The most common concern among bike riders is that they do not want their new bike to get stolen eventually. Unfortunately, bike theft is a common problem throughout the world. It seems as if bike thieves are looking for you to lower your guard so they can either steal your bike’s accessories, parts, or the bike itself. The worst part is that shady markets thrive and act as places where thieves can dump their stolen items without worrying about any consequences.
As a result, you see cyclists struggling to pay tons of money to reverse the harm done by the thieves. There are even worse scenarios where cyclists stop riding bikes altogether because they start believing that buying a bike and have it get stolen right away is useless.
Indeed, it is not a pretty picture. If you make sure the bike is correctly secured, then the thieves will most likely ignore your bike and look for one that is easier to steal. Fortunately, there are some straightforward and popular ways you can use to secure yourself.
There is also an option to get your bike insured, so if it gets stolen in the future, your insurer can help you recover costs. If you are a biker in cities with high theft rates like Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, and New York City, you need to learn how to keep enhancing your locking techniques.
So, let us take a look at the five steps you can implement.
1. At Night Keep Your Bike Inside
Do you store your bike inside at night?. It does not mean inside your building, given your building is not a private home. It also does not mean in your backyard or inside your front gate. By inside, we strictly mean within the bounds of your residence. Keeping your bike under lock and key overnight outside does not have to mean that you can not lock your bike after dark outside. If you are visiting a friend’s house, a bar, or your workplace, it is lovely to leave your bike locked outside for some time. “Overnight” is the crucial thing to focus on. Thieves are typically aware of the distinction between all-night and temporary locking because thieves typically scan and examine their victims. A thief can know that he has all night to work on stealing your bike if he sees you leaving your bike outside overnight. Given that sure locks are superior to others, they can still be broken, given the correct tools and ample time to work on the lock.
Here is a list of the places where New Yorkers usually park their bikes. In a building’s common area, like the hallway. This is not a good idea. You can not possibly know all of the residents of the building or their guests. If you have no choice other than to park your bike in a common area, then your best bet would be to secure an immovable object. In the backyard. Not so good as well. If you have no other choice, ensure that your bike is securely locked to a solid object. And also, make sure one cannot access the backyard from the street. On the street. This area is the riskiest when it comes to bike theft in the front yard. It is not any better than parking in the street. Having a 3-foot fence will do you no justice.
You may be worried that you will be unable to store your bike in your apartment because either your bike is too heavy to carry or your apartment is too small to store it. These thoughts and worries are entirely acceptable. But, you can always find ways that can work for you. For example, you can consider installing bike storage racks or hooks that can let you reclaim your floor space. You also have the added option of building a DIY bike rack yourself. Other than that, if you find it difficult to carry your bike up to your apartment because of its weight, you can consider switching to a more modern and light bicycle to carry. Keeping your bike stored indoors not only guarantees its safety but also significantly reduces the costs of bike maintenance by extending the lifespan of its parts.
2. Park Your Bike Correctly
Now that your bike rests comfortably in your apartment, you have to think about the times you will be parking your bike outside when you go to socialize, run some errands or go to work. It is important to note that your bike will be as safe as the object you have locked it to when leaving it parked outside. You have the following options:
Municipal Bike Racks
Out of all, this is the best one you can find. The design of these racks is made to push away potential bike thieves. The primary issue with these racks is that they lack in numbers. It makes parking your bike difficult when you are looking for one of these. If you find one, make sure you use it.
Also, an important tip would be parking your bike on the rack’s side that is away from the street. Parking on the street side puts your bike in harm’s way because they could get hit by a car that is backing up or errant trucks.
Bus Stop and Street Sign Poles
These poles are used to showcase parking signs, street signs, bus stop signs, and the sorts can be found much more quickly in numbers than the municipal parking racks. Usually, they are safe enough to be used for bike storage. But, there are instances where they have proven not to be.
It would be best if you took note of the fact that a technical thief can easily unbolt the signs at the pole’s top and steal your bike by simply sliding it over the top.
If you consider parking your bike to a pole, select a pole with multiple signs attached to it instead of just one. Do not secure your bike to a pole that has no signs attached to it or a pole that has loose bolts attach to its signs. If you feel very anxious, you can do this easy trick before leaving your bike parked on a pole. Hold on to the sign and try shaking it to check if you can hear the bolts on the sign rattling. If the sound of rattling is undeniable, then do not leave your bike there. Sometimes, thieves use these poles as traps. They loosen the bolts beforehand so that the entire stealing process can become faster and easier.
Wrought Iron Gates
Wrought iron fences and gates usually belong to the city or a Private owner. There is a good chance that property owners may cut your bike lock if it is parked there. So it is better not to take that risk.
Construction Scaffold & Sidewalk Sheds. Do not ever consider parking your bike to a sidewalk shed or construction scaffold. These structures are secured using bolts. A thief can easily unbolt them and get access to your bike.
This is also not an effective way. If a thief decided to cut a sapling to remove your bike, you would get your bike stolen, and your city will end up losing a tree.
3. Protect Your Frame Using a Solid Bike Lock
By now, we are aware of the location you use to store the bike. But another important question is, what are you using as a lock for it? Are you going to be using a chain or a U-lock? What brand of locks are you planning on getting? The most popular brands that sell locks are Knog, Blackburn, Abus, Onguard, and Kryptonite. These companies sell a wide variety of locks like Cables, Chains, and U-locks at different prices. The choices are never-ending. Even though the options are numerous, it is essential to make the correct comparisons. A $100 from one manufacturer will be far superior to a lock worth $50 from another manufacturer. When you are spending more on a lock, you will get improved security elements such as construction with heavy-duty, heat-treated materials, armored shackles, pick-resistant lock mechanisms, and center-mounted lock barrels. External party standards must verify locks that fill in the mid to high-end range of locks. For example, the Dutch and German ART1 to 5+ standards and the Sold Secure accreditation given by the Master Locksmiths Association. Even though buying an appropriate lock can seem expensive initially, it still proves better than paying to replace your whole bike after it gets stolen.
These Are Some of the Fundamentals Guides to Pick Your Primary Bike Lock
Ditch the Cable
A cable lock will never provide adequate security for your bike’s frame in cities with high crime rates. Keep this as a backup lock.
Use the Smallest Lock
This rule is just an estimation and not hard and fast. If you use a relatively more minor lock, that means you are giving the thief a smaller room to work on your lock and break it. That is why people usually find U-locks more effective than cables. Perhaps, using a chain would be ideal in situations where your bikes are left locked to a lampost when you have to lock several bikes or require locking oddly shaped bikes like the cargo bicycles. Yet, it does seem plausible in reality. Keeping this rule in mind, we suggest buying the following kinds of bikes.
If your bike was purchased from stores like Amazon and Target, buy a starting-level U-lock like the
Bike theft is a severe crime. When bikes are stolen, it is evident that the bike owners suffer from significant losses. The possibilities of finding your bike can be very slim to none since most bikes sold in black markets are stolen, and most victims of bike theft do not report their incidents. Bike theft can be a good source of income for thieves because they only use a tool or a pair of bolt cutters to steal a bike and sell it in the black market.