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Bike theft is a huge problem across the United States. The FBI dealt with 210,905 cases of bike theft in 2014 alone, and many people think this number is actually quite low in relation to how many bikes are really stolen. Bike theft often doesn’t get reported.
Bike bandits are constantly coming up with creative ways to steal cyclists’ property, so it’s time to fight back with creative ways to prevent theft. Since locking it in a vault with face-recognition access and laser-beam security isn’t likely possible, creativity may have to be bumped down a notch. But, you do have a good chance of keeping your bike safe from theft if you do the following:
Riders don’t always think about registering their bikes. “What will happen to it? I live in a safe place,” they say. Bike theft protection needs to be on your mind no matter where you dwell. If you aren’t sure how to register your bike, consider signing up with Garage 529 or National Bike Registry. You can also buy a bike registry kit online from BikeRegister. Police regularly check these databases when they find stolen bikes.
Again, this may be a boring job that you don’t think is important. But, recording the details of your bike will help police return it to you, the rightful owner, if found. Think about any details that would help match your bike with you as the owner.
Write down the frame number (usually located under the bottom bracket or on the seat tube), make and model, size and color, date and place of purchase, value and any distinctive features your bike has. Couple these details with any serial number a bike registration company gives you. All of this will help you get your bike back if taken.
You wouldn’t make a member of your family sleep outside, so don’t cast your bike out at night. Bring it inside your home where it is safest. A secured garage is not necessarily a safe place in your home for your bicycle. Balconies aren’t always a good idea either. Consider that thieves usually come around at about 4 a.m. to steal, a time when most people are home from bars and still resting for the next day. Put your bike to bed inside at a proper time.
A bike lock isn’t one of the essential bike accessories that you want to go cheap on. During the day, there will likely be many times when you have to leave your bike on a bike rack. Make sure you have the best bike lock that your budget can afford. Wondering about the best way to lock a bike? Stay away from easy-to-snip cable locks and go with a U-lock, which is not impenetrable but it’s a pretty solid option. We recommend 2 U-locks, actually.
You might not get your entire bike stolen if you lock it up securely, but a wheel or 2 might go missing – or even a headlight or rear rack. Make sure your locking mechanism and method includes the capture of all of your cycle’s vital parts.
Take the time to think of a theft prevention plan the day your new sixthreezero bike arrives. Outfit your bike with the essential beach cruiser accessories like a solid bike lock.
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