There are several tracking devices around but two of the biggest issues are firstly how to hide or disguise the tracking device and secondly how to power it and or how to charge the battery.
Here’s an interesting solution. The tracker is hidden in plain sight, in the pedals, and the act of pedalling keeps the power to the unit topped up, with a small built-in energy storage that keeps the unit transmitting while you freewheel downhill. The unit uses both GPS and the Russian Glonass satellite system for accurate location. The SIM card provides connectivity throughout the EU plus Norway and Switzerland and has an unlimited duration data plan so there are no data fees to pay on a monthly or annual basis.
With bike theft being at such a huge level regionally, nationally and internationally, it’s no wonder that this solution well and truly exceeded its fundraising target on crowdfunding site Indiegogo at 288% of the target. The pedals are currently estimated to start shipping in April 2016 from Paris based company Connected Cycle.
Apart from providing a movement warning if your bike is moved, the accompanying app provides route tracking (whether it is you or a thief riding your bike) and also provides route, speed, ascent anddescent details (including average speeds uphill and downhill) as well as cadence and can synch to various cycling apps such as Strava. Apart from these detailed journey reports, you also get daily, weekly and monthly statistics. One great aspect of this is that you are not running your smart phone down to track your ride – although you could display cadence on your Android or Apple phone while riding.
These pedals can be fitted to any adult bike. There’s no way to clip in, although there is a version of the pedals with toe strap. The left pedal contains the hard-wired SIM and GPS module and weighs 390g, while the right pedal is lighter at 290g. Dimensions are 120mm length x 102mm width x 38mm height.
So, who is going to go for this product? Anybody who currently clips in or for whom the weight of the pedals is an issue is going to say no thanks, or at least not yet, till there are lighter versions that permit clipping in. But for those who ride touring or hybrid bikes, this is an interesting solution. It may not initially deter a thief, but if you or the police can detect where a stolen bike is and retrieve it, then knowledge will spread and the deterrence factor will grow.
The pedals go on in the usual way but have a non-standard “coded key” for fastening them, so it is not going to be a quick or simple task for the opportunist thief to switch pedals.
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