A bicycle worth riding is usually a bicycle worth keeping. By taking a few precautions, you may prevent a long walk home.
Remember, most thefts are crimes of opportunity. Don't provide an oportunity for a bicycle thief.
- Always lock your bicycle
- Many stolen bicycles were not locked at the time they were taken. Lock it even if you will only be gone for a minute. It takes only seconds to take an unlocked bicycle.
- Use a good lock
- The most common tools used by a bicycle thief are bolt or cable cutters. These tools are powerful enough to cut through chains, cables and padlocks up to 3/8 inch thick.
- A hardened steel chain or cable at least 7/16 inch thick with the same size padlock can provide a degree of security for an inexpensive bike in a low-risk area. Try not to buy a chain that is hardened all the way through. The heavier the chain the better. Inspect the chain for welded link construction. A non-welded or twisted chain can be defeated by opening one link with a tool.
- If you decide to use a cable, select one at least six feet in length so the fram and front tire can both be secured. The heavier the cable, the better.
- A cable or chain requires an equally secure padlock. A good padlock should have at least a 7/16 inch hardened alloy steel shackle (the moveable part of the padlock). The word "hardened" should be stamped on the schackle.
- A "U" shaped lock is still considered the best security lock for bicycles. Their construction discourages sawing, cutting or smashing, and many now have a high security cylinder. Shop around and avoid cheaply made locks, as they are usually made of cheaper grade steel.
- Do not rely on a locking device alone to prevent the theft of your bicycle.
- Safety in numbers
- Thieves don't usually like crowds. Park your bicycle where there is a lot of pedestrian traffic.
- Use fixed objects
- Always attach the bicycle to an immovable object, such as a bicycle rack or pole. Make sure it cannot be taken by merely lifting the chain or cable over the fixed object. Small trees are not fixed objects, as they can be easily cut.
- Location is everything
- Position the lock as high off the ground as possible. This helps prevent the smashing of the lock against the ground or using the ground as leverage when using bolt cutters.
- Parts are parts
- Never lock your bicycle by the front or rear wheel only, especially if you have quick release hubs. Some thieves are just as willing to take some of your bike if they can't have all of it.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 08:44