Apple's AirTags are an economical tracker system that works with your mobile phone or computer to help you find lost or misplaced items, like car keys or a purse. Cyclists have noticed that AirTags can be used to help track and recover stolen bicycles, and have begun hiding them on their bikes.
At just $29 each or 4 for $100, AirTags are economical enough that you can install one on every bike you own. Since this article was originally written, there are also new products on the market that allow you to use Apple's Find My network, without buying an AirTag.
Let's take a look at some of the options to mount an AirTag on your bike, and other products that use the Find My network in a creative way.
Mount an AirTag under a water bottle cage
If your bike has the standard two-bolt braze-on for water bottle cages, you can mount an AirTag right underneath the bottle cage. Although it's visible, it's also bolted to the bike, which might slow down a thief who tries to remove it.
A few enterprising riders have started designing 3D printed or molded plastic mounts for this purpose, such as this model from Etsy.
Hide an AirTag inside the steerer tube of a suspension fork
Looking for a less visible way to mount an AirTag? How about hiding one in the bottom of the hollow interior of a suspension fork steerer tube?
Stealth Tag™ from spencer3dprints is designed for just that. This 3D-printed gadget comes in various sizes to suit suspension fork models from Fox, and Rockshox. Unfortunately, this design won't work on forks where the bottom of the steerer tube is closed off (like ENVE cyclocross forks) which rules out this option for most rigid carbon models.
Hide an AirTag under a Specialized saddle
The same seller as the Stealth Tag for suspension forks also sells a version specific to Specialized Power and Romin saddles. Super clean look, since it uses the bolts built into the saddle for mounting.
Don't have a megabucks saddle? On Etsy, you can find a version designed to work on other saddle models. The mounting isn't quite as clean as the Specialized version, but it should work on just about any make/model of saddle.
Seatpost-mounted reflector and AirTag holder
Reflectors are a common sight on bicycles, so a thief might overlook an AirTag hidden inside one. This clever seatpost-mounted combo reflector, also from Etsy, is inexpensive and stealthy. Serious cyclists probably use a flashing taillight, not a reflector, but it might be OK for more casual use, or you can run the reflector and flashing light side-by-side.
Stash an AirTag inside a saddle bag
If you prefer a low-tech, low-cost way of carrying an AirTag on your bike, simply drop one inside a saddle-mounted bag. A saddle bag can quickly be removed and discarded, but if the thief doesn't check inside, the AirTag might be missed.
Hide an AirTag inside your tubeless MTB or gravel tire
Muc-Off has created an AirTag holder attached to the portion of a tubeless valve that sits inside your tire! Now that's stealthy. Due to the width of the AirTag, you'll need a wide, higher air volume tire to accomodate the shape, which rules out narrower road and cyclocross tires. Cool idea nonetheless.
Other solutions that work with Apple's "Find My..." network
If you aren't interested in the AirTag approach, it's now possible to add a device to your bike that mimics the AirTag design, and works with Apple's "Find My" network. That means you can use the Find My app on your iPhone to track the location of your bike, as if it had an AirTag installed.
Power meters with Find My built-in
If you're interested in adding a power meter to your bike, consider a model that has this technology built-in. For example, the 4iii Precision 3+ Pro crankset power meter incorporates Find My compatibility. While this technology doesn't have an audible alarm, it does allow you to pull up the location of your bike/crankset on a map (subject to the limitations of the Find My network.)
Trackers that use "Find My" and mount beneath a water bottle cage
The Orbit x Velo is another tracker based on Apple's Find My technology. Instead of hiding an AirTag on your bike which is easily removed, the Orbit x Velo mounts underneath your water bottle cage with security screws. It's small and discreet. Given enough time, a thief could remove it, of course, but the less-than-obvious mounting location and security screws might slow a thief down enough to allow you to recover a stolen bike.
If you're interested in "Find My" and want an audible alarm, check out the Knog Scout - like the Orbit x Velo, it mounts beneath a water bottle cage, but adds a motion detector and audible alarm. A companion mobile phone app allows you to arm/disarm the alarm and manage the connection to the Find My network.