Over the years, the number of people who owns a bike has significantly increased. In fact, statistics showed that over 67 million Americans rode a bike in the past 12 months. What’s sad is that bike theft has become so widespread, not just in the US, but in different parts of the world. It turns out, about 400,000 bikes are stolen each year in the United States alone. If you are an active cyclist, you probably need some bike theft prevention tips to keep your lovely bike out of the hands of nasty thieves.
Losing a bike can be a devastating experience. Of all the bikes that are stolen each year, only 2.4% are recovered. What’s sad is that some of victims didn’t have a chance to replace their bikes. Often, they revert to other forms of transportation or just use public transportation instead.
Bikes are light and can easily be transported. These qualities make it easier for others to steal them. Use these bike theft prevention tips to keep your ride safe from would-be thieves.
Image Source: https://www.bikesorbicycles.com
Register your bike
We all drive registered cars. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of cyclists register their bike. In fact, studies revealed that of all the theft victims, only 8.5% registered their bikes. Registering your ride may not be the perfect solution for bike theft prevention, but it does improve the chances of your bike being recovered and returned in case it gets stolen.
The primary reason of registering your bike is to prove that it’s yours. Make sure that you report it to the police as soon as you find out that your bike is missing. In case the police recover the bike, it will be easier for them to return it to its rightful owner.
Park in a well-lit area
The more frequently you use your bike, the more likely it is to get stolen. With bike theft on the rise, it is important to be mindful where you leave your bicycle.
Park your bike in a well-lit area with lots of people walking past. If there is a CCTV within the area, even better. It is also a good idea to park in places with lots of bikes crammed together. These areas are less likely to witness bike theft since people would notice if someone is attempting to steal it. Remember, where you leave your bike is just as important as your padlock.
Choose the right type of outdoor bike rack
Bike racks are one of the easiest and most economical ways to create short-term parking solution. Some cyclists, especially those who live in a small apartment, invest in outdoor racks.
There are some important things to consider when installing a bike rack in and around your property. Choosing the right material of the bike rack and installation surface, as well as the location can ensure convenience and security of your bicycle.
To get the most out of your bike rack, make sure that it is made from durable and water-resistant materials. It should be able to withstand harsh weather conditions. Also, make sure that you have a stable surface for your rack. Concrete is the most ideal surface material for a bike rack.
Get a decent lock for bike theft prevention
We all know that no lock is thief-proof, but that doesn’t mean you have to make it easy for thieves to take off with your bike.
Investing on the best bike locks is one of the best bike theft prevention tips we can give you. Although price isn’t always an indicator of quality, the cheaper ones have locking mechanisms that are quite easy for thieves to break. They may be light can easy to transport, but they offer little resistance to thieves. Cheap locks are one of the most common reasons why bikes get stolen. As such, we recommend that you invest on the best lock that you can afford.
Look for bike locks that is made from hardened stainless steel and offer some sort of weather resistance. Also, make sure it has Sold Secure rating. Often, thieves are looking for an easier target. Good quality bike locks are robust, heavy, and sturdy. If you have a heavy chain and an extremely strong padlock, it may deter bike thieves from targeting your bike. Plus, it will give you piece of mind knowing that your bicycle is safe no matter where you leave it.
Never settle for cheap, poorly-made locks. Don’t skimp on this. Remember, a bike is only as good as the lock that keeps it safe.
Learn to use the lock properly
Image Source: https://bicyclecoalition.org
Most cyclists invest on a decent lock to keep their bikes from getting stolen. The problem is that many of them don’t know how to use it properly. No matter how durable or expensive the lock is, your bike will disappear quickly if you don’t know how to secure it properly.
It may seem silly, but we’ve seen lots of bikes that are locked around the seat post. The seat post can easily be slipped off, making your bike more prone to theft. Make sure that the lock goes through the triangle of your frame. When the lock is positioned this way, it will be impossible to pull the wheel away from the frame.
There is no point in investing on best bike lock if you don’t know how to secure it properly. This thievery can be stopped if all cyclists can be educated on how to properly lock their mountain bike and where to lock it.
Lock it to something solid
As mentioned above, no lock can completely prevent determined thieves from getting your bike. Locking it to something solid, preferably a bike rack that is cemented to the ground, is a good bike theft prevention tip.
Sometimes, in a rush to park the bike, some owners would just lock their bike on a street sign. If you do so, you are putting your bike at risk of getting stolen. Thieves can simply lift the bike over the sign. In situations like this, we suggest that you walk a little further and find solid, sturdy object to lock your bike up to. Street lamps are a decent option when there are no bike racks or locking posts in the area.
Lock your bike to something solid or an object that cannot be lifted over. This may deter thieves from taking your bicycle. It’s all about making life harder for the bad guys.