Bike lock guide

How to lock your bike safely & securely

When locking your bike, there are a few basic things you need to know. You may have a Gold, Sold Secure rated lock, but this won’t be enough of a deterrent for potential thieves if you don’t know how to use it correctly.

You may be thinking, ‘How hard can it be to lock a bike up securely?’ – but you’d be surprised how many people get it wrong.

This clip explains how to lock your bike securely, and we’ve compiled a list of six bike lock tips below. With our help, locking your bike securely will become second nature.

Lock your bike to something secure

It sounds simple, but this catches many cyclists out.

Make sure you attach your bike to something that can’t be moved, lifted or easily broken.

For example, a scaffolding pole may require a hefty chainsaw to cut through it, but it only needs a couple of tools to loosen the joint and lift the pole. Another good example is mesh fencing – this may look big and bold, but a pair of wire cutters could cut through it pretty easily.

Remember, your bike is only as secure as what you are attaching it to.

Choose a good location

Some thieves are simply invited to try and steal a bike – so don’t give them that invitation by locking yours in a secure location.

Ideally, you should lock your bike in a well-lit area where people are constantly passing by, so that any suspicious activity doesn’t go unnoticed. If you notice any CCTV cameras, lock your bike close by if possible.

Lock your bike up efficiently

Don’t lock your bike half-heartedly. If you’re going to do it, make sure you do it properly.

Lock the frame, front and back wheel to the object you have secured it to. If you only have one lock, remove the front wheel, and then lock both together with the frame.

You must also ensure the U-Lock is securely fastened and not left hanging loose between the bike and object you’ve locked it to. This gives potential thieves more room to manoeuvre in and around your bike to create enough leverage to force open the lock.

Now you know how best to use the lock, find out more about how to buy the best bike lock.

Have two different locks, not just one

Different locks essentially make it harder for a thief.

Two different types of locks mean that thieves will need to use two different types of tools to prise them open. While possible, it’s highly unlikely they will be carrying high-end tools which can open both your locks. One U-Lock and a chain lock is a worthy adversary for any bike thief.

Remove accessories

If you can, take all your accessories with you. After all, a bike is far less appealing without lights and wheels attached to it.

A lot of thieves steal bikes and ride off on them – which sounds so easy. If you remove the seat post too, it makes it incredibly hard for a thief to take off and be gone in a flash.

Remember, if you’re worried, you can get insurance for your cycling accessories.

Keep evidence of the lock

To support any potential claims you may need to make, you need to keep proof of purchase of your lock(s).

Once you’ve purchased the lock, you need to keep the receipt as proof of purchase. You should also keep any packaging and take photographs of the lock. This should clearly show the make of lock.

Our cycling insurance is provided by Cycleplan, part of Ripe. We aim to give our customers the best advice with our expert knowledge to help them in any way we can. Although we provide cover to protect yourself should something go wrong, we are also here to help prevent things going wrong. Lock your bike safely and securely every time with our top tips.

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