Cycling is not only an inexpensive way to get around the city or to get to campus, but also a fantastic method of exercise. Unfortunately, bike thefts are a reality in any urban setting such as Calgary. Particularly during the warmer months of the year, an increase in bike thefts is not uncommon. However, there are many ways you can reduce the chance of bike thefts.
Here are some tips from BikeCalgary.org to improve your bike security:
- Choose a good lock. When it comes to bike locks, you get what you pay for and a good bike lock is less costly than replacing a bike. They may be cheaper, but flimsy wire and cable locks are easily cut. U-locks, O-locks, D-locks, and square-link heavy chain locks are the best bang for your buck. Big U-locks with lots of space are easy to break open, so choose smaller ones made of hardened steel. Research the best lock for you online or visit a bike shop to speak to a specialist about locks.
- Use multiple locks if you can. Cable locks can make good secondary locks, particularly when put through both wheels.
- Pick a visible area to lock your bike in. Although bikes can be stolen in broad daylight with people around, thieves prefer to work in low profile areas.
- Carefully choose the object you’re locking your bike to. Don’t lock to the sides of bike racks, which can be unbolted easily, lock in the middle of the bike rack.
- Avoid locking only your wheel to the bike rack – especially with quick release wheels – as a thief can easily disconnect the bike from the wheel and leave it behind.
- Instead, lock your bike so that the lock runs through:
- either the main triangle formed by seat-tube, top-tube, and down-tube, OR the rear triangle formed by the seat-tube, chain stays, and seat stays;
- the rims of BOTH wheels; and
- the object you’re locking your bike to. Position the keyhole of the lock downwards, if possible, to make it harder to drill through.
- Disguise your bike. Expensive brands and newer-looking bikes are easy targets. Cover logos with electrical or duct tape.
- While September and October are prime bike-theft months, there is a risk of theft year-round. Try to leave expensive bikes at home.
- Record serial numbers. A serial number is a key piece of identifying information for the police to use when attempting to recover a stolen bike. These are usually located on the bottom frame of most bikes.
- Take photos of your bike occasionally. Record components and specs for easy identification.
- Register your bike with the Calgary Police Bike Index to aid in returning recovered stolen bikes.
- Visit BikeCalgary.org. This resource includes in-depth bike security tips as well as information about how to get around the City’s network of bikeways.
If you have any questions or concerns about bike security, please reach out to Rob Williams, Manager, Security & Emergency Services, at 403-410-1424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.