LoJack/OnStar-like system for bikes?

We’ve written about fighting bike theft with GPS devices before, as well as posting about a cool web series called “To Catch a Bike Thief” where the producers set out “bait bikes” equipped with GPS trackers. It’s a neat technique to use new technologies to combat an age-old problem.

And now there’s a very interesting Kickstarter project gaining some traction. Called The BikeSpike, this device purports to:

•Monitor your bike’s location on a map using your phone or computer
•Grant temporary access to local law enforcement, helping increase the chances of recovery.
•Digitally “lock” your bike and receive a notification if your bike moves from it’s geo-fenced location or if someone even tampers with it.
•Collision detection system can alert key members of your contact list and share the location of an accident.
•Share your stats (distance, speed, and courses…) with friends, coaches and spectators.
•Monitor your children and get notified if they ride out of their safe zone.
•Our open API allows developers to create gaming and fitness apps that you can download and use with the device or use the data created from the BikeSpike to integrate with the existing apps you already love. Export a GPX file.
•PLUS, with the Hacker Pack, you can connect it to a motorcycle or other on-board batteries for a continual charge.

The website Mashable calls it “like LoJack and OnStar for your bike.”

Here’s a video that helps illustrate the workings of the device:

What do you think — a gadget worth pursuing, or is investing in a strong lock a better strategy? We’d love to hear your thoughts on BikeSpike as much as the developers would like you to help fund their project…just leave comments below.

A tip of the ol’ foam dome to longtime reader/commenter Raiyn Storm for pointing this out to us.


  1. Ian

    Was looking at that from another site earlier today. I like the idea, but I _really_ don’t like the idea of another monthly fee. Didn’t see it on their site, but some digging around on da webs and it looks like $7/mo. That may be pittance to some, but nearly $100/year isn’t to me.

    Now, if I could use it on my own cell account and just let it use data on my current plan, that would be great, and would probably be barely noticeable in data usage.

    I like the idea of quickly sharing trips though, would make the Strava updates much easier, that is, if the GPS on it is accurate enough. There’s enough problems already with phone-based GPS data being rather inaccurate.

    So… something to watch, and see what else develops.

  2. Andy

    I’ve been reading about several of these lately, because I do some crazy long gravel rides along once in a while, and am also a type 1 diabetic. I’d like to share my location, just in case I don’t come home as expected, so someone could look up where I was last transmitting. This device looks great, though it not on the market yet, and is basically just a fancier version of what is currently available an apps on smartphones.

    The other options I have found are SpyBike, which has a similar device that can be completely hidden in the headtube. Runs for $150, and uses a SIM card which they claim a prepaid card will cost pennies, and no monthly fee to them. Plus it’s actually available now.

    If you don’t have a smartphone or ride in places with no cell coverage, the SPOT gps is another solution. It uses GPS signals, so theoretically can work anywhere. Units sell for $80 used to $130 new, but it requires a $100/yr plan. $50/yr more if you want automatic tracking. There’s even a version that will let you type up 40 character messages from your phone to be sent via GPS for 50c a message (less per, if you buy a bundle).

    So there’s what my research has shown. I’d love to hear if others have found a good solution. Essentially, what I want is a unit that will: update to a public website that anyone can track, has a battery that can last at least a day, has low subscription rates if any, and can fit somewhere reasonable on the bike.

  3. Raiyn

    Well Andy, the Bike Spike claims:
    “Casual rides will need to recharge the device about once per month. Notifications can be set up when the battery level reaches a low charge.”

    I have no association with Bike Spike other than I thought it was a pretty cool idea.

  4. RL

    ya great idea!

  5. Elizabeth

    I think it’s a good idea… soon after my bike was stolen I found out about another gps tracking system that fits in the steering column… (completely inconspicuous!)

    I do miss Toro…

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