Bike Security Tips

Bike Security tips and hints from the Net

What's the best way to store my bike? (thank you for the contribution from - 3rd Jan 2010

When looking for a good quality bike store there are several things to look for:
Do you need regular access? 
If you are a regular biker (commuter) you will want easy access to your bike. This could be as simple as buying a simple bike rack for around £15 from Argos hanging in the garage.  But, like a lot of people these days you may not have a garage or you may have a car in it!  The answer would be a dedicated outside bike store of some description.
There seems to have been an explosion of these bike stores in the last 12 months or so.  Since the government launched their cycle to work scheme everybody seems to have a bike (Halfords reportedly sold 3 million bikes last year).
So, what are the options?
Nothing but a cheap lock:
A cheap chain can be cut in seconds with a simple bolt cutter. Lock your wheel to the wall and the thief will take the wheel off and take the rest. Lock the frame to the wall and the thief will take the wheels. If it can be seen it can be stolen.
Plastic sheet
Great if you have a secure back garden or yard. A couple of bungee ropes around it will help to keep the sheet on the bike in the wind! The sheet keeps the seat nice and dry.  Not a lot of security though.  If the budget is tight, try the plastic sheet with a ground anchor for around 50 quid you bolt a metal loop to a concrete base, then loop the heavy duty chain around your bike and through the metal loop (these are usually used for motorbikes but for some reason are often cheaper than the special cycle equivalent. Look for anchors that are sold secure standard these are really