How to protect your bike from being stolen
You can’t eliminate the chance of someone pinching your prized bicycle, but you can minimise it with a few sensible actions to protect your bike from being stolen. I know it’s not the most exciting subject but it’s really important to keep your bike secure. Bikes that are not well secured are really easy to steal because the thief can ride away from the scene fairly swiftly, and even if you see them disappearing with it, you won’t be able to catch them on foot, particularly in your cleated bike shoes.
I used to work in a bike shop and I’ve heard many sad tales from customers who lost their whole bike to theft, but also parts of their bike like wheels and seatpost/saddles. There’s nothing more useless (or annoying) than a bike without wheels or a seat.
Here are a few tips for minimising the risk:
Don’t let your bike out of your sight
If you are at a local café after a ride don’t walk inside and leave your bike well out of your sight unless you have some friends to watch over it. It only takes a few seconds for an opportunistic thief to ride off.
Fit anti-theft devices to your bike
If you have a quick-release seat-post clamp you can change this to a bolt variety or even one with an anti-theft bolt. It makes it harder for you to move the seat up and down, but it also makes it much harder for a thief to pinch your seatpost and seat.
You can also consider changing the quick-release axles in your wheels but I wouldn’t do this unless you leave your bike for a long time unattended because it becomes a real pain when you want to take your wheel off to repair a flat tyre.
Buy a good lock
There are quite a few kinds of bike locks available. They come in key or combination varieties and range from a very basic cable lock right up to heavy U-locks. You have to decide what works best for you based on where you plan to lock your bike, what type of bike you have, how much it’s worth, and what weight you want to carry around. Abus locks has a good summary on its website so I won’t lecture you here.
You should lock your bike even if you’re just leaving it to duck into the shops or for a toilet break. You should also lock it when it’s on your bike rack on your car and a bike cover is also a good idea so the potential thieves can’t evaluate quickly if your bike is valuable. Ideally, you want a lock that is long enough to go around the frame and the rear wheel.
Fit a tracking device
You can fit a concealed tracking device to your bike so you can see where it is if a thief makes off with it. I don’t suggest you turn vigilante and track them down but you can use the information to share with the police when you report it stolen. It will also make it easier to prove it’s your bike if you see it listed on eBay or Marketplace for sale after it has been stolen.
Insure your bike
Several insurance companies provide dedicated bike insurance like Velosure who my bike is insured with, and you can also add bikes onto existing home insurance policies. Obviously check the conditions of the insurance. Many of the policies specify that it must be locked securely to qualify for insurance.
What are your tips to protect your bike from being stolen? Share via comments or the Women Who Cycle Facebook page.
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