IT'S every cyclist's worst nightmare - you lean your bike against the shop window, pop inside for a moment and when you come out it's been pinched.
That scenario could soon be a thing of the past though, with bike security set to take a step forward thanks to an imaginative invention from 21-year-old Kevin Scott.
The student from Mid Calder, West Lothian, has designed a bendy bike which can be folded around a lmp post and locked to itself. It can then be snapped back into a rigid position and ridden just like a normal bike.
The former West Calder High School pupil has scooped second prize in the UK-wide New Designers 2010 competition for his innovative invention, and now he's hoping to find a company to help him develop the idea commercially.
Mr Scott designed the bike for the final year project of his BSc industrial design course at De Montfort University in Leicester.
He said:"I chose to address the area of security, and the design itself developed to use existing objects in the city, like lampposts and sign posts, instead of needing specialist installations by the council to lock onto."
He explained: "It's an existing frame for the front and back section and the bendable section is made out of a series of glass-filled nylon sections."
The innovative design has gained an enthusiastic response at the New Designers exhibition in London's Business Design Centre.
He added: "It's had a great reception, I won second place in the New Designers, and that was a bit of a surprise - it was only the first public showing it's had outside the university."
Mr Scott will graduate later this month, and would love to have the chance to work full-time on the design after leaving college, though this depends whether there's a company willing to take it on.
Mr Scott received 500 from the New Designers awards, which he plans to invest in the bike's development, and it should also give him useful contacts for the future.
Show director for New Designers, Isobel Dennis, said: "The potential for this idea is particularly exciting. For this reason, Kevin's innovative product was singled out from the thousands of design graduates who are showing at the exhibition."