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There are few worse feelings in the world than strolling out to your garage or exiting the coffee shop and seeing an empty space where your bike once was. You may panic for a moment, like checking your pockets when you might have lost your keys, and feel that empty pit in your stomach as the realization hits you.
Having your bike stolen is both upsetting and infuriating, but it is also very preventable. We’re not here to talk about the best bike locks.
We are talking about bike GPS trackers. These are small, hidden, and sometimes secretive anti-theft devices that can help you reunite with your bike and give you peace of mind.
The best GPS trackers for bikes are cheap and lightweight, too, so you won’t need to make a sizeable investment to keep your bike safe.
This is our list of the best GPS trackers for bikes.
Bike GPS trackers are small devices that track the location of the device – and your bike – in real-time. They can help you find your bike in case of theft, or just check on your bike occasionally. Many GPS trackers pair with mobile apps that make it easy to find and track the GPS bike device.
The main differences between the best bike GPS trackers are size, weight, cost, and battery life. Another important factor is where and how the GPS device attaches to your bike, and how easy it is to spot or remove for a potential thief.
But first, here is our list of the best bicycle GPS trackers.
The LandAirSea 54 GPS Tracker is one of the most popular and best-selling GPS trackers for bikes. This device is high-quality all the way around, waterproof, and secured with a super-strong magnet.
The circular device is quite compact at just 2” in diameter, and it is completely weather-resistant, hence the name. With a powerful GPS system, this GPS bicycle tracker can track your bike within six feet. It features real-time location tracking and a high-quality motion detector which can help improve security.
Waterproof and dirtproof, the LandAirSea 54 is easy to hide. It can be attached to any metal surface using its super-strong internal magnet. Unfortunately, the LandAirSea app doesn’t include all the same features as its companion web page.
Related: Best Bike Locks
But another upside is the impressive battery life: up to six months in battery saver mode. There’s even an additional feature that conserves battery power when the device is not in use.
Known for its excellent anti-theft features, the TKStar GPS Tracker is a bit more expensive than some of the other bicycle GPS trackers on this list. It also boasts a longer battery life – three weeks compared to most other devices’ two. The GPS tracker features a super-secure five-point mount.
The TKStar has built-in alerts when a would-be theft is tampering with the device or your bike, as well as motion-detecting security alerts. You can also create custom geofences in case you park your bike in many different places. There is even an alarm that will sound in the case of theft.
One of the most unique features of the TKStar is the ability to listen in real-time. In the case of theft, you will receive an alert and be able to listen in to the device and hear exactly what’s going on.
While the set-up process of the five-point magnetic mount is a bit complicated, that also means that it is incredibly secure, making it extremely difficult to remove for any would-be bicycle thief.
The cheapest bicycle GPS tracker on our list is the Tracki Mini GPS device, which is less than 2” across and weighs just 1.4oz. This also makes the Tracki Mini GPS device the best lightweight GPS tracker for bicycles. It even comes with multiple mounting options. You can use magnets, Velcro, or a clip option to secure the Tracki Mini GPS device, which is hardly bigger than your thumb.
It is super easy to secure and hide the Tracki Mini GPS device anywhere on your bike. Plus, there are a few valuable add-ons as well. You can get a magnetic waterproof case for the device, which also increases the Tracki’s battery life by six-fold. On its own, this GPS tracker can last up to one month on a single charge, and that includes two updates per day.
The Tracki Mini GPS device uses the same tracking technology as other top GPS bike trackers, including indoor Wi-Fi connection to help pinpoint its location.
Impressively, the Tracki Mini GPs device also offers up to five years’ worth of historical data storage. That outperforms most other GPS bicycle trackers by far.
The Apple AirTag is the best GPS bike tracker for Apple users because it is free to use. After the initial purchase, the AirTag has no subscription fee. That can save you hundreds of dollars compared to other GPS bicycle trackers.
