5 ways to prevent bike theft

photo: Jake Stangel

You have spent your little savings to buy yourself a brand new bike for your casual rides. Generally, your bike means a lot to you and losing it will make you sick and hinders much important progress.  I bet losing it in other way cannot be of much pain than letting it stolen. It is therefore important to have basic theft prevention measures at your finger tips to safeguard your bike from theft.

1. Never offer a ride to a stranger

This is the simplest way of losing your bike. One can politely ask you for a ride and upon letting him; he cycles it fast and disappear with it. You will be left calling back with no response. Your bike is no more! Unbelievable! Isn’t it? Alternatively, one can ask you to give him a lift on your bike carrier and then turns to be violent to you, taking control of your bike and take off with it. In this case, dare to say NO to stranger or any other friends that you do not know them.


2. Give your bike physical identity

There are several ways in doing this. You can brand your bike with a very unique mark. A good mark is the one you can identify it yourself and no one else. As a way of example, you can have a scratched symbol at the frame area, the seat post or even at the handle bar. You can do this by using a sharp object. Make sure the mark is permanent and easy to trace. These marks will help you to easily identify your bike whenever it is stolen or mixed up with other bikes of the same model.

Another way of giving it an identity is by painting it at rare physical areas. Think of painting it at the bottom of the seat, the edges of the handle, the frame joint etc. Paint it sparingly so that it will be hard for someone to conclude that it’s a mark for identifying your bike.


3. Consider safe parking areas

In most shopping outlets and major business premises in Malaysia, there are no designated parking areas for bikes. Some of these areas are under security watch while others are not. Try to identify the much secured places to park your bike. A parking area located at an open accessible place where people move freely is much safer than a hidden parking. You can even offer a token to a trust worthy person who is just at the parking area to act as a security checker for your bike. This will motivate him/her to be vigil on it. He can be someone who is tending to his business, someone waiting for a certain appointment or even a watchman. Essentially, observe any notice given at a certain parking “Bikes are parked at owner’s risk”.


4. Avoid over exposure of your bike at home where necessary

Statistics shows most riders’ bikes are stolen when the owners are not at home. Bike thieves are normally mostly attracted to some bike features that lure them to steal. You can shun the thieves away by ensuring that you keep your bike indoors ever especially when you are either travelling overseas or you have no regular use of it. By doing this, passerby thieves will not be able to trace your bike. Exposing your bike also gives a thief a chance to study the best way possible to steal it.


5. Use enhanced locking devices

In most bike theft incidences, bikes are stolen due to weak locking systems that offer easy access in breaking them. Thieves find it easier to hammer down a lock in seconds to free the bike and have a quick ride on it. This can be a thing of the past if one acquires much secured locks that can never be tampered in any way. A good bike lock should be firm, stable and unbreakable by any means of applied force.

Important Clue:  Never ever leave your bike unlocked in whichever place even at your own home area. 


Additional Tips

Simple ideas on confirming your stolen bike

  • Keep safely all your documentations that you were given on purchase of your bike e.g. cash receipt, warranty (if any) and any relevant presentation that you can produce to prove ownership.
  • Always be in a position to identify your own made marks on your bike and have a good explanation on how you came up with them. For example, you can confidently say “my bike has a paint patch on the mudguard, at the edges of the handle and at the frame joints,” of which you can prove by showing them up.