Frequently Asked Questions
Technology Questions
  Q: Is an NFC Smartphone required to use Raven's System?

No. Raven provides a full-proof back-up system for checking a Bike's security status when an NFC capable Smartphone is unavailable.
1. Scan the bike's QR Code Sicker using any freely downloaded QR App.
2. Manually check security status by entering the account number printed on the bike's QR Code Sticker on Raven's Website.
3. When Internet service is unavailable, manually compare the bike's account number with the owner's Smartcard ID.

  Q: Is my phone NFC-equipped?

Near Field Communication (NFC) is not just an App. An NFC phone contains special hardware for emitting a low frequency activation signal to activate Raven's NFC Emblem. Dozens of Smartphones have this function with more being introduced every year to capitalize on phone-to-phone data transfers and Google Wallet. Find the NFC feature on your phone and be sure it's turned "ON".

  Q: What is the NFC Emblem's activation range?

Raven's battery-free NFC Emblem contains a capacitor to receive power from an NFC-equipped Smartphone or Reader. The low frequency signal requires an NFC Smartphone be held directly over the Raven Emblem to automatically link to an owner's Security Status Page. Phone activation positioning varies by phone make and model.

  Q: Why isn't the bike's NFC tag hidden?

The Raven Tag Emblem is as much a theft derrerent as theft detector, so visibility is important. Locating the NFC Tag internally would not only render the NFC's antenna useless in metal tubing, it would fail to communicate both the Tag's existence and location to all interrogators.

  Q: Why not use GPS?

As cool as it sounds, GPS has many problems; legal, monetary and logistical. In addition to periodic service fees of $10 a month ($120 a year), police are more likely to use their limited resources on sweeps and raids to find caches of stolen bikes, than to chase down individual GPS equipped stolen bikes. GPS also encourages enraged bike theft victims to satisfy fantasies of confronting whacked-out drug-dealing thugs themselves, leading to outcomes for which Raven might be held accountable.

  Q: Why is a QR Code Sticker needed?

Not all Smartphones are NFC-equipped, but Raven wanted to provide Bike Registry System access to anyone with a Smartphone, from law enforcement to shop keepers to bike consumers, so we included the QR Code Sticker, which can be scanned with any Smartphone. Because the Sticker is vulnerable to intentional defacement we left this valuable component with no identifying marks.

  Q: Where can I get a QR Code App?

Many FREE QR Code App downloads are available for all Smartphone Operating Systems.

  Q: Do I need to carry my Smartcard ID?

You should carry your Raven Smartcard ID in either physical or virtual form (as images on your Smartphone) when out cycling. It's the most convenient way to directly connect to your Bike Management Account in the event your bike gets stolen to activate your "Stolen Bicycle" Alert Status Page. It will also be needed to share information with police when filing a theft report or when proving bike ownership.

Even if you have several bikes listed on your account, you need carry only one card to gain access to your Account Management Page.

Bike Theft Questions
  Q: What steps to take if my bike gets stolen?

1. Connect through your Smartcard ID to your Security Status Page with your Smartphone using the Card's NFC or QR Code functions.
2. Enter your password to link to your secure Management Account and select bicycle stolen.
3. Activate your "Stolen Bicycle" Alert Page.
4. On this Alert Page tap "Law Enforcement Directory" find local law enforcement and tap phone link to connect and report incident.
5. Return to Account Management Page and tap "Report Bike Theft" and fill out details of theft then hit send.
Report information will be sent to law enforcement and used by Raven statistics to map bike theft incidents.

  Q: Can Raven Bike Emblem be removed by force?

Raven's "Biker's Snot" glue is a two-part epoxy so strong it's impossible to remove your polycarbonate Raven Emblem in public without drawing attention or risking damage to the bike frame. The Loctite glue literally fuses itself to the gluing surface, so the emblem's resillience depends largely on how well prepped the bike's surface is beneath the emblem.

We designed Raven's removable Glue Guide specifically to isolate the prep area from the rest of your frame, so only the area under the emblem gets prepped. Although we strongly recommend sanding completely through your bike's surface coats to provide both a theft mark and the strongest possible bond, frames that are powder coated, newly painted, or made of composite or carbon fiber may not require a complete sand-through.

Raven's polycarbonate Emblem is designed to survive multiple blunt force strikes from a hammer and chisel and any covert sustained attack eventually breaks the emblem into pieces, but not without leaving enough damage to immediately identify the bike as "Stolen". At this point only a complete sanding, feathering and painting of the frame can cover up the evidence completely, a time-consuming undertaking few turn-around thieves are willing to undertake while subsequently destroying valuable identifying marks associated with a bike's make.

Any bike showing obvious signs of tampering can be checked on Raven's Website by entering the bike's manufacturing serial number to find and contact the bike's owner.

  Q: Do I notify my insurance company about the theft?

