Every year hundreds of thousands of bikes are stolen in Germany alone. Only in Berlin over 30.000 bikes are going missing, the targets being both new and old bikes. Sadly most of them never come back and a large quantity are being stripped and sold part by part.
The solution for many is plain and simply to take the bike with them into their flat or house. For some, this had become a ritual and hence the rise in the market for products that hang bikes on the wall of your flat. But for most of us this is option is not practical. Flexibility and the cleanliness and foremost the weight stops us from carrying it up and most elevators are just too small. This is also an important issue with e-bikes, where the weight is significantly higher than your average bike.
So what can you do to protect your beloved bike? How can you protect your treasure & life companion from theft? After all, it probably has a comfortable saddle, you just bought new lights for it and perhaps like a lot of us, you’ve also chosen a special design. There are no 100% safe locks. But today there are new ways to make sure that it is at least very difficult for thieves to steal your bike.
The solution is to make it as difficult as possible for the thief, so your bike is no longer seen as easy money. Important to keep in mind is also that the bike next to yours, probably have no protection at all. Every little thing helps to protect what you love.
These are by no means an extensive guide, but merely direct suggestions as recommended by not only the police, but also by bike thieves who have chosen the better side.
Choose a bright, well-frequented places to leave your bike.
When you lock it with your D-lock, make sure you lock it to something. Also make sure that something can not be removed. It’s also been shown that if it's difficult to get to the lock then a thief might not be able to access it with power tools.
Never trust the seconds. Opportunity theft makes up almost half of all theft. Make sure when you enter a shop, you lock up properly. Modern bikes are light and can be carried away with ease.
Expensive is not always better, but make sure you use somewhere close to the 20% rule. That means that your overall protection should be around 20% of the value of the bike. However, if your bike is a 100€ bike, then a 20€ lock will not do. A stable D-Lock, or a chain with a square section linkages and a proper padlock is the minimum.
Secure your saddle with a Saddle Lock and the Wheels with a Wheel Lock. Remove the Quick Release directly and initially replace with Security Skewers with Hex Bolt. Additionally secure them with something like Hexlox. Anything that will be an obstruction for the thief will make him move to the next bike, which is probably less safe than yours. Even if the thief manage to throw your bike into a truck and later work on it, having secured all your parts will make it a real hassle for him. Even for thieves, time is money and the safer you can make it, the more likely the thief will move onto the next bike. A very important point is also that if your saddle and wheels are individually secured, then if the thief resells the bike, it's clear it was stolen.
If you store your bike in the basement make sure it's also locked to something. Perhaps you have other bikes or a shelf etc. Make it difficult for the thief to just carry it out and then break your lock somewhere else. Even the strongest thief will not be happy carrying two bikes up the stairs.
Mark your bike. Make sure it's clear that its protected and safe. If you are using protection also for your saddle and wheels etc, make sure the thief sees this. The harder it will be for him to strip the bike later, the less likely he will take it.