Frequently Asked Questions

Why do your products not include a dust cover for the key hole

Adding a dust cover would increase the dimensions and the weight of the crossbar as well as making the use of the product slightly more cumbersome (either manually sliding a cover back and forth or having to deal with a spring loaded automatic cover that would make key insertion a little trickier). We’re also not convinced of the benefit of dust covers vs these down sides. Due to the weight balance of the product, the key hole will almost always be pointing slightly down, so rain water is not likely to enter, and dust (or more likely soot in high theft environments) is going to take quite some time to build up enough to cause the lock cylinder mechanism to not be smooth enough and start being difficult to operate. At that point, it takes a few seconds to re-lubricate and flush out the mechanism to go back to an extremely smooth experience. This should be done anyway (about once per year), as the factory applied lubricant effectiveness will gradually decrease over time, regardless of dust protection.

At Skunklock, the designers of the products are avid cyclists and use our U-locks on a daily basis to secure their bikes in a very high theft environment (this is why we started the company, we needed a solution to keep our bikes safe). We thus design products that are as effective and practical as possible (and strike the right balance of practicality vs features). Every dust cover we’ve ever used on the weak U-locks that couldn’t protect our bikes from theft, were getting in the way of quickly locking and unlocking our bikes. For manual covers, we simply never used them, but they bulked up the product, making it harder to transport and operate.

Why isn’t a mount available for your U-locks

Back in the day, bike frames were all made up of fairly standard sized tubular cylinders (and there’s still some of those on the market), but nowadays, with alumiminium, carbon fiber and even sometimes chromoly, the frames, especially on the more expensive bikes, tend to have custom frame shapes. Coming up with a good universal frame mount that fits those frames well, is virtually impossible. In addition, a lot of our customers aren’t locking bikes, but motorcycles, electric skateboards, mopeds and the high variety of e-bikes shapes and sizes. So including a frame mount with the product would increase costs for a component that a lot of customers would not be able to make use of (which would end up yielding more plastic pollution, which the world has enough of already) and offering one or multiple for sale would likely yield to unsatisfied customers. There’s plenty of options available online that customers can explore based on their needs and their frame size and shape, and often at prices lower than we’d ever be able to offer them for.

We have taken all the necessary precautions to ensure that the SKUNKLOCK Chemical is legal and compliant with all laws and regulations to the best of our knowledge. Our legal representation conducted a detailed review of all State statutes and regulations within the United States regarding the sale and use of SKUNKLOCK products.

We have identified three primary considerations for analyzing the legality of the sale and use of the SKUNKLOCK Chemical, in regards to whether it can reasonably be considered a “booby trap” by both Federal and State law:

Note: NOT ALL States have laws and regulations regarding booby traps.

Although language varies slightly State by State, a booby trap must definitively:

- be concealed or camouflaged with the intention of causing great bodily injury

After careful consideration and examination, the SKUNKLOCK Chemical is neither concealed nor camouflaged, in fact, the device is designed specifically to communicate that there are chemicals under pressure inside with a comprehensive warning tag, and two separate irremovable warnings, including pictograms for those that are unable to read.

- Cause great bodily injury/death, or prolonged and protruded harm

Although our highest priority has always been that the SKUNKLOCK Chemical be extremely effective at deterring and stopping a theft, it was very important to us that the SKUNKLOCK Chemical would never harm or injure a perpetrator. After many engineering trials and breakthroughs, we are proud to say that the SKUNKLOCK Chemical formula contains exclusively food-grade and non-lethal chemicals. Although there may be risks associated with operating power tools in an attempt to steal property, these risks are not unique to the SKUNKLOCK.

- Include a trigger mechanism

A booby trap must include some sort of “triggering mechanism,” most notably trip wires or sensors. The SKUNKLOCK Chemical purposefully does not include any sensor technology that would try to identify a thief or attempted theft, nor any trigger mechanism that would allow someone to easily release the chemicals inside.

