Sometimes a lock isn’t enough. Sometimes you need a streamlined cycle alarm that’s as loud as a Boeing 737 to really put a bike thief off their stride.
The GPS-enabled AlterLock motion detection system is one of a growing number of products using tracking technology to provide cyclists with an additional level of security and extra peace of mind when they’re away from their bike.
Featuring a lightweight, aerodynamic and waterproof design as well as super-long battery life plus clever smartphone app connectivity, AlterLock joins the ranks of these increasingly must-have deterrents for the 21st century cyclist who’s serious about theft prevention and – if the worst comes to the worst – recovering a stolen bike.
Fit and forget
With the AlterLock system there’s no need to fit cables and a honking great speaker system to your bike as it couldn’t be simpler to attach.
Designed with aerodynamics in mind, the device is mounted on your bottle cage bosses, and can even be installed under your existing bottle cage without deterring from the sleek lines – or aero performance – of your frame.
The 50g unit is no wider than the down tube of most road bikes, it’s waterproof and even features security bolts to prevent the removal of the bottle cage Allen bolts (should your local bike thief be carrying around a set of hex keys rather than a pair of bolt croppers).
Crucially, the battery lasts for up to 6.5 weeks as power usage is only triggered when its GPS tracker is activated. Need extra peace of mind? AlterLock comes with a one-year warranty and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
How it works
Motion sensors in the AlterLock device activate the 95dB alarm if they detect movement while your pride and joy is locked up and notifies you via smartphone alerts. At the point when the alarm, which can also be controlled on the smartphone app, is sounded, GPS tracking is activated letting you know if your bike really is where you left it.
The device also features a proprietary movement detection algorithm so the AlterLock can provide you with optimal protection without false alarms such as if your bike gets nudged or simply sways in a bike rack.
However, in situations where there’s no likelihood of your bike being bumped or shaken accidentally, you can set the system to react to even the slightest movement.
This can deter someone from interfering with or trying to steal items like expensive lights or – if you’ve forgotten to remove it – your bike’s GPS computer.
The beauty of this bike theft system is its smartphone connectivity. If the AlterLock device detects your bike is being moved while in Lock mode, it sounds a warning and sends a notification to your phone.
If your bike is moved again, the alarm is triggered. While alarms are obviously a highly effective theft deterrent, you don’t have to worry about the piercing alert being set off accidentally. AlterLock can be set to emit a relatively quiet warning sound the first time it detects your bike is being moved.
If further movement occurs, indicating a likely theft in progress, the device sounds a much louder alarm to scare off the thief.
The AlterLock app even has its own notification sound, so you can distinguish it from less important mobile phone notifications – like that ‘urgent email’ from your boss, or the family WhatsApp group – letting you know you need to hot-foot it to your bike without delay.
Extra features on the app include the option to upload a picture and specs of your bike, set reminders for maintenance, track servicing history as well as toggling the Lock mode and controlling the AlterLock’s configuration.
Track and trace
If the worst comes to the worst, and thieves do take off with your bike, the smartphone app tracks your AlterLock once a minute giving you accurate data on its whereabouts.
By employing a highly accurate GPS module and Sigfox communication to connect to the internet, the device transmits location information even if it’s hundreds of miles away.
The AlterLock device also uses Wi-Fi signals for positioning, significantly increasing the possibility of determining your bike’s location even indoors or in areas where there’s no GPS signal. Crucially, this means the AlterLock can also provide clues if the bike is abandoned when the police search for it.
On which note, even if you have located the final resting place of your stolen bike, the advice remains that – however tempting – you shouldn’t wade in with a baseball bat, but instead inform the police and share your findings.
• AlterLock costs £117.99, plus a monthly subscription fee of £3.49, from alterlock.net/en.