Owning a bike while living in a city can be awesome. They’re a great workout, they’re good for the environment, and you can avoid almost all traffic on your morning commute. Unfortunately, bikes also tend to be the targets of thieves in major cities, and they’re often quite difficult to recover. In Denver, for example, 3,740 bikes were reported stolen to the Denver Police Department in 2021, and only 119 of those were recovered. In 2020, 4,477 bikes were reported stolen in New York City, though the real number of stolen bikes that year is likely five times that. So while having a bike in a city can be a very nice thing, it can also cause a fair amount of financial hardship and stress.
Fortunately, small tracking devices are becoming more and more common across the world. The Apple AirTag, for example, can be purchased for $30 for one or $99 for a pack of four, allowing you to track any personal object through the Find My app, including a stolen bike. Hiding the tag, then, becomes the key to recovering your bike, ensuring that a slimy thief would be unable to spot and remove the tracker. You could tuck it under your seat, somewhere on the frame, or along the handlebar, or you could hide it in the AirBell.
What is the AirBell? On the outside, it’s a simple bicycle bell. It works like a bike bell, it’s simple like a bike bell, and to be completely honest, it’s mundane like a bike bell. The only difference from a regular bike bell is that it has a small compartment designed specifically for your Apple AirTag. The AirBell can supposedly fit on any handlebar with a 22mm (⅞”) diameter. Whether or not it can fit on any other size is unclear, but it’s safe to assume that it can’t. Currently, it’s $20 on Amazon, meaning for around $50, you can work to make your bike theft proof.
Don’t get me wrong, $50 is still a bit pricy, but to protect your several hundred (or quite possible thousand) dollar bike, I say it’s worth it. Of course, even if you get this setup working on your bike, it’s most definitely worth it to take other precautions like bringing your bike inside if possible or at least using a bike lock, but it adds one more major step to making your bike theft proof.
Image Credit: Official AirBell via Instagram