Furthermore, we identified that there are some possible limitations of shipping versions of the SKUNKLOCK Chemical that contained capsaicin or oleoresin capsicum ingredients to certain states, thus, SKUNKLOCK Chemical does not include these chemicals in its formulas. We know that these regulations were enacted with pepper spray in mind, and we do not believe these compounds are necessary for effectively deterring theft. We also reserve the right to ship SKUNKLOCK products that contain varying formulas where applicable in order to ensure compliance of all rules and regulations.

Please visit our website periodically for further information and our latest stance on legal compliance and check with your local and State laws as these may differ from State to State and country by country.

Or if you have additional questions, we can be reached by using the Contact page.

Is SKUNKLOCK Chemical considered “weaponized”?

The SKUNKLOCK Chemical has a number of fundamental differences that differentiate it from a weaponized product, such as pepper spray, mace, tasers, etc. The first difference is that SKUNKLOCK Chemical is not designed to be easily punctured, and houses chemicals inside a 450 Brinell hardened medium-carbon steel tube, using one of the strongest varieties of steel in the world. Similarly, electronics such as smartphones (or even smartlocks) are not designed for someone to puncture the lithium battery housing causing a severe explosion. Secondly, SKUNKLOCK Chemical does not contain a “trigger mechanism” or button that can be pushed to release the chemicals at any given time; the lock must be penetrated. Weaponized items are exclusively equipped with an easy access trigger so that pepper spray can be released, or a taser can be activated at the appropriate time.

What are the dimensions of a SKUNKLOCKs?

The SKUNKLOCKs are purposefully designed to fit most commuter and mountain bicycles easily and allow you to apply the Modified Sheldon Brown technique for locking. For more unique bicycles or motorcycles, dimensions can be found on the respective product pages.

How safe is it?

The SKUNKLOCK Chemical is designed to never expose the noxious chemicals inside. The noxious, vomit-inducing chemicals are confined and permanently sealed within a secure hollow chamber throughout the lock. The only way you may expose the chemicals is by trying to cut through it with an angle grinder (even then it wouldn’t be easy).

How strong is it?

The SKUNKLOCK Chemical is just as strong if not stronger than the highest quality U-Locks on the market. The lock is made from hardened medium-carbon steel that exceeds 450 brinell. The difference is that if a thief cuts far enough through to puncture the seal, the lock will release noxious chemicals stopping the thief in their tracks.

Are SKUNKLOCKs a “Smart Lock”?

No, and for good reason! Smart Locks (think those with fingerprint readers, GPS trackers, alarms, or app enabled) are actually pretty dumb when it comes to preventing your bike from being stolen. We’ve tried and tested many new Smart enabled locks that have become available on the market. Each and every lock was just as easy to cut through with an angle grinder (if not easier) or was easily disabled. But worse, the technology in each lock created more vulnerabilities than security. For these reasons, SKUNKLOCKs are purely mechanical and/or chemical solution to deterring theft. Great article summarizing some of the vulnerabilities:

My SKUNKLOCK won’t open, what should I do?

The only drawback of including a top-of-the-line, pick resistant, and drill-resistant disc locking cylinder in the SKUNKLOCK is that it is a bit harder to use. To properly open the lock, ensure that you have pushed far enough inside the lock and the key is contacting the very back of the locking mechanism, wiggle the key to ensure all internal discs are line up to let the key through, then turn 180 degrees. If this does not work, it is possible that your lock was tampered with which could make it difficult to open. If on arrival your lock does not open, please contact us using the Contact page.

Are any of the formulas we use lethal or harmful?

No! Our formulas are food-grade and are not designed to cause any sort of permanent harm to thieves and are predominantly made up of naturally occurring fatty acids commonly found in rancid butter, parmesan cheese, and our very own vomit. However, they are all highly effective as deterrent because of their extremely unpleasant and vomit inducing smell.

How difficult is it to use the key and lock cylinder?

