3 Tips to Help Prevent Bike Theft
Article revised on 17 July 2017
As soon as it’s summertime, stories about stolen bikes start rolling in…Don’t become a statistic! There are simple and efficient ways to prevent theft. It’s as easy as 1, 2 3!
Bike theft: it takes two to tango
Close to 2,000 bike thefts are reported on the island of Montreal alone every year (source: the Montreal police force). Since most thefts are never reported to the police, we can safely assume that these crimes affect tens of thousands of cyclists throughout the province!
No matter where you live, bikes are easy to steal. Outsmart thieves by taking a few simple steps:
1- Make it harder for them
- Make sure you lock the bike’s frame and wheels using a high quality U-shaped lock. Don’t hesitate to invest in a more pricey lock (over $50). It will be harder to cut or force open. You can even use two locks for maximum protection.
- Park your bike in the right place. Inside a building is always safest. But if you must park your bike outside, do it in a busy, well-lit area, away from pedestrians. If you try hiding your bike in an isolated location, you’ll only be making things easier for the thief, who will be able to operate in peace.
- Attach it to a solid and reliable base! Lock your bike’s frame and wheels to a firmly entrenched pole or to a bike rack. Avoid fences (easy to cut), small trees (easy to break) or poles that can be lifted and the bike easily freed.
- Never leave your bike without locking it, not even for just a few minutes. It’s more than enough time for an experienced thief to make off with your bike.
2- Make your bike look less attractive
- Remove all attached pieces with a quick release mechanism and any portable accessories like odometers, pouches, air pumps, etc. You’re better off keeping them with you.
- Make your bike look ugly. Yes, you read that right! Hiding the brand of your bike or its components with tape, stickers or paint makes your bike more difficult to resell. This tactic can be an excellent theft deterrent in high risk areas.
3- In the event of theft, stack the odds of finding your bike in your favour
- Have your bike engraved in a local police station. Then, the police will keep the information in an internal register. This way, when an engraved bike is recovered, the owner can quickly be identified and the bike easily returned.
- Write down the serial number when you purchase the bike and keep it in your home inventory. Also keep the receipt. This info will allow you to report the theft to police and submit your insurance claim.
Happy trails…and be proactive!
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