New Kickstarter Project Aims to End Bicycle Theft

Gear News Video

Santa Cruz, Calif. – Admit it. You still miss that bicycle someone stole years ago. You never really got over it. And if you’ve been riding a bike long enough, you’ve got two or three stolen bicycles to mourn.

A team of two-wheel enthusiasts feels your pain. They’re on a mission to end the scourge of bike theft.

Chris Cobb and Russell Zinner today launched a Kickstarter campaign to produce the BikeBeFound unit, which incorporates a GPS device and alarm into one compact unit that can be hidden inside a bicycle. Once the system is activated, an alarm will sound if the bike is moved. In addition, a message alert will be sent to the owner’s smart phone, and the owner will be able to track the bike’s movement via smart phone.

The co-BikesBeFound-ers have been biking buddies for the past decade, and have often lamented “the bikes that got away.” Zinner, an engineer who helped design the Kindle reader and the GoPro camera, couldn’t resist the urge to solve a big, important problem. Cobb, an entrepreneur who launched BikeGlow.com a few years ago, saw a need and wanted to fill it. So they designed the BikeBeFound anti-theft system.

“You can think of it as a Lo-Jack for your bicycle,” says Zinner, who has had two of his favorite bikes stolen over the years. “If enough people were to install this on their bicycles, bike theft would drop dramatically, because thieves would have to assume any bike could be located with the security system.”

According to Cobb, who still can’t get over the loss of his custom beach cruiser eight years ago, “We don’t yet know exactly how much each unit will cost, but our target price is less than $100 per unit. Eventually, we envision incorporating them into most new bicycles sold, but for now, they’ll be easy to install inside existing bicycles.”

The BikesBeFound kickstarter project launched today, with a goal of raising $30,000. Bicyclists who want to get in on the ground level can pledge $10 or more to support the project. Fundraising progress can be tracked online at the BikesBeFound Kickstarter page.

Watch the BikesBeFound concept video here.

Source: Renée Alexander

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  • ron says:

    Sound’s great except it would be easy to foil. Just place the bike in a bag and no more signal or perhaps poor water on it or if you know the system I am sure it would be easy to destroy it and be gone before anyone knew where you went.

  • Chris Cobb says:

    Ron’s comments are exactly the challenge, and much the reason why a system hasn’t been created to date. We believe with the available techology we have a tamper resistant system. While no system can be 100%, the common thief is not a professional, they are a petty theif. If we can deter 60%-80% of current theft, we’ve saved hundreds of thousands of bicycle owners from losing their beloved rides.

  • Daniel says:

    Reminds me a lot (as in too much to be coincidental) about my degree work in industrial design which has been public ever since june last year at the Umeå Institute of Design website: http://designtalks.dh.umu.se/projects/hermes-bicycle-theft-prevention-tracking.aspx

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