Types of Security
Hints & Tips
It is sensible to invest in a good quality lock, lock strength can certainly vary and the more money you pay for a lock the better the lock will be. To deter thieves further it would be advisable to use two different types of locks on your bike.
There are three main types of locks that are available on the market to buy, cable or chain locks, shackle locks or loop locks. All have different benefits and as suggested using two different types will add further protection when leaving your bike unattended.
Cable locks, especially the thicker cable locks, can be very secure. These locks can vary greatly in weight, strength and can go measure up to 6ft in length. Cable locks are very flexible and are easy to wrap around other objects and are provided in coil form so can be easy to transport on your bike. A thinner cable lock can be more easily cut through; however can be useful in combination with another lock to help secure your bike. Chain locks are similar to cable locks, however they can be heavier than cable locks and more impractical to cart around. The strength of the chain is determined by the type of steel that the lock is made from and the free space there is between the links, they can be very tough. Both cable and chain locks close with a locking system and use either a key or dial type combinations to open them.
A 'D' or 'U' shape lock is one of the safer forms of lock that you can purchase, however they are heavy and bulky which can make them hard to transport. This kind of lock consists of two parts, the devices housing and a U shaped round bar which fastens into the devices housing. This style of lock can be limiting as they will not fit around all street furniture, such as lamp posts. When you lock your bike it is advisable to try to fit the stand, the rim of one of the wheels and the frame into the lock, if this is not possible it would be advisable to use two different styles of locks.
Loop locks are ideal if you wish to secure your bike temporarily, for example if you are only away for a few minutes. The loop lock creates a loop around a rotating part of the bike, usually the wheel, which prevents the bike from being ridden away. This is only a temporary measure and if you are leaving your bike for a while or out of your eye line then other forms of security locks should be used.
There are other methods that can be used to help prevent your bike being stolen. Anchor points can be fitted to your wall or floor in your garage or shed at home which your bike can then be secured too. Storing your bike in your garage or shed with only a lock around the wheel and frame only means that the bike could be picked up and taken away, fixing it to a secure anchor point will prevent this.
Security marking your bike will not prevent a thief from stealing it; however it may improve the chances of it being returned to you if recovered at a later date. The security marking may also deter a thief as this mark may make it harder for them to sell on, the thief may choose to take another bike which is unidentified. Also available are electronic tagging devices, this again will not prevent your bike being stolen however will make it more likely to be recovered. Make sure your bike is marked as being tagged as this may again prevent the thief from taking it in first place.
It's not just your bike that is at risk of being stolen, some thieves will steal the components from the bike instead. Handlebars, wheels and saddles can all be removed within seconds with no specialist equipment needed. Pinhead skewers and saddle retention devices can be bought which can prevent the theft of these items; they come with a special key which opens all the devices. The lock you choose may effect your insurance premium.