Bicycle cannibals: The fightback starts here

quick release bicycle wheel theft

Quick release wheels have become standard issue on bicycles; great news when you need to change an inner tube at the roadside  – not so good if you become a victim of bicycle cannibals.

As locks have become stronger, parts like handlebars, seats, shifters and quick release wheels are the target for a new breed of criminal. And it’s pretty much the perfect crime; bicycle components are easy to steal, usually impossible to trace and a breeze to sell on. Having parts stolen by bicycle cannibals is at best an inconvenience, but it’s also demoralising. Unless they are covered by insurance, it can be enough to put an occasional rider off cycling for good.

British engineer Curtis Dorrington devised Quick Caps to secure quick release wheels and deter opportunistic thieves. The 51-gram aluminium padlocks are sleek and unobtrusive. They cost £40 for a pair.

20 % off for ETA newsletter subscribers

Save £8 on a set of Quick Caps by entering the code ETA2016 at the checkout at

Win a set of Quick Caps

We have three sets of Quick Caps to give away. Leave us a comment at the bottom of this page and we’ll pick some names next week.

Quick caps to tackle bicycle cannibals

  •  Invest as much as you can afford in your lock and learn to use it properly  – insurers specify that it needs to secure the bike frame for good reason. Don’t worry too much about getting the lock around the wheels or other bike parts as a good insurance policy will cover them against theft whether they are locked or not.
  • Bike thieves might have the equipment to cut through padlocks and silently remove shed door hinges, but they don’t like to feel they have an audience. Motion-activated security lights are cheap to buy, easy to install and thieves don’t like them at all

bike cannibals

Cycle insurance from the ETA

Cycle insurance can protects against the theft of parts, including quick release saddles and wheels. ETA cycle insurance covers against the theft of quick release parts as standard and does not require that they be secured. As long as the frame of the bike is secured with an approved lock, then all parts are covered.

For 25 years we have been providing straightforward, affordable bicycle insurance. Whether you use your bike to commute, shop, race or amble in the park, ETA Cycle Insurance has you covered.

Many cycle insurers offer very limited cover, charging extra for features we believe should come as standard – such as third party cover, personal accident or extension of your cover to family and friends. ETA Cycle Insurance provides one fully-comprehensive package for total peace of mind, whatever your cycling needs.

Every cycle insurance policy you buy helps support the work of the ETA Trust, our charity campaigning for a cleaner, safer transport future.

Read a full list of everything we include in our policy as standard or get an instant quote.


  1. John


    Great idea! Would love to have a pair of these for my bike! 🙂

    • Quick Caps


      Hi John

      Thanks for the comment.
      If you do not win this competition we are offering 20% off and free shipping for ETA customers.

      Just visit and use discount code ETA2016.

      Happy cycling 🙂
      Quick Caps

  2. Tom


    Looks great!

  3. Doug Milsom


    That’s a wheely good idea…… (sorry!). I’d still like a set!

  4. giuseppe


    That is precisely it!

  5. Bridget b


    Rest stops on long rides are never as much fun when you’re glancing at your bike hoping it’s all in one piece. I’d love a set of quick caps!

  6. Ronald oakley


    Sounds ideal– ETA cycle insurance covers against the theft of quick release parts.

  7. Annmarie Pottrell


    Great idea for when you need to be in the more run down areas of town 🙂

  8. Bish



  9. christopher f


    Oooh, neat idea!

  10. oscar isham


    Good idea.

  11. Tom Chambers


    good idea

  12. Martyn Winrow


    A useful addition to our armoury!

  13. Duncan


    Brilliant idea! I always lock wheels-frame to stop nasty surprises, and thankfully in many years have only returned to my pride and joy once to find things not as they should be. On that occasion it was only the presence of other bicycles that stopped them being removed – lucky!

  14. Clare Sheridan


    Good idea but it would have been useful to have a photo of where they used them. Do they snap onto the tyre or lock them to the bike?

  15. Stuart Lamb


    It would be nice to know if they are compatible with all quick release systems, but if so they could save me a lot of hassle

  16. diana bruce


    Bike cannibals existed 30 years ago! Husband and 2 sons have had wheels nicked over the years

  17. Greg


    Really great idea and simple execution!

