The Bike Security Guide 2014
With more cyclists on the road than ever before and the average price of a bike costing almost £250 it has become increasingly important to keep your bike secure and safe.
Opportunist thieves know bikes are often easy pickings due to a lack of security. Bikes are often not marked with owners details which makes them easy to sell on and less risky to the thief as they cannot be linked to the crime.
The British Crime Survey highlights that more than half a million bikes are stolen each year! Follow these tips to help ensure your bike is not one of them.
Top 5 bike security mistakes
Only 5% of stolen bikes are returned to their owners, as bikes are not marked and Police have no way of identifying the owner.
Mark your bike with your details using a UV Bike Marking Kit or by using the RetainaGuard Bike Marking Kit which uses a unique code and stores your details on the ISR database. If your bike is stolen and recovered, the Police will check this database and your bike can be returned to you.
Low quality bike locks are easily cut.
You should be looking to spend about 10% of the value of your bike on security. A good way to make sure the bike lock is secure is to check the security rating or certificates. Police always recommend Sold Secure or Secured by Design bike locks as they will have been through rigorous testing laid out by the Association of Chief Police Officers and by insurance companies. The Master Lock Gold Sold Secure Bike Lock has achieved the highest level of security by Sold Secure and is a Police preferred lock. It is available for less than £30 and is well worth the investment.
I don't have a safe place at home to store my bike.
It is advised to keep your bike in a locked shed or garage. If you don't have this available you can buy anchor plates for floors and walls and use high security chains to secure your bike. Use a rain cover if it is being kept outside. The Master Lock all in one kit is available which includes everything you need to secure your bike.
How to secure bikes in public areas
Avoid leaving your bike in a dimly lit area where thieves prefer to operate. Keep your bike secure in a location where thieves can easily be seen. If you are leaving your bike unattended, even for just a couple of minutes, always ensure it is locked and secure.
Using the wrong style of bike lock.
There are different styles of bike locks, the main ones being U-Locks (also known as D-Locks) and chains. They also come with either a key lock or a combination code. To increase the security level of your bike it is often advised to use two bike locks - one to secure your back wheel to the frame, and another to secure your front wheel to the frame. One or both of these should also be secured to a fixed object.
U-Locks are often more secure and come with brackets so can be attached to your bike when you're riding. Cables and chains are lighter and more versatile. Use a lock which suits your needs.
You could also use a padlock alarm to secure a chain together which will sound a loud 130 decibel siren if tampered with.
REMEMBER... Never buy a stolen bike. If there is no demand, the market will not operate. Only buy from legitimate stores and shops.