Bike Tracker Recommendations

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 crayefish 10 Jul 2021

While I wait for my new gravel bike to arrive, I have started to think about how to keep it safe.  Risk is low as I live in the country and keep the bike in a locked garage (with windows though) but given the investment and current lack of replacement bikes, I think it prudent to fit some kind of tracker as insurance incase someone gets into the garage at night to liberate me of my new pride and joy.

Most of the tracker comparisons seems to be fairly basic or lacking detail, so does the wider UKC brain have any recommendations?  Only one that seemed ok was called the Sherlock GPS, but perhaps folk here have another idea.

My requirements are:

- Decent battery life so I don't need to charge it every week (and to cover being away for a few weeks)

- Fits in the frame or handlebar (I.e. not a pseudo bolt on accessory)

- Cost isn't so important: I don't mind paying more for something that will actually work reliably

If it can cover two bikes with one subscription (so can include my XC bike), even better.  Thoughts?

 Joez 10 Jul 2021
In reply to crayefish:

Apple airtag

 spenser 11 Jul 2021
In reply to crayefish:

Tile devices are a possibility,although not sure any of them are quite the right shape for sticking in handlebars. 

 crayefish 11 Jul 2021
In reply to spenser:

Hoping for something more integrated and using GPS... Bluetooth isn't much good for stolen bikes in the countryside.

 Marek 11 Jul 2021
In reply to crayefish:

Can't help with choice of tracker, but one thing to consider is 'how does it help'. I know several people who have lost bikes and other valuable but trackable items (laptops plus other stuff), know where they ended up, but... police weren't interested and the owners weren't about to go an confront the thieves themselves. So what use?

 crayefish 12 Jul 2021
In reply to Marek:

Bike theft is taken reasonably seriously in NL (unlike England it seems... sad to hear that the police never followed up with your friends thefts).  In fact, I'm fairly sure its taken more seriously than kidnapping 🤣  The bikes taken by the Germans at the end of the war is still a huge bone of contention that isn't forgiven.

I'm sure big cities like Amsterdam would be a different matter though, due to the scale.

Assuming it turns out to be your 'average' thief and not some organised gang, I see no problem with trying personal retrieval if the police don't act.

 TheGeneralist 12 Jul 2021
In reply to crayefish:

I'd suggest a slightly different approach, store the bike in the house.

Is that an option?

In reply to Marek:

My thoughts exactly, I have two friends who have found their bikes for sale on the internet after being stolen and the police wernt interested.

Bike theft doesn't seem to be taken seriously in the uk (I have had 5 bikes stolen over my lifetime) I don't blame the police, they are overstretched and under resouced, that's just how it is.

Unless you are prepared to confront the thieves and take you're bike back (as one of my friends did, but he is massive and just fronted it out, grabbed the bike and road off) then I'm not sure what the point of a tracker is. My advice to the OP is get a solid ground anchor and massive chain for your garage. I know nothing is thief proof but I figure someone going at it with an angle grinder next to my bedroom window will probably be noticed!

In reply to ebdon:

There seems to be massive variation between forces as well. A friend had his bike nicked down in Reading, someone broke into their shed and got two bikes in broad daylight, and it was subsequently seen on sale on Facebook. The police arrested the suspect and as far as I know charged him with theft of multiple bikes but his bike was not recovered from the scene.

 PM 12 Jul 2021
In reply to Joez:

> Apple airtag

These are next to useless for recovery from theft, as they start to bleep if they are moving near a phone which isn’t the owner of the tag for “a while”.

This is to make it difficult to (for example) find out where someone lives by slipping one into their bag without their knowledge.

Guess they’re good for finding lost (not stolen) things, but anyone who heard the bike they’ve just nicked start bleeping (and, if I remember right, alerts on their own phone about the tag they’ve ‘found’, with some phone models) would quickly find the tag, and separate it from the bike.

I also thought when they were first released about getting one to fit to my bike, but after a few minutes of research: not suitable.

 crayefish 13 Jul 2021
In reply to ebdon:

Yeah, I had considered the ground anchor thing, especially when going away on holiday etc.

Having now read that many of these 'proper' gps trackers are unreliable, following further research, maybe its the way to go. 

In reply to crayefish:

I seem to recall a while back there was a thread on here with good DIY ground anchor options. If you have a garage theres more options attaching it to the structure of the building. My bikes are in a shed so I've filled a builder's bucket with concrete and set some scaffolding fixings in it.

In reply to crayefish:

Just do whatever you can. If someone wants your bike they'll take it. Even with a ground anchor, the second hand prices of parts and the traceability of the frame mean it's worth slicing through the frame to get round security. There's a picture floating round somewhere of a guy holding massive chain and a two inch ring of his top tube... Quickly getting away with 3k in parts is far better than slowly getting away with a 4k bike. 

 crayefish 13 Jul 2021
In reply to thepodge:

I suppose thats the sad truth... if its organised crime in anyway, you've no hope.  But if you can deter the opportunistic 'that looks like an easy shed' crime, you've won the small battle.

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