Tips for preventing bicycle theft
It's a terrible experience: unsuspecting, you walk in good spirits towards the place where you thought you had locked your loyal two-wheeler. To your horror you see that it is not there. In despair you begin to doubt yourself: "did I really lock my bike here or is it somewhere else? It can' be possible that my bike has been stolen....
A source of great irritation. Not only have you lost your bike, you also have to deal with a lot of hassle, such as filing a report and trying to recover the costs from the insurance company. In places where many bikes are parked there is also a greater chance of theft, but even in your own driveway your bike is not safe these days.
The Netherlands is truly a bicycle country. We use our bicycles as a means of transport to go from place to place. At the same time, it is good for our health and combats CO2 emissions.
In a country where there are more bikes than inhabitants, bicycle theft is insurmountable. ''Fortunately,'' this form of crime is not uncommon for Dutch people. Indeed, thousands of bicycles are stolen from under our noses every year. Fortunately, there are a number of tips and tricks for preventing bicycle theft. We have compiled a list for the prevention of theft. This way you can leave your beloved bike behind with peace of mind.
Lock your bicycle, even in your own driveway.
It sounds so obvious, yet not everyone locks their bike (properly). If you want to store your bike safely, use at least two approved locks. A sturdy ring lock for the rear wheel and a second lock to firmly secure the front wheel and frame to the 'fixed world'. Attach the second lock to the frame and to, for example, a bike rack, fence or bracket. Of course there is no guarantee that your bike will not be stolen, but it does make it much more difficult to steal. Always lock your bicycle, even in your own shed or on your own driveway. If you ever have uninvited guests, chances are they will leave your bike behind.
Ring lock: make sure the ring lock is between the spokes where the valve is. This way it is almost impossible for criminals to break the lock without damaging the valve. Of course, thieves are not happy with flat tires.
Shackle lock: A shackle lock should not be attached as high as possible, but as low as possible. Otherwise bicycle thieves are smart enough to use the bike as a lever. The lock will then open automatically.
Chain lock: with a chain lock it is important that it does not dangle, otherwise it is easy to saw through or cut open with bolt cutters. Therefore, always wrap the lock around a pole or your bike a few times. Also secure the lock as high as possible. If it is on the ground, thieves can smash it open with a stone.
Make your bike as distinctive as possible (or not at all!)
The more eye-catching a bike, the more likely thieves are to leave it behind. So go wild with spray cans, handlebar decorations and other exuberant bicycle accessories. Do you prefer not to ride a purple bike with a golden mudguard? Get hold of an old barrel and put a plastic bag over the saddle. No thief will even notice.
If you have no intention of ruining your bike or riding around on an ugly one, at least make sure your beautiful bike looks as unattractive as possible when you walk away. Always remove (unnecessary) and expensive accessories from your bike and check the saddlebags before you leave.
Park your bike in a busy place
If there is one thing criminals don't like, it's being watched. Therefore, if possible, park your bike in a place where many people are waiting. Think of a bicycle rack opposite a bus stop, a cab stop or a public transport hub. A guarded bicycle shed is of course also a safe place for your steed.
Even if it is in your own yard, stall the bike in a place where it is supervised. This could be a window, busy street, or possibly a CCTV camera.
A cheat sheet? Yes, a cheat sheet. If your bike is stolen despite the above tips, it's good to have all the details ready. Make a list of your bicycle's frame number or engraving code, lock number, brand, color and type. This information will come in very handy when you need to report a theft. Also important: always have two bicycle keys. That way the insurance company can check whether you have sold the bike. So if you have lost a key, have one made. If both keys are missing, it is necessary to replace the lock.