You’re the proud new owner of a cargo bike – woohoo! If you’re like most folks, one of your first thoughts after having made this awesome investment into elevating your life is how to make sure it stays yours. Sure, there is bike and home owners insurance, but ultimately, preventing theft is key. Here are some tips on how to keep it safe and secure so you’ll be riding for years to come!
WHERE to lock up your bike
- Pick a high traffic area. For example, a bike rack right outside the grocery store or on the sidewalk where plenty of passersby are walking. Stealing a properly secured bike is a pretty obvious act so take advantage of areas where good Samaritans are more likely to see and call authorities.
- Pick an immovable object. Your bike is only as secure as the object you lock it to. You want to find a bike rack that is solid and cannot be lifted out of the ground or easily unbolted. Make sure the object you are locking to has not been compromised. One way thieves steal from bike racks is by having a cut hidden under a piece of duct tape on a rack. Make sure the rack doesn’t have any weak spots in it such as a cut or loose bolts. Signs, benches and trees are not secure enough to lock bikes to. A determined thief with a friend could easily lift a 70 lbs. bike over a sign post. Even if the bike cannot be lifted over the sign, thieves have poles they call “sucker poles”. There are poles that thieves have made easy to remove before anyone has even locked their bike to it. They will come back to these poles to see if there is a bike ready for the taking. So rider beware!
- Use a minimum of two thick locks. We recommend locks that are so thick they would require a grinder to cut through them. Any lock that can be cut with bolt cutters would not be a secure lock for a cargo bike.
- Don’t give away clues as to how long you will be away from your bike. If you are heading into a movie and lock your bike up right outside the theater, a thief can make the educated guess that they have some time to work on stealing your bike. If you will be away from your bike for an extended period of time, lock your bike up some place where folks are coming and going from the bike rack often.
- When possible, lock your bike up where you can keep an eye on it. While not necessary, this is never a bad idea. If grabbing lunch, going to the pool or stopping by the park, try to lock your bike up where you can see it. Goodness forbid someone tries to steal your bike and people in the area don’t intervene, you surely will be able to.
HOW to lock up your bike
- Lock the front wheel and frame to a secure object. At bare minimum, this should be your go-to lock-up method. Use a heavy coated chain lock or U-lock and lock the bike frame and front wheel to the fixed object. Be sure you have the lock going through the wheel AND frame AND the immovable object. If you only lock your front wheel to a bike rack, the frame could be easily removed and the wheel left behind with the lock. If you only lock your frame, someone could easily take your front wheel. While less devastating than getting your whole bike stolen, this would surely not make your day.
- Lock the back wheel to the frame. The goal here is to have a hidden lock behind your bags or WheelSkirts that locks the back wheel to the bike frame. A simple U-lock can get the job done. This will make the bike impossible to wheel away without cutting a second lock if the front lock is removed.
- Remove the easy-to-steal-ables. If you are going to be inside a shop for more than a few minutes, we recommend removing anything that is easy to pilfer off of your bike. While a bike thief might not find stealing your bike worth the effort, a run of the mill jerk might want to just be mean and steal something small off the bike like a book from your front bag. EdgeRunner 10e, 9e and 8e owners can additionally remove their battery and Intuvia display to bring those items with them when they lock up their bike to deter thieves further. (For eSwoop and eClassic owners this is not an option since the Purion display is not removable and the battery requires uninstalling the Hooptie to remove).
Additional measures for theft prevention
Preventing your bike from getting stolen is the most important factor in keeping your bike yours. Once stolen, recovery can be difficult. Here are some additional security measures to take from the get-go:
- Write down your bike’s serial number and if it’s a Bosch bike, the key code as well.
- Register your bike on our website so we have a record of your serial number: https://www.xtracycle.com/registration/
- Have pictures of your bike saved somewhere, goodness forbid it’s ever stolen.
- Register your bike with BikeGuard and install BikeGuard stickers on your ride: https://www.myassettag.com/bike/
- Look into bike insurance. While understandably biased, this information from Velosurance (a bike insurance provider) can be helpful: https://velosurance.com/information-center/bicycle-insurance-mistakes-and-misconceptions/