Do Bike Alarms Work? (How Effective Are They?)

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Did you know that in the United States, more than 188,500 bikes are reported as stolen each year? That is not a small number! 

Bike theft is indeed a very annoying thing to deal with. To get the bike back, you will need to put in your precious time and might even need to spend money. Not to mention the expense of losing your expensive bike in the first place!

Let us not forget that sometimes the thieves will steal the bike accessories instead of the bike. Well, that is why it is pretty vital to implement safety measures. And among them, bike alarms have been getting popular. 

But do bike alarms work? Yes, they certainly do. Though some models might work better than others, there’s no doubt about the effectiveness of bike alarms. Regardless, be careful with your bike in all situations! Many times if someone wants your bike they will do anything they can to get it

Bear with us as we’ll discuss all these in detail here. 

What Is a Bicycle Alarm?

do bike alarms work

At its core, a bicycle alarm system is something that will complement the mechanical protection you will generally use. But the case might not be the same for all! You might find a bicycle alarm system with an integrated locking mechanism. Regardless of the type, you will enhance the overall security of your bike after getting one.

So, how does the alarm for bicycles work? Well, most bicycle alarm systems will equip a motion sensor. That makes them act like a motion-sensing alarm. And it will have a mechanism to alert the people around or the owner when the attempted theft does occur.

Now, how does it detect the theft attempt? The motion sensor will check the movements around the bike. The sensor will trigger the sound mechanism when it detects any unauthorized movement. And in most cases, the bike alarms will make a sound that will have a loudness level of up to 110 dB.

On that note, some bike locks with alarms will have an intelligent mechanism. They will first trigger a pre-alarm, and afterward, they will sound a continuous alarm. That will hinder the process of the bike thief. And this system can adequately protect your bike from a potential thief.

Does a Bike Lock with Alarm Work?

a locked bike lock on a rail

With the brief introduction to bike locks with alarms aside, let us get into the central part of our discussion. So, does a bike alarm system work? Surprisingly, it does! As discussed earlier, some bike locks with alarm mechanisms will first play a warning sound. And in most cases, the bike thieves will retreat their attempt with that alarm.

But many thieves will ignore the sound of the bicycle alarms and still try to mess around with the bike lock. Well, that is where the best bicycle alarm devices will shine. The continuous loud sound will make it pretty much impossible for the thieves to steal your bike discretely.

Furthermore, some of the bike lock alarm systems will come with additional features. They will bundle with a smartphone app, which will alert you right at the moment when the bike lock detects unwanted movement. And when the thief tries to break the bicycle lock, it will make your phone vibrate.

With those bike alarm systems, you will have a high chance of getting to your bike before the thief breaks the bicycle lock. Also, some of the bicycle alarms will also have a GPS tracking mechanism. So, if the bike lock or the external alarm fails to stop the bicycle theft, you can track the bike through that feature and get it back.

Types of Bike Alarm Systems

When looking to get a bicycle lock with an alarm system, you will have to choose from one of the two types of anti-theft alarm devices. Let us go through each bike alarm system to give you a fair idea of both.

Internal Bike Alarm System

The internal bike alarm systems are the most popular among the bike alarm types. And as the name suggests, this alarm device will come with an alarm integrated into the bike lock. Also, there will be a motion sensor that will continuously monitor all of the movements around the bike lock.

As we mentioned earlier, some of the internal systems will come with advanced theft protection. They will have Bluetooth capabilities, GPS trackers, lights, and bundled smartphone app. For all of these features, those bike lock options are a must-have if you want to protect your bike from thieves.

External Bike Alarm System 

Again, the name of this bike alarm totally makes sense. You will need to attach this type of security device with a chain lock or u-lock. Some might not require you to attach the security device with a lock. Instead, you will need to mount them with the frame or saddle of the bikes.

In comparison, the external alarm for bikes does not cost that much. But they will also not come with all of the features that an internal alarm device might come with. Yes, some will bundle with remote control, which will let you turn the alarm off. But the remote control is pretty much it for an external lock alarm for bikes.

What to Consider Before Buying the Best Bike Alarm?

Before you pick a bike alarm for your own bike, you need to keep these crucial factors in your mind:


First of all, consider the volume of the bike alarm. It needs to be loud enough to alert the passerby regarding the bike theft. And anything that produces a sound below 100 dB should not get into your consideration.


Keep in mind that the best bike alarm will not break easily. Even with bolt cutters, the thief will have a tough time stealing your ride. The durable lock options will offer you another advantage. By the time the thieves get through the lock, there is a high chance that you will be alerted and will reach the bike rack in time.


Another crucial thing that should be in your mind is the battery. You should not pick a lock alarm that does not have long battery life. A special case would be the lock alarms with USB ports. Those will come in handy if you have an e-Bike. You can simply connect the system with the bike’s battery and forget about the run time.

Additional Features

Lastly, look for extra features while searching for the best bike alarms. Features such as lights, GPS systems, bells, and emergency texting add protection.

Final Words

To recapitulate, do bike alarms work? The answer is a solid yes! They do work! But you need to get a proper one to get the maximum protection. So, consider the points we discussed above before making a purchase.


Where Should I Put My Bike Alarm?

This will depend on the type of alarm you purchase! If you purchased an internal alarm it will already be integrated into the bike lock. An external alarm can be put in several places including the frame of the bike, seatpost, and handlebars.

Do Bike alarms Deter Thieves?

Yes, a bike alarm can deter thieves but several factors have to be considered as well. Will the thief have plenty of time to assess the situation and be in a private area or will they be quickly looked at by people passing by? If your bike is very expensive it may take a lot to deter a thief because they know the value of the bike they’re stealing. So take all precautions including a bike alarm to protect your baby!