According to statistics, there are approximately 376,000 bicycles stolen every year in the UK, that works out at over 1,000 bicycles stolen every day. As more and more people start to get into cycling, the opportunity for theft increases, thieves are always on the look out for an easy target and unattended, poorly locked bicycle is a perfect target.
Here are some tips on how to safely secure your bicycle and avoid being the victim of theft:
Invest in a good lock – To be honest, most bike thieves will know how to open almost any lock, and no lock on the market is unbreakable, but you can invest in some top of the range security chains which make your bicycle an undesirable target for burglars. The real trick is to make your bike look like the least attractive option so it won’t be marked for theft by unscrupulous individuals. Try to choose a lock based on the time you need it protected and the particular area in which you usually leave it. So, for example, if you have to leave your bike outside a college campus or office for long periods of time, it is important that you buy a durable, heavy duty chain, one which won’t easily be picked.
Choose a lock which you find easy to use – It is best to purchase a lock which matches your habits, if you easily forget passwords and codes, don’t go for a combination lock, opt for a key lock so you won’t get stuck outside starring blankly at your bike trying to remember your combination. Likewise, if you are the type of individual who always loses their keys, it is best to invest in a combination lock so you won’t have to worry about misplaced keys.
Remember to always check the packaging before buying any product to ensure you have purchased the right kind of lock, if you are unsure, speak with a member of staff who can provide you with more information.
Ensure you lock your bike properly – You may not know it, but there are correct and incorrect ways to lock your bike.
- Correct Locking Procedures:
Always lock a chain around the main frame of the bike and not any auxiliary parts, if you only have one chain, make sure you lock it to the frame and front wheel. Most thieves will be reluctant to steal your bike by removing the back wheel as it is attached to the chain and takes more time to get off. Remember to chain your bike to an immovable object.
- Incorrect Locking Procedures:
Don’t just lock your bike from the frame to wheel and forget about wrapping the chain around a stationary object. A thief can simply lift your bike and work on breaking your lock in another area. If you choose to lock your bike to a pole or bulky object, ensure your bike can’t be easily lifted over the top and stolen.
Use as many strategies as possible to discourage thieves, and think about ways to make your bike a difficult target for criminals.