Keep yourself on the road with these top bike security tips

As many of us begin moving towards ‘the new normal’, cycling has seen a massive rise in popularity, with Brits across the country dusting off old bikes or purchasing new ones to take advantage of the remainder of the summer – infact an impressive 60 per cent more bikes were purchased by Brits in April 2020*

The benefits of biking to your physical and mental health, as well as the environment, are well known, endorsed by government initiatives such as ‘Fix Your Bike’ vouchers and the ‘Bike to Work’ scheme. However, with a rise in bicycle usage, there is of course a higher risk of bicycle theft. According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, there were 84,545 bike thefts recorded by police from April 2019 to March 2020. 

But charity Cycling UK – which aims to “protect the interests of existing and would-be cyclists” – says the figures are likely much higher because it’s an underreported crime.

With more and more of us getting out on two wheels, we’ve put together our top tips on how to ensure that your wheels stay exactly where you left them.

Keep it protected, even at home

Whilst, for many people, their bike is one of their most prized and valuable possessions, many are stored in areas with inadequate security, such as garages, sheds or other outbuildings. It’s important to provide as much protection as possible, even to an outbuilding or storage area, especially as these areas are often out of sight when you’re in your home.

You should conduct a thorough security check of any outbuildings, covering any locks on the building and ensuring that all doors fully close. If the building isn’t lit, then consider looking into a motion-activated spotlight that will deter any potential thieves, or even a cheap alarm system that gives that extra level of protection.

Choose your location wisely

When you’re out on a ride, whether it’s a short trip to the shops or a 70-mile road ride, it’s important to consider a safe place to lock up your bike when leaving it. Whilst securing your pride and joy with a strong lock is important, it’s also a smart idea to look out for places are busy and well-lit, especially if you intend to leave your bike there into the evening. 

When locking your bike up away from home, ensure it’s secure by locking it to a lamppost, railing or fence and if possible, remove a wheel or saddle, for extra security. 

Many cyclists use popular apps such as Strava or Map My Ride to either record the distance, speed or monitor training. It’s important to remember when tracking a ride not to start the GPS app from outside your front door, as thieves can access the apps using the data to target potential victims who have expensive cycling equipment.  

Mark and record your bike 

Another important security tip is to mark and record your bike. Bike marking kits are available from many cycling outlets or online, and a few are certified by the Metropolitan Police Service, making them the ideal choices to protect your bicycle.

As well as using the marking kits, it’s a good idea to clearly display a warning on the frame that your bike has been security marked as a deterrent to prospective thieves. 

You should also keep multiple images of your bike stored safely at home; this will assist you in the identification process, should your bike ever be stolen. 

No matter what you ride, if you take these simple precautions then you can help to keep yourself on the road.

*https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jun/26/bike-boom-uk-sales-up-60-per-cent-in-april-as-covid-19-changes-lifestyles