Bike theft

Can a bicycle have GPS technology to deter theft?

Sure, but it’s much harder to hide something on a bike, as opposed to a car…
Also, packing enough batteries for long-time operation is going to be an issue.

How about in a bike? A small tracking device built somewhere inside of the handle bars or something. How would I go about buying one and doing it?

Take a look at these to see what sort of size we’re dealing with:

I doubt you’re going to be able to stuff any of them an the handlebars. Remember, if you want real-time tracking, you’re going to need an antenna sticking out somewhere to transmit the data back.

The tricky part is probably going to be in the tracking. Most new cell phones have GPS built in so 911 can know where you’re at if you call, and so features like mapping can work.

You’d need to set it up with something like Twitter or mologogo to be able to track its location with another cell phone.

Can you hide a cell phone in a bike? You might be able to hide something flat and think like a RAZR under the crank, but it would be very susceptible to damage there. A better option would be in the seat - you could probably cover the phone with some vinyl and have it invisible to a casual look.

Now, your problem become battery life - unlike a Lojack device, there’s no automatically-recharged battery on a bike to tap into, so you need to be able to easily pop out the phone and recharge it now and then.

Here’s a device for tracking bikes. It’s apparently designed for use by police in combating bike theft, probably too expensive for the average cyclist.

GPS locators can’t deter theft unless the miscreant is aware of its presence, it can only make retrieval easier.

It won’t deter theft unless you advertise that it’s there! You could have a GPS receiver and cell phone circuitry that would help you retrieve a stolen bicycle.

The GPS could be set to sample location and save it on a regular basis, say once an hour. If it doesn’t get a signal, it uses the last good value it had. When you call the bike’s number, it returns an SMS message with the last-stored position.

You could put this in the seat tube. A steel or aluminum bike has a hollow seat tube with plenty of room. A carbon bike is solid, but you could embed something.

I can see some problems, though:[ul]
[li]Remember, GPS depends on satellite contact. All I have to do is stick the bike inside a panel truck and drive it away, and the last position you’ll get is your own garage![/li][li]Same goes for holding on to the bike. A thief could store the bike indoors for several days, hoping that either you’ll give up or the circuity battery will die.[/li][li]Regardless, you have to charge the battery on a regular basis.[/li][li]You have to make the device completely inconspicuous to prevent the thief from destroying it, but if you do, then it’s not really a deterrent. The most you can hope is that you’ll get the bike back once it’s stolen.[/li][li]I can think of other ways that a thief could disable or destroy the circuitry.[/li][li]None of this helps if the thief takes the bike apart for parts. Less likely for bicycles than for cars or motorcycles.[/li][/ul]

The bottom line is that better protection exists. If you want to keep hold of your bike, don’t lock it up in a public area. Instead, keep it in your home and in your office. If you keep it in a garage, lock it up. Don’t use a cable lock, don’t leave it unattended.

Ha! Unexpected band name sighted in your link! Component 5 is Invisible Clue Spray!

Nope, it’s a tube. Solid carbon fiber would not only be heavier, it would ride like teh suck.

Current GPS technology is expensive, especially relative to the cost of most bicycles. To be effective, it has to avoid detection, which is difficult to pull of on something so small. If the goal is to deter theft, you have to advertise that the bike has GPS, and that probably makes it more valuable. If a thief knows the GPS device is present, it’s easy to deactivate it and resell it.

Reminds me of the Doomsday device in Dr. Strangelove

Dr. Strangelove: “Of course, the whole point of a Doomsday Machine is lost, if you keep it a secret! Why didn’t you tell the world, eh?”
Ambassador de Sadesky: "It was to be announced at the Party Congress on Monday. As you know, the Premier loves surprises. "

Where’s Merkwurdigliebe when you need him?

So copperwindow, are you looking to put a tracking device in your bike, or are you worried there might be one in the bike you’re using? :dubious:

Isn’t this entrapment?

Shouldn’t be, because the thief is doing something that sie would normally do anyway. It would be entrapment if an officer asked/told/convinced to steal it.