IF you have a bike with handlebars and two working wheels, chances are someone is going to try and steal it at some point.
It’s the unfortunate reality of bicycle ownership, which is why a biker tracker is a worthy investment. Yes, a bike lock will hopefully keep thieves at bay, but if worse comes to worse, a GPS tracker will let you know where it ends up.
Bike trackers can help solve this issue. If your bike does get stolen, the tracker might make it possible to find it again, and hopefully in one piece.
They are generally small GPS tracking devices that are hidden on the bike, and are integrated into a component such as a bike light or a handle bar’s end. Some though act as an additional deterrent, highlighting to would-be thieves that the bike they’re attempting to steal has a tracker fitted.
Although a relatively new technology, there are already a host of bike trackers available on the market, and each has a range of different features.
Not sure where to start? Read our guide below to find out about the best bike trackers you can buy.
Shield GPS Portable Tracker
- Shield GPS tracker, £29.99 from Amazon – buy here
With realtime GPS tracking, and location updates every ten seconds, this miniature tracker is an excellent way to keep your bicycle safe.
One of the smallest trackers on the market, it will handily attach to your bike frame without drawing attention to itself.
It’s worth noting that a subscription is required for it to work though. You’ll need to pay as low as £6.99 our month for unlimited real-time tracking.
Winnes Mini GPS Tracker
- Winnes GPS tracker, £51.99 from Amazon – buy here
With real time tracking and accuracy of up to five metres, the Winnes Mini GPS tracker is a great option if you’re looking for a discreet device that’ll give you peace of mind.
Impressive features include a ‘geo-fence’ mode, which allows you to set a perimeter on the map i.e your garden or back yard. If your bicycle goes beyond those parameters, an alarm will let you know, making this tracker one of the more technologically advanced on this list.
Guardian Bike Light GPS Tracker
- Guardian Bike Light Tracker, £125 from Back2you – buy here
Making sure the bike tracker is well hidden is key for it to work effectively. The Guardian Bike Light Tracker manages to do just that by combining the GPS with an unsuspecting rear light.
The light houses a pay as you go sim card that allows you to connect to the tracker. Once activated, if your bike is moved at all, you’ll receive a text message along with the bike’s current GPS location.
This anti-theft device has a rechargeable battery and lasts for around a week between charges, making it perfect for giving your commuter bike some added security.
Sherlock Bike Tracker
- Sherlock Bike, £119 from Merlin Cycles – buy here
The Sherlock tracking system is another well-hidden design that is impossible to see on first inspection.
The tracker slides into the handlebar and fits into both flat and dropped handlebars, with the end of the tracker mimicking a bar end.
The tracker is activated by a phone app, which will notify you if your bike is moved at all, and gives you a live location if stolen. Like the offering above, the battery generally lasts a week between charges.
Tile Sticker Tracker
- Tile Sticker tracker, £24.99 from Tile – buy here
Although not built with a bike in mind, the Tile tracking device can be turned into a great bike-finding tool.
The unit is small enough to be secured to your bike without a thief seeing it on first inspection, and can be cable tied to the underside of a seat.
Although it’s not able to display your tracker’s exact location via GPS, it is possible to use a feature called ‘Active Community Find’, which allows other Tile users to notify you if your bike is within their range. What’s more, it has a long battery life which can last for up to a year.
- Boomerang CycloTrac V2, £100.04 from Boomerang – buy here
The CycloTrac by American brand Boomerang turns the discrete bike tracker on its head. The unit is bold, brash and will put off all but the most desperate thieves.
Boomerang includes two tamper-proof mounting screws in every kit to stop would-be thieves just trying to remove the unit.
And even if after all of that someone does try to steal your bike, the product will provide you with an up-to-date location of your ride, helping you to get it back quickly and in one piece.
- See.Sense Air, pre-order here
This successful Kickstarter project from lights specialist See.Sense adds a discrete layer of security to your bike.
The sensor can be mounted in various places on your bike – be it under your saddle or alongside a bottle cage – and its three-month battery means that, once installed, you're not going to have to be tightening and loosening bolts every week.
The sensor broadcasts your bike's location on an accompanying app, and works in a similar way to 'find my smartphone' applications.
Once activated, if your bike is moved, an audible alarm goes off and you'll receive a push notification on your smartphone to say that it's potentially being tampered with. And if it is stolen, you'll receive a live location – accurate to within a couple of meters – that can be passed onto the police.
- Apple AirTag, £29.99 from Apple – buy here
Apple’s take on the miniature, attach-to-anything tracker, the AirTag is designed to be as small a lightweight as possible.
Intended to be used on anything, from keys to your backpack and of course, bicycles, the AirTag connects to Apple’s Find My app, making it incredibly easy to keep track of your valuables.
Simply stick one on to your bike and forget about it. You can even add a personalised engraving, perfect for giving as a present to a forgetful loved one.
How do bike trackers work?
The majority of bike trackers work by transmitting a GPS signal that can be tracked via an app or website if you're unfortunate enough to have your bike stolen. By being hidden discretely on your bike, any would-be thieves might not realise that the bike has a tracker fitted to it, allowing you to find your pride and joy before it is lost forever.
How much is a bike tracker
You don't need to spend that much on a bike tracker. Basic ones cost as little as £25 and feature GPS and real time tracking, which is essentially all you need.
Bike trackers can cost upwards of £100 however. For this price range you can expect to find trackers integrated into lights, or built into handlebars, which are usually more discreet than regular trackers.
Bike thieves are becoming increasingly aware of trackers, and may look to remove them before stealing a bike. An integrated tracker is usually impossible to spot, so they're worthy of consideration if you can stretch your budget.
How to install a bike tracker
Bike trackers are incredibly easy to install. Most small trackers come with strong, in-built magnets, which allows them to simply attach to your bike's metal frame.
Some come with sticky adhesive pads, and other larger ones may need to be manually attached with cable ties. We'd recommend sticking with magnetised trackers however, for their discreetness and ease of use.
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