Protect Your Bike From Theft!
June 28, 2018
Unfortunately it’s that time of year again, and we’ve been seeing lots of people come in with stories of stolen bikes, seatposts and seats, and stolen wheels. While we’re always happy to get our customers back on the road with suitable replacement parts or bikes (our used hybrid bikes are often a good option in these situations), we’d prefer that people’s stuff didn’t get stole in the first place!
The truth of the matter is that if someone really wants your bike, with enough time and privacy, chances are they’ll be able to get it. That said, there’s a lot you can do to protect yourself against bike theft, and we’ve always got lots of security solutions in stock over at Urban Cycles, the bike shop at Urban AdvenTours.
1. Use a Good Lock – and Use it Properly!
Using a good U-lock (sometimes called a “D” lock) is essential to keeping your bike safe. That said, you’ve also got to use it properly!
We recommend quality U-locks such as the Kryptonite Kryptolock or the Abus Ultra 410, both of which we carry in our shop.
When locking up your bike, it’s important to lock the frame of the bike to whatever it is you’re locking it to: if you just lock the front wheel, for example, someone can just undo your skewer and run off with the rest of your bike!
2. Secure Your Wheels
Most bicycles these days come with quick release skewers on their wheels, which are super convenient to get off when you need to throw your bike in the car or change a flat — but they’re also easy for a thief to undo to steal your wheels!
For wheel security, you’ve got a few options. You could use a cable in combination with a U-lock to secure your wheels, using something like the Abus Ultra 410 with Loop Cable, which incidentally is what we send out with our bike rentals!
You can also go another route and secure your wheels directly, using a locking or security skewer. We carry hex-keyed skewers for a notch above quick release security (a thief would need a hex tool to get your wheel), but for this style of solution we recommend a solution like Delta’s KnoxNut security skewers, which require a special key to undo, or Abus’s NutFix skewers, which only unlock when the bike is on its side.
3. Secure Your Seat
One big step to securing your seat in the city is to replace any quick-release seat collars with hex-keyed seat collars. Much like quick release wheels, quick-release seat collars make it easy for a thief to pull open the quick release and take the entire seatpost and seat together in one fell swoop.
For extra security, you could use a security seatpost collar such as the Pinhead Saddle lock, or a seatpost cable, which you’d loop through your saddle rails and attach to your U-lock, much like your wheels.
4. Finally: Lock Smart!
Time and privacy are a bike thief’s best friends, so when locking your bike, think about locking it on a main thoroughfare or well-trafficked area if you can’t bring your bike inside or have access to a secure bike storage area (the MBTA’s bike cages are a great option for multi-modal commuters!).
The other big this is to never leave your bike outside overnight if at all possible: most of the stories we hear in the shop from customers whose bikes have gotten stolen get stolen overnight — even on otherwise busy streets!
So as ever, stay smart, stay safe, and enjoy the ride!