There are ways to deter, or make it more difficult, for the opportunist thief to steal your ride with top locking tips and advice.
Nearly 45% of claims at Bikmo in 2019 involved bicycle thefts, causing a lot of unnecessary expense and not to mention a huge inconvenience! However, there are ways to deter, or make it more difficult, for the opportunist thief to steal your ride with our top locking tips and advice.
The ultimate goal is to make it as awkward as possible for thieves to take your bike, it’s worth reminding ourselves that it only takes a few seconds for a well-trained bike thief to ride away with your beloved ride.
1. Lock your bike up effectively & properly
Lock your bike to a solid and immovable object - think lamp posts, secure railings and of course bike racks.
Don't lock your bike by the wheel - a common mistake is locking your bike by the wheel. Most bikes these days have quick release wheels, so it’s as simple to steal your bike as it is for you to fix a puncture! Even if your bike doesn’t have quick release wheels, a wheel is still designed to be removable, and a prepared thief will most likely have the basic tools that make the job of pinching bikes easy.
Lock your bike through its frame - this way the lock can’t be bypassed, which makes it far more difficult for a thief to disappear with your bike in a matter of moments. Locks such as the Hiplok Original (pictured above) can reach through both the frame and front wheel when locking to an immovable object, meaning you’re less likely to come back to find someone has made your bike into a unicycle.
Bike lock position - make sure you position the lock where it’s impossible for a thief to use leverage or force against another surface to smash / strike a lock open. An effective lock position helps limit the risk to your lock being compromised.
Additional Locks - consider running an additional cable lock through the saddle rails as well as the wheels to prevent saddle theft.
2. Lock your bike in a sensible & safe location
Lock your bike in a public area - dark alleys, side streets and secluded areas are perfect for thieves to work undetected. Though it may seem strange, a public area with frequent pedestrian traffic is best as thieves will not want to be spotted when they’re trying to cut a lock from a bike.
Look for deterrents - a good option is near travel hubs such as train and bus stations, where there is constant traffic and potentially a number of CCTV cameras.
Look for signs - check out the condition of other bikes in the area. If there are frames with parts missing, or individual wheels locked to racks then you can be assured it's a hot spot for thieves operating in that area.
3. Choosing a suitable lock for your bike
Your budget - most insurance companies, bike shops and police forces recommend you spend as much as you can reasonably afford on a bike lock. Obviously you can put a higher rated lock on a lower cost bike, and this is a good idea, but putting a lower rated lock on a high value bike leaves it more vulnerable to theft.
Lock suitability for your bike value - the best way to assess a lock’s suitability for your bike is to go by the Sold Secure Rating. Sold Secure tests the widest range of locks in the industry to see how they stack up against most methods of theft. You can read more on Sold Secure Ratings here.
In summary, Sold Secure have a 3 tier rating system for bike locks, ranked based on security:
- Gold – Highest level of security (Bike value in excess of £1,500)
- Silver – Compromise between security and cost (Bike value between £251 – £1,500)
- Bronze – Defence against opportunist thieves (Bike value up to £250)
Your Insurance requirements - it is a requirement of your insurance policy to use a lock that is appropriately rated for the value of your bike. Make sure you check your insurance providers locking requirements, so should your bike get stolen, your claim is valid and you are covered.
Should the worst happen, Bikmo cycle insurance policy covers you for theft. It also covers you for accidental damage, vandalism, clothing, helmets and accessories, plus much more.
When buying a new bike via Cyclescheme, you’ll be able to activate 14 days free cover with Bikmo to get you riding worry free. Then, as a Cyclescheme customer, you’ll benefit from exclusive savings when you upgrade or take out a cycle insurance policy with Bikmo. Bikmo also offers an additional 25% reduction on your premium if you are insuring an e-bike.
If you’re still not sure whether cycle insurance is right for you, read our ‘Do I need cycle insurance?’ article.