The connected bike as an anti-theft solution

In the last few years, the practice of EVB has become widespread in Europe. However, even though the global market for ECVs is exploding and is now worth between 40 and 50 billion dollars, there are still obstacles to the adoption of the bicycle as the main means of travel. Amongst these obstacles, theft appears to be one of the main obstacles to the purchase and upgrading of bicycles, and one of the main reasons for not using a bicycle.
80% of European cyclists say they are worried about bicycle theft.

A young woman riding an e-bike in town

Bicycle theft: a scourge for the democratisation of cycling

A hooded thief with a bike on his back

Each year, an estimated 2.9 million bicycles are stolen in Europe, according to several national studies and figures reported by local police. 900,000 bicycles are stolen in the Netherlands, 686,000 in the UK, 600,000 in Germany, 400,000 in France and 100,000 in Denmark and Belgium (source: Vélo Perdu).

  • After a theft, only 5% of bikes are returned to their owners
  • 66% of cyclists say they use their bikes less
  • 25% of them even say they are giving up cycling as a means of transport
  • 20% of cyclists buy a cheaper and/or second-hand bike

The theft of the bike as a whole is not the only obstacle to the purchase. The theft of its components also worries users. Wheels, saddles or batteries are also in the sights of component thieves.

The impact of bicycle theft on the widespread use of bicycles is considerable. Despite numerous initiatives such as the marking of bicycles or the introduction of secure parking solutions in cities, predictions for the future years do not indicate any reduction in the number of bicycle thefts. On the contrary, the resale attractiveness of high-value bicycles combined with the shortages of e-bikes driven by the pandemic will be the main causes of theft in the coming years. The cycle industry must offer intelligent theft protection theft to encourage the democratization of cycling. Bike providers, how to protect your electric bike from thieves?

Traditional accessories to fight theft: an insufficient solution 

Anti-theft solutions for e-bikes often offer cyclists relative security. It takes thieves only a few minutes to break through a traditional lock (whether a U-lock or a chain), or to force their way into a bicycle garage, and some trackers lack the accuracy and technology to foil a theft and recover a bike. Marking is compulsory in many European countries for the purchase of a new or second-hand bicycle from a professional, and in addition to allowing faster identification of the bicycles found, it plays a major role in the return of the bicycles, but does not offer all the guarantees to ensure the bike theft protection. Secure parking spaces are an interesting solution to keep your electric bicycle secure, but not yet deployed everywhere. Insurance now helps to reassure cyclists in their experience, but it represents an additional cost and may not cover all cases.

Only the connected bike or smartbike offers a complete anti-theft system from deterrence to return, to meet cyclists’ expectations and provide effective security for e-bikes.

The smart bike to protect your users against bike theft thanks to IoT

Why Iot and connectivity are real solutions to secure e-bike and make cyclist more secure and comfortable to use a bike in their daily life ?

Zoomed  photo of an electric bike with a man on it.

Going further than the relative protection offered by a classic anti-theft device, Velco accompanies bike brands and electric bike fleet managers with technology innovation for e-bike security, allowing them to offer cyclists fundamental guarantees against theft.

Connected to the cyclist, the smartbike interacts directly with its owner via a branded or a fleet manager application providing several features:

  • Instant notification in case of suspicious movement with your ebike
  • 104 dB sound alarm triggered automatically or manually
  • A remote shutdown of the electric assistance started automatically or manually
  • Geolocation: real-time tracking of the bike’s position (10m accuracy), optimized by LTE-M technology.

In addition to these functions, the cyclist can use the application to share the bike’s registration information with the police to help them to identify the bike.
The purpose of a smartbike : make it as simple as possible for cyclists thanks to innovation.

Safety for the cyclist

Even if many European cities develop their cycle paths, it’s often not enough for reassure citizen to use an electric bike in their daily travels. Trough several services, innovation and connectivity help bike assembler and fleet manager to reassure their users for using bike with safety :

  • GPS connected to the cities’ cycle track network : Thanks to this service, the cyclist can always be informed of the safest and fastest bike path to reach their destination. They may also have information on the state of road traffic on the proposed roads.
  • Maintenance and service alerts for safe use of the electric bike : Connectivity makes it possible to track the maintenance of the bike and the wear of its components. It will be possible to have access to the maintenance of the bike, to follow the cycles of charge and the state of the battery. In addition, the cyclist can receive notifications for the change of elements such as wheels or advice for the maintenance of his ebike.

Why is connectivity the real future solution as an anti-theft device for electric bikes ?

The Velco connected e-bike then becomes a faithful smart bike, offering the cyclist high-quality protection against theft, from deterrence to the return of the bike, and giving the brand the ability to customize actions such as the duration and frequency of the alarm repetition. The smartbike is positioned in a high-end segment, and the functionalities embedded in the connected bike, such as a GPS tracking device, are strong arguments to seduce cyclists. One in three people say they would consider buying an AEB if they were sure it would not be stolen. Smartbikes allow their users to be fully reassured about the possibility of theft and ensure cycling safety.

The connected bike perpetuates a practice and makes it more dynamic by giving cyclists more guarantees when buying a bike and allowing brands to position themselves in a buoyant market.

Discover an example of our customers Gaya that use Velco IoT AN app for secure their bike

Founded in 2021, GAYA is a French electric bike brand designed for urban families. Adaptable and secure, GAYA has designed the first modular and connected cargo bike for urban travel. As a company with a mission, GAYA works to reduce the impact of its EABs while innovating and offering new features to “simplify the city” and encourage bike travel.
Gaya bikes are connected via a dedicated application developed by Velco. Through this application, Gaya allows its cyclists to benefit from connected services with 24 months of subscription included with the purchase of the bike. Through this application, they can benefit from comfortable and fun services, but also protect their bikes from theft.

What about your users? You’re a bike seller? A bike fleet manager? Add the connectivity to you’re bike thanks to Velco’s solutions to reassure your cyclist.