Whether you are a casual rider who loves the feel of cruising around town during weekends or you cycle during weekdays to work, you must understand how best to secure your bicycle against theft. Having your bike stolen can be a nightmare, and over 1.5 million bicycles are reported stolen annually in the US. Reports have it that only 2.4 percent of the stolen bikes were recovered.
The best way to secure your bicycle from theft is to leverage certain smart preventive measures. A good percentage of bike thefts are opportunity-driven. A thief just walks past your bike and sees that it is not adequately secured, and then leverages those lapses to quickly take your bike or bike parts.
According to experts, bike thieves are not always willing to invest so much time and effort just to unlock or steal your bike. They tend to go for bicycles that are not adequately secured. Just as it was noted above, to secure your bike, you need to make it as difficult and time-consuming as possible for the thief to break your locks and take your bike.
What is the Best Way to Secure Bicycle Against Theft?
The issue of bike theft is becoming prevalent especially since local authorities and governments are overlooking it. However, if you are seeking the best way to secure your bicycle, here are the best measures to consider.
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Always Take Your Bike Inside
This is without doubt one of the most obvious ways to secure your bicycle. If, for instance, you live on the ground floor, or you don’t mind taking your bike with you up the stairs or on the elevator, this is one very effective way to prevent your bike from getting stolen. This will only work when you are at home though, so you still need to leverage some smart measures when you park it somewhere else.
Check on Your Bike Frequently
To ensure that your bike is secure and to discourage anyone from stealing your bicycle, you must regularly check on your bicycle. Note that when you check your bike every couple of hours, you will know when it gets stolen and you can start seeking means to find and secure it.
A stolen bike can be sold quickly, and the earlier you find out it is stolen, the earlier you can find it. Consider using a smartphone camera that lets you check on your bicycle with little or no stress.
Lock Your Bike Securely
This is one of the very first things to do once you purchase a bicycle. Have it in mind that a heavy-duty lock can be a deterrent in its own right. When you lock the bike frame with your D-lock, always ensure you lock it to something unmovable or anchored to the floor.
This could be a lamppost, street sign, or sturdy fence, as long as you are not obstructing the traffic or blocking access for pedestrians. Always go for a lock size that is snug around the lamppost and the frame.
You can adequately secure your bicycle by leveraging bicycle theft tracking devices that come with a GPS chip that can be hidden into your bike handlebars. This is one of the best options to properly secure your bike and also to find your bike after it has been stolen as long as the thief doesn’t know how to disable it.
You can report to the police to help track your bike in real-time, recover it, and capture the person who stole it. Popular GPS bike trackers, such as Sherlock, and Spybike, can be easily accessed on Amazon or other online stores.
Move It Regularly
To ensure that your bicycle is safe and secured, it is advisable you steadily move it. Note that when a potential thief sees your bike in the same place daily, especially during certain hours, then he or she will know the best time to get away with stealing your bike. If you always switch the position of your bicycle, then it is unlikely someone will know that it will be left there for many hours.
Use Seat and Wheel that Require Keys
Have it in mind that the seats and wheels that come with most modern bikes tend to come with ‘quick-release’ mechanisms, and this ensures that they can be easily disbanded if there is a need to load the bike into a car — but they also make the seat and wheels easier to steal.
If you don’t need to frequently remove your wheels and seat, then you should consider ditching these seats and wheels for ones that come with locks and will require keys to open.
Take Accessories With You
It is always recommended you take your lights, pump, quick-release saddle, and any other detachable item with you when packing your bicycle. Most often, if a thief fails to unlock or move your bicycle, they may try to take some loose accessories with them.
Also, note that taking your accessories with you will make the bicycle less appealing to thieves. If you’ve chosen a premium saddle from a brand like Brooks, you should access another lock just for securing it to the frame.
Create a Privacy Perimeter on Strava
For riders who use Strava, it offers very unique features to help secure their bike. You just have to go through the settings of the app to create a privacy perimeter. It entails that you can stipulate a radius around your house and that part will never show up on a map of your activity. However, since you don’t always know who might be looking at your rides, you shouldn’t keep your profile public, instead set your profile to friends only.
Set up a Security Camera
Have it in mind that a properly installed security camera helps scare off a potential thief, sends you instant alerts before and while your bicycle is being tampered with, helps to identify the bad guy, and makes finding your bicycle easier if it gets stolen. This is indeed one of the measures to secure your bicycle; however, ensure you choose the right bike surveillance camera.
Pick Your Spot
If you have to park your bike in the open street, then consider a spot with more foot traffic. Note that the more foot traffic, the more challenging it is for a thief to operate. Also, consider leaving your bicycles at designated bike parking garages or boxes as a good number of them are surveyed by video.
If you cannot carry your bike up the stairs to your apartment, the next viable option is to leave it behind a locked door – in an inner courtyard. Ensure you don’t leave your bike out io the street but if you have to leave your bike in the street, and then choose a spot with the most foot traffic.
According to experts, opportunity theft makes up a good percentage of all bike theft. Owing to that, you must learn to secure your bike. Modern bikes are known to be light and can be easily carried away. Coupled with a D-Lock, consider some of these security measures noted above to ensure that you can adequately secure your bicycle.