Top 10 Ways to Protect Your Bicycles from Being Stolen

Posted by tan xiao yan on

It is irritating to find out your bike was stolen. Thousands of bikes are stolen every year in the U.S.A., and in most cases you’ll never get it back. However, actions can be taken to prevent your bike from being stolen or increase the chance of seeing it again.

Ways provided by a bike thief

Omar Aziz was a bike thief. He was hooked on crack and relied on stealing bikes to feed his habit. He started stealing bikes at the year of 17 and carried on until he finally weaned himself off crack cocaine at 29.

The easiest pickings were bikes secured with cheap locks. "Some people think they don't have enough money and they buy thin locks, and I used to go and just push the bike and pull it and the lock will break."

His way to lock his bike up is to use two thick chains through both wheels and the frame. Thieves can still break thick chains with the right equipment, but it will take them more time and heavy cutting equipment.

Though CCTV is everywhere, it can’t stop thieves. Therefore he would park his bike to a place where there are people around.

The fact is even the busiest streets empty out sometime. As for Aziz, if he really wants a particular bike, he will damage a tire so the owner would leave it in the rack for longer. He suggests: “ If you find your tire punctured, you should take your bike with you .”

He also recommended that owners of bikes costing more than a hundred quid should always park their bikes indoors, for thieves also watch where expensive bikes are parked. For someone with outdoor parking, he recommended them to ride a cheaper bike.

In conclusion, from these cases, there are several ways to protect your bike from being stolen. Let’s go through together.

Never forget to lock
As Aziz said, he went to the shop to buy cigarrete for about 10 seconds and just had his bike stolen. Most people think it is not necessary to lock your bike if you just stop by for bread or a bottle of water. That is totally wrong! Many people have their bikes stolen just because this fluck mind. So, don’t forget to lock your bike, even you just leave for 10 seconds.

bike lock

Park your bike in a well-lit, public place with lots of people walking around
That’s also what Aziz have said. Don’t leave your bike in the furthest corner of the parking lost and hope theif would not notice it. What a ridiculous thought it is! Ideally, lock it where you can observe it—or where lots of other people can. Don’t leave your bike in some hidden subways, backyards or small alleys.

Aoid parking outdoors
If you are out, parking outdoors is inevitable; but if you are home, just don’t do that; the chance of being stolen is higher. Parking outdoor means that your bike would be exposed to the sun and rain, which will reduce the serve life of it. Besides, it may cause the surface corrotion, and you have to spend money on repainting it or replacing accessories of it. Don’t park outdoors just because you find it is inconvenient to take it into your house. If you live in tall buildings, I assume that there are elevators; a bike won’t take up too much space, I’m sure you can take it in the elevator.

Use more expensive lock
The cheaper and more popular lock you use, the higher 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.

bike lock

Use 2 locks (or more) - of different key types
This is continuation of the previous one. If you use two locks with two different key systems, you drastically reduce the chance that thief would have both. More trouble locking-unlocking though.

Use a lock that is not made in China
This is an interesting one. Thief would likely have a skeleton key smuggled out of Chinese lock factory or something. If the lock is not made in China - less chances they would have a skeleton key for it.

Tie the bike to an immovable object
Well, given they 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. But in my experience, this is too exotic. I mean it is know to have happened, but it is only worth it if the bike is really expensive - usual petty thief would still prefer lock picking.

bike lock

Use super heavy titanium-carbon-space-alloy-whatever chain
Again, they would probably go for the lock rather then a chain. I mean, single thin wire is probably too light of an option, the chain should be a challenge to be cut using a bolt cutter. But anything heavier than that is a waste of metal.

Buy a cheaper bike
Whatever you do, expect your bike to be stolen at about once per year rate. It’s just a fact of life. Law of nature, if you will. Adjust your bike budget accordingly. Don’t go for the fancy expensive one, buy the one you can afford to lose.

Track your bike
If you are really fond of cycling and willing to pay a lot of money on the bike, it doesn’t matter. Modern systems like GPS give you a second line of defense. The device hidden in your bike are always activated. If your bike is gone, you can track it easily with your phone or computer.