Stop the thief! Surely it has happened to you that your bike wasn't where you left it. Theft is annoying, so we give you tips on how best to avoid it.
You know it, I know it, we know it. You just wanted to get a bag of rolls, didn't lock your bike properly, or it just happened: your bike was stolen. Super annoying! We would like to give you uncomplicated tips here so that this does not happen to you (anymore).
1. The right lock
Everything stands and falls with the right lock. Many bikes already have a spoke lock – often on the rear wheel – integrated. While this may seem practical at first glance, these locks are unfortunately very easy to bend and pick. Of course you can still use it, but we recommend that you secure your bike with an additional lock.
The Police Crime Prevention recommends folding, padlocks and chain locks. Pay particular attention to their thickness and stability. Thin chains and brackets can be cracked just as easily with combination pliers as the integrated spoke lock. The castle should also be large or long enough to fit a lamppost between them!
If you are interested in technology, maybe a smart lock is something for you! With an app you lock and unlock the lock, which is permanently attached to your bike. Some smart locks even set off an alarm should someone tamper with them.
2. Use your lock!
Now that you have a secure lock, the next step is to lock it. But that's not all, you should lock up your bike to a lantern, a fence, your partner's bike (only if you're also leaving together 😉) or to the bike stand. Your bike cannot even be removed from the location now - perfect!Well, unless the thief is very strong. Or very determined.
3. Park inside
If you have the opportunity, park your bike in the bicycle cellar, hallway or a parking facility. That way the thief can't even get a hold of the bike. But even if you can park your bike inside, you should lock it up somewhere if possible. In some cities there are also practical bicycle boxes that you can rent via app. This is particularly useful for safely storing your bike overnight.
4. Change parking location
A cool bike sitting in the same place at the same time every day draws attention. You should get into the habit of changing your bike location as often as possible, if possible. Thieves can then no longer rely on finding your bike on the side street at 3 a.m. on Thursday – and taking it with them. It also makes sense to park the bike within line of sight, for example so that you can see it out the window.
5. Register your bike
You have a new bike, where are you going first? To the police, of course, to register your bike in your name. You have to bring proof of purchase, your identity card and of course the bike with you. Registration is free in most cases. The police will place a highly visible sticker with a number or laser code on your bike. With this number, the bike can be assigned to only you. Bicycles with registration are therefore not interesting for thieves. You should also get a bicycle pass - there is one also as an app. This allows you to send your data to the police and your insurance company immediately if your bike gets stolen.
Many household contents insurance policies include bicycle theft protection. It is best to speak to your insurance company directly about this when you have bought a new bike. This insurance cover often has to be booked additionally. In the event of a theft, you will get a part of the purchase price refunded. That's why you should always insist on proof of purchase (even for used bikes that you bought privately or from a bike shop) and keep it safe.
7. Mess it up!
If you don't care about the look of your bike, or you like "true vintage" bikes with an "extreme used look" - let it rust. Put a massive amount of stickers on it. Make it dirty. Spray paint it. Get really creative. And then drive the thing until it falls apart because no one is going to want to steal it 😉.