The best GPS Bike Trackers 2024: Why you need one and how to choose

Millions of bikes get stolen every year - these little devices can help you keep an eye on yours

All of the GPS bike trackers we tested together
(Image credit: Dan Palma )
Best GPS Trackers 2023: Jump Menu

GPS trackers now come in all shapes and sizes. Luckily for us cyclists, this technology is influencing tech companies to develop and create trackers to place in or on our bikes.

Why, you may ask? Well, about two million bikes are stolen every year in America. That's a lot of bikes! No matter the cost of your bike, getting it stolen can be a heart wrenching moment for many of us. First and foremost, equipping yourself with one of the best bike locks is a necessity. But beyond that, the additional peace of mind that a GPS tracker can bring is well worth the investment.

Additionally, keeping an eye on your kid's bike route, spouse's bike ride or maybe even your friend's bike route can be handy at times. People get lost and can have accidents while riding, knowing exactly where your friends and family are can be life saving. 

Broadly, these trackers can be split into two categories. First, trackers which use a Bluetooth connection to establish their location. The most famous amongst these being Apple's AirTags, but other options such as the well-established Tile trackers and newer entrants to the market like Knog and Orbit also being available. These devices tend to be smaller, cheaper and don't require a subscription.

Second, there are the fully-fledged GPS trackers, which provide location information wherever they are in the world - irrespective of how the nearest cell phone or Bluetooth device is. These tend to be more expensive, larger, and require some form of subscription for the network access. But they can provide better location data.

The Quick List

Bluetooth trackers

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

GPS / LTE trackers

Overview of devices reviewed

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Device Name:GPS tracking?Bike specific?Alarm?WeightBattery typeSubscription?
Apple AirtagNoNoYes11gReplaceableNo
Knog Scout Bike AlarmNoYesYes25gRechargableNo
Tile for BikesNoNoYes6g-17gVaries by modelNo
Orbit TrackerNoYesYes80gReplaceableNo
Invoxia Real Time GPS TrackerYesYesYes30gRechargableYes
Land Air Sea 54YesNoNo82gRechargableYes
Cycloop trackerYesYesNo249gRechargableYes
Tocsen / Aleck YesYesYes10g / 15gRechargableNo
Garmin Edge 840 GPSYesYesYes93gRechargableNo

BLUETOOTH TRACKERS

1. Best for iPhone users

Apple Airtag

(Image credit: Dan Palma)

1. Apple Airtag

Best for iPhone

Specifications

Weight: 11g
Dimensions: 31.9 mm x 8.0 mm
Network used: Bluetooth
Waterproof: Highly water resistant (IP67)

Reasons to buy

+
Small size
+
1 year replaceable battery
+
Inexpensive 
+
Weatherproof

Reasons to avoid

-
Only works with Apple iPhones
-
Relies on nearby Apple Devices to give location

Apple Airtag

(Image credit: Dan Palma)

The Apple AirTag is the second smallest bluetooth tracker on this list. It is a quarter sized shiny 11 grams almost weightless tracker made by Apple. It’s meant to be used with Apple iPhone 6’s and up running their latest IOS software. 

Features

The AirTag uses Apple’s “Find My Network”. This network is made up of hundreds of millions of Apple devices around the world. Thanks to these many Apple devices, the AirTag uses a secure Bluetooth signal that can be detected by nearby devices, for example, someone's iPad. Once that signal is detected, Apple’s advanced end-to-end encryption uses that iPad's location to then give you, the owner, a fairly accurate location of the AirTag.

Apple Airtag's app-based tracking

(Image credit: Dan Palma)

If you were to safely place an AirTag somewhere in or on the bike - and I so happen to then steal your bike - then, when you stepped in to get your cappuccino at the coffee shop, a few things would happen depending on how you set up your AirTag. 

You can be alerted if the AirTag has left your proximity. Once you realize your bike has been stolen, you open up Apple’s “Find My” app and tap on your AirTag (bike). While the thief is passing by buses, cars, pedestrians, and other cyclists, the chances of at least one of them having an Apple device that helps ping the location of your AirTag (bike) is highly probable, especially in big cities. 

You then notice that the AirTag (bike) stops moving and is now idle at someone's house. You then quickly file a police report, show them the location, and attempt to retrieve it with them (depending on your local laws and ordinances). If the AirTag (bike) is within proximity, your iPhone will let you know and you'll be able to make the AirTag beep. At this point the chances of retrieving your bike are slim - but not zero, if compared to you not even having an AirTag tacker in or on your bike. There are many happy stories from AirTag owners able to retrieve their belongings online.

Apple Airtag

(Image credit: Dan Palma)

Now, the Apple AirTag must be linked to the user's iPhone, meaning you must have an active Apple ID (most iPhone users already have one, check your settings). This feature is critical because every AirTag you own must be linked up to one Apple ID user only. 

For example, I now have four Airtags and each one is assigned to me. My wife has three Airtags assigned to her. Now, if a thief placed an AirTag on her bike without her knowing and she left for a solo ride, her iPhone would notify her that an unknown/unregistered Airtag has been detected and is tracking her location - in addition to the AirTag beeping to make you aware. At this point she would likely panic, and would head to a public safe space right away, look for the unregistered Airtag, find it and report it to the Police immediately.

