Home > News > Cycling > How to Protect your Bike from .....

News

How to Protect your Bike from Being Stolen

  • Author:Murphy Qin
  • Release on:2020-12-09

Even a basic bicycle for traveling between work and home can be expensive, so it’s no surprise that bikes are a popular target for thieves. This post contains vital tips that will help you know how to protect your bike from being stolen.

According to Cyclist UK, there were around 327,000 bike theft incidents reported in England and Wales between April 2015 and March 2016. Worldwide, more than a million bikes are stolen every year, and in most countries, only around 1% are ever recovered. Make no mistake; bike theft is a big business. So what are the best ways to help prevent your bike from being stolen? Whether it’s at home or away, this guide should help you keep your bike more secure.

  • Registering and marking your bike
  • The best locks to use for your bike
  • Securing your bike while you’re out and about

Registering and Marking your Bike

When you’ve bought a new bike, it’s worth signing up to a national bicycle marking and registration scheme. This is basically an online database system approved by the police, where you can upload your bike’s model and frame number, as well as a photo of it. It’s free to register via websites, and you’ll be given a logbook to record any details in case you ever need to prove the bike belongs to you. Good websites include Bike Register or Immobilise (in the UK) and National

Bike Registry or Garage 529 (in North America),

Police regularly check the database when retrieving stolen or found bikes. So if yours has been taken, you can highlight this on your online account. If the police then recover the bike, it should be easier for them to return it to you.

It’s also a good idea to mark your bike with an exclusive ID code so that it’s identifiable. Local police often mark bikes at special events – so keep checking their websites for details.

It’s also a good idea to keep a full description of your bike. The best way to do this is to take plenty of photos and note down the following details:

  • Frame number
  • Make/model
  • Size/color
  • Date/place of purchase
  • Value
  • Distinctive features

If you do register your bike with a security scheme and get it marked, you should also keep a record of any unique serial numbers. Providing bike theft is covered in your insurance, having these details on file will be useful if you ever need to make a claim.

The Best Locks to Use for Your Bike

Anyone can take a bike that’s been left unattended. But if it’s locked, only lock-breakers with the relevant tools can attempt to steal it. That said, there is little that can put off the more accomplished bike thieves. They can spot a weak lock a mile away and have ways to break the sturdier ones. With the right set of tools, it can take them as little as three seconds to break a lock!

By targeting high value bikes, thieves have stepped up their game. Many now carry toughened bolt cutters that neatly fold into their rucksacks, or even angle grinders for when normal wire or bolt cutters can’t do the job. With this in mind, it’s worth a little extra research when it comes to selecting the best lock for your bike.

Securing your Bike While You’re Out and About

Bike thefts can happen in seconds, so always secure your bike if you’re leaving it unattended – even if it’s just for a few moments. When locking your bike, the main aim is to make it as difficult as possible to get at the lock itself.

Two bike locks are always better than one

  1. Choose your space wisely. If there’s a high value bike that doesn’t look very secure, consider locking yours next to it. If you’ve locked your bike correctly, it’s likely the thief will target the other bike instead.Choose the same bike rack above.
  2. Always lock your bike through its lower frame (never through the top), and to a solid, immovable object that has a closed loop so the bike can’t be lifted over the top (e.g. iron railings).
  3. Two locks are always better than one. Put the first through the back wheel, the lower frame of the seat tube and the object. If you’re using a flexible lock (cable or chain), wrap it in such a way that it keeps taut.
  4. Fill the space with as much of the bike and object as possible. The fewer gaps there are, the harder it will be for anyone to attack it with cutters or bolt croppers.
  5. Repeat the steps with the second lock, this time through the front wheel, the bottom of the bracket and the object.
How to Protect Your Bike from Being Stolen. Always lock your bike to a solid, immovable object that has a closed loop so the bike can't be lifted over the top (e.g. iron railings)

Lock your bike to a solid, immovable object that has a closed loop the bike can’t be lifted over the top (e.g. Stainless Steel U Style Bike Rack)

If you’re locking your bike somewhere for a long period of time, opt for a well-lit location where there will be plenty of passers-by. But remember that bike thieves are quite brazen. Public places – even busy cities with lots of CCTV cameras – won’t necessarily stop determined bike thieves, if they think they can steal it quickly enough.

How to Protect Your Bike from Being Stolen. Public places – even busy cities with lots of CCTV cameras – won't necessarily stop determined bike thieves, if they think they can steal it quickly enough.
Public placesBike Storage even busy cities with lots of CCTV cameras – won’t necessarily stop determined bike thieves, if they think they can steal it quickly enough
How to Protect Your Bike from Being Stolen. You need to be cautious when it comes to indoor parking – these spaces tend to be quieter, allowing thieves more time to go unnoticed if there's limited security or it isn't manned at all
You need to be cautious when it comes to indoor parking – these spaces tend to be quieter, allowing thieves more time to go unnoticed if there’s limited security or it isn’t manned at all

If you’re thinking about cycling to work, university or a train station, scope out the amenities first. Public buildings often have designated areas with bicycle racks, but you need to be cautious when it comes to indoor parking – these spaces tend to be quieter, allowing thieves more time to go unnoticed if there’s limited security or it isn’t manned at all.

Having a bike stolen is both frustrating and unsettling. But by putting some (if not all) of these precautions into place, the likelihood of it happening to you will be significantly lower. If nothing else, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’ve done everything you can to keep your bike secure.