Every year, nearly 300,000 bikes are stolen in the UK and many, if not most, of those thefts, could have been prevented. That’s because of those 300,000 thefts, over half of them happened when the bike was left unlocked.
Sounds surprising…until you dig deeper and see that bikes are very often left in garages or communal hallways without being locked. It’s easy to believe that your bike is safe as long as it’s off the streets… but it isn’t.
Most bike owners don’t get any advice on bike security when they buy a bike. And while most of us know that we need to lock our bikes up on the street, it’s easy to forget about the need to keep it safe when it’s at home.
Where to lock your bike?
The safest place to keep your bike is inside your home. But not everyone has the space to keep bikes in the hallway, and they can be an eyesore (especially if you’re a mountain biker who loves to hurtle down muddy hills!)
The obvious solution is a shed or garage. The key to keeping your bike safe in a shed is to lock the bike, not just the shed.
Would you hear a thief breaking into the shed at the end of your garden late at night? Even if you did hear them, what are the chances you’d stop them before they rode away?
You need to install a rack or metal loop that you can lock your bike to while it’s in your shed. Ideally, this will be concreted into the floor or wall. Remember that thieves carry screwdrivers, so a rack that’s just screwed into a wooden wall might not be good enough.
Another option is to buy a dedicated bike shed. These are great for those in terraced houses, as you can usually fit them in even the smallest front gardens and they’ll store at least two bikes. No more carrying your wet, grubby bike through the house to lock it up!
For the ultimate in security, look for a police-approved galvanized steel shed. These are designed to be secure without you needing to also lock your bike up inside.
They’re also not cheap, costing upwards of £500. Cheaper wooden bike sheds are available, but you’ll need to make sure your bike is well secured inside the shed, especially if it’s at the front of your house.
Don’t forget the basics
Locking your bike up well at home will go a long way to keeping your bike safe, but even careful owners can be tempted to relax their security regime once in a while. What are the chances of your bike being stolen while you leave it unlocked for 2 minutes to buy a pint of milk?
It’s hard to put a number on it, but the chances are probably higher than you think. Bike thieves are mostly opportunists, and it takes seconds to steal a bike.
If you always lock your bike, using a heavy-duty d-lock or chain, it could still be stolen. But the chances of it happening will be far, far lower than if you don’t.
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