The Smart Cyclist’s Guide to Preventing Bike Theft

March 2, 2017

Bikes are Safe and Secure at BikeParts.com

About 15,000 bicycles have been reported stolen to the Denver police since 2011. That’s about seven bikes a day taken by bike thieves.  

In fact, Denver consistently ranks in the top ten cities nationwide for bike theft. More so, over a million bikes are stolen every year across the United States. Bike theft is on the rise.  Beyond the financial cost of the crime, it’s heartbreaking to find out someone stole your bike.  Cyclist love their bikes.

As much time as cyclist invest in selecting their road and mountain bikes, and choosing the perfect bike parts and cycling accessories, it’s imperative to protect the bikes we love.  Here’s how.

Make it hard to steal
This is obvious and a no brainer; however, how many times have you been on a ride to find yourself dismounting from your bike to quickly run into a corner store for food or water?  Most times, your bike is left without supervision.  Do not leave your bike unattended. For even safer keeping, do not store bikes unlocked inside home garages.  Leave your bicycle in a visible, well lit area.  When commuting, if possible, avoid leaving your bike locked overnight.

Location
There are numerous bike racks strategically located around coffee shops, stores, and workplaces.  These bike racks are typically in public locations where theft is obvious and rarely occurs. If, however, a bike is parked or locked at a location other than these racks—for instance, attached to a tree or street sign—theft is more likely to occur.   Be mindful as to where you leave your bike.

Lock it
You should always carry a secure lock whenever you plan to leave your bicycle unattended. The U-locks have proven to be most effective, but like all locks they can be defeated. At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we have bicycle locksU locks, and U lock combination kits.  Depending on your bicycle components, you may opt for one lock or multiple ones. 

Lock it correctly
Yes, there is a right way to lock your bike!  When locking any bike on the street, secure both the wheels and frame. (hint – that is why you may want more than one lock and opt for a combination kit.) Remove, or take with you, any easily removed bike parts. Specifically, remove cycling accessories, your helmet, locking skewers on wheels, locking saddle rings and  lights.  If you bike commute regularly, you may consider installing fixed baskets and panniers vs having removable ones.  It’s a good idea to have a messenger bag or something similar to use on a regular basis as well.  These are the basic necessities needed to secure your road or mountain bike while you’re away at work or running errands.  

Register it
No different than a car, it’s important to register your bike.  Start with documenting ownership of your bike(s): take photos and document the bike’s serial number and all bike parts. Retain all purchase receipts.  Next, register your bike with the National Bike Registry.  If you live in Denver you can register your bike at the Denver Bike Registry.   

What if your bike is stolen?
If your bike is stolen, act fast!  File a police report. Bike Denver offers more information including filing a police report.  You may be hesitant, but have an officer come and take down the report.  Alternatively, if you can, or go to the station with your information, including the bike’s serial number, make, model, and photos of the bike for the report. If you have any video surveillance of the incident—or know there were cameras in the area—include that information with the report.  Take action! Spread news about your stolen bike far and wide throughout your social networks. Post a photo of your bike on Facebook and Twitter and get your friends to repost. The more eyes you have on the streets looking for your bike, the far more likely you are to uncover it.

Prevent bike theft by adhering to the above tips. Of course, no one is guaranteed that their bike will be safe, but these tips will help keep you and your bike safe.