Warmer weather provides many of us with the opportunity to dust our bikes off, don our helmets and hit the open road. However, cycling season also affords bicycle thieves with greater opportunities to engage in this type of crime. Make sure you steer clear of cycle theft by following our top ten security tips.
Protecting Your Bike
1. Take out insurance
Extend your home contents insurance or take out a separate policy. Do this at the time of purchasing the bike, or you may never get round to following it up.
2. Mark your bicycle
There are several bike security marking systems available to choose from.
3. Make a Record
Record your bicycles model, make and frame number. This assists the police in returning recovered bikes to their rightful owners. Consider taking a photograph of the bike and record a detailed description of it, including any unique features for reporting if stolen and also for insurance purposes.
4. Keep it out of sight
Amazingly more than half of bicycle thefts occur from the owner’s property. A bike is obviously going to be seen whilst out and about but if you nip in the house don’t leave it at the front or propped up against a wall where it can be easily taken.
5. Home security
When not in use secure your bike in the shed or garage and ensure the door is locked. This is particularly important in the summer as people are often in and out of the shed throughout the day and it is easy to presume it is locked – make a special effort to check each evening.
6. Add extra security
Consider installing extra security in sheds and garages such as a floor or wall mounted anchor to make your bike doubly difficult to steal.
Out & About
7. Location, location, location
Ensure your bike is left in an area with lots of people around so if someone wants to steal it they will have to do so in a crowded area.
8. Lock it or lose it!
Always lock your bike up even if only left unattended for a couple of minutes. It only takes seconds for someone to ride off on an unlocked bike.
Take advantage of proper bike racks and ground anchors. If they aren’t any specific areas to secure your bicycle, lock it to robust street furniture such as lampposts or railings ensuring that your bike can’t simply be lifted off the item. Remember if you can think of a way to remove your bike so can a thief!
10. Position your lock smartly
Lock your bike through the frame as it is the strongest part of the bike. Locks can be picked so face the lock towards the ground when securing your bike so the lock can not be easily turned and picked.