Five Basic Tips For Preventing Bike Theft

cut lockIn an ideal world, bike thieves would stop f***ing stealing bikes. But until that utopian future arrives, here are five ways that you as a bike owner and rider can help reduce the risk that you too will be a victim of bike theft.

Vary your locks: Two locks are better than one, but more importantly, two different locks are better than one. Usually, bike thieves will only have one type of tool with them. Combining a u-lock and a chain lock can prevent theft by someone who only has the tool to break one of those locks. 

Lock up to a legit rack: Bike racks are often specially designed to help you lock up both your frame and wheels. They're also more likely to be securely fastened - some street signs, fences, and poles are easily removed.

Lock up in high visibility areas: There's no guarantee that a passerby will intervene if they see your bike getting stolen, but increasing the chances that the thief will get caught in the act acts as a deterrent. Say no to dark alleys and yes to high traffic areas.

Be afraid of the dark: Bring your bike in over night if at all possible. With reduced foot traffic and under the cover of darkness, bike thieves can do their worst.

Register your bike: Okay, so this one won't exactly help prevent your bike from getting stolen, but it can help you get it back. Registration helps cops identify the rightful owner of the bike, and can help people buying bikes check if it's stolen or not (check out isthisbikestolen.com and stolenbicycleregistry.com).

Do you have a tried and true approach to preventing bike theft? We want to hear about it!

(photo credit: arlo j)

-- Kate J.