Words by Lucy Bradford
A sure sign of our society becoming simultaneously more health conscious and more environmentally ethical is the growing number of the population cycling nowadays. According to British Cycling, over two million people here in the UK cycle at least once a week, and industry figures show a steady increase in bike sale statistics. Which is a great thing, fewer cars on the road, healthier people, less pollution, it’s all good. But the thing is, when compared to a car or a motorbike, a bicycle is inherently easier to steal and sell on.
As more and more people commute on a bicycle and regularly use one, the fact is that the bike theft figures are only going to increase. While on any modern car you’ve got a myriad of high-tech security features when it comes to bicycles most people are still making do with a simple bike padlock, which just isn’t cutting the mustard anymore.
Figures published by the insurer, Protect Your Bubble, state that last year almost 82,000 bikes were reported stolen, and with the increase in bikes chained up, on the street or at home, that figure’s set to keep going up. The trouble is, a quality bike is a very attractive proposition to the average thief. Being that many of the mountain and road bikes you see around are worth over £1,000, it just makes sense to step up your bike’s security.
Unless you’re strangely charitable when it comes to thieves, chances are you’re not a fan of having your stuff nicked. But when it comes to your bike, it goes a little bit beyond irritating. If you’re someone that rides a lot, say, to commute to and from work, you’re now a little bit stuck, especially if you don’t own a spare bike or a car. You’re looking at paying for a replacement bike (if you’re not insured), and for public transport in the meantime, which is all a big hassle worth avoiding. Bikes are very cheap to run compared to other travel options, and you’re going to quickly miss that if yours gets stolen.
So what’s the big, obvious solution? The high-tech step-up from the traditional padlock? It’s not rocket science, it’s a bike shed. Padlocks and bike locks only require a heavy duty set of bolt cutters then, boom, your £1,500 bike is gone forever. With a quality bike shed not only have you got complete peace of mind in terms of the quality of the locks, you’re also safe in the knowledge that your prized bike is out of the elements, and therefore going to last longer and is no longer visible to would-be opportunist thieves.
If you’re going to invest a lot of money in a bike, maybe go for a slightly cheaper option, and spend a little extra on the security. That way you might be able to keep the bike longer! A bike shed is a safe storage solution that doesn’t have to set you back a bomb and you’re sure to find something to fit neatly in your budget.
The majority of bike thefts are opportunistic thieves spotting a bike chained to a railing or a fence, cutting the padlock, and making off with it. By no longer having the bike visible, and completely out of sight, chances are you’re not going to be attracting the same unwanted attention. When it comes to the kinds of locks you’re going to get on a safe shed, they’re always going to outdo even a top notch bike padlock. You can’t just lean in and neatly chop them in half with heavy duty bolt cutters, for one.
If you’re leaving your bike out in the corrosive British weather all the time, you’ve got more problems than just thieves. Especially if you’re anywhere near the salty, extreme conditions found near the coast. Even if yours is a top notch, aluminium framed, completely coated and sealed bike, the rain is still not going to be good for it. Rust, fading and other damage are going to significantly shorten the functional life of the bike, and if you’re dropping a significant wad of cash on your dream bike, you want her to be comfy and dry.
With bike theft statistics only on the rise, especially as more and more people jump ship from cars, buses and motorbikes to the humble bicycle, it just makes sense to make sure that your transport is safe and sound, from theft and the weather.
If you’re going to spend over a thousand pounds on the perfect bike for you and your riding style, there’s no point skimping on the security. Bike shed sales have been steadily increasing over the last few years, and with the last year showing record sales figures, many people have realised it’s time to home their cycles properly.
With 82,000 bikes disappearing neatly into a thieves van last year, it’s really time you started thinking about the security of your bike seriously.
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