Top tips to protect your bike from thieves

Bike lock | Smarter Travel Ltd

Around 150,000 bicycles are stolen in the United Kingdom alone. You might get lucky and have it returned, but more often than not, you’ll never get it back. Unfortunately, we can’t change the fact that bikes are stolen but we can lend you some tips on what to do to protect your bike from theft …

Lock it!

Bike thieves need to operate quickly to reduce the chance of being caught, so a decent bike lock is worth its weight in gold. Some locks are awful; some can just be cut with a pair of scissors. Very cheap U-locks can be sawn through with a junior hacksaw in minutes. While any lock is better than no lock, it helps to be aware of the level of protection you’re buying. A heavy-duty bike lock can make a thief’s job more difficult, which could result in them abandoning the attempt to steal your bike; so make sure you:

  • buy a decent lock – preferably two
  • expect to pay at least £40 for a lock
  • make sure you buy a certified Sold Secure lock


There is a range of Sold Secure locks available from Bike Register online. Click here to see what’s available to you:


Location, location, location

Bike thefts can occur at any time – day or night and they don’t like an audience, so lock your bike in a public place that is covered by CCTV or well-lit rather than down an alleyway. Make sure you remember to lock both wheels and the frame of your bike to a cycle stand or other immoveable object. Use designated parking areas where possible and if you can take any removable items with you such as wheels, lights, baskets and saddle then do it!

More than half of bikes are stolen from home, so reduce the chances of this happening by:

  • storing your bike in a locked shed or garage
  • keeping it out of view
  • securing it to an immovable object


Register your bike with Bike Register or Immobilise. The police use both sites to try and match stolen items with their rightful owners and the sites also enable you to check a second hand bike isn’t listed as stolen on their databases. Include photos and your bike’s serial number; you’ll find it on a sticker underneath the bottom bracket.


A commuter? Try not to leave your bike in the same place everyday

Nor park it with other commuters’ bikes – especially if your bike will stand out as being valuable. This will help prevent it being noticed and stolen to order. If you’re a Strava user then use the settings to create a privacy perimeter. Create the privacy perimeter around your home and work place so that it won’t show up on your ride maps and don’t mention your bike model in your profile.


Insure it

A bike can cost as much as an item of jewellery, an antique or a painting so make sure you are well covered by insurance in case of theft. Check whether your home contents insurance covers your bike and whether it covers you for thefts outside the home too. If your bicycle is particularly valuable you may need to insure it separately.

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