Churchill magazine

How to protect your bike from thieves

Updated on: 12 January 2021

A green bike is secured to a bike rack.

According to a police report, 96,210 bikes were stolen across England and Wales in the year ending August 2018. To make matters worse, the same report stated that only three percent of stolen bikes are recovered. So, what can you do to beat the thieves?

Lock it up

Invest in a good lock. D-shaped shackle locks can be the most secure, but an armoured cable lock may give better flexibility – if you need to lock it onto a lamppost for example. Also, think about the weight of your lock as you’ll need to make sure you or your bike can carry it comfortably.

You can also get locks for wheels, usually in the form of a long cable that threads through the spokes and attaches to your main lock. If you don’t have one of these, the best idea might be to take your wheels with you when you park up. Some wheels are highly prized even without the rest of the bike. The same applies to seats and lights. If in doubt, take them with you.

Whycycle offers some advice and ideas on locks, or you could take your bike into your local bicycle shop and get their expert advice.

Choose a good parking spot

Lock your bike to something solid and secure, and make sure thieves can’t lift your bike up and over a pole or post. If possible, aim for a well-lit public place that's viewed by a security camera.

ID your bike by getting it security marked by the police. You can check for police run marking events near you on Bikeregister.com, which also happens to be the largest bicycle register in the UK. Or you can register it with Immobilise. This is a free register of possession that links up with the Police National Stolen Equipment Database. It’s also wise to take a photo of your bike in case you need proof of its identity for the police.

Insure it

Even by following the security advice, there remains a chance your bike could be stolen. For this reason you may want to look at insuring your bike with Churchill.

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