Your bike is valuable. Not just in emotional means to you, but also in monetary means for thieves. We’ve got some tips below on how to prevent your bike from getting stolen.
Types of locks
Choosing the right lock is the difference between your bike being easy or hard to steal.
Cable locks - can be easily cut with bolt cutters. A small pair of cutters can easily be hidden in a jacket and thieves can quickly just cut the cable and be on their way with your bike. Cable locks, might be light and easier to carry but aren’t worth the risk of your bike being stolen.
D-locks - hard to cut and need much larger tools are needed to get through the lock. D-locks might be heavier for you to carry, but a good quality D-lock is much harder to cut through often requiring large equipment such as angle grinders. Larger and loud tools are much more likely to be noticed as well.
If you are worried about your bike, it is better to have two locks on your bike, rather than just one. We do recommend though, that they are all high quality ones.
Locking your bike
Make sure you lock your bike to a solid object that your bike and the lock can’t be lifted over. A bike rack or a park bench is often a great place.
When locking your bike we recommend looping both the frame and the wheel before locking it to a solid object. To prevent the wheel being stolen, we suggest having a lock for each wheel.
If you have a cable lock, wrap the lock around your bike and the fixed object (or another bike) as many times as possible so there is no or little slack in the cable. If you can lock it as high as possible this will make it harder to cut it.
Removing items that can’t be locked
If you can easily take things off your bike, so can thieves. It’s important to ensure you have removed lights or pumps. We would also recommend having screws instead of quick releases on parts of your bikes, such as the seat.
Tip: If you can, use multiple types of locks (combination, key, cable, D-lock). This can cause confusion for thieves and increase the time it takes to steal the bike.
Away From Home
Firstly, we recommend keeping your bike within sight if you are leaving it in public. We do however know this is not always going to happen.
In this case, we have a few tips on where to leave it.
- Choose a location that is busy, which would make it hard for thieves to go unnoticed. Also make sure it is a well lit area so your bike and potential thief can be seen.
- Choose a location that has CCTV cameras. This means if your bike does get stolen, the camera will have footage of it.
- Use your helmet straps to loop it through a wheel and the bike frame (or a fixed object) and buckle it.
- If you cannot see your bike, do not leave your bike computer / phone etc on your bike.
Tip: Don’t lock more than 1 bike per bike lock. If the lock does get broken, all bikes will be stolen. Only as a last resort should you lock bikes together.
On a Bike Riding Holiday
- If you are staying at a motel, caravan park or an Airbnb, check with the owner/manager before you make a booking that you are allowed to have your bike inside (in your room). This is not always the case!
- Even if you are allowed to leave your bike in the room, when you are going out (without your bike), lock your bike and / or take a wheel off and put this in your car (if travelling by car). A bike with a missing wheel is not so easy to sell!
- If you have to leave your bike in the car (overnight), reverse park your car as close as possible to your room, cover your bike with a tarp, blanket or large towel and lock it. If possible leave a light on outside (for instance on the verandah) and take one wheel off your bike and take that inside your room (be prepared and have something to put your wheel in).
- When you make a stop during travel, lock your bike to your bike rack (or at least use your helmet as before). Or even better: if travelling with another person, have one person stay by the car.
If you can, we suggest keeping your bike inside your home and also locked. If you are keeping the bike in the garage, you can also try locking it to a solid object, just as if you were away from home.
If living in flats, try not to use the communal lock or storage spaces if it can be helped. Make sure to talk to your strata management corporation, be sure you are able to wheel your bike through communal areas. If not possible, request CCTV cameras for the bike storage area, if there are none available.
If you can’t keep your bike inside your home, always remove one wheel as this is easy to store at home!
Register The Bike
We recommend that you register your bike with BikeVAULT. BikeVAULT’s National Bike Register (NBR) is a free community service where bike owners can enter their bike’s details. In case your bike gets stolen, it can be tracked and returned to you (the owner).
BikeVAULT combines the forces of industry – Crime Stoppers, the Police, bike owners and the wider community – to expose and defeat the illicit trade in stolen bikes.
A major part of BikeVAULT’s success is its large social media following. This ever growing community helps bring awareness to the stolen bikes by having spotters who trawl for and report stolen bikes found for sale online and at second-hand dealer premises.
The power of an informed community cannot be overestimated. Prior to the launch of this register, stolen bikes were easy to sell for quick profits with perpetrators having little fear of the stolen bike being identified and them being caught. Removing the pathways to safely sell and profit from stolen property is the ultimate deterrent to profit driven theft.
Insure Your Bike
For your peace of mind, we also recommend having bike insurance in case your bike is stolen.
Through our partner, Oz Bike Insurance, you can now cover your bike in the case of theft or other events (fire, flood, storm) at home from as little as $1.32 a week. You can also take out optional cover for accidental damage and theft anywhere in Australia.