Top 5 tips to reduce the risk of bike theft

12 Dec 2019

Bike security is a serious problem with thousands of bikes being stolen every year

In 2016 over 19 million bikes were sold across Europe at an average of €389. Over 3.5 million of them were stolen which exceeds €1.3 billion. (The European Cyclists' Federation)

The sad thing is that very few stolen bikes are ever returned to their owners.

Here are a few tips to ensure that this does not happen to you.

1. Always use a bike lock
Beware that some bicycle locks are truly useless! Always invest in a solid bike lock which has been tested by Sold Secure, a not-for-profit company administered by the Master Locksmiths Association. They rate locks Bronze, Silver or Gold in ascending order of bike security. The locks should hold out for one, three and five minutes respectively against progressively more determined and tooled-up bike thieves.

Be prepared to pay £40 upwards for a Sold Secure Silver or Gold D-lock. Brands include LiteLok, Hiplok and Kryptonite.

Please remember though, a bicycle thief with big bolt croppers can break open Gold-rated bike locks in under a minute. This doesn’t mean locks shouldn’t be used and most will stop an opportunist bicycle thief and hopefully make him look for an easier bike to steal.

2. Be aware of where you leave the bike
Try and leave your bicycle in a public location where it is covered by CCTV
Take the front wheel of the bike or the bicycle saddle with you.
If the bike wheels have a solid axle, remove the bike axle and take it with you.

At home, make sure your bike is out of sight if inside the house and if it is left in the garage or shed use a bike security ground anchor point to lock it to.

Where are the worst places for bicycle theft?

3. Bike security marking
Register your bikes details including frame number, make, model and a photo of the bike on a bicycle registration scheme such as Veloeye. How does Veloeye work . This will ensure that if the bike is found by the police it can be traced back to you. Always try to ensure that the bike is clearly displaying the tamper-resistant sticker provided by the registration company, as this is proven to be a good deterrent to the bike thief.

If the bike you are buying is second-hand, check the frame number on online bike registration companies before buying to check to see if it’s reported stolen or not.

4. Bike Insurance
Make sure your bike is adequately insured and that you are complying with the insurers T&C’s when you leave it locked up. Make sure that the bicycle lock you are using is approved by the insurance company.  Some insurers will not cover a bike left on a car bike rack or inside a shed for instance. There is 10% discount on insurance at YellowJersey when you register you bike at Veloeye.

5. If your bike is stolen
Do report the theft of your bike to the police. If your bike is on a bike registration scheme. Most bike security registration schemes will email you a document to take to the Police with the details of the stolen bike.  It is essential that the Police can identify the recovered stolen bike as yours quickly and easily.

Share pictures of your bike and the location of the theft on social media, community based websites for reporting of stolen bikes and tweet bike shops in the area. If your bike is registered with veloeye they will show the stolen bikes details on their searchable database as well as tweeting bike shops in the area of the theft.