'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
Bikes are great, but you know what's not great? People who want to steal your bike.
Of course, having a decent lock -- or even multiple locks -- is going to be your first line of defense against people making off with your bike. However, in the event that your bike is stolen, you can utilize modern technology to help you get it back.
Also: The $800 Lectric XP Lite e-bike is a sheer joy to ride
And things don't get much more modern that the Apple AirTag.
An AirTag is Apple's answer to tracking your belongings. It's a small battery-powered device that is shaped like a button. It pings nearby iPhones, so you know its location.
Apple intended AirTags to be used to keep track of keys and bags and such. However, their small size, long battery life, and pinpoint accuracy have made them perfect for all sorts of applications -- even tracking your bike.
Your first line of defense should be having an effective lock, and securing your bike to a solid object when not in use.
An AirTag will help you recover your bike if it is stolen. Everywhere your bike goes, the AirTag will be pinging nearby iPhones, and that allows you to find its location using the Find My app.
Also: They both used Apple AirTags to track their possessions. Only one turned out well
But the thing is, a criminal stealing your bike doesn't want to be all obvious and hang around the scene of the crime looking for a hidden AirTag -- after all, it could be in one of any number of different spots. On top of that, some methods of attaching an AirTag to a bike require special tools to remove them. Again, a bike thief might not want to hang around long enough to start stripping the bike.
Yes. In fact, a criminal might give up after finding one, leaving the other one active on the bike to aid with recovery.
You have two options.
The first option is to hide the AirTag on the bike itself: Perhaps tape it under the seat, conceal it inside the frame tube somewhere (there are usually a few voids where this is possible), or pop it inside your saddle bag.
The second option is to put the AirTag into something and attach that to the bike: There are a lot of custom holders out there that allow you to hide an AirTag on your bike inside something else.
Let's take a look at some devices that allow you to attach and conceal an AirTag to your bike. This selection of devices should work with most bikes and e-bikes, but it's a good idea to check your bike and the specifications of the holder before purchasing.
Looks like any other rear red reflector on a bike, but this one holds an AirTag.
Review: Velotric Discover 1 electric bike: Accessibly built, attractively priced
It's a bike bell that holds an AirTag.
Also: How to change the battery in your Apple AirTag
One of the most discreet and unobtrusive ways to attach an AirTag to your bike.
Also: The 5 best bike desks: Stay active while working from home
This is a custom design mount that screws to the frame.