Author Topic: Has anyone tried this??  (Read 1456 times)

lewis noble

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Has anyone tried this??
« on: December 08, 2019, 08:33:45 PM »
Hello!  I am looking for a better front light for my Audax and Sherpa - better output, decent flashing mode for urban riding.  I normally stick to Cateye products, which have suited me well and saves getting different brackets / mounts etc.  My Audax has a Moon rear light, supplied at build by Thorn, very good and compact.

But I have been having a look at at this, a combined light / alarm - sounds a good idea, how does it work in practice??

https://bouh.co.uk/

Would it be realistic / safe to take a lighter bike lock than my usual D lock??

One problem I forsee is interchangeability between bikes - I guess you would need an additional mount? - the mount is not a quick release fitting.

Has anyopne used one of these??

Lewis
 

mickeg

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Re: Has anyone tried this??
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2019, 09:02:01 PM »
I have never seen one.

But if I read it correctly, once you remove the light and arm it, if it senses movement it will sound the alarm until you replace the light or it runs out of battery which could take a long time.

I have occasionally had to shift some bikes that were already in a bike rack to get mine into the rack too.  And I am sure that others have shifted my bike a bit in a rack while they are getting one of their bikes out of the rack.  If a false alarm like that would not be a problem, then no problem.  Just thought I would mention that might be a possibility, you could verify with the manufacturer if that could be a deal breaker for you.

Danneaux

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Re: Has anyone tried this??
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2019, 12:02:05 AM »
Hi Lewis!

You asked for thoughts so here are some...

I have not used the combined product you linked to, but do have separate...
• Battery lighting (LED blinkys)
• Dynamo lighting (steady headlight and taillight)
• Alarm
...on most of my bikes. The alarm is a separate unit that mounts under my saddle and uses a several AAA cells and a separate remote for dis/arming and alarm/sensitivity selection. I got mine off eBay and they (I have 6 at present) continue to work well a couple years after purchase. I use Eneloop rechargeable batteries as they lose less charge in storage and don't leak. These replace earlier models that mounted to the seatpost and required keypad entry to dis/arm and set sensitivity. They worked well for several years but ultimately died and it was a hassle trying to set them without a remote.

The =idea= of an alarm has worked well for me in practice the way I use it. I installed my first motion-detecting alarm on a bicycle back in 1987 when I was commuting regularly and needed to leave the bike parked in racks. My office was nearby and I could hear if it was triggered. I set the sensitivity to ignore small bumps but sound if a larger bump was detected, thus minimizing false positives which legitimate rack users found (and reported to be!) extremely irritating. Once I got things adjusted and parked at the far end of the available racks, all was well for everyone concerned.

Now, I use the motion-detecting alarms for my day rides and touring to alert _me_ to problems. For example, in summer I regularly ride a 108-mile training loop several times a week. At the far end is a portable toilet too small to bring the bike inside. Though I set the frame's ring-lock, it is nice to have the alarm on also to tell me if someone is tampering with the bike while I am indisposed and might not notice otherwise. On tours in the mountains, I regularly set the alarm to deter small animals that sometimes climb on the bike in search of food. Porcupines in particular seem to love the taste of leather saddles whether they are under a cover or open, and the alarm has deterred several that were on their way to taking a nibble two. Similarly, I have triggered the alarm with my uniquely paired remote several times in the last year to deter bears I could see wandering into my campsite while I am abed. It works nicely for that, causing the bears to sort of compress mid-stride before turning tail to flee what seems to be an infernal and unfamiliar sound (I always bag and hang my food apart from my tentsite whenever I'm in bear country but really don't want to encourage a close-up visit). When I tour and camp in more populated areas I set my alarm and use my frame mounted ring-lock and a plug-in cable or chain as desired.

My general experience with combination gadgets is they don't do as well as single-purpose gadgets. I suspect that most of the price for this item is based on the convenience of having both and they docking/activation function, which could be really handy, though the light might be bulky to carry with you. The website indicates...
Quote
The SR600 can be paired with multiple other units so you can share it’s security with family, friends and even clubs.
...but I think you would need multiple alarms and mounts to work with one headlight/switch. Perhaps there is a discount for the one piece?

For the most part I try to avoid devices with embedded rechargeable batteries. I have found their service life sharply diminishes after a couple years' use and then it is either impossible to replace them or recycling is problematic, so I prefer user-replaceable batteries and choose to use Eneloops for the reasons mentioned above. Keep in mind, most remotely triggered alarms continue to draw current on standby. The one you linked to has a very good claimed alarm standby time of 10 days when new.

One last note on the alarm/light combo: I have found my alarm - though loud -- draws surprisingly little attention from others. People seem to be either inured to alarms in general (i.e. car alarms) or do not want to get involved when a property crime is occurring. I consider my alarms to be for my own notification and they have worked well when used in that way.

