Everyone who owns a bike undoubtedly loves their bike and it hurts to lose the love of your life. It might all sound very dramatic but around 20,000 bikes are stolen just from Greater London each year*. We found a very helpful post on lfgss.com forum about how to protect your bike and recover your stolen bike.
So we thought of sharing it with all of you and hope you share it with more people. Without further ado, here are the top tips to keep your bike safe:
1. Consider insuring your bicycle
Check if your house insurance already covers your bicycle when away from home, and also whether the total value of the bicycle is covered. If your bicycle is particularly valuable you may need to insure it separately.
2. Take photos and note the frame number
It’s very important to have photos of your cycle, photos of you with your bike and most importantly photos of the frame number. Frame numbers are often on the bottom bracket shell (between your cranks on the underside of your bike, so you may have to turn it upside down to see it, and are sometimes obscured by gear cable routers (bits stuck on the BB shell), but on some bikes they are elsewhere, especially on some older bikes. Carry on searching till you find it, it is very important! This will help you to prove to the police that the bike is yours if found.
3. Individualise your bike and hide your contact details on your bike
Whether you put a note with your contact details in the handlebars, stamp your saddle, hide a note in the frame, or in a tool bag attached to the bike, it all helps.
4. Lock your cycle securely
Never use a cheap cable lock on any bike, and always lock the frame and both wheels to the stand or strong immovable object. Make the lock and bike hard to manoeuvre when parked and do not allow thieves to place your locks in contact with the ground. Also, keep your security up to date and replace locks when they get old or rusty.
5. The police offer security marking of bikes
There will hopefully soon be a nationally unified system of bike marking. In the meantime, look out for events at which your local police do security marking for free.
This could help the police in case they find your bike and need to return it to you. It is usually impossible to return the bikes without this information being available to the police.
Note that the Metropolitan Police no longer support Immobilise for stolen bikes and have switched to Bike Register. Their advice is that you should re-register your bike on Bike Register if you have previously registered it on Immobilise, as the two companies do not appear to share data.
7. If your bicycle was stolen in London then:
- Report the theft immediately
- A special Cycle Task Force which is part of The Met Police is dedicated to deal with cases in London
- They will be interested to see the picture of your stolen bike
Contact details of Cycle Task Force:
If it’s urgent: 07768 928 456
If it’s less urgent: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org