Kryptonite lock

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thumb|a Kryptonite lock

The Kryptonite lock is an Ingersoll Rand-owned brand of bicycle lock for securing a bicycle to a pole or other fixture, when the owner wants to leave the bicycle in a public place. The basic design, made of hardened steel of circular cross section bent into a U-shape with a removable crossbar, has been emulated by numerous other manufacturers, and adapted with variations in size and shape for other applications, such as locking motorcycles.

The product was named after kryptonite, the fictitious substance that can thwart the powerful comic-book hero Superman. The name is used under a limited trademark agreement with DC Comics dating back to 1983.


The Kryptonite lock was developed in 1972. Before then, the only comparable security available was from a chain, which could weigh almost as much as the bicycle. (A common humorous observation in bicycle magazines at the time was that the total weight of a bicycle plus chain was constant regardless of cost, since owners of more expensive, lighter bicycles would buy heavier, more secure chains.) In the early 1970s the only proven method to secure one's bicycle was by the use of case hardened security chain with hexagonal links, but some cyclists were making the mistake of using inexpensive chains or cables that could be breached by thieves using commonly available tools. Indeed, local hardware stores would often sell inexpensive chain cut to length using simple bolt cutters....
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