Urban Velo

OnGuard Minpin Keyless Locking Skewers

Locking or keyed skewers can be handy in the urban environment where wheels are both a valuable commodity and relatively easily stolen from bikes that are otherwise locked. The problem with many of the keyed systems is that they require you to have a special tool in order to remove, in my case inevitably leading to a flat tire and not having the tool specific for that bike on hand. OnGuard created the Minpin for people not looking for another tool in their life—the skewers instead rely on gravity to to lock and unlock. With the bike upright, the skewers close and lock, turn it upside down and the skewer opens freely like any other. There is simply a ball bearing that moves within a channel inside the cam mechanism, locking it closed in the upright position. Being that most bike thefts are crimes of convenience and not done by professionals, this seems enough to me to keep wheels yours—if a pro thief wants anything you have consider it gone no matter what sort of lock you use. If the casual thief can’t figure it out in a few seconds they’re moving on to the next bike with wheels that just pop off, as evidenced by how much more common front wheels thefts are as compared to rear. These will be available for 2012 with f/r wheel skewers and an optional seat collar qr skewer.

8 Comments

  1. alien8November 7, 2011 at 6:51 am

    seems like they’re just like the Zefal lock and roll (available now)

  2. WurzelmannNovember 7, 2011 at 7:00 am

    No, no, no! Don’t make this public or all the bike thieves will know about this… :-O

  3. AlNovember 7, 2011 at 10:58 am

    probably a good deterrent. A magnet would probably open it.

  4. Nerf_or_BaconNovember 7, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I hope they’re using an amagnetic ball bearing, like stainless steel or ceramic. Aluminum would even work.

  5. scottNovember 7, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Yeah, there is a similar one out there and honestly I tried a set of them at the store and they are sort of difficult to get open when you want to. We were shaking the bike around trying to get it to release and it took a while. So hopefully these ones are more user friendly. Cable lock through the wheels works fine for me, although pittsburgh isn’t real bad when it comes to bike theft.

  6. RyanAugust 28, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    We just had a customer return without his wheels because of these things. not sure how they got through but some criminal mindedness got the better of him. I’d recommend painting over the locked and unlocked symbol on the skewer

  7. EvanJanuary 6, 2014 at 11:19 am

    In the past I have gone out of my way to install bolt on hubs on my cheap city bikes. Last year I worked near a nice trail, and bought a Salsa Fargo to bridge both worlds, for which bolt on axles is a more complex modification. I ride it around town a lot and these skewers make locking much simpler-I just loop my carry-able plate lock through some part of the frame and live on. These skewers make me feel good about relying on a bicycle which has wheels.

    Installation can take some time to figure out-which is in line with the purpose. For real-world use, flipping the bike over is a normal part of flat tire repair, and is perfectly convenient. I haven’t tried a magnet hack, but this may be a great tip for the bike mechanic working on your upright bike.

    When I first installed them, I made the mistake of distributing the two black aluminum washers between both sides of the axle, when they truly both belong on the cam side. As a result, the cam suffered some marring, and does not work as smoothly as it could. Overall, I am happy with thorn liners, low maintenance bicycling, and infrequently removing my bicycle wheels. I am pleased with the product, and I’d love to try a new pair that has not been ‘marred’.

  8. EvanJanuary 6, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Zefal’s version appears to be identical to minpin from the photos I viewed.

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