It must be anti-theft week or something. Both e-bike manufacturer Wisper and component manufacturer Bosch have joined Cowboy in announcing security updates for their software.
German electric bike component manufacturer Bosch has announced three updates to its eBike System. One focuses on theft reporting and data collection, while the other improves mapping and navigation.
Bosch already has anti-theft measures in place via the eBike Systems and Flow app, but the new theft reporting feature - which we’ll dive into shortly - strikes a similar tone to the new Cowboy Theft Report Link and other anti-theft features we reported on recently.
Wisper, on the other hand, has announced it's partnering with BackPedal, a UK based "theft detection and recovery service" we reported on earlier this year. In this partnership, all Wisper bikes will now be available with a built-in alarm and tracking device.
BackPedal also offers bike recovery and insurance services, which they say have an 85% success rate in returning stolen bikes.
Let's delve a little deeper into these announcements.
New Bosch Smart system features
The three main features are the Digital eBike Pass, a Theft Report Function, and refined navigation - which technically encompasses more features, but we digress.
The Digital eBike Pass is a new place within the eBike Flow app where you can add in more details about your e-bike such as the frame number, purchase documents and receipts, or even a photo of it.
The benefit of adding this information is that it can prove useful if you ever need to pass on information to the police, a workshop, or even a prospective buyer who wants proof they aren’t buying a stolen bike or something that’s done 10,000 miles more than the seller is advertising.
The Theft Report function is also within the eBike Flow app, and is essentially a tool that helps you report your e-bike’s theft to the relevant authorities.
In the UK, you can fill in details about the bike, time, place and other relevant informatoin about the theft if you know them, and then email the document to the police. At the very least, it has the possibility to make reporting theft easier and more streamlined.
Finally, perhaps the biggest set of updates is to the navigation functionality. If you use the navigation tool in the eBike Flow app, then these may be of interest.
A new ‘quick menu’ on the Ride screen now gives you the option to change the destination mid-ride. This doesn’t have to be done via your phone, either, so you can use the LED Remote, Mini Remote or Purion 200 display so you can keep your hands on the bars.
You can now also add in individual ride stops, so if you wanted a mid-ride McFlurry, you can change the routing to reflect this. And finally, we all love graphs, right? Well now you can see just how much (or little) you’ve climbed on your ride – and perhaps more importantly, how much is left to do.
The updates are available to be downloaded via the eBike Flow app on compatible e-bikes.
Wisper and BackPedal
Wisper has become the first UK brand to offer BackPedal services with their bikes, and these services are three-fold. First up is the tracker/alarm device that is wired directly into the bike's electrical system. When paired with the relevant app, you can see your bike's live location, as well as being able to lock it.
The alarm is sounded on your phone if your bike begins to move while it's locked. This is detected by accelerometers. If, however, the bike's battery is turned off, then the BackPedal device has enough charge to last a claimed 21 days - if the bike's battery isn't turned back on in the meantime.
That doesn't sound like anything too exciting, but that's not where BackPedal has found its niche. As well as an integrated alarm and tracking device, the company also offers a theft detection and retrieval service, through a "team of trained recovery agents across the country" who will apparently locate the bike themselves and then attempt to recover it.
Interestingly, they claim to have an 85% success rate on these retrievals, and an average recovery time of 17 hours. We think there needs to be a YouTube channel with bodycam footage of these retrievals because it sounds very Batman-esque.
If, however, this team of 'recovery agents' can't get your bike back within two weeks, then BackPedal offer insurance which replaces your stolen Wisper bike with a new one - but only up to the value of £3,500.
Richard White of BackPedal commented: “We’re delighted to be working with Wisper bikes on this partnership. Their exceptional customer service record makes Wisper a perfect partner for BackPedal. By offering a trio of GPS tracking, theft recovery and backup insurance, we’re able to help Wisper give their customers something very special. People not only value the peace of mind this brings, but it also provides a meaningful and effective way to combat bike theft.”
You can choose between two options at checkout when buying a Wisper e-bike:
- Wisper GPS Tracker and Alarm App plus insurance and recovery service, which costs £398 (but discounted to £299 at the time of writing)
- Wisper GPS Tracker and Alarm App only, which costs £199
Each of these are subscriptions, so worth remembering they aren't one-off costs. The trackers are hidden inside the frame, and use Bluetooth to allow for more precise location detection. If you do have to use your recovery service, then users are asked to notify BackPedal of their bike's theft within 24 hours.
To find out more, visit the Wisper website.