Bicycling is undeniably an eco-friendly and healthy way to go places, but it can be harmful to your bottom line. According to Nesta research, bicycles are more susceptible to theft than automobiles; the rise of online auction and classified sites makes it easier than ever to sell the stolen goods. To hang onto your bike, follow the tips listed below.
Lock it up–Always
Locking your bike to something such as a gate, grille or fence will reduce the chance of theft. Don’t lock your bike to a chain-link fence, as they are easily cut or snipped. Try to lock it through the frame instead of the tire; many public areas have bike racks available for use if you can’t find another suitable location. Always lock up in a public, well lit area, and abide by parking rules and restrictions.
Make your Bike Less of a Target
If you’re leaving your bike unlocked and outside, consider adding locking nuts or antitheft spindles. If you can’t do that, remove the seat or front wheel (on models equipped with quick release). Many cyclists choose to remove accessories such as lights and panniers if they’re leaving their bikes outside for a time.
Register Your Bike
By registering your bicycle’s serial number with local authorities, you’ll have proof of ownership if it’s recovered after theft. Registration helps retailers and police identify when/if stolen bicycles are being resold; there are some websites that allow you to register your bike for free, and which are connected to police databases.
Buy a Good Lock
A proficient bike thief can get through a cheap lock in seconds, so it pays to buy the best lock you can afford. For the most protection, use more than one kind of lock to secure your frame and wheels. Good locks are often heavy, but make up for it in terms of protection.
Lock it up, Even at Home
A bicycle can be stolen from your home, and you should always lock it up even when it’s in your apartment, garage or residence hall. Keep it away from open doors and windows, as it could prove tempting to a potential bike thief or burglar. You may think that because your bike is on your property, it’s safe, but thieves don’t respect property rights. An unattended bike is all the incentive some need to break into your home–lock it up at all times.
Ride a Cheaper Bike
If you ride in the city, or must leave it outdoors in high-crime areas, consider riding an old ‘beater’ bike. This bike doesn’t have to be beat-up–just an older, less-expensive bike in good shape. Some riders are reluctant to do this; after all, they’re riding for pleasure, and the thought of riding an old, clunky bike isn’t all that appealing. If you don’t want to ride an old bike everywhere you go, lock it up as well as you can, and accept that there’s always a risk that it will be stolen.
These great tips come from Amy Elliott and the team at 50 Cycles. 50 Cycles are passionate about cycling and all aspects of the cycling lifestyle and believe that preventing cycle theft can be accomplished by following a few simple steps.