Viasat Connect
10th Nov 2020  |  Vehicle Security
Product Showcase: How Sherlock is Making Life Safer for Cyclists

Bike security is a bigger priority than ever before, and Sherlock is meeting this head on.

Whether it is due to achievements of Britain’s superstar cyclists at the Tour de France and Olympics, the wider availability of ‘Cycle to Work’ schemes, or people pursuing more environmentally friendly forms of travel, there is no doubt that biking is booming in the UK right now.

42% of people in the country own or have access to a bicycle, with over £33 million spent on bikes and equipment in 2019. The impact of COVID-19 has only increased the appeal of cycling – numbers are up 70% in parts of the UK since the pandemic began.

However, the rise in bike sales has coincided with a rise in bike theft. In the weeks following lockdown, insurers have warned that the number of claims for stolen bicycles had leapt by 46%.

To protect against the growing threat of bike theft, devices like Sherlock have become increasingly important. We recently added this innovative technology to our powerful range of vehicle security solutions, which gives cyclists peace of mind over the safety of their valued possessions.

Here, we breakdown why we believe Sherlock is fast-becoming an essential addition to any cyclist’s toolkit.

How Sherlock is keeping bikes safe

When Viasat Group acquired shares in Sherlock in 2017, we recognised the incredible value this device presented to cyclists in the battle against bike theft. This invisible GPS tracking device, hidden within the handlebars of your bicycle, ensures users know if their bike has been stolen and allows them to track its location (precise up to 5m) in real-time, supporting its recovery.

Once the device is installed onto your bike, it is simply a case of activating it when you park, and switching it off when you return. When active, you can track your bike using the accompanying Sherlock mobile app, which will:

  • Immediately alert you if your bike is moved while parked
  • Share the position of your bike with the police using a unique tracking code
  • Keep a dedicated “bike passport”, where you can add all key information about you and your bike to recover it if stolen

It sounds remarkably simple, and for users it is. We have already encountered a lot of interest in Sherlock from bicycle retailers across the UK, and we are excited at the potential it offers for our range of B2C clients.

As well as limitless, real-time GPS tracking, Sherlock also incorporates numerous features that set it apart from others in its wheelhouse:

  • An average 7 days’ worth of battery life on a single charge, with an easy-to-access recharge port
  • An embedded SIM Card with 2 free years of connectivity
  • Flexibility to fit both straight and curved handlebars
  • Lightweight design of only 50g, meaning it doesn’t compromise balance
  • Over the air (OTA) updates ensure you always have the latest version of the software
  • Self-diagnose the status and GPS reception of your device through the app

Combined, this delivers an incredible proposition for cyclists concerned about the safety and security of their assets, something that we feel should be a big talking point in the wider industry.

Do we talk enough about bike security?

With bike sales soaring in recent years, the conversation surrounding bike security has grown in relevance. The Crime Survey for England and Wales reported that between April 2019 and March 2020, there were 84,545 bike thefts recorded by police.

Despite this substantial number of thefts, bike security isn’t often mentioned in the same breath as security surrounding cars, vans, motorbikes and other forms of transport.

Is this due to the perceived lesser worth of bikes in comparison to these? As noted earlier, a massive £33 million was spent last year on these – far from an insignificant figure. You also have to take into account eBikes, which have been very popular since their introduction and opened up cycling to many who previously could not partake in this pastime.

While the average price of a bike (including eBikes) is approximately £480, it isn’t hard to find bikes that cost more than many second-hand cars (and even some brand new ones). When you add any accessories or customisations people add to personalise their bikes and suit their riding style, the cost of losing it can add up in a hurry.

Although you may be able to recover much of the bike’s value through insurance, the cost of replacing a bike and reconfiguring it to your requirements can send costs skyrocketing. Plus, the strain on supply chains as a result of COVID means the time it takes to replace these right now is far longer, as manufacturers attempt to meet ever-growing demands.

And, like anything, people learn to love their bikes through the experiences they share together. Is that something that can be easily replaced when it’s taken away?

Make cycling safe and secure with Sherlock

When you take this landscape into account, the need for comprehensive bike security is more pressing than ever. A bike chain is no longer enough to protect against today’s more sophisticated thieves, in the same way you wouldn’t rely on your front door lock to keep your home safe from burglars.

We hope this article has demonstrated why it is so crucial to have multiple security layers in place to protect your bike from threats, and how Sherlock is making life for cyclists across the globe far more secure.

Interested in learning more about Sherlock, or our further vehicle security solutions? Vehicle security and after-theft recovery is in our DNA – we harness the latest technology to deliver a truly holistic approach for your fleet, safeguarding your vehicles and equipment from theft attempts.

Get in touch to discuss our security software, or discover these first-hand by arranging your free Skyline demo.