Bicycles can be valuable pieces of property, and have long been the target of thieves due to their mobile nature and ease of selling them second hand. In order to maintain the security of your bicycle, there are a few easy things you can do to reduce any chance that it will be stolen. It is always up to you to take the steps necessary to protect your bicycle, as there are a significant number of bicycles stolen each year in the UK.
One of the best ways to keep your bicycle safe is to store it inside locked areas, such as your home or individual storage. If you don’t have controlled storage areas, there are creative ways for you to store you bicycle inside your living space. If you do not have the space available to store your bicycle inside a private area, there are some public bicycle storage options that may at least allow for limited access. Finally, if it is necessary to store you bicycle in a public space there are a few measures you can take to improve the security of your valuable possession.
If you are locking your bicycle in a public place, you will want to ensure the quality of the item you wish to secure your bicycle two with a lock and chain or D-lock. Consider the stability and strength of what you are attaching your bicycle to, and consider whether your bicycle could be removed without undoing the lock by lifting or otherwise manipulating the set up. You will want to make sure the type of locking mechanism you are using is appropriate for the item you intend to lock it to; D-locks are designed to work well with bicycle racks where chain locks are more adaptable. In many cities, poles that are low or are not effective places to lock a bicycle have been retrofitted with pieces of equipment that are designed to be safe places for you to lock up your bicycle.
When leaving your bicycle in a public area you will always want to utilise a strong lock intended for use with cycles. Locks come in a variety of sizes and designs which are developed to safely secure bicycles to different items, such as bicycle racks or other posts. Locks that are designed for bicycles are stronger and more resistant to being cut than more traditional locks. Make sure you choose the most appropriate lock for keeping your bike secure wherever you intend to ride it.
There are also other steps you can take to dissuade any theft or vandalism; such steps include removing parts of the bicycle as a deterrent to crime. The removal of the front tire prevents any potential thief from simply riding the bicycle away, which is how many cycles are commonly stolen. You can also remove the physical seat itself on most bicycle models, which obviously makes for a much less comfortable ride should someone decide to attempt stealing it. If the bicycle is not able to be ridden due to a missing piece, yet someone attempts to steal it, others might notice the peculiarity and alert the authorities of the potential theft. Removing parts of the bicycle can be an effective way discourage any would be thief from choosing your bicycle over the other available options.
Ensuring you have a copy of the bicycles’ identifying information and serial number is very important, in order to effectively report the missing item and have any chance of recovery. This tracking information can be necessary for any investigation and will likely be required for you to claim your cycle if it is successfully retrieved from the perpetrators. There is a bicycle registry that you can include your bicycle in, that way if it does turn up and the bicycle registry is searched you will be contacted. If bicycles do turn up in the hands of the police, one of the first ways to check ownership of that bicycle is through registries.
You can also utilise modern technology with a variety of tracking options including some cellular applications. It is possible to utilise GPS technology and tracking devices that will help locate you bicycle should it turn up missing or potentially stolen. These options can become expensive, but are a good insurance that you will be able to relocate your bicycle more quickly in the event of a theft.
With the commonality of bicycle thefts in the UK, it is important to take the steps necessary to ensure the security of your bicycle. By following the recommendations in this article, and using any combination of the suggested strategies, the likelihood that you will be the victim of bicycle theft will be reduced. It is unfortunate that bicycle thefts are so common, but it is up to you to ensure that your bicycle is safe and secure at all times.