We often Google ‘bike news’ in order to keep abreast of what’s going on in the world of cycling and every time we do, bike theft is always the biggest talking point.
Whether it’s the BBC reporting on amateur bike sleuths taking on bike thieves in Finland or Wales Online informing us about the theft of a £3,200 electric bike, cycles are hot property.
In our latest blog we offer 5 top tips to keep your bike, and bike rack, safe from sticky fingers!
Insure your bike
You may think that your bike is covered under your home contents insurance policy, but to what extent?
It’s worth checking this out, especially if you have invested a significant amount of money into a really expensive bike. If this is the case, you may need specialist bike insurance.
Often, if a bike is secured at your home when stolen, it’s likely to be covered, but there is a limit set on how much insurers will pay out. Does that value limit come anywhere close to the cost of your bike?
Then there’s the scenario where your bike is stolen or damaged away from your home. It’s unlikely, in this case, that the theft/damage will be covered by a standard home insurance policy. Again, it’s worth checking this out.
There are specialist insurances available for just a few pounds a month which provide additional cover, so if yours is an expensive road, mountain, e-bike or trike, it may be worth investing to give you extra peace of mind.
Get a decent lock – or even two!
Often, bike theft is an opportunist crime; they spot an easy target outside a house or propped against a wall and before you can say ‘STOP’… whoosh, it’s gone.
A decent bike lock with a good security rating is a valuable investment. Two decent bike locks are worth their weight in gold and really will help to protect your bike
Having no lock, or a flimsy one with a poor level of protection, makes the theft of your bike very easy, but if you should instead attach a heavy duty lock you are making the thief’s job more difficult and time-consuming.
It’s therefore more likely that they will abandon the attempt to steal your bike or move onto a bike with a less secure lock. Further to this, if you’re locking in a bike shed or outside, consider fitting a ground anchor for added security.
Keep your bike safe at home
The majority of bikes stolen are from the owner’s home, which increases the vulnerability of you and your family, especially when thefts take place overnight.
You can help to prevent bike theft by:
- Storing your bike in a locked shed or garage
- Keeping it out of view
- Securing it to an immovable object such as a ground anchor.
- Adding chain locks to your bike
- Enabling an alarm and security cameras
Keep it safe away from home
We talked about opportunist thefts in Tip 1, but a growing trend among thieves is stealing certain makes and models to order. Imagine then, that when out and about, your bike is ‘fair game’ for the ‘shopper’, unless you act wisely:
- Park your bike in a well-lit area, where it can be easily seen by passers-by.
- Lock both wheels and the frame of your bike to a cycle stand or another immovable object. Use designated parking areas where possible.
- Take any removable items with you such as wheels, lights, baskets, and saddle.
- Don’t park in the same place every day. If bike thieves are stealing to order, they are more likely to target you if they know where you will be.
Secure on your bike rack
While certainly less common, bikes can be stolen right off the rack, especially if they aren’t locked to it.
Even worse, if your bike is worth a lot of money, some thieves will take both the rack and the bike if the bike is locked to the rack.
You may want to consider insuring both your bike and your rack. Although this won’t prevent theft, it will be a big relief if your bike (and your rack) ever get stolen.
We hope these tips have been helpful in keeping your bike (and your rack) safe from thieving hands!