A GPS tracker allows you to permanently locate your bike, whether electric or muscle. There are different models of GPS bike trackers – here are the best ones.
In addition to a good lock, a gps plotter It will be very useful to protect your precious bicycle. Even more so if you have an electric bike… Since pedelecs are more expensive than muscle bikes, they are also more frequently stolen. Even a cheap electric bike deserves your full protection. Therefore, an excellent reason to put the odds on your side to avoid the painful experience of a disappearance. We have also put together the best tips and products for you to prevent the theft of your bike.
Trackers are small GPS beacons, cleverly camouflaged on (or in) your mount, that work in conjunction with your smartphone. Through an application, you can check the location of your bike and follow its route in case it moves.
So what are the best bike GPS trackers? We’ll tell you everything in a moment.
To complete your cycling equipment, access our selection of the best accessories for pedaling in the city. And if you are also interested in protecting your motor vehicle, take a look at our dedicated guide to motorcycle and scooter GPS trackers.
Invoxia Bike Tracker: our recommendation of GPS locators for Cycling
Invoxia is the leading brand in this market. Your Bike Tracker is undoubtedly the best possible option, especially since it is discreet and above all easy to install. This tracker has also been tested and approved by our mobility journalist, Grégoire.
This GPS locator is specifically designed to go unnoticed on the bike, as it takes the form of a reflector. The GPS beacon is hidden in a completely banal reflector, which is attached to the frame, under the saddle of your bike, for example. The supplied screws have a specific head, a simple Phillips screwdriver will not be enough to remove the beacon. Designed to stay on your bike outside, the tracker is of course waterproof (IP 67 certified).
The app provided by Invoxia (Android and iOS) is very well done. When you open it, you will be able to see the approximate location of your bike. Then, when you get closer to 10 or 15 meters, you will be able to see precisely where your bike is thanks to Bluetooth.
When you go on a trip, you can choose the transmission frequency of the beacon, from 3 to 10 minutes. You can also define specific areas and be notified if the bike leaves them.
It is also capable of detecting suspicious movements when stopped with the “anti-theft” function, in particular thanks to its tilt sensor. The app will send you a notification. You can also find the history of your positions, or the tracking of routes.
For this small tracker, you can count on 3 months of autonomy. It uses the low power LoRa network and therefore does not bother with a SIM card. Upon purchase, you get a 3-year subscription. After this period, the subscription, which was previously billed at 9.99 euros per year, will now cost you 24.95 euros…
Invoxia also offers other trackers: the GPS Tracker and the Mini Tracker, which are a bit cheaper than the special bike model. If you see another way to hide your GPS beacon on your bike, you could also turn to these models.
Hoot 500: the discreet GPS tracker
Hoot is a specialized French startup, offering two types of GPS trackers, designed specifically for bikes. If your products are certainly not cheap, they have the advantage of being well hidden in your frame.
The Hoot 500, first of all, is fixed on the fork pivot of the handlebar (either aluminum or carbon). A special tool kit, provided with purchase, is required to install or remove it. It is thus perfectly concealed, with the addition of a plastic cover on top that makes it go completely unnoticed. Keep in mind that you still need a little help with installation, at the risk of unbalancing the steering. If you are not particularly comfortable with the different elements of your bike, a visit to your specialist shop to have it installed may be preferable.
Unlike Invoxia products, the Hoot tracker uses the GSM network to operate, thanks to an eSIM card. This obviously has advantages, in particular that of covering the international market, but also disadvantages. Since the tracker must regularly tag on the network, its autonomy will be affected a bit.
The Hoot 500 has all the features you’d expect. Its anti-theft function will alert you in less than 30 seconds to the slightest movement, thanks to the presence of an accelerometer and a gyrometer. The location accuracy is excellent, within 5 meters. As for autonomy, it varies between one and two months. Recharging is done with an external battery that is provided.
Hoot 800: the network tracer
Hoot has also released the Hoot 800, which is disguised as a cup holder and will therefore be a bit easier to install.
It takes the form of a black brick about four inches long, wedged under the cup holder. Otherwise it is very similar to the Hoot 500, and it also works on the GSM network with an eSIM.
The application to use, as well as the functionalities, are therefore the same. However, this model has an additional function that can make a difference depending on your activities: it will send a message to your loved ones, indicating your position, in the event of a fall. This can be especially useful if you often cycle through nature.
Apple AirTag: the alternative to trackers
Surely you will tell yourself that the Apple AirTag is not made for riding a bike. If it is not actually designed for this function at the base, it can act completely as a GPS beacon. To do this, you’ll need to invest in a small bracket intended specifically to house your Apple product and attach to a bicycle frame.
You can then use the tag function of an AirTag to verify the location of your bike. However, this is not an ideal solution, for several reasons. So real-time position tracking is not possible, for example you won’t get an alert if your AirTag (hence your bike) moves without you being near it. Not to mention, if your frame thief has an iPhone…he’ll be alerted to an AirTag nearby once he gets home.
As for the supports to fix it to the frame, there are several models that work with different principles. For example, you can use the model designed by Decathlon, or those of Amazon.
You’ll also find smart variants, where the AirTag is installed on a doorbell.
This solution may be relevant if you already have an AirTag and are not sure what to do with it. In addition, an Air Tag costs 39 euros and therefore can be a cheaper solution than a specialized GPS locator. Another advantage: it does not require a subscription and its autonomy is one year. On the other hand, you will not have access to alert functions about the movements of your bike, for example. Finally, if you have an Android smartphone, it is better to forget about this solution, because most of the features are not accessible.
So a non-bike specific solution, but one that may help. Find our AirTag test to get an idea.
How to choose your GPS bike tracker?
How to choose my GPS tracker?
To make your choice, several parameters should be considered:
- GPS accuracy and characteristics
- Discretion and ease of installation
- The type of network
- The total price (including subscription)
What type of network should be preferred (GSM or low frequency)?
There are two types of operation for a plotter. The latter will use the GSM (2G) network or the low-frequency LoRa network.
The low frequency network has the advantage of having a very low consumption: therefore, the autonomy of the beacon will be better. However, coverage will be limited to France. A beacon based on the GSM network will have almost international coverage (like a telephone), and of better quality, especially in non-urban areas.
Where to put your GPS tracker on your bike?
There are many possibilities. Some trackers are designed to blend in and therefore look like reflectors. Others can be inserted into the handlebar fork, others take the form of a bottle holder on the frame. Of course, you can always be creative and place your beacon wherever you want, the important thing is that it is waterproof and, above all, that it is not easily detected by a thief.
A GPS tracker does not prevent theft: what is its use?
In fact, the presence of a beacon, unlike that of a solid padlock, will not prevent a thief from removing your bike and taking it. But, nevertheless, it is very useful. For example, if you are not far from your bike (in a cafe, for example) and you receive a notification of movement, you can quickly go there – a thief disturbed in his misdeed will be on your heels.
But above all, a beacon can be useful because it allows you to notify the police, who can track your bike and recover it. Therefore, the objective is not to prevent its theft, but to find it… Another solution to help you secure your property is bicycle insurance.
Furthermore, a tracker also allows you to share your position with your loved ones. If you go on a mountain bike expedition in the mountains or in the forest, this can always be useful for your safety, especially in the event of an accident.
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