Bike theft is one of the most common crimes happening lately. Every year about 2 million bikes are reported stolen to the police in North America. Most bikes are lightweight, making them a primary target for thefts on streets or parking. Most people never register their bikes and thieves are aware of this fact; consequently, they are more vulnerable and stolen more frequently.
Bike thieves, after the theft, sell them on the black market. Law enforcement cannot help you in getting your bike back if your bike is not registered. Having a bike GPS tracker will sort out a lot of problems related to your bike safety and theft recovery.
In other words, bicycles are the most unsecured vehicles that need to be affixed with proper security tools along with the best bike tracking devices.
A bike is not just a source of transportation. Many people do bike riding to stay fit and it’s a part of their daily routine. Due to the regular stealing of bikes, many bikers have given up on their favorite activity. They are afraid of theft and choose other options for transportation.
Bike theft is common in areas with a high population. The most common places where bike thefts are committed are college campuses, subways, churches, soccer fields, etc. Most stolen bicycles are left unlocked, improperly locked, locked with poor-quality locks, or do not have a bike GPS tracker.
The best GPS trackers for bikes wirelessly transmit your bike’s location to your mobile device. You can also monitor various other activities through a GPS tracker. Many of these portable GPS trackers inform you of the bike’s speed and the direction in which it’s traveling. So having a bike GPS tracker can help you in numerous ways to keep your bike safe and make you aware of any suspicious activity.
What are the techniques used to steal a bike?
To protect your bike from stealing, you have to think and know all the tricks and techniques a thief might use to steal your bicycle. Knowing these techniques would help you take more precautions and keep your bike safe. Following are some perpetrator techniques used most commonly:
Targeting unlocked bikes
They all say it right, “A momentary lapse in caution can cause you a big loss”. Bike security is most underrated among urban people. Thieves usually take the benefit of this carelessness. They keep an eye on the people who don’t worry about the security of their bicycles. Unlocked bikes are the easiest targets for them as nobody will notice if they are the actual owner of the bike.
Targeting the most crowded and vulnerable areas like schools and colleges
If you do a survey, you will find out that most of the bikes-theft reports come from crowded areas. Places like colleges, churches, movie halls, local markets, subways, etc. are too risky to stay carefree for your bikes. Even if you are standing close to your bike and talking on your phone, your bike is not safe.
There are chances of your bike getting stolen as soon as you look away from it. In places like these, crimes like pickpocketing, bag snatching, chain snatching, etc. are committed in a fraction of seconds. They do this in no time leaving no evidence behind.
Picking the locks
Agonizingly, some very skillful people choose to pick locks and waste their talents and time in theft rather than earning with integrity. They are so skillful that they take less than a minute to pick the locks of your bike.
Cutting the locks
Offenders with no skills in picking the lock, choose a crack and smash option to get things done. They simply have sharp tools through which they cut the locks. A thief may use a hacksaw, bolt cutter, or an angle grinder to cut through the bike lock.
Lifting the bikes along with the locks
As we are listing different techniques applied for bike theft, there are different variations of offenders too. Some of them are so confident that they carry the bike along without picking or cutting the locks.
They don’t fear getting caught or about the consequences of committing any crime of stealing. They are ready to take all the risks for a few bucks. This is why locking your bikes to a pole or rack is so important.
Dismantling the lock from the sucker pole
A sucker pole is used as a piece of street furniture, and typically has the option of locking the bike with it. Through this, your bikes become immovable and safer.
Bicycle thieves are trained enough to dismantle a lock even from a sucker pole without opening it. A sucker pole could be anywhere including a sign, fence, bike rack, etc.
Jamming the lock
Many bike thefts are happening through this smart trick of jamming the lock these days. Thieves jam stuff into the victim’s bike lock to prevent their key from working. They quickly strip the bike’s components while it is left unattended as the owner would have gone for some help to unlock the bike.
Like jamming the lock of the bike, puncturing the tire of the victim’s bike is another way to distract him. The victim might go to get some help and in the meantime, the thieves accomplish their tasks. They quickly disassemble the bike or carry it to some other place without the owner knowing it.
How can you prevent bike theft?
Now that you know almost all the techniques that thieves apply for bike theft, you should also be aware of the tips to prevent it. Here are a few steps you can take to level up your bike’s security against theft.
