Returning back to your bike only to find it is no longer where you left it is definitely a less than ideal situation. Whether it is your entry level commuter bicycle or the favorite in your bike collection, opportunistic thieves are willing to nab anything they can to make a quick buck. In excess of 30,000 bikes are stolen in Australia every year, prompting even more reason to have a better look at your bike security options (Property Vault, 2021). Thieves will take anything they can, from the entire bike, right down to wheels, lights and even smaller componentry. So think twice before leaving your bike unattended or unsecured. To make life a little easier, we have come up with a list of our top theft prevention tips.
Tip 1: Invest in a good lock - or even two!
This may seem like a pretty obvious tip, but you would be surprised by how many people are willing to take the gamble and leave their bikes unsecured when unattended. The list of locks available is endless, but there are definitely some that stand out amongst the crowd. Purchasing a high quality lock really is the only way to go. However, it is important to note that this will usually come at a higher price point, so we would recommend getting the best lock you can afford. A higher quality lock usually indicates how strong the lock is. The stronger the lock, the harder it is to saw through or break open. D-Locks are a great choice as they are made with thick reinforced metal and they are usually still small and compact making them easy to transport.
Image: Hiplok - D
Tip 2: Learn to lock it up
Now that you have a great lock, it is time to know how to use it… properly. It is important to have a good look at the object you are securing your bike to, is it secure itself? Has the object been bolted or cemented down? There is no point locking your bike to something like a road sign which can easily be picked up and moved with your bike still attached! Another great thing to look out for is where on the bike you are securing your lock to. It is great to place the lock as close to the bottom bracket as you can, and as tight as you can. The less clearance between the lock and your bike, the less likely thieves can get their pliers in to cut it off. The more locks the better! If possible, use two locks with your bike, a D-Lock around the frame, and a chain lock around your wheels.
Image: Hiplok EDX1
Tip 3: Take your valuables with you!
As easy as it might be to just leave your lights and bike computer on your bike, it is never a good idea. These items are super easy to remove and don't require much effort to take off. Plus, they are easy to hide in pockets or bags once removed. These items can also cost a lot, so the last thing you want to have to do is go and fork out more money for new lights, bells, or even a new bike computer. And don’t forget those spares kits! They tend to be hot property as well, and definitely inconvenient if you no longer have one.
Tip 4: Think twice before leaving your bike unattended
Have a look around, is the location you plan to lock and leave your bike a suitable one? Is it well lit? Is it in a highly visible location? Generally speaking, leaving your bike down a dark alleyway is not the best option for you. Try to find somewhere that is either already secure such as a bike cage or similar, or, look for somewhere that is well lit and has good visibility from surrounding businesses. It is always harder and less desirable to steal a bike in broad daylight with plenty of onlookers than it is to take one that has been left unattended in a back alley.
Now you know some of the best ways to help keep your bike protected and secure from thieves, it is time to convert knowledge into actions! Set yourself up for success - get a good, high quality lock or two, secure it properly and in a safe location, and remove all accessories when not attended.
Property Vault: www.propertyvault.com.au