While the colder months mean less people are out on the streets riding, it doesn’t mean that bike thieves aren’t out, looking for their next score.
Some bikes are more appealing to bike thieves than others, but regardless of what you ride, it’s always a good idea to make sure your bike is as properly locked up as much as possible. Bike theft can happen to anyone, anywhere, even if your bike is pristinely locked up. No one wants to feel their heart drop into their stomachs when they realize their bike has been stolen, but you can take steps to at least deter bike thieves from taking your bike in the first place.
Bike thievery is often a crime of convenience, so here are some ways to make your bike less convenient for a bike thief to steal:
Make sure all parts that can be removed through a Quick Release feature (i.e. seat clamps and wheel skewers) are secure. That may mean using two or more locks, removing your front wheel and locking it to your back wheel, or using locking skewers for your wheels and seat clamps. For seats, you can also ask your local bike shop to fashion a chain out of a used bike chain and inner tube to prevent someone from stealing your seat and seat post.
Use heavy duty locks like U-Locks or chain locks. Cable locks are easy to cut and if you only use a cable lock to secure your bike, your bike becomes an easy target. While the thicker U-Locks and chains are heavier to carry, they are harder to break through.
When locking your bike outside, try for a well-lit space with some foot traffic. When locking to a pole or a bike rack, wiggle the object first to make sure it is securely attached to the ground before locking it up. And remember that it’s perfectly okay to run outside for a quick minute to peek at your bike and make sure it’s still there and that no one is fidgeting with it … do what you need to do to feel comfortable about locking your bike up outside.
PLEASE NOTE! These tips are just that: tips. WE cannot guarantee that if you follow these tips that your bike will be completely safe and will never be stolen when locked up outside.
And if you have any tips to share, join us in the conversation at the Female Bike Forum on Facebook!