If you’re on a budget, cycling can be a cost-effective way of getting to and from uni and around campus. Plus, it’s fun, and a great way to clear the mind after a day of lectures or a night of essay writing.
Unfortunately, bike theft is a common problem across universities so there are a few things to bear in mind to keep your ride safe.
Use a secure bike lock
First and foremost, get a good bike lock. We’d recommend a chain lock or D lock which are generally the most secure. But look out for the ‘Sold Secure’ rating too, this will give you an indication of the level of security the lock offers.
For instance, a Sold Secure Gold or Diamond rating offers the highest level of security, while a Sold Secure Bronze rating will typically protect against the opportunist thief. The lock you ultimately decide on may depend on the value of your bike and where/how long you tend to leave it. A few different options are below.
If you’re still unsure, take a look at our ‘Find your Lock’ page
Secure your accessories
When you look your bike up, you should attach the lock to the frame. But it’s also important to make sure you secure anything that can be easily removed, such as wheels or quick-release saddles. Some D locks come with an additional cable lock for this very reason (such as the Hiplok DXC). Or a second, more lightweight lock is always useful to carry with you, such as a Z LOK or compact cable lock such as Hiplok FX.
Take a look at our security tips, which will give you some useful advice on how to lock your bike.
Keep your bike out of sight
It may sound obvious, but don’t leave your bike outside your house or halls, if you can help it. Where possible take it inside or store it in a shed or garage out of sight.
That being said, when you are out and about and need to leave your bike, you are better to lock it up in a busy area with lots of footfall. A thief is more likely to try a steal a bike in a quiet area where know one is looking. It’s also worth trying to find a bike stand that is supported by CCTV coverage if possible, to add some further deterrence.
Photograph it/Report it/ Tweet it
Make sure you have some decent photos of your bike. If it’s stolen, report it to the university and the police as soon as possible and provide them with photos of your bike to help them with the search.
Keep an eye on selling websites such as eBay and Gumtree, in case the thief tries to sell it online.
And spread the word on social media, get your friends liking and sharing, and post on local Facebook pages. You might be surprised at what you get back.
If you use your bike often, whether as your mode of transport or for exercise it makes sense to insure it against theft. Dedicated cycling insurance companies, such as Pedalsure, provide insurance specifically for cyclists and their bikes, including bike theft, accidental damage and personal cover. So at least you have some peace of mind, should the worst happen.
We’d also suggest adding your bike details to a registration scheme, such as BikeRegister. It is effectively a national cycle database, approved and used by all UK police forces. You simply register your bike details with the database, which means you may well be reunited with your bike if it is stolen.