Bicycles have made a pretty significant resurgence in popularity in recent years, particularly as the cost of other methods of transportation are on the rise. Gas prices may fluctuate, but cost savings — and the environmental and physical fitness benefits — have made bike ownership particularly attractive among younger generations of people in particular.
Bike GPS Tracker

Bikes are also, sadly, very attractive among another segment of the population: thieves. According to a number of recent statistics compiled by the FBI, bike theft is on the rise. Currently, over 1.5 million bicycles are stolen every single year — and the vast majority of them are never recovered. Interestingly, it’s a particularly big problem on college campuses. The same report revealed that out of all the property crime reports that come in on the University of California’s main campus, more than half of them have to do with bicycle theft.

But thankfully, this is one problem that you don’t have to take laying down. If you really want to stop your bike from getting stolen, the solution may be more straightforward than you think: Just install a GPS tracker and let technology take care of the rest.

Bike Theft and GPS Trackers: What You Need to Know

According to a number of recent reports, many bike owners are installing GPS trackers in their equipment these days to help provide an extra layer of protection against their eventual theft. Of course, the prices of these devices vary depending on exactly what type you’re talking about. Smaller trackers that are designed to discreetly install inside a bike’s tail light typically begin at around $50. As a result, these are among the most common that you’ll see out in the wild.

On the other end of the spectrum are those that don’t just get installed on a bike’s tire, but are also powered by the motion it creates. These can average around $150 or more in price, depending on the specific model being discussed.

But regardless of the particular type of model you’re thinking about buying, there are a few key features that you can expect to enjoy. Obviously, GPS connectivity is chief among them — if at any point you need to locate your bike, you can do so using a web browser (including the one on your mobile phone) and an active internet connection. A lot of these trackers even come with their own branded apps designed specifically for the mobile space.

A lot of GPS trackers designed for bikes also come with additional features like geo-fencing technology, similar to how a GPS collar for a pet would operate. Using a computer or smartphone, you can essentially program a “boundary” that your bike should, in theory, never cross. Maybe it’s the area immediately surrounding your home or it’s the perimeter around your college campus. If your bike ever leaves that particular space, you’ll get an instant push notification — allowing you to take action immediately.

One important thing to consider about many of these devices is that to preserve their wireless nature, they often work in the same way that smartphones do. That means you’ll need to purchase and install a prepaid SIM card to preserve a constant cellular data connection. Wi-Fi capable models exist, but if your bike were to ever lose network connectivity, you would have essentially lost its location as well.

One thing is for sure: Technology has come a long way in the last few years, and it’s clear that GPS trackers aren’t just for turn-by-turn directions anymore. Yes, the bike theft problem in this country is bad, and it’s only getting worse over time. But with technological advancements like these GPS bike trackers and other techniques, it’s clear that would-be thieves will have to at least think twice before taking something that doesn’t belong to them in the future. How long it takes them to collectively acknowledge that this might not be worth the effort any longer remains to be seen.