Bike theft is a big problem – the FBI estimates that $350 million worth of bicycles are stolen each year. Fortunately, there’s a solution. Fortified Bicycle just launched an “Invincible” bike with a theft-proof guarantee, and if someone does manage to steal it, they’ll ship you a new bike within 24 hours. Fortified’s Invincible bike starts at $399 on Kickstarter today.
Urban cyclists know the drill – if your bike isn’t bolted down and locked up, it’ll be stripped bare in no time. Tivan Amour and Slava Menn founded Fortified Bicycle in 2012 to develop secure bike gear that gives cyclists peace of mind. The Invincible bicycle is the apotheosis of that goal – a weather-proof, street-pounding beast of a bike designed to withstand anything city streets can throw at it.
They started with a rust-proof aluminum frame and a zinc-coated corrosion-resistant chain. Puncture-resistant 700x32c tires roll right over potholes. All of the bike’s components are locked into place with a proprietary set of anti-theft hardware, and the Invincible ships with a U-lock. On top of that, Fortified is offering theft protection coverage for $10 a month – should anything go missing (including the entire bike), Fortified Bicycle will send you a replacement.
Amour and Menn’s plan goes beyond hardware – they’ve assembled a team of bike security experts to monitor the sale and distribution of Invincible bikes. This team will approve buyers, vet sellers in secondary markets, and work with law enforcement to recover stolen bikes.
“It’s no secret that most stolen goods are sold in online marketplaces like Craigslist or Ebay. So part of our solution is to keep our bikes out of secondary markets. By restricting secondary sales, we ensure that thieves no longer have an incentive to steal our bikes,” explained co-founder Tivan Amour.
Fortified Bicycle is offering two versions of the Invincible on launch: a single-speed that starts at $399 and an eight-speed with Shimano Altus derailleurs and Tektra disc brakes that starts at $699. They’re planning to ship their first batch of bikes by June 2016 at the latest.