Related: Best Apps For Cycling
This device is also quite small, at just 1.26” in diameter, and it is IP67 waterproof. You can track the Apple AirTag using the FindMy network, and connection is wireless via Bluetooth. If and when your bike is lost or stolen, the AirTag sends this Bluetooth signal out to all nearby iPhone, iMac, or iPad devices, and you can even share your AirTag’s location via iCloud.
One of the biggest downsides of the Apple AirTag is this exact tracking mechanism – if you live in a more remote or desolate area, there might not be any nearby Apple devices to connect to. Thus, your tracker could be without a signal.
For most of us, especially those who live and ride in cities, the AirTag is a high-quality bicycle GPS tracker with very good signal. The battery life is also impressive, which is a coin cell that is cheap and easy to replace.
The Spytec GPS GL300 is one of the very best GPS bicycle trackers, with impressive processing speeds and dynamic geofence creation. You can create and mold a geofence of any size, anywhere in the world with the Spytec GL300, and the GPS even tracks within six feet of the bicycle.
At this price point, you’d expect high-quality in the Spytec GL300, and that’s exactly what you get. The Spytec smartphone app is quick to process real-time tracking of the GL300. You can add in more anti-theft features such as geofence creation and alerts.
You can also create multiple geofences at the same time, which is great for those who frequent multiple bike parking locations such as the office, the café, and home.
There is also historical data stored by Spytec, which can be held for up to a year and used to highlight your favorite cycling routes. The battery life is two and a half weeks, but Spytec offers a separate battery add-on that can prolong the life much further.
Tile is one of the most well-known GPS bike trackers in the world, and for more than just bikes, too. You can use these GPS trackers on your car, purse, keys, and more. The Tile Pro Tracker is a GPS bicycle tracking device best for those on a budget. Measuring 4cm x 4cm, the small device fits almost anywhere on the bike. We’d recommend hiding it under the saddle.
The biggest downside of this budget GPS bike tracker is that the range is quite limited. Using Bluetooth instead of full-fledged GPS, the Tile Pro Tracker offers a limited range of 120 meters. If it is out of range, the device will send you its last known location.
Lacking a built-in motion sensor, the Tile Pro is missing some key features of other GPS trackers for bikes, but it also has the “Active Community Find” feature within the smartphone app which allows Tile Pro users to track each other’s devices as long as they are within range.
The battery life is one of the best of any GPS bike computer, with the replaceable Tile Pro battery lasting up to one year. One of the biggest upsides is that the app is free. That’s right, there’s no ‘$20 per month’ subscription fee which is carried by almost all other GPS bicycle trackers.
The Fmaily1st GPS Tracker uses 4G/LTE connectivity which is as good as it gets when it comes to GPS tracking. You can also use the indoor tracking feature, which allows the device to connect to Wi-Fi. It can even be paired with Alexa.
Overall, the Family1st is one of the most affordable GPS bike trackers on our list. It is known for its high quality in addition to great value. One downside is the subscription fee of $19.95 per month, which costs nearly as much as the device itself. The magnetic case is not included either, though the cost to cancel the subscription is free at any time.
With a size of 2.8” x 1.8” x 1.1” and a weight of just 3.60oz, the Family1st GPS bicycle tracker is extremely small, portable. It’s easy to hide almost anywhere on your bike.
The battery life is impressive as well. With two full weeks of battery life with 1-minute updates, and six months of battery life in sleep mode which provides one update per day.
Slightly larger than the previous one is the Optimus 2.0 GPS Tracker. It comes with very similar capabilities and features across the board. In addition to the usual GPs tracking technology, the Optimus 2.0 comes with Geofence technology and emergency alerts, as well as speed and motion features.
The compatible app is available on both iOS and Android devices, and you can view your bike’s location in real-time. The app uses Google Maps and street view, making the GPS tracker’s exact location as precise as possible.
In addition to anti-theft tracking, the Optimus 2.0 is also great for tracking family members. For example kids or elderly riders, especially in the case of an accident. For just $30 the Optimus 2.0 has a long list of features housed in a strong and durable GPS tracker.
GPS trackers for bicycles are small and sometimes hidden devices. The main selling point is that they can be tracked anywhere in the world using satellite coordinates.
