If you’ve ever walked back to your pride and joy to find it’s not there, you’ll never forget the feeling in the pit of your stomach. Bike theft may not be as common in New Zealand as some countries, but it’s on the rise.
Luckily, there’s plenty of equipment that can help keep your bike secure. The best move of all, however, is to always park it in a secure place.
Starting at the bottom, a disc lock is compact, easily transported and makes your bike marginally more trouble to nick. That’s about it.
Two blokes can lift most bikes and shove them in a van. They’ll have the disc lock off with a cold chisel before the van’s engine has fired up.
The feeble ‘alarms’ fitted to most disc locks are barely worth the expense.
Your bike’s immobiliser (thieves tend to know how to bypass these) and steering lock is not enough. A disc lock adds a tiny extra line of defence. But the risk of trying to ride off without detaching it makes it a very marginal purchase. Some come with lanyards and warning devices - use them. And train yourself to never put the key in the bike until you’ve removed the disc lock.
All the rage in the nineties, few are fitted now. People end up ignoring them and they led to many a roadside stranding.
To be fair, much of the latter was down to poor DIY installation. But not always. Sometimes even the best systems went wrong as they aged.
Modern alarms are more reliable but always go for a top system, approved and fitted by the dealership, and with a long warranty.
Basic but effective, chaining your bike to something immovable should keep it where you left it. Ensure you chain it through the frame or similar and not round an easily unbolted wheel.
Look for a chain with a ‘Sold Secure’ rating. The best chains are thick, toughened steel - over 19 mm thick won’t fit in the jaws of standard bolt cutters. The steel should be hex or square section - round is easier to cut. Links should be covered to prevent damage and offer additional security.
If you can, keep chains off the ground to hinder leverage.
On the move, you’ll need a lighter chain you can keep with you. Again, look for ‘Sold Secure’ or similar ratings.
Chain your bike at home to a good ground anchor. It should be set in reinforced concrete or screw in using non-removable bolts such as steel-ball inserts.