Do you love your bikes? Of course you do. But some people would love even more to steal them. And in case they succeed, you need a way to fight back.
If you are looking for the best way to protect your bike against theft, and holding a baseball bat and never leaving its side is just too inconvenient for you, try bike tracking. It is so simple that even people who are virtually untouched by IT can use it. The tracker is a device that can be attached to your bike and connected to your smartphone. Generally speaking, the trackers used to be big black boxes, which were as discreet as if you accidentally forgot to undress your violet clown wig before entering the Sunday church service. However, now there are also some refined solutions that can be hidden somewhere deep in your bike’s tubes or disguised as common bike parts, such as the light or the headset.
Start-up from Italy
For example, the Startup Sherlock system from Italy is so tiny it can be easily installed inside the handlebars, which makes it completely invisible from the outside. You only need to connect the device to your app profile. Once you park your bike, the system is switched on automatically, or you do it deliberately on your own – depending on the type of your tracker. Now, you enter a café and stay there chatting with your FB friends until somebody comes and takes your bike. At that very moment, the investment into the tracker starts to pay off.
In case of a theft, the Sherlock app will track your bike and show its journey on your screen so you can find it and get reunited with it. To do this even better, you can share a tracking code and webpage URL with the police to enable them to check the real-time position of your bicycle. According to the guys from Sherlock, this way the police can chase the thief using their own mobile phones. Although it sounds like a great idea to us, we’re not sure how willing the police crews would be to use their own mobiles in order to find someone else’s property…
Trackers in disguise
Other manufacturers have a slightly different approach. Spybike from the UK produces three models of trackers that look like standard bike components. You can choose a tracker incorporated either into the LED light or into the seatpost. Another available option is a miniature GPS tracking system concealed in the headset of the bicycle that is indistinguishable from a regular top cap. The price varies from 82.50 GBP to 97.50 GBP according to the selected type. The system relies on a SIM card that notifies you by SMS if the bicycle moves. Without worries, it can be used in any country covered by the 2G GSM network.
You can either acquire a prepaid SIM card that comes with the tracker, or buy your own from your local operator. The device is paired with your smartphone via Bluetooth and is activated automatically as you move away from the range of the bicycle. The journey of your stolen bike is stored in a database and can be followed on your computer or mobile phone. The producer promises that their devices shift the balance of power away from thieves back to the owners. We believe the same.