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Do you love your bikes? Of course you do! But some bike thieves in the world love them even more and would prefer to steal them. And in case they succeed, you need a way to fight back, and modern bike tracking devices are the answer. This article provides tips on some of the best GPS bike trackers on the market. 

Are you looking for some of the best bike gps trackers to protect your bike against theft, since holding a baseball bat and always parking it in plain sight is just too inconvenient for you? It is so simple that even people who are technically challenged or intimated by anything IT can use them successfully. All they need is a smartphone or a computer with a gps signal and Bluetooth.

What is GPS tracking?

GPS stands for Global Positioning System. It’s a system of satellites orbiting the earth that can determine, fairly precisely, the physical location of a person or their personal property. It was initially develop for military purposes in the 1960s, but became accessible to the public in the early 80s.

A GPS trackers are devices detectable by this global system that you can attach to your bike and connect to your smartphone. Generally speaking, GPS trackers were once bulky black boxes, as discreet as accidentally forgetting to take off your purple clown wig before entering church on Sunday.

However, new refined gps bicycle tracker solutions with long battery life exist on the market that you can hide deep inside your bike frame, saddlebag or the hollow of your stem or handlebars. Some even come disguised as common bike parts, such as a top cap, bike light or water bottle cage.. GPS bike trackers have come a long way.

Image of a heart and wedding proposal done via a bike's GPS route

A creative GPS bike tracker from Italy

For example, the Startup Sherlock system from Italy is a lightweight discreet gps bike tracker designed to fit inside one of the ends of your bike’s handlebars, either straight or drop bars, making it completely invisible from the outside. They even provide a matching bar end plug for the other side to keep things looking normal. Smart.

Once charged and installed, you only need to connect the GPS tracking device to their smartphone tracking app to start protecting your bike. Keep in mind that these devices have a long battery life and need to be recharged occasionally via their usb port and the supplied micro usb cable. The mobile app should let you know when it needs a recharge through a push notification.

Once you park your bike, the system switches on automatically, or you can set up the parameters to do it yourself via the app. Do your shopping, head to the gym or meet your friends at the local café with peace of mind. Your investment pays off if someone steals your bike and your Sherlock gps bike tracker goes into action.

An arm and hand installing a Sherlock GPS track in the bar end of a road bicycle.

In case of a theft, the Sherlock phone app will track your bike’s location and show its journey on your screen so you can find it and get it back. To assist you in the cause, you can share your bike’s real-time position and tracking code with the police or local authorities too.

A GPS bike tracker in disguise

If you are looking for an even more subtle approach to an anti-theft device, the Vodafone Curve Bike Light and GPS tracker is one of the best to keep any bike thief at bay because it blends seamlessly into your bike’s normal geography. The light is 40 lumens with three settings, an intelligent brake and daylight sensor, and of course, and real time tracking through their accompanying app.

Designed to mount on your seat post, this little tracking device uses a built-in Smart SIM card to give it almost unlimited range. Unlike other gps trackers, the Curve Bike Light sounds a loud 107db siren triggered by a motion sensor if someone messes with your bike and sends you a push notification alert. You can track your best friend as long as the battery holds out, which is approximately 4.5 days on standby mode (parked).

It is potentially the best bike gps tracker since once you’ve charged detachable led light (via usb C!) and return it to the device, it shares its charge with the tracker automatically once it drops below 40%. The tracking device provides it’s own theft protection as it is permanently connect to your seat post via a Torx screw. They even provide a mini screwdriver in the box.

This genius bike GPS tracker works through its Vodafone Smart Sim card, so it does require a reasonable monthly subscription fee for the service. The waterproof device pairs with your and activates automatically as you move away from the Bluetooth range of the bicycle. The GPS tracker stores your ride history and the journey of your stolen bike in a database that can be live tracked on your computer or mobile phone. The producer promises that their devices shift the balance of power away from thieves back to the owners. We believe the same.

Vodafone Curve Bike Light and GPS Tracker installed on a seat post with the light one

Stick it to bike thieves

When looking for a tiny tracking device for your bicycle (or other household items), Tile Sticker is a fantastic choice. It has an adhesive backing to stick it under your saddle or somewhere inside your bike frame with ease.

The battery is built in with an estimated life of two years. These tiny tile stickers are also waterproof and work through Bluetooth technology, which makes it IOS, Windows and Android compatible. The tile has a short range of 250 feet, but could be perfect for café stops or a quick trip into the local grocer. It limited as a tracker, but motion sensors will alert you if someone disturbs your bike while unattended.Image of a pair of tile stickers on a white background

Give yourself the best chance of a reunion

Ask your insurance provider the right questions

In general, most people rely on their home insurance to cover their bike as it tends to be a lot less expensive and something most of us already have. But is critical to find out exactly what they cover you before, before you need it.

Two dedicated bike insurance companies are Velosurance or Spoke Insurance provide full comprehensive coverage on road bikes, covering what the bicycle is worth to you, including any carbon wheel sets. Some even go the distance by proving roadside assistance.

Write down the serial number

Ask any police officer what information they need about a stolen bike and they will tell you the serial number. Without it, you are unable to claim it your property if someone does recover your bike, even with a GPS tracker. So write down the serial numbers of all of your bikes and keep that information safe.

Don’t be slow about it either, if you lose the bike it’s close to impossible to find its serial number. There’s a chance the shop you bought it from has a record, but there are no guarantees. It’s your bike, it’s your responsibility.

Next steps

If you’re still feeling anxious about someone stealing your bike, just remember that the best thing you can do is to be prepared. A GPS bike tracker is just the beginning. There are many ways to protect your bike from thieves and a GPS tracker is just one of them. So stay informed, stay active and stay aware.

Further reading on the topic

If you’re looking for more tips about how to prevent bike theft, you can do more than get a GPS tracker. Check out some of our favourite articles from We Love Cycling!

Three Electronic Devices to Help you Track Down a Stolen Bike”

“Videos of Bike Theft Gone Horribly Wrong”

“Former Bike Thief Interviewed: Stealing Bikes Is Actually Work”