Bike tracking apps are designed to help reduce bike theft by alerting the owner if their bike is tampered with or moves.
Most trackers consist of an accessory, which is attached to the bike, and a phone app. With the app, the owner is able to trace the bike – even using it to alert the police to where the bike is being kept.
Most of the bike tracking accessories are small and lightweight, so that you’ll hardly notice it’s there other than the extra piece of mind afforded by its presence.
There’s a variety of bike trackers available – here’s a look at some of the options on the market…
Sherlock bike tracker
The Sherlock bike tracker slips into the handlebar of your bike – it’s a flexible design which means it’s compatible with both drop and straight bar bikes – you can check if it’ll fit yours here.
This hooks up to an app (available for iPhone and Android) which you activate when you lock your bike. If there’s any movement, you’ll be alerted and Sherlock says the GPS tracking is accurate to within 5 metes. You’ll get a theft mode, with a unique code you can share with police too.
The unit itself costs €149.00, and this covers two years of app usage – after which it costs €3 a month.
Boomerang bike tracker
Unlike many other bike tracker products which try to hide themselves in the frame, the Boomerang tracker is loud and proud, and mounted under the water bottle cage on a bike’s frame. The creators say that police sources tell them this provides a greater deterrent.
The Boomerang CycloTrac features an on board motion sensor. If the bike is moved, an alarm will go off, and a text message will be sent to the owner. The unit hooks up with GPS tech to show where your bike is in real time once the tracker is activated.
Theft prevention and tracking the bike in the event of a theft is the number one goal, but this handy gizmo also provides information on your ride distance, elevation and calorie burn.
The unit itself costs $155 and quarterly subscription for the software comes to $14.97.
Currently available only on pre-order, SmrtGRiPS offer GPS bike tracking – and more. The unit screws into your handlebar, and provides turn-by-turn navigation through the left and right grips – with vibrations alerting you when it’s time to turn.
You can also ‘call your bike’ if you’ve forgotten exactly where you left it, and the creators aim to build up a community of users able to share valuable information around popular routes, trails and bike lanes.
Another product currently in development, Caveotrac is unique because the designers describe the tracker as being ‘invisible’ – it’s a micro sized chip which is built into the frame.
Linked to an app, the chip precisely tracks the bike’s location so you can notify the police of its whereabouts.
The hardware item itself comes in at $275, and needs to be delivered to a distributor or local bike shop of your choice to be fitted. There’s a $5 a month subscription cost for the software too.
There have been other attempts at creating effective GPS trackers. SpyBike offer solutions in the form of rear lights, top cap inserts and seat posts.
SpyBike products send GPS messages to an on-site tracker, each of which costs less than a penny, which is charged to a pay-as-you-go SIM card. All products are currently out of stock, whilst the brand seeks a distributor.