Lock up your bike! Don’t give thieves an easy targetNovember 25, 2013
Over 20,000 bikes were stolen last year in London, a staggering statistic considering that only 1 in 5 bike thefts are actually reported. If a bike is worth stealing then no about of locks will stop a thief, but we can make things harder for them!
Why make it easy for a criminal? Firstly always lock your bike, but secondly and equally important think about the location of your locked cycle. The best place to leave a bike has to be with other locked bikes, such as a dedicated bike rack, making sure the location is well lit and can be overseen by the public.
Good quality locks
When choosing a new bike lock, don’t go for the cheapest, these are often cheap for a reason! Purchase the most expensive lock you can afford, but lets not be silly, there is not point spending £150 on a lock, when your bike is only worth £75. D style locks are great for quick and easy locking, they can also be further extended with an additional cable, this cable can be used to secure front and rear wheels, the loops on each end can be threaded through the original D lock.
Chain locks can be used to good effect for bike security, when secured with a high security padlock, bike chains will include a soft cover to prevent any damage to the bike frame.
When leaving your bike for any length of time also consider any bike attachments, such as lights, these should always be removed.
Bike security at home
Nearly half of all reported bike crime is carried out from a home, from garages, sheds and gardens. Consider installing a ground or wall anchor, even when the cycle is stored inside a locked shed, anchors can be used along with a good cable lock to secure your bike. If a suitable outside location can not be found, bike should be stored inside, hocks on a ceiling can be used to reduce the space required.
Dedicated cycle insurance policies can be purchased, but these are often expensive, just dedicated to the bike enthusiast. Any easy way to cover your bike could be to extend your home contents insurance by specifying your bike is covered when away from the home.
Identification and registration
Photographs should always be taken of your bike shortly after purchase, these can be used to prove ownership. For years now local police forces have offered a marking service, this is simply done by stamping your house number and postcode to the frame of the bike. Once this has been completed your bike can be registered at https://www.bikeregister.com/
The most determined thieves will always find a way through any locks, but a combination of good quality locks and careful consideration to where you leave your bike will result in a long term relationship with your bike.