Unfortunately, bikes are easy to sell, and once thieves ride off on your property, they are able to pass them off to unsuspecting buyers quickly. No one wants to experience bike theft, but there are plenty of ways to protect yourself and your bike, and we're here to help you find the best protection options for you.
When you understand how bicycle theft happens, it's essential to protect yourself by investing in insurance. For the police, bike thefts are not a high priority. With companies like Velosurance, you can rest assured that when you become a victim of bike theft, you can rest assured that they will reimburse you for the total insured amount without any arguments.
You might end up feeling like you've gone overboard with the locks we're going to recommend, but you can never be too careful with your bike.
U-locks are a much more durable option than using cable locks, which can be cut through much more easily. Paired with a chain, you can secure more of your bike in one go; wind the chain through the front and back wheel before attaching it to the U-lock.
Another option is to use a smart lock, which can alert you when your bike is in motion and even lets you track the location through your smartphone. You can also find locks that emit smells and sound alarms when tampered with to stop thieves before they steal your bike.
Finally, if your bike has quick-release mechanisms, it may be at more of a disadvantage than other bikes as those mechanisms, while handy for loading your bike into a car, can make it much easier to steal.
If you don't need to remove your wheels or seat often, then switching the quick-release mechanisms that require keys will remove the worry of someone walking off with your bike.
Personalize Your Bike
Adding your own unique touches to your bike will make it harder to sell and put off thieves who prefer to opt for more generic models to sell quickly. Paint your bike a unique color or add distinctive decals and accessories, like baskets; this way, your bike will be easy to identify if stolen, and thieves will likely ignore it.
There's plenty of ways to personalize your bike that don't cost a fortune. Easy-to-change components like cranks, pedals, and stems are a great option when adding some colorful elements to your bike.
You could even design your decals so that your bike is the only one in the world with your unique patterns, shapes, styles, and color.
If you have some spray paint, you could even go to town on the metal frame to make your bike stand out; with lots of room for creativity, you could go for an ombre fade or use tape to make a pattern and then spray over the top in a second color. Some companies even make spray paint specificity for bikes for different finishes.
Bring It In At Night
Bike thefts can happen at any time of day, but you're more at risk if you leave your bike outside at night. With less foot traffic, thieves will have more time to take apart your locks and make off with your bike.
If bringing it inside isn't an option, consider leaving your bike in a well-lit area of your home and invest in a wireless camera to protect it. Other options when you cannot bring your bike inside are securing it inside or against an external structure that can't be cut; don't consider trees as an option though, bike thieves in New York once cut through a tree to steal a $50 bike.
Don't Leave It Unattended If You Find It Damaged
If you come back to your bike and it's been damaged, this is most likely on purpose. Do not leave your bike unattended if this happens to you. If your tires have been damaged in any way, the chances are that the thieves are planning on returning to cut the locks later in the day or evening.
Damaging someone's bike is a tactic many thieves use to force the intended victim to find other means to return home. Usually, the victim plans on returning with the necessary tools to fix the damage or with their car so they can transport the bike back home. Unfortunately, when the victim returns, the bike has already been stolen.
Save A Copy Of The Serial Number
In the event that your bike is stolen, you can help the authorities track it down if you know your bike's serial number. With the serial number, the police may be able to recover your bike. Once you hand over the serial number, they can call local second-hand stores and pawn shops to find out if your bike has been sold to them.