Nowadays there are many ways to secure your bicycle in public or at home, the level of security of these options is mostly dictated by the quality of the chain or lock you buy, and therefore directly related to how much you spend for this necessary items. Nevertheless, locking your bike is not the only measure you can take to feel safe about leaving it without custody; and this is where a bike GPS tracker comes into play.
GPS trackers are built to give precise information about the location of your bike at any given time and work with a specific app to download on your phone. Even though they come in many shapes and can have various functions, most of these devices are shaped like a little box and aren’t always specifically made for bikes, and are used also for cars, motorcycles, kids, and pets; on the other side, some GPS trackers are built into normal bike parts, such as lights or other mountable items in order to make them unnoticeable.
While these products are mentioned as a countermeasure to bike thieves, they can also offer you useful information about your rides, and in some cases be an emergency device that will notify the people you want if you get into an accident or give them your location during long rides.
The XSource represents the stealth category, meaning that the tracking device is integrated with a normal accessory and is not recognizable upon first inspection.
This tracker is built into a normal looking rear bike light, making it pretty unnoticeable for the untrained eye. The location is provided by a GSM/GPRS connection, requiring you to get a sim card but not necessarily with a fast internet connection, since it’s based on a 2G network.
The location is updated every 5 seconds with an accuracy of 5 meters and the company claims that it will work even if your bike is underground or in a tunnel.
There are also some useful functions, first the geofencing option will let you choose an area where of your bike is taken out of will immediately notify you; furthermore, there is an SOS button that you can press in case of emergency, which will send a distress message to the designated phone numbers.
- Stealthy design integrated with the tail light
- 5-meter accuracy
- Location update every 5 seconds
- SOS and Geofencing features
- Sim card not included
If you’re looking for reliability, this product is the right choice, and can be considered a general use tracker since it’s not purposely built for cycling. As a matter of fact, its size and shape make it pretty hard to hide on a bike and you’ll probably end up strapping it with Velcro under your seat.
What you gain for giving up stealthiness is a properly functioning GPS tracker that you can actually rely on. This one will work with a 2G network almost worldwide, thanks to then international sim card included in the package; and offers a pretty good battery life, which can arrive up to 14 days based on how often the location is updated, which can be as much as frequent as every 10 seconds. Moreover, it has functions such as geofencing and movement alerts that always come in handy.
All of this comes at cost of $25 a month, making it quite an expensive service, the good news is that you can deactivate it when you don’t really need it, for example, if you’re leaving for a long vacation or you know you won’t be riding a lot in the upcoming times. At last, it should be considered that given the high reliability, the GL300W can be used for many other things that you might need to track.
- Works in almost every country with the included sim card
- Accurate and reliable tracking
- Good battery life and a variety of functions.
- Subscription cost of $25/month
- Bulky design
Last but not least is a device from Garmin that is quite different from the other GPS trackers that we saw in this article, as it’s not meant to track the position of your bike against thieves; it’s rather a device to monitor yourself and share the information with others.
The main function of the Edge 820 is navigation and performance tracking, the 2.3-inch high-resolution screen displays all the information: turn-by-turn directions, heart rate, pace, speed and the useful Grouptrack feature which tracks your cycling group that has paired their device with yours. Meanwhile, with the Livetrack function, your family can always check where you are from home.
Another useful function is the incident detection system when the sensors are triggered, the device will send an emergency message with your location to the people you want; is the system is accidentally triggered, for example on a very bumpy road, you will be given a 20-second countdown to cancel the action.
Products from this company are well- known for their top-notch quality, and quality comes at a cost; the complete bundle is at $299, but there is a cheaper option, the Edge 820 Explore, without all the fancy features. Being a Gamin device, the Edge 820 is compatible with other Gamin products, making it a great addition to their proximity sensors and smart lights.
- All-round monitoring of your ride
- Grouptrack and Livetrack features
- Integration with other Gamin products
- Incident detection system
- Not against thieves
- Expensive bundle
To sum up
After looking at these three different products, you should have a better idea of with type of trackers are out there, and based on your needs you can choose to be stealthy if your priority is to prevent to lose your bike and go with a hidden GPS tracker like the XCSource; or if you need a device more focused on tracking yourself and stay connected with others something like the Garmin will suit you.
Hopefully, you can now sleep easy knowing where your beloved bike is.
Have a great ride!