is a huge problem in many cities like New York, San Francisco, Paris and beyond. Heck, if you've bought your bike secondhand off a site like Craigslist, odds are that it may be a stolen bike. Logging your bike's serial number may help with recovery, but thieves can also file it off. To cope with this growing problem, Germany-based start-up Bike-ID is creating a bike registry using micro-tags to deter would-be bike thieves.
Seen over at PSFK, the company is touting its product as the "most advanced bicycle registry in the world" -- thanks to its marking kit that includes a weather-proof, tamper-proof laser-engraved security sticker, emblazoned with a unique Bike-ID serial number.
On top of that, the kit comes with 300 tiny titanium micro-tags that measure 0.4 millimeters each, and have the same serial, and which are adhered onto the bike with a strong glue. The idea is to use these micro-tags as a backup, in case the main sticker is removed, as filing off the micro-tags would cause noticeable damage to the bike's finish.
It appears that use of the registry is free, whether or not you buy a kit or not -- the marking kit is sold as an extra protective measure. Kadi-Riin Leisalu, Bike-ID's marketing manager, explains how the Bike-ID process works:
Everybody has limited access to the bike registry. If someone tries to sell a private person a stolen bike, then it is possible to check the status of that bike through the registry. Queries are free of charge to everyone. If a lost or stolen bike has been reported to the police, then they have access to the owner information through our system.