Between June 2015 and June 2016 there were 291,000 incidents of bike theft in England and Wales alone – don’t let yours be one of them. Follow our top tips to secure your bike and stop if from being stolen.
Always lock your bike
When you are not riding your bike, you should always keep it securely locked. To cutting the risk of bike theft make sure you use good lock or two and use it effectively.
Some locks are stronger than others and price reflects their quality, so it pays to invest in a good one- opt for a "Sold Secure" lock. Remember that two locks are better than one. D-locks are sturdy, but consider using a cable lock as well to secure any parts of the bike which are quick release, such as the saddle or front wheel.
Use locks to secure the frame, spokes and bike stand, ensuring there is little room for manoeuvre to make it difficult for thieves to insert their tools. Make sure the lock is not touching the ground, where it can be smashed with a sledgehammer.
Finally, make sure you are attaching your lock to an immovable object, such as sturdy bike stand or railing.
Pick your location
Where you park and lock your bike is critical:
- leave it on a well-lit and busy street
- avoid leaving your bike in the same spot every day so it doesn't get spotted by thieves
- at home, take the same precautions and always keep your bike locked up and out of view
Keep accessories safe
It’s not just your bike that can go missing – many parts and accessories are also valuable and easy to steal. Follow these tips to keep them safe:
- take lights and panniers with you
- replace quick releases on the saddle or the front wheel with regular bolts to make them more secure
- if you have an expensive saddle, consider removing it or locking it up
Keep a record
As soon as you buy your bike, record the frame number, make and any other marks that can identify your bike if it is stolen and keep this information in a safe place. It is also useful to take photographs of your bike from various angles, to help with identification and insurance if it gets stolen.
You can register your bike with immobilise or bike register (UK wide), a service used by the police to match found bikes to their rightful owners. To register you’ll need to find your frame number, which is usually near the handlebars, below the seat post, by the pedals or towards the back wheel.
Check if your home insurance policy covers your bike automatically, of if you need to add it as an extra. Valuable bikes may need to be insured separately to provide cover when you’re out and about. Find out if the insurance company requires you to produce a purchase receipt, photograph of the bike or frame number to support a potential claim.