the Evolution 2000 in seconds
This is so incredible. You had better believe that Kryptonite, makers of the most popular bicycle locks in the United States, will know what blogs are from this week forward. I believe the story was actually broken last weekend on a web-based discussion board, BikeForums.com, where a user observed that using a 10-cent Bic ballpoint pen you could easily pick a $100 Kryptonite lock. A variety of Kryptonite products seem vulnerable to this. The above link (see headline) is to a video of how to do it, in case you had any doubts. (Other videos here and here.) I just heard the story also on National Public Radio, and it also ran today in the NY Times, and it’s basically breaking out all over the place.
Incredibly, Kryptonite’s site (which is loading veeerrrry slooooowly today) still has nothing about this issue, a week after the story broke, despite the homepage ironically proclaiming “This is the place to get the most information about our products, our dealer locations, our company and more.” The most recent news on the homepage is about their having moved office locations in June 2002. (I see that they did provide a response to Engadget, and it’s less than encouraging that they’re on top of the crisis, or unclear that they even view it as a crisis.)
This is simply going to devistate Kryptonite. Too bad, I’ve always been a fan. Of course, this isn’t principally a communication problem; it’s a product problem. The only thing I could think that might save their business at this point would be a massive recall/refund for every customer with a U-lock. But this is also a communication problem. As a customer (I have four of their locks), I would really like to know whether this problem affect their other products, or whether it is limited to that Evolution 2000. But their communication on this sucks. The story broke online, yet there is nothing about it on their web site. They could really, really use a blog to try to contain the damage ASAP. But looking at their actions so far, I am not optimistic. For myself, I will probably go out and buy another brand this weekend, as I’m not going to risk losing my bike while they try to get their PR act together. (I’m certainly not going to bother trying to call them and wait on hold for 2 days with the volume of calls they must be getting now.)
As Phillip Torrone writes in his Engadget follow-up post:
We’ve spent over $100 on these types of locks for our bicycles, and hearing “the world just got tougher and so did our locks,” kinda got us a little miffed. The world didnít get tougher, it got Bic pens, blogs and your locks got opened.