Only a biker knows how much it is important for them, not only because they can cost a couple hundred or even thousands of dollars but also because the bikers form an emotional connection with them. No matter whether your bike is new or you have been riding it for years, its theft will equally hurt and frustrate you. As bikes seem easier to steal than motorbikes and cars, and most of them are worth a lot, most bike thieves are experts in doing the task efficiently. Especially in the case of expensive bikes, you have to take good care of the bike to prevent theft or any inconvenience.
Even though you have your bike secured outdoors on a bike rack and bike locks or your locked bike standing in your garage, your bike is still at risk of theft. A determined thief will pass every level of security and take your bike, so you have to provide the ultimate level of protection to ensure your bike’s safety. You can always add up to the security levels of your bicycle. That would be a great effort for a would-be thief, but it is a little trickier to prevent a prepared thief.
We are here with a comprehensive guide on preventing bike theft that will provide you with great details on what you must do and what things you should avoid to ensure your bike’s safety. Therefore, if you have any confusion, you can continue reading this guide, and we assure you that it will help you. So, let’s dig into our bike theft-prevent guide without wasting any more time.
What are the Main Measures to take in Bike Theft?
Before we start with any other things to prevent bike theft, we must discuss the main measures you must take in case your bike is stolen. You can use a tracking device or good GPS to ensure that you find your bike even when it is stolen. GPS trackers make tracking your stolen or lost bikes easier, and the chance of getting them back increases.
Another important factor you must prioritize to ensure your bike’s protection is bike insurance. Even if your bike is not too expensive, it is necessary to get your bike insured so you don’t have to deal with any financial loss in case of theft. So, getting a suitable insurance policy is as important as taking appropriate measures to improve the bike’s security to prevent theft.
How can you Prevent Bike Theft?
Even after taking all the necessary measures to increase the chance of retrieving your bike if it is stolen, you must not ignore the steps to enhance bike protection. By taking appropriate measures to prevent bike theft, you can protect your bike when it is still in your possession than struggle for it after it is stolen.
We have compiled a list of everything you must know if you are planning to increase your bike’s safety features. Let’s dig into the guide.
1. Choose the Ideal Lock
Whenever thinking about the security of anything, the first thing that comes into our minds is the locks. Apart from the primary lock that comes integrated into the bike system, you can add more to enhance your bike’s security. There are various bike locks as they come in multiple shapes, sizes, and materials. It is as simple as that you get what you pay for. So, make sure that you do not hesitate to spend money on getting a good lock because it ensures the safety of your bike.
Not only that, but you will also have to choose a lock according to your requirements. For example, if you plan to keep your bike in the woods overnight, you will have to use a different lock from the lock you use when you are drinking coffee ten feet away from your bike in the coffee shop. So, there are various factors to consider while choosing a bike lock. We have listed below some types of extra security locks for your convenience.
Types of Bike Locks
As mentioned earlier, choosing the right and secure lock for your bike is extremely important in ensuring your bike’s security. Here are some types of good bike locks;
U-Locks or D-locks – These are the locks considered the safest ones so far. This type of lock is a sturdy lock made out of hardened steel. These locks are a great product in the price and are worth every penny you spend on them. However, these locks are the heaviest ones which limit their use. You cannot carry them and use them everywhere you take your bike because of their heavy weight.
Cable Locks – A cable lock is known for its flexibility. It can easily work with a complex bike frame and conveniently go around larger anchor points. In the case of these locks, you must choose the ideal ones that are not too thin as the thin ones could be easily cut with bolt cutters. You can also use a chain lock for better security, but you will also have to look into the product before you choose it. Please do not use the cheaper chains, as they can be easily cut with the help of a bolt cutter or a hacksaw.
Folding Locks – If you are looking for a lightweight bike lock, the folding lock is a viable option. They are lightweight and compact and hard to cut through, thus giving a tough time to savvy thieves. With the folding locks, you can lock your bike to anything, whether an oddly shaped tree or a signpost. The only problem with these locks is that the mechanism they work on, i.e. their pins, can be easily destroyed and rendered useless.
No matter what type of lock you choose, choose the one with a reputable and reliable manufacturer brand. Various brands offer flexible yet sturdy locks that are hard to cut and get through. These brands include Hiplok, Abus, Kryptonite, and some more. You can either get a heavy-duty lock or a lightweight lock according to your requirements.
How to Lock your Bike?
Choosing the right lock is not enough; you must also learn to lock your bike rightly. It is also important to secure multiple bike parts to ensure the whole bike’s safety. Most bike parts can be easily disassembled using simple hardware tools, so you must not neglect any of the features at the risk of theft. Make sure that your bike is secured to a tree or a solid object that is immovable and cannot be lifted. You can always lock your bike to a bike rack or a park bench.
It would help if you looped both the wheel and the frame before locking the bike to a secure spot or a solid object. Also, don’t forget to lock both wheels before locking the cycle to prevent stealing the wheels. Lock the whole bike bypassing the lock through the frame and then giving it to the rear wheel and front wheel. You can also secure the wheels to the frame with the help of a second lock.
If you use a cable lock for your bike, make sure to wrap the cable lock all around the bike before you secure it to any solid object. Keep giving the cable multiple rounds until there is no slack left, and lock it as high as possible.
