Protect Your Bike From Theft!
May 15, 2019
Unfortunately it’s that time of year again… wheels, seats, and bikes are starting to disappear. And while we’re always happy to get you back on two wheels — whether it’s literally new wheels, a new saddle, or bike — we would much rather help you prevent having your bike stuff stolen in the first place!
At the end of the day, if someone really wants your bike, there’s very little you can do to stop them if they have enough time and the right tools. That said, a majority of the bike thefts are thefts of opportunity. So, if you can prevent thefts from thinking your wheels or bike would be easy to steal, you’ll almost always be in the clear!
So, some tips for keeping your bike safe:
The #1 thing you can do to protect your bike is to lock it up properly.
It is very hard to cut through a U-Lock. Even with an angle grinder, it takes a minute, makes lots of noise, and quite a light show of sparks. Add in a cable to go through your quick-release wheels, and you’re pretty much set. In fact, we like this set up so much we’ve got it hanging up all over the place in our shop:
Yes, cable locks are cheaper. And yes, combination locks are great if you’re likely to lose things (though you can 100% get a combination U-lock over at Urban Cycles), but they are much easier to cut/brake.
If at all possible, NEVER LEAVE YOUR BIKE LOCKED OUTSIDE OVER NIGHT!
Remember when I said earlier that cutting a U-lock “makes a lot of noise” and creates a “light show?” Well, guess what: if a thief has all night, or a nice, quiet few hours in the middle when everyone else is asleep, they’re much more likely to risk cutting your U-lock.
So, whenever possible, bring your bike indoors over night! This could be a secure basement, a locked shed, a hook in your apartment, a hallway… in any case (unless it’s in your apartment), it’s still a good idea to lock your bike up to something solid (we’ve heard lots of stories of bikes getting stolen out of apartment building hallways), but it’ll be better that leaving it outside, for sure.
Us? We like to keep our bikes in our houses, as decoration in our living rooms, in our bedrooms… basically as close as possible. But we’re those “bike people” you’ve probably heard about.
Finally, for extra security, consider locking down your wheels, seatposts, etc.
We sell a number of security skewers, locking seatpost collars, and seat-cables to help lock down the expensive components that can’t necessarily be secured by a U-lock. These give great piece of mind, in addition to offering extra protection. There are special bolts, gravity-based systems, and all sort of other tricks (e.g., ‘ye olde saddle leash‘) we can talk you through to keep your things safe and secure.
(NEVER lock your bike to another bike…unless your buddy says it’s OK. If so, extra protection for the “inside” bike!)
…but wait (you might be wondering), what about bike insurance?
Yes, this is an option, too. We don’t sell it, though. And you might be covered under your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance (make sure to ask!). But we’re not insurance experts, so we’ll stick to bike locks (which we are experts about).
And of course, should you ever find yourself missing a bike or the bits that are supposed to be hanging upon it, we’ll always be happy to get you back on two wheels.