Company History

Company History

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Over 40 years ago, Kryptonite began with a mission. While much has changed in bicycling, and bicycle security, our objective remains the same, we are here to empower you to protect what you value, from those with no value.

From the commuter smiling through gridlock to the vertical adventurer showing another mountain who’s boss. From the rookie triathlete gearing up for that first race to the battle-scarred courier always at war with the clock. From the couple whose every vacation begins and ends on two wheels to that kid tasting real freedom for the first time. We help cyclists protect a piece of themselves, to guard the two-wheeled life that defines them. Thieves suck.

Through constant innovation, expert guidance, and our never-ending commitment, Kryptonite will continue to pursue our passion and do everything we can to ensure you can go where you want, when you want by offering smart, serious security solutions.
 

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With $1500, some ingenuity, creative security ideas, and a Volkswagen Van, Michael Zane was able to invent the first U-Lock and travel around the US spreading the message of need for bicycle security.  Thus Kryptonite was born.
 

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Michael Zane and Second Avenue Bicycle Shop, located in New York City, locked a three-speed bicycle to a signpost. The bicycle was locked for thirty days and thirty nights. Although all of the removable parts were immediately stripped by thieves, the bicycle itself remained. The Kryptonite lock and the bike frame were still in place, even though the lock had been attacked numerous times. Publicity from this event gave Kryptonite the boost it needed, forever changing the face of bicycle security.
 

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Kryptonite introduced its Anti-Theft Protection Offer. This optional offer set a security category standard and proves Kryptonite stands behind its products, and gives customers an additional peace of mind.  Often imitated, never duplicated. 
 

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The industry was revolutionized by the K-4 U-Lock. This U-Lock became the inspiration for modern day U-Locks, won various awards, and is placed in multiple museums around the world:  

- New York Museum of Modern Art - 1983

- Germany’s Museum of Utilitarian Art Award - 1988

- Japan’s Good Design Prize - 1988
 

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Kryptonite returned to the streets of the New York City to test its latest innovation - The New York Lock. Kryptonite and the New York Post took a brand new Univega road bike, worth $600, and locked it to a parking meter in the East Village; the "Bermuda Triangle" of New York bicycle thievery. After 48 hours the bike remained intact except for the gear derailleur. The lock showed definite signs of abuse, but it had not failed. The New York Lock met the Post's challenge. It became the flagship product in Kryptonite’s premier line.
 

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Kryptonite launched their Key Safe Program. This program continues to allow riders with Kryptonite locks to register their keys. In the event that a rider loses their keys, Kryptonite will replace the first two keys free!


Publications such as Bicycling, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, US News & World Report as well as a host of others continued to advertise Kryptonite products as the best on the market.
 

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It was discovered that our industry-standard tubular cylinder could be compromised with a household item. In order to fix this problem, a voluntary lock exchange program was created. Kryptonite is the only company in the world that offered such a comprehensive plan to customers, taking its 'legendary customer service' pledge to new heights.

- Replaced over 400,000 locks in 21 countries for free.

- Re-engineered 9 years’ worth of products in one year. 
 

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Web based GPS tracking & monitoring system, known as RealTime, for Powersport vehicles in the United States was released. 

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The Messenger Collection was introduced. Urban security design by Bike Messengers. Kryptonite teamed up with some of the greatest Messenger minds to help development of the Messenger Collection. From initial brainstorming to concept selections through product testing and even packaging design, the Messengers had majority rule – every step of the way. The final result consisted of multiple products that fit the 3 key needs of the Messenger community:

1. Flexibility/Fit – Locks that maximize the number of places where it is possible to lock a bike.

2. Durability – Keys that do not break and can operate under heavy use.

3. One Lock Solution – Security which increases the ability to properly secure a bike without having to carry two locks.
 

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Kryptonite released its Gravity Line (WheelNutz and WheelBoltz). This innovative wheel security solution is easily installed and removed without the need for special keys. The Gravity Line harnesses the power of gravity to prevent the removal of wheels. When the bike is upright, the WheelNutz and WheelBoltz are locked and can only be unlocked with the bike turned upside down.