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Bike security

Ever walked back to your bike to find it’s not there? Avoid that awful sinking feeling with some smart security.

Disc locks and in-built immobilisers

Your bike’s immobiliser and steering lock don’t do much. Thieves tend to know how to get past these easily enough. A disc lock is compact, easily transported and makes your bike marginally more trouble to nick. But most bikes can be lifted by two blokes and shoved in a van. They’ll have the disc lock off with a cold chisel in seconds. 

The feeble alarms fitted to most disc locks are barely worth it. There’s also always the risk of trying to ride off with it attached. A lanyard or warning device will help and train yourself to never put the key in the ignition until you remove the lock.


If you do opt for a disc lock, make sure to use the reminder lanyard and train yourself to remove the lock before putting the key in the ignition.


Once all the rage, few are fitted now. People often ignore them and they’ve caused many a roadside stranding. In fairness, failures were often down to poor DIY installation. Though even the best systems went wrong as they aged. Modern alarms are more reliable but choose a top system, approved and fitted by the dealership, and with a long warranty.


Simple but effective, chaining your bike to something immovable should prevent it being taken. Route it through the frame or similar and not round an easily unbolted wheel.

Choose a chain with a Sold Secure rating. The best is thick, toughened steel over 19 mm thick, so it 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 for extra 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.

Ground anchors

At home, chain your bike to a good ground anchor. Set it in reinforced concrete or screw in using non-removable bolts, eg with steel-ball inserts.