Whether you’re taking advantage of the last of the Summer weather being (surprisingly) nice or looking forward to the beautiful colours of Autumn, now is the perfect time to go for a ride. Whether you’re cycling through the busy streets of New York City or the quiet lanes of the British countryside, bike theft is something that troubles all riders. Here are some handy tips for how to lock your bike.
Buy a good quality Sold Secure rated bike lock.
Sold Secure is the UK’s premier testing and certification house for all security products, including bike locks. They have three ratings: Gold, Silver and Bronze. Gold rated locks offer the highest level of security. Most bike insurers will require you to use a certain level of lock. They will use Sold Secure as their rating system so make sure you check your policy when buying a new lock to make sure you’re covered.
If possible, double lock your bike.
Try to lock both your wheels and the frame to a solid, secure structure, using two bike locks. This is a strong deterrent to thieves as they don’t just have to get through one lock, they have to get through two. We recommend the Twin Litelok Gold, a set of two Liteloks that operate from the same set of keys. Liteloks are light, flexible and Gold rated. You can also join them together to make a double length lock.
It’s important to secure both wheels and the frame. There have been many incidents where riders have returned to their bike to find just the frame, or in some cases, just the wheels. Most modern bikes will come with some form of quick release wheels, so if you don’t secure your wheels any opportunist could come along and walk off with a vital part of your bike. It’s straightforward enough to secure your lock through the rear wheel and the frame, but your front wheel will often need an additional cable or lock. Finally make sure that the most secure lock you’re using is the one that is anchored to a solid point, not like in the image below.
Register your bike
Getting your bike registered and marked is very easy to do. It’s a strong visual deterrent for thieves. They know that it is harder to sell a bike that has been registered and marked. You can register your bike here.
Keep a record of your bike’s frame number
The frame number can normally be found underneath the bike between the pedals, or on the frame near the back wheel. Make sure you take photographs of both your bike and your frame number, it’s the only way you will be able to prove that a specific bike is yours in the unfortunate event that it goes missing.
Lock your bike in a secure location
When out and about, always lock your bike in a busy well-lit area, preferably monitored by CCTV. This is a strong deterrent but as you can see from the video below, sometimes it isn’t enough.
Thankfully this lock was more than a match for these thieves.
Remove your bike lights
Take them with you, as well as other easily removable items. Most lights and computers will come with quick release mounts or straps to allow you to easily take your valuable items with you when leaving your bike locked up.
When securing your bike, ensure the bike lock is off the ground
By keeping the bike lock off the ground, thieves are prevented from impact attacks such as with hammer and chisel.