A survey of several hundred cyclists by the CCTV installation company CCTV.co.uk has shown that 68% of cyclists have had their bikes stolen, while 77% fear that they will be a victim of cycle theft in the future.
Speaking of the survey that took place during September and October this year, CCTV.co.uk’s Jonathan Ratcliffe said, “Quite a few riders are simply resigned to the fact that theft is part and parcel of bicycle ownership.”
Sadly for cycle manufacturers, many cyclists are simply resorting to buying bikes that don’t cost much to replace. If someone spends £100 on a bike they can survive the financial hit far better than they can a £1500, carbon fibre machine. However why should you not enjoy your daily commute on a high quality machine that will get you to work in far greater comfort than a £100 cluncker?
Our cycling blogger looks at ways your can reduce the chance of having your bike stolen – it just requires a little thought and preparation.
It’s all in the lock!
The first thing to consider is the quality of the lock you use. There are a large number of chain type locks that are impervious to bolt croppers or virtually any cutting equipment. These can cost as little as £50, a rather minor outlay if you want to protect your £1000 machine from a thief.
The hardened chain lock is only good if it locks the bike to an immovable object. The thief will not cut down a lamppost to get your bike! Another thing to consider is that with disc brakes, the front wheel is easily removed. Take it off and chain it to the frame and the immovable object when at the place you’re visiting or working.
It’s in the shed
Most cycle thefts take place at home. Burglars enter people’s yards and gardens and look for an easy theft. Most people don’t watch their back yard in the evenings and this is an easy place to roam for someone who doesn’t want to be seen. Garden sheds are rarely built of anything very solid and the locks can be removed quietly and easily. People don’t lock their bikes to anything solid when they put them in there. The burglar can thereby get in there unseen and cycle away with little effort.
Don’t believe us? “I made the mistake of locking my bike inside the shed, but didn’t actually secure it to anything,” says Dave of Solihull. “All they had to do was break the pathetic padlock on the door, and carry my bike away over their shoulder. Gutted.”
In the scenarios above it therefore makes sense to lock your bike to a wall or strong point in your garage or shed. As much as the idea of having to lock things down even in your private space is depressing and annoying, in this world it is sadly necessary.
In the 1980’s there was a plague of car thefts in the UK with thieves able to start a car with just a screwdriver in some cases. Car companies got wise and made it harder for thieves to ‘twoc’ cars. While professional car thieves have become ever more skilled in their tradecraft, opportunists are no longer able to do it with a screwdriver.
The message for cyclists is the same if you want to enjoy riding your bike for a long time to come.
Stay tuned for a follow up blog on the best cycle locks on the market – coming soon!