There is something absolutely soul destroying about leaving work after a long day, making your way towards where you left your bike that morning – and finding an empty space.
The reactions go a bit like this – First confusion: I thought I left it here. Second: disbelief – surely not. Third: irrepressible anger. Not only has your pride and joy been taken from you, it’s going to be near impossible to get it back, and you are now stranded or forced to take the train.
Here’s a look at some of the things you can do to make sure your bike stays where you left it:
Use more than one lock
There are quite a few different methods you can use to lock your bike. If you have only one lock, you can place the front wheel behind the back wheel, then thread a cable lock through both wheels and the frame, and of course a secure object.
If you’re using two locks, leave the front wheel on, and thread one lock through the rear wheel, the chainstay, and secure object, and a second lock through the front wheel, frame and around the secure post.
The gold standard is to lock front wheel, rear wheel and the frame to a metal post. D-Locks are generally toughest, but if you’re doing this you might want to combine a D-Lock with a cable lock to reduce weight.
You could combine this with a cable lock such as the Abus Centuro.
Use lockable skewers
It’s not always whole bikes that go missing – wheels alone are sometimes the victim. If your wheels currently have quick release skewers on them, and you plan to leave the bike unattended, it’s a good idea to beef up your protection with some lockable skewers.
For under £40 you can protect your wheels with something like these Pitlock 2PC Security Wheel Skewers. These skewers are made of high quality steel, so they won’t rust, and each set comes with an individually coded screw, plus a coded key for removal. You’ll need to carry this and a spanner in case you need to fix a puncture, but they’re not heavy.
A hidden GPS tracker
Getting a bit more high-tec, and quite a bit more expensive, this is a pretty nifty way of making sure you know exactly where your bike is. Integrated trackers can be placed inside your headset, rear light or setpost. Once there, you’ll get a text message if your bike is moved. Not only that, in the unfortunate case that this happens, you can see exactly where it is online.
This option will set you back about £100, but it’s a sure fire way of protecting yourself, and helping police to find a thief.
GPS tracked lock, with alarm
Lock8 is brand new, and ready to pre-order. This successful kickstarter project was born after two entrepenuers were struck by bike theft, and felt compelled to address the failings of products on the market.
The Lock8 is a GPS tracked lock, that is engaged by a single swipe of a smart phone. Not only that, in the event of it being tampered with – moved abruptly (sawed or hacked), heated or chilled (frozen or melted), a notification will be sent to your mobile phone, plus the phone of anyone else you choose to have notified.
The Lock8 will set you back $249, so around £150 – but if you’ve spent a fair amount on your bike, knowing it’s safe and protected by state of the art technology is a small price to pay.
What do you do to keep your bike secure? Take a look at some of our other tips for keeping your bike and accessories safe here.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.