Hi, my name is Toru, and I’m head of marketing at AlterLock
In this series, I’d like to explain in detail about AlterLock from the user’s point of view, answer any concerns you may have before purchasing, and clear up anything you may feel unsure about while using the product.
In this first part of the series, we’ll start by unboxing and introducing the AlterLock device.
First, let's unbox the AlterLock!
As well as the AlterLock device, the box contains installation bolts, a Start Guide, a user manual , two caps to protect the device’s USB-C port, and three anti-theft stickers.
Here are the installation bolts. The two 20-mm bolts included are longer than standard bottle-cage bolts so you can install the AlterLock device between the bottle cage and the bike frame. An optional installation kit with special anti-theft bolts and a special tool is also available at the time of purchase. These anti-theft bolts make it even more difficult for someone to steal your AlterLock.
You’ll need the authorization code indicated in the Start Guide when pairing the device with the app, so be sure to keep the guide handy.
As for the anti-theft stickers, it's up to you whether to use them or not, but it may deter you from committing a crime. It may also make you less of a target for people who want to commit crimes. Of course, by making the most of the tracking function, you can protect your bike without causing it to stand out with the stickers.
Next, let’s take a closer look at the AlterLock device itself.
This is the AlterLock device. It’s only about 9 mm thick and is 159 mm long. According to the catalog, it weighs 50 g; but when I weighed it myself, I found it to be 46 g. So it weighs just slightly less than specified. This is a weight I don’t think will bother even serious road bike riders!
Since drag is an issue for many riders, we conducted aerodynamic tests during the development stage!
What we found was that when riding at 40 km/h for one hour, the increase in journey time due to drag was less than 0.002 seconds. I’m certain that, as with the weight, such a tiny figure won’t bother you at all on your daily ride.
On the top of the device there’s a button for pairing and switching the lock mode, as well as a USB-C port for charging. It’s recommended that you install the device on the down tube, with the button and port at the top and the concave side of the device toward the bottle cage.
This way, the device will be easy to use and will have the same performance as that obtained in the radio sensitivity and aerodynamic tests. However, some bikes may not be suitable for down-tube installation. If that’s the case, you can install the device on the seat tube without any problem.
This is what the device looks like when installed.
If your bike doesn’t have bottle cage mounting bosses, you can also use this method.
Naturally, the device is waterproof and dustproof during normal riding thanks to its IP66 ingress protection rating.
Obviously it’s not feasible to remove the device every time you want to charge it. One solution is to use a suitably long USB-C cable if you keep your bike near a power outlet. But probably the easiest way to charge the device is with a mobile battery.
Depending on the settings, the device’s battery lasts up to six weeks on a full charge, so you don’t need to recharge the device so often.
When using a mobile battery, it took about two hours to charge the device. (The actual time may vary depending on the environment.)
Next time, I’d like to show you how to pair the device with a smartphone app.