THEFT PROTECTION OF BICYCLES AND E-BIKES: WHAT YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO

The bicycle is one of the most popular means of transport for short and medium distances and has become particularly popular with commuters in urban areas. However, it seems all the more complicated to secure the environmentally friendly replacement of cars. Once left unobserved for a short time, the bicycle thief has already disappeared into the next side street. In 2018, 353,000 bicycle thefts were reported in Germany, of which 160,000 were insured bikes. The number of unreported cases is much higher. The high number of thefts and the professionalized approach show that it is not only possible to speak of petty thieves. Therefore, there are some tips that should be observed when securing bikes.

PREVENTION IS THE BEST PROTECTION

If you really want to steal a bike, you will manage in most cases. But there are simple but valuable tips that make the theft more difficult. The increased time required and small strategic refinements can prevent the bicycle theft.

  •  Connect instead of lock: Nothing seems more logical than securing the bike with a lock. But there are significant differences here. It is always recommended to lock the bike to the frame and the front and rear wheels to a solid object. Make sure that the bicycle with lock cannot be lifted over it.
  • Height of the bicycle lock: When attaching the lock, it is also advisable to make sure that it is connected quite high up, such as on the crossbar. Many thieves use a bolt cutter and benefit from their own body weight when breaking open the lock. The deeper the lock, the greater the leverage.
  • Secure accessories: Dismountable parts such as wheels can also be secured with the lock. For accessories such as bicycle lights,
  • Safety in a group: If you have several bikes, it is helpful if the bikes are also connected to each other. This increases the effort required to break the locks.
  •  Transport security: It is also advisable to connect the bikes when transporting them on the roof rack or trailer hitch. Waiting at traffic lights or during a short toilet break at the motorway service area has already led to some unpleasant surprises.
  • No force of habit: Especially when commuting to work or school, it makes sense to change your parking space again and again. This way, thieves cannot easily find out when and where the bike is regularly left unattended for several hours.
  •  Choice of location: Illuminated streets with busy public traffic provide additional protection for the bicycle. The inhibition threshold sinks in unobserved and dark side streets. In some cities there are already video-monitored bicycle garages where the bike can be safely parked. Please note the opening hours, as such garages close overnight, for example at universities.
  • Home advantage is no protection: Parking the bike in the backyard of your familiar surroundings always seems quite safe at first glance. But even the well-known neighbours sometimes have dubious acquaintances and even the postman may accidentally leave the door open. Therefore: safe is safe - so connect it properly at home.
  •  The dilemma of the combination lock: No matter how much it takes up your memory, you should not use birth years for combination locks. A four-digit numerical sequence beginning with 19 or 20 is cracked very quickly.
  •  Uniqueness: In most cases, the aim of bicycle theft is resale. The more distinctive the bicycle, the harder it is to resell at the flea market. Here, "keep your eyes open" also applies when buying a second-hand bicycle. Also the bicycle bargains you have gotten yourself should be checked. If a stolen bike is identified, the new bike must be returned to its original owner. The purchase price will most likely not be refunded by the illegal seller.

THE PAIN OF CHOOSING THE RIGHT BIKE LOCK

The motive of the thief is decisive for the influences the lock has to withstand. In the case of occasional offences, deterrence is usually sufficient, while targeted resale is often supported by tools such as bolt cutters and even jacks. The ADFC recommends that a lock should resist for at least 3 minutes.

  • U-locks: This type offers very high protection and is an efficient solution for locking the bicycle. Approximately 9 out of 10 attempted thefts can be prevented by using this type of lock. However, it is quite heavy and unwieldy to store.
  • Chain locks: Due to the movable perforated links, chaining to trees and various objects is possible without any problems. However, these locks are also up to 3 kg heavy.
  • Folding locks: Due to the mixture of robust material and sufficient flexibility they are a good alternative to the bulky locks. They are easy to store and can provide partial protection for several wheels.
  • Spiral locks: They are lightweight and very convenient to store and transport. The problem is the minimal protection they offer. Ideally they should be used as a complement to another lock.
  • Frame locks: These are used to block the rear wheel and are a kind of immobilizer. However, these locks can also be opened quickly and should only be used as a supplement.
  • Alternative methods: There are now a variety of solutions that complement, if not replace, traditional locks. Some trigger an acoustic signal to inform the surrounding area or even the owner. Others are connected to the smartphone. Also interesting are concepts of locks that emit a foul-smelling smell.

MEASURES IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY

Unfortunately, despite precautionary measures, the bicycle can be stolen. A detection rate of only 15.1% by the police is not a good prospect. However, to increase the chance that the bicycle will be recovered or compensation paid, the following tips are helpful:

  • Coding of the bicycle: An encrypted personal code can lead to the stolen bicycle being returned to its rightful owner if it is found. The numbering consists of information on the place, owner, address and year and can be identified by the police even without a database. The coding can be engraved or stuck on the frame. The ADFC offers such a coding for about 15 €, whereby there are discounts for members. More information can be found here.
  • Know bicycle facts: If the stolen bike luckily turns up again, the owner must be able to identify it. The frame number, make and special features help in this process. You can record such information in a bicycle passport, which you can obtain from the bicycle dealer, the police or the insurance company.
  • Clarify insurance cover: Bicycles and eBikes are covered by the household insurance if they are stolen from a closed garage or secured property. An additional clause extends the household insurance to cover theft on the open road. However, in the case of high-quality bicycles with, for example, a Pendix eDrive drive, bicycle insurance is also advisable, as the household insurance only covers a maximum of 5% of the insured household contents for an eBike outdoors. These insurances can be supplemented by a pick-up service and an all-round carefree package. You can find an overview of bicycle insurance providers here.
  • Report theft: Even though the rate of bicycle theft detection is low, it's worth reporting the theft to the police.

HOW DO I SECURE MY PENDIX BIKE

All the listed tips for anti-theft protection apply to conventional bicycles as well as eBikes. The Pendix eDrive also offers other advantages for theft protection.

  • Longer stays: Here it is especially recommended that the battery be removed. The Pendix ePower can be easily removed and put in your pocket with a small twisting motion. The new Pendix battery weighs only 1.4 kg and is especially light and in the ideal handbag format.
  • Put it down for a short time: A spiral lock or folding lock can additionally secure the battery to the bicycle. This is done with the pull-out clip underneath the battery, which can be tightly connected to the frame. The locks Trelock FS460,Abus Bordo Big and M-Wave lock cable are particularly suitable for this purpose.
  • Battery safes: A new trend are the so-called battery safes, which consist of either a plastic or metal housing and are used to store the battery on the bicycle.
  • Deception: If you want to attract less attention, you can also use the well-known method of deception. An old bag pulled over the battery or a worn out rubber boot will rarely let you suspect something valuable in it. However, you should not be observed while hiding.

HOW TO CONNECT BATTERY TO BIKE

This video shows you how you can easily lock the Pendix ePower to the frame of your bicycle.