Bike security and AirTags

Bike security and AirTags

Whether you are a road warrior or someone who loves hitting the trails, it is important to protect your valuable bike from theft. Here are some practical ways to do so.

[📸: Stolen Ride]

Lock it

D-locks are the strongest. You could even double-lock it. Lock your bike in a well-lit area and secure it to something strong (not a bollard where the bike can be lifted away!). Make sure the locks go through both wheels and the frame.  

Helmet straps

OK so it’s coffee stop time and you don’t have a 1.6kg steel core D Lock handy. Try using your helmet straps to loop around the front wheel and the frame. It may slow down an opportunist from riding off or pushing the bike away. The extra ten or twenty seconds it could slow a thief down could be all you need to spot and stop them.

Alternatively use the helmet straps around a pole, with a bonus being it will stop the bike tipping over thanks to a gust of wind.

Remember to take your Garmin, Wahoo, or Cycliq with you so there isn’t as much on the bike to attract a passerby.

Fit an AirTag or other tracking device

Amongst the many uses for Apple’s AirTag, fitting it to a bike is a great idea. Hiding the AirTag in a discreet location could mean maximising your chances of recovering the bike if it is stolen. This is where Elevation Lab's TagVault Bike series comes in.

The TagVault Bike mounts underneath your bottle cage, it is waterproof, and (for the weight weenies) only adds 26 grams (plus an AirTag at 11 grams).

The TagVault Mountain Bike fits up inside a tapered head tube (not a straight head tube) as the mount and the AirTag are press-fitted inside. The mount fits head tube diameters 32-34.4mm and has been tested on Fox, Rock Shox, and Suntour forks. An easy way to determine if the Elevation Lab Mountain Bike mount will fit your bike is if an Apple AirTag fits up the fork.

The Elevation Lab Bike and Mountain Bike mounts are available for purchase here.

Elevation Lab also has a range of other AirTag mounts for your pets, luggage, tools, car, clothes, wallet, kids(!), and plenty more.

[📸: Strava]

Lock down privacy settings

Strava and RidewithGPS have privacy settings that can be used to limit who can view your activities as well as blank out certain geographic areas. You can limit who can view your rides – everyone, friends/followers only, or private only.

A good way to not reveal where your rides start and finish (potentially where you live and your bike is kept) is to edit the map visibility. Strava lets you hide the map based on an address, the start/finish of a ride or hide the map completely.

Google Strava Privacy Controls, Strava Edit Map Visibility, and RidewithGPS Privacy Settings for more details and how-to guides.

Insurance - property

Whilst at home, your bike is usually covered under the home contents insurance policy. If you have a Pinarello Dogma worth more than your car, we would recommend it be listed as a specific item on the policy.

Also, it’s possible to extend the policy to a portable cover for the bike when you are out and about.

Heading off overseas on a bike-packing adventure? There are specific travel insurance products to cover you too.

Insurance – third party

Just as important is to make sure you have insurance against damage to other property (just like a green slip for a car). Public & Products Liability products are available from specialist insurers. An alternative can be to join a bike association. Here in NSW, Bicycle NSW membership includes public liability and personal accident insurance. They also offer a household membership which is pretty cost effective. Bicycle Network also includes insurance coverage as part of their membership.

Final thoughts

We also suggest two more simple and free things to do:

  1. Register your bike on a database register, such as Your bike’s details will be stored and should your bike be stolen, users can search the database if a too-good-to-be-true bike shows up on Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace. Police also use the database to locate owners of recovered bikes.
  2. Take plenty of images of your bike including the serial number. Include any modification or unique features, such as upgraded wheelsets, custom paint, and other updated components. These images will be important to help in proving ownership of your bike.

[📸: @robertjbye]

Do you have any go-tos for protecting your pride and joy?