5 tips: preventing bicycle theft

The burden of always trying to avoid bicycle theft can be very stressful and worrisome especially if you have to park at a spot for long hours.

Indeed, there are hardly any safe places, especially in big cities where you are more vulnerable to bicycle theft. According to the German Cycling Club (ADFC), in 2015, 4.35 million bicycles and e-bikes were purchased in Germany but 340,000 bicycles were reported stolen in that same year.

Irrespective of how frequent bicycle theft happens in your country, you should always keep the following tips in mind to prevent bicycle theft.
  1. Choose a location that is very open and crowded
  2. Make use of high-quality locks
  3. Lock your bicycle frame and wheel to an immovable object
  4. Make sure you make record of your bicycle and the serial number
  5. Make your bike look less attractive

1. Choose a location that is very open and crowded

You may think that the best place to park your bicycle is a secluded location, where it won’t be easily be noticed. On the contrary, the safest place to park your bicycle is somewhere quite crowded and very open. Open and crowded places do not allow a potential theft from happening without being noticed by a passing law enforcement or a good person.

You should choose this location carefully especially if you don’t have a garage at your place of work.

2. Make use of high-quality locks

One of the best ways to reduce the vulnerability of your bike to theft is by getting high quality lock. A high-quality lock is easy to secure and hard to pick or cut. The most common locks used by bicycle riders are U-locks and cables.

Avoid using a cable lock as a primary lock. A prepared thief would pick a cable lock in a matter of seconds. The U-locks are more secure and widely accepted.

On the other hand, if you had planned to park your bicycle for the whole day or longer, it is best you get a heavy-duty chain to provide maximum security.

3. Lock your bicycle frame and wheel to an immovable object

Most bicycle theft occur because people don’t lock it properly. This is as good as a bike parked without a lock. Securing only your bicycle frame and a single wheel can allow thieves to disassemble it and take off with whatever parts they can access.

The best way to secure your bike is by wrapping your lock around the back wheel and frame instead. This way both parts are directly secured to the immovable object and neither can be moved. When a thief sees this he immediately gets discouraged.

4. Make sure you make record of your bicycle and the serial number

Every bicycle comes with a serial number, find the serial number on your bicycle and make note of it somewhere safe. you can find the serial number on the underside of the bracket shell – the part of the bike frame where the pedals connect. You should take a picture of your bicycle too.

Take advantage of the bicycle registration in your community and register your bicycle. You can also register your bicycle’s serial number online through several resources so you can report if stolen. When law enforcement agencies recover stolen bicycle, they look for the serial numbers on bikes, search for it in bicycle registration databases and contact you the owner at once.

5. Make your bike look less attractive

One of the simplest ways you can avoid bicycle theft is by making your bike look a lot lesser than its actual value. A simple trick you can try is disguising your bicycle by removing the names and logos. Some people even go to the extent of covering them with paint. These and similar tactics can be used to make your bicycle less noticeable and less attractive to prevent bicycle theft.

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