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Knog Scout Bike Alarm and Finder

9
£49.99

VERDICT:

9
10
An impressive device, with good battery life, a loud alarm, and accurate tracking
Easy to use
Loud and sensitive alarm
Find My functionality
Screws could be longer ​
No current Android support
Weight: 
30g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Knog Scout is an effective combination of tracker and very loud and sensitive alarm that will easily attract attention. It could do with longer screws, and having the 'near me' feature would be a benefit too, but otherwise it's excellent.

The Scout can be mounted in two ways, either fitted beneath a bottle cage (the stealthy option) or out in full view in a bright yellow cover (the deterrence option).

Whichever route you choose, stealth or deterrent, you get two unusual screws to attach the Scout, which require a special tool – something almost no bike thief is likely to have. Also, because they are essentially just flat and round, trying to get them out with anything but the special tool is going to be next to impossible.

However, although I found the screws fine for fitting the Scout on by itself, they aren't quite long enough for all bottle cages. They aren't long enough to go through the mount and the Elite Custom Race Resin cages I have, for instance, though they worked fine with others.

Another minor annoyance is the packaging. It is beautifully made, with stiff layered cardboard that kind of looks like plywood, the device housed within this in a specially cut section where it fits perfectly, but the screws sit in their own little compartments on each side of the box, and when you slide open the box one or both screws can fall out – I was very lucky to have opened this on a wooden floor rather than decking or over a drain!

2022 Knog Scout Bike Alarm and Finder - security tool.jpg

Tracking

In terms of tracking it works in the same way as an AirTag in that it uses connections from iPhones to locate it. However, it doesn't have the kind of precision tracking of an AirTag once you are near it. So rather than a compass giving you precise locations when you're within range, it just gives you a relatively accurate location on a map.

This might be a bit of an annoyance, but once the map shows you're near it, you can always set off the alarm from your phone, which at 85db will be more than enough for most people to hear it if you're within 50m.

> Inside the mind of a bike thief – learn how to protect your bike

As I said, the tracker works in the same way as an AirTag, essentially using other people's phones to identify where the Scout is. It sends out low latency Bluetooth signals and then uses any other device on the Find My network (basically iPhones) to send that information to iCloud, which then sends the location to your Find My app. This does mean it's not really usable on Android.

It's effective regardless of where you are; I had the tracker on a bike in my shed in London and could track it from 100 miles away in Stratford-upon-Avon. The signal is also very good – I keep my bike in a metal shed, which could have an impact on it picking up passing phones, but I found it still had an impressive signal regardless of whether it was in the shed or not.

It generally tended to be accurate to within around 5m, which to all intents and purposes is more than good enough to find a stolen bike.

Alarm

Unlike an AirTag, the Scout comes with an 85db alarm, which can either be set off using the companion app or when your bike is moved if you have it armed.

Arming the alarm can be done through the app or by pressing the button on the side of the unit. This is simple to do but it is quite sensitive – when I was setting it up I accidentally turned it on and instantly woke up my toddler when I touched it again... oh joy.

It can be disarmed through the app or by pressing the button again when your phone is close to the Scout, roughly a metre away, I found.

> 6 of the best bike locks – stop your bike getting stolen

When armed, the alarm is very effective at detecting when your bike has been moved, kicking in after only a couple of seconds. It is quite a shock when you lock your bike up in the morning, arm the unit, then forget in the afternoon when you touch your bike...

One pleasing element of the app is that it allows you to change the sensitivity of the Scout – so the less sensitive it is, the more movement is required to set off the alarm, and vice versa. It's a nice touch, handy if you're at a cafe, say, and don't want the alarm going off every time somebody puts their bike next to yours.

Control

You control the Scout predominantly through the Knog app and Apple's Find My app; on the unit itself there's just a single button and a USB charging port under a dust and water cover.

2022 Knog Scout Bike Alarm and Finder - unit and cover.jpg

The Knog app is relatively intuitive to navigate and simple to set up. I just downloaded it, created my account, and once the Scout was charged it was just a case of adding the device to the app, which it found almost instantly. Once paired, the device's firmware needed updating in order to add it to the FindMy app, but after that it could be found straight away.

As well as using the app to adjust the level of sensitivity, you can use it to adjust the loudness of the alarm and the settings on your account.

Battery life is a claimed six months, which seems broadly accurate going by the amount of power it's used over the past month. Charging takes around two hours using a USB-C charger. It's worth noting that it doesn't come with a charging lead, though to be honest I'm happy with that as I have so many around the house anyway it would just end up being another one sat in a drawer.

Value

Considering the great battery life and all the tracking capabilities you're likely to need, its rrp of £49.99 isn't bad at all.

The obvious candidate to compare it with is the Apple AirTag. One AirTag costs £29, so a saving of £21 for the same tracking and a claimed battery life of a year, but beyond a small chirp there isn't any kind of alarm capability.

I also reviewed the Vodafone Curve Bike in 2021 (read the review here) which offers similar capabilities in terms of security but has a battery life of less than a week and an rrp of £79.99 plus a monthly subscription.

Conclusion

Overall, I've been very impressed with this alarm and tracker; the battery life seems great, the companion app is very simple to use, and at £49.99 it's a pretty good deal.

The screws could be longer to suit more bottle cages, and the lack of Android support makes it unviable for many, but in terms of what it does and how it performs there is very little to fault.

Verdict

An impressive device, with good battery life, a loud alarm, and accurate tracking

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Knog Scout Bike Alarm and Finder

Size tested: One size

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Knog says: "We understand that your bike is a prized possession and leaving it unattended, even when secured, can be risky. Scout provides unparalleled Bike security by combining both an extremely loud 85db bike alarm function with a highly accurate bike finder, using Apple's 'Find My' app. The future of bike security is here.

"Once armed, any movement of a Scout fitted Bike will trigger the motion-sensitive audio alarm discouraging any further movement and alerting the bike's owner, both by the sound of the alarm and via a notification that is automatically sent to the owner's iPhone (when in Bluetooth range)."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Dimensions

H: 106mm x W: 26mm x L:8mm

Weight

25 grams

Knog lists:

Motion-sensitive 85 db audio alarm for immediate deterrence

Can be located quickly using Apple's 'Find My' app

Operated using Knog's iOS app

Mounts to standard water cage braze-ons

Can be mounted under water cage for discretion

Use supplied anti-tamper screws to mount securely

Neon silicone cover provided to advertise security device (if desired)

Arm / disarm using button (within 1.5 m) or app within bluetooth range

LEDs show alarm status & battery charge

USB-C rechargeable with 6 month battery life

Water resistant IP66 rating (washproof)

Weighs just 25 grams

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Well made with no water ingress. A sleek design, and even the screws to hold it in place are security minded, though they could do with being a bit longer.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Does exactly what's needed. The alarm is loud and as sensitive as you want it to be, the tracking is accurate and easy to use.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Seems well made and with a long battery life too.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

A tracker and alarm that work as effectively as this for £50 is a pretty good deal.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The app and integration with Find My.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The length of the screws!

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

An Apple AirTag costs £29 for the same tracking and much better battery life, but beyond a small chirp there isn't any kind of alarm. The Vodafone Curve Bike offers similar capabilities in terms of security, but has a battery life of only four-and-a-half days and an rrp of £79.99 plus a monthly subscription.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

An excellent tracker and alarm combined, offering impressive sensitivity, accuracy, and tracking ability. The lack of near-field tracking doesn't really have much impact on the performance unless you have a particularly small or easily hidden bike.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: CAAD13  My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,

George is the host of the road.cc podcast and has been writing for road.cc since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between. 

Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.

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