16 ways to protect your bike
As the dark winter nights draw in, so inevitably the risk of bike theft increases.
And as more and more of us take up cycling, it’s even more important to know how to best protect your bike. There are lots of preventative measures you can put in place to deter opportunistic thieves.
Squire has been making cycle locks since the 1960s, and we’ve combined our experience to come up with a handy checklist to help you keep your bike safely locked up.
- Invest in a good quality bike lock, or two
The more expensive your bike, the more you should spend. Don’t compromise on quality, ideally spend 10-20 per cent of the value of the bike.
- Look for ‘Sold Secure’ products
Look for locks which have been tested against attack. Developed by the police with the help and backing of the Home Office, only the best products receive ‘Sold Secure’ quality approval.
- Look for guarantees and warranties
This is an indication of a good quality product the manufacturer has faith in.
- Choose D-locks, locks and chains or cable locks
For convenience and portability out and about, look for Sold Secure Gold or Silver D-locks, solid steel ‘D’ shaped rings with a locking mechanism at one end. For maximum security at home, choose a high security padlock and a hardened alloy steel chain with a thick chain link diameter and small internal link size. Security cables come with key or combination locks, multi-strand cables are the most secure.
- Insure your bike
Check whether your home contents insurance covers your bike or take out a separate policy.
- Security-mark your bicycle
Markings must be clearly visible in two places, ideally on or in the frame.
- Record and register your bike
It’s free to sign up online to a national, police approved bicycle marking and registration scheme, such as BikeRegister. Take a photograph of your bike and keep a record of its make, model, frame number and any unique features, so that you can report it accurately if stolen.
- ALWAYS lock your bicycle even if it’s just for a few seconds.
Try to lock it in a different place every time and make the bicycle and its security hard to manoeuvre when parked.
- Lock your bike through the frame and secure any removable parts.
Lock both the wheels and frame together and take any removable parts with you.
- Lock your bike to an immovable object
Use a wall or ground anchor at home, and when out and about, use a proper bike rack or robust street furniture. Beware of street furniture which is too flimsy or too short, thieves can lift a bike to free it.
- At home, store your bicycle where it can’t be seen in a locked shed or garage
Use a wall or ground anchors for excellent security at home and always keep the shed or garage door locked.
- When out an about, park your bike in a well-lit public place
Avoid isolated or dimly lit places. Don’t leave your bicycle locked in a public place overnight. Try to lock your bike somewhere covered by CCTV.
- Two locks are better than one
If a thief thinks it will take a long time to break into both locks it will put them off trying.
- Keep the gap between the bike and the lock small so bolt croppers or other cutting devices can't easily fit around locks or chains.
- Try not to leave too much slack on cables or chains
Keep any chains and locks away from the ground to prevent thieves from trying to smash them with a hammer.
- If you are using a padlock, position it with the keyhole as inaccessible as possible
This makes it harder for the thief to access your lock and attempt to pick or drill it.
Go to our Bikelok range of Sold Secure rated products to better protect your bike.