We recommend informing your insurance company the moment you've installed the Raven Security Status System on your bike so they know recovery is likely. Depending on the insurance company this may also impact the cost of your premium. Soon Raven will be extending its System to all your valuable personal possessions and we'll be formally partnering with insurance companies to provide a complete Raven recovery system. As for reporting your bike stolen, that depends on whether your insurance deductible exceeds the value of your bike. You can always print or save your Raven Bike theft report to submit to your insurance company if required.

  Q: How do I recover my bike?

Until the emergence of the Raven System, law enforcement, bike shop owners and used bike consumers have been powerless to know if a bike is stolen despite the existence of numbered bike registry stickers associated with a myriad of county, state or private databases. Raven has put bike owner and security status information into the hands of anyone with a Smartphone. Soon anyone can walk up to any Raven registered bicycle at flea markets, in warehouses, on street corners and bike shops or with Graigslist transactions to find your bike and immediately notify you of its discovery.

  Q: How is Raven raising awareness of its system?

Public awareness is key to the effectiveness of the Raven Bike Registration System. That's why Raven is rolling out its System methodically, starting with a public relations campaign targeting the San Francisco Bay area first then moving throughout California, the U.S. and eventually Europe.

  Q: How can I stop a bike theft in progress?

Until the Raven System was introduced it was nearly impossible to determine whether the guy removing a bike lock by force was the defacto owner of the bicycle with a story of a lost key or jammed lock. Return to this question shortly and you'll find video links demonstrating how to safely scare away or catch bike thieves.

  Q: Is the used bike for sale stolen?

Until Raven Bike Registry, no adequate method short of showing a sales receipt was available for proving a bike was being sold by its bona fide owner. This lack of accountability has helped fuel illicit stolen bike sales in numerous markets, from Craigslist and flea markets to street corners and bike shops. Raven is in the process of developing its own online marketplace to sell only Raven registered bikes so used bike consumers can rest assured they're purchasing a bike from a legitimately registered owner. The Raven system also allows pawn shop and bike store owners to purchase used bikes with confidence.

  Q: Best ways to discourage bike thieves?

Although the Raven Bike Registry will help deter bike theft and assist in stolen bike recovery, the best way to prevent bike theft in the first place is to always lock up your bike with a proven heavy duty U-lock or heavy gauge chain lock. A proven lock combination involves locking your frame and rear wheel to an immobile object together with a stout cable run through your front wheel. The best U-locks are ones sporting a standard flat key. Never leave your bike for even a minute unlocked. Theft stories of cyclists who "only left their bike unattended for a few seconds" abound.

Raven Registration
  Q: Can I register others on my account?

Raven has intentionally configured your Bike Management Account to include family members with the same last name. Only one password is required to access any of the family's bike accounts. Registration discounts are available to register more than one bike.

  Q: How long does membership last?

Raven Bike Registration lasts a lifetime, with no additional recurring charges- EVER! Why? Because the Raven System would fall apart if we relied on members to renew their membership every year.

  Q: How many bikes can I register?

Raven has no official bike registration limit, but as a company in the theft prevention business, Raven will investigate accounts with suspiciously high inventory turnover or bike stockpiles. Raven also reserves the right to revoke registration and post a "Suspicious Account" Alert pages when proof exists that a Raven registered bike was stolen.

  Q: What happens once I sell my bike?

Raven Bike Registration is non-transferable, but the new owner can re-register the bike with the same account number. Be sure to launch your "Account Deactivated" Page for that bicycle so there is no confusion. Doing so will terminate the account under your name and place the bike account number into our "Holding" database until the new owner registers the bicycle with Raven. We will issue them a new Smartcard ID with the account number matching the bike's.

  Q: Can a thief register my bicycle?

Unfortunately the answer is "YES", if you haven't registered it with Raven first. We will have program safeguards in place that alert us to unusually high inventory turnover and Raven does reserve the right to terminate a bike's registration if proof exists that the bicycle was stolen (requires sales receipt), which could come to light when a stolen bike shows up in Raven's marketplace section. This is why it's important to register your bicycle with Raven before a crook does.

Raven does have undisclosed safeguards in place for detecting attempts by thieves to re-register a bike after they've removed a Raven Emblem, which involves collecting criminal location information before issuing a "Registration Rejected" notice.

  Q: Can a theft-damaged Emblem be replaced?

Raven anticipates recovery of some bikes discovered when the bike manufacturer's serial number was entered on Raven's Home Page because the bike's Raven Emblem was forcefully removed. In such cases the bike's owner may order a replacement Emblem and QR Code for a nominal fee, which will only be mailed to the address listed with Raven. Be sure to completely clean surface area before remounting Emblem.

  Q: Can I modify my account information?

Yes, much of your owner and bike information can be updated, except in those areas remaining fixed for security reasons, including account holder name and unalterable bike specifics (to prevent Emblem transfers).