Datatag is a simple idea, combined with a few technically effective ways of reducing theft and improving the chances of recovering your valuable item. In my case, the item was my new bike. The kit supplied by the Bike Leasing Company which came from Datatag included some simple, easy-to-use gubbins:
1. A highly visible big sticker which is adhered using strong resin-based glue, making the bike less attractive to thieves;
2. A few stickers with a clearly identifiable registration number, which are designed to fall apart if any attempt to alter them is made;
3. A bunch of microdots in a clear glue solution, which can be painted onto inconspicuous bit of your frame or parts and which the police can read using magnifiers;
4. A rice-grain sized transponder to place inside your bike somewhere, which the police can scan to identify you on the database which Datatag shares with them.
On top of this lot, a registration form is needed which the Datatag people use to get your details – and your bike’s – onto their database. They give the police 24-hour access to this database so that they can trace you in the event of picking your bike up from some thieving scumbag, or purchaser of your lovely bike after it’s been fenced. If the stickers are vandalised, the transponder will still work and it can be triggered using a hand-held reader, very much like the things used for cats & dogs, if you’ve ever seen one of those.
How Did I Do The Datatag Thing?
All in all, I reckon the process took me about half an hour. I simply wiped down the areas where I was going to attach the stickers & microdot solution to make sure they’d adhere properly, then got to work. You can see from the photos how they look.
The microdot solution looks grey here because it’s wet – it dries to a clear coating so you can put it anywhere, but it doesn’t dry to a gloss finish so it’s best to put it somewhere inconspicuous.
The photos don’t show every sticker or each location of the microdot stuff, but I needed to make sure all the expensive bits were identified.
Also, the transponder can be glued somewhere it can’t be seen, but can’t easily be removed either. Any good quality resin glue can be used for this.
And Finally, Don’t Forget!
The job isn’t done until you fill in your registration form and send it back to the Datatag people. Otherwise, if your bike is stolen and the police recover it, the database wont’ have your name on it!
In my case, the kit came from the people I got the bike from, but if you’re concerned about your bike and if you’d like to be able to get the best insurance prices possible, this idea might put your mind at rest, and save you some money!