Knog Scout with built-in Apple Find My (AirTag network) and Bike Alarm: Hands-On

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Knog has announced and shown their new Knog Scout device at Eurobike, which is a small pod that fits underneath a water bottle cage, and has Apple’s Find My network built into it. Meaning, it’s effectively got an AirTag built into it (it’s not a holder, it’s literally built inside). However, unlike an AirTag, this has a full 85db bike alarm too, which triggers if the bike is touched.

This device is part of Apple’s Find My program which allows 3rd party companies to build Find My directly into their devices. In fact, Apple launched this program before AirTag’s even existed, back in April 2021, with one of the first four companies being a bike company – VanMoof, to build Find My into their frames. While uptake of the Apple AirTag has been massive, adoption of the Find My program has been somewhat lackluster to date (I suspect chipset availability is driving some of that). Still, when companies do implement it, it’s super cool.

Not only was the Knog Scout on display at Eurobike, but I managed to get one to take home, and have been using it for a few days now. So a few quick thoughts, and then a more in-depth review sometime in August. The unit will retail for $59, and be shipping in August (it received Apple certification the day before Eurobike).

First, the hardware basics:

– Small 22g pod
– Apple Find My built-in
– Motion detection feature
– 85db Bike Alarm
– Waterproof to IP65
– Single press button for quick arming
– Bluetooth connection to Knog App
– Fits/mounts under water bottle cages

Here’s a quick look at the box:

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Once you remove the box, you’ve got these parts here:

KnogScoutUnboxed

Essentially that boils down to:

A) The Knog Scout
B) Two specialized screws
C) Some extra spacers if no water bottle is used
D) A specialized key to unlock said screws
E) Silicon cover (yellow) if you want it more obvious

There’s no USB-C cable included to charge it, but I presume in 2022 everyone has a USB-C cable around their home.

Installation was pretty dead simple. Just remove your water bottle cage, then stick the included screws inside the water bottle cage + unit together, and screw in using the included special little tool.

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Obviously, any time you have devices like this, you’ll need to have some unique tool to install it, so that it’s not something readily available to thieves, or at least, not easily accessible. This one fits the bill. If you lose this tool, I suspect you could probably use a pair of pliers that are opened to rotate it around. It’d be finicky, but doable. But again, doing so to a bike that’s not yours would easily trip the alarm.

Speaking of that alarm, you’ll pair it up to the Knog app using Bluetooth, which then gives you a few options for alarm volume/sensitivity/etc (the middle one is per Scout device if you have multiple Scout’s, the right-side one is for the whole app):

IMG_1236 IMG_1232 IMG_1233

At the same time, you can tap the little location/GPS icon at the bottom, which opens up the Find My app and allows you to pair it there, just like any other Find My accessory (or Air Tag accessory).

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With that, you’re ready to go. On the alarm side, to arm it, you can either use the app, or, you can simply press the button on the unit. If you want to press the button though, the app has to be within range (even if opened in the background), which is logical for a variety of reasons. Say your phone is almost dead, you wouldn’t want to enable the alarm and be unable to disarm it later.

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The alarm is certainly very loud, and will attract attention, though, it does get muffled a little bit by the frame/bike. While it’ll absolutely attract the attention of anyone within a block, I wouldn’t be opposed to just a bit louder to *REALLY* get people’s attention. In terms of sensitivity, if you bump the bike, it gives one warning chirp, but won’t set it off. However, anything more than a quick bump will activate the alarm. The alarm will both scream on the unit, but also on your phone if your phone is within Bluetooth range.

To disarm the alarm, you’d use the app – there isn’t any disarm option on the unit itself, unless you factory reset it. But you can only factory reset it on a flat surface after dismounting it (since it requires you place the underside face upwards on said flat surface, before using a combination of button and USB cable). Point being, it’s not viable out on the street to factory reset it.

In terms of the Find My side, it works exactly as an AirTag. You can find it anywhere in the world, as long as some other Apple device has passed by it at some point (which, is pretty much everywhere in the world). That also means you can enable lost mode, which notifies you the moment it detects another Apple device nearby, reporting its location to you – and even giving contact details in case someone wants to find you (optionally).

