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Sherlock: GPS anti-theft for bikes

dhopedhope Posts: 6,699
edited October 2017 in Commuting chat
Just backed this (I'm not affiliated in any way)

Bike tracking, includes internet connection and GPS chip. Hides in the handlebars and tracks the bike if/when it's nicked.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sher ... r-bicycles

http://www.sherlock.bike/

sh_indiegogo_3_qh0ewd.png

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Thought it worth a punt. Obviously doesn't stop anything being nicked, but if it lets you track where the bike goes once it's nicked then that's got to be useful, right?
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Posts

  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    One week battery life is pretty damn good.

    Looks very interesting. May wait till it sells then have a look.

    Would be great if it was tamperproof, but then what is?
  • dhopedhope Posts: 6,699
    It's a little bit tamper proof
    Once installed, an inner mechanism will lock Sherlock inside the handlebars and you will be able to remove it only with its special key.

    I (and no doubt many others) briefly had the same idea a while ago but was thinking of the steerer / stem cap for stashing it. Fortunately these guys seem to have progressed beyond my few hours of googling GPS modules with mobile chips in them.
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  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,788 Lives Here
    Looks like a good idea. I only ever lock my hack bike up places where there is a chance of theft. The good ones stay with me or are only locked for very short periods. This is probably the exact sort of complacency that leads to a bike being nicked.
    With 1week battery life I'd probably want to charge it every 2-3 days as you wouldn't want it to go flat soon after it was pinched.
  • How obvious is the device when it is in the handlebars?

    Are the keys unique or can someone get a key and immediately remove the device, chuck it in a passing flatbed transit before cycling of into the sunset?
  • dhopedhope Posts: 6,699
    How obvious is the device when it is in the handlebars?

    Are the keys unique or can someone get a key and immediately remove the device, chuck it in a passing flatbed transit before cycling of into the sunset?

    It's invisible when it's in the handlebars, that's the point.

    I'd assume the key isn't unique, but unless the product catches on and becomes extremely well known (in which case, great - it'll spawn copycats and GPS tracking will become far more affordable for bikes) then I doubt most thieves will be carrying a key for it.

    Certainly if the bike ends up being inspected closely or taken apart then it could be removed. But if someone nicks the bike and slings it in a van or cycles it to a lock up, then if it's given you the location of the lock up I'd think you'd have a good chance of getting the police over there if you could show them exactly where and how recently it went there.
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  • I'm not knocking it, anything helps, but I'm a natural cynic.........
  • dhopedhope Posts: 6,699
    I'm not knocking it, anything helps, but I'm a natural cynic.........
    s'alright, wasn't thinking you were :D
    I'm also a cynic. Most of the GPS tracking things I've seen in the past look a bit shite, in that they seem to rely on you being close enough that your phone has a bluetooth connection to something and it'll buzz once the bike is nicked, but then have no way of tracking where it's gone. This one seems like it might be more useful than just an early notification that you don't own a bike anymore.
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  • imatfaalimatfaal Posts: 2,716
    I saw them at spin london and they look pretty neat devices - they were a little confused about how hard they would be to remove if thieves were knowledgeable enough to look/try. Also not sure how effective they will be if some scrote just places a metal cap over end of handlebars - faraday cage etc.
  • Huh, this sherlock looks really good. Once upon I have tested bicycle gps tracker from gps wox - gps tracking http://www.gpswox.com/ they do have Coban manufacturer gps device. Quite neutral experience. Tracking is good and accurate, but there is a bit lack of features. Maybe I am too much demanding. However I am considering to test your recommended Sherlock from indiegogo. :)
  • ianlashianlash Posts: 147
    The Sherlock is available to pre-order. Has anyone taken the plunge? I'm thinking about it.

    http://www.sherlock.bike/en/

    http://www.sherlock.bike/device-app/#FAQ
  • dhopedhope Posts: 6,699
    I'm pretty tempted too. Haven't yet but I got the email a few days ago.
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  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,655
    Ooo, European funding. Bloody Italians using UK taxpayers money to make money.
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  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,490
    I like the look of that - if I was leaving my bike(s) frequently then I'd certainly consider it.

    As for how effective it will be - as far as I can see it relies on 3 things.
    1) Battery - it needs to be kept charged - seems simple enough although easy for a user to forget - just something that needs to be kept on top of.
    2) Signal - it needs a mobile signal in order to notify you - in towns and cities this is fine - however, move out into the sticks and it may become a bit more of a problem - it doesn't say if it's a multi-network sim or tied to one provider. TBH it's probably a non-issue - most bikes are stolen either from home - in which case you need to change your security - or from where it's parked out and about - which isn't normally in the middle of nowhere.
    3) Secrecy - if a thief indetifies the device he's got three options - ditch the bike, ditch the device or disable it.
    a)Ditch the bike is easy and probably what most would do - although if the devices became popular they'd find a way to disable or remove the device.
    b) ditch the device - ok, they say it needs a "special tool" - but I can think of two ways to ditch it without a tool - remove the handlebars or cut the end off the bar using hacksaw or even bolt croppers. Makes the bike less sellable though - which was (I assume) the main reason for stealing it
    c) disable the device - it's got a microUSB charger - would a hefty voltage across the pins blow the charging circuit and take out the battery?

