Storing a bike securely at home or at the office can be difficult. Bicycles are attractive targets for thieves thanks to their high value and easy portability. Having your bike stolen leaves you not only out of pocket but also without transport until you can get a replacement. Here are some ways that you can keep your bike safe.
Where to Store Your Bike
You should store your bike indoors whenever possible. A bike that is secured outside is inevitably more vulnerable to theft because it is easier for thieves to see and access the bike. Storing your bike indoors also protects it from the elements, so it is less likely to rust. At work, ask your employer whether the company can provide a locked garage where employees can store their bikes. At home, store your bike in the garage or erect a small shed in your garden if you have one.
Securing the Area Where Your Bike Is Stored
If your bike must be stored outside, you can secure the area using security lights or CCTV. Installing a motion-sensitive security light outside your home will deter thieves by literally shining a spotlight on their criminal activities. Talk to your employer about installing closed-circuit televesion cameras and lights overlooking the area where employees store their bikes. This will improve the security of your workplace as well as keeping your bike safe while you are at the office.
Locking Up Your Bike
Regardless of where you store your bike, you should always lock it to an immobile object so that it cannot be removed. Many City centres are now providing Sheffield bike stands, which offer the best security for bikes as the bike can be secured via both the front wheel and frame as well as the rear area. A good bike lock is particularly important if your bike is stored outside in an unsecured area. No bike lock can guarantee that your bike will not be stolen by a determined thief who has the right tools, but you can make theft so difficult that almost all thieves will be deterred. There are several different types of locks, all of which offer different levels of protection. Choose the best lock that you can afford to protect your bike from theft. If you buy an expensive bike but use a cheap lock to secure it, you could soon find yourself out of pocket when your bike is stolen.
Cable Bike Locks
Cable bike locks are the most basic type of lock. They offer basic protection by stopping a thief from simply walking off with your bike, but they can be cut by a thief who has appropriate cutters. You can choose from cable locks with keys, combination locks, and cables that are secured using a padlock. All three types offer similar levels of protection, so choose the kind you find most convenient.
U-locks are more secure than most other types of bike locks. They are resistant to cutting with bolt cutters. They can be cut open using power tools, but it is very difficult for a thief to do this without attracting attention. U-locks are bulky to carry, but many come with a bracket that allows them to be attached to the crossbar of your bike while you are riding.
Choosing a Bike Lock
When buying a bike lock in the U.K. you should look for a certification from either Thatcham or Sold Secure, as this indicates that the lock has passed standardised tests. Sold Secure certified locks are given a rating of bronze, silver or gold, which indicates how much protection is offered. Whatever kind of lock you choose, make sure you use it every time you leave your bike unattended; it only takes a minute for a thief to ride away on an unsecured bike.