To stay true to our mission, we decided it is appropriate to sacrifice some ease of use for top-of-the-line security that prevents all types of attacks. All in all, if the thief can just drill or easily pick your lock, what’s the point of putting chemicals in it? The three attacks that we prevent using our uniquely designed disc cylinder are 1. Drilling attacks - An initial free spinning disc prevents drills from cutting through your disc cylinder, a common attack on other U-Locks. 2. Resistant materials that prevent heat or cold attacks, but could make the lock turn less smoothly. 3. Cylinder discs rather than pin tumblers that make picking very difficult and require special expensive tools and skills only very few lock picking enthusiasts possess. The key and disc cylinder may sometimes be a little difficult to use or take getting used to, but trust us, it’s worth it!

Does the SKUNKLOCK Chemical smell?

We apply a thorough quality control process to ensure all our products are safe prior to shipment. However, the proprietary chemical formula we’ve developed is so effective that it is detectable at 1 part per billion. Therefore, it is possible that you may notice a very slight smell from the product on opening and this is completely normal.

Do the SKUNKLOCKs come with accessories or a bike mount?

We are not currently promising the SKUNKLOCKs will ship with accessories or a bike mount. We have found that cyclists and motorcyclists generally have their own preferences for lock mounts, and there are many viable alternatives available on the market leaving minimal room for innovation. We are focused on shipping products with a high degree of innovation and no viable alternatives. In addition, high-end bikes and e-bikes (and of course mopeds and motorcycles) have unconventional unique frame shapes (for styling, structural or aerodynamic reasons), which makes producing useful generic mounts impractical.

How quickly does the chemical formula dissipate if it is released?

Because the formula is under high pressure, it releases immediately when the seal is punctured. The formula then quickly decreases in concentration as it moves further and further from the puncture point, and though it is noticeable at those lower concentrations, is only vomit inducing in the proximity of the thief.

So it works when cut, what about when thieves use other tools?

It is a myth that any U-Lock can be “popped open” with a simple bottle jack. Most thieves choose an angle grinder because any quality double bolt U-Lock can resist the pressure generated by a bottle-jack that is small enough to fit within a standard sized U-Lock. The SKUNKLOCKs are no different and will resist this type of attack.

What happens if authorities need to remove my bike legitimately?

In the event a bike or motorcycle needs to be safely and legitimately removed, authorities may either: 1. request a duplicate key be made by a local locksmith, at which point we verify the identity of the owner by serial number and provide a unique code for the locksmith to create a duplicate key, 2. a partnered locksmith with trained knowledge of our locking mechanism is sent (at bike owners expense) to pick the lock (may take up to an hour), 3. we overnight mail a spare key to authorities. We believe there is sufficient alternatives to cutting a SKUNKLOCK for that ever to be a dire necessity.

Why did we choose a U-Lock design as the foundation for SkunkLock?

Although chain locks are traditionally seen as the highest security option, we believe they are too heavy and impractical for everyday bicyclists and motorcyclists, and they still require either a padlock or mini U-lock to secure, which then often becomes the weakest element. The traditional U-Lock is a tried and proven design that has been around for over 45 years, is lightweight, strong, and versatile. Our thought was, if we charge a U-Lock with pressurized noxious chemicals we’ll have a lock that’s more secure than a chain lock, but as practical as a traditional U-Lock, the Deterrent Lock (DT-Lock) was born.

How does the structural integrity of the SKUNKLOCK Chemical compare to other U-Locks?

To understand structural integrity, we must first define what it means in the context of bike and motorcycle locks. The way we define structural integrity is with these two considerations: how hard is it to cut the lock using bolt cutters, and how long would it take to cut through it with an angle grinder? Under these considerations, the structural integrity of the SKUNKLOCK Chemical is comparable to other “super-premium” U-Locks on the market ($100+). The SKUNKLOCK Chemical is bolt cutter resistant, and if a thief were to theoretically cut through it (without considering the chemicals inside), it would take as long as comparably priced locks. The way we achieved this was through purposeful thickening of the lock (there’s just as much steel to cut through as the majority of other locks), and most importantly, the hardeness of the steel that we use, which exceeds 450 brinell in hardness. That said, our goal isn’t solely to make a lock that takes a very long time to cut. We believe that approach will never ultimately stop all thieves. Our core goal is to deter theft by incapacitating thieves with noxious chemicals.