What we like

Apple Airtag

(Image credit: Dan Palma)

What I like about the AirTag is the simple initial setup, Apple is really good at facilitating device set ups. I also really like the security feature which tells you if there is an unknown AirTag tracking your location. The small and light weight is, of course, a plus to help in putting one just about anywhere in your bike or bike bag. Apple made the battery replacement process easy as well. With a quick twist of the metal cap, you can use a standard coin-shaped CR2032 battery (included) which can last up to a year. AirTags are also water, splash, and dust resistant with a rating of IP67 up to a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes.

What we don't like

I understand the small size of the AirTag can limit implementation of a rechargeable battery, but I hope maybe they offer a slightly bigger version with a rechargeable battery in the future. Also, the AirTag does not come with any adhesives, screws, mounts, or any accessory to help you mount it on your bike. You must buy those separately from third party sellers, which there are a lot of. There are lots of tricks and tips online on where to place your AirTag on your bike.

Verdict

AirTags were made to help keep track of your belongings by relying on Apple’s 'Find My Network'. At times the network can be unreliable and inaccurate as there is no actual GPS receiver on the AirTag itself since it is relying on nearby Apple devices built-in GPS. The Find My Network becomes more reliable in highly populated cities as opposed to rural areas, so that's something to keep in mind depending on where you live. 

You can run into the issue of the battery running out when you most need it, although you'll get notified if the battery is low. Overall Apple’s AirTag is an easy investment into bike security and an entry-level way onto trackers. If you are in Apple's ecosystem of devices, adding a $29.99 AirTag to your bike is worth considering.

2. Best rechargeable tracker

Knog Scout Bike Alarm GPS bike tracker

(Image credit: Daniel Palma)

2. Knog Scout Bike Alarm and Finder

Best rechargeable tracker

Specifications

Weight: 25g
Dimensions: 107mm x 25mm x 8mm
Network used: Bluetooth
Waterproof: Water resistant (IP66)

Reasons to buy

+
Sleek design can be placed under water bottle cage
+
Loud audible alarm
+
USB-C rechargeable
+
Easy to use app 
+
Tamper proof bolts and key included
+
Fairly priced

Reasons to avoid

-
Only works with Apple iPhones
-
Relies on nearby Apple Devices to give location

Knog Scout Bike Alarm

(Image credit: Daniel Palma)

The Scout Bike Alarm and Finder is a slim 25g rechargeable Bluetooth tracking device utilizing Apple’s “Find My” technology. It can be discreetly mounted under a water cage to help prevent theft and help locate your bike in the event of theft.  

Features

The Knog Scout Bike Alarm can be linked up to Apple’s 'Find My' app and via Bluetooth to the Knog Scout app which will then let you 'Arm' and 'Disarm' the device and trigger an 85db audio alarm as well as send a notification to your phone when it detects motion both of which will grab the attention of anyone around. 

In the case your bike goes missing with the Knog Scout Alarm system, you can hop on Apple’s 'Find My' app, similarly to the AirTag tracker, and see where the Knog trackers latest location is using Apple’s 'Find My Network”'of millions of Apple devices. Read my Apple AirTag breakdown at the beginning if you are unfamiliar with Apple’s Find My Network. It does all of this without any monthly subscriptions plans, all you need is a working compatible Apple device.  

Knog Scout Bike Alarm

(Image credit: Daniel Palma)

The Knog Scout includes anti-tamper screws to mount securely and an included optional neon yellow silicone cover to deter thieves. The device has a waterproof IP66 rating to keep it functioning during its lifetime. You can get two to six months out of the USB-C rechargeable battery in addition to the small LEDs showing alarm status and battery charge.

What we like

I really like the design of the Knog Scout as it's not super obvious when sitting under a water bottle cage. The app is super easy to use and makes alarming your bike super easy. If you own multiple bikes, you can connect them all to the Knog app and have full control of each one. I’m all for the rechargeable battery that can last up to six months, specially with an updated USB-C charging port. The loud 85 db audio alarm is something to like to help scare away anyone who dares touch your precious bike! It seems like KNOG might have the loudest alarm in this list of trackers and that's a plus in my books. Lastly the device can get firmware updates through the app meaning it will only improve over time. 

What we don't like

There is not much to not like about the Knog Scout, but I would’ve liked to see a second tool to remove the anti-tamper screws as I seem to have misplaced the one it came with. My fault, I know. A quicker charge time would have been nice to see as it can currently take up to four hours to fully charge. I also believe a price could be lower, maybe $49.99. Lastly, this tracker has no real time GPS tracking built in as it is also relying on Apple’s Find My Network to help triangulate its location. 

Verdict

Ever since Apple gave third party companies the ability to have their devices use Apple’s Find My Network, companies like Knog jumped at the opportunity to create a tracking device that also alarms to deter thieves away. If you are looking to step up from let's say an AirTag, the Knog Scout Alarm and Finder can be an excellent choice to add peace of mind when leaving your bike unattended for a bit without worrying about any monthly or yearly subscription plans.  

3. Best for Android

Tile Sticker GPS bike tracker

(Image credit: Daniel Palma)

3. Tile Sticker

Best for Android

Specifications

Weight: 6g
Dimensions: 27mm x 7.8mm
Network used: Bluetooth
Waterproof: Highly water resistant (IP67)