The cycling boom has meant easy pickings for thieves. Nearly 380,000 bikes are stolen in the UK every year, according to the Bike Register database– that’s more than 1,000 every day.
Even the toughest lock can be beaten by a determined crook with enough time on their hands, but a decent device might encourage them to target a less-secure machine instead of yours.
Make sure you buy a lock that has been tested to industry standards such as Sold Secure. The scheme has different gradings according to effectiveness against various methods of attack, with Gold being the best.
David George, the CEO of bike insurer Bikmo, said his company had seen the number of theft claims rise by 8 per cent between March and July this year.
His advice to bike users looking to secure their steed is: “Make sure you use the right lock! We follow the Sold Secure guidelines and you can pick up a Gold Secure one for under £50.
“For a bike valued under £250, we recommend Bronze rating, for £251 to £1,500 go for a Silver rating, and for bikes over £1,500 you need Gold.
“Lock the bike in a well-lit public area, to an immovable object – ideally in a bike rack or designated area likely to have CCTV.”
D-locks – sometimes called U-locks – are easy to use and can often be carried in a pocket or slipped over a belt. Chains tend to be heavier, but the thicker ones offer a good level of protection and are easy to wrap around objects such as lamp-posts.
If you want to stay super-safe, use a couple of different types of lock so would-be thieves need to carry a range of tools to defeat them.
Always lock through the frame and the rear wheel. If you don’t have locking skewers on your wheels, then use a second lock to secure the front wheel to the frame, or slip it out and lock it to the frame alongside the rear wheel.
David added: “Remove any items or kit that is not securely attached to the bike, such as lights, panniers, bags etc.
“If you have a nice saddle, or anything posh secured to the bike, then consider securing them further with a device such as Hexlox to prevent them being removed.”
We would also recommend locking your bike even if you keep it in a garage or shed – preferably to an anchor point bolted down on to a concrete base if that’s possible.
Our team has been busy trying out a variety of locks – some simple and some loaded with technology – to find some of the best on the market.
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