Whilst you may lock your frame and rear wheel with a reliable D-Lock, what about your front wheel? If someone can simply undo a quick release or remove a bolt, they can run off with your wheel. This is not only a pain but also expensive.
Enter the Gravity WheelNutz. At a touch under £25, they can be quickly fitted to your bike. Where things get really smart? No need for a key.
What are they?
The WheelNutz work with gravity. This means the bike has to be upside down for them to be undone. Obviously, this is great when your bike is locked up and impossible to invert (or at least so darn hard that no thief will bother). It also means that if you need to fix a flat or change a tyre, all you have to do is turn your bike upside down and use a regular 15mm spanner.
They cost £24.99 per set, so if you just need the front then its a pretty cheap way of securing your potentially very expensive wheels. Its still pretty good value for 2 sets, especially if it means you can carry a smaller, lighter lock. The ‘Nutz themselves are also very light, no heavier than the regular bolts I replaced.
These are designed to replace the nuts you find on most single speeds – if you have quick releases there is also a skewer version – the WheelBoltz. These use a standard 5mm allen key for fitting and offer the same level of wheel security.
The ‘Nutz are sold separately and are available in three different sizes so you can get the right ones if you have different sized axles, which you almost certainly do. Most bikes will need an M9 for the front and M10 on the rear. If you have an Alfine or Nexus hub then you will need the 3/8ths one. If in doubt head down to your local bike shop and they can set you up with the right ones.
The ‘Boltz are sold as a pair and at £35 they are very good value and in line with Pitlocks or Pinheads.
Kryptonite has a handy video about fitting and function for both the ‘Nutz and ‘Boltz:
Once you get the right size, they are pretty easy to fit on the rear -I went with two so I don’t have to lock the rear wheel all the time. You don’t need to turn the bike upside down to put them on which is convenient. The only thing you have to make sure is the little lock is on the top so the gravity feature is properly engaged.
On the Flyer it didn’t fit on the front. Some bikes have an axle stay on the forks. This is a safety feature to work as a backup if you don’t tighten a quick release enough. While the Flyer is a single speed, it is the same fork as they geared versions which do have quick releases.
Luckily, the guys over at Pavé Velo took an angle grinder to the forks to remove the stays, after spending some time reassuring me it was not going to damage the bike! Job done, the ‘Nutz fit perfectly.
If I hadn’t had to conduct invasive surgery, the ‘Nutz would have taken no more than 2 minutes to fit to the front.
They do stick out a little further than the original bolts, but not so much as to be a problem. Whilst it is a small detail, I really love the orange rings on the ‘Nutz, I think it looks awesome. I also like the brushed metal look, hopefully that will stick around for a while.
These are a convenient option for protecting your wheels, a pretty important thing when locking up in London. Prior to putting these on the bike, I was avoiding using the bike to ride places where I would have to lock it up and leave it out of my sight.
Of course, only time will tell if these ‘Nutz do the job, but I can’t get them off with the bike the right way up. Its worth taking a moment to make sure you get the right size, and make sure that the front and back need the same size – the Flyer didn’t. This will be easy to get right if you go to your local dealer.
I think they are much more convenient than Pitlocks, which I have on my tourer. With the Pitlocks, you have a key you have to keep with you, and they are a little fiddly to remove on the fly. These are going to be way easier to remove on the fly if you have to change an inner tube on the road.
You can get your own WheelNutz (or WheelBoltz from your local Kryptonite dealer, or from Tredz for between £22-£25.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.