If you’ve ever had the misfortune of suffering the theft of your bicycle, we don’t need to explain what the feeling of frustration it causes. And if it has never happened to you, you should know that there is always the possibility that it will happen to you at some point in your life.
Too many times we fall into the error of thinking that “if it’s our turn, it’s our turn”, as if suffering this theft was something similar to a lottery. The reality is that it is in our hands to make theft very difficult with a series of measures within our reach. And, although it influences, not all go to buy the most expensive padlock.
The Best Ways to Protect Your Bike From Theft
Choose a lit spot
It is obvious that an enclosed and guarded place is the safest for our bicycle, but the use we make of it forces us to move to different places, leave it alone in public and then return to take it again.
Leaving the bicycle outdoors is not in itself synonymous with theft, but we should opt for well-lit places that are not far away. Bicycle racks are usually a more suitable place than poles and isolated signs. If you have to leave it in a place you don’t know, you can ask in the area if bicycles are often stolen there.
One of those places where you should never leave your two-wheeled friend is the subway, train or bus stations, because thieves will deduce that the bike will spend some time there unattended. In the stations there are areas monitored with video cameras, check if you can leave it under the recording area of any of them.
Routines are your worst enemy
Nothing attracts the attention of a thief more than someone who, every day at the same time, makes the same route and, for a few hours, parks his bicycle at the same point. If you do, you have a lot of ballots to be stolen.
Try to change from time to time the route you take and, often, the place where you leave your means of locomotion. It will be the best way to move it away from the radar of the cacos.
Learn how your lock works
In the market you can find countless locks, from the simplest to the most complex. If you buy an expensive padlock but don’t know how to use it and you don’t take advantage of all its functionalities, it will be the same as if you buy the best bike in the world and then leave it parked in the garage at home. Take deep advice on them and use them always joining the wheels and frame to something fixed and firm.
On which padlocks are the best there is a strong debate, but we can say that, in general, the most advisable are the U-Lock. The articulated ones also offer good results. Don’t skimp on price if you want to take home a quality product that will last you a long time.
Mark your bike so it won’t be easy to sell. Many thefts occur with the intention of selling the bike, if possible as soon as possible. Therefore, the more you personalise the more expensive it will be. Making a mark on the frame or tires can have a deterrent effect.
To prevent thieves from easily breaking the lock or applying a corrosive substance, be sure to put it facing the ground.
Don’t let a stranger try your bike. If you meet someone who flatters your bike and asks if they can try it, be wary. You wouldn’t be the first to be robbed in this simple way.
If you come to take your bike, and you notice that it has a flat tire, do not leave it in place to go for it at another time. This is the technique used by some thieves so that you can lose sight of it for a few hours and then act.
If you don’t have safety nuts for the seat, nor can you protect some bicycle accessories, such as lights and reflectors, remove them and take them with you.
And if in spite of everything, you’ve already been robbed
Even though we have taken every measure in the world to prevent the theft of our bicycle, we cannot 100% ensure its safety. The first thing we advise you to do is to report the theft as soon as possible.
On the other hand, we recommend that you always write down the serial number under the bottom bracket of your bicycle. It’s better if you also keep a photo. If you are lucky enough to have a photo, even if it has been painted or some parts have been changed, it will be the best way to identify it. Please also bear in mind that in some town halls you can register your bicycle for free, which will make it easier to locate it in the event of theft.