Bike Theft

General advice

  • If you aren’t sitting on the saddle, then lock your bike with a good quality D-lock, the best you can afford. As a rule of thumb, it should cost at least 10% of the bike’s value.
  • Make sure the street furniture that you’re locking it to is realy immobile. Don’t lock your bike to a gate, if the whole gate can be lifted off it’s hinges. Even tall poles are also poor fixing points, as bikes can be lifted over the top of them. A smaller U-Lock may be more secure as its shackle will be filled so will more difficult for thieves to force it open with a jack.
  • Remove the manufacturers’ stickers from the frame and forks and paint them (badly) – it isn’t pretty, but it should deter thieves.
  • Try and lock your bike somewhere covered by CCTV. Always choose a place that is well lit.
  • When your bike is at home, consider fitting a ground or wall anchor to lock your bike to – and always keep it locked up, even when it’s in a locked garage.

Parts and Accessories

  • If you have quick release levers on your wheels and saddle, then consider replacing these with allen key skewers (or better still, lockable security skewers). Also you should use a cable to secure the wheels and use the D-lock as a padlock through the frame and cable.
  • When the bike is parked, remove lights, pump, saddle, water bottles & electronic devices and take them with you.
  • While cycling, a small carabina will ensure that your panniers stay attached to your bike (you can get these from a climbing/outdoor pursuits shop)

Alternative Bikes

  • If you are buying a new bike and haven’t got a secure place to lock it, then consider getting a folding bike, that you can take with you/keep under your bed/desk.

Premises
To secure your shed /garage

  • Alarm or brick-up any windows
  • Fix a shed alarm (motion-sensor) inside
  • Set up a solar PIR (motion sensing) light outside
  • Install a camera
  • Make sure the door has a lock and/or padlocked bolts and can not be pulled open – it must be anchored to the floor with an inside bolt. Alarmed Padlocks are best
  • Make sure the door hinges have security bolts not screws that can be undone on the outside

In case it does get stolen…

  • Record the bike’s frame number and keep a photo (or description) somewhere safe and consider tagging it at a bike shop/police station.
  • Register it here or here to help the police return it to you if it’s found.
  • The cheapest way to insure your bike may be through your home contents insurance. Alternatively, click here for links to specialist Cycle Insurance Companies.
  • If it does get stolen, dial the police on 101 or visit the local police station. Also check local bike shops, Ebay and Gumtree to see if it is being sold there.

Bike theft does not matter!

  • If you buy a good basic road bike new (£300+bits) for daily commuting, you can recoup public transport costs that you would have spent in about 6 months. This means that if you keep a bike for longer, you make money!

For more information

  • Click here for cycling UK’s anti-theft guide
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