With biking thefts topping 2 million a year in the USA, staying safe has never been more important than it is today. This doesn’t just go for yourself but your valuable equipment too! That is why we have put together our list if the best electric bike GPS, security trackers and free apps. These products are ideal companions for your electric bike (I have reviewed my favourites for under $1000).
With these simple components you will never find yourself lost on the trail, you will be able to keep your bike safe through tracking its movements and will be able to share your adventure with your friends.
When looking for the best electric bike GPS and security trackers you need to be looking for some key features such as:
- Compactness – remember this is being attached to your electric bike and if it is too big it will be a hinderance rather than a help
- Battery life – there is no point in having a super-fancy tracker if it dies after only a couple of hours out on trail. Ideally, you need to be looking for something with at least 48 hours battery (for those long weekend biking trips).
- Weatherproof – your best electric bike GPS needs to be able to withstand wind and rain.
- Secure – if you are attaching it to your bike it will need to be secure. It would be a real downer if your best electric bike GPS broke because it was not properly attached to your electric bike and fell off.
Best electric bike GPS: at a glance
Best electric bike GPS: in detail
Best electric bike handlebar holder
Best electric bike security GPS
Top tips and FAQs when buying the best electric bike GPS
Why do you need the best electric bike GPS/SatNav?
So you don’t get lost! Cycling is a great way to explore new places, but if you’re in a remote area, or just somewhere you don’t know well, you’re likely to take a wrong turn at some point. Some cyclists are happy with a map and a compass, but this can be more stuff to carry and you’ll have to stop. Even then, you might not find the right way and end up heading in the wrong direction.
So, consider trying a bike SatNav. They’re specially designed to locate you in remote places, and they’ll know all of the cycle paths and areas where bikes are allowed. Bike SatNavs can strap onto your handlebars and either tell you directions out loud, through headphones/airpods or just show which way you’ll be turning on their screens. It’s very similar to using a SatNav in your car, so even people who aren’t fond of technology should find this familiar and easy to use.
There’s also a lot of other useful features on SatNavs that cyclists love! We’ll discuss them later, but you should know that there’s a lot more to a bike SatNav than just pointing you the right way.
Features to look for in the best electric bike GPS/SatNav
What you want in a SatNav will depend on the type of cycling you do and what you personally prefer. It’s worth looking for a display that you’ll find easy to understand and isn’t crowded with unnecessary information or can tell you everything you’d ever hope to know. There are a few traits that are always useful, such as:
You don’t want to end up lost because the signal failed, especially as it’s more likely to happen somewhere remote.
If the battery fails, your SatNav is just a little box on your handlebars that’s useless. Consider how long the battery will take to charge, if you can bring spare batteries or portable chargers and if there’s a power saving mode for emergencies.
If your GPS fails the first time it gets splashed, you’ll need to get some kind of cover or case for it. Take some time to read reviews and look out for ‘water resistant’ or ‘weatherproof’ GPSs as, inevitably, you’ll be caught in the rain at some point. Equally, most people fall off their bikes at some point, or they get a little knocked around. See if there’s a shatter resistant screen or a durability test. Finally, check the warranty and when it’s voided.
There are lots of other features that some SatNavs have that aren’t essential but do add to the fun of owning them. Some will track how far you’ve cycled, the calories you’ve used, what your heart rate is and much more! These can be even more helpful if you’re looking to train for bike races or triathlons, as you can monitor and improve your performance.
The importance of a SatNav/GPS
SatNavs are the best way to track your location. As the name suggests, they use various satellite navigation systems to work out your speed and position, and some may also monitor dangerous areas and other issues.
Some people may want to use apps on their phones to navigate. However, these can be reliant on either having a phone signal linked to cell towers or downloading information about an area, which can be a problem when you’re out. A SatNav won’t have the same issues and is optimised specifically for use on bikes, meaning they’re likely to have clearer and more up-to-date information on cycle paths and other bike-specific areas.
Why do you need an Anti-Theft System?
You need an anti-theft system to try and prevent your belongings from being stolen. Bikes are often an easy target for thieves, and losing one can be expensive, annoying and inconvenient. An anti-theft system can help you track down your bicycle and help the police recover it and may act as a deterrent to stop other bikes from being stolen. Obviously, this won’t prevent bike parts from being stolen, so it’s still worth using thick locks around both wheels and taking the lights with you when you leave your bike in a public place.
