Nothing protects a bike better than a nearby owner. And even then – only sometimes. But as a child, I wanted to have a thing that would help track the bike in case of theft.
However, the announcement of Apple AirTag immediately interested many enthusiasts. The device turned out to be compact, with a standard CR2032 battery that lasts a year and is relatively cheap. If you have an apple phone, AirTag itself will cost $30.
In this case, even an old iPhone 6S will do. And no subscription; I just plugged in a battery and added a device, which works quietly. When the battery power drops, the phone will tell you it needs to be replaced.
AirTag itself communicates with all Apple phones that it sees nearby. He transmits his location data to the Locator application on the owner’s phone through them. So the main thing is to have an iPhone next to the AirTag, even the hijacker himself.
Of course, there are also disadvantages. Positioning via UWB is only possible on iPhone 11 and newer (where there is a special chip). And in Ukraine and Russia, it does not work at all due to frequency licensing. Yes, and the density of Apple phones is low. If AirTag notices he is walking not next to the owner but with someone else, he will start beeping, and a corresponding notification will appear on Apple phones.
This was done so that the person found the AirTag, scanned it, and received the information you indicated for the return. But the hijacker will be able to hear the same signals. For a while, AirTags were sold on eBay, in which enthusiasts burned the speaker with a laser, but when the story became public, sales were curtailed for obvious reasons – such AirTags can be used to spy on other people.
But Western users appreciated the device and decided to adapt it for use with a bicycle. Since there are few places for hidden installation of AirTag on a bicycle, the fork stem turned out to be the most obvious and simple solution for modern MTBs.
If you have a 3D printer, piling such an amount is easy. If you’re lucky, you won’t have to draw anything; there are already ready-made schemes for common plugs in the network.
Watching how your childhood dream comes true and how a device from another field turns out many times better than specialized solutions is fun. However, everyone knows it is better to store a bicycle in a room beside you and keep it in sight.
But safety is never excessive, and maybe one of the solutions will save the bike tracker from some Norovyan. I decided to take AirTag in a combo with a holder for a dog collar, but suddenly my research will be useful for someone else.