In addition to mechanical/passive deterrents (locks, chains, etc.), what electronic/active bicycle theft deterrents exist?

* My dear bicycle was stolen two weeks ago and I then vowed to dedicate my life to the eradication of cycle theft. I calmed down since, but am still interested in knowing what's out there.

  • A good theft deterrent is a ulock on your frame, secured wheels (via the same ulock or cables) and a less secure bike parked nearby. Cable locks suck, and most can be cut in under 30 seconds with wire cutters you can buy for 4 bucks or less. – Benzo Apr 8 '13 at 13:09
  • The problem any active system is going to have is that it requires a power source, and Sod's Law being what it is, it will run out just before a thief takes a shine to your bike. Passive protection and common sense is pretty much your only practical defence. A heavy duty U lock is hard enough to break that it should keep a thief busy for a while. Bring your bike inside if you can, or in a very public place if you can't, and ideally put it near other less well-secured bikes. – GordonM Apr 9 '13 at 21:25
  • What if it was built into the frame and charged using solar/dynamo type system? There could definitely be improvement in this area! Sorry to hear of your loss- its happened to most seasoned cyclists :( – AliGibbs May 14 '14 at 15:43

You can get GPS trackers for bikes, just like cars and motorbikes. The good ones warn you immediately when your bike starts moving (eg via text message to your phone) and you can see where it is on a map for recovery (you might want to call the police rather than tackle thieves yourself). Of course the downside to GPS trackers is than they stop working if the bike is put in the back of a van.

A google search should give you plenty of results.

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  • I'vve seen some nifty ones which go into bicycle stems (dunno how well they work though.) – Batman Mar 27 '14 at 21:03

The commonest appears to be that pictured in the first image below, which makes a loud noise if your bike is messed with, but other vibration-sensitive alarms are out there. I also saw the chain-lock with built-in alarm in the second image below.

So sorry about your bike loss!

Vibration-activated alarm Chain lock with built-in alarm

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    I was looking at this laptop alarm the other day that looked like it could be adapted as an alarm for your bike. The alarm sounds from movement or from severing the cable. I'd probably use it in conjunction with a proper u-lock though. – Kibbee Apr 7 '13 at 19:35
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    I'd worry about lack of weatherproofing on a laptop alarm. – D.Salo Apr 7 '13 at 20:42
  • @Kibbee I have to agree with dsalo. I doubt that product would survive even a light rainfall. – Carey Gregory Apr 7 '13 at 22:56
  • Yeah, I was thinking it would be something that you could use as a bike alarm with a little modification. It would be pretty easy to make a water resistant casing for it, that you could affix to the bike. – Kibbee Apr 7 '13 at 23:02
  • I used the above alarm for some time. It is not waterproof, unfortunately. – Vorac Apr 15 '13 at 6:33

I'm not familiar with this site and can't vouch for them, but these guys have a bunch of them. And so does Amazon, which I can vouch for.

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There is a kickstarter for BikeSpike, which is a gps beacon that attaches to your bottle cage mounts. It seems like a good way to track your bike if it goes missing.

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