My lock isn’t turning as smoothly as it used to, what do I do?

Lock cylinders, like most complex mechanical contraptions require some maintenance every once in awhile. In the event your lock cylinder isn’t turning as smoothly as it once did, we recommend re-lubrication. This is required 1-2 time per year depending on the conditions you expose your lock to. The only lubricants we recommend for our product are non-stick dry lubricant sprays such as PTFE (Teflon) or Boron Nitride based ones (easily obtained at hardware stores or online), and a spray can will probably last you for a lifetime if you only use it to lubricate a few lock cylinders.

Why don’t we disclose the exact chemical formula used?

We only disclose the minimum requirements of our formula D_1 in order to maintain legal compliance, and to ensure that our formula remains effective against thieves for years to come. If we disclose this information, not only do our customers understand our product better, thieves do too.

What do the white stripes represent?

The white stripes of the SKUNKLOCK Chemical are our unique and patented branding that denotes it is a deterrent lock. The inspiration for this design was the colors and patterns present on a Skunk. This design does not denote where the chemicals are present; the chemicals exist throughout the lock, not simply in the areas where there is a white stripe.

What if I lose my key?

Each SkunkLock comes with an industry standard unique code which you may use to request additional keys. Keys will have the option for overnight mail in order to ensure you receive replacements as soon as possible.

What if the bike is abandoned or illegally locked to another bike?

In those instances we would first contact the owner on file and either send authorities a key through overnight mail, or if it needs to be removed immediately, we would send a partnered lock picking expert to pick the lock (may take an hour or more). So although picking is not a viable option for a bike thief because they have neither the necessary skills nor are they willing to risk the vast amount of time it would require, it is a viable option for removing the lock in those instances.

Will my bike smell after an attempted theft?

Possibly, but not likely! The direction the chemicals disperse is generally in the direction where the cut is being made by a thief (in the thief’s face, rather than toward your bike). However, we provide detailed instructions for complete disinfection with every purchase to remove all traces of chemicals from your bike or motorcycle. All in all, we believe a smelly bike is better than no bike!

Why don’t we provide anti-theft protection?

We’ve been there, our bikes were stolen and thought to ourselves “maybe the world isn’t ending yet, I think I had anti-theft protection”. Unfortunately, we learned the hard way that it’s not so easy to get compensated for your loss, in many cases you have to prove you locked your bike correctly, and in other cases if the lock was compromised using a power tool the protection is automatically voided. What’s worse is, when you try to prove the lock was compromised you can’t because thieves take the lock with them. Many companies make it as hard as possible to collect. So instead of deceptively marketing an anti-theft policy, we decided to focus our efforts on actually building something that will prevent your bike from being stolen.

Is the SkunkLock guaranteed to prevent theft?

No lock can guarantee someone will not go the extra mile to steal your bike or motorcycle, especially if it’s expensive and worth the risk (and pain in our case). However, the SkunkLock does provide you the best chance of deterring the theft by being the least attractive lock to compromise on your block. Thieves will generally take a slightly less profitable bike if the risk is significantly less (and less dangerous). If a thief compromises the SKUNKLOCK Chemical, not only are they exposing themselves to noxious chemicals, someone nearby may be asking what that smell is. Note: the SkunkLock won’t work if you don’t lock your bike properly, or fail to lock your bike completely. For example, if you only use one SkunkLock on your back wheel and frame (the two most expensive parts of your bike) then your front wheel may still be stolen.

Can’t a thief just wear a mask or protection?

