In this blog entry, we’ll discuss potential solutions to the threat of bicycle theft. These solutions are a practice of a balance between practicality, cost, and convenience. Most people can’t carry around a heavy duty chain and eight locks wherever they go. However, with every compromise for convenience, you’re lowering your security. The more security levels there are for your bike, the less chances it’s going to get stolen – less thieves will even attempt the theft, and the one’s that do are less likely to succeed.
Riding on a bicycle is an integral part of many people’s leisure as well as their commute. It’s an exercise method, a transportation method, and a way to relax. One source of concern for cyclists is how to safely secure bicycles throughout the day – as bikes have become much more widely used, bike theft has also increased. According to the FBI, at least 190,703 bikes are stolen per year – and that statistic is a reflection of reported thefts. A study in Canada showed that 76% of bikes that are stolen are ones that cost under 500$. This demonstrates the fact that even cheaper bikes are at risk of theft – bike thefts aren’t usually premeditated`, but are rather acted on a spur-of-the-moment level.
Many bike owners really prefer using U-Locks to the typical padlock because it gets rid of the need to carry around a heavy change – which can be both cumbersome and dangerous. You’re going to need more than one U-Lock if you’re discarding the chain completely – if this is the case, carry as many U-Locks as possible, as it’ll only make your bike more secure. The best points to place the U-Lock is on the frame, the anchor point, and the wheel of the bike. Make sure that both sides of the U-Lock shackle release – if this doesn’t happen, a potential criminal would only need to cut one side in order to free the bike.
There’s a massive variety of padlocks available. You can find padlocks for a measly couple of dollars, and you can find padlocks that cost in the thousands. The criteria that you should focus on in your search are the lock’s weight, the thickness of the lock’s body as well as it’s shackle, and a shroud (a piece of metal that covers the sides of the shackle to make it less accessible to potential thieves.) Keep your eyes out for rounded areas on the shackle which indicates that the lock has internalized ball bearings, which prevent it from being “shimmed”, a special kind of lock picking that can be improvised with everyday objects. As a word of warning, try to avoid buying Master Lock products, as their cheap price point is contrasted by their weak and easily broken materials. Be aware that spending some money on a padlock can pay off in its security value.