18 Ways To Stop Your Bike Being Stolen

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Wondering how to stop your bike being stolen? There’s no guaranteed way. But there are lots of things you can do to make it less likely.

Sadly we’ve experienced a bunch of bike thefts in the area around Singletrack Towers. We’ve had bikes stolen, as have riding friends. We’ve also had some near misses. We don’t like to sound too dramatic, but bike theft isn’t confined to just breaking into sheds under cover of darkness, or lopping locks on unattended bikes at the supermarket. Some of the scenarios we’ve seen recently are rather more immediate, so make sure you stay safe and remember it is a bike. In the event of a robbery, your own well-being should come before that of your bike, no matter how much you love it.

how to stop your bike being stolen
Our bikes, after they were stolen. We never saw them again.

Based on our real life experience, here are some measures you could consider taking to decrease your chances of being a victim of theft.

On A Ride

1. Look out for being followed

Whether you’re driving home with bikes on the car, or riding home straight from the trails, look out for people following you home. That might be a little easier if you live down a private land or up a cul-de-sac. Make a note of any licence plate, and call it in to the police on 101 if you suspect thieves are checking you out for a theft. Maybe they’re going to make a grab for your bike as you go to unlock the garage, or maybe they’re spotting where you live so they can come back at a time that suits them.

2. Secure your Strava

Don’t leave a digital trail to your home, or work, or other regular ride end points. Set a privacy zone so that you’re not leading thieves straight to your door. Strava might invite you to list the bike you’re on, but do you really want to be giving thieves a menu?

How much are your group ride’s bikes worth?

3. Don’t use Strava on a regular group ride

If you end your regular ride in a regular spot – the pub maybe – add the location to your privacy zone. Otherwise you’re advertising to thieves that every Tuesday there’s a big pile of bikes at the Red Lion. Make Strava secrecy – or other route tracking app – a rule for your group rides.

4. Mix up your routes

Especially if you ride alone, you may want to consider mixing up the routes you do (while not forgetting to tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back). If you’re predictably to be found riding down that quiet back lane at the same time every Sunday morning, you’re making it a lot easier for thieves to corner you and rob you.

After A Ride

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  • If you see a crime in progress, or someone’s following you, call 999.
  • If you realise after the event that you’ve seen something suspicious, call 101.
  • findthatbike.co.uk is a handy site for keeping an eye on adverts for bikes that might be yours.


Comments (14)

    you forgot stop showing off your bikes on facebook / youtube / instagram

    I would add that riding old single speed clunkers helps too. No one wants them. But the best plan is to ride a fixed wheel mountainbikeā€¦ almost no one will bother nicking it, and if they do, they wont get far… you will find them on the ground at the first corner.

    When you buy something online remember that the seller will have your home address and will be able to target you if they can link some other evidence like what you have bought from others. When you buy something online make sure that it is a real person. I bought from a profile that was a year old 100feedback but had bought 30 items and sold only two including the item I bought.

    Take the skewers out when you have the bike somewhere where more likely to be knicked (eg outside cafe – even if locked. At least the wheels fall off if some scum does cut the lock.

    Ohh.. and anyone else noticed the new view of the site using an Android device is shiiiite ? Half the screen lost behind the grey banner and text boxes disappear behind it.. like whilst typing now

    @robertajobb since I’m on fruit based stuff, I haven’t, but I’ve passed your comment on!

    You know what? I’d never thought about having my tools nearby (how dumb am I?). Thank you for the tip.

    I thought this was going to be a jokey light-hearted article about getting out and riding your bike more. Still a good article despite that.

    A friend with an expensive bike taped over the manufacturer’s marking so it disguised the bike. When out and about I like to park next to more expensive bikes in the hope robbers will prefer to go after them.

    My dad told me to leave my bike in its highest gear when parking up.

    Lock your bike up next to something better. If that’s not possible make it the best locked up bike there.
    Leave it filthy, occasionally scrape off the worst of it, you don’t want to be shifting extra kilos, and of course, a spotless drivetrain, but filth and even dust covers logos and hopefully makes your pride and joy less desirable for the scrotes. Shiny and new looking is not the way to go.
    Leave extra locks at work, or the really big one. You will forget your normal lock occasionally.
    I have spent far too much on HexLox to hopefully protect my bits.

    Two road bikes and two mountain bikes taken from a locked garage a few years ago. Luckily the insurance paid up (thank you Hiscox). Our bikes are now chanined to groud anchors and the garage is on the house alarm….

    When popping into the cafe or shop fasten your helmet straps through the wheel this way an opportunist thief will only get one turn of the wheel away before having to stop and un clip the helmet , hopefully you or someone has noticed by this time .

    Love the fixie comment šŸ™‚

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