Minimise Theft Risk

It sounds basic, but it is very easy to make mistakes that make your bike more attractive and accessible to thieves.

  1. Buy the best

It’s not worth saving money on a lock. It just means that you’re taking a risk with your pride and joy.

Buy the best you can afford and get the most substantial protection you can carry. D-Locks are the best compromise; lighter than a chain lock but more substantial than a cable lock. D-locks are also very easy to carry on the bike with an appropriate bracket.

Here is a link to our lock buying guide.

OK, so you’ve got your shiny lock, how can you minimise the chance of someone attempting to get through it?

2. Location, Location, Location

If you have a choice of area, choose a place with a large amount of foot traffic. Choose somewhere with CCTV. Ideally lock it near other bikes – if there is someone using a weaker lock than you, they are more likely to be the target.

Sometimes you will be in a more theft-prone area with your bike. Obviously take extra care, but a better option is to try and park safely, a little further from your destination; it’s probably worth walking the extra distance to keep your bike safe.

3. Street furniture

Make sure you attach your bike to something that cannot be snapped, lifted or easily cut. Prime Minister David Cameron would do well to heed this advice after his locked bike was lifted over a pole and stolen in 2008.

It is also important to check where you are allowed to park your bike; many places in cities remove or clamp bikes, charging a release fee.

4. Lock usage

Having a good lock is important but useless unless you use it effectively –

  • Secure the frame to the anchor point using the lock. Next ensure that both wheels are locked either to the frame or to the anchor. If using a quick-release seat clamp, make sure that the seat is locked to the bike or removed and taken with you.
  • You can use a chain or cable, or use a Datatag’s Electronic Security System. The Kryptonite system is cheaper and includes a stick on tag (which can be scanned using a Smart phone) and entry in an online register. The Datatag system is more expensive but includes a visible tag (as per the Kryptonite kit) but also includes a hidden transponder in the seat tube. This ‘multi-layer’ approach makes it less likely that thieves can successfully remove tracking devices.

5. Accessorise

Removing lights, computers and pannier bags means they can’t be stolen! You can also remove the seat and post if you have a QR seat clamp.

All this may sound like a lot to take in, but these simple steps will help keep your bike safe. And once you follow this advice a few times, it will become habit and these simple precautions will become second nature.

Return to our commuter guides.