Use a hidden GPS tracker for bikes
A hidden GPS tracker is the best way to prevent bike theft or to recover it even after it’s stolen. A battery-powered hidden GPS tracker is the most versatile type of tracker. You can easily mount these trackers under the bike seat or an opaque carrier.
Use GPS tracker with theft alerts
Some GPS trackers will let you know the location of your bike but it’s better to have a tracker that sends you an alert with the slightest of movement in the vehicle. These trackers are better than the basic ones as they would prevent theft rather than recover your bikes from thieves. You will get a notification as soon as the bike is moved or carried from where it is parked.
Double up the security using the best quality locks
There are many high-quality locks available in the market that are very hard to pick. You can use the high-standard U-lock locks rather than those simple rubber cable locks that are easily picked or breakable. Or, you can also use a U-lock and the cable lock together for better security.
Lock your tire with a steel chain and padlock
To make your security effective, you can use a steel chain and padlock. Even if a thief gets through with the U-lock or cable lock, they will have to deal with the chain. There is no doubt in this that thieves don’t have enough time to deal with two or more locks and will choose some other bike instead of wasting time on yours.
Give a customized and unique look to your bike
Make your bike look different from others. Give it a unique look by adding some customized stickers or marks. Stickers of your favorite superhero, brand logos, symbols, etc. would make your bike look unique and identified at first glance. You can also use paint to mark your initials on some discreet area of the bike. This helps in reporting the bike theft to the police and increases the chances of recovering your bike.
Try out advanced smart locks
The advanced smart locks come in with a lot of features that prevent bike theft. You can monitor these locks through a smartphone. They will alert you when your bike is in motion. Moreover, they also come with a location-tracking feature.
Try to park your bicycle inside your house
Keeping your bike out of reach from thieves is the simplest way to protect it. If you are at home, don’t park your bike outside the main doors. The offenders get enough time to steal their bike when their locality is deserted.
Use a bike rack to park your bicycle
Using a bike rack is safer instead of a signboard or sucker pole. Thieves have mastered the technique to dismantle the locks from these poles. If you use a bike rack it would probably be in a crowded area and your bike will be parked along with the other bikes. It is comparatively safer.
Know your bike well
It’s important to know your bike well. This means you should know every detail of your bike so that you can tell it to a law enforcement officer at the time of reporting bike theft. Jot down the important details like serial number, registration number, color, size, etc. It’s also helpful if you have a picture of your bicycle and a sales receipt.
Register your bicycle
Just like all other vehicles, bicycles should also be registered. Nowadays, every bike has a unique serial number. This serial number and the registration number help law enforcement to identify and recover your bicycle after the theft.
Every vehicle is precious to us, bikes included. It’s always a best practice to get your bike insured. Having a bike GPS tracker for your bike will also get you a discount on insurance premiums. Although insurance for your bike will not avoid theft, it will make up for the monetary loss.
Bike thefts, as common as they get, can be prevented. We did some digging and found this supremely useful video that can help you in preventing your favorite bike from being stolen.
Why should you buy a bike GPS tracker?
Equipping your bike with an efficient GPS tracker is such a crucial step. It will help to prevent bike theft or recover stolen bikes. Here are the top reasons to have the bike GPS tracker:
GPS Trackers are discreet devices
Most GPS trackers are discreet devices as one of their major purposes is to track the location of your stolen vehicle without letting the thief know.
Due to their compact size and hiding feature, they can be used for many reasons, such as tracking your cheating spouse, your kids, the elderly of the family, etc. without making it obvious. The small and portable bike tracking devices can be hidden away from thieves and miscreants.
GPS Trackers are best for adventure biking and sports
If you are an adventurous person and use your bicycle for mountain biking, racing, hunting, and hiking, using a bike GPS tracker is very advantageous. You can track your as well as your friends’ location while biking in some unknown area.
Advanced GPS Trackers are heavy-duty devices
The advanced GPS trackers are sturdy and can be roughly used on bikes and other two-wheelers. As we know, bikes sometimes need to travel through bumpy roads and paths. You might drop your GPS tracker if haven’t mounted it well.
A heavy-duty GPS tracker can go through all rough and tough situations. Tracking for motorcycles is also very handy through such heavy-duty GPS trackers.