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The only difference between the Knog Scout and an AirTag is that an AirTag also has the Ultrawide band for using your phone like a compass to find it when closer within range. But given this is attached to a bike (versus a small object), it’s far easier to spot, and you can still use both the Find My’s chirping option, as well as the Knog App option to trigger the alarm (when within about 30-40 meters in my testing). Also, an AirTag uses a replaceable battery, whereas this uses USB-C, with a claimed battery life of 6 months between charges. The Apple Find My app and Knog app, both show current battery status, and I’m reasonably sure you’ll get an alert automatically from the Apple Find My app.

While this is twice the price of an AirTag, it’s definitely worth it for me. Having the bike alarm is handy, for a few different scenarios for me:

A) Road Bike Café Stop: Unlike a regular AirTag, this will actually alarm the second someone touches my bike. Sure, you can use the Garmin Edge alarm functionality for that, but this is a million times louder and more sensitive. This is great for leaving the bike out-front, and not being super worried if it’s roughly within sight, but not within arm’s reach.

B) My Cargo Bike: Being able to alarm my bike, even when parked at home in our backyard, is handy. The alarm is loud enough that I can hear it inside the house, so if someone touches the bike, it’ll trip. And then having Find My atop that in case someone tries to go somewhere with it, is handy. They could probably potentially knock it off with a few hammer blows, but frankly, the alarm is going to scare them off first. It’s just not worth it to be rolling down the street in a relatively slow-moving cargo bike with this thing wailing. Alternatively, I suspect I could mount it on the underside of the cargo bike bucket, and make it darn-near impossible to whack with a hammer easily.

While I use Apple AirTag’s for both of these situations today, they don’t solve the alarm piece, which Knog solves.

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As soon as the Knog site opens for ordering, I’m ordering a slate of these. I just hope Apple will finally come along and allow shared AirTag access within a family, so that I can share the location of our bikes with my Wife (or visiting friends). Still, even without that, this is great.

Stay tuned for a full longer-term review later in August. I’ve got a final production unit that’s set to arrive in the next day or two (the courier with the final units at Eurobike arrived a few hours after I left). With that, thanks for reading!

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67 Comments

  1. Benjamin

    I just got a few AirTags but this is exactly what I need. Especially as an upcoming move will relegate my GRIZL to living on the street permanently!

    • Holy cow, you’d put that bike on the street?!? You have waaaaaay more trust than I’d ever have!

    • Bruce Burkhalter

      What size is the GRIZL and what is your address? 🙂

    • Dirk R.

      Would one be able to deactivate the alarm by doing a hard reset on the device by flipping the bike upside down so the device is flat and connect something to the USB-C port? Then you could remove the device and ride off. Not as feasible on the big cargo bike but very feasible on a regular bike. I think it would be better to also add an airtag or smart tag inside the frame or seat post for tracking purposes.

  2. MikeD

    I assume it is useless for someone with android phone?

    • Max Watts

      How unfortunate, it seems like a great system. F**** Apple and their walled garden. It’s the reason why I choose not to buy any of their products. I would like to have some of them, but I’m not willing to give up choice with their aggressive approach.

    • eugene

      Surprisingly if you check out some side by side comparisons with the Samsung SmartTag, the Samsung works better. They don’t have it built in to things like this, but I argue hiding it inside a CF seat post or under the saddle is more effective for tracking down a bike as the thief won’t immediately know what to get rid of.

    • Cullen

      The one source I can find indicates that Apple’s Find My network is several times larger than Samsung’s network, which only works with Galaxy devices which opt in. That’s a huge advantage for AirTags.

    • eugene

      Yup, but even with that larger network, the Samsung SmartTags performed better in the tests I saw on
      YouTube that were performed by a car channel and a tech channel. I guess there is a point of diminishing returns since the tag only requires one single phone to be within range for a location update, so it doesn’t matter if there’s 1 phone or 5 phones nearby.

      link to youtube.com
      link to youtube.com

    • Noa shiruba

      I use something called AlterLock, which looks similar, and attached similarly. Unlike the airtag approach, it had an actual GPS chip built in, and also SigFox networking, so it operates on it’s own, and doesn’t require anyone with an iphone to be near the bike to track it.

