A kickstarter to back... anti-theft GPS tracking for bike

dhope
dhope Posts: 6,699
edited May 2015 in Commuting chat
If I'd gotten off my arse (/had the expertise) I'd have done this a few years ago.

GPS thingy that drops down the seat tube and sends you a text message when your bike is taken. Trackable by an app.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bi ... bike-angel
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Comments

  • rubertoe
    rubertoe Posts: 3,994
    Thief nicks bike.

    Thief removes rattly thing from seat tube.

    Bike still stolen.
    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

    PX Kaffenback 2 = Work Horse
    B-Twin Alur 700 = Sundays and Hills
  • dhope
    dhope Posts: 6,699
    rubertoe wrote:
    Thief nicks bike.

    Thief removes rattly thing from seat tube.

    Bike still stolen.

    I'm not saying it's a panacea but when mine was nicked then there was CCTV of the guy wheeling it out of the building and cycling off. If he waited until he reached wherever he was going before removing the GPS thingy then that's still a pretty good starting place.
    It would probably take longer to remove the seatpost and fish out the gps thing (assuming it's fixed inside) than to remove than the lock.
    Rose Xeon CW Disc
    CAAD12 Disc
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  • rubertoe
    rubertoe Posts: 3,994
    It is a good idea in principle, but I just think that anything that is inserted, screwed or bolted in place is just too easy to remove.

    And the criminals are always one step ahead.
    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

    PX Kaffenback 2 = Work Horse
    B-Twin Alur 700 = Sundays and Hills
  • timothyw
    timothyw Posts: 2,482
    It doesn't seem that bad. I mean, there are a few obvious drawbacks:

    - need to remove seatpost to recharge the thing - I like to get my seat at the right height and leave it there thanks very much!
    - you need to keep a sim card with a data connection just for it - if they can offer it at a good price, great, but if it means you having to find one yourself this isn't cheap, and either way is an ongoing cost
    - a metal framed bike is going to have a rather negative effect on the mobile phone and gps signal, if the thief is also storing it in eg a van or indoors then it might well be that the signal can't get through
    - how do you set off in pursuit of your bike without your bike? :D
    - instead of just getting your bike nicked, you now have your expensive anti-theft device nicked too :D

    I dunno, if it makes it to market then I would perhaps be tempted, but I still think the best strategy is to use some kind of beater bike around town, and if you're locking up the good bike make it in a properly secure location and keep it in sight.
  • pastryboy
    pastryboy Posts: 1,385
    Bike Angel was created as an efficient solution to prevent bike theft

    *prevents theft only if you're able to instantly react to a notification and prepared to challenge and overcome those who are stealing your bike.
  • dhope
    dhope Posts: 6,699
    pastryboy wrote:
    Bike Angel was created as an efficient solution to prevent bike theft

    *prevents theft only if you're able to instantly react to a notification and prepared to challenge and overcome those who are stealing your bike.
    Really?
    Bike nicked.
    Bike sits in lockup in Brick Lane for a day.

    Police: Sorry mate, there's loads of bikes get nicked, sod all we can do.
    You: It's here. It got taken at x, ridden along these streets at this time and was locked up in this shed 30mins later.


    I'm normally fairly cynical about kickstarter bike stuff like the green bike projection light and a cafe stop wire cable that doubles up as an espresso cup etc, but I'm struggling to be completely ambivalent about this one. Genuinely seems like progress, if not necessarily the finished article.
    Rose Xeon CW Disc
    CAAD12 Disc
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  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    All previous efforts have been a waste of time, putting a transmitter/receiver inside a Faraday cage isn't the best way to get a working signal, this is hardly the first attempt to make such a device.
    viewtopic.php?f=20005&t=12826162
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,562
    dhope wrote:
    I'm normally fairly cynical about kickstarter bike stuff like the green bike projection light and a cafe stop wire cable that doubles up as an espresso cup etc, but I'm struggling to be completely ambivalent about this one. Genuinely seems like progress, if not necessarily the finished article.
    I agree with pretty much all of this. I like the idea, although it's far from perfect at the moment but will watch for future developments.
  • meanredspider
    meanredspider Posts: 12,337
    I think that there's still far too many technical compromises with this solution. They will get there one day but I don't think this is it.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 26,521
    A more simple solution.
    A lockable latest version Garmin.
    Does all that is required.
    Not perfect I admit, but easier problems to solve.