    On the whole I think it's a good device and I'd certainly be tempted if I thought the risk to my bike(s) was high enough - I'd like to see some development to offer different locations for installation so they're not all the same and then the thief wouldn't know for sure where to look.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    I kinda like the idea if only to have a chance of catching the scum that nick bikes.

    That said, my brother, who used to sell security trackers for cars and plant, said only fit a tracker if you're sure you want the thing back in whatever state it's in.
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  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    I have had a tracker keyring already - that was pants, Battery life was rubbish and you could never pick up a signal.

    I'd rather spend the money on an extra lock or a hack bike round town.
  • DrLexDrLex Posts: 2,142
    Mention of Faraday cage makes me think that this would surely justify a carbon fibre 'bar upgrade, you know, coz - science!
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  • imatfaalimatfaal Posts: 2,716
    DrLex wrote:
    Mention of Faraday cage makes me think that this would surely justify a carbon fibre 'bar upgrade, you know, coz - science!

    Now that is thinking of the highest order. Chapeau Sir!
  • I bought one, waited 6 weeks for delivery, charged it up, registered it, fitted it to my bike yesterday - nada, nothing, zilch. Have asked for a refund.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    The same science that says Carbon is a conductor and carbon fibre makes a perfectly good faraday cage? Transmission will be out the open end of the bars.
  • does anybody know if this sherlock GPS would fit inside the handlebars of my Carrera Vulcan
  • arnieA380 wrote:
    does anybody know if this sherlock GPS would fit inside the handlebars of my Carrera Vulcan
    http://www.sherlock.bike/wp-content/upl ... cument.pdf
  • Are these actually shipping though (website says something daft like shipping in six weeks), and do they work?

    Anyone got a real live working sample?
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  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I can't see it's worth getting. Even if you do get a signal what do you do ? Police ? Some mates ? A Bike is small. It could be hidden anywhere.

    Buy an extra lock.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    Are these actually shipping though (website says something daft like shipping in six weeks), and do they work?

    Anyone got a real live working sample?

    There were plenty of really terrible reviews a few years ago. Didn't seem to work very well, and no back up service whatsoever.
    A forum search might find the threads.
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  • Thing is, as soon as thieves get wise to it, it's just a case of removing the bars at the stem, snip the cables and leave them behind. Most bikes nicked will probably be stripped down and sold in bits making them harder to trace.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Carrera Vulcan = £370
    Sherock GPS = £150

    How much is left for the lock itself ?

    And you were looking at the light with the lazer on. Don't forget to take all that off when you leave the bike.
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,965
    Thing is, as soon as thieves get wise to it, it's just a case of removing the bars at the stem, snip the cables and leave them behind. Most bikes nicked will probably be stripped down and sold in bits making them harder to trace.

    I hear so many bike thieves now deliberately move a bike from one location to another and lock it up outside just in case these are fitted, and leave them a few weeks.
    That way if one is fitted, it never leads back home.
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  • Thing is, as soon as thieves get wise to it, it's just a case of removing the bars at the stem, snip the cables and leave them behind. Most bikes nicked will probably be stripped down and sold in bits making them harder to trace.

    I hear so many bike thieves now deliberately move a bike from one location to another and lock it up outside just in case these are fitted, and leave them a few weeks.
    That way if one is fitted, it never leads back home.

    I also read that they do this so that they aren't found in possession of stolen goods.

    However, thinking about it, they need to find somewhere to lock it up where it won't be nicked by some other bike thief. Hmm. And having spent a couple of hours riding slowly around the area mine was nicked from, I couldn't find it locked up outside anywhere.

    I would think a better bet would be to use a disused garage somewhere for storage.
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  • davisdavis Posts: 2,566
    I would think a better bet would be to use a disused garage somewhere for storage.

    I have to ask... How common are they?
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  • There is a huge network dealing with stolen bikes. These people as scummy as they are are not stupid. They will steal a bike and have it in another part of the country in hours, either in bits or possibly complete if stolen to order. As has been mentioned many a time before; if a thief wants yourbike bad enough they will do anything to get it. Even the most sophisticated anti theft tech is usually one step behind, rarely 1 step ahead.
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