Bikespike tracks stolen bikes, alerts owners

by Marc Basiliere 7

GPS anti-theft and crash-alerting bottle cage…

A silent cry for help
A silent cry for help

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.

BS-and-Cage-e1379456251755In 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.

Readily transferred between bikes with included tool.
Can be transferred between bikes with included tool.

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.

Comments (7)

  1. I always thought something like that but hidden in the seat tube would be a good idea

  2. Yes, it would need to be hidden, or it would just be the 1st thing the thief takes off!

    Good 1st step though, now make it fit just above the bottom bracket in a steel casing so it can’t be drilled into without wrecking the frame.

  3. Can you charge in situ or do you have to take it off to change the battery?

  4. Problem with fitting it in a frame is shielding. Under the saddle would probably be the best place but that can be easily removed.

    Shielding might be less of an issue in the fork steerer. Use an expanding wedge first to set the headset then replace with the tracker with a dummy plastic top cap.

  5. Or with the introduction of electronic shifting this could be integrated into the shifting gubbins and would be charged with it so not as conspicuous.

  6. I like the top cap idea, don’t see why I couldn’t still be a functional top cap if you just set the star fangled wotsit a little lower and had a hole through the device. Or if it’s light enough, a bar end plug would work. I guess the majority of the bulk is protection (I’ve seem GPS tracking watches for the children of paranoid parents which are clearly small wrist size), so it could easily sneak in there and see enough sky to the side to work.

  7. There is a kick starter for a similar but internally mounted tracker I saw on ibikedaily this week but it makes Campag EPS systems look simple… But agree something like this but internal would be best.
    I’ll keep using my Immobilise tags until I (probably very soon) see something better.

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