  18. Rob Lewis


    They would be useful on the bike I ride into town.

  19. Victoria Riley


    THESE ARE A BRILLIANT IDEA!!!!!! For my job, I do mobile house-visits on my bike, so I’m constantly going from one address to the next and locking my bike up outside. I’m always peering out of the window to check there’s no-one helping themselves to bits and bobs from my bike. This would be a huge weight off my mind.

  20. LB


    Good idea! Will give peace of mind when in town and having to leave the bike for extended periods!

  21. Kitt


    Nice – We need something like this for saddles/seat posts too!!

  22. Eric Ludlow


    Neat idea

  23. Chris


    Look like a great idea. I’m no fan of Q/R hubs, but sometimes with limited stock-lines, it’s impossible to avoid them.

  24. Dominic O’Reilly


    Hubble bubble toil and trouble
    let’s catch these cannibals
    and cook them at the double!

    £2500 worth of bikes stolen in 2012.

  25. Mike R


    Peace of mind at the coffee stop!

  26. lucy


    great idea

  27. Steve


    Looks a great addition to the security kit on bikes. Do they fit all styles of quick releases?

  28. Dave W


    Would have been nice to have had a pair yesterday

  29. Jane


    I’ve seen a lot of wheel-less bikes around town recently, which makes me nervous about leaving mine unattended. This looks like it would offer a bit more piece of mind.

  30. Raf


    these are fantastic – i keep thinking of them as CAPS LOCKS : )

  31. Robert Slade


    The simplest ideas are … the best!

  32. Standpipe


    Great idea. Can’t understand why these weren’t invented when QR was.

  33. Diane Whateley


    Very neat-just the thing for my new titanium bike…!

  34. Jonathan Gillett


    Great idea. It’s a shame that for city cyclists it’s gotten to the point where we need to clad our silver steeds in armour… buuuuuuuuut it still beats getting the bus.

  35. Andrew


    I’d certainly like to win a pair.

  36. Matt Roff


    Fantastic product for any cyclist. I’d definitely like a set, pretty please !

  37. Sharon


    What a fantastic idea. I’ll keep an eye out for them.

  38. Sally godber


    Def want some!

    • Alec Gass – Def not associate of Sally Godber


      I couldn’t agree more. Sally needs these, ASAP before I pinch her wheels! Sorry Sally, I took your last set!
      P.s. I’ll have some too whilst you’re at it. Ta muchly

  39. Lisa Taylor


    A must for peace of mind when leaving your bike unattended

  40. L Blake


    Wheel have to wait and see how well these work. Looks a great idea.

  41. Ian Harvey


    Wish I knew about these sooner having lost a set of wheels this week with my new Tannus tyres.

  42. Mary Fisher


    I agree with Clare Sheridan, I’ve no idea where they fit or how they work. Going to the maker’s site doesn’t help at all.

  43. Peter Clark


    Another great innovation for the cyclist

  44. Dave Mann


    A wheelie good idea!

  45. Nigel Andrews


    These are a great idea, we’ll designed, and simple in use.

  46. Christina Coker


    Great idea – much appreciated. Would be even better if padlocks were combination, rather than key-operated. Hope Curtis/ETA could work on an economical comb-lock cap. Many thanks.

  47. Mark B


    Great idea. I’d love them.

  48. Charlotte


    Love them! I had a bike stolen last year and my husband had his lights stolen. You can never be too careful!

  49. Yul Emirali


    Yes please.

  50. Philip Greenacre


    Great new product as I have had several quick release spindles nicked. Looks like they would also work on a quick release seat clasp as someone stole that from my bike last week.

  51. Keith Petersen


    Great idea and very neat.

  52. Deborah Hey-Smith


    I have had two bikes stolen from a locked garage, so now just ride an old fashioned Raleigh. My daughter had her bike stolen from a backyard as a student, but my husband has a bike with release wheels, so it would be a great gift for him.

  53. Anna Shakoor-Green


    Celebrating my 61st year by spending 6 weeks cycling touring Spain and Portugal in April-May. These are just what I need to complete my kit 🙂

  54. Francis Voon


    Lock me away!

