... but avoid using an expensive bike as your everyday city bike

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If you have the storage space available, why not buy a used bike for everyday use around the city? Being second hand already, it can be used and abused on a daily basis without loosing too much of its value, and it can be left locked up almost anywhere without undue concern about it being stolen. An older, cheaper bike is not only less attractive to thieves, but it also matters less if it is stolen. A mechanically sound but visually tatty second hand bike is ideal for this purpose.

Fitting very sensible accessories such as mudguards and a luggage rack could also make the bike less stealable because it will be less easy to sell: the sort of person who buys a stolen bike from a dodgy bloke on a street corner for £20 is the sort of person who wants a shiny-looking, generic modern bike, and would not even consider an old road bike with mudguards, a child seat and a bell fitted, especially if these made it more distinctive and recognisable to its owner.

If you do use an expensive bike on a regular basis you absolutely must use at least one expensive lock - and preferably two of different types, so that even a thief equipped to cut a chain lock will be defeated by the D-lock, or vice-versa. Also, do not lock an expensive bike in the same place every day. Much better to lock it in a variety of places in order to defeat a pre-planned theft.

posted on Sunday 30th June 2013 by Jake Voelcker

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