As a bicycle owner, it's natural to be concerned about the safety and security of your bike. With the rise in bike theft, it's important to take steps to protect it. One way to do this is by installing a bike tracker and alarm. However, with so many options available, it can be hard to know which choice is the best. This article will explore the most imporant things you should consider when choosing the best bike tracker and alarm.
First and foremost, consider your specific needs. Do you just want a simple alarm that will alert you if your bike is being tampered with, or do you want a more comprehensive tracking system that will help you recover your bike if it's stolen? Once you have a clear idea of what you're looking for, you can start to narrow down your options.
The first factor to consider is the type of tracker you want. There are two main types of bike trackers: GPS and Bluetooth. GPS trackers use satellite technology to track the location of your bike and are more reliable and accurate than Bluetooth trackers. However, they are more expensive and require a monthly subscription. Bluetooth trackers, on the other hand, rely on a connection to your smartphone. They are more affordable, but can never guarantee you will get the location. However, if you need minimal protection and you know there are a lot of Bluetooth devices around this might be a good solution.
There is also an alternative GPS type of solution available that does not use mobile networks, hence has lower than competition subscription fee. It relies on LoRa or Sigfox low-power networks. This solution covers more ground than Bluetooth, but lacks in coverage, especially out of urban areas.
Do you want it to be hidden? Do you mind if it changes the appearance of your bike? Some trackers are installed onto the frame, others are installed under the seat, Vodafone Curve is shaped like a bike light, and some are concealed within handlebars (BikeFlare VISIO).
Another important factor to consider is the type of alarm features you want. Some bike alarms are basic and only sound an alarm when the bike is moved, while others are more sophisticated and come with features such as GPS tracking, remote arming and disarming, and real-time alerts. Consider the level of security you need and choose an alarm that fits your needs. Do you want the flexibility to use a sound alarm only when you want to?
When choosing a bike tracker and alarm, it's important to consider the battery life. You want to make sure the battery will last long enough between charges to ensure the tracker and alarm will be effective. Look for a tracker that has a long battery life and is easy to recharge. Most trackers will update location in sleep-wake-up cycles, some being longer than others.
Bike GPS tracker coverage and subscription
What regions and areas does the mobile network cover? Are there additional costs? Does it work with older (2G) and more recent (LTE) mobile networks? Sadly GPS trackers with integrated SIM cards are mobile devices and come with a monthly subscription. Compare the prices, regional coverage, and mobile networks do tracker support.
Ease of Use
This could be said for any device. Consider the ease of use of the tracker and alarm. You want to make sure the device is easy to install, operate, and maintain. Look for a device that is user-friendly and comes with clear instructions for installation and use.
Size and Weight
The size and weight of the tracker and alarm are also important considerations. You want to make sure the tracker is small and lightweight enough to be easily installed on your bike without adding too much weight. Consider the size and weight of the tracker when making your choice.
We believe that choosing the best bike tracker and alarm requires careful consideration of several factors, including the type of tracker, alarm features, battery life, size and weight, and ease of use. By taking the time to carefully consider these factors, you can find a tracker and alarm that will help keep your bike safe and secure.
It depends on how you look at it. On the one hand, there's no denying that the sound of a blaring alarm can deter potential bike thieves. After all, who wants to risk attracting attention to themselves while they're trying to steal a bicycle?
On the other hand, many bicycle alarms are notorious for going off at the slightest movement, even if it's just a gust of wind. This can be incredibly annoying for you and your neighbors, especially if it happens in the middle of the night.
Another potential downside to bicycle alarms is that they're often not very loud. Sure, they might be loud enough to disturb the peace in your neighborhood, but they might not be loud enough to deter a determined thief who's willing to risk a bit of noise to get their hands on your bike.
So, what's the verdict? Ultimately, it's up to you to decide. If you live in a high-crime area and you're concerned about the safety of your bike, a bicycle alarm might be a good investment. Just be prepared for the possibility of false alarms and be sure to choose a model that's easy to turn off so you don't disturb your neighbors in the middle of the night.
While bicycle alarms might not be the ultimate solution to bike theft, they can be a helpful deterrent. You should always start with a good lock and awareness of where you leave your bike at.
If using the alarm technology, just be prepared for the occasional false alarm and choose a model that's easy to turn off. With a bicycle alarm in hand, you can rest easy knowing that your bike is a little bit safer from theft and that you're doing your part to protect one of your most prized possessions.
Police often use so-called “bait bikes,” bikes that are meant to be stolen. Hidden within are GPS transmitters that alert the police if the bike has been stolen. The police can then track the bike down and arrest the thief. The University of Toronto has implemented such a program successfully. By randomly placing such bikes amongst other, untagged bikes, thieves do not know if what they are stealing is a bait bike or a regular bike.
Free Wheels: An Assessment of Bicycle Theft in Denmark
Find out more about bike tracking:
The Problem of Bike Theft in Europe and the USA and Ways to Improve the Situation
Bike Theft and The Best Ways to Protect Your Bike from It
Bike Thieves and Most Common Bike Theft Areas
What Types of Bikes get Stolen Most Often