It takes more than a good lock to prevent bicycle theft. As criminals are becoming more and more crafty, even the best locks are proving little deterrent. To keep your bike safe, you should employ a number of strategies, especially if you live or work in an urban area.
Top Tips to Prevent Bicycle Theft
- Use a good, quality lock. This is a no-brainer. There is a world of difference between the locks on the market, and it pays to do your research. Old style cable locks can be quickly cut with bolt cutters, so steer clear of them. U-locks are generally a good investment, but ensure a thickness of 16 mm or above for maximum security. Most manufacturers have lock ratings that compare security levels. Keep in mind, however, that they create their own ratings! For peace of mind, seek out locks that have independent security ratings. A secure U-Lock is the Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit Mini. Don’t let the “mini” fool you- this lock weighs about 5 pounds, but it is pretty compact and is a great first-line of defense when protecting your bike.
- Use your U-lock to secure the frame and wheels- in a manner that the lock is as full as possible. The idea here is to prevent the thief from getting his tools into the lock.
- Consider where you park your bike. Some bikers believe they can prevent bicycle theft by locking their bike in an out-of-the-way location. It’s a great concept: if the bike isn’t seen, no one will steal it, right? But bike thief’s love these discreet locations. Breaking a bike lock takes a bit of time, so these hidden locations allow the criminal to work without fear of being discovered. Your best bet is to keep your bike indoors, so ask your employer about bringing you bike in the office (remember, you should STILL keep it locked and secure, even in the office). Barring that, lock your bike in a busy location. If you will not be returning until dark, ensure that the area is well-lit.
- Lock your bike near other bikes. Chances are, someone else will have a bike with a lock that is not as secure as yours. It will be the easiest target, and your bike will remain safe.
- Keep photos of your bike, and record your serial number. Also, consider registering your bike either with a local bike registration service (if your area has one) or the National Bike Registry. Police officers regularly come across caches of stolen bicycles. Without details and ID numbers, it’s difficult to return these bikes to their owners.
- Keep your bike locked up, even in your garage. I’ve had several friends have their bikes stolen – from their own garages. Many of us have our garage doors open on the weekends as we complete our yard chores. It’s EASY for a thief to grab your bike from inside the garage and go. Don’t let this happen to you! Keep it locked, EVEN while it’s in your garage.
Prevent bike theft by adhering to the above tips. Of course, no one is guaranteed that their bike will be safe, but these tips will help keep you safe. Stay safe when you ride, as well! Just as no one is immune from bike theft, no one is immune from a bike crash. If you are involved in a bike crash or have any questions about bike accidents, contact us today to speak to an experienced bike crash attorney. Remember, our team are BIKERS first, so we’ve been there! Follow our page to stay abreast of the latest tips and bicycle news.