Have you ever driven your car into the garage with your bike still on the roof, or at least gotten close enough to give you heart palpitations? Enter stage left the HeadsUp Systems wireless gear alert system.

The HeadsUp display system is pretty interesting, and it's basically an early-warning system that tells you if you have a bike or other object on the roof of your vehicle as you enter your garage. It hopefully prevents you from smashing or destroying your bike as you accidentally drive into your garage. The cost of bike replacement and garage repair can be quite exorbitant, and the HeadsUp System can give you peace of mind in preventing an unwanted disaster.

The system is comprised of a gear tag, an in-car alerter and a LED alert sign which contains an internal wireless control module. It works when the tag and alerter come in together as a pair into the garage, and the alert sign's computer acknowledges them as a set. When that action happens the alerter will beep, and the LED alert sign will pulse with up arrows.

Kit Contents:
  • LED alert sign with internal wireless control module
  • In-car alerter with battery
  • Two gear tags with batteries
  • User manual
  • Power cord
  • Mounting screws

The orange gear tag uses a CR1632 battery, and it fits into a small black rubber boot that wraps around your bike or other piece of gear. The alerter looks like a garage door remote, and it also uses a CR1632 battery, and it can be clipped to your vehicle visor or placed in a cup holder.

If you ride your tagged bike into the garage by itself, or if you drive your vehicle in with only the alerter, nothing happens since the tag and alerter are not combined as a pairing at the same time. Other tags that are on bikes stored in the garage won't make any difference, since they were static within the garage space, and weren't identified as a live pairing.

The alerting will go off when you are about 50-100 feet from your garage, depending on how you have the LED alert sign set up, and the angle you come in with your vehicle. The alerter beeps loudly, and the alert sign's three LED arrows will quickly pulse upwards, and the alerting will stay on for 3 minutes. You can click a button on the alerter, and it will stop beeping, but the LED will continue until it reaches its time threshold. The units communicate with each other using low power 2.4Ghz wireless technology.

It's a great system that does exactly what it needs to do, warning you that an object is on the vehicle roof as you enter the garage. It was simple to set up, and worked fine after the installation, with two caveats. You need to make sure the alerter is in the vehicle, which is usually not an issue, since you tend to have one vehicle with the rack, and you just keep it in that vehicle. You also need to make sure you install the gear tag on a bike, and it comes with two, which should cover most situations. If you have several bikes, you can swap the tags to the other bikes or purchase an extra one or two ($25 each), and if you have car racks on other vehicles you can purchase an additional alerter if required ($30 each). You can protect up to 100 gear items and vehicles with one system, which should easily cover any gear junkie's toys.

I have also used it to warn me when I have my rear hitch rack on my truck to keep me from shutting the garage door on it. It can be used for kayaks, cargo boxes, and anything that might cause clearance issues when your vehicle is entering a garage.

I installed the LED alert sign in front of where I park my truck, and placed it in the middle and about 4 feet up on the back wall. It has a long power cord, but fortunately, the power outlet in my garage is right next to it, so it was an easy connection.

The next step is to attach the gear tag somewhere on your bike. On my Ibis Mojo HD, it nicely fit right behind the rear shock on the seat tube. Even after many months of use on rough trails, and a couple of long road trips, the gear tag in its handy rubber boot has stayed securely fastened. I tended to leave the alerter attached to my sun visor using its clip, as it kept the beeping at ear level and made it easier to push the sound off button, but it worked just as well tossed into the tray of my console. The CR1632 coin-cell type batteries in the tag and alerter have lasted me a very long time, so they shouldn't be a big replacement issue, and the LED alert sign will warn you when the batteries are getting low in either of those devices. According to HeadsUp, the gear tag batteries should last two years, while the alerter should make it to one year.

Photo courtesy of HeadsUp Systems

Bottom Line
There is other warning systems in the market, from mechanical ones that have a flap that is pushed down by the wind while driving, and it pops up when slowed or stopped. There is an iPhone app called Bikesaver that uses GPS location to alert you when you get by your house, but it requires that the phone and its speaker are on. Lots of times my phone is on silence mode or the battery is dead, or perhaps it's buried in a bag. Other methods are to leave a garbage can in the middle of your parking space to alert you. The HeadsUp system is pretty obvious and works extremely well, but it's expensive at $170. In the grand scheme of things, it's a small price to pay, especially considering the safety net it provides your expensive investment (garage and bike).

The system was easy to install, and the gear tags stayed securely fastened to bikes, and the loud sound from the in-vehicle alerter combined with the visual cues from the LED alert sign were very effective in warning you of objects on your vehicle roof. The HeadsUp wireless gear alert system is a great tool in preventing you from injuring your precious and costly bike when it's on your vehicle's roof rack as you drive into your garage.

  • Easy set up
  • Effective
  • Can protect multiple bikes and vehicles using one system
  • Expensive
  • Equipment needs to be tagged and alerter needs to be in vehicle
Overall Rating: 4.5 Flamin' Chili Peppers

HeadsUp System Specs
  • MSRP: $169.99
  • Refer to HeadsUp website for further info:https://www.headsupsystems.com
  • Garage-mounted wireless alert system offers permanent protection for your gear - set it once and forget it
  • Detects bicycles, kayaks, roof-top cargo carriers (anything with a gear tag)
  • Includes led alert sign, 1 in-car alerter, and 2 water-resistant gear tags
  • 8.5" x 11" led alert sign with wireless control module
  • Two (2) water-resistant gear tags
  • One (1) in-car alerter
  • UL-listed 110v ac - 12v dc transformer for sign
  • User & setup guide
  • HeadsUp sticker
  • Additional tags ($25) and alerters ($30) available separately to monitor up to 100 gear items & vehicles
  • Over 1 year battery life on tags and alerter (system tells you when a battery needs to be replaced)
  • One year warranty
  • Designed in Colorado
  • Patent Pending
  • System uses ultra low-power 2.4ghz wireless transceivers with integrated microprocessors
  • Sensing range 15-30 meters (approx. 50 to 100 feet)
  • Operating temperature range -20 to +50 °c (-4 to +122 °f)
  • Alerter and gear tags each include replaceable cr1632 battery
  • 12v dc 500ma power adapter (for alert sign)
  • Gear tag with battery: 21 grams, 1.5"x1.5"x0.625" (plus strap)
  • Alerter with battery: 20 grams, 2"x1.375"x0.5" (plus clip)