By Marcus Tonndorf
Every year millions of bikes are stolen in worldwide. The statistics is frightening. England more than 400.000, Holland more than 400.000 and Germany more than 400.000.
Only in Berlin over 30.000 bikes are going missing, the targets being both new and old bikes. Sadly most of them never come back and large quantities are being stripped and sold part by part. For the environment this is bad since a very large number of people also decide to not buy another bike after it’s gone missing. The numbers for stolen saddles and wheels are also frighteningly large. But since most people don’t report that kind of theft it's a dark number.
The solution for many is plain and simply to take the bike with them into their flat or house. For some this had become a ritual and hence the rise in the market for products that hang bikes on the wall of your flat. But for most of us this is option is not practical. Flexibility and the cleanliness and foremost the weight stops us from carrying it up and most elevators are just too small.
The solution is to make it as difficult as possible for the thief, so your bike is no longer seen as easy money.
These are by no means an extensive guide, but merely direct suggestions as recommended by not only the police, but also by bike thief's who have chosen the better side.
- Choose a bright, well-frequented place to leave your bike.
- When you lock it with your D-lock, make sure you lock it to something. Also make sure that something cannot be removed. It's also been shown that if its difficult to get to the lock then a thief might not be able to access it with power tools.
- Never trust the seconds. Opportunity theft makes up over 30% of all theft. Make sure when you enter a shop, you lock up properly. Modern bikes are light and can be carried away with ease.
- Expensive is not always better, but make sure you use somewhere close to the 20% rule. That means that your overall protection should be around 20% of the value of the bike. However, if your bike is a 100€ bike, then a 20€ lock will not do. A stable D-Lock, or a chain with a square section linkages and a proper padlock is the minimum.
- Secure your saddle and wheels separately with something like a Hexlox. Anything that will be an obstruction for the thief will make him move to the next bike, which is probably less safe than yours. Even if the thief manage to throw your bike into a truck and later work on it, having secured all your parts will make it a real hassle for him. Even for thieves, time is money and the safer you can make it, the more likely the thief will move onto the next bike. A very important point is also that if your saddle and wheels are individually secured, then if the thief resells the bike, its clear it was stolen.
- If you store your bike in the basement make sure its also locked to something. Perhaps you have other bikes or a shelf etc. Make it difficult for the thief to just carry it out and then break your lock somewhere else. Even the strongest thief will not be happy carrying two bikes up the stairs.
- Mark your bike. Make sure its clear that its protected. If you are using protection also for your saddle and wheels etc, make sure the thief sees this. The harder it will be for him to strip the bike later, the less likely he will take it.
Stay safe out there and if you want more tips and tricks just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or go towww.hexlox.com and signup for our Kickstarter Launch 16th March.