GPS trackers can send theft alerts
If you buy a GPS tracker, it is obvious that you should look for a theft alert feature in it. A bike GPS tracker is useful when it sends you an alert on sensing a motion or stealing.
Know your kids’ real-time location
Bikes are the main source of transportation used by kids. You might always wonder about your kids’ location and timings. To keep yourself carefree you can use a GPS tracker on your kids’ bikes. You can easily mount a bike GPS tracker on your kids’ bikes and know their real-time location anywhere-anytime.
What you should consider before buying a Bike GPS Tracker?
Choose a GPS device that is easy to mount or install on your vehicle. The installation should not require the appointment of any technical person and should be done in no time.
If your bike is parked in a parking lot or a bike rack with authorized security, you should not worry about it. But if you are parking your bike in a public place or an alley that has no security, there are more chances of it getting stolen.
A real-time tracker solves these issues as you can keep a tab on your bikes all the time. You can quickly catch a thief if he tries to steal your bike in your surveillance. There are possibilities the offender might get away with your bike under your nose.
In these cases, you can still track the location of your bike and provide this information to the police. This will increase the possibility of recovering your bike.
In the case of a bike GPS tracker, size is a vital factor to consider before buying it. The smaller the size of the tracker, the more efficient it would be for hiding and discreet tracking. Your tracker should not be visible to the offender while they are trying to steal your bike or they would simply unmount it.
The battery is another major factor to consider for a bike GPS tracker performance. You should be able to track for a long period whether it’s for adventure sports or bike theft. For instance, mountain biking is a time taking sport. You don’t want your GPS tracker to turn off while tracking the route on your way back.
Another scenario could be that you are tracking the location of a bike thief who stole your bike. There could be a possibility that you and the police are about to catch that thief with the help of your tracker but suddenly your tracker turns off due to a low battery. All your efforts would go in vain. Therefore, a bike GPS tracker should have long-life battery life.
Generally, GPS trackers support 2G, 3G, and 4G connections. The better the connectivity is, the faster you will get updates. Better connectivity helps you to track your locations even in backward areas.
It would be a plus point if your GPS tracker has the option of Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity.
Geofencing is one of the best advanced technology updates in GPS trackers. It allows you to set up virtual boundaries. It allows you to set up virtual boundaries for an area and sends you an alert when your bicycle enters or exits that preset area.
Geofencing comes in handy when you have to lend your bike to a friend or use it for commercial purposes.
You have to check the subscription plan of a GPS tracker before buying it. Many GPS trackers offer a high subscription fee with no special features.
Choose a bike GPS tracker that comes with a low subscription fee that can be canceled anytime without any extra charge.
Types of alerts
A bike GPS tracker should have all the basic alert options. It should alert for speeding, braking, parked, motion, theft, low battery, etc. The more options of alerts you get, the better you can access your vehicle through your smartphone.
A bike GPS tracker should not be very costly and at the same time, it should fulfill all the tasks regarding your bike safety. Go for a tracker that can be discreet, full of features, and provide value for money.
A bike GPS tracker has to go through a lot of bumpy paths. It could always affect the functioning of the tracker and eventually, it may stop working. An efficient GPS tracker will come with all the features and will have a long life than usual.
Not every consumer of a bike GPS tracker would be a techie. Some might also take time to get their hands on the simplest of devices. A GPS tracker company that is up to the mark will provide 24×7 tech support to solve their customers’ issues. Moreover, GPS trackers are electronic products that may fail to function some or other time. The tech support team should resolve any technical issue that may occur with the tracking device.
10 Best GPS Trackers for Bikes [Reviewed]
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is to LIST the best products in the market, and not to review or rank them. All the products listed here have several unique features catering to a wide range of customer requirements.
While compiling this list, we evaluated the devices based on their cost, subscription plans, battery life, size, and installation process. We considered factors like the countries they offer coverage in, ease of use of their application, security, or other unique features they offer. We also looked into add-on services these vendors provide – lifetime warranty, 24/7 customer support, installation help, and more.
The intention is to inform and educate the reader on the variety of options available in the market.
If you’re investing your money in a good quality bicycle, buying GPS trackers for bikes is a prominent factor in keeping it safe. Also, if you wish for the safety of your loved ones, you can buy a bike GPS tracker that suits you the best from the above list.