Spybike GPS Tracker
10 January 2013
They’re out there now and they’re after your bike!
Now this may be a story that you don’t want to read. Bike theft; it’s on the increase. A recent survey in the UK by a major insurer, has reported that 1 in 5 new bike owners will only hang onto their new steed for just 6 months, before it is stolen.
Official figures put bike theft in the UK at around 114,000 in 2011 and in the US its several times that. According to the US National Bike Registry and the FBI about $350 million in bicycles are stolen in the United States each year. That’s a huge amount, but apparently, according to the survey, even in the UK the figure is probably a lot higher, as almost a third of respondents didn’t bother reporting the theft.
As the owner of several thousand pounds worth of highly desirable kit, what can you do to minimise the risk? Well there is a new device that, whilst it won’t stop someone taking your pride and joy, it will alert you that someone is tampering with your bike and allow you to track them down! What you do with that info, we leave to your imagination…
Integrated Trackers, based in South-east London have produced two innovative products that will alert you via a SMS message that your bike is being stolen.
The first is disguised as a rear tail light. The second, far more sneakily is disguised as the top cap for your stem. Both use a rechargeable lithium battery, which should run for a month or more between charges. The trackers come with a USB charger.
The Spybike top cap tracker has a diameter of 23.5mm and a length of 110mm. The manufacturers recommend that you need at least 250mm of steerer for the unit to fit, so it would be a good idea to check these dimensions on your bike, or purchase the tail light version.
So how does the system work? Once you have locked your bike, you arm the system with a small keyfob. The Spybike contains a motion sensor. When it detects prolonged motion it will wake up and send you an SMS message alerting you that your bicycle is moving.
The Spybike is then tracked on the manufacturers website, as long as the bike is moving, if the bike stops for a prolonged period then it goes into sleep mode until the bike starts moving again.
Tracking is provided free of charge on the manufacturers website. You will need a simcard, pay-as-you-go will be the cheapest, to send the sms messages to your phone. The tracker contains a quad-band GSM modem which means it will work anywhere in the world where there is a 2G GSM mobile network, including the USA.
The GPS tracker has an accuracy of 5-25m. If your bike is taken inside, out of sight, then it will fall back on GSM positioning, which has an approximate accuracy of 200m, enough to get an idea of which neighbourhood they are in, until they move again.
These products are a great idea and personally I can think of at least one occasion where I would have been able to run down the rapscallion that took my pride and joy and remonstrate with him!
Both units are available from the Integrated Trackers website, £87.50 for the Spylamp2 and £97.50 for the Spybike Top Cap tracker.
Below is a video from the manufacturer, showing the unit in action.