For those of you that have had your velocipede stolen, you’ll know how irritating it is. Perhaps you only left it unattended for a unenduring moment when you thought it was safe. Maybe you plane locked it and thought that it would be secure, only to return to a wrenched uniting and an empty space where your velocipede used to be. In this article, we’re first going to squint at some of the reasons why velocipede theft is so common. Then, we’ll get into the mind of the velocipede thief by looking through their vision at potential weaknesses in your security system. Finally, we’ll requite you 17 tips on not only how to prevent bike theft, but we’ll moreover squint at the steps that you can take to increase your chances of a quick recovery and a return to two wheels.
Why is Bicycle Theft So Common?
Bicycle theft is so worldwide considering of the combination of opportunity and value. They are often targets of theft due to poor security measures, such as low quality and hands penetrable locks, a upper resale value and, unfortunately, a low rate of prosecution. According to an wringer by Lawtons, only 1% of velocipede thefts lead to prosecution. This is understandably maddening to cyclists, who are too often left to fork out for a replacement velocipede all without punishment for the perpetrator.
So if velocipede theft is so tempting to prospective criminals, what is it that makes a velocipede increasingly tempting to a potential thief, and what do thieves squint for when deciding what to take?
What Do Velocipede Thieves Squint For?
Bike thieves squint for, ultimately, the bikes which are the easiest to steal. They are most interested in bikes which are poorly secured, valuable, or left in a location with low visibility. Employing proper locking practices and parking in visible areas are the easiest deterrents. Whilst it is often the specimen that the higher the value of the velocipede the higher the risk of theft, the predominant rationalization of velocipede theft is opportunity. The easier it is to steal a bike, the increasingly likely it is to be stolen.
How Do Most Bikes Get Stolen?
Most bikes get stolen due to their locks stuff wrenched or the velocipede stuff left unattended, plane for a unenduring period. To deter and prevent velocipede theft, invest in quality locks, secure them properly to an immovable object and stave leaving your velocipede out of sight of cameras and passers-by.
The type of lock is a big factor. In 2020, 49% of bikes stolen in England and Wales were locked with just a chain, subscription or a shackle. These are often targeted by thieves as they are prone to wearing with vendibles cutters or ‘leverage attacks’, where gravity is used to split weak links apart. You’d moreover probably be surprised to find out that increasingly than half of the bikes stolen in 2020 were stolen from homes, whilst only 9% are taken directly from the street. The lesson to learn from this? Your home is perhaps not as secure as you may think.
17 Bicycle Security Tips
At this point you’re probably whence to despair, but fear not! Here are 17 tips on how to prevent bike theft
1. Know How to Lock Your Bik
There’s no use in investing in good locks if you don’t know how to use them.
We recommend, at the very least, using the Sheldon Brown technique. Position your velocipede next to a stock-still object, insert a D-Lock through the rear wheel rim, between the rear triangle of the velocipede frame and virtually the stock-still object. This protects the two most valuable parts of your bike. The key is to leave as little wiggle room as possible, minimising the space for any thieves to use their tools. Make sure the key wangle to the lock is facing lanugo and requite it a firm tug to make sure it’s securely locked.
2. Lock Both Wheels and the Frame
Locking your velocipede doesn’t just midpoint securing the frame. Whilst you should often lock in order of value (frame, when wheel, front wheel), you’ll want to secure as much of your velocipede as possible.
Securing both wheels of the velocipede and the frame to an immovable object can protect opportune thieves from stealing parts. This is expressly true for bikes with quick release wheels. Of course, you’re probably going to need increasingly than one lock to do this effectively.
3. Secure Quick Release Parts
Quick release parts, such as the wheels and the seat, are often easy targets for thieves as they can be removed in just a matter of seconds. If your seat is tying with a quick release mechanism, it’s only a matter of time until an opportune thief will take advantage.
For quick release wheels, we’d teach to at least lock the wheels and the frame together. This is normally washed-up with a secondary ‘cable’ lock, where the frame is used as an vise point and both wheels are locked to it.
