Review – Alterlock Bicycle Motion Detection Alarm and GPS Tracker

Review Alterlock
How do you secure you bike when you are camping on a bikepacking trip or when you dash into a shop for a quick snack? What do you do to prevent opportunist theft? There are various 'hacks' that can help solve the problem: such as a lightweight cable lock or clipping your helmet around your wheel; however, after a lot of consideration, I decided that a motion detection alarm would be one of the lightest and simplest ways to alert you of theft attempts, while a GPS tracker would let you keep track of your bike if a theft did occur.

Alterlock is a Japanese firm that have produced a compact motion detection alarm and GPS tracker for bicycles, which could provide you with the peace of mind you need to sleep soundly at night or feel confident leaving your bike outside a shop on a touring trip.

The Alterlock unit is a slim plastic capsule that attaches to your bike underneath your bottle cages, using the bottle cage bolts (much like a pump bracket). The unit connects with your smartphone via the Alterlock app using Bluetooth.

The Alterlock app allows you to 'lock' your bike, so that any detected motion will set off the loud bleeping alarm and send an instant notification to your smartphone that a movement has occurred.

Once the alarm is activated, the Alterlock app gives you the option to either label the movement as a 'mis-detection' or as 'theft'. If the event is labelled as a theft, then the Alterlock unit will switch onto periodic tracking transmission—sending its location to the Alterlock app at pre-define intervals so you can keep track of your bike's whereabouts.

The Alterlock also has further functions, such as the ability to report a theft to the local authorities with stored bike details, helping to speed up the process of crime registration. Fortunately I have not had to test this.

I have been testing the Alterlock unit for a month or so now and have found it useful for a multitude of situations; from home storage peace of mind to mid-ride stops at convenience stores. I think if anything the alarm could be a little louder, but it is still loud enough to startle a potential thief if they do attempt to move your bike.

This is a clever and relatively inexpensive way to 'lock' your bike and protect it from theft, as well as improve the chances of finding and recovering your bike in the event that a theft does occur. Clever tech from Alterlock.


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