thieves will take any part of your bike that they can get their mitts on, it’s a fact of life. and no matter what technique you use, you’re really only defeating the casual thief – an accomplished bike theft ring will have everything they need to defeat all the methods of protection. but you still gotta do whatever you can, and one of the things people have been using for a while now for their wheels is security skewers. security skewers come in a handful of different varieties, the least secure of which being the hex-nut skewer, which i’ve actually used pretty extensively. it’s really just a deterrent to the opportunistic wheel thief, but it’s better than a regular skewer. the more secure varieties are the proprietary brands – pitlock, pinhead, onguard, delta – which all use their own proprietary key. the delta is a recessed triangle key, the pitlock uses some crazy shape i can’t even describe, and pitlock and pinhead both use a similar system of corresponding pins on the wrench to holes on the nut. all of these are good, but their keys are really bulky and some of the construction of the skewers themselves are just cheap and can break or bend or not even lock down very tightly.
well i’ve been doing a lot of research on my new build and i’ve discovered three other varieties that i want to hip you to.
the reason i’ve put these two together is because they both use the same thing to secure them – a pentagon nut instead of a hexagon nut. i like these two versions a lot because not only is the key something that you either have to buy or fabricate yourself, but they’re also very obscure. to me this means that it’s unlikely for thieves to come across them enough to have even seen the need for the wrench.
these use a hex nut with a pin in the center of it, so you need an allen key with a hole in it. this also seems obscure enough to me that a thief might not have it, but the real benefit of these skewers is the construction of the rest of them. they’re a steel skewer, and while their end caps are aluminum, they have a knurled steel inset up against the dropout. this is MUCH tighter-binding than an aluminum face, which many of these others use.
in the end, if someone wants your wheels, they’re gonna take them. someone could stick a screwdriver into those VO ones and snap that pin off and use a regular allen. on the pentagon key versions, they could stick a wide enough screwdriver in there and use a vice grip on the OTHER side. on ANY of the security skewers, a ring of thieves is going to have purchased every version of security skewer made, just to have the keys. it’s gonna happen if it’s gonna happen, but for my money, i like these two new versions because of their construction, unique key structure, obscurity, and construction of the rest of the skewer itself (VO).
currently, i’m thinking of the VO ones.