Making Your Bikes Safe & Secure
A bicycle represents a significant investment, especially if you spring for one of the pricier models. Therefore, your bike’s security should be a major concern.
Most bike owners view security as something to worry about when out in the street. But statistics show that upwards of 50% of all bike thefts actually occur in the home.
Having a bike shed is a step in the right direction when it comes to securing your bicycle. But, just having a shed isn't enough. This guide will show you what you need to consider when choosing a bike shed to ensure bike safety.
Carrying out a home security assessment
When considering security options, you first have to determine what your security needs are. The first thing to consider is your location. Is your home located in an insecure neighbourhood?
If crime is a problem, especially home break-ins, then you need a robust security system. Be on the lookout for news of bike thefts on your neighbourhood social media pages.
You should also consider how isolated your home is. All things being constant, it is safer to live in a more densely populated area with close-by neighbours than to be isolated.
Is there a police post nearby, or, is the area regularly patrolled by police? If not, then security should be a major concern. Knowing your home’s security needs helps you make informed decisions regarding bike safety.
Avoiding unwanted attention
Almost every culture has a version of the ‘prevention is better than cure’ proverb. Security is not just about thwarting criminals during a theft attempt, it is also about preventing criminal attention.
The best way to do this is not to call attention to the fact that there is a bike stored in your shed. It helps to avoid making public social media posts showcasing your bike if insecurity is a problem in your neighbourhood.
Also, avoid apps like Strava that use GPS tracking to share your biking routes publicly. These create a trail that leads back to your home.
Don't store your bike where it is visible from outside the shed. You can go a step further by using frosted windows so that your shed contents can’t be seen from outside.
While there is no foolproof way to prevent a dedicated criminal from knowing that you have a bike, these tips will save you from opportunistic attacks.
Choosing your bike shed material
Shed security is heavily dependent on the type of material that your shed will be made of. When buying a shed, you have three options to choose from: wood, plastic and metal. Each of these has its own pros and cons, and all can offer high-level security.
Pros and cons of a plastic bike shed
Plastic is one of the more popular modern bike shed materials. As an external structure, manufacturers will ensure that they use reinforced and other strong and durable forms of plastic when manufacturing plastic bike sheds. These can thwart most attempts to use brute force to breach the shed.
Most plastic sheds from reputable manufacturers will also come with adequate security measures such as secure locks. The main disadvantage of buying a plastic bike shed is that the security measures cannot be easily upgraded. It is very hard to replace or add locks to a plastic shed. So, if insecurity is a major problem in your neighbourhood, a plastic shed might be an inadequate measure.
Pros and cons of a wooden bike shed
Wood is a strong and robust building material. There are a lot of options to choose from when selecting the type of wood to make your shed from, you can opt for stronger material to boost security.
The best-selling point for wooden bike sheds is their customizability. You can start by buying a wooden shed with basic security features and make upgrades that will make it almost impenetrable. You can add locks, replace existing locks with more secure options, and even add a security bar to a wooden bike shed.
Locks and hinges are the areas most targeted by criminals. With locks, all you need to do is to replace basic ones with top-tier models. You can make changes to the hinges, such as placing them inside the shed where they are inaccessible from the outside. You can use stronger hinges or reinforce the existing ones. It won't be expensive to find a professional to help you with this.
Pros and cons of a metal bike shed
Plastic and wooden bike sheds are secure options, but if security is of the utmost importance to you, then you can’t do better than a metal shed. Metal sheds are built with security in mind.
The material is almost impossible to breach by using brute force, and there are no glaring weak points for criminals to target. Of course, this security comes at a cost. Metal bike sheds are the most expensive to buy. But the security they offer is unparalleled.
Securing your bike inside the shed
It is important to view a bike shed as the first line of defence, and not as the sole security measure. In the event the shed is breached, having additional security measures can thwart an attack, helping you turn what seems like a defeat into a win.
The best way to secure your bike inside the shed is with a ground or wall anchor. This is a metal fixture fastened to the shed that you can use to lock your bike against. It helps to have a concrete floor if you want a secure floor anchor. Bike locks and a robust security chain will also go a long way to better secure your bike.
Insure your bike
Ultimately, no security system can give you a 100% guarantee. A determined and savvy criminal enterprise can bypass the latest security measures. You should consider what would happen when the worst occurs and your bike is stolen. The best way to do this is by insuring your bike. This way, you will be compensated in case of loss.