Cycling Weekly recently interviewed a former London bike thief. It exposes how bike thieves operate, which bikes they target and which areas they work in. The interview highlighted a few blind spots most bike owners have:
- CCTV or large crowds don’t make your high value bike any safer. I know, it feels as though no thief would strike when they know they’re being watched, but that’s not how bike thieves operate. They often wear full face motorcycle helmets to escape identification, and the general public rarely question thieves. In fact, some specifically target busy and highly monitored areas under the belief that’s where the most valuable bikes are.
- Locks. Always use a bike lock. If your bike is worth more than £200, you need to be a bit specific about your bike lock; chains are too easy to cut with bolt cutters. Best practice is to use two small D-locks on the front and back wheels of your bike, making sure there’s no play and neither can be moved around otherwise a bolt cutter can fit around it.
- Insurance. If your bike is worth a lot of money, it might be worth insuring it. Bike insurance can be quite cheap these days, and covers theft. If theft is a serious worry, it could be a good idea to insure your bike for your own piece of mind.
- Make sure there’s something distinctive about your bike and if your bike is stolen, get straight to Gumtree. Most, but not all, stolen bikes are eventually sold through Gumtree relatively near to the area they were stolen. Some are sold off to dodgy shops, and some are sold in other ends of the country, but the majority will end up listed on Gumtree nearby. If there’s something distinctive about your bike, you’ll be able to spot it.
- Trackers are worth having, but won’t always catch criminals. Having a tracker fitted to your bike adds an extra layer of security; if your bike is stolen, you may be able to find it again. However they don’t always work, and thieves tend to leave stolen bikes on the road so any trackers don’t lead back to them.
- Serial numbers are effectively useless, you need smart water. Luckily we already use smart water on all of our bikes, and it is vital in this day and age in bike security. Serial numbers can be scratched off or painted over without much hassle. Smart water can’t be seen by the naked eye and is virtually impossible to get rid of.
If this has inspired you to take up cycling or buy new cycle equipment, call Cycle-R on 01543 523606 or pop in store at 16-17 New hall, High Green Court, Cannock, WS11 1GR