You asked...
Quote
Would it be realistic / safe to take a lighter bike lock than my usual D lock??
I think it depends on where you ride and whether/how long you will be leaving the bike unattended. I live in an area where bike theft is endemic and there are now snatch-thefts where bikes are taken with riders standing next to them. For rides where I don't intend to leave the bike alone but might stand beside or near it, I take a small cable and combination lock I thread through one or both wheels and around an object simply so the bike cannot be snatched while I am peeling off my leggings, removing my rain booties, or taking a photo. Apart from a portable toilet, I take my bike into public restrooms with me and use a similar means to secure it while I'm indisposed. If I have to leave the bike alone for any time at all, I remove the front wheel and lock it to the rear with a U-lock and large cable, but I much prefer my frame-mounted ring-locks on the bikes that have them. It is so simple to lock the rear wheel simply by throwing the hasp, or depending in need, I can carry and use a cable or either of two chains (6mm or 8mm hardened links) depending on the amount of security needed. Of course, the downside is I am always carrying at least the weight of the ring-lock on the bike and this makes a light bike heavier than it would otherwise need to be. For this reason, I use the little cable and combo lock on my Fixie, which is my lightest bike. Out in the countryside where there are open fields or in the forest or desert, I don't have to worry and usually don't employ any security except my alarm as protection against animals bothering the bike or its contents. YMMV.

All the best,

Dan.

John Saxby

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Re: Has anyone tried this??
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2019, 02:55:37 PM »
Quote
The alarm is a separate unit that mounts under my saddle and uses a several AAA cells and a separate remote for dis/arming and alarm/sensitivity selection. I got mine off eBay

Thanks for these very helpful notes, Dan.

What brand of alarm do you have?  Online searches yield quite a range of devices, prices, etc.

Cheers,  John

Danneaux

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Re: Has anyone tried this??
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2019, 03:53:58 PM »
Quote
What brand of alarm do you have?  Online searches yield quite a range of devices, prices, etc.
Happy to tell you, John; I didn't mention it only because there are a variety of similar ones and the vendors change from time to time. I don't think it has a brand name.

Though the seller I got mine from two years ago has gone, the model I have is like this one:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bicycle-Alarm-Intelligent-Anti-Theft-Alarm-Remote-Control-Alarm-Waterproof-US-/143111663088?hash=item21521eadf0

Do a search for "Bicycle Alarm Intelligent Anti-Theft Alarm Remote Control Alarm Waterproof" to catch the listings for most of these, but check carefully to make sure the feature set is like the one I linked to above. They all cost in the neighborhood of USD$12-$13 and include a remote with three buttons, the one for setting having a blue light-up ring around it. They use three AAA cells to power the main unit and two cable ties and two sticky foam pads to secure it. The coin battery in the remote lasts me a long time; I've yet to change it. Range is really good, on the order of 500m. I would strongly suggest avoiding the included alkaline cells as they will and do leak in time, usually before the first battery change as I found to my dismay. Eneloops are an excellent substitute. If the alkalines do leak, some white vinegar applied with a cotton swab will clear the white "bloom" and restore the contacts to shiny-new unless it has progressed too far.

Only caution: The case-back on the main unit is secured by a tiny metric screw and the case needs the included plastic pry and little screwdriver to open it. It is screwed in pretty firmly from the factory; a drop of Phil Tenacious Oil applied to the screw threads made subsequent changes easy. Also, the cable ties must be replaced with each battery change, but I find that a small price to pay given the performance, low price, and reasonable battery life. I secure mine under my Brooks saddle either across the rear frame rails or above the rails in the nose section of the saddle. No, there is nothing to keep a thief from cutting the cable ties and removing the alarm as it sounds, but I don't leave my bike for long periods so for when I am nearby it works well enough for what I want. The model Lewis linked to would be much harder for a thief to steal. These alarm units are also handy to drop in a jacket pocket or in a bag for a little extra security. After an initial warning, they sound continuously for a timed interval if vibration continues. Sensitivity, timing and alarm choice are all adjustable via the remote and there is also a "panic button" option for immediate triggering.

All the best,

Dan.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2019, 04:15:20 PM by Danneaux »

lewis noble

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Re: Has anyone tried this??
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2019, 05:43:19 PM »
Thanks everyone for the very helpful comments. 

On 2nd thoughts, and following the above observations, I will probably upgrade the light I have, as a stand-alone item . . . . and yes, the alarm Dan refers to is available in UK, so I may well look into that.

I too have reservations about rechargeable / usb ported units - their performance may be amazing, but they tend to die suddenly with little or no warning, whereas alakaline battery units tend to dim and give you a bit of warning.   But usb rechargeable units seem to be bnecoming the norm at most price ranges.

