Lock It or Lose It!

A recent string of bike thefts has hit Nanaimo. In fact, someone stole one of our mechanic’s bikes from right in front of the shop! And while our mechanic was lucky enough to recover his ride, he’s one of the lucky ones. In fact, statistics from major cities around Canada show that only 2 – 4 % of people recover their stolen bicycles.

Locks
Locks available for sale at HCC

So, how can you prevent this happening to you? The best way, of course, is to lock your bike up. Hub City has two kinds of locks available for sale.

The first is the cable lock. This consists of a metal cable—usually encased in plastic—and closed with either a padlock or a built-in combo lock. By far the lightest and most economical option, keep in mind that cable locks can be cut by a determined thief with a pair of bolt cutters.

The second option available is the U-lock. U-locks have two pieces: a heavy metal “U” and a removable metal crossbar that locks in place with a key. This type of lock is heavier and more expensive than a cable lock, but it offers more theft-proof protection.

 

U-lock
Proper locking technique

Proper Locking Technique

No matter the lock you choose, using proper locking technique will help lessen the chances of your bike being stolen. First, lace the lock through BOTH the frame and the rear wheel and then secure them to an immovable object. For even more security, remove the front wheel and lock it up in the rear as well (see illustration). Wheels are easy to remove, so locking them to your frame ensures you won’t find your wheels stripped and the rest of your bike AWOL.

Also, try to make your bike more secure than the one next to it. As the old adage goes: you don’t have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun the guy next to you; the same principle applies to your bike.

 

More Tips

When it comes to leaving your bike, location and duration DO matter. Keep your bike locked in a high traffic or secure (think CCTV or gates) areas, and don’t leave it longer than you need. When you lock your bike out of the way or for long periods of time or overnight, the chances of someone noticing that the person taking your bike is a thief and not you drops considerably.

Also, ugly bikes are less attractive to thieves. If you don’t want to make your bike ugly, at least cover all brand and model logos.

 

Securing Other Parts of your Bike

Panniers and Bags
Panniers and bags are easily stolen, so take them with you!

Unfortunately, there are a lot of bits and pieces on a bike that are easily stolen.

Electronics, such as cycling computers or that iPhone attached to your handlebars, are particularly valuable, so be sure to take them with you. Same goes for any pannier bags, lights, bells, pumps, water bottles, ect.

Another commonly stolen part is the seat post (most thieves are actually after your saddle, but it’s a lot easier to take the whole seat post). To prevent this, you have two options. First, take your seat post with you. If that’s too awkward and greasy, lock your saddle to your bike frame. To do this, simply run a cable lock through the rails on the saddle and loop the cable around your frame / wheels.

 

If The Worst Does Happen

Sometimes, everything you do is not enough. So, in case your ride is stolen, take a photo of your bicycle and write down its serial number—then place it in a secure location. You can also register your bicycle with the National bike registry (sometimes the local police will also register bikes).

 

 

Your bike, no matter what kind, is an investment worth protecting. So, remember, lock it up or you might lose it!

One Reply to “Lock It or Lose It!”

  1. I have a road bike that I ride everywhere I go. my bike is somewhat expensive. I want to give full security to my bike. Recently there have been a spike of stolen bike numbers in my area. So i am kinda concerned about my bike. This post have been very helpful and informative. Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.