Technically, yes. Will it help them steal your bike? Probably not. The formula that we’ve developed is detectable through even some of the most robust gas masks (unfortunately, we learned this the hard way!). More importantly, we aren’t strictly relying on chemicals incapacitating the thief to prevent the theft. There is no technology that can guarantee theft prevention; however, we do believe SKUNKLOCK Chemical is the best lock on the market to deter theft. Not only does an attack on the SKUNKLOCK Chemical release chemicals into the air that create a scene that makes people ask questions within the theft radius, it also has economic implications for the thief. Our formula irreversibly ruins the clothes worn by the thief, their expensive tools, and any of the protection they may be wearing, and replacing these items is likely more expensive than the resale value of your stolen bike (generally only 1/10 of the retail price). You don’t need to be perfect, you just have to be the best protected on your block. So more than likely, a thief will attack a more hassle free bike parked nearby than your bike.

Why did we price the SkunkLock the way we did?

The current industry standard for “Premium” U-Locks is those that are bolt-cutter resistant. That is to say, a thief can’t cut the lock in 4 seconds with a pair of large bolt-cutters. These locks generally range in price anywhere from $100 to $350. Our lock is priced proprotionally to the production costs, which are quite high due to the complicated nature of the release mechanism, the R&D required, the legal ramifications and the difficulties in assembling the product (as well as finding factories willing to work with the chemicals). Many companies rely on repeat sales every year or two to sell more locks. We would love if your lock is never compromised because thieves are deathly afraid of it, and that you love our product enough that you buy our newest model every year. And uniquely, we re-invest over 20% of our profits back into research & development to ensure our product continuously improves.

Does the SKUNKLOCK Chemical Technology ever expire?

The SKUNKLOCK Chemical has no defined expiration date. However, we hope that SkunkLock fans buy the latest model as it is released. We will continuously be improving the technology. For something as important as protecting your personal property, we understand that this will be a continuous effort to “out-innovate” thieves, and we hope our customers support us in this effort.

How durable is the SkunkLock?

The SkunkLock is made from some of the strongest materials. We’ve extensively tested it for extreme wear and tear and are confident that it can be used for many years without any problems.

What happens if I drop it?

Nothing! The only way chemicals in the SKUNKLOCK Chemical can be triggered is through purposeful cutting.

Am I liable if a bystander is nearby when a thief is stealing it?

Remember, the chemicals from the SKUNKLOCK Chemical are designed to only be potent enough to disable a thief (within close proximity of active cutting). So although bystanders could potentially smell the chemicals, they will not likely be adversely affected. A thief is committing an illegal activity by attempting to cut through your SKUNKLOCK Chemical; therefore, as the aggressor, the thief is generally the person liable if anyone is exposed to the SkunkLock chemicals (refer to your local laws as this varies by country and State).

Does it work multiple times?

The SKUNKLOCK Chemical is designed for one-time use to protect your bike. Once the chemicals are released, the lock should still maintain its structural integrity, but it will no longer have a deterrent present and will have to be replaced for maximum security.

Can you pick a SkunkLock?

Any lock can be picked with the right tools, an ample amount of time and skill, and the right conditions. Luckily for us, thieves generally do not have those luxuries when it comes to trying to steal your bike. The reason the majority of bike theft is done by cutting a lock with an angle grinder is because there are far too many uncertainties when trying to pick a lock. The SkunkLock is equipped with a high-security locking mechanism and crossbar comparable to the best U-Locks on the market and would require a highly skilled professional, a significant amount of time, and the right tools to open.

Does it work for Motorcycles/Scooters?

Yes! SkunkLock was designed to prevent both bicycle and motorcycle theft similarly to other U-Locks on the market. The majority of motorcycle thefts are “ride-away” thefts, so our focus was to make a lock that also makes it more difficult to mobilize your motorcycle.

Why did we make the SkunkLock?

While other lock companies are making it easier for you to lock your bike, carry your lock around, notify you after your bike has been stolen, and so on. We realized very few innovators and existing lock companies were actually trying to solve the fundamental problem. All locks can be cut, and your bike will eventually be stolen. Our solution after many different ideas and prototypes was using a chemical deterrent.