but also had the same reliable functionality as any other well-made bike. By 2015, YERKA had its design ready and dispatched its first 200 bikes through a successful crowdfunding campaign. In no time, Yerka bikes started to populate the streets, particularly in Santiago de Chile, where the company was founded.
The invention works so well because the frame is used as its lock. When a user wants to leave their bike, they remove the seat post, secure it around something sturdy like a street light and attach it to arms that extend from the core frame of the bike. So if thieves break the lock, they break the bike. YERKA claims that there have been no thefts to date, and the team is now looking at ways to implement technology to get an electric bike by the end of 2024. They are constantly refining and enhancing the design and have already launched the Yerka V3 and V4 models, both non-electric bikes.
The bikes are available in two colours, and riders can pay less for a 3-gear bike or a bit more for a multiple-gear and suspension model. YERKA continue to be in high demand, both in Chile and beyond, and the brand is now growing in popularity in Europe, the USA and Australia, where it has direct distributors and express delivery service.