Bicycle pump paint bomb vs bike thief

bicycle pump paint bomb

Thieves might be becoming evermore brazen, but the last thing they will ever expect to confront is this bicycle paint bomb. Secreted within the tubing of the bike rack is a  compressed canister of  brightly coloured criminal identifier – a spray gel that is sold legally in Britain. While the bicycle is in place, its weight prevents the marker gel canister from firing. However, when it is removed by a thief, a powerful spring contract and causes the canister to spray its contents into the face of the thief.

The gel causes no harm to the thief, but if it is not immediately washed away with clean water, it stains the skin bright red for up to two weeks. The design features a safety pin that is put in place by the owner of the bicycle to ensure the spray is not activated my mistake.

Bicycle paint bomb – How did we build it?

The ingredients for our bicycle paint bomb are a criminal identifier marker gel, a cheap bicycle pump, a 38 mm waste pipe and three pipe clamps – costing a grand total of £25. The only tools we used were a drill and a hand saw.

The bicycle bomb is one a series of outlandish anti-theft devices we are building this summer to highlight the need for more robust policing with regards to bike theft – as well a good cycle insurance policy.  Our other DIY theft countermeasures include The Biskiple, our fake skip for storing bikes and the water bottle smoke grenade.

ETA cycle insurance – Your last line of defence

Whatever bike theft countermeasures you put in place, don’t be without a good cycle insurance policy. With ETA cycle insurance, however old the bike, if it’s stolen you get enough to buy a new model. Furthermore, every cycle insurance policy you buy from us helps support the work of the ETA Trust, our charity campaigning for a cleaner, safer transport future. No wonder The Good Shopping Guide has voted us to provide the most ethical insurance company in Britain for three years in a row.



  1. David Beacham


    Isn’t that rather dangerous spraying in someone’s face? I would expect them to sue and win.

    • The ETA


      The item is legal for sale and use in Britain – it is designed to cause no harm to health. However, it does stain the skin for up to two weeks. I would be interested to see a bicycle thief go to law over the embarrassment of having a bright red face for two weeks.

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