Don’t Get Jacked, NoJack Enters The Bike Alarm Fray

NoJack Motion Activated Bike Alarm

You live in a densely populated, metropolitan city. You don’t own a car; you are “one less car.” You ride your bike. You ride your bike to school. You ride it to the office, to the café, to the pub. Maybe you even ride your bike for a living — hats off to the bike messengers. As such, one stolen wheel, one jacked seat, is all it takes to turn a good day bad, or leave you high and dry in midtown. But a second dimension of security is on the rise and it’s changing how we protect our bikes…

NoJack Thief

Let’s call it a motion-activated bike alarm; or we could use the acronym MABA. You rockin’ a MABA? No? Well, maybe you should! No, it doesn’t replace your u-lock, it augments it. Anyway — the kids in San Fransisco are calling their MABA a NoJack and they’ve been 3D printing and prototyping away the last eight-plus months. Think you’ve seen this all before? Sure you have — we showed you the ShySpy and the Siegel. But products like the ShySpy include GPS tracking technology that necessitates a price north of $150. And Siegel’s slick design was merely a concept. What’s a broke barista/student/bike-messenger to do?

NoJack Smartphone

Check out NoJack here, and watch for their Kickstarter debut. Their goal is a sub $50 device that will employ a variable alarm — maxing at 120dB — in conjunction with a three-axis accelerometer. Adjustable by the end-user, the alarm can exhibit differing levels of “aggravation” depending on the intensity and duration of its disturbance. Pairing with Bluetooth 4.0 capable smartphones, the NoJack automatically arms once it senses its owner has left the premises.

NoJack First Proof Of Concept

First Proof Of Concept (Feb. ’14)

With more and more devices like this, the competition is only a good thing. Your wheels and seat will thank you.

Comments

ccolagio - 03/18/14 - 1:51pm

i honestly dont understand the market for products like this. i live in a big city and lock my bike in not the safest areas all the time at all hours of the day. i had my bike stolen from my university campus 9 years ago when i used a $30 cable lock. that night, i bought a $100, 16mm thick uLock. take the extra mintue to lock up your front wheel, rear wheel, and frame with a good uLock to a solid/anchored location. if you are worried about your seat/post, buy some special keyed bolts. my single speed commuter, which is the only bike i will lock up, only cost me about $300 with $80 of that being in tires…

has anyone actually ever had a bike stolen when using a proper, thick, quality bike lock?

Freddy - 03/18/14 - 2:50pm

This exists for kids with too much money to blow on kickstarter. They’ll lock their bikes up outside their dorm room with their overpriced crowd funded garbage.

alex - 03/18/14 - 3:20pm

@ccolagio, to be honest, my dad had this huffy mtb he used back then for a while, he parked it at the hospital where he works,Locked it with a thick Cable lock in front of the security booth there’s someone there 24/7 you know the drill… and someone tried to steal the bike anyway! Some people are so dumb they just CAN’T help themselves so anything is possible I guess…

But the sec. Agent told us the guy had some sort of mental illness so that might explain it. (yeah, he caught the guy.) And we live in a very very calm town too so bike theft isn’t something very common usually.

Charlie Best - 03/18/14 - 3:41pm

I like it, the auto arm is cool (though I don’t own a cellphone, so actually useless for me).

The advice I always give people is buy a decent u-lock – a $50 one is fine – and lock the bike outside the entrance to a busy store, any potential thief will consider the time it will take to defeat the lock and the good possibility that the next person out the door could be the owner and will then look for an easier theft.

Of course you will always have to deal with the crackhead/junkie element who consider getting pinched an occupational hazard, but being smart about how and where you lock your bike goes a long way to preventing its theft.

David - 03/18/14 - 4:07pm

The alarm could be replaced by a capacitor. Instead of a loud noise, the thief could receive 50,000V routed through a metal strip on the grips. Probably not fatal.

ari b - 03/18/14 - 5:23pm

Car alarms dont really prevent thieves from stealing cars.

topmounter - 03/18/14 - 6:05pm

Does it support voice commands? Such as “No Jack On” and the like.

muf - 03/18/14 - 11:59pm

i got 2 bikes stolen so far, both locked with decent locks (U locks). one of them in a basement with a locked door, in fact (+u lock).

So .. yeah bikes get stolen even with a good lock. Now, will an alarm deter the thief? I don’t really think so.. this is a gimmick IMO. Just turn it off/destroy it. It’s cool, but i wouldn’t use it. I much prefer the hidden GPS trackers.

Then again, locking a 4000+ bike in the city isn’t exactly smart I guess (even thus i’d like if it was possible to do that without getting paranoid). Having a $200 bike and a ulock seems like a greater safety.

aaron - 03/19/14 - 8:08am

wish that last photo had something next to the prototype to judge size.

Sigismond0 - 03/19/14 - 9:54am

@muf: How are they going to know that they need to disable/destroy it when it’s hidden in the frame? It’s not like there’s going to be a label on your top tube with information about how your alarm works and how to disable it. I’d much rather have a hidden alarm that draws *immediate* attention to the thief than a hidden GPS that lets him take it away in the first place.

If bike thieves have to get smarter to avoid alarms/detection/etc, they will. They’ll pull the seatpost out of bikes after they’ve stolen them and remove the GPS, and you won’t be able to find them. But for an alarm at the point of theft, they would have to disassemble the bike *without triggering the alarm*, as well as cut the locks. That’s rather a lot of extra time and effort that they’re not willing to risk. Bike thieves always opt for the easiest bike in the pack to steal, and a point-of-theft deterrent will likely mean that’s not your bike.

Actually, I’d be halfway tempted to get a professional-looking label to stick on my frame that says “Warning: This bicycle is equipped with an alarm that will trigger if it is moved or disassembled. Think twice before stealing it.”

patrik - 03/20/14 - 12:06pm

Is this worth putting on your $26 Nishiki you bought off Craiglist?

Feldy - 03/20/14 - 5:19pm

This is a warning. Please step away from the bike. This bike is protected by Viper.

Dylan - 03/20/14 - 6:27pm

I have no problem with a theft detection product for your bike. I’ve lived in NYC and SF and bikes get stolen. It’s a fact of life. What really annoys me though are audible alarms. I hate them on cars and on bikes they will be no better. Am I supposed to react to someone else’ s alarm and perform a citizen’s arrest? Car alarms are selfish and obnoxious. This is no different.

Psi Squared - 03/20/14 - 8:48pm

Dylan, you might want to revise your selfish statement as alarms are intended to scare away the thief. You’d have to be pretty selfish to think that alarms were meant to call you to action.

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