Whether you’re a student using a bicycle as your only means of transport, an amateur cyclist who enjoys an afternoon ride or you’re a professional cyclist who gets paid to cycle, knowing how to look after your bicycle in unfamiliar areas is extremely important. There are plenty of bicycle thieves who are on the prowl for the latest bicycles for resale, and others who simply need something to get them around.
Regardless of who may be looking at your bike, you need to take precaution. Here are a few tips for looking after your bicycle at home, at the workplace or when you’re out grabbing a quick bite to eat.
- Make sure you use high-quality bike locks
While you may think that having a combination lock may be the safest option, thieves can easily jam the lock or cut it off. The same goes for a small, key lock. If you’re going to buy a secure lock for your bicycle,
invest in something bigger and more reliable at one of the many bicycle shops in your area. You can also invest in multiple chain locks to secure different areas of your bicycle, like your wheels.
Along with being cautious of your lock, also be wary of where you park your bicycle. Park it in busy areas where there are constantly people walking around and where it’s in full view of restaurants or shop owners. You might think that parking your bicycle in busy areas is more dangerous, but busy areas deter thieves from getting hold of your bicycle. While you’re at home or at the office, it is best to bring your bicycle inside to prevent something from happening to it outside.
- Look at insurance options for your bicycle
Bicycles are expensive pieces of equipment and they’re costly hobbies too. You may feel like taking out insurance for your bicycle is an unnecessary expense, but could you afford a new one if something were to happen to it? The minute you start taking your sport or hobby seriously, look at bike cover to avoid any mishaps. After all, it’s not just the frame that you’re insuring, you also need to think about the money you’ve spent on your snazzy tyres, gear and accessories to make the bicycle as wonderful as it is today.
- Change your parking location regularly
You’ll be surprised at how many thieves watch your every move. Once they become familiar with you and your bicycle, they will monitor your movements to ensure that their ideal ‘moment’ to strike is least expected. If possible, try to move your bicycle around and never park it in the same location. Especially if your bicycle has specific accessories or colours that are noticeable. Another tip with leaving your bicycle out in the open is that if there aren’t bike racks or facilities for you to lock your bike to, look for something solid that you can link your lock to. This way thieves will avoid your bicycle because it’s a difficult target.
- Remove accessories
The scary thing about bike theft is that thieves really take advantage of you and your bicycle in the moments when you are most vulnerable. For example, quickly stopping outside a shop to grab something to drink. It doesn’t matter how quick your visit is or how far away you are, you need to take precautions and lock your bicycle. If this is your transport of choice, you need take responsibility for its security. Another tip is that if you are leaving your bicycle for a long period of time, detach the saddle and other accessories.
- Take note of your bicycle’s details
Most bicycles that get stolen are for resale purposes. And, while it may seem uncommon in some areas, in other areas you need to take extra precaution before you find your brand-new bicycle online. Once you’ve purchased your new bicycle, try to take note of all its details. For example, look at the bicycle serial or frame number under the seat. Record all your details and keep them on you for any urgent moment.
- Track your bicycle with GPS
Tracking your bicycle with GPS is very similar to tracking your vehicle. It will ensure that if anything were to happen to your bicycle while you’re away from it, you will receive instant notifications about where it is. These trackers are also ideal for families and friends to know where you are, based on the navigation system. If you are in trouble, your bicycle GPS will be able to pick up all the necessary details.
Regardless of how many security measures you take for bike protection, your eyes need to be open and aware at all times. There is no lock that is totally impenetrable, so you just need to choose the correct times, location and security to protect your bicycle as much as possible. Always lock your bicycle in a busy area which has a lot of light and even CCTV coverage for the shops around it. Along with bicycle safety in general, make sure your bicycle is secure from vehicles or buses that could crash into it on the sidewalk. Always keep your bicycle away from the curb so that it doesn’t cause any accidents.