Get the most out of your bike lock
It’s fair to say that attitudes towards locking bikes vary from the obsessive to the absolute cavalier. If you’re going to actively use your bike and leave it on the streets then your bike lock is the only line of defence against a thief, however not locking it the right way could, even still, lead to a stolen bike and a bad day. Every bike can be stolen and no matter how clever your locking technique is, there will be a way to overcome it; yet even though hundreds of bikes are stolen in the UK every week you can dramatically reduce the odds of the one of them being yours by following a few simple steps.
- If you’re leaving your bike locked up for long periods of time in the same location then invest in a heavy duty lock and leave it there, you can then carry a smaller lock for the in-between bits.
- Use multiple locks – one lock will not secure all the components on your bike that a thief might take a liking to, try to use a combination of a D-lock and a cable or even two D-locks.
- Your bike is only as secure as what you lock it to; a £100 lock is going to be as effective as a piece of string if you lock it to a wooden post.
- Lock your bike up in plain sight; a bike locked on a quiet back street is like stealing sweets from children for a thief.
- Make the lock hard to get to; if it’s hard for you, it’s hard for the thief.
- Remove any lights or computers.
- Before you lock, check what you’re locking it to is secure and not broken; I’ve seen plenty of bike racks that have been sawn through.
- If you’ve only got one lock remove your front wheel. It’s a pain but less of a pain than replacing it. Then place the lock around the bike stand or locking point and through both seat stays and the two wheels.
- Another option to the above, although slightly less secure would be to invest in a looped cable that can run through the front wheel to the lock around the rear wheel and frame, negating the need to remove your wheel.
- If you’re using two locks then secure the rear wheel and frame to bike stand, and then use the second to secure the front wheel and down tube of your frame to the bike stand, of if that doesn’t work then the front wheel to the frame.
- If you’re locking your bike to a post then make sure the bike can’t be lifted over it.
Always lock your bike
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, always lock your bike up, no matter how short your stop is it’s going to be enough time for someone to whisk your beloved bike away. To learn more about bike security visit the Sustrans website.