The Best Way to Eradicate Bike Theft
COVID-19 has brought unprecedented popularity to cycling. Because of the pandemic, more people have realized its health, economic, and environmental benefits.
While this popularity has brought many advantages among cyclists–more bicycles available in the market, more innovative cycling technologies, and better-designated cycling places, it still has a downside. It also brought an unprecedented spike in bike theft.
Yes, your bike is more prone to theft than how you think. To help you prevent this, we’ve developed a quick guide on how to prevent bike theft.
How common is bike theft?
According to recent research, a bicycle is stolen every 30 seconds. This results in more than 2 million bikes or $350 million worth of property lost annually. If we even consider the cycling accessories and other bicycle upgrades some cyclists have, this number can go up to a whopping $400 million.
This kind of number is significantly higher compared to other vehicles. Less than 1 million cars are stolen yearly, roughly half of the current statistics on bike theft.
These numbers may be surprising, but it isn’t really that hard to believe. Bicycles are a lot easier to steal than cars and other vehicles. Someone can steal your bike within seconds after leaving it unattended.
However, it’s important to note that while bike theft is common, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to protect your unit from being stolen. Fortunately, there are already lots of smart devices which can protect you against bike theft.
What is the best way to prevent bike theft?
Gone are the days when cyclists could only rely on locks and chains just to keep their bicycles safe and secured. More and more companies are creating innovative devices to eradicate bike theft.
As of this writing, a GPS tracker is the best way to eradicate bike theft. Before, GPS trackers are only used to help cyclists navigate. But today, more and more manufacturers are equipping their trackers with anti-theft technologies.
Basically, GPS trackers allow you to see where your bicycle is easy. That way, you’d know if your unit has unwanted movements. Some GPS trackers also have location alerts, which send a notification directly to your smartphone should your unit move away from its designated area.
Aside from this, a GPS tracker would make it easier to report the case to the authorities if you fail to prevent thieves from stealing your bike. The thief would be reprimanded, and you can get your bicycle in less than an hour since you know its supposed location.
What should you look for in a GPS tracker?
It’s worth noting that not all GPS trackers are designed for anti-theft. As mentioned earlier, some are just used to help cyclists navigate. Here are some of the features you should be looking for to ensure that you’ll get a GPS tracker against theft.
1. Smartphone Connectivity
Some GPS trackers come with a navigation computer. While this kind is also useful, you can’t carry it around since it’s supposed to be on your bicycle and very bulky. Not only that, but it’s also prone to theft.
The best option for you is a compact GPS tracker with smartphone connectivity, this way, you can get anti-theft alerts on your smartphone wherever you go. Get a tracker with GPS, LTE, Bluetooth, and 5G connectivity to ensure it can be synced to your phone regardless of your mobile reception.
2. Geofencing and Proximity Alarm
Geofencing allows you to create a virtual graphic boundary on your smartphone. This way, should your bicycle leave that boundary, you will be immediately alerted. It could also be used in monitoring other valuables, such as your bag.
Aside from this, it’s best to get a tracker with a proximity alarm. You just have to set how far you are from your bicycle, and should it exceed this distance, you will be alerted immediately.
The variation between geofencing and proximity alarm gives you more flexibility, allowing you to leave your bicycle without any concerns.
3. Location Sharing
It’s also ideal for getting a GPS tracker with a location sharing feature. This way, should you be busy, your friends can easily track your belongings, especially your bicycle.
This is also an excellent safety feature for cyclists who are used to cycling alone. Should you get into minor trouble on the road, your friends will immediately know where they can pick you up.
4. Long Battery Life
Lastly, find a GPS tracker with long battery life. This is especially important for people who are used to going on long-distance rides or joining tours.
The key to this feature is to look for a tracker with multiple connectivity features, as pure LTE connectivity drains battery fast. There are already some GPS trackers that could last up to 12 months. Aside from this, find a GPS tracker that is life-proof. It would be best to look for at least an IP68 waterproof feature to ensure you can carry it around anywhere.
What are other anti-theft devices?
GPS trackers are the best anti-theft devices. Fortunately, there are other smart cycling accessories you can also use.
Some smart brake lights also come with an anti-theft feature. Brake lights come with a motion-sensing feature that allows the light to go off should you come to a full stop. Some manufacturers maximized this feature by using this as a proximity alarm.
When choosing a brake light as your anti-theft, just ensure it’s paired with a trusty smartphone cycling app. This way, you can receive anti-theft alerts seamlessly.
It’s time to eradicate bike theft.
With more than 350 million worth of bicycles lost yearly, it’s really high time for cyclists to take extra measures to eradicate bike theft. Fortunately, many smart cycling accessories can already help us with this, such as excellent GPS trackers. Don’t give thieves the slightest chance of getting your bicycle!