Booby trap your bicycle for less than £20

boobytrap your bicycle, smoke grenade

As the theft of bicycles, scooters and motorbikes in urban areas edges towards epidemic proportions, so continues our quest to thwart thieves. Last week we brought you the Biskiple, a fake skip that acts like an urban cloaking device for bicycles, but this idea is altogether smaller and cheaper. Although no less effective.

Bike theft countermeasures: Booby trap your water bottle

Using little more than a standard water bottle, a retractable lanyard and a smoke grenade of the sort used in military reenactments it is possible to build a simple and effective booby trap to dissuade bicycle thieves. The EG18 smoke grenades cost about £5 each and produce a 30-second burst of thick acrid smoke. Watch our short video on how to assemble your own anti-theft smoke grenade booby trap.

Gangs of thieves in London and other cities are capitalising on the police’s refusal to chase scooters as a way to rob with impunity. Since thieves have getaway vehicles they know will not be chased by police, their modus operandi becomes evermore brazen. Reports of thieves using loud angle grinders to cut through locks in the dead of night are now commonplace. A good insurance policy provides a vital safety net for riders now unable to rely on the police , but this can be complemented with imaginative bike theft countermeasures.

Win a smoke grenade boobytrap for your bicycle

Protect your shed – We have a smoke grenade boobytrap to give away. Simple leave us a comment below and we will pick a winner next week.

Don’t forget cycle insurance

Whatever bike theft countermeasures you put in place, don’t be without a good cycle insurance policy. With ETA cycle insurance, however old the bike, if it’s stolen you get enough to buy a new model. Furthermore, every cycle insurance policy you buy from us helps support the work of the ETA Trust, our charity campaigning for a cleaner, safer transport future. No wonder The Good Shopping Guide has voted us Britain’s most ethical insurance company three years in a row.



  1. Dan welch


    And a Go pro camera to film the culprits being covered in smoke!

  2. Ian Harvey


    Perfect my added security to my bikes stored in shed

  3. Angie Dodds


    Boom! Gotcha!

  4. John Haywood


    I’ve just got a new bike and am constantly nervous of leaving it outside my place of work so I’m definitely interested in this!

  5. Owain


    Great idea!

  6. Vivien Kitteringham


    Almost entirely satisfies my need for bike-thief revenge!

  7. Natalie


    Any deterrent to dastardly, disrespectful, opportunist and disruptive thefts is worth gambling on. I hope I win!

  8. Peter Chisnall



  9. Jim Clark


    Once again the police show they are there to protect thieves. You do know that if the thief hurts himself you will be arrested. I know this because I caught two in my garden They threatened me and my wife the police took no action, they complained about me and I was asked to attend a police interview four times under caution and taped, when I asked if I refuse they said they would take me. When I asked why no action was going to be taken against the two known thieves, they said it was a civil matter.
    Example 2. Where I worked in a remote area we has a store where we kept tools and equipment we thought it was secure with weldmesh under the roof and inside the windows, metal shutters on the outside, a metal door with a locked steel bar across the middle and a heavy duty padlock and hasp at top and bottom. Of course it got broken in to. What did the police say about our security measures. “This tells me there’s something in here worth stealing”. I was not very polite to him and asked whether we should have secured the door with a piece of pink ribbon done up with a bow and added people around here will steal an empty box just on the off chance it contains something.

  10. Bob Longhurst


    HA…..Smokey And The Bandit. Love it

  11. John doe


    Awesome – I love it!

  12. Lynne Harris


    What a simple idea. And at last something that gives you the last laugh on those bike thieves. They won’t be thinking of stealing another bike in hurry!

  13. Joel


    Good idea but as this only works in a confined space why not just wedge the smoke bomb in the shed and attach the lanyard to the bike? Saves messy around with the water bottle and easier for you to clip and unclip.

  14. Peter Clark


    Holy smoke!

  15. Matt R



  16. Mike Reddaway


    My bike is hidden within and locked to bushes in the front garden! The best I can do so a smoke bomb would be an added surprise if they come for the bike having taken the recycling bins a fortnight ago.

  17. Mark B


    Love this!

  18. Chris Johnson


    Gasping for one!

  19. Plevyadophy


    As long as it’s not all smoke and mirrors?! 😄

  20. Dawn Matter


    I just hope that if I win it I don’t forget it is there!

  21. Gabriel Maryan-Letch


    A great idea, love it!!

  22. Nick


    Geni-us in a bottle, let’s hope that the 40 thieves encounter smoke which is a little more herbal in nature and stay at home playing their x-boxes, then they can be A Lad In.

  23. Brian D


    We’re smokin!

  24. Mark Kuramoto-Headey


    Nice idea but…

    1) If it’s in your shed, why not just attach the smoke bomb to the shed, then all you have is a descrete trigger wire?

    2) Outside, on the street, while the smoke would draw attention, I would suspect that the open air and wind would lessen and deterent effect of the acrid smoke.

  25. Ben Pendery


    What I brill idea. Would love to use.

  26. Helen Taylor-Carter


    Thieves always look good in red. we’d spot them a mile away

  27. Christopher


    Pooof! And the thief is gone.

  28. zue acker


    I live in San Francisco where we have about 75,000 cyclists. There has been a 70%increase in theft since 2006. That means you are unlikely to meet a cyclist who has not had a bike stolen. Everything has to be locked down- seats/ wheels/ bells etc. Thieves actually cut through Kryptonite locks. So, my answer is to have a bike that doesn’t look too nice, but works fine. I like this idea – it’s cheap and looks like it would attract enough attention to scare them away. What happens if it’s in a public place? Does everyone have to deal with that acrid smoke?

  29. James Russell


    Smoke me a bicycle for breakfast..

  30. David Beacham


    no chance of forgetting that clip yourself huh? 🙂

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