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Article posted: 27/08/2013

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Bike theft is an all too common problem and whilst we as bike users can do little to change the behaviour of thieves, we can take steps to help prevent becoming a statistic.

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Bring bike indoors whenever possible

If you can bring your bike into your workplace, do it. Don't be shy, if you don't ask, you'll never know. Many workplaces have dedicated bike shelters or storage rooms. If not, there are often unused spaces where you can park your bike safely, if you ask nicely.

It only takes seconds to steal a bike and bike theft is often an opportunistic crime. Don't give them the opportunity.

Lock it up in an overlooked place

If you can't bring your bike in with you, make sure that you lock it up somewhere with lots of passing foot traffic, where it will be constantly overlooked. A common mistake is to intuitively squirrel your bike away somewhere out of site. This is a mistake.

Lock to something solid and immovable

If you can't find a dedicated bike stand, make sure that the thing you lock it to can't be easily moved or broken. When locking the bike up to signposts etc, make sure that the bike can't simply be lifted over the top.

Don't risk that ‘just popping into the paper shop' moment

It's tempting to just pop to the corner shop for a pint of milk and prop the bike, unlocked, outside the shop. It only takes seconds to steal a bike and bike theft is often an opportunistic crime. Don't give them the opportunity.

If you're in the market for a new bike, choose a folding bike

Compact folding bikes such as the Brompton do away with the need to worry about bike theft. In 99 percent of cases, you can just fold up your bike and carry it into work. A Brompton takes up a tiny space and can fit underneath most desks.

Buy the best lock you can afford

If you've spent the best part of £500 on a quality commuting bike don't skimp on the lock. Generally speaking, the more expensive the lock, the more difficult it is to crack.

Use two different types of lock

A great tip is to use two different types of lock - for instance and ‘D lock' and a chain lock - the reason for this is that the sight of two locks will not only act as a deterrent, it will also mean that the thief will have to carry two different sets of tools to break your bike out.

Look for the Sold Secure rating

Many lock manufacturers are part of the Sold Secure programme, which is a voluntary standard based on how difficult a lock is to break. There are Bronze, Silver and Gold standards, with Gold obviously being the most secure.

Remove or lock easily stolen parts/accessories

Make sure that you secure or remove any quick release parts from your bike. If you've got quick release wheels, either run a long cable extension through your main lock and through both wheels, or remove your front wheel, place it next to the rear wheel and pass your lock around the bike stand and through both wheels and the main frame of your bike.

Make life hard for the thief

When you lock your bike up, make it awkward for the thief to get at your lock - a good idea is to position the barrel where it might be awkward to drill out.

Get adequate bike insurance for when the worst happens

If the worst happens and your bike is stolen, make sure that your insurance is up to scratch. British Cycling members get an exclusive deal on the market leading bike insurance product. Go here for more details

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