The tracking devices that we offer for law enforcement bait bikes are unfortunately not feasible for use on your own personal bicycle. The reasons for this are the high-cost of the equipment and the use of law enforcement-specific radio frequencies.
So what can you do to protect your baby?
Lock it up!
The first line of defense for any bicycle should be a good bike lock. Your local bike shop can recommend a lock that is right for you, and teach you the right way to lock up your bike. You can also read reviews on bike locks on Amazon.com. Remember, lock up your bike even when it is inside your own garage. A ton of bikes are stolen out of garages.
Tracking devices are not an anti-theft solution. Because no bike lock can offer 100% protection, tracking devices offer a last-resort, post-theft recovery solution. These systems are not cheap. Most are around $150 and some have a monthly fee as well.
Here are links to the only bicycle-specific tracking device companies that we are currently aware of, and a description about our experience with each:
SpyBike – This device hides very well but needs a very strong cellular signal to work. We found this to be somewhat unreliable even in areas with decent cellular coverage.
SpyLamp2 – This is the best solution currently available and fairly reliable once you learn how to use it. Requires some technical knowledge but don’t look to the manufacturer to teach you how to use it or to provide you with rapid answers to any of your questions. The manual is decent, however. If you order it from their website, be patient. Transit takes about 2-3 weeks. We use this product on our own personal bikes.
SpyBike Seatpost – This has been in the works for quite a while and we have been promised a sample. As soon as we receive it, we will report our findings here.
BikeSpike GPS Tracker – Looks promising but not yet available. We have attempted to contact the BikeSpike folks for news and to purchase a sample but never heard back. They are currently behind on their promised delivery schedule. We see that their KickStarter financial backers are very upset. Once it is available, if ever, check back here for our honest review.
There are currently bicycle trackers for sale on eBay for $40 to $50. These are Chinese copies of the Integrated Trackers designs. While we have not yet tested these, we have heard from several people that they do not work. As a service to our web visitors, we will be testing some of these soon. Check back here for our honest review.
We do have plans to manufacture our own consumer bicycle tracker but due to time and budgetary limitations, it’s on the back-burner for now.