Nearly every week, Hub City Cycles receives a report of a bicycle being stolen. This can be at best a jarring experience; at worst it can mean that someone doesn’t have transportation to and from work, for picking up groceries, etc. It also represents the loss of money, sometimes a significant sum travelling well into four digits.
There is no one ideal strategy to prevent a bicycle being stolen. Thieves, given enough time and opportunity, can get through even the toughest lock. However, there are many tricks to making your bicycle less of a target.
1. LOCK YOUR BIKE
Lock it. Lock it if you’re going in for two seconds. Lock it if you’ve never had anything stolen from this neighbourhood before. Lock at least one wheel (the front is easier to remove than the back). Lock with a good quality U-lock or anti-cutter chain. Make sure you include part of the frame.
2. Crappy looking frame, good components
If your bike generally looks like a POS, many thieves will move on to a different target. Like that shiny, new-looking bike over there, which seems a much better use of one’s time and bolt cutters.
You can improve the components to give yourself a better ride; just make sure you stick with neutral colours. Black is a good choice.
3. When at all possible, park inside or close to you
Many workplaces have a corner where someone can stow a bike. We’ve seen bikes in pubs’ lobby rooms, on restaurant patios, in storage closets, etc. Out of sight means out of both mind and opportunity.
4. Park in company
If your bike is locked up in a busy area, it may be less likely to be targeted, especially if there are a lot of cyclists. Look for well lighted areas and a lot of foot traffic.
5. Use two or more locking strategies
It isn’t enough to just lock the frame of your bike to something, as someone can make off with your seatpost or wheel. Unless your seatpost is frozen to the frame of your bike, you should either take it with you or lock it using a cable slipped through the seat. The same goes for your wheel. A bike cable – locking or slipped onto the U-lock – around the wheel can make your bike that much harder to mess with.
|Cables are light and easy to put around things, but should be only used as a secondary lock to a U-lock or anti-cutter chain lock.