How to lock your bicycle

cycle theft

Bike thieves are, for the most part, specialists; they target particular cycle racks at particular times and, if stealing from your shed, will overlook other valuable items in favour of a bicycle. From a thief’s perspective, it’s pretty much the perfect crime; most bicycles are easy to steal, difficult to trace and a breeze to sell on.
Having a bicycle stolen is at best an inconvenience, but it’s also demoralising and if the bike is not covered by insurance, at worst it can mean that victims of theft give up on cycling for good.

How to lock your bicycle

How a thief plans to steal your bike

Lifting: If you lock your bicycle to an ‘unclosed’ structure such as a street sign, be prepared for thieves to stand on each others shoulders to try and lift it over the top. Another risk is that the post itself is not properly secured to the ground and can be simply lifted clear of your bicycle and lock.

Levering: Leave as little room as possible between your bicycle frame and lock as this makes it harder for thieves to insert crowbars or car jacks.

Striking: Avoid fitting your lock so that it rest on the ground as this makes it easier for thieves to strike it with a hammer.

Cutting: There is no lock on the market that can withstand attack by thief equipped with an angle grinder – this fact alone is a good reason to get cycle insurance.

Thieves would far sooner take a bike with flimsy security than tackle a gold standard lock. Invest as much as you can afford in your lock and learn to use it properly  – insurers specify that it needs to secure the bike frame for good reason. Don’t worry too much about getting the lock around the wheels or other bike parts as the best insurance policies will cover them against theft whether they are locked or not (see

ETA cycle insurance

Ethical  insurance

Not only are we Britain’s most ethical insurance company, we campaign for sustainable transport. Sometimes that means protesting until a school gets the zebra crossing they’ve been refused or running 60 roadshows this year to encourage people out of their cars, or fixing bicycles for free. We also launched Green Transport Week and helped establish Car Free Day and Twenty’s Plenty to name just a few. We’ve been campaigning for sustainable transport in this way for over 27 years with the help of people like you. Supporting this work is easy – you simply have to take out insurance with us. Home insurance, cycle insurance, travel insurance and breakdown cover and we take care of the rest. We provide an excellent level of cover while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.

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