      I don’t know if it’s sold outside of Japan, though. The down side is that the battery only lasts about a month.

    • Yeah, I think if you’re talking city tests (like done in those two videos), then it’s probably a wash for the network. Whereas, once you start getting further out, that’s where the Apple network advantage is probably more impactful.

    • eugene

      Maybe having both would be good. If the thief rips off or smashes the Airtagged alarm, they probably wouldn’t expect a Samsung SmartTag hidden somewhere. They won’t get any stalker notifications on their phone either.

      I still wouldn’t leave a Grizl outside permanently even if the whole bike was made of tags though. 🙂

    • Ken

      Yup, any company that makes products I can’t use because of what phone I own is basically wiggling their fingers at the end of their nose at me. How tough would it be to come out with a Tile version at the same time? I’ll take my dollars to one of their competitors; no Knog lights for me

      & *bleep* apple for not allowing Android devices to participate in the anti-stalking the same way that iPhones do; one has to actively open the app rather than the passive way that iphones notify you.

  3. usr

    What’s the point of the airtag compatibility if there’s a built-in screamer that would conveniently assist any thief to not forget removing the circuitry?

    • AirTag lets you know it’s still there. So for example, I might take the cargo bike with Lama this weekend to the airport where I’ll be catching the train to Paris. It’s piece of mind knowing the bike is likely still there (I mean, I suppose they could knock off the unit, but that’s a lot of work in a public area).

      The alarm is designed to deter someone from taking it. The second you touch the bike, it goes off, so at that point you’ve got everyone looking at you in a busy area (or, at night, outside your home in your yard), alerting you to the issue. So now the thief has to either ride with it as-is (but realistically, my wheel lock is on, and if they had tried to move the bike to snip the big lock, then the alarm would have triggered well before they got to a ridable state).

      This isn’t going to secure a bike like putting it in a big metal cage. But for the two use cases I outlined, it makes is far more challenging for a thief to successfully take the bike without being noticed, or, to complete that transaction before just pretending to have bumped it and walking away.

  4. Stephen Thomas

    Does it have the same anti-stalking features as AirTags? I.e. will it alert bike thieves to its presence?

    • Stephen Thomas

      In case you forget to arm it of course. If

    • Yes, but keep in mind that mode only really activates once you reach a known home point. It didn’t alert me the entire time I travelled from Frankfurt back to Amsterdam.

      In fact, I was able to test this somewhat accidentally because when they handed over the unit as we were rushing to the train station, it wasn’t removed from one of the employees accounts. Once I got home, it quickly went into crazy anti-stalking mode. Actually kinda neat to see how Apple keeps changing the algorithm.

      The first bike I trip I did was about 2 hours to a farm/forest and back, and it shows the tracking points a few times over the course of that, saying it was tracking me under someone else’s account (I had put it on my bike, but hadn’t sorted that other-pairing yet with them). Then, later that day I had to drop off one of my daughters at a birthday party about 30 minutes outside of town via bike. Then it went into registering dots every 100m. I’ve never seen an AirTag go that crazy on anti-stalking before.

      Up until we got it correctly paired to my account, it was in full-on ‘Yo, someone is stalking you’ mode).

      All that said – any bike thief worth their salt will simply open any one of the free BLE scanner apps and search that way. In this case, they’ll find the AirTag, probably touch the bike, and trigger the alarm. So, the job has been done. If they want to try and remove it, that’s fine and certainly a valid avenue they can select, but they’ll have to do it with the thing screaming.

  5. Adam

    “The alarm is certainly very loud, and will attract attach, though”

    Should it be attract attention

  6. Phil S

    Hi Ray
    How thick is the unit. I have a 3d printed AirTag holder under my water bottle holder but it is thick so easy to spot and remove.

    • Just measured it, 10.5mm thick. I think one of the things is it just doesn’t look as obvious as the round airtag holder. You can see in the final bike pic above, below the water bottle (without a bottle in it), on my cargo bike near all the other bikes lined up.

