Bike security advice
According to crime statistics, more than 376,000 bicycles are stolen each year, which works out at about one every 90 seconds.
There is some evidence that bike thefts overall have steadily decreased from a 2011 high of 515,000.
But – while opportunistic theft of low-value, unlocked bikes remains by far the most common offence – the number of high-value bicycles being stolen is increasing.
That worrying trend has been attributed, at least in part, to the rise in popularity of ride-tracking apps such as Strava, Relive and CycleMaps.
Police believe that technology-savvy thieves are using information cyclists share on the internet to locate houses where expensive bikes are being stored.
More than half of all cycle thefts in the UK occur in and around the victim’s home, in places like gardens, passageways and in outbuildings such as sheds and garages.
Silverline, proud partners of this year’s Prudential RideLondon series and one of the biggest and best-loved tool brands, offers these top tips for securing your bike effectively:
- Check the privacy settings on both ride-tracking apps and social media accounts. Change the settings so that, if you still want to share your ride statistics online, only friends and connections can see your starting and finishing position.
For extra security, consider randomising your start position, switching the app on 100 metres or so away from home to confuse the data.
- Use an appropriate lock. If you are leaving your bicycle outside or in an outbuilding, make sure you use a high-quality lock which can’t be easily broken. Chains can be easily snipped so, if your bike is high in value, spend a little extra on a U-Lock. Bike locks are graded ‘Sold Secure’ gold, silver and bronze. Silverline’s High Security Bicycle U-Lock, made from ultra-hardened steel, has been graded gold, offering the highest level of security. View the range here
For further peace of mind, Silverline also sells dummy security cameras which are a cheap and effective way to make would-be burglars think again. View the link here
- If you must leave your bike outside, lock it to something secure. The best locks will be useless if the object the bike is attached to can be easily broken. Mesh fencing, for example, can be easily snipped with wire cutters. Also, be mindful about attaching bicycles to poles in streets. If they are not tall enough, the whole bike can be simply lifted over the top.
Select a place to leave your bike which is well lit, in public view and, ideally, near visible CCTV.
- The frame, front wheel and back wheel must all be locked. Just locking the front wheel means it can be easily detached and the rest of the bike stolen. If you only have one lock, remove the wheels and feed the lock through all the separate parts.
- Registering your bike is important. It deters thieves if they see it has been marked, and it also increases the chances of getting it back if the worst does happen. This can be done at www.bikeregister.com
As the number of £1,000-plus bicycles in the UK increases, it’s sadly inevitable that there will be thefts. It is impossible to completely safeguard against theft of any sort, but the risk can be minimised by following these easy, inexpensive steps.