However, a safer option is to replace the quick release mechanism with either security skewers or locking nuts, both of which require specific tools to use. As for the seat, use at least a non-quick release seat clutch that requires at least vital tools to open. This is not foolproof by any means, but certainly adds flipside layer of protection.
A largest solution still is to invest in a lockable seat clamp which requires manufacturer specific tools to open. This makes stealing the seat an wearying process; a unconfined deterrent indeed.
4. Segregate Secure Locks
Invest in good locks. It’s far too worldwide that we see valuable bikes secured with locks that just won’t do the job. If you’re concerned well-nigh the forfeit of good locks, withstand in mind, they’re significantly less than the forfeit of a replacement bicycle.
There is an enormous variety available, from those resistant to wile grinders, to smart locks that can let you know on your mobile when your velocipede is stuff tampered with.
Using a number of variegated locks is a unconfined way of protecting your velocipede from theft. Cycling unfortunately comes with the risk of velocipede theft, so it’s unchangingly worth considering your locking system as part of the forfeit of your bicycle.
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5. Double Up on Locks
Whilst one good lock will probably suffice for a short trip to the shop, if you plan on leaving your velocipede unattended for a prolonged period using two variegated locks, such as a D-lock combined with a subscription lock, is an spanking-new way to protect your bike.
It isn’t just that there are increasingly locks to unravel for thieves, but moreover that variegated types of locks may require variegated tools and methods to break. Having a combination of variegated locks is a unconfined way to complicate the process for the would-be thief, and is flipside unconfined deterrent.
6. Lock to Stock-still Objects
When locking your bike, make sure to segregate a sturdy, immovable object, such as a velocipede rack or a post.
It is essential that you make sure that what you’re locking your velocipede to isn’t once wrenched and cannot be hands manipulated. And just considering it’s stock-still doesn’t midpoint your velocipede can’t be stolen. If the velocipede can be lifted withal with the lock, for example whilom a freestanding post, don’t put it past a velocipede thief to requite it a try.
A unconfined solution for home, or maybe plane the workplace, is a wall or ground anchor. These can be bolted or concreted into the wall or the floor, providing a unconfined and secure wiring to lock your velocipede to. This is well worth doing, plane when leaving it at home.
Stickers and duct tape are a unconfined way to prevent velocipede theft for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, you can use them to imbricate up any trademark logos. Expensive branded bikes are increasingly likely to be stolen than cheaper ones. If you’re fortunate unbearable to have a premium, it might be worth concealing any branding as it could yank unwanted attention.
You can moreover use them to make your velocipede increasingly distinguishable, that is to say, increasingly recognisable. Whilst stickers and tape are removable, they do make a velocipede increasingly individual and may make it easier to spot, expressly if your thief is trying to make a quick sale online without the crime.
8. Use a Velocipede Cover
Taking shading one step further, a lockable velocipede cover can disguise the visitation and trademark of your bike. As the old saying goes, ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Thieves are increasingly likely to focus on hands wieldy bikes and may be tempted by flipside increasingly visible target, expressly if the trademark and value of yours can’t be hands discerned.
They moreover provide a layer of obstruction by subtracting an uneaten layer of difficulty to the crime. A lockable velocipede imbricate is a unconfined spare element to your security system, deterring the potential thief as they would need to remove the imbricate surpassing dealing with any other potential measures.
9. Segregate a Spot with Good Visibility
When it comes to leaving your velocipede unattended, an zone with good visibility will help to alimony it in sight of not just people, but of surveillance systems as well. Whilst the shading of a velocipede imbricate could work in your favour, leaving your velocipede in a dimly lit spot will not. The darkness is a perfect imbricate for a potential thief to hibernate themselves whilst they get to work on stealing your bike. Alimony your velocipede in a well lit location, expressly if you plan on leaving it out at night.
Consider moreover locking your velocipede near security cameras. This not only deters theft (as the perpetrator risks stuff unprotected in the act!), but can moreover make the criminals easier to identify succeeding if they are successful in stealing it.
10. Opt for High-Traffic Areas
Lock your velocipede in areas with a upper value of foot traffic. Velocipede thieves often want to work discreetly, without drawing too much sustentation to themselves. By opting for an zone where lots of people pass, the number of potential witnesses increases.
