by Marc Basiliere
February 20, 2014
GPS anti-theft and crash-alerting bottle cage…
Given the regularity with which “stolen bike” posts appear on the Singletrackworld forums, cycle theft is a common – and painful – problem. While improved home security is a great first step, there’s often little to be done once the bike has left its owner’s hands. Enter BikeSpike. The battery-powered, GPS- and mobile-enabled device mounts to bottle bottle bosses using pin-head Torx fasteners, tracking the bicycle and alerting its owner when theft is suspected.
BikeSpike’s primary mechanism for detecting a bike gone missing is the use of zones. Users can set up zones around their homes, workplaces, and other regular haunts – and will be notified when their BikeSpiked ride leaves the area. Once that happens, the bicycle can be tracked via BikeSpike’s web interface. The company also provides the ability to record serial numbers and images of the bicycle, so as to give police all of the information needed to recover a bicycle. The included software will even generate stolen bike flyers for telephone pole posting or bike shop distribution and alert the victim’s Facebook army to the theft.
In addition to stolen bicycle tracking and recovery, the BikeSpike has variable-sensitivity tamper monitoring in order to better alert the owner when a bicycle is in the process of being stolen. Also included is a crash detection function: when the device detects what it thinks may be an accident, contacts are notified and the rider’s location shared for better emergency coordination. A number of Garmin-esque ride-tracking features are also mentioned in the video above but not detailed on the company’s website.
Because the BikeSpike uses a cellular network to notify the owner of its position, a $5 or $7 data plan is required in the US (the latter adding features like live tracking and remote race spectating). International pricing is not provided, but the BikeSpike is compatible with international networks and will work in Europe, Australia, and Japan. Batteries last 3-4 weeks between charges, though increasing sensitivity or using tracking features will drain the device faster.
While the naked BikeSpike will quickly be recognizable by thieves, the current $129 (£77) package comes with a plastic bottle cage to simultaneously disguise the unit and carry water. For $40 (£24) the cage can be upgraded to carbon fibre. Orders are being taken now and shipping to the US, EU, and Japan will begin this spring.