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The Atomic 22 Tribe security system is basically a high tech, ultra lightweight security system designed to prevent casual pilfering of expensive components. Ours was comprised of skewer, stem cap and seatpost kit but there's literally a fastener for every part, from solid axles and quill stems to dropout hangers.
Maybe it's my manufacturing heritage (previous generations having served craft grade engineering apprenticeships) but I'm thrilled to see good quality, well-conceived stuff still made on these shores. Earlier incarnations were exclusively titanium but some fittings are now stainless steel, which has some positive pricing implications.
In common with competitor kits, this one employs a unique key, which can either plug into your torque wrench or a reversible ratchet. Keep that little key safe, in fact, register it online before you even think installation.
Minimal faff is what's called for, so Atomic22 employ tiny visual markers meaning instant alignment-match those and its open sesame - more about that in a minute.
Now, the only academic misgiving I have regarding the Tribe is that it is a common key, apparently shared between sixty-four people over a widely dispersed area. So if you're in Plumstead, someone from Plaistow isn't likely to liberate your bling with his or hers...
Ease of installation is greatly improved too. Pop out your existing fastener, drizzle some Ti prep (Plumber's copper slip will do in a pinch) on the threaded sections to avoid galvanic seizure (where the elements cause metals of different parentage to chemically fuse together), torque down correctly and admire.
I did find the seat collar bolt showed a tendency for stretch, resulting in slippage and unsightly scratches to the Univega's post. Leaving overnight and retightening come the morning solved this particular nuisance, although no such hassle with the stem cap or the stainless steel 'Guard Dog' skewers - the latter employ serrated faces designed to remain steadfast. I'm pleased to report, the zero point alignment system works more or less as conveniently as a standard quick release.
I didn't go in for recreating chisel and bottle jack attacks but pliers, wrenches and similar brute force techniques couldn't find any weak spots. Life on London's meaner streets taught me many things - there's always a back door into any system. I've no doubt that most from chancer to pro will look for easier pickings very, very quickly but its no substitute for good, well lit parkng spots and the visual/deterrent of a suitably substantial lock.
Improved design for foiling theft of expensive parts but use a good lock too.
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Make and model: Atomic 22 Tribe security system
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"More secure than a D-Lock
Without the weight or inconvenience
No need to carry a second, high security lock.
Our solutions for wheel security are not just deterrents, they are the most secure method for preventing your wheels from being stolen. Bar none.
And they're as easy to use as a quick release skewer".
No quibble here although no substitute for decent wider security properly deployed.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The tribe is the budget version comprising of stem, seat collar and wheel skewers operating from a single key. Wheel skewers are stainless steel, whereas others are aerospace titanium.
Kits can be cultivated to accommodate a bike's complete ensemble of fasteners including drop out, brake, track nuts ad quill stems. In common with most of this ilk, the key is registered to the rightful owner via manufacturer.
Subtle tweaks have made the system more intuitive.
A modest investment given the cost of replacement, fork, stem, seatpost/saddles.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Atomic 22 have clearly listened to feedback and responded with a series of subtle tweaks, meaning the tribe is a delight to use, looks great an resists the usual forms of attack employed by thieves.
Highly reccommended as part of a robust security system.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Improved, feather weight design that looks great too.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 38 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)