So you bought yourself or your kids a bike, now you need to make sure you keep it safe
Your children came down to a lovely shiny new bike on Chrismas morning. Gleaming with new stickers and highly polished paint. All the other kids in the neighborhood are going to be so jealous when they see your baby's new bike, aren't they? They will ask if they can ride it, ask if they can sit on it. They will probably compare their new bike with your child's new bike. One thing is guaranteed is that at some point, the young children, whom struggle to see a monetary value on their bike, will no doubt leave it on a garden or driveway whilst they nip to use the bathroom, or go in side to play with their friends.
All it takes is for some greedy, lazy and moral-less person to come past and have the attitude that their child would look better on that bike, and you can whistle dixie to ever seeing the bike that you worked all year to pay for. Doesn't it make you so angry when some "Ne'r do well "can just come and benefit from all your hard work, when you know they won't be getting through a work door way in the near future. They just profit from others and their ill gotten gains, leaving your child in floods of tears and you raging.
Bike theft is on the rise, so be more vigilent in keeping it safe.
Here are some facts on bike theft that should make you realise exactly why you need to keep your bike safe at all times.
- A bike is stolen every minute in the UK, and only 5% are ever returned to their original bike owner.
- If a thief can not steal your whole bike, they will sometimes steal parts of your bike. Your lights, wheels or seat, to name a few.
- 56% of the thefts are only reported, meaning that another 44% never get looked in to at all.
In 2010, over half a million bikes were stolen in the UK alone, figures found by a survey, as crime reported on bike theft was only a third of that figure.
As the picture above shows, they can take your bike even if you secure it, so you need to secure it the right way. There is no 100% theif proof lock on the market, but by carrying two locks and placing them correctly on your bike, you limit the chance of your bike being stolen at all.
Here are some bike locks and devices for protection, that will increase the protection of your bike against thieves. Remember, this is no longer about a single scally thinking he likes the look of your bike, this is about organised crime and people who go out with the intention of taking bikes. This means they are equiped and skilled at taking bikes that don't belong to them, and means you need to try harder.
If your bike is in your own property, then you protect your bike the same way as all your other out door objects, but out and about you need to be a little more determined. So here are some Bike locks that I suggest you think about protecting your property with.
A Kryptonite D lock and chain.
A Kryptonite D lock with 4 feet of chain will help keep your bike protected from theives. This D lock is designed to resist picking or cutters. As my pictures above show, it is advisable to put the chain through the wheel as well as the body frame of your bike, and the D lock device is designed to help you do this, in partnership with the chain.
You can by all means get bigger, better and stronger locks, but this 7" mini lock is a big enough device to give you great protection and small enough to fit securely on your bike whilst traveling. Remember, you have to transport the lock when the bike is in use.
If you feel that a lock is simply not enough protection then you could think about using a very light weight lock, that has a cable and a built in alarm. The alarm has 120 DB and is a great detterent as it brings attention to your bike should anyone attempt to steal it.
Other things you can do to keep your bike safe from bike thieves.
- Make sure that you always try and secure your bike in a well lit area, where others can see it.
- Lock your bike in a place where there is alternative cctv coverage. Some companies have private cctv, but also use the public street cctvs, they will deter most thieves from even trying to steal your bike, but if some fool does try, they will be on camera doing so.
- Before you even take your new bike anywhere, write down the bikes frame number, you will usually find this near to the pedals, and you can then give it to the police if your bike ever does get stolen.
- Nobody likes to deface their own property, but if you can mark it somewhere with maybe your initials or first name, you can do it somewhere that isn't immediately visible, but makes resale a bit more unappealing and you have another identification for police.
Another issue is why are you taking an expensive bike out with you? If it is for your kids, they will ONLY want to take out their pride and joy and likely play with their friends. If, however, it is for you to commute to and from your place of work, don't do it on your expensive pride and joy, use a cheap bike that has less street and resell appeal.
Most of all, you just need to keep vigilant about thieves, and remind your children to do the same. Happy cycling.