Thanks again, stay safe everyone.

Lewis
 

julk

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Re: Has anyone tried this??
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2019, 06:12:31 PM »
On the subject of new front lights.
I recently got a Cateye AMPP 400 which I am very pleased with for riding with street lights and short stretches without.
The light has an on with flashing mode which i find very useful as you can still see where you are going whilst the flashing is hard for traffic to ignore.
If I was riding more unlit roads then I would recommend a higher number version, the 400 is the baby.
Julian.

John Saxby

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Re: Has anyone tried this??
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2019, 09:30:05 PM »
Many thanks, Dan, for those notes.

Your device seems similar to a couple I've seen on eBay.  The prices are good, so I'm thinking to buy a couple.

Lewis, a note on lights:  Since 2012, I've been using a Cygolite Expilion headlight, and I've been very pleased with it. Note that I use it mainly to enhance conspicuity--I use the daytime flashing mode most of the time, as I rarely ride at night.  I've been told that it's visible from 400 metres away. There's enough float in the mounting to allow you to cant it quickly & easily rightwards and down on a bike path as a courtesy to oncoming bikes or pedestrians, and then to restore it when needed.

When I use it in the flashing mode on tour, I usually re-charge it every 2-3 days, either from the mains or from my Anker cache battery (fed by my dynahub).

Here's a link to Cygolite products: https://cygolite.com/product/

Cheers,  John

sd

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Re: Has anyone tried this??
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2020, 11:24:55 PM »
Quote
What brand of alarm do you have?  Online searches yield quite a range of devices, prices, etc.
Happy to tell you, John; I didn't mention it only because there are a variety of similar ones and the vendors change from time to time. I don't think it has a brand name.

Though the seller I got mine from two years ago has gone, the model I have is like this one:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bicycle-Alarm-Intelligent-Anti-Theft-Alarm-Remote-Control-Alarm-Waterproof-US-/143111663088?hash=item21521eadf0



Dan.

Dan what do you reckon to this one?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/113dB-Wireless-Anti-Theft-Bicycle-Bike-Security-Safe-Lock-Alarm-Remote-Control/372829863089?hash=item56ce643cb1:g:TGoAAOSwDnpdup-y

I often lay the bike down in woods so it's not easily seen. Using the alarm would make me feel a bit better doing it. And switching it on in the garage would be extra

Danneaux

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Re: Has anyone tried this??
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2020, 11:37:49 PM »
Quote
Dan what do you reckon to this one?
  :) By all indications this is the same model(s) as the 6 I own. I have found all to be very satisfactory and worthwhile for my needs.

A caution: The supplied AAA Alkaline batteries are fine for initial testing but will leak if left in place, because the drain is constant. You can imagine how I know this and why I switched to Eneloops instead. If the worst happens, you can remove the white efflorescence with a cotton swab dipped in white vinegar, leaving the contacts shiny and new looking (unless it has gone too long).

Happily, no such concern with the coin battery supplied in the remote.

If you happen to buy more than one of these, multiple alarms can be keyed to a single remote for convenience (as in fewer remotes needed if touring as a couple or family). Don't throw away the little instruction booklet, as it contains all the info you'd need to make the most/greatest use of the alarm. The little included Phillips screwdriver has a hex-shaped handle and nicely fits a common bicycle "Y" wrench if more leverage is needed (the screw is put in awfully tight at the factory, you can control how tight on subsequent removals). Also the little plastic "squidger" (case opener) is handy to hang onto as well, as it makes it much easier to pry open the case. In other words, hang onto the accessories that come with this. I use a short length of bright yellow spectra cord and a breakaway bead to make a neck lanyard for my remote unit so I have it close to hand.

I found it useful to attach the alarm/receiver unit under my Brooks saddle I have Ortlieb underseat bag mounts on some of them, so I affixed the alarm crosswise on those. On others, I found the unit would fit nicely under the nose, resting on the saddle rails, again held in place with zip ties. Remember, you will need to remove it from the bike to change batteries, so it is more convenient if you have a ready means to re/attach. One method would be to put it in an underseat tool bag, protecting it as well as the bike and making battery replacement easier (along with theft of the alarm, unfortunately).

Best,

Dan.

mickeg

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Re: Has anyone tried this??
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2020, 12:42:53 AM »
...
I often lay the bike down in woods so it's not easily seen. Using the alarm would make me feel a bit better doing it. And switching it on in the garage would be extra

If I saw a bike laying down on its side in the woods, I would assume it was discarded and is available to anyone that wants it.

I hope you lock it when you do that, that makes it clear it is not abandoned if locked, especially if locked to a small tree.