  7. Steve Short

    Thanks Ray, interesting and a definite improvement on the AirTag & mounts I’m currently using.

    Couple of typos:

    “The alarm is certainly very loud, and will attract attach,” –> attention?

    “theif’s” –> theives

  8. andre

    Very useful and reasonably priced. I will get one as soon as they become available. Just wish the silicon cover was in red, to match my bike. But that’s nitpicking.

  9. David

    I notice this has USB-C for power. I wonder what might happen if you were to plug one of those USB killer devices into this, would it short out the whole thing instantly, or leave at least some part of it functional.

  10. Krone

    How did you attach that water bottle cage to your urbran arrow. I been looking for something like this for a while

  11. Alex

    Does it need the yellow silicone cover to be waterproof? If not, I will be buying at least 2 of these things!!

  12. Mike

    I’m in, right price and right product (for us Apple users), I haven’t found a decent airtag holder for the bike thus far, all we need now is GPLama AirTag test protocol, tell him to get home to the field for some testing 😀

  13. Simon W

    Bluetooth app connection required before arming (to later disarm). Makes sense. But is an iPhone data connection required for both this basic arming/disarming and the in-range alerting when an alarm is triggered? ie. would this work with the iPhone in airplane mode with just Bluetooth enabled?

    • Yup, just tested it. Put my phone into airplane mode and turned off WiFi, so only Bluetooth left. Even closed the Knog app for fun, and re-opened it first. It immediately connected to Knog Scout, and then I was able to toggle arm/disarm and it responded instantly.

    • Simon W

      Perfect, thanks for testing.

      FYI. use case would be for ultra-racing/bike-packing, where battery preservation can be key, hence leaving iPhone in airplane mode 👍

  14. dodger

    Hi Ray,

    Great article if you are an Apple user, just hoping Android (Google) will do something similar

    Anyway I spotted this small error…sorry
    “While uptick of the Apple AirTag has been massive”

    I think it should read “uptake”

  15. Mark S Mingelgreen

    Sold out on the Knog US store

  16. Anthony

    Hi Ray,

    Thank you for this article. As always, the presentation is really clear.
    I put an AirTag on our cargo bike which is linked to my Apple ID but my wife gets notifications that she’s followed by an AirTag. Do you know if it would be different with the Knog Scout ? Is it possible to manage it with multiple counts with the app as the cargo bike is used by my wife and me.

    • It’s the exact same on the Knog Scout. But, also, just like the AirTags, your wife can do as my wife does, which is set that particular AirTag not to notify her anymore. I keep hoping that Apple eventually allows family AirTag sharing in the same way they allow sharing of all other Find My locations within a family. Perhps they’ll add it with the new version of iOS in September, since there’s a slate of new anti-stalking/privacy features being added there too.

      As for the app, you can login to the same account and manage it that way. But what I don’t know off-hand is if the Scout can be paired to two phones (since it needs a Bluetooth pairing connection). I’ll try it with my wife later on.

    • John Thompson

      Seems like that might be important as what happens if someone (legally) borrows your bike, and then the alarm gets triggered accidentally when they are parked outside a cafe? Do they have any way to turn it off themselves or do they have to get the person with the app to come to them and turn it off?

    • Luke Selby

      Wondering if you’ve been able to figure out if this can be shared with multiple phones? I have an ebike I use for commuting several days a week, but its also getting used by other family members when I’m not using it. I love the Kong for the alarm, but only if I can pair it with multiple phones so it doesn’t freak out when other people are using it…

    • Tobias

      I would as well be interested if you had the chance to test whether the Knog app can run on two phones connecting to the same Knog Scout device? Looking into buying several devices for our family bikes but all family members should be able to disarm the Knog Scouts if they have to move around the bikes without carrying all family members phones with them to avoid triggering multiple alerts 😉

    • toby w.

      You can only set it with the owners phone in Bluetooth range.

    • toby w.

      My initial testing suggests only 1 apple device can set and unset the alarm but will check further

    • Barry Wainstock

      Hey Ray, did you ever try pairing the Scout with two phones? My wife and I want to get one for our shared e-cargo bike, but we’re worried we won’t be able to individually control the device and get notifications.

