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It's all well and good locking up your pride and joy, but sometimes you might want that bit more reassurance. The Abus Alarmbox fits quickly and easily to any bike and emits a loud alarm when moved. It's heavy enough that you might want to reserve it for that gnarlier tourer, though, or only for parking or storage. Or for the lawnmower.
Exactly what the name suggests, this is a compact alarmbox that fits to pretty much anything you might be worried could get lifted. It's designed to strap securely to a frame or tubular metal affair using a rubberised pad together with bendy metal cable ties.
The box itself feels rugged and presents a smooth, impregnable face to the thieving world. It's not the most compact for mounting on a bike, but nor is it inconveniently cumbersome. The main issue for lighter bikes is the additional weight of the 417g unit, while perversely, of course, these are the bikes you are most likely to want to set an alarm on.
Personally I liked the extra peace of mind when using it on my commuter bike, but I'd definitely look at using it on a shed-dwelling road bike when in storage. The alarm can be removed and replaced fairly easily as required (but obviously not when armed!).
Powered by a CR2 battery, the alarm is armed with a simple button push, and disarmed with a turn of the key.
It's sensitive in three dimensions and gives a little grace of about 5 seconds of warning beeps if it's moved, or something bounces off it, for instance, before it goes into full-on wailing mode.
The manufacturers claim a 100db alarm and it certainly seems enough to shock and inconvenience any would-be thief, though perhaps not loud enough to alert people from within a building if the bike was outside.
Once fully activated, the alarm lasts for 15 seconds before automatically re-arming itself, so if the bike continues to be moved then it will go off again, but if the opportunist (or accidental) movement stops, then it won't run out of power. A quick turn of the key disarms it.
We've tested very few bike alarms on road.cc, so there's little to compare the Abus Alarmbox with in terms of what you get for your money, but its rrp of £44.99 feels like an acceptable amount for something that might genuniely contribute to the safety and continued ownership of your pride and joy.
Dave tested SG Locks' Tough Stuff back in 2015, and that was nearly £50, though you did get a lock as well as an alarm – albeit not a very good one.
There's also Bouh's SR600 for £95, which we've yet to test, but that's combined with a 600-lumen front light.
For your lightweight carbon bike you might want to consider the Nextscape AlterLock, which hides under a bottle cage and weighs just 50g; it's currently discounted to £85 (full price £114.99), plus a monthly or annual service charge. It's not actually available until May, but we'll have a full test as soon as we can.
Overall, the Abus Alarmbox is well made, easy to use and sufficiently loud that I doubt any would-be thief (or passer-by) would be happy ignoring it, and it's a decent price too. It's simple and effective, and while it's not something you'd be likely to use on the road with that high-end carbon road bike, it's a good option for additional in-shed safety. For commuters, tourers, kiddy trailers and the like, it's well worth considering.
Effective, easy to use and straightforward to fit – inspires confidence but isn't the lightest for on-road use
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Abus Alarmbox
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?
Aimed at providing extra security for bicycles and other high value objects.
Abus says: 'The Alarmbox is a simple anti-theft device for a wide variety of belongings. Utilising movement sensors, it detects tampering by thieves and sounds its 100dB alarm.
'With extremely versatile mounting options, you can protect a myriad of belongings including bicycles, electric scooters, push chairs, trailers, BBQs, lawnmowers and even snowmobiles.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
CR2 battery powered
Simple secure metal strap fastening
3D position sensor
Min of 100db for 15 seconds alarm with automatic re-set
Button press to arm/disarm
Key turn to disarm once triggered
Very solid and secure feeling; it would be very hard to remove from the bike without triggering alarm.
Easy to fit, easy to use, and very effective and loud. Just a little too heavy for permanent use on lighter bikes.
Other than replacing the battery every now and again, this should last years.
It's well made (and hard to dismantle) but not the lightest. Think of it as you would a decent lock.
Not a lot to compare it with, but given that it's a simple way of upping security and it could be used for other items instead as well, it'll earn its keep.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very easy to fit, simple to use, loud, and straightforward to disarm.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
A hefty wallop of additional weight if you're planning to actually ride with it.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Probably
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Definitely
Use this box to explain your overall score
Well made, easy to fit and use, and genuinely effective. It's not a bad investment considering it could help prevent a significant loss – and it could be used to protect a wide range of moveable objects. It's not the lightest for carrying around with you, but it's worth the weight.
About the tester
I usually ride: Liv Invite My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.