Bike Theft: Why You Need GPS
If you’re a bike owner, it’s high time you consider buying a tracking device to prevent bike theft. While size and portability make the bike a great means of transportation in cities with traffic congestion, these features also make bikes the popular target of thieves. The highest rate of bike thefts take place in London. In the United Kingdom alone, about 376,000 cases of bike theft are reported each year—that’s about one in every ninety seconds! What’s worse is, only a small percentage of stolen bikes are recovered. Thieves have improved their methods; you should too.
Knowing how rampant bike theft is these days, use a GPS bike tracker.
Proper Ways to Secure Your Bike
Experts claim that the jump in bike theft is due to the growing popularity of cycling to work. Organized gangs also appear to be a factor. Mountain bikes are the most popular among thieves, making up 48% of all bike thefts in the past years, followed by hybrid bicycles and road bikes. Another disturbing trend is the average price of bikes stolen. Through the years, statistics show that thieves are becoming more aware of the nuances of the bicycle market and are targeting higher-end bikes. To minimize the chances of becoming a victim of bike theft, we recommend these basic steps to prevent your bike from thieves.
1. Buy the best approved lock your money can buy.
No lock can guarantee that a bike won’t get stolen, but the more money that is invested in a sturdy lock, the longer it will take for a thief to run off with the bike. Bicycle thieves look for the easiest lock to break when they are looking to steal a bike, which makes cheap-looking locks a thief magnet. Two of the more trusted and widely used lock options are a D or U lock, or a thick cable lock. It is also recommended that cyclists lock both the bike frame and the wheels to the immovable object, so investing in 2 sturdy locks may be another good idea.
2. Always lock the bike.
Whether running into a store for a quick stop or parking outside a friend’s house, cyclists should make sure the bicycle is always securely locked. This may sound simple enough, but many cyclists tend to feel too comfortable with their surroundings and, even if only momentarily, let their theft prevention guard down, thinking their bike is safe. Remember, thieves can be anywhere. Some even target high-income or high-traffic areas. Always have your guard up and secure your bike wherever you leave it.
3. Lock your bike right.
These catches so many cyclists out. You may have bought the best lock in town and made sure you always lock your bike whenever you leave it, but are you still locking only the wheel to the rack?
When locking the bike up, cyclists should be sure to lock it “steel to steel,” meaning the lock should be around the bicycle frame and the sturdy metal object it is being secured to. Your frame is the most valuable part of your bike. Secure your frame, not just the wheel.
Use a U lock as your primary lock. Cables and chains can be used as secondary security for wheels and other removable parts, but they can pretty easy to snip, says a former bike thief. “Use a small D lock on front and back wheels [looping through the frame as well]. If your lock can be moved about, that means the thief’s bolt cutters can get around them. At the right angle, they won’t. Stiff D locks are hard to snip because you need the right angle on the cutters to get the force to close them.”
Lock to permanent fixtures such as a bike rack. Sign posts may be loose. Railings may be broken. Trees may be cut, and repeatedly locking to trees harms trees too. Do yourself a favor and double-check whether what you’re locking to is locked to the ground or not.
Don’t leave your bike in one place for long amounts of time. Unscrupulous eyes may be coveting a bike that’s locked in the same place day after day.
4. Pick wisely where you lock the bike.
Secure it in a well-lit area where people are constantly passing. But more importantly, keep an eye out for CCTV and lock it close by. A former bike thief said, “There is a thing what we would call London rings or hot spots, where bike security seemed to be less of a problem. The more central you got the worse the locks, where people let their guard down more.
“Going out of London, locks would get better and locations fewer, so the time and effort put in would not be worth it. Borough of Islington, Hackney, West End and the central mile were our hunting grounds. The more CCTV and people the better. People are like sheep; they feel safe and pay less attention when they’re together.”
Using a GPS Tracking Device to Prevent Bike Theft
Bike locks are usually based upon tools needed and time taken to break them. Gold-rated locks are the hardest to get through, but no lock is completely indestructible. Also, only a few recovered bicycles are returned to their rightful owners often because of the proof-of-ownership problem. Surveys indicate that most cyclists do not know their bicycle serial number, nor can they provide legal evidence of bicycle ownership, such as a purchase receipt. As a result, the police cannot return many recovered bikes to their owners and, instead, store them until they can be checked as roadworthy and donated to charity or sold at auction.
Now that technology has improved vehicle security, arm your bicycle with GPS tracking devices. Trackers like Easytrack’s GPS tracker protect your bike against theft, providing you peace of mind by allowing you to track your bicycle at any time. Trackers consist of an accessory, which is attached to the bike, and a phone app. With the app, the owner is able to trace the bike and use it to alert the police to where the bike is being brought to.
Easytrack is a motion-activated GPS tracking device, which means that tracking will be activated only when a movement is detected; otherwise, it will just sleep and save your battery, enough to help you retrieve your bike in case of bike theft.