    Patent pending. :mrgreen:
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • dhope
    dhope Posts: 6,699
    PBlakeney wrote:
    A more simple solution.
    A lockable latest version Garmin.
    Does all that is required.

    Except transmit.

    So a lockable Garmin and a phone.

    But you don't need the mapping. So really just a GPS receiver and a mobile.
    Like what this is ;)
    Rose Xeon CW Disc
    CAAD12 Disc
    Condor Tempo
  • tangled_metal
    tangled_metal Posts: 4,021
    If it got built into the bike so the signal is emitted froim outside the frame might get round the signal issue (subject to not being stored inside a building, inside thick wooded land, inside tall building or any of the other traditional GPS blackspots.

    If part of the bike could have a simple solar panel to top up batteries perhaps.

    Personally I still think the way is to try and prevent the bike being nicked in the first place. Use a rat bike and never leave your best bike(s) anywhere for any length of time. having said that I have heard of expensive bikes going from secure garages with SS gold rated locks and anchors. So perhaps the ultimate is to have good bike insurance so that you do not lose out when your bike does get nicked.
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,562
    A basic problem with something like this for most of us is that we have multiple bikes. Making something that's easy to swap between bikes but difficult for a thief to remove is quite a challenge.
  • pastryboy
    pastryboy Posts: 1,385
    dhope wrote:
    Really?
    Bike nicked.
    Bike sits in lockup in Brick Lane for a day.

    Police: Sorry mate, there's loads of bikes get nicked, sod all we can do.
    You: It's here. It got taken at x, ridden along these streets at this time and was locked up in this shed 30mins later.

    I'm normally fairly cynical about kickstarter bike stuff like the green bike projection light and a cafe stop wire cable that doubles up as an espresso cup etc, but I'm struggling to be completely ambivalent about this one. Genuinely seems like progress, if not necessarily the finished article.

    As you said "bike nicked" - if something is supposed to be 'anti-theft' then it needs to be doing something to prevent a theft happening in the first place. This is apparently undetectable so you're not actually reducing the risk of theft, just increasing the chance of recovery.

    Surely sometihing like this that you could clamp securely to the frame that is visible and can only be removed by a code/key (or by wrecking the frame) would be better.
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 26,521
    dhope wrote:
    PBlakeney wrote:
    A more simple solution.
    A lockable latest version Garmin.
    Does all that is required.

    Except transmit.

    So a lockable Garmin and a phone.

    But you don't need the mapping. So really just a GPS receiver and a mobile.
    Like what this is ;)
    See what happens when a luddite with a 705 just scans advertising bumf on t'internet?
    So. You don't even need a Garmin. Just a lockable phone and "Find My Phone".
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • meanredspider
    meanredspider Posts: 12,337
    The problem with this solution is that, to prevent your bike being nicked, it needs to be advertised on the bike. That, then, probably makes it easily defeated (after all, GPS is pretty easily confused - let alone jamming a phone signal). I've gone the route of having my bike (and my car trailer) professionally security marked. This doesn't make them secure but it does make them far less attractive - and they only need to be less attractive than the bike/trailer parked alongside them to be more secure. Thieves find it much harder to shift stuff that is professionally marked because they (and their "customers") will find it harder to claim that they didn't know it was nicked and so more susceptible to a charge of handling stolen goods.

    My brother, who used to sell security gear, said only fit a tracker if you really want the item back. Else, you're better spending the money on insurance...
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    Or on a 20p sticker saying a tracker is fitted?
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.