As a crime, theft itself has actually been on the decrease over the last few years. This being said, bike thefts are still happening on a regular basis. It can happen anywhere and a criminal can be past a lock and riding off on your bike within only a matter of seconds.
Bikes are incredibly easy to steal but not so easy to recover. There is only a very slim chance that a stolen bike will ever make its way back to its original owner. It has been estimated that less than five percent of stolen bikes are actually recovered.
Let’s take a look at what we consider to be the top 5 ways of protecting your bike from theft.
1. Don’t Keep it Looking New
If something looks nice to a criminal then he wants it, it’s that simple. We buy based on looks so we bought the bike because we liked it but these things just attract unwanted attention.
I’m not saying you should ride around on a bike that looks like a dumpster on wheels but just try to make some adjustments so that your bike doesn’t look so attractive all the time. Changing the look of your bike will not change how the bike rides.
2. Bike Alarms
You can purchase portable bike alarms for your bike just like you can for your home. In most cases, bike locks are a kind of padlock that emits a loud noise if anybody tries tampering with it. Just having an alarm fitted is usually enough to deter bike thieves.
3. Always Keep It Secure
You must get into the habit of thinking about your safety and security at all times. Even when you are at home, your bike is not secured unless it’s locked. Don’t have locks on gates or sheds and fail to use them correctly. It is pointless locking your bike up in the shed but leaving the shed door wide open. Consider installing security cameras on the outside of the property that will allow you to capture the thief’s face if the worst happens.
4. Top Quality Locks and Chains
If you are going to buy any security equipment you can’t go cheap. If you go cheap then you only have yourself to blame if it doesn’t work as it should. It’s a common sense approach. Create obstacles. Give him 10 padlocks to get through if you can be bothered to keep undoing them. The more hurdles there are, the more likely it will be that he will just move on to an easier target.
I would personally avoid those combination bike locks as they are just too easy to bypass.
5. Take It With You
I get it, you aren’t going to be able to take your bike with you everywhere you go but if you can, then do! A common technique that was used in my town a few years back involved the criminal slashing the tire of the bike he’s planning to steal.
You come to find your bike tire slashed and leave the bike there while you go and try and get it dealt with. You have just given the thief some extra time to get the bike, for free. If you come to find your tire slashed, don’t leave the bike there but take it with you while you try to get it sorted.