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SpyBike GPS Tracker is like LoJack for bikes

By

June 20, 2012

You activate the SpyBike system with an electronic keyring

You activate the SpyBike system with an electronic keyring

Image Gallery (3 images)

The National Bike Registry tells us that thousands of bikes are stolen every day in the United States alone, estimating a cost of around US$200 million per year. A stolen bike can take hundreds or thousands of dollars out of your pocket, leave you without a means of transit and turn into a frustrating, angering experience. The SpyBike Covert Bicycle GPS Tracker protects you from theft by tracking down your bike.

They may deserve every expletive-laced, demeaning name in the book, but there's no denying that bike thieves are crafty, determined folks. Even if you lock your bike up, thieves have a way of cutting, prying, hammering and hacking through your line of defense ... or maybe they'll just saw the fence post that the bike is secured to.

Since you're not a professional thief, it's difficult to protect your bike from every possible scenario, and your bike could get stolen even if you make every attempt to lock it securely. The chances of you getting the bike back are slim, and you may not see it again even if the police recover it.

The SpyBike GPS tracker from Integrated Trackers gives you a second line of defense. You should still lock your bike, but if a thief happens to break it free, you have a means to get it back. The device mounts inside the headset, where it is hidden and unassuming. You use a special wrench to secure the device, so it's not easily removed.

Activate the unit when you leave your bike using the accompanying electronic key ring. If the bike is taken before being deactivated with your key (i.e. stolen), the vibration sensor initiates the tracking system, which sends you an alert SMS message and begins uploading coordinates to the cloud every 20 seconds until the vibration stops. The unit will activate again when the vibration starts up (i.e. the thief is riding or transporting the bicycle), so you can continue keeping up on its whereabouts.

You can keep track of the bike's location via Integrated Trackers' website, and then relay its location to the police. If you forgot to arm the unit before your bike was stolen, you can remotely activate it by sending an SMS message. It checks its messages automatically every six hours, so it will begin tracking when it gets your message.

The tracking service is free, but users do have to equip the unit with a pay-as-you-go SIM card and will be charged for the data used in uploading coordinates. This may seem like an extra cost and work, but combined with the quad-band GSM modem, it allows the unit to work with nearly any mobile network in the world. You can configure it to the carrier that offers the best coverage in your area to ensure that it works when you need it. The unit uses GPRS to upload data, not SMS, and Integrated Trackers says it costs a fraction of a penny to send each update (in the U.K.).

Secure the SpyBike unit with a special wrench

The SpyBike runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Integrated Trackers says that the battery can go for months between charges. The unit will send you an SMS message when the battery needs charging.

The SpyBike does have some limitations. Because it relies on GPS, the device will stop operating effectively if your bike is taken inside or anywhere there isn't a clear view of the sky. In that case, the unit will step down to GSM cellular triangulation. The company says GSM is only accurate to about 650 feet (200 m), which could prove all but useless in a building-dense environment like the center of a city. In fact, even GPS's claimed 16 to 82 feet (5 to 25 m) accuracy won't necessarily bring you right to the thief's doorstep.

Having a hidden tracking system keeping you updated on the bike's location will almost certainly increase your chances of recovery. By integrating it into the headset, Integrated Trackers makes it unassuming enough that thieves may not think to check for it, and difficult enough to remove that they won't be able to just pull it out or break it off. The remote activation feature is a smart inclusion that keeps the device active even if you don't have the key ring or your bike is forcibly stolen.

The SpyBike starts at US$153.58. The following video shows you how it works in a theft scenario.

Source: Integrated Trackers via The GearCaster

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
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21 Comments

The video shows a blue flashing light when the unit is activated. Is this a way to tell the thief that there is a secret tracking device hidden in the handle bars? Does the manufacturer really expect someone to track down the stolen bike, get on it, and merrily peddle away? That isn't the way it works in the 'hood.

Mr. Gizmo
21st June, 2012 @ 01:02 pm PDT

This thing must be remarked, because it seems to obvious, but it's a good start. Anyway I think that a microchip with a wider signal, without a battery and so much intelligence can be more useful, because it can be hidden better, it's smaller, maybe it don't need a battery, a wider distance and i think that it's no problem to detect it even it's inside of a building. The thief is not that stupid(in many cases) to keep the bike in town and ride it. It's more probably to sell it in another town or country...

Iosif Eugen Olimpiu
21st June, 2012 @ 02:17 pm PDT

@Mr.Gizmo, That light is a common way to tell the user that the system is armed. It would not go off unless the electronic key was in use. It is not like the car alarms where the blinking light is a warning.

