Thursday, November 19, 2009

SECURITY WEEK: Tips to prevent bike theft

So, how do you prevent seeing this when you go to hop on your ride?

  1. Buy a U-lock; spend the money and retire your cable lock. Breaking a good U-lock is significantly more difficult than any other type of lock and most crack addicts won't bother.
  2. Lock your bike TO something; Lock your frame. Lock your wheels if they are expensive. And ALWAYS lock your bike. Don't think that just because you're only going to be somewhere for 5 minutes, it's OK to leave it unguarded. Don't lock it to a chain-link fence (these are very easy to snip). Make sure it can't be lifted up and over what it's locked to. Lock it in an area that is visible and has foot traffic - even if this is not where the bike rack is. Of course, the ideal safe place is inside your home or place of work preferably chained to you...
  3. Mark your bike with your driver's license number and record your bike's serial number at home;  Your favorite bike shop may engrave or stamp your driver's licence number on your bike for you. Put it on various parts if they are expensive. You can also put a note inside your seat or head tube. Some thieves also stay away from bikes with a "Marked for Identification" sticker. 
  4. Get it registered; If your local police have a bike registration program, get your serial number registered for easy identification if it's ever recovered.
  5. Park in high traffic areas;  Avoid hidden/low traffic areas that give potential thieves longer to work unnoticed.
  6. Bring it with you;  Ask a store or other business if you can bring your bike inside while stopping there, the worse they can say is no.
  7. Take your front wheel with you;  Many thieves are less likely to go after an incomplete bike. 
  8. When using a car rack, lock the bike to it;  This is a common one, many times bikes are left un-secured on car bike racks.  Just because it's on your car, doesn't mean it will stay there.  Also ensure your bike rack cannot be quickly removed from your car without your permission...
  9. Uglify;  Use an old or 'non-flashy' bike when you're leaving it in the open, even if you have to make your beautiful bike look like a piece of crap.
  10. Don't be predictable;  If you lock your bike overnight in the same place all the time, eventually somebody will notice and come back for it. (I lost one like this)

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