      Do you think this would work for our usecase?

  17. Florent Pitoun

    Hi, great article, thanks.
    The super annoying thing with airtags is that they “sell” themself to the thief as soon as he has an iPhone an he uses the bike to move around with.
    This counter measure has been thought by apple to prevent you from dropping an airtag in your wife’s car to know what she’s doing but defeats the purpose of using an airtag as an anti theft tool.
    What’s the behaviour of the knog item?
    Thanks a lot.

  18. RsTcrat

    Wouldn’t it be preferable (especially for those who do not have or don’t want to carry a cell phone) to include a key fob type of device to activate/deactivate the device or to quiet the alarm??

    • eugene

      No, this is an Airtag-trackable alarm. It is made specifically for people who want to use it with their phone.

      Those who prefer a more old-fashioned alarm with keyfob can buy an existing one on Amazon.

  19. Rudy

    I would love to see an in-depth review/roundup from you on those types of devices! I’ve seen Alterlock, Bikefinder and now this one, but I don’t have a good grasp on the pros and cons of all devices, techniques and how they work in daily life. But ever since my last bike was stolen I’m interested in some sort of tracking function. Would it fit in your review scope?

    • Yeah, I’ve poked at others now and then.

      To me, the main appeal of this is the direct integration in the FindMy network. Meaning, the ‘just works’ factor is enormously high, and doesn’t depend on other subscriptions or such. The downside of course being that if there’s not an Apple device nearby to ping off of, you won’t find your bike. Whereas a system with built-in GPS semi-solves that (but requires usually more battery/challenges).

      But I’d say that in 2022, if there’s not an Apple device roughly nearby your probably stolen bike, then frankly, your bike probably isn’t going to be gotten back.

  20. John

    Any chance there will be an Apple Watch app which will allow you to arm and disarm? I prefer to leave my iPhone at home.

  21. toby wallis

    Is there an app for android

  22. Kemal

    fyi: It’s finally in stock in the UK.

    • toby wallis

      Mines been delivered today. Still don’t know if the kig app works on android tho . Will update when I get it up and running

  23. toby wallis

    There is no android app, rustratingly so only way to unset the alarm is via an apple phone

    • Paul S.

      Makes sense because its main feature is that it hooks to Apple’s Find My network, just like an AirTag. A quick search on Amazon shows there are many other bike alarms of all different form factors.

    • dr toby d wallis

      You also can’t share it with family members unless you share an apple id

    • toby wallis

      Only 30 quid on tweeks bikes. Thats less than an airtag and a bike dpecific airtag holder !
      Pretty good.

  24. Jaro

    Hi, can you disable alarm siren and just leave notifications in your phone so only phone is alarming/making sound?

    • Paul S.

      Yes, it seems that way. In the Knog app on the device page is a slider “Silent Mode (Device)”. It disables both the little sound it makes when you arm/disarm but also the device alarm. When I armed and jostled the Knog on my eMTB, it notified on the iPhone but made no sound itself.

  25. steve knattress

    i was thinking of getting a couple of these for my bikes , until i read another review.

    the alarm notification only works to *your* phone over bluetooth ( not via another iphone and then over the apple find my network). there needs to be an apple “notify me when tag moves setting”

    not much point, as im sure i can hear the alarm at a greater distance than its bluetooth range.

    • eug

      You buy these for the tracking feature, not the alarm feature.

    • The alarm feature is quite useful in a cafe setting though. Typical mid/end-ride stop where you’ve got your bike leaned up against a wall/fence/whatever within perhaps 25-30 meters. Within view and earshot perhaps, but you’re not constantly watching it. The alarm is good in that scenario in that if someone touches it, it immediately alarms – and people notice.

      It’s useless if you’re leaving your bike on the street overnight or something. Unfortunately Apple doesn’t have any alerting solution for that.

  26. NPF

    Just watched a vid on YT which is an interesting use case where an athlete used it to allow his partner to track them better than the ironman tracking on the bike leg of a 70.3. Seems like another bonus and also for transporting the bike abroad is another benefit I guess.