So you’ve made the investment, and spent all the money putting the bells and whistles on it, but what good is all of that if your new ride gets jacked à la Deebo from Friday? We can’t really help you if you get cold-cocked by the neighborhood bully— you’ll just have to charge that one to the game. But with a bit of common sense, the right equipment, and a little luck, you can keep your bike from being stolen.
1. Always lock your bike. It’s so simple, but there are plenty of poor souls who were “only gone for a minute” that have lost their bikes in the ether. Don’t be like them. Invest in a good bike lock and use it. Always.
2. Lock the frame, not the wheels. Don’t just lock the front or back wheel. People who have often come back to the bike rack to find only that wheel remains. Better to lock the sturdy metal frame in place. If the would-be thief steels the wheels, then he/she was just out to ruin your day and wasn’t even worried about the bike itself in the first place.
3. Don’t lock your bike to just anything. If you lock your bike up to a headless parking meter, the only thing that stands between a thief and your bike is the physical exertion it takes to lift it free. Trees are also a no-no. Stick to bike racks whenever possible.
4. Take your bike inside with you. Just avoid leaving the thing outside altogether. Bring it into the office if possible, or keep it in a garage. When you get home, bring the bike inside— if you payed as much as we know you have, and ride it as much as we know you do, it shouldn’t be outside if you can avoid it.
5. Make your bike your own. Adorn your ride with all manner of theft-resistant bike accessories. Paint it ridiculous colors. Nothing is more attractive to a bike thief than a bike whose “misplacement” will go unnoticed.
6. Park next to a nicer bike. Not the most “we are the world” thing you can do, but it’s safe to say that if your bike is parked next to a much more expensive rig, yours isn’t the one that the thief will be stealing.
7. Park your bike in a visible spot. If you do park it outside, park it where you can keep an eye on it and get to it easily if there’s a problem. When trying to keep it safe at night, park it in the most visible, open spot possible. I look for street lights.
Keep all of these things in mind when stowing your ride before and after your commute, and you’ve greatly increased you chances of it being there when you return.