Bike thefts are on the rise. Protect your ride with these best practices for protecting your bike.
- Always lock your bike, no matter how quickly you plan to return. We’ve heard way too many stories about people who were “only gone a minute.” Take a minute to lock it up.
- Lock it correctly. Best practices say to ensure the frame plus each wheel is locked for maximum security. To accomplish this, shop manager Adam recommends using a U-lock (or lock with the highest level of security) to secure the rear wheel and bike frame to the rack. “You can use a second U to lock the front wheel to the rack, but typically for daylight lockups a cable or chain will do,” he said.
- If you don’t want to use two locks, consider some alternatives. Use an item that individually locks the wheel or seatpost to the frame. These reduce the need to use multiple locks since you already have other parts of the bike locked up. Two recommendations: 1) A replacement seatpost clamp that locks your seatpost clamp closed, especially if your bike has a quick release for the seatpost. Try a Nut Fix Seatpost Clamp; 2) Try a Nut Fix Quick Release Wheel Lock to replace the skewers that hold each wheel to the frame. These ensure that the wheels are locked on tight, which prevents theft.
- Use designated bike racks that are well-lit and in view of the public eye whenever possible. If you routinely park your bike in the same spot every day, you may want to consider rotating where you park it, as leaving it in the same place at the same time on the same days can make it easier for a thief to target you.
- When storing your bike at home, keep your garage door shut. “Garage doors get mistakenly left open, so we know people who lock their bikes up while in their garage,” Adam said. “Even a small deterrent can be the difference between your bike walking off and it staying put.”
- When on the road, don’t leave your bike on your car rack overnight. “One of our customers recently learned the hard way that a thief can saw through anything,” said community engagement coordinator Christina.
- Check your privacy settings on your fitness tracking apps. It’s fun to compete on apps such as Strava; however, this can provide thieves with data about what you ride and where you ride that could potentially make you a target.
- Document your bike’s serial number and register it with the Bike Index, a nationwide nonprofit. Submit your name, bike, bike manufacturer, and serial number into the system, and if the bike goes missing, you can alert the community that it is gone. “Make sure to take note of your bike’s serial number as soon as you get it, as losing the serial number could be devastating,” said Christina. “Take a photo and keep your receipt.”
- Check your insurance policies. Should your bike get stolen, you may receive some coverage from your general homeowner’s or rental insurance but be aware that it may not insure up to the value of your bike. Check with your insurance carrier to see if you might need to purchase an endorsement to protect your bike’s value. “Anecdotally, I have heard a lot of instances where insurance companies have paid our MSRP for bikes if they are stolen, but having a conversation with your insurance provider before something happens is the best way to know,” said Adam.
Following these best practices doesn’t guarantee the safety of your bike, but they will go a long way toward deterring theft.
As a service to our customers, GoodTurn Cycles registers every bike sold with bikeindex.org. Additionally, eBikes aren’t stolen with as much frequency as regular bikes simply because they are harder to sell because a key is required for the battery. If a customer comes to us asking for a spare battery, charger, or keys we will need to see the bike. At that point, we will run the serial number against bikeindex.org to ensure it has not been listed as stolen. Shop for eBikes online and learn more about the mission GoodTurn Cycles.