So you just purchased a Yuba bike, and you’re wondering the best way to protect your investment from theft. For around-town use we point people towards our Frame Lock, but urban and city cyclists often look for a higher security option. We get a lot of people asking about GPS security, and recently we had the pleasure of testing out a Boomerang Cyclotrac GPS Tracker.
Unlike Bluetooth-enabled tracking devices, the Boomerang uses Verizon cellular network to track the location of the device and allows you to view the location of your bike from your phone or computer despite relative proximity. The alarm is set through the app, which also has cool features like “Find Bike” and trip statistics. Once set, any movement to the bike will trigger an audible alarm and notify the user via text that their bike is being stolen “as they read this message.”
Out of the box, the Boomerang is about the size of a flattened 10-inch banana (maybe “narrow 10-inch TV remote” is more appropriate). The battery takes about 4 hours to charge but lasts about a week like an old-school flip phone. Once charged, the unit can be mounted to the waterbottle bosses with tamper-proof bolts and a custom drill bit that Boomerang includes.
In the Yuba line-up, it can be mounted to the waterbottle bosses on the following bikes:
- Boda Boda Step Over (Red)
- Boda Boda All Terrain
- Mundo Classic
- Mundo LUX
For other bikes like the Sweet/Spicy Curry and Boda Boda Original, Boomerang offers a few different mounting options that allow you to clamp to the rear rack or frame tubing, although we have yet to test these clamps.
So what is it like to use? Our intern Abe put the device through its paces and generally liked the functionality of the device. The best experience he had was locking up in San Francisco’s Mission District and enjoying a pupusa lunch while feeling confident that his bike wouldn’t be stolen, or knowing that if it was stolen he’d be notified.
As someone who has a smartphone but no data, Abe recommends a data plan to effectively use the system; the lag time associated with connecting to local wifi was limiting and confused communication between the app and device. With data, the time it takes to arm and disarm the Boomerang ranges between 30 to 90 seconds depending on Verizon’s network coverage, but generally this amount of time can be spent loading up your Yuba with cargo.
For more information, feel free to visit Boomerang’s website: https://boomerangbike.com/
CONS – for well balanced reporting we should also list the couple of things we weren’t super stoked on…
- False positives: if someone bumps your bike at a rack the alarm can trigger
- Not sure about the weatherproof-ness. The silicone flap that covered the USB charging port wasn’t the best.
- For multi-modal users, trips on buses or trains are logged as rides, which skew year-to-date statistics in the app.
- Some trips weren’t logged in the app.