  55. John (TheCyclist)


    Yes please. I would love a pair of those end cap locks for my bike(s). 🙂

  56. Eamon Green


    Fantastic, I want some, when are they released?

  57. Dom


    Would love a set of these and be able to lock my bike up with just one chain again. Often see the broken remains of canabilised bikes in my way to work…

  58. Andy


    What a great idea 🙂

  59. Tom Bee


    …and along comes Quick Caps. And not before time.
    Where were you all these years I’ve been cycling?

  60. Tom Bee


    And not before time. Quick Caps where were you all these years I’ve been cycling?

  61. John Mills



  62. Sirtaj


    Fantastic idea for the wheels unfortunately if only it had a piercing alarm too having have two locked bicycles nicked not counting nicked wheels.

  63. Fergus Duncanson


    A simpler, cheaper idea for most people would be for the quick release lever to have a removable handle (which you could attach to your key ring or tool set). Then opportunist theft would not be possible unless the thieves were carrying a similar lever. Over to you, manufacturers!

  64. Dick Willis


    Fabulous idea. I once found a couple of guys dismantling two of my bikes at the front of my house at midnight. They had stripped off the wheels, forks and brakes when I disturbed them. I save the components but they took all the small nuts and bolts with them when they ran. Anything to stop similar events would be welcome.

  65. Lynne


    Anything to give peace of mind when leaving your prize possession locked up gets my vote!

  66. Peter Chisnall


    Great product

  67. slurp


    Look like a great idea. The bike might be secure, but without wheel’s it’s pretty useless.

  68. Greg


    Help me keep my wheels

  69. David Hunt


    Very nifty!

  70. Nick


    These look like a great idea!

  71. Hollie


    Fantastic idea!!

  72. Peter Shirley


    I have 3 bikes with QR and I commute; these would be very handy

  73. Frank Lee


    Anything to help deter bad behaviour…

  74. Richard


    Great idea to keep it practical whilst safe !

  75. Darren C


    Yes please, always worried that my wheels will be missing even while using a cable lock to secure them in town.

  76. David


    Great idea! Pity we can’t also have an electric shock device!

  77. Nadine Smykatz-Kloss


    Great idea!

  78. Wai


    Wow, what a great idea

  79. christina


    Neat and smart – would be reassuring to have these.

  80. Tim Earl


    Excellent idea, and not much weight added.

  81. Janet Robertson


    Would love to win these!

  82. David Gray


    How come I only found out about this the day after my bike wheel was lost?

  83. John James


    Low cost piece of mind good rims aren’t cheap £40 for the lock couple of hundred for new rims on brainer.

  84. Rick Gregory


    Great idea. Y

    es please.

  85. Helen Reading


    Brilliant idea. have just purchased a new bike and for the first time have quick release wheels which I thought was great until I realized I needed a new two part lock to be able to secure the front wheel. These look like a great invention now that quick release wheels are so common.

  86. Peter Chisnall


    Yes please

  87. Owain


    Brilliantly simple idea

  88. Paul


    Get a Brompton. Problem solved.

  89. dig250


    Would save having to cycle home on one wheel after a theft of my front wheel – again!

  90. easysomeDIZ

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Internet trgovina – niske cijene za milijune proizvoda! Elektronika, odjeća, kozmetika, knjige, potrepštine za kućne ljubimce, namirnice i još mnogo toga. Brza dostava na kućnu adresu, mjesta preuzimanja ili paketni terminali. Visoka kvaliteta po pristupačnoj cijeni – počastite se proizvodima popularnih brendova. perle and pravi nakit sa isporukom baterije sa popustom

  91. easysomeDIZ

    Your comment is awaiting moderation. = Ogroman katalog – više od 1.000.000 roba s dostavom u Moskvu, Jekaterinburg, Sankt Peterburg, Rusiju, zemlje ZND-a i Europe… Svaki kupac može kupiti kod nas po najboljoj cijeni! Visoka kvaliteta po pristupačnoj cijeni – počastite se proizvodima popularnih brendova. kupi – a bottomsa dodatke cena

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Your name and email are required.