2. Location of the Bike
As important as choosing the most efficient locks for your bike, choosing the right location is equally important. Even if it is located near your home or workplace, if you park your bike there regularly, you must analyze the surroundings before deciding on a particular parking spot. Here are some tips that might help you in deciding on a suitable place to park your bike;
- Choose a place with the hustle and bustle around like some public place. Also, the area should be well-lit, so you can see any potential thieves that might come after your bike. It is never good to leave your bike in any abandoned dark alley. Therefore, you must choose a well-lit and well-traveled area.
- Make sure the spot you choose for your bike has some CCTV cameras nearby so that in case your bike goes missing, you will have the footage of the thief. CCTV cameras have made it easier even to catch professional thieves.
- In case your bike is parked out of your sight, never leave any of your belongings with your bike even when you think that they are secured there.
- Loop your bike’s helmet strap through the wheel and the bike frame, then buckle it. It provides extra protection to your bike.
If your workplace or the stores you frequently visit have a coffee shop or a bookshop, or any garage nearby, you can ask the owners for a favor to let you park your bike inside. Usually, the store owners are very generous in such cases and let you park your bike in their storage rooms. If you don’t have a garage, you can lock it with a solid object in case of parking your bike at home.
3. Register your Bike
It is always a great option to register your bike through some reliable platform. By registering your bike, you give all the necessary details of your bike to the community service, making it easier to track your bike when it gets lost. Once you have your bike registered with a trustworthy service provider, they will find your bike for you if you lost it or it got stolen.
These platforms have ties with all the necessary departments, the police department, and the crime controllers, making the whole finding process a lot easier. These platforms are also informed if any stolen bikes are being sold, which plays a major role in finding the lost belongings. So, it is always a great idea to register your bike to a strong, informed community.
What Attracts the Bike Thieves?
It is a fact that the product that looks more visually appealing attracts people, whether they are normal people or thieves. So, if you want not to attract any thieve, do not adorn your bike with expensive and attractive accessories. Remove the computers, cameras, and all the classy lights on your bike so that it starts looking boring to the thieves.
You might agree that a bright, colorful bike passing in front of your eyes or parked somewhere you can see will catch your attention instantly. So, it would help if you believed that it also attracts thieves more easily. But customized colorful bikes also have an advantage as they cannot be sold easily and are instantly recognizable.
It is important to note that usually, there are two types of bike thieves. The first ones are the ones that want to bikes to themselves, while the other ones are those who disassemble all the bike parts and sell them separately. In both cases, you must make your bike less attractive and undesirable so that it doesn’t catch the attention of thieves. You can also cover the logo on your bike and use spray paint to make your bike look more undesirable and customized.
What is a Bike Anti-Theft System?
A bike anti-theft system doesn’t comprise a single element as it contains multiple locks and other factors. You will need a safety-conscious mind and further details to make the perfect anti-theft system. Along with some good bike theft prevention techniques, you will need a lock or two, an efficient GPS tracker, and some theft-proof bolts. All of these elements combined to make a unique anti-theft system. Moreover, use some good ground anchors or a secure wall when parking at home. You can also install reliable CCTV cameras around the area where you park your bike at home. A reliable home alarm system also plays a great role in the bike anti-theft system.
So, it is up to you, your requirements, and your satisfaction level what elements you want to add to your bike anti-theft system. There is a wide range of different factors that can prove quite helpful in enhancing the security of your bike. So, it is your turn to customize your bike anti-theft system that will fit your requirements.
What do Thieves do with Stolen Bikes?
Have you ever wondered what even thieves do with the stolen bikes as this technology has made it so easy to track them? Well, thieves are experts in what they do and know all the latest technology. Usually, thieves do two things to the bikes they steal. One is that they disassemble all the parts of a motorcycle and sell them to different parts of a country or even out of the country. They find some unsuspecting buyers from all around the place and sell them all the details.
Normally, the thieves throw away the bike’s frame so that there is no chance of them getting caught by the serial number of the cycle. This is one of the most common aspects of bike theft and thieves and in such cases, getting the bike back is almost impossible.
While the second type of thieves is the would-be or the less-organized ones who tend to use the stolen bikes by themselves, these thieves try to change the bike’s appearance before putting it into use by spray painting it or putting on different stickers. Another thing that these thieves do is sell the stolen bikes to other parts of the country to keep them away from the region it was stolen from. In such cases, it is rather easier to retrieve the stolen bikes than when they are disassembled into pieces and sent away.
No matter how many measures you take, your bike might be still at risk of being stolen as the thieves also advance with the technology. But this doesn’t mean that you should not focus on enhancing the security system of your bike. As mentioned above, multiple types of efficient locks and trackers can help you throughout the process. So, you must never compromise with the safety of your bike as we know it is not just a financial issue but an emotional one too.
In case your bike gets stolen, go to the police immediately and register a report with your bike’s serial number. As soon as the ownership of your bike is confirmed, the police will start looking for your bike. Moreover, if your bike is insured, contact the insurance company immediately. Also, you can be vigilant and look for your bike in nearby areas or online bike selling sites. Hopefully, you will get your bike back and in case not, make sure to take more security measures when you get your new bike. So, do not waste your time and go to the nearest bike shop and get all the necessary safety equipment for your bike now! Also, even if you have a cheaper bike, get it insured to save yourself from any financial inconvenience.