According to the report released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people cycling to work in the U.S. has increased about 60% over the last decade and that of people traveling by bike has also witnessed a rapid growth. This indicates the pursuit of health and environment-friendliness of modern people but another social disorder emerges considerably with the cycling heat. That is bike stealing. If someone is determined to steal, what they will do- steal the bike, steal some of its components, or smash it up. Therefore, it’s vital for all cycling fanciers to grasp how to protect your bicycle being targeted by thieves. Here are 4 tips for you to decrease the stolen risk.
Make your bike less appealing.
High-end bikes are usually stolen in targeted attacks. If you’re the victim of a planned attack with a valuable bike, no amount of locks will help you. Portable angle grinders cut through even the thickest, hardened locks faster than you’d think. You can get a lower end bike for everyday transportation, for just a few hundred dollars.
Or you can wrap your new high-end bicycle with sticky tapes, give the frame a deliberately poor respray, cable tied some old inner tube as frame protectors, and make it look undesirable.
In a row of bikes make yours the least desirable. If others are putting 1 lock on their bikes you should use 2. If they are using 2 locks then you use 3.
The two above mean your bike is less attractive than originally, which means you’re lower down the list for a thief.
Park the bike in a safe place.
If you lock it outside of public places like the gym, grocery store, etc., there is a somewhat high chance that your bike will get stolen. Once living near San Francisco, you may know that almost everyone has had a bike stolen. Often, they can find it for sale on craigslist a few hours later.
As opposed to leaving the bike in the furthest corner of the parking lot, hoping thief would not notice it, you need to park it somewhere that is in plain view or with lots of people walking around. If there is a security guard assigned to the building, park your bike somewhere in view of the guard. It helps if you’re on friendly terms with the guard (actually with people in general), as they will know what your bike looks like and who it belongs to.
If you have no choice but to lock it up outside, you can try to lock it up next to a bike that's more expensive and less well-secured than yours (the "I don't have to run faster than the bear.... just faster than you" option) and use a very high-quality lock or combination of locks for especially high-crime areas. Besides, avoid leaving it out overnight unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Tie the bike to an immovable object.
The thieves would use skeleton key or some tools anyway, you only making it easier by providing firm surface to work on.
It may help from extreme cases, where thieves just stuff still locked bikes into a van, to deal with the locks later. It is only worth it if the bike is really expensive – a usual petty thief would still prefer lock picking. Fastening the bike to a telephone pole can be a good choice.
Buy a more expensive lock.
The cheaper and more popular lock you use, the bike lockhigher the chances thief will have a skeleton key for this particular type of lock. This is not the right place to try and save money.
You should spend as much on you lock (or locks) as you'd like to not have to spend to replace the bike in dollars and stress. There is no point in buying a £500 bike and only buying a £5 lock. Look at spending at least 10–15% of the bikes value on a lock or locks. Look online for lock reviews and buy the best that you can afford.
In addition, buy locks that are small and compact so they can't be levered open and keep them away from the ground or wall where someone could use the surface to beat the lock with. Secure the rear wheel to the locking post with a chain or u-lock, and secure the front wheel to the frame with a U-lock. Litelok appears to be incredibly strong and effective. It is rather small so you would need two, or you can remove the front wheel and put it beside the back wheel so the lock can reach around both. Moreover, you can use 1x Kryptonite New York 1x Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit- these are D-Locks with 16mm and 18mm shackles.
In combination with a strong U-Lock, my other go-to security features are locking axles and a seat cable. The locking axle nuts require you to have your key to take off your wheels.
Be smarter than thieves.
Be smarter than the thieves. Register your bicycle with the police. Then place a copy of the registration card in a Ziploc bag inside the seat post and handlebar end or engrave the registration number into the bike frame. This may discourage thieves and will certainly help you persuade the police that the bike is yours when you find it again. In other circumstances, if your bike is locked by another lock or the tires deflated, show the police or locksmith your registration card that matches the cards in the bike or the frame engraving and they can be certain that it’s your bike and will help you.
No matter you bicycle is new or has been used for a while, stay vigilant and scrupulous all the time, especially when you are not around the bicycle. Hope your bike would never be targeted and accompany you as long as possible.