It is critical to keep your bike safe from bike thieves, whether you cycle to work on weekdays or take to the open roads on weekends, regardless of the type or cost of your bike. A bike gets stolen every 90 seconds, which is a stunning number, and with ingenious thieves constantly devising new ways to steal your bike, staying one step ahead has never been more crucial. Here are six safety tips you should follow if you do not want to have your bike stolen.
1. Get a Suitable Lock
Though it may seem obvious, having a solid lock is the first step in preventing bike theft. The best bike locks come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and price ranges, and as a general rule, you get what you pay for: more robust materials and designs cost way more than less expensive options.
The term ‘up to the task’ is important to note because ‘the task’ is highly dependent on where you’re locking it and for how long. If you’re securing your bike against a table while drinking coffee ten feet away, the lock’s requirements will likely be different than if you’re locking it outside a city-centre train station overnight. You should purchase a secure lock that is equal to the worth of your bicycle.
2. Lock Your Bike Correctly
Even the most secure D-Lock won’t help you if you don’t utilize it appropriately. Lock your bike according to its value, as no two bike racks, trees, or signs are alike. Placing the lock through the frame comes first, followed by the rear wheel, and then the front wheel. Consider using a second lock to connect the wheels to the frame and the main lock to secure the frame (and maybe the rear wheel) to the rack if your bicycle will be locked in an area now known for bike theft. Also, consider the item to which your bike will be locked, as well as the difficulty of removing your bike while the lock is still attached.
3. Trace Your Bike
If you own an e-bike, you should think ahead and secure your bike with the GPS tracker. For securing the best bicycle theft protection, consider connecting your bike with a simple app on your phone. You can stay linked to your bike 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When your e-bike is moved without your permission, the app sends you a motion alarm with a push message.
For the other types of bikes, pay attention to the serial number. Your bike’s serial number is stamped underneath the bottom bracket and is the code used by police to trace down your bike if it is ever stolen. It’s also worth noticing what makes your bike special; whether there’s a sticker in a certain spot, a particular ding that irritates you, or simply a few distinctive scrapes. When you report a bike theft, one of the first questions an operator will ask you is the serial number and unique features of the bike. It may not always be able to prevent bike theft, but if you take note of these features, at the very least your bike will be documented.
4. Insure It
You may have put a lot of money in your bike, so make sure it’s protected against theft. Because some house insurance carriers typically have a value limit on your bike, it’s worth investigating specialist cycle insurance, specifically if your bike is valuable. Check your house insurance policy to see if it covers you for theft when you’re not at home. Additional coverage, such as accidental damage and your gear, is available with specialist bike insurance.
Now, this isn’t to say that just because you have insurance, your bike won’t be stolen; far from it, but it will undoubtedly assist you. Furthermore, you will not be left high and dry if you find yourself standing in front of an empty bike rack questioning your head since your bike is nowhere to be found.
5. Pick Location Carefully
Because thieves dislike being observed, lock your bike in a public location rather than down an alleyway. If possible, lock your bike somewhere that is monitored by CCTV. Always choose a well-lit location.
Try not to leave the bike in the same spot every day when commuting. If you leave your bike at the same railway station and on the same street outside your workplace every day, for example, it will become a fixture in the region. As a result, astute criminals may arrange a bike robbery expressly for your prized possession. Mix it up and move it around so that it doesn’t become noticeable over time.
6. Take Accessories With You
Bring along your pump, lights, quick release saddle, and any other detachable items. If the thieves are unable to gain entry to your bike due to its secure locking, they may attempt to deceive you by stealing an easily accessible attachment. In a crowded rack, these will also make your bike stand out like a sore thumb. If you’ve picked a high-end saddle from a well-known brand, another lock may be necessary only to secure it to the frame.
Some of these pointers are more crucial than others, and their utility will vary based on the type of bike you ride. One thing is certain: the more precautions you take to lock and protect your bike, the less likely it is to be stolen. So, have a good day on your bike today!