Why a Bike With Built-In 'Find My' Capabilities Is Total Genius

The gadgetification of e-bikes continues

  • Velotric's new Thunder 1 VST e-bike has a built-in AirTag feature.
  • You can track your bike just like you can track your iPhone and your AirPods.
  • Find My is potentially more private and much cheaper than a dedicated cellular GPS tracker. 
Velotric's new Thunder 1 VST e-bike with 'Find My' tracking.


Velotric's new e-bike has a built-in Apple AirTag.

In the city, a bike is better than a car in almost every way. It's just as fast to get around, you can always find parking, and it keeps you in better shape. The one big negative is that a bike is way easier to steal than a car. If you could track a stolen bike, that would definitely help, which is why Velotric's new Thunder 1 VST has Apple's Find My built-in.

"We believe that most bicycle thefts are crimes of opportunity—a bike left out for extended periods of time, a bike poorly locked up, a bad lock," Connor Swegle, CMO of bicycle maker Priority Bicycles, told Lifewire via email. 

Find My E-Bike

Find My is Apple's catch-all term for tracking people, gadgets, and objects. You can check the location of your spouse, if they share it, you can find a lost phone, and you can track your missing AirPods case to that gap in the sofa cushions... Again. 

Apple uses various ways to let you track your items, but the cleverest might be its AirTag network. An AirTag is a battery-powered puck that blips out an encrypted Bluetooth signal. Any passing iPhone will recognize this blip and pass it onto Apple's servers, anonymously adding the current location. This data remains locked up on Apple's servers until you track it in the Find My app.

An AirTag and an iPhone, with the AirTag connection shown on the iPhone screen.


Then, your iPhone, Mac, or iPad decrypts the AirTag signal, and you know where it is. 

The Thunder 1 VST uses this tech to let you track it. You long-press the bike's power button to activate the Find My tag, and it should appear on your iPhone, where you can add it to your tracked items. Presumably, you will never have to change any batteries, as the Thunder 1 VST e-bike already has a big battery to power its drive chain. And unlike an AirTag attached to your bike, an integrated system is harder to remove. 

The advantages of Find My over GPS tracking are manifold. An AirTag battery lasts a year or more; GPS requires line-of-sight to see the satellites.

"A dedicated GPS tracker will track you wherever you are, which might be a good thing in the event that your bike is stolen. However, it might not be a great idea for most people to know that their daily activities on their bike are tracked and recorded somewhere. With an AirTag, however, your real-time location is not tracked," Kyle MacDonald, VP at GPS tracking company Mojio, told Lifewire via email. 

AirTags are also much cheaper than GPS tracking devices. 

Velotric's new Thunder 1 VST e-bike.


"Dedicated GPS trackers with cellular capabilities often require a monthly service fee to maintain cellular connectivity and access tracking features," Petr Minařík, writer of the CyclistsHub blog, told Lifewire via email. "Furthermore, their coverage may not include the entire world."

Find My Tracking Isn't Enough

Tracking isn't necessarily the ultimate protection, though. A stolen bike is still a major hassle, and while AirTags are great, their anti-stalking measures mean they will inform the thief of their presence after a short time.

"If you do have your bike stolen while tracked, you still have to deal with tracking it down, potentially confronting the thief (which could be a very unsafe encounter), proving ownership, and contacting the police," says Swegle.

The best way to keep your bike safe is to use several methods. Use a couple of good locks, and use them properly. Lock your bike next to a nicer bike with a worse lock, and try not to leave it in dodgy spots for too long. And by all means, use a tracker tag. 

Was this page helpful?