Bike locking advice
Bike locking advice
20 November 2018
If you’re going to be commuting by bike and leaving it on the streets, then you want to make sure you bike lock and choice of location are the best they can be.
Hundreds of bikes are stolen in the UK every week, but you can dramatically reduce the odds of one of them being yours by following a few simple steps.
- If you’re leaving your bike locked up for long periods of time in the same location then invest in a heavy-duty lock and leave it there, you can then carry a smaller lock for the in-between bits.
- Use multiple locks – one lock will not secure all the components on your bike that a thief might take a liking to, try to use a combination of a D-lock and a cable or even two D-locks.
- Your bike is only as secure as what you lock it to; a £100 Gold rated lock is next to useless when locked to a fence.
- Don’t assume that locking just the front wheel is adequate, it’s very easy for the rest of the bike to be removed in seconds.
- Lock your bike up in plain sight; a bike locked on a quiet back street is like stealing sweets from children for a thief.
- Make the lock hard to get to; if it’s hard for you, it’s hard for the thief.
- Remove any lights or computers.
- Before you lock, check what you’re locking it to is secure and not broken; there have been instances of bike racks being sawn through at the base which is hard to spot.
- If you’ve only got one lock then ideally remove your front wheel and secure it with the frame and rear wheel.
- An alternative to the above is investing in some locking skewers that replace the quick releases.
- Another option, although slightly less secure would be to invest in a looped cable that can run through the front wheel to the lock around the rear wheel and frame
- If you’re using two locks then secure the rear wheel and frame to bike stand, and then use the second to secure the front wheel and down tube of your frame to the bike stand, of if that doesn’t work then the front wheel to the frame.
- If you’re locking your bike to a post, then make sure the bike can’t be lifted over it.
"Most importantly, always lock your bike up, no matter how short your stop is going to be, it’s enough time for someone to whisk your beloved bike away".
Aside from ensuring that your bike is secured properly there are some other steps you can take to make sure that, if your bike is stolen, you are more likely to get it back.
- Consider insuring your bike. Many home insurance policies provide cover for bikes when stored at home, some even when they are locked up in other locations. Bike specific insurance is also available from a variety of providers.
- Take note of the frame number, this is usually found stamped onto the bottom bracket at the base of the frame.
- Most bikes are stolen from homes, e.g. garden sheds or communal storage. If possible keep your bike inside your flat or house, not insecure outbuildings.
- You can also register your bike on Bike Register. This could help the police in case they find your bike. The City of London Police run regular bike marking sessions around The City where you can have your bike registered as well.