The latest weapon in the war against bike thieves is the SpyBike GPS tracker – a device the size of a tube of Smarties that fits inside a bicycle’s steering column and can track its whereabouts anywhere in the world.
The £83 SpyBike allows a cyclist to track the location of their bicycle anywhere in the world should it be stolen. The SpyLamp nestles beneath an innocuous-looking headset cap beneath which hides GPS technology, the workings from a pay-as-you-go mobile phone and a motion sensor to allow the bicycle owner to track the whereabouts of their bike via a website using Google Maps.
Once armed, any movement of the bicycle will prompt the tracker to send a text to its owner and begin to send details of its location, which can be tracked online.
Car tracker systems that emit a VHF signal, which can be picked up by receivers fitted to police cars have been available for years. The technology is proven, but expensive; the cost of buying the unit and having it installed can run to hundreds of pounds and there is also a subscription to pay. The Spybike is cheaper to buy and costs pennies to run. Using a typical pay-as-you-go SIM card, each position upload costs approximately GBP 0.0006p.
Yannick Read at cycle insurer ETA, which is currently testing the Spybike tracker, says: “Cyclists and insurers alike have been waiting for a product like this for years – unlike any existing security device it puts the bike thief on the back foot.”
Cycle insurance from the ETA includes new-for-old replacement, covers accidental damage (including at race events), personal accident, a breakdown service for cyclists and much more.
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