Reports have revealed that bicycles are the UK's most stolen item. When your bike is your hobby, your meditation, or even your transport around town, there's nothing worse than having it taken away from you.

City cyclists and commuters aren't the only targets either, pro athletes have been victims of bike theft too, and no matter how novice or professional you are, it hurts just the same. After all, your bicycle becomes an extension of who you are.

Bike theft: everything you need to know

To reduce your bike's risk of being taken, we've compiled a list of the most common reasons for why bicycles are a popular target.

Leaving your bike in the garden

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Bike thieves have now stepped into a whole new territory. Not even thorn covered walls and ant infested trees will stop them from entering into your family's private hangout to get their hands on your most prized possession.

Don't leave your bike in the open, even if it is on private property. If you're cramped for space in the home, consider getting yourself a secure bike lock up for the garden.

Having the most expensive bike

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This one goes without saying. Bike thieves have done their research and know what to look out for. Tone down the bike bling to stay safe or you could just build your own bike proof panic room?

Investing in a solid bike lock, or two!

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These days, one lock just isn't enough. The 'one-lock to the wheel' may seem like a great idea but waking up to find nothing but a lone wheel is not the best start to the morning.

There are a variety of bike locks on the market that offer different degrees of safety. Make sure you check the Sold Secure grading, as this will indicate how easy the lock can be broken through. For more information, take a look through our bike lock buying guide here.

Leaving your bike outside overnight

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That pretty little street where you tucked your bike up overnight isn’t such a safe haven in the dark. Thieves have the whole night to tamper with your bike knowing there’s a pretty good chance they won’t get caught. If you know you're staying out for the night, plan ahead where your bike can be kept safe!

Making sure your bike is actually locked

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This may sound silly, but it's always a good idea to give your locked bike a little tug and wiggle to ensure the bike lock is well and truly secure. Also ensure you've made a secure loop through the frame and/or wheel, rather than the seat post!

Don't take chances with your beloved bicycle when opportunistic thieves may be lurking around the corner.

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