You can use your bike for anything from exercise and days out to your main source of transport; cycling is an excellent way to improve your health and wellness. Whatever way you use it, you would likely be very upset if it got stolen. Here are some top tips to help you improve your bike security, reduce the chances of it getting stolen, and increase the possibility of having it returned to you if it does get stolen.
At some point, you are going to want to park your bike in public. Make sure you have an adequate lock such as a D lock attached to it. This will make it harder for a bike thief to steal and it will take them longer to steal. This makes it a deterrent for any would-be bike thief, and it will keep your bike safer. Don’t forget to lock the wheels and saddle separately as these can be stolen and used for parts. You can never have too many locks on a bike and using more than one will add to your bike security.
Park It Securely
Think about where you are going to park your bike. If you are in a public place, look for CCTV and park it where a camera will see it. This is a great deterrent as a bike thief will not want to be seen stealing a bike and will make sure that they are away from the cameras when they take one. Parking near CCTV also increases the chances of you getting the bike back if it is stolen, as you may have photographic evidence of the thief that can be circulated.
Try not to park your bike on its own. Instead, use a designated public bike rack. If your bike is parked with other bikes, this reduces the risk of your bike being singled out for theft, especially if you have a more secure lock than those around you.
Store It Out of Sight
Store your bike somewhere safe such as a garage or shed. It is a good idea to lock it up even in these places, as they tend to be a little more insecure than the main part of your home, and a determined thief may take their chances. If you have space, you could store your bike in your house; a laundry room is a great place for a bike rack, and this will keep it out of sight.
Mask Your Location
Many people who use their bikes for exercise will also use social fitness platforms such as Strava to monitor their performance. It is great to share as it means that other people can give you support and encouragement. However, it also means that savvy thieves can target the homes of athletes who upload frequently. Masking your location will help to keep your bike and the rest of your belongings safer.
What to do If My Bike is Stolen? Have Insurance!
These tips are all very well and good but if you think: what to do if my bike is stolen anyway, even though you have followed these safety tips, read the linked blog post from Velosurance. Making sure you have insurance is a must for bike owners. Velosurance was set up by cyclists and will replace old for new, so you know you can get a bike like the one that has been stolen if you claim. Insurance for your bike might be something you have overlooked until now, but it is relatively cheap and could cost you a lot less than having to replace your bike.
Keep records of things such as the serial number and bike frame number of your bike. This will help you to identify it if it is stolen and you will be able to prove that it is yours. The police often find stolen bikes but with no evidence, it is harder for the owner to claim them back. Make a note of these numbers for identification purposes and keep photos. This way you can always prove that the bike is yours once it has been located.
Use A Tracking Device
A tracking device is a relatively new concept, but it is certainly worth investing in if your bike is expensive. Trackers can be easily attached to your bike and they are small enough to go unnoticed. They work on either Bluetooth or GPS, depending on which tracker you get, and send updates to your phone telling you the exact location of your bike. This will help you to find your bike if it has been stolen or even if you have forgotten where you have parked it.
Use these seven tips to improve the security of your bike and give you peace of mind. Hopefully, your bike will never be stolen but if it is you will be able to get it back more easily if you follow this advice.