There are several ways to keep your bike safe and protect it from theft in your local neighborhood. Make sure to always keep your bike locked up properly with a secure and strong lock. It is also important to be aware of the tricks that bike thieves will use to manipulate and trick people into leaving their bike in a vulnerable position. Here are some great tips on how to protect your bike, purchase the right lock, and properly lock it up in the right area!
Be aware of thieves’ tricks
There are several tricks that a thief may use to make it easier to steal a bike. Leaving your bike in a crowded area is always a good idea because having a lot of people around to witness the theft can deter someone from stealing the bicycle. However, thieves are aware that people in crowded areas will eventually disperse and they use this knowledge to their advantage. A thief may try to puncture a bike tire in a crowded area earlier in the day, so that you will leave it for a longer period of time while you come up with a plan to fix it and get it home, giving them a greater window of time to steal. If you come back to your bike and find it damaged, your safest option is to still bring it home with you immediately to prevent a possible theft occurring later in the evening.
Lock your bike to something sturdy
Another great tip is to lock your bike to the most solid object you can find. A bike rack is the most ideal location because it is firm and there are often other bikes parked there. Just be sure the rack hasn’t been tampered with. Thieves sometimes like to cut or dismantle a bike rack, making them easy to steal from. Try to avoid locking your bike up to a small sign post or tree as thieves may find ways to cut the tree down or pull the sign out. These scenarios may seem unlikely but they do happen and it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Having an alarm system on your bike is a good way to keep your bike safe and secure from possible thieves. An alarm system can discourage a thief from stealing a bike in the first place. Printing out a sign to stick on your bike that lets people know there is a GPS tracking alarm on it that will be activated if anyone attempts to steal it can be an effective anti-theft tactic. The sign will scare a lot of thieves away. In the event that it is stolen, it will be much easier to find the bike with a GPS tracking device.
Make your bike look less appealing
One unique and creative technique to employ when trying to protect your bike is to make it look as unappealing as possible. The less expensive your bike appears to be, the less likely a thief will be to steal it since they will not be able to get a large profit in return. When leaving your bike in a public, outdoor space that will leave it vulnerable to theft, you can add a faux-rust look or put duct tape in the right spots, to make thieves think it is old or damaged. Although using a lock is still one of the best preventative measures, this can be a little something extra to put off burglars.
Use more than one sturdy lock
Another good idea is to use multiple locks. It can take a thief more time to get through more than one lock, dissuading them from trying to steal it. It is also important to use a lock that is strong, sturdy and not easily broken. Do not buy the cheapest lock just to save money. Spending more money on an expensive lock can be a good investment if keeping your bike safe is important to you! The worst lock to purchase is a cable lock, as it is the easiest to break open. Some sturdier lock options to consider include chain locks and u-locks. The hardened links in a chain lock can make it difficult for a thief to cut through with a hacksaw and bolt cutters. However, some chain locks may be easier to cut than others, so keep this in mind when purchasing your lock. A U-lock that secures at both ends may be better than a lock that only bolts at one end, since the thief will be required to cut both sides.
One more tip
You should also always write down the serial number of any bike you own, as that can be helpful in finding the bike in the event that it is stolen. Although it is important to know how to act in case a thief does get your bike, it is better to apply these tips beforehand to prevent your bike from being stolen at all!