As most of you know, our good friends over at Bike and Brew ATX had several bikes stolen from their headquarters recently. They were very lucky to recover eight thanks to social media (specifically, the Facebook group Lost (Stolen) & Found Bikes Austin Tx) and it really opened our eyes to how big of an issue bike theft is in our area. There’s even a well known chop-shop area (where we actually found ours.)
In lieu of this, we wanted to share some tips and some products that can help you keep your bike safe. Unfortunately, our situation was a little different than being out on the street, but nevertheless, we want you to be armed with the best knowledge and equipment to keep your bike from getting stolen.
TIPS TO KEEP YOUR BIKE SAFE
Be wary of cable locks. They are easily chopped with wire cutters. They might be enough to deter the “opportunist” theif, but they are ineffective against seasoned ones.
Several locks are better than one. The more difficult it is to gain access to the bike, the less likely it is a theif will want to hassle with it.
Don’t forget to lock the wheels and saddle. If a thief can’t take the whole bike, he’s still likely to try and get what he can. We see this all the time, unfortunately.
Keep a file on all of your bikes that includes receipts, serial numbers, and photos. It’s also a good idea to register each bike in a nationwide database like the National Bike Registry so you might get it back if it ever is stolen.
Lock up your bikes, even inside your garage. Be sure they are locked to a fixed point like a pipe or rafter.
PRODUCTS TO KEEP YOUR BIKE SAFE
U-locks tend to be smaller, lighter, and more compact than chains, which makes them easier to carry. They’re also harder to get through (as mentioned above, chains can be cut.)
While you should never leave your bike on a car rack unattended for long periods of time, a rack lock is still a good investment. Bikes do tend to get stolen from racks on vehicles, despite the built-in locks. These rack locks provide a good amount of protection for a short amount of time.