Bicycle Security: Everything You Need To Know

Bicycle Security: Everything You Need to Know.

This article discusses bicycle security in 2021. Learn how to protect your bike from theft and how to store it safely.

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So, if you bought a bike or still planning to buy one, then the next thing you should know about is bicycle security.

According to the Home Office, over 150,000 bikes are reported stolen every year, every year!

The worst part is, majority of them are never recovered. It gets even worse…

According to the Transport Research Laboratory, 700,000 bicycle thefts happen in a year.

So, if we do our math, a bike is stolen every 45 seconds and 4 bikes would have been stolen by the time you finish reading this article.

Make sure that your bike is safe!

If you own a BMX or a mountain bike, it’s even worse, because they are twice as likely to be stolen than other types.

If a person comes with bolt cutter, and other cutting tools, there isn’t much you can do to stop him from stealing your bike.

But fortunately for us, most thefts aren’t done by professionals, and it can be prevented by taking some simple precautions.

So, this article explains how to keep your bike safe.

One By Ten Rule

One By Ten Rule

If you want to keep your bike safe, the first thing that you must do is to invest in a good quality bike lock.

Good quality bile locks aren’t cheap and won’t be cheap. Confronted by a challenge, most of the thieves move on to something easier.

The majority of them want some quick buck, so most of them won’t waste their time on something challenging.

So, your main aim is to make things as hard as possible for them. The one by ten rule comes handy here.

Spend 1/10 of the cost of your bike on a lock. If your bike cost around $500, then spend at least $50 on a bike lock.

It is better to spend $50 instead of getting a new bike. Make sure that the lock has gone through an accreditation process that includes trying to force, cut, and pick the lock.

Wirecutter did an experiment to find out the best bicycle lock that is available in the market.

bike-locks-testing-grinder-630

Video: Duncan Niederlitz: wirecutter

They ordered 27 of the toughest lock they could find, and then they sawed, chopped, and cut them to pieces.

Here are the best bicycle locks that they found.

bicycle security: Bike Locks
Photo: Kyle Fitzgerald -wirecutter.com

According to their study, the Kryptonite New-U Evolution Mini-7 U lock has many combinations of theft-resistant features than almost anything at that price range.

The lock is more thoroughly hardened, dual locking shackle that lesser locks don’t have, and is outfitted with a more secure disc-detainer locking mechanism.

This lock includes a year of Kryptonite’s protection coverage, up to $2,500.

It is difficult to squeeze a car jack into a properly locked New-U Evolution Mini-7, which will make your bike less prone to theft.

Even though it is better to choose New York Fahgettaboudit Mini, if you live in a high-risk area or if you live in Manhattan, where the only locks covered by Kryptonots anti-theft protect are the New York series.

Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini

bicycle security: Bike Locks
Photo: Kyle Fitzgerald -wirecutter.com

Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini was the most secure lock that they tested, but it weighs around 4.55 pounds.

It uses a thoroughly hardened dual-locking shackle and an extra metal in the crossbar for more security. The 18mm shackle has a cross-sectional area twice that of the Evolutions 13mm shackle, and thus takes twice as long as to cut through.

The only significant downside to this lock other than the increased price over the Evolutions is that it’s double the weight.

But as their test showed, a more hardened metal is the key to more security.

Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain

bicycle security: Bike Locks
Photo: Kyle Fitzgerald -wirecutter.com

If you need a chain lock, then this is the choice for you. Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain is the best chain for the money for high-security situations.

It uses 14mm through-hardened links and comes in a fairly standard 39-inch length as well as in a 5-foot version.

The chain is connected by Kryptoniyte’s 15 mm New York disc lock with a dual-locking shackle and a disc-detainer mechanism.

Since it is in the Kryptonites New York series of lock, it is covered by the companies anti-theft protection in Manhattan.

Care and Maintenance

Locks take a lot of abuse, from drops to grime.

Luckily for you, the locks selected by the wirecutter are very easy to maintain.

Just open the lock, clean out any grime with a cloth, spray in some degreaser if it’s feeling gritty, and then spray some dry lube (such as Finish Line Dry Bike Lubricant) and then rotate the key a few times in the lock.

You can read the easy instructions on the Kryptonite website.

The U-lock: Perfect Way To Keep Your Bike Safe

A classic bike lock is U shaped. You can find the best ones from Kryptonite (mentioned above) , Squire, Abus, or Telock that have sophisticated mechanics and are made from specially hardened steel.

The U-lock goes through your bike’s back wheel and the pair of diagonal skinny tubes that connect under your seat.

The cable adds protection for your front wheel.

Here’s how you can use the U-lock to keep your bicycle safe.

How to lock your bike: U lock
Video: Kyle Fitzgerald -wirecutter.com

Double Lock Your Bicycle For Double Protection

The double lock technique offers twice the protection. But it isn’t that comfortable to carry two locks when you ride your bike.

So, if you ride your bike to work, then the option will be suited for you. Leave one lock at your work and carry one when you ride.

So when you reach your destination, lock it up, and it will be safe.

Disguise Your Bike

One of the best ways to keep your bike safe is to disguise them. Many of the thieves are brand conscious.

If you cover the brand logo and any other decals or badges, it will reduce the chance of your bike getting stolen.

Cover the frame around the logo with paper first, and then stick the tape to itself rather than to the paintwork. This way, you won’t damage the paintwork.

Insure Your Bike

bike insurance

It is easy and often quite cheap to add bicycles to your household insurance policy.

Some policies include bikes as a matter of course, although there’s usually a fairly low limit on the value covered.

Some specialist insurers offer benefits such as new-for-old replacement and discounts for insuring more than one bike.

Make sure that you read all the terms and conditions.

Some policies say that your bike should be locked with a particular brand of lock; locked to a specific type of bike stand, and many more.

Self-Insure

bike security savings

It is best to have a small deposit in your bank than paying your premiums every month.

Find a high-interest savings account and deposit a small amount every month.

For example, if you deposit around $10 a month, and your bike survives for a year, you will have around $120 (plus the interest you earned) to put towards a replacement.

But make sure that you make use of that money for the right purpose!

FAQ

Frequently asked questions.

Let us help answer the most common questions you might have.

Which are the best locks that I can use to secure my bike?

The three locks that are mentioned above are the best locks that you can get currently in the market. They have passed some of the rigorous challenges a lock can face.

How often are bikes stolen?

Over two million bikes are stolen each year in North America.-meaning every 45 seconds, someone’s ride goes missing. And it is growing year by year.

Should I file a police report for a stolen bike?

Yes, if your bike is stolen, make sure to report the crime to your local police (don’t call 911 unless it’s a theft in progress).

Is there a bike lock that cannot be cut?

If the thief comes equipped with professional cutting machines, there isn’t much that you can do. But most of them aren’t professionals, so you can use the locks mentioned above to slow down the process and make it difficult for them.

Home many stolen bikes are recovered?

In most of the cases, around 90 percent of bikes are never recovered. Bicycle security is the first thing that you should do right now.

What should I do to keep my bikes safe?

Take proactive steps right now. It is better to spend some bucks right now, instead of buying a new bicycle.

If you are lucky, in the long run, you will save a sizeable amount and can buy a new bike.

So, it is always better to take some precautions than being heartbroken. If you already have a bike and it isn’t secure, what are you wait for? Start NOW!

Resources

Bike Easy: Top Tips and Expert Advice for the New Cyclist by Peter Andrews

Wheel benders by BikesWelcome

Best Bike Locks -Duncan Niederlitz Wirecutter

Get A Free PDF Version Of This Guide: Contains all the tips, resources found here

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