Is it worth using a tracker?

AshleyBrayson

Pedelecer
Jun 27, 2017
37
8
56
Rugby UK
I've seen simple tracking devices like the ones you'd have on a key ring and can track via a phone. Is it worth using something like this that you could somehow conceal on the bike? At least you'd know where it ended up if stolen.
 
D

Deleted member 4366

Guest
No. IIRC, they only get tracked by people that have the tracking app on their phone, which is virtually nobody. The pet trackers with a sim card and gps would be better, but you have to figure out what to do about battery life.
 
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rich_r

Pedelecer
Jun 23, 2017
89
32
46
North Yorkshire
You can get GPS trackers that take a SIM card (use a PAYG low usage one that only needs one text or call a year to stay active) that are the size of a cigarette lighter from China for £10. Probably easier to fit on a bike. They are designed for cars though, so require a 12V supply.

My friends has one in his car, and it does work well - despite it's cheapness. However it's not something the Police can access directly, so it'd be up to you to work with them using the app or web page to provide the location.
 
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Pokinwilly

Just Joined
Aug 30, 2017
2
2
47
Lyon, France
I'm having the same though/intention. I have some experience with GPS tracker, as I installed one (cheap, bought from China) in my car.
Feedback is that battery lifetime is the main concern : I had to connect it to the permanent power, the integrated battery would last 1-2 days only.

Interested in this thread and would have thought something like this would do well

https://www.amazon.co.uk/MAGNETIC-REWIRE-SECURITY-104-PRO-TK104/dp/B00WAE5UMM/ref=pd_sbs_107_10?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=YP0XH7PW1WQFC2MX13TT

battery life seem to be reasonable?
I've just ordered from China a similar tracker for 30EUR (expected in 30-40 days). My criteria was : waterproof + long battery life time (90 days in eco mode : one GPS fix per hour).
I plan to power the GPS tracker using the lightning output of the Bosch edrive motor (which is enabled but unused on my mountain bike pedelec), but I still have to figure out how to connect it, and find a place for the tracker (probably within the motor case).

More to come...
 
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Wheel-E

Pedelecer
Jul 14, 2017
97
26
Brighton
I've got a bluetooth tracker in my controller housing - £20 and battery lasts a year.
I'm planning on buying a cheap GPS tracker which will need to be hidden where it can be removed and charged regularly. I also have a seperate alarm which goes off when the bike is moved.

I'm not kidding myself that any of these things alone will work, but if the noisy alarm doesn't put them off/alert me then the tracker will alert me if the bike has moved beyond the geofence and in which direction. The bluetooth tracker is tiny and has a fairly good range, as long as you know approximately where it is. For the low overall cost, I'm thinking I may as well.
 
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rich_r

Pedelecer
Jun 23, 2017
89
32
46
North Yorkshire
If it's on an electric bike, then it might be better to find a way to keep the tracker battery charged using the bike's battery - keeping it properly hidden and making it more difficult for a potential thief to remove.

Assuming it charges from USB, you should be able to find a suitable 5V supply from the controller that'll be able to supply enough current.

Another advantage of having a powered bike over a non-powered one ;)
 

rich_r

Pedelecer
Jun 23, 2017
89
32
46
North Yorkshire
Insurance is good, but from the experience of friends who have had their bike stolen, it can take months before you get a payout - leaving you with no bike (and possibly expense because you've not got to use public transport or a car to get to work). With a tracker you have an additional chance of getting it back much sooner.

Also if your bike isn't an unmodified standard model from a big name, insurance can be sometimes be tricky. For example if you've fitted a motor kit yourself using parts bought off eBay or direct from China, it might be difficult to replace with like for like if prices have gone up.
 

BazP

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 8, 2017
302
145
70
Sheffield
I've just had my bike stolen and was paid out in 10 days by Legal and General.
It covered the full cost of the bike buy not accessories such as rack, lights etc. They said that I should have valued the bike to include these. Incidentally, they never questioned what lock was on it at the time.

Only problem now is going to be the next premium.
 

Subspace

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 2, 2016
17
1
41
Herts
I recommend a Tile bluetooth key finder. If you lose it then any Tile user can "find" it for you. Only thing I don't like is the battery cannot be replaced.
 

Subspace

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 2, 2016
17
1
41
Herts

Steve Dyson

Pedelecer
Oct 13, 2018
72
13
Not sure if this has been mentioned but check out the link below if you fancy making your own with arduino

 

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
4,713
1,658
Basildon
I have a Samsung phone. If I go to Samsungdive.com, I can see exactly where it is. It uses the phone's GPS somehow. I was thinking that you buy a used Samsung with a broken screen or an old working model from Ebay as a tracker using that service. the old Samsung galaxy Ace is pretty small, so could easily be concealed.
 

sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
1,668
1,101
My son had a similar tracked phone; it tracked his stolen phone to a house in London, but there was nothing the police were willing to do about it.
 
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RossG

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 12, 2019
1,038
916
The best advice I could give on tracking devices is turn them off !! After all do you really want every tom dick & harry knowing where you are at any one time ? You pop out for a bike ride telling the whole world where you are via ' Map My Ride ' or one of the many other cycle ride mapping apps, then whilst you happily wend your way around the countryside back home some one is turning your house over because they know you're out.

Nah...that can't happen,,

Same thing goes for phones or any device that uses GPS data sharing...beware.
 

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
4,713
1,658
Basildon
The best advice I could give on tracking devices is turn them off !! After all do you really want every tom dick & harry knowing where you are at any one time ? You pop out for a bike ride telling the whole world where you are via ' Map My Ride ' or one of the many other cycle ride mapping apps, then whilst you happily wend your way around the countryside back home some one is turning your house over because they know you're out.

Nah...that can't happen,,

Same thing goes for phones or any device that uses GPS data sharing...beware.
You're being tracked everywhere anyway. Have a look at your Google Timeline.
 

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