Anti-theft systems for bikes work with GPS trackers. They usually look like small black boxes around the size of a phone and they can slip under your saddle or in another concealed area. They’ll then monitor their position and send updates to your computer, which is notified when your bike (and therefore the tracker) is moved. Some bike anti-theft systems are also used for cars or luggage, so remember to make sure that you find one that’s specially designed for use on bikes.
GPS trackers can also help rescue teams find you if you get lost in dangerous areas. Depending on the make and model you get the battery can last for weeks, track your bike’s location across continents and even raise SOS when necessary.
However, this technology can be used to track people without their knowledge. Some of the trackers are very upfront about this on their packaging. This is illegal, immoral and abusive. If you are being tracked without your consent, go to the police immediately.
Best free biking apps
- This app tracks your activity by comparing your pace and distance with previous trips so you can keep an eye on your progress.
- It’s free, and available for Apple and Android phones so anyone with a smartphone can give Strava a go.
- It’s suitable for cyclists of any ability.
- There’s also leaderboards so you can compete with your friends or colleagues. You could even make it a workplace initiative to reduce your company’s carbon footprint. There are new challenges every month to keep things fresh and get you to stretch yourself.
- Strava allows you to discover new cycling routes and has a database full of information on roads, cycle paths and trails for bikes.
- Cylcestreets is a mapping app that can be used for route planning
- It helps you find safe routes and is useful for anyone who regularly cycles through cities with traffic and road maintenance issues.
- You’ll have access to a live map which updates and directs you as required so you avoid difficult areas.
- It also tracks your location, so you don’t get lost.
- Cyclestreets’ users take and upload photographs of routes so even if you don’t know the name of the road you’re on, you’ll know exactly what it should look like.
- Map My Ride is the best app if your friends like to cycle and you want to share routes with them.
- If you’re bored of going the same way frequently, Map My Ride allows you to discover, save and share new routes.
- Like Strava, Map My Ride users have access to a leaderboard so they can compete with each other. There’s also different challenges and you can win prizes.
- You can also keep a note of how much energy you’ve used and how fast you’ve cycled.
- Users can connect their headphones to the app and get any useful updates delivered easily without having to stop to check their phones.
- Cyclemeter is the best app if you’re organised (or trying to be!) and you like to schedule your rides.
- There’s a calendar for you to track your rides, so you can keep an eye on how regularly you’re going out.
- You can also check your time and distance and watch as you improve
- If you’d like a cheerleader, try Cyclemeter’s encouraging comments to keep you motivated and focused.
- Cyclemeter also breaks down all your data into charts summarizing your workouts and monitoring your improvements and progress. In addition, users have access to maps to help them if they get lost.
- If you’re not fond of getting wet, cold or going out unprepared, try Rain Alarm. We can’t actually make an app that blows the clouds away, but you can check Rain Alarm’s accurate and up-to-date predictions so you can stay away or bring something waterproof.
- You can also find out where the bad weather is likely to hit, so you can avoid affected areas and stick to somewhere drier.
- There’re live notifications delivered so you can make changes on the go if necessary
- Rain Alarm is available on Apple, Android and Windows Phones.
- It’s got a large scope and can be used across the Americas, Europe, parts of Asia and Oceana.
- First Aid for Cyclists was created by St John Ambulance to reduce the danger to cyclists by giving them easy, straightforward first-aid information.
- This app gives you information on the type of injury you (or a fellow cyclist) has and how to treat it. There’s a step by step guide to make it as easy as possible.
- All the information comes from medical experts.
- You won’t need any previous first aid knowledge to use this app.
- FillThatHole is an app that allows you to report any potholes or problems on the road’s surface
- It’s operated by Cycling UK, the UK’s top cycling charity.
- Using this app makes all road users safer. If you find a problem, log a report on the app that will be sent to the local council so it can be fixed.
- It’s much easier and simpler than contacting and following up with your council directly, and users are much more willing to try the app. Working with the council means that the issue are far more likely to get fixed.
Conclusion: best electric bike GPS
We hope this helps! There’s lots of amazing products out there, and this should give you some idea of what to expect. We would recommend having a bike SatNav, a phone mount to keep it secure and an anti-theft unit to keep everything safe. Make sure you keep the devices charged and well cared for so they continue to work for years, and you’ll always be secure and confident.