Keep your Bike Safe
Here is some information on how to make sure your bike stays yours, and help recover it if it gets stolen - Courtesy of Archer Bikes
Lock it up!
Your first line of defense is a good hardened steel lock, something that will resist bolt cutters. “U” locks are a good choice. Get one that you can easily use to secure your bike to something that won’t walk away. If the lock won’t reach both wheels, use a cable or chain to extend your reach, or even get a second lock. If you only lock up one wheel and/or the frame, thieves will take the parts that aren’t secured. Also, don’t use your lock just as a padlock to secure the cable.
So the next time you park, take a moment and look at your bike and how it’s locked. Imagine that you want to steal the bike. How easy is it to remove parts, or even the entire bike? Not sure? Ask your local bike shop for pointers on how to secure your bike.
Can you prove that your bike is actually yours? Here’s an easy low-tech way to make your bike easy to identify. Place a card with your name, email, and phone number inside the seat post, the handlebars, and both tires*. If your bike is stolen, and you see it on Craigslist, or even rolling down the street, you can say “That’s my bike! And I can prove it!” There’s even the chance that if the bike ends up at a shop to get a flat repaired, the mechanic will see the card inside the tire and ask “So, what was your name again?” If it doesn’t match the name on the card, they can call you!
Note* Round off the corners of the card you put in your tires. The corners can eat holes in your inner tubes! Also cover the card in clear tape, so it won’t get messed up.
Bike Index is a free on-line bike registration service. Go to bikeindex.org and register your bike! The site will ask for the make, model, color, wheel size, serial number, etc. You can also add photos of your bike, as well as descriptions of any special things you may have added. If the bike is stolen, you go to the site and tag it. A tweet goes out announcing the theft, and the registration is marked as “stolen”. The index has an extremely easy to use data base. Bikes can be searched by any number of different parameters. As of this writing, I have used Bike Index to recover two stolen bikes!
If your bike is stolen, please file a police report. It’s not that recovering your bike will be a high priority, but if the theft isn’t reported, it’s not a crime! (Well, yes, it’s still a crime, but no one but you knows about it!) Police track crime statistics. If the theft isn’t reported, it can’t be tracked. As a result, bike theft doesn’t become a priority.
Make it a hard target!
Get rid of the quick release on your seat post. Another thing you can do is put silicone adhesive in the bolts that secure your handlebars, seat, etc… You can make the adhesive a little harder to remove by sticking a ball bearing in it. A small chain or cable run from the seat rails to the bike frame also helps keep the seat with your bike.
You might also think of getting some sort of locking quick release for your wheels. They don’t replace the need for a lock, but they give the bike an added level of deterrent.