UK company Atomic 22 has developed one of the most impressive theft-resistant systems for bicycle components we've seen yet. Not only does its remarkably diverse range of options create headaches for criminals, it also looks brilliantly well made.
Atomic 22 foregoes more commonly used security bolt head patterns in favor of a special "infiniti3D" machined pattern that's similar to what's often used on higher-end automotive wheels but with depth as an additional variable. While the matching machined 'key' provides a remarkably perfect fit, it's just about impossible to get a lesser substitute to work.
Adding to the peace of mind is the fact that Atomic 22 says it only produces 64 of any particular pattern before it's retired, and the company is careful to scatter them around the globe to minimize the chance that any inadvertently matching sets will occupy the same geography – if you're unfortunate enough for a potential thief to be your Atomic 22 doppelganger, perhaps it's the universe trying to tell you something.
Atomic 22 applies that security to nearly every part of your bike, too, from the usual locking wheel skewers and seatpost bolts to headset caps, stem bolts, saddle clamps, and even crank arms and pedals. Naturally, all of those items can be ordered with matching patterns so you'll only need one key for the whole lot.
Craftsmanship appears fantastic throughout, and Atomic 22 says it machines all of the bits in-house. Bolts are milled from 6/4 titanium while just about everything else is polished stainless steel.
Atomic 22's database promises easy reordering if you need additional elements or have lost a key – and, in the event your entire bike is stolen, the company says the security hardware's unique "fingerprint" may provide proof of ownership as well.
Atomic 22 has a theft-resistant solution for just about every part on your bike - and we mean everything
Not surprisingly, this level of security and workmanship doesn't come cheaply, with a pair of skewers running £99/$138, track hub nuts starting at £118/$75 per pair, road brake caliper nuts starting at £23/$23 each, and replacement rear derailleur bolts costing £35/$37 and up. There are even options for Shimano STI Dual Control levers (£34/$33 and up) and chainring bolts (£19/$19).
That being said, all of these prices are still less expensive than the products to which they're applied, so it seems like a reasonable option if you frequently lock your bike up in high-crime areas.
For more information visit the Atomic 22 website.