When locking your velocipede outside, public spaces like parks, shopping centres and train stations can be a good option. These places normally have a upper value of foot traffic and defended parking facilities for bicycles, meaning that your velocipede should be increasingly secure than in other unpretentious locations.
11. Store Indoors Whenever Possible
Whenever possible, store your velocipede indoors. A velocipede which is increasingly difficult to wangle will be increasingly secure than one which anyone can interact with. When at home, lock your velocipede inside your house or your garage. Generally, it’s largest to stave keeping your velocipede in communal areas in an suite woodcut as it’s exposed to increasingly people on a regular basis.
If you’re cycling to work, try to alimony your velocipede inside if the visitor allows it. It’s worth speaking to management or HR for guidance on where the most secure and user-friendly places are to leave your bike. If there aren’t any, perhaps it’s a good idea to suggest some.
12. Vary Your Parking Spots
For those leaving their bikes outside, it’s a good idea to vary where you park your bike. This is expressly true if you’re keeping it in a particularly visible location. Whilst some velocipede thieves are less discriminating, taking any velocipede that they can on the street, others are increasingly calculated. Potential thieves often observe patterns and routines and if you park your velocipede in the same location it makes it easier for them to plan the theft. This is expressly true if you have a particularly expensive or notable bike. It’s moreover a good idea to vary your spots so that you can find largest places to park your bike, noting which ones are maintained well and are potentially increasingly secure.
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13. Remove Valuables and Accessories
Remove anything that’s valuable and can hands be taken, such as panniers and lights. Bike thieves aren’t picky, they’ll take whatever they can get their hands on. You should remove expensive tons – plane if they’re empty – surpassing leaving your bike. Just think, if you weren’t cycling, would you leave a £50 bag unattended on the street? Accessories that can hands be removed and kept with you whilst you go well-nigh your day unchangingly should be.
14. Register Your Bike
Register details with local authorities and online databases. Many cities wideness the UK have online velocipede databases where you can log your bike’s details. You can often find these in your workplace, your university if you’re a student or plane with your velocipede lock manufacturer. In the specimen of theft, police can usually proceeds wangle to this information, making it easier to track lanugo your bike. When registering your bike, you’ll want to make note of your serial number, trademark and model and your contact information. It’s moreover not a bad idea to regularly take photos either.
15. Insure Your Bike
Insure your velocipede to stave the stress of the produce of a velocipede theft. Usually, you can add some essential insurance imbricate to your velocipede under homeowners insurance. However, consider going one step further. Commuter bike insurance is a unconfined way to requite yourself some piece of mind. If you couldn’t hands replace your velocipede if it was stolen, it’s probably worth spending a few quid uneaten a month. As a bonus, some policies moreover include coverage to insure either yourself or others if you’re involved in an accident.
16. Track Your Bike
Install a GPS tracker to help increase the endangerment of recovering it if it’s stolen. A GPS tracker uses global position technology to determine the word-for-word location of an object. This is normally unfluctuating to a inside server or a mobile app, permitting you to see precisely where your velocipede is. GPS trackers are easy to install and are usually discreet, meaning they’re easy to conceal. There might moreover be some benefits to your insurance policy if you invest in one.
17. Change Your Bike
If all else fails, maybe consider waffly your bike. An expensive velocipede will unchangingly be lulu to a velocipede thief. A cheaper bike, whilst not immune, is a less lulu target, drawing less sustentation and having a lower resale value. If you commute on your expensive mountain bike, maybe it’s worth purchasing a cheaper, second hand velocipede for the task instead. This way, you’ll be less disappointed if it’s damaged or stolen, and you can alimony your premium trundling unscratched for your weekends.
How to Prevent Velocipede Theft
The weightier way to prevent velocipede theft is to deter a velocipede thief. Invest in good locks, know how to lock your bike, be vigilant, and be prepared in the specimen of a prospective theft with insurance and a GPS tracker. Unfortunately, no velocipede lock guarantees wool protection, so it is important to evaluate your whole security system and know where to alimony it. Stay informed well-nigh velocipede treason in your local area, invest in quality protection, and, ultimately, think like a thief in order to protect yourself from one.
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