According to an article published recently on Bicycling.com, more than 2 million bikes are stolen each year in the U.S. — and with the number of people turning to cycling for fitness, recreation, and transportation during the pandemic, this figure is unfortunately on the rise. New York City has seen 28 percent increase in stolen bike complaints in 2020, and other major cities have also seen a significant spike in bike theft over the past nine months.
Whether you're running errands on two wheels, making stops before or after a mountain bike ride or taking a road trip, the need to leave your bike unattended will occasionally arise for most cyclists.
Here are 5 tips on how to secure your bike:
1) Buy the nicest lock you can afford. If parking your bike in an urban area, avoid cable locks, which are easy for thieves to cut, and consider a more burly U-lock. For quick stops, cafe locks like the Ottolock are a good solution.
2) Multiple locks are better than one. This goes for car racks too, especially if leaving your bike unattended for more than a few minutes. In addition to the integrated rack lock, consider adding a heavy chain lock to make your bike harder to steal.
3) Bring your bike inside at night. For urban dwellers, it's worth hauling it up the stairs since more bikes are stolen at night. Mountain bikers, don't forget to take it off your rack and put it into your garage before going to bed!
4) Park so that bikes on a car rack are less visible. Back into parking spots and/or tuck the rack close to foliage/hedges. Also park between other cars to make your rack less accessible to thieves.
5) Put your bike inside your car if possible. If you are leaving it unattended for very long, and have space put it inside.
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