Bike tracking devices and their supporting 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…
The See.Sense AIR is the newest bike tracker to join the market. Launched via a Kickstarter project, the brand hit its funding target in a matter of hours.
The unit weighs in at 80g and sits under the seatpost. One battery charge lasts three months and the AIR uses the new Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) low power wide area network (LPWAN) to transmit information.
Should your bike be tampered with or move, the tracker sends an SMS with the precise location of the bike, and can be used to warn the owner of theft, or loved ones in the event of a crash.
EarlyBird prices start at £74.99, with the RRP at £119.99. Kickstarter backers enjoy a 24 month free connection, with the yearly cost at £12 after that.
Guardian bike light tracker
This 80g rear light does more than just help road users pick you out on the road – it’s also a GPS tracker, which texts you with an alert if your bike moves – sending its current location as well.
Locations are sent via a link to Google Maps, with longitude and latitude coordinates also available – so you can view the information without internet access.
The unit costs £125 and comes with a compatible SIM card, which costs £10 a year to activate. The battery is rechargeable and stated life is around one week.
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 $98 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.
Pre-orders aren’t ready yet, but you can sign up for notifications when they are.
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.