I’ll show you a pic to start our discussion on how to keep thefts away from your treasure-like bike. Looking at this bike-dominated place, are you thinking that we’re coming to a bike factory. No, all those are bikes that are taken back by police from the dirty hands of bike thefts, they are here because there is no way for them to be returned to their owners. The stolen bikes in this pic are only the tip of the iceberg. Across the world, there are countless stolen bikes which nobody come to claim.
Bike thefts are nothing new or nothing rare, most of us have once or twice witnessed a theft trying to steal others’ bikes, or we have seen a bike with its parts gone in the streets. But why bike thefts are so rampant and hard to eradicate? The reasons may be various, I believe. After organizing and analyzing, I find, the reason why so many bikes are stolen can act as a hint to the countermeasures to bike stealing. The following are my conclusion on tips to keep your bike from being stolen. Stay tuned.
- Locate the serial number of your bike or engrave one
Strictly speaking, serial number is not a precautionary measure but a post-stolen solution. Generally, every bike will be engraved with a special serial number which is used to prove the ownership. It is very necessary for riders to find out their bikes’ serial numbers and keep them in a safe place. When the horrible thing happens, you can come to the police and report yours to the police, if your stolen bike was recovered by the police, they will better help you identify yours, because the police has a database of the stolen bikes, recording their serial numbers.
Even though a serial number is of so much importance, most often than not, people still don’t do that. I understand that find the serial number on a bike is hard and boring, sometimes you even need a flashlight and magnifying glass to help you read it, but, compared with the sadness and troubles arising from stolen bikes, it is worth doing. To save your time, I’ll show you in a pic about the common location where serial number is engraved in a bike.
There is also a situation where you find serial number are engraved in none of these locations, then, I suggest you to engrave one of your own, it can be identical with your driver’s license or your other license number.
- Try not to leave your bike out of sight
Your bike will never get lost or stolen if you always keep an eye on it. We all know that this is the best way to keep your bike with you forever, but the reality obstructs us from doing so. Your daily routine may go like this, get up, go to work/school by bike, come back home from work by bike. Those may be the things you’ll do every day. You will rely on bike to commute, but the problem is how can you watch out for your bike 24hours?
Sometimes, you have some unexpected situation to deal with and you have to leave your bike behind, sometimes, you’re not allowed to enter some occasions or places with a bike. Therefore, it is near impossible for us to always keep an eye on our bike any time anywhere. But what you can do is to try your best. When the reality says no, I still have other solutions for you. Please read on.
- Choose the right parking location
If you cannot make sure that tip 2 is implementable, then the next thing you need to do is to find a secure parking location. Needless to say, indoors is much safer than outdoors, and it is better if there is security in the parking lot.
Besides that, you should shun from parking your bike at the same place, for it will help the theft better tract your activity and timetable, making it easier for them to do the dirty thing. Last, try to find a place where you can conveniently lock your bike. For example, if there is a rack in the parking lot, you can lock your bike to it. But you should also note that, a rack with hundreds of bikes locked to is also a candy store to the theft.
- Don’t forget to buy a really good lock
Bad things will also happen even if you succeed in finding a perfect and secure parking location, this is because you failed to buy a good and tough lock. A bike without a lock is an opportunity in the eyes of the theft, if you’re parked with other bikes in the same place, only yours are unlocked, you’re literally inviting the theft to steal your bike.
There are a variety of locks you can choose from, I suggest the combination of a cable lock, a U-lock and a chain. A bike locked by such locks poses a challenge for theft, because usually, it takes a lot of time and three tools to unlock or cut through these locks. If a theft finds yours a hard work, they will definitely leave and go for others without such locks. Last thing to note is, the best part on a bike to be locked to locks is the bike frame. If you are locking other parts of a bike, say the front wheel, the chances are you may come back with nothing but a lock and a wheel.
- Reporting to the police and check out Craigslist
If your bike is stolen, you should immediately report to the police and show them your serial number. This will help police recover your bike and return them to you. Besides, the police’s database of knowledge will help cyclists better identify the highly risky places of stealing. Once you reported to the police, next thing you can do is to go to Craigslist and see whether there is yours that are released for sale by the theft. Keeping in mind, it is not safe to meet the theft offline by yourself, you should ask the police for help.
- DIY your bike to make it less tempting and easy to identify
This may not be liked by all riders, but for bike DIY fans, it’s worth trying. DIY doesn’t have to be exaggerated or showy, as long as you can make your bike a unique one and threaten thefts away and won’t violate bike regulations, you can design your own.
- Pay attention to the wheels and saddles that are easy to release
Sometimes, even though you have done all of the things you can to lock your bike, you may well find the wheel and saddles are stolen. The bike manufacturer designed the quick release saddle and wheels for the benefits of bike riders, but it is also capitalized on by theft. Therefore, if you find yours are a quick release, you can use a skewer set and a binder bolt to secure it.
- Beware of a flatted tire
Flatten your tire, this is a trick often played by thefts, they are doing so in order to delay you from leaving with your bike. Once your find the tire is flattened, do not leave it there for getting your repair kit, you should immediately unlock it and push it away. Do not fall into the trap of the theft.
Those above include precautionary tips and post-stolen countermeasures. Make sure you can take them into action, or you will suffer from regrets and sorrow arising from a stolen bike.