Bicycle security

It takes seconds to steal a bike. Don’t give thieves an easy ride.

White background with the wording A guide to keeping your bike secure written in blue

Choosing a lock

It is essential that you use good quality lock for your bike. Some locks may look robust, but most are made up of a thick layer of plastic with a thin metal core, making it easy for cycle thieves to twist off or cut through.

If you can, use two different locks such as a strong hardened steel D-lock and a sturdy chain lock or a durable loop extension cable to deter thieves. This makes it harder for thieves as they would need different tools to break each lock.

Check out www.soldsecure.com for certified locks. Sold Secure use a three tier lock grading system to assess locks, based on their level of security.

Securing your bike

Always lock your bike, even if you are only leaving it for a couple of minutes.

Keep the lock or chain away from the ground. Never leave them laying on the ground as they could be damaged and broken easily.

Keep the gap between the bike and the lock to a minimum – the smaller the gap, the harder it is to insert tools to gain leverage.

Locks can also picked, so face the lock to the ground but not resting on it and lock both wheels and the frame of your bike to a fixed object or bike rack.

Where to park your bike when out and about

Lock your bike to an immovable object. Where possible use a designated bike rack, ground anchor or street furniture that offers multiple locking points and will stop your bike falling and causing an obstruction.

Bikes locked to lampposts, railings or anything else not designed for this purpose are more vulnerable to theft. Remember thieves can remove drainpipes and lift bikes off signposts.

Parking that only allows your front wheels to be locked should be avoided, as thieves can remove your front wheel and make off with the rest of your bike. Instead look for stands that allows you to lock both your bike frame and wheels to it.

Avoid leaving your bike unattended in dimly lit isolated places for long periods of time. Leave your bike where a potential thief can be seen easily.

Use a designated bike park facility. There is secure indoor parking at Leicester’s Bike Park located in Town Hall Square. There is also secure bike parking at Leicester railway station for 222 bikes. Students at the University of Leicester are also encouraged to make use of the University bike park, which is an underground bike park for over 300 bikes.

Keeping your bike secure at home

When storing your bike at home lock it in a secure shed or garage or bring it inside your property.

If you are keeping your bike in your shed make sure that you have a robust lock on the door, and consider using a battery operated shed alarm which will alert you to anyone gaining entry.

When locking your bike in a shed or garage use an anchor point which either bolts directly to the floor/wall or can be installed into concrete.

Never leave your bike outside in the rear yard or garden, unless you have a cycle anchor or secure object to lock it to.

Remember to keep your bike out of public view.

Darker nights and cycling

During the winter months the nights draw in earlier, meaning that many cyclists will now be riding their bike in the dark. It is important that your bike is not only secure when you park it up but it also needs to be road worthy and suitable for use at night.

Stay visible – if you are on the roads when it’s dark you will be required to have reflectors and lights fitted to your bike.

It is a good idea to wear high visibility clothing when you are riding your bike in the dark. Wearing reflective clothing on body parts that move is an effective way of staying visible on busy roads i.e. adding reflective strips to your shoes or arms or gloves.

Wearing a back pack with reflective strips or wearing a rear light on your helmet is another way of staying visible at night.

Remember – to check that your lights are working and the batteries aren’t running low before you set off.

It’s always a good idea to tell someone when you will be leaving and what time you will be expected and what route you will be using.

For all your cycling questions visit ‘Ask the police’ or visit www.cyclingengland.co.uk.

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