There are many different anti-theft solutions on the market, but if somebody really wants to, they'll get through almost anything. That means it's always useful to have something that can help you find your bike if it is stolen. The Eye On My Bike tracker/alarm offers GPS tracking for your bike if the worst happens, and apart from a shortish battery life it does a good job.
The tracker works through GPS and receives basic functions that are sent through SMS, allowing you to track the bike, change the frequency of the GPS scans, or just check on its status.
The operation is simple, although it's worth noting that to use it properly it needs instructions sent to it, which can be found on the website. You set up an admin number and a passcode, then add the passcode before each command to make it work. The tracker has a phone number and so even if you don't have your phone with you, you can simply use somebody else's and send commands with the passcode.
It has an alarm that alerts you if the bike is moved; when tested it sent a text telling me that it had been moved within around 30 seconds. The commands sent to the phone return answers in different times depending on the strength of signal it has, so sometimes it can take around two minutes if it has little signal, and won't receive them at all if it has no signal (although does respond once back in a signal area).
If the bike is stolen you can request its location, which is sent back in the form of a google maps link. This works really well and allows you to even see the location of the last place it received a GPS signal if it is currently inside and unable to get one.
The device fits in like a bar end plug, but with around 2cm sticking out, making it relatively subtle and in the heat of the moment it is unlikely that a thief would know what it was. I also found that it was difficult to get out, so even if they did know that it was a tracker, chances are they would be unable to remove it before stealing the bike. The company suggests you cover the tracker with bar tape, which is possible but relatively fiddly, given that it protrudes from the end of the bar. It comes in at 52g, so doesn't add any kind of significant weight either.
The tracker's battery lasts for about five days on infrequent scans and regular running mode, which was okay. Charging it requires you to plug it into a wall socket, which, as it sits in the handlebar means you need to take the entire bike to a power outlet. This could be tricky, especially if your bike is kept outside, but I didn't find it too much of hassle. The tracker has a dust cover that protects the power point in the event of rain.
When the amount of use increases, though – if you are GPS scanning every five minutes, for instance – battery life significantly decreases, and I found it would only last for about a day. You can change GPS scanning rates relatively simply, though, so it isn't too much of an issue, and you are unlikely to need to scan that frequently. You can check the battery level by asking for the tracker's status, with it operating between 4.2v (fully charged) and 3.5v (where it shuts down), and when it is under 10 per cent it sends you a text to let you know it needs to be charged.
It's hard to compare value with other trackers as, after some research, others appear to be either very easy to remove (disguised as a light) or bulky (hidden in head tube or seat tube), but it's around the same price and is, in my opinion, a more secure and accessible product. And in the grand scheme of things it may be a small price to pay if you can get your pride and joy back.
Overall, I think it's a useful product that has certainly given me more peace of mind when locking my bike up. It's not the most intuitive system, but still works simply and easily, and although the battery could perhaps be better, for the first iteration, and with careful management of its use, it's a forgivable weakness.
A decent way to track your bike if stolen – just make sure it's fully charged
road.cc test report
Make and model: Eye On My Bike GPS bike tracker
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
It aims to track your bike if it is stolen. Being placed as a bar end makes it simple to fit and access, while still being accessible.
I think that it achieves its primary objective as it certainly allowed me to find the bike wherever it was and also doesn't look too out of place.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- USB Charging
- Comes with a prepaid Sim Card with £10 of credit
- 5 day battery life
- Simple to fit
Seems well made, although it could be easier to fit the dust cap and would be nice if it was actively integrated into the product.
Works well when in signal with quick response to queries. Battery life could perhaps be better during heavy use.
Seems well made, although the dust cap could be easier to fit, which would make it more durable.
52g is hardly anything and others on the market are often bulky and cumbersome.
Very difficult to score – less expensive than some trackers, more than others, but unique in its design and size.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It would be nice to have a longer lasting battery, but given the size constraints, it would be better to have less operating time in exchange for secrecy. However, commands worked well once you checked on the site and then it was simple to use and charge. The alarm is also a good feature that operates well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The subtle design, meaning that only a trained eye would really notice it – important for tracking stolen goods.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It would be good to have better battery life when using it heavily.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Works well for tracking the bike and, despite the slightly analogue controls still does everything you need it to. It loses a couple of marks for battery life, but with some improvements this could be fixed in the next model.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.