Like any other GPS device, a bicycle GPS tracker can be located electronically at the click of a button. In most cases, it is a device that can fit in the palm of your hand.
Bike GPS trackers come in many different shapes and sizes. They can inconspicuously fit onto your bicycle for secretive tracking. These GPS devices connect to an app, which you can use to view the GPS device on a world map.
Many GPS trackers for bicycles also come with anti-theft features, like alerting at the sign of suspicious movements. Overall, GPS trackers for bikes are small and affordable, anti-theft devices. They help give you peace of mind in case your bike is ever stolen.
Most GPS trackers for bikes (and GPS trackers in general) provide the option to make your GPS device’s data public or private. The purpose of GPS trackers for bikes is to provide you, and only you, with the GPS coordinates of your bike in case of theft.
In most cases, the only way to access this information is through your personal account on the smartphone app paired with your GPS tracker. Make sure to check your GPS bicycle tracker and smartphone app to ensure that you have the privacy settings enabled.
GPS bike trackers work very well, and you can often find your bike from hundreds of miles away. GPS technology has come a long way, and you can now find your bike tracker using GPS coordinates from almost anywhere in the world, and all you have to do is open up an app on your smartphone.
The only time a GPS bike tracker wouldn’t work is if it is turned off or runs out of battery – so make sure to keep your GPS bike tracker fully charged!
The location of the GPS tracker on your bike mostly depends on the device itself. Some GPS bicycle trackers can fit inside a bottle cage, or hidden in a fender or extra mount. Other devices may stick out a little more, and have to be placed on the bike rather than hidden. Under the saddle is a great location for your GPS tracker, as it is almost impossible to spot unless you are looking specifically at the underside of your saddle.
The inner length of the fork can be a good location as well, just make sure the GPS bicycle tracker isn’t too close to the spokes. You can also put the GPS tracker on the chainstays between the front and rear chainrings, or in the middle of the frame near the front derailleur. Each of these locations are difficult to spot, and even harder to get to for someone who is trying to steal your bike.
There are three main ways to keep your bike from being stolen: keep it hidden, keep it locked, and make it hard to get to. If your bike is locked up inside your apartment, it will be almost impossible to steal. Whereas a bike that is sitting against the wall in an open garage is almost an invitation to would-be bicycle thieves.
When in public, it is best to keep your bike locked up anytime you are not around. There are many different styles of bike locks to choose from, including U-locks and combination locks. In general, the thicker the better when it comes to bicycle locks, because at a certain point, you would need an industrial-grade saw to get through a thick bicycle lock.
As for post-theft action, bicycle insurance and GPS bike trackers are the best forms of defense. Bicycle insurance will keep you covered in case your bike is impossible to recover, or if it is recovered in quite damaged condition. GPS bike trackers are the best way to find your bike no matter where it goes, and recover your stolen bike from almost anywhere in the world.
The biggest risk of GPS tracking is perhaps the effectiveness of the devices. These devices won’t work 100% of the time, and especially cheaper GPS trackers for bikes can be unreliable given a certain range. In more desolate areas, with fewer electronic devices, satellites, and cell phone towers, it may be difficult if not impossible to get a signal from a GPS tracking device.
Security and privacy is another big concern with GPS tracking, but this can often be mitigated by enabling a number of privacy settings. Most GPS bicycle trackers and GPS tracking apps will give you plenty of options when it comes to limiting the amount of data that you are sharing with other people, companies, and apps.
GPS tracking is not 100% reliable, especially when it comes to over-crowded or increasingly desolate areas. In the case of a stolen bike, there are only so many things you can do to track down your GPS tracking device on your lost bicycle.
It can be scary to follow your GPS tracker to an unknown location. If your GPS tracker leads you to a giant apartment building, there’s not much you can do there either. GPS is also small electronic devices that can be turned off or removed from your bike, especially if the thief knows what they’re doing. This makes bike locks and safe bike storage even more valuable, as this will prevent your bike from being stolen in the first place.
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