Security tips for your summer ride, whatever that may be!
The Tour de France may be well and truly done and dusted, but with another heatwave on the cards the Tour de High Street (a tournament open to serious and casual cyclist alike) is set to continue for weeks to come!
Many cyclists fall into the trap of thinking that if they’re not riding a top-end racing bike, they won't be the target of theft. These bikes are then poorly secured which then makes them more likely to be stolen than top-end bikes where the user has taken more precautions to protect against theft!
Still don’t believe us, check out stolen-bikes.co.uk for more information on bike theft around the UK including a personalised hotspot map of thefts in your area. Convinced now? Good. Tell thieves to get on their bike (and off yours!) with our top 3 bicycle security tips.
Recording important details of your bike such as the make & model, frame number (found on the rear of the frame, close to the pedals) and any scratches or marks will drastically improve your chances of reclaiming your bike should it be found by police in the case of theft.
We recommend taking a photo of your bike including photos of any marks or scratches to provide to police as well. There are several organisations that offer a bike registration service including Stolen Bikes, Bike Shepherd and Immobilise. At the time of publication, Immobilise is the only one of these registers to be adopted by police forces in the UK and can be used to register a wider range of property including personal electronics. On the other hand both Stolen Bike and Bike Shepherd only allow of registeration of bikes, but they also publicise when your bike has been stolen, a service not provided by Immobilise. It's worth investigating each service on your own before deciding who to go with.
Unfortunately, no lock will protect you completely against theft, so your objective is to lock your bike securely enough that a thief moves on to easier pickings. Cables are useful for securing kids bikes in sheds or garages as the threat of theft is low. Once you’re out an about however, a D-Lock (or U-Lock as they are sometimes called) is your lock of choice, as these are much harder for a thief to remove without the use of power tools. Choose the smallest D-Lock that you can use comfortably. Not only are they lighter to pack, smaller D-Locks are more resistant to leverage attacks – so remember, the smaller the better!
If you have quick release wheels, make sure you either remove a wheel to lock to the other (this may require a larger D-Lock) or carry two small D-Locks to lock both wheels to a rack. If you're looking for a more budget conscious solution, we recommend installing Quick Caps. This innovative product clamps to the lever side of the wheel and locks in place. UK designed and manufactured, Quick Caps can be left in place whilst cycling making it one of the simplest solution available to secure your quick release wheels.
When you’re out and about in town, don’t just lock your bike on the nearest sign post! Walk around the area and see if you can find a dedicated bike rack. Ideally, you want to lock your bike amongst other bikes, as this will decrease the chance of theft (as there may be other easier targets around!). If you can’t find a bike rack, look around for a well-lit area with CCTV and busy pedestrian traffic. It is unlikely a thief will target your bike if they will have an audience to contend with as well!