How To Prevent Your Bicycle From Being Stolen

The truth is, your bike doesn’t come with a security system like a car alarm.

Also, it’s very much lighter than a car; which means a thief can pick it up or ride it away. which begs the question – “how do you properly lock your bike?”. Let’s explore the answers.

By the way, if you are interested to know how you can prevent your phone from dying while you out cycling, then check our In-depth Guide to Bike Chargers (opens in a new window).

How To Lock A Bike – The Principles

* Your Bike Can Be Stolen – let’s get the facts straight – any kind of lock can be broken and that means any kind of bike can be stolen given enough time. The best possible way of securing your bike is to never let it leave between your legs. I know that’s not always possible, so you will have to resort other methods of securing your bike.

* Be More Secure Than The Next Bike – if you are parking your bike in a bike park, then scout for the next bike that belongs to the price range of your bike.

Warning, this might be a “heartless” advice, but it can greatly help – make sure that your bike is more secure than the next parked bike that belongs to the same price range of your bike. Remember, when given a choice, a thief will always choose the easier one to steal.

* Multiple Locking System – the truth is, any lock can be broken given enough time. What you can do is to add multiple layers of protection so that the thief will take a longer time of breaking the locks.

Which Lock Should You Buy?

Again, all locks can be broken given enough time. However, some locks are easier to break than others. Naturally, you would want to avoid the ones that are easier to break.

However, I suggest that you totally avoid locks that are made of cables. These are the easiest kind of locks to break. Now that you know which kind of lock to avoid, these are the ones that you should get.


U-Lock Type

A U-lock type is one of the best locks for you securing your bike. In fact, Sheldon Brown, who is an American bicycle author, technical expert and mechanic, loves the Kryptonite Miniwhen securing his  bike. He also suggests the smaller the u-lock the better, as it much stronger and gives a lesser room for the thief to maneuver and break.

Also, make sure that you properly use the u-lock. Otherwise, you could end up with like this:

how not to us a ulock

Do it like this:

secure ulock

Chain Type

Another good option is using a thick heavy duty, hardened steel bike chain lock. A good example of this is a Kryptonite Bike Chain. I know these chains are a bit expensive, but that’s because it’s made of hardened steel.

According to Omar Aziz, a former bike thief who was interview by The Guardian , he uses a heavy duty chains to secure his own bike. According to him, hardened steel chains are harder to break, and you would need special tools just to break it.

Furthermore, you might also want to get a bike chain that has a lock that is integrated to the system. If you are using padlocks to join the chains together, then the padlock is the weakest link.

Securing your bike is not easy if the thief is truly determined, However, what you can do is to slow him down so you can get back to your bike as soon as possible. Always remember, the best way of securing your bike is to never let it leave between your legs.