Bikes are valuable possessions. Having a bike stolen costs you time and money and it takes away your travel freedom. Follow our tips for securing your bike, so you can leave it with total peace of mind.
Why bike security matters
Having your bike stolen is inconvenient and expensive. For some people it is a reason not to own a bike at all.
When Shimano looked at the barriers to e-biking across 11 European countries in our State of the Nation Report 2020 16% said a lack of safe storage prevented them buying an e-bike and another 12% were put off because they can not store a bike safely at home.
However, if you use good quality locks and think carefully about where you lock your bike you can minimise the risk of your bike being taken and give yourself peace of mind.
When will you need to lock your bike?
When planning your bike security system, the first thing to consider is when and where you will need to lock your bike.
If you are never separated from it except when it is in storage at your home, then you only really need to think about how to protect in your house or garage, but if you like to stop off at the cafe mid-ride, or use your bike around town then a versatile lightweight lock that you always have with you is essential.
Different types of lock and when to use them
Locks come in all shapes, sizes, weights and levels of protection. Where you are using it and whether you need to carry it is a big part of the decision.
A lock is only as secure as what you lock it to, so you need to have something firm and reliable. In your garage or shed a permanent ground anchor is a useful piece of kit, the loop of hardened steel can be secured to a wall or even cemented into the floor so it can’t be ripped out. Long cable locks can be looped through your wheels, frame and the anchor before being secured with a padlock or D-lock.
Out on your bike, whether around town or going for a ride, lightweight portable locks are a great choice. A D-lock is shaped like D, it is a solid U-shape which fits into a shackle, secured with a key or occasionally a tumbler lock. Because it is solid there are no points of weakness and the shape makes it difficult to twist or cut once it has been placed on your bike and locked.
Some urban style bikes feature integral bike locks which prevent the wheels from turning once the lock is secured. It makes it useless to thieves as they can’t jump on and ride away. It’s a brilliant solution for a bike designed for multi-stop town use as you will never leave home without it!
Where should you lock your bike?
Outside of the home and particularly around town, choosing where to lock your bike can play a part in its safety. Look for something solid, strong and immoveable to lock your bike to, a determined thief may otherwise choose to cut through it instead of your lock.
Find a brightly lit area with lots of people passing by so that a thief cannot work unnoticed and look for coverage by CCTV cameras. If possible, say at a café, position your bike where you can see it.
If locking your bike up at work, ask your employer to create a secure bike parking area. There are advantages to having employees who cycle – fewer sick days and more productive workers – so they have many good reasons to help you!
If there is someone working near to where you lock your bike or a security guard if in a parking area, it is worth saying ‘hello’ and pointing out your bike – they may just notice if someone other than you tries to unlock it or cycles away on it.
Where to place locks
Locking your bike correctly is as important for security as the type of lock you use. Your goal is to make it as time consuming and difficult as possible for a thief to ride your bike away or remove parts from it.
Place locks through the main frame and through wheels, position them so there is not much space to insert a tool or twist the lock. If your bike has quick-release levers on the wheels make sure both wheels are secured to the frame.
If you leave your bike locked and unattended frequently consider swapping quick release levers on wheels or seat post for an Allen-key bolt to make it slower to remove.
Take off anything small like your lights, bike computer or bags and take them with you.
Don’t let thieves stop you from cycling!
Thieves look for quick and easy opportunities, with a little thought and a decent lock you can make stealing your bike more hassle than it is worth! A specialist bike insurance policy will also give you further peace of mind.
Ask your local Shimano dealer centre for their recommendations on bike locks to buy.
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