No matter where you’re cycling in the world, bike theft is always a concern. It is heartbreaking to return to an empty spot that used to contain your bike, so it is important to be vigilant when out and about.
Here are some tips for keeping your bike safe.
1 - Buy a good quality Sold Secure rated bike lock.
Sold Secure is the UK’s premier testing and certification house for all security products, including bike locks. They are owned by the Master Locksmiths Association and are experts when it comes to testing the security of locks. They work closely with the police to get a better understanding of how bike thefts occur and what tools are more commonly used. Using this information they test each lock and give it one of three ratings, Gold, Silver, or Bronze. Because of their respected reputation as experts in their field, a Sold Secure rating is used (and often required) by many insurers.
Litelok offers both Gold and Silver-rated locks. Litelok Gold is the lightest, flexible Sold Secure Gold range available and is perfect for urban commuters and cyclists who need high security. Litelok Silver is even lighter, more flexible, and being Sold Secure Silver rated, it still offers a good level of security. It is suitable for all ages and cyclists.
2 - Double lock your bike.
Locking your bike with two locks instead of one adds another level of security. Not only is your bike more secure, but it also acts as a visual deterrent. A thief will have to spend twice the amount of time in order to steal your bike and so they will most likely move on to an easier target.
We strongly recommend two locks and to make things easier for you we sell Twin Liteloks that operate from the same key. You can also connect them together to create an even longer bike lock, allowing you to lock multiple bikes together. Twin Liteloks are available in both Gold and Silver.
3 - Secure everything
When locking a bike, it is recommended to use your lock to secure both the frame and the back wheel. There have been many incidents where riders have returned to their bike to find just the frame, or in some cases, just the wheels. Most modern bikes will come with some form of quick release wheels, so if you don’t secure your wheels any opportunist could come along and walk off with a vital part of your bike. It’s straightforward enough to secure your lock through the rear wheel and the frame, but your front wheel will often need an additional lock. Finally, make sure that the most secure lock you’re using is the one that is anchored to a solid point
4 - Register your bike
The majority of bikes that are stolen are then sold, so making it harder for the thieves to profit from your bike is very important. It is very easy to register and mark your bike, creating a strong visual deterrent for thieves. By registering your bike with the Bike Register you will have a logbook for your bike, showing proof of ownership. By purchasing one of their police approved security marking kits, you're able to mark your bike with a unique code that will allow police to trace the bike back to you if covered. Also if you are purchasing a bike second hand, you are able to use Bike Register to check the frame number to see if it has been stolen. This means if thieves do try to sell your stolen bike then there is more of a chance of it being flagged as stolen and returned to you.
It's very easy to register your bike, just click here.
5 - Know your frame number
The frame number can normally be found underneath the bike between the pedals, or on the frame near the back wheel. Make sure you take photographs of both your bike and your frame number, it’s the only way you will be able to prove that a specific bike is your's in the unfortunate event that it goes missing. Also, social media is a very powerful tool when it comes to sharing content. So if your bike is stolen, share those photos of your bike and you never know. Bikes have been recovered thanks to social media.
6 - Lock your bike in a secure location
No bike lock is unbreakable. If you lock your bike in a secluded, quiet area with no additional security, a bike thief can work on that lock for as long as they want without being disturbed. The more time they have the more likely they are to cycle away on your bike. Always try to lock your bike in a busy, well-lit area. This drastically minimises the chance of a thief even attempting to take your bike. CCTV can be a strong deterrent, but as you can see from the video below, sometimes it isn’t enough.
7 - Remove removable items
Take anything that can be removed from your bike with you. If you have clip-on bike lights then they are much safer on your person than left on your bike. A frustrated thief may fail at stealing your bike and decide to take your lights out of spite. This can be dangerous if it’s dark and you need to cycle home. Most lights and computers will come with quick release mounts or straps to allow you to easily take your valuable items with you when leaving your bike locked up.
8 - Ensure your bike lock is off the ground
A bike lock is easier to break if it is on the ground. By securing your bike with the lock raised, it prevents impact attacks with hammers and chisels. Also if the thief is using large bolt cropping tools, they can use the floor as leverage. The higher your bike lock is, the more difficult this becomes.
For statistics regarding the UK’s worst bike theft hotspots, click here.