I like the system, and the cost is not too steep (considering the cost of some of the bikes I have seen.) But I do not like having to remove and recharge it.

I would prefer it be proximity charged, or plug in. (maybe a plug in jack in the end of the handle.

My preference, would be to add a dynamo/ or charging coil inside the neck charged by a spinning magnet. To charge, a motor driven spinning magnet would be applied to the out side of the neck (Velcro/ or magnet mounted, ) and spun up to speed forcing the inner magnet to spin charging the battery. If the charging spinner is DC and battery fed, and with an AC power cord, it could be used anywhere, at home or on the road, with or without AC. It could be similar to a Dremel.

kellory
21st June, 2012 @ 03:29 pm PDT

The whole point of a tracing system is that it would have to be stealthy. With its big gaudy logo, thieves will know exactly what to remove and toss away.

Dave Kliman
21st June, 2012 @ 03:34 pm PDT

Too expensive for most. Get the price down to $30 and the product will take off like gang busters.

Lawrence Lagarde
21st June, 2012 @ 06:31 pm PDT

The price seems right to me as I am not aware of anything else out there that offers discreet and convenient solution for tracking bikes worth thousands of dollars. My concerns would be battery life, warranty as bikes are often prone to much abuse and system security to prevent hacking of the device. As for the blinking light thingy I believe one can just use an opaque headset cover instead of a see through one...

Ender Wigin
22nd June, 2012 @ 02:08 am PDT

This would be great for a Segway. It could hook up to the Segway battery that is already being charged constantly.

PizzaEater
22nd June, 2012 @ 08:25 am PDT

Keep in mind that this could also be used for other things that could get stolen. You could put this in your personal vault for instance.

Sambath Pech
23rd June, 2012 @ 04:50 pm PDT

I've got an even crazier idea: how about locking up bike thieves for thirty years - then nobody would think that stealing a bike was worth it, would they...

Don't tell me, "it costs too much", blah blah blah. It doesn't cost too much, because deterrence works - we just don't have any deterrence nowadays. So the public is expected to spend endless amounts of money to protect our property from the criminals we are FORCED to live with. Whatever happened to freedom of association? Who would actually choose to live with criminals?

packoftwenty
8th July, 2012 @ 06:29 am PDT

Its a start,but if you have an expensive bike it may be immediately stripped down,a much better idea would be for this to go down the seat tube as it would be much more difficult to find.

James Sergent ✯
13th July, 2012 @ 09:10 am PDT

@James Sergent

Funny, I was just sitting here thinking of ways to get it down into the seat tube that where it wouldn't rattle while still being easily accessed for service.

The thing is, if these ever get ubiquitous, some enterprising young child of The Demon, i.e.: "bike thief" would develop some method of scanning for tracking devices/circumventing being tracked.

Having had my 13 year old Schwinn taken, I'm strongly considering this for the replacement...

C. Walker Jr.
6th December, 2012 @ 12:43 am PST

to see the SpyBike in action check out: www.tolvajkergetok.hu

click on the British flag in the upper right corner for English language. the videos are subtitled.

they have a video in extras in which they specifically show how to use it

Joe Neat
3rd January, 2013 @ 02:21 pm PST

this idea has a lot of potential. I'd like the prove point to be a little lower but I guess other solitons require an active sim with could add up.

Chris Huston
20th March, 2013 @ 06:02 pm PDT

I bought one of these a few months ago.I didn’t get around to install it until recently.This is definitely not a plug and play device.With that said,if you have a little tech saavy and patience you can get it to work the way they advertise.The sim card that I ended up using was from a Samsung a157 Go Phone(http://www.ebay.com/bhp/at-t-gophone-samsung-a157).It is a no contract pre-pay phone.You need to activate the phone first with the sim card in it.After activating the phone,you need to make a few test calls and texts to make sure it is working properly.Make sure it can receive calls and texts.Before you take the sim card out of the phone,you need to have the sim card unlocked.Apparently AT&T locks the sim card to the pre-pay phone you activated it to.If you put it in the tracker,it won’t work.I spent hours online trying to figure out how to unlock the sim card.The phone itself wouldn’t allow me to do it.Eventually I called AT&T and they unlocked the sim card over the phone.You will need the APN settings.You can find them by going through the phones settings.

After doing this I was able to install the tracker and send it the required texts to set it up.You will need to set most of the setting that are in the instructions to get it to work.I had to adjust the sensitivity settings to 6 to get it to work right.I also had to send it my phone number a little differently than they had in the instructions.I didn’t use the + sign they had said to use.In Europe you might need it,but not here in the States.

I took it out for a test today.I armed it and it sent me a text about a minute after I moved it.It went into tracking mode.I went home and looked it up online.It was pretty darn close to being spot on.

Over all,I am happy with this tracker.

skipray
15th April, 2013 @ 09:10 am PDT

I just purchased the Spybike GPS tracker and installed it according to the instructions. It does locate correctly my bike when I text "whereareyou." What is does not do, but should do, is send me a text when the bike is being ridden and the tracker is armed. I have tried emailing the support people at integratedtrackerscom and I have yet to receive a reply to my numerous emails to them. Has anyone else here had a problem in contacting them? I have not been able to reach anyone using the contact email at their website. I need to know why the tracker is not working when it is armed and I am riding the bike. The vibration sense is supposed to respond when the biking is vibrating (being ridden) and send me a SMS text, right? The tracker seems to work correctly with it's other functions, just not the one mentioned. Anyone have any ideas? THX.

Traveler888
21st May, 2013 @ 10:29 pm PDT

Ordered this. Waited a month to receive it, only to realize it no longer works in U.S.A. because it only uses 2G networks, which are now being discontinued systematically by AT&T and T-Mobile. Sprint uses 2G, but doesn't have sim cards...so basically this thing is useless here.

Wasted a lot of time and money to discover this.

Very disappointing. I can't understand why in this day and age, we don't have a ton of companies selling hidden gps devices to track our stolen bicycles. It's mind boggling.

Robbie Conaway
23rd June, 2013 @ 08:34 am PDT

Yes, the front post should have enough vibrations to double the charge. Unless that's how it gets a month's long charge?

As for price, you are buying a data phone and gps unit (no display)

Even more discrete please. Either way, it takes more time to remove than just cutting the lock, and with immediate real time tracking, hopefully you can find it before the more quality people stripp it or take out of town. I would actually wonder how long the battery would last if left on like an old phone without all the apps and display they would easily last a week, and it should easily be able to have a low power mode for when its not moving

Patrick Tyrus
18th August, 2013 @ 12:00 am PDT

i tried to contact these guys , in Cyprus, they replied once with a proforma , but since then i have not managed a further reply and one of my friends who has bought the unit said it worked but soon failed and they reply after 2 months and then nothing ... anyway the idea i s a rather good but practically may have many problems , like battery life, thieeves knowing about and how to get a bike from a bunch of hard thieves , if you call the police help they will invariably come too late if they come at all ( Tracy Chapman sung it )

i have installed a simple SOS personal tracker hidden in my bike , does same this tracker will do , and costs a fraction , if you need details contact me skype christos1055 , may be we can make something to fight off the bastard thieves

CHRISTOS
13th September, 2013 @ 11:10 pm PDT

i have been researching this. and the best option for a lojack system undetected would be a label like the ones they put in the stores or library on magazine to send off alarm if someone is walking out.the lable would go inside the down tube or inside the handle bars but theres is a chance that being up on theives theyw ill alter the bike and cant change a down tube but can a handle bar. it should be electromagnetic or a similar electronic chip that is like a lable. and easilty stuck inside the bike . all the bullshit about lights will set off to theif.

plus like i said they will chop shop a bike and take of parts so u cant identify your bike so putting it in the bars is not a good idea. something undetectable and unadvertised.. or even a unit that is built to go inside the down tube and fit in way down.

Ceo Margaux
14th September, 2013 @ 04:01 am PDT

Deterrence: The death penalty does not deter murder.

Inside the seat tube: Not transparent to gps signals and probably gprs as well.

Indoor location: very difficult in a small package: WiFi is a power hog; BTLE requires BT infrastructure/ buttons in place; MEMS accelerometer/ gyro for dead reckoning is expensive and still cutting edge.

Price: GSM/ GPS chip sets cost about $60. The add the battery, housing, packaging and profit and it will run the cos up there quickly.

rik.warren
12th February, 2014 @ 08:50 am PST

Its a step in the right direction.The thieves are doing the bike manufactures a great service. Wouldn't it be cool if we could install a electric shock device. For the price I paid for my last bike that was stolen... it should be come as standard to have such device

fitted if ask me.

THFC28
26th June, 2014 @ 10:07 am PDT
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