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Best 7 Bike Theft Prevention Tips – What Bike Thieves Don’t Want You to Know

Amanda Li8/12/2022
Best 7 Bike Theft Prevention Tips – What Bike Thieves Don’t Want You to Know

Having your bike stolen has been a nightmare. Go over the 7 terrific bike theft prevention tips and devices to help keep your bicycle safe.

More than 1.5 million bicycles are reported stolen annually in the US. Half of all active cyclists have their bikes stolen, while only 2.4 percent of stolen bikes were recovered. No doubt, smart prevention is always the best way to keep your bike from being stolen and measures below, which savvy bike thieves don’t want you to know, will definitely help.

Note: The very first thing you should do after buying a new bike, is to get the serial number information from it. This may does little help in burglar-proofing your bike, but it means a lot for bike theft victims, to find a stolen bike.

Top 7 Must-Know Tips for Bike Theft Prevention

Don’t be fooled by the “only bikes in good condition or in high value can be stolen” theory. The only difference lies in “this one is harder to steal than the other”. Give the 7 best measures a try and avid being a bike theft victim.

Tip No. 1: Use a Stiff and Reliable Bike Lock

Never forget to lock your bike, and choose a stiff and quality lock for your cycle. This is always indispensable for preventing bike theft in college, in your front/backyard, garage, or even on side of the street. “Never, never use a chain, for it’s too easy to snip.” Said a former bike thief.

Lock Bike to Protect It from Being Stolen

Choosing the perfect lock, which plays a key role in bicycle an-theft, should require some research.

  • Cable locks: Get rid of cable locks, because the majority of bikes stolen on campus are locked with this type.
  • Kryptonite locks and D-bars with tubular locks: Don’t be fooled by them either. Most of them are easy to sniff with little tools bike thieves usually use, say, wire cutters and bolt cutters.
  • U-locks and D-locks: Use a D-lock or U-lock, for they are much tougher and harder to be picked with. Use the lock on both front and back of your wheels. Bike thieves will give up if they need to take too much time and effort in unlocking the bike that is not worthwhile.

Tip No. 2: Take Your Bike Inside to Prevent a Bike Theft Crime

Of course, this is obvious and effective – secure your bicycle simply by taking it inside. If you live on the ground floor, or you don’t mind taking your bike with you up the stairs or on the elevator, this is a pretty effective bike theft deterrent you have. Of course, this only protects your bike while you are at home, so you still need to make sure that you are following this guide when you park it somewhere else.

Take Bike Inside to Prevent Bike Theft

Never forget your bike seat and tire. Many bikes have detachable bicycle seats or tires as a security feature. These can be instantly removed and taken inside with you while you are at work or at home. Of course, this isn’t a foolproof way to deter theft, because a thief interested in painting and reselling your bike may simply transport it in the back of a pickup truck. However, it will definitely keep someone from riding off with your bike while you are at work.

Tip No. 3: Set up a Security Camera

No other bike theft prevention devices and deterrents compare to a high quality and properly-installed security camera. It helps scare off a would-be bike thief, sends you instant alerts before a bike theft crime happens, and also helps to catch the bad guy and find your bicycle even if it gets stolen.

Many authors, journalists, and security experts in other bicycle-theft-prevention-tip articles have strongly recommended this measure. But what they don't tell you is, choosing the right bike surveillance camera does the most job (Reolink 4MP & 5MP Super HD IP cameras highly recommended).

Take a look at the crystal clear video of an attempted break-in captured by RLC-410:

Reolink RLC-410

PoE Bullet IP Security Camera with Audio

5MP/4MP Super HD; Outdoor/Indoor Protection; 100ft Infrared Night Vision; Audio Recording; Mobile Remote Access & Control.

Make sure you get a HD security IP camera for protecting your bike, dirt bike, electric bike, and motorcycles from thieves.

"CCTV was not a put off for me stealing certain bikes. We had helmets on so we couldn't be identified." according to a bike thief interview. But a 1080p/1440p HD IP security camera, which can do proper identification of facial and license plate recognition, really makes a difference in bicycle theft protection.

Read more: How 1080p security camera can identify license plate and people.

Tip No. 4: Protect Your Bike with an Anti-Theft GPS Bike Tracker

Bicycle theft tracking devices usually have a GPS chip built-in, and can be hidden into your bike handlebars. This is the perfect solution after a bike theft because as long as the thief doesn’t know how to disable it. The police will be able to track your bike in real time and arrest the person who stole it – recovering your bike in the process.

You may want to install a GPS tracking system on your bike, especially if you got a popular quick sale bikes, motorcycles, like Carrera racers, Boardman racers, and Ridgeback bikes, which are easily targeted by bike thieves. Popular GPS bike tracker, such as Sherlock, and Spybike, can be easily accessed on Amazon or any other online stores.

Tip No. 5: Level Up Bike Theft Protection by Registration

Bicycle theft protection by CODE-No and by registration helps. bike theft protection labels are reliable protectors for your bicycle. Fasten this label to your bike and then register it freely on to get a CODE number. Registered bikes can be easily identified.

You can also register your bike in the National Cycle Database for free. Safeguard your bike with its professional security marking kits, and a warning label, so you can reduce the risk of your bike getting stolen.

Tip No. 6: Protect Your Bike from Theft by Moving It Regularly

Another great security precaution is to move your bike regularly. The reason for this is simple: if a potential thief sees your bike in the same place every day, especially during certain hours, then he or she will have a much better idea when they might be able to get away with stealing your bike. If you always lock it up somewhere different, then it is unlikely someone will know that it will be unattended for several hours.

Theft Proof Bicycle by Moving It

Tip No. 7: Check on Your Bike Frequently

Finally, make sure that you are checking on your bike regularly. A stolen bike can be sold quickly, varying from minutes to around a day at most. If you check your bike every couple of hours, you will know much sooner if it gets stolen and you may prevent that from happening in the first place, especially if someone casing your bike sees your checking on it. You can also check on your bike on your mobile phone anywhere, if you’ve got a smartphone security camera installed to secure your bicycle.

One of the biggest problems of stopping bike theft is, local authorities and governments overlook it, for they don’t realize how bad the situation is. If the government puts as much effort in bike theft prevention as it puts in prevention of car theft, things will get much better. Hopefully, more and more bike theft prevention programs have been launched in US, UK, Canada (Vancouver, for example), Singapore, and other countries and regions. So my last advice about protecting your bicycle from thieves is, taking it seriously, and always staying prepared.


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A blog writer and content marketer by day, and a reader by night. A coffee addict, and lover of cool stuff and new tech. She's been diving into home security industry from the last two years, and sharing practical security tips and tricks. Love the idea of being warm and secure, that's exactly what home should be.