Riding a city bike comes with two certainties: thieves will target you and tourists will walk in your path. AirBell addresses both issues by discreetly hiding one of Apple’s AirTag trackers inside a small mechanical bell with a loud and pleasant ding.
Bicycle theft is an unfortunate reality in many large cities, especially in Amsterdam where I live with my family of five. We use bikes as our primary means of transportation every day, rain or shine. We can’t afford to be without them. As such, I’ve already fitted a few of our bikes with water- and dust-resistant AirTag trackers that I MacGyvered under the saddles to avoid the tags being spotted. I’m constantly worried that the double-sided velcro tape will loosen now that the wet and cold months have returned.
The beauty of the $18.99 / €24.99 AirBell is that it’s ugly, just like the cheap generic bicycle bells found on most city bikes. There’s zero indication it holds a fancy $29 AirTag (sold separately) so there’s no reason to steal it, or, for that matter, remove it after a bike is stolen. That means you can eventually track it down using Apple’s ubiquitous Find My network.
Or find it in an endless sea of bicycles in a Dutch parking garage:
The company sent me a review unit to test and I’m super impressed by its simple ingenuity, which has already been copied by countless imitators. Installing the AirBell takes less than five minutes. The steps needed to access the AirTag are just complicated enough to stump anyone with ill intent, while ensuring that the assembly stays shut during regular use.
The only potential problem I can see for some is handlebar thickness. The AirBell is designed to work with 22mm handlebars found on the majority of bikes. There’s also a 31.8mm AirBell for newer road and gravel bikes. However, it’s only for sale in Europe right now, with supplies headed to the US as soon as next week. The plastic clamp on my 22mm review unit is too rigid to bend over the thicker handlebar on my mountain bike, but it fits fine on all our other bikes — all seven of them.
The AirBell is a simple and effective insurance policy that’s actually useful every day. For less than $50, you’re also getting the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing that you can find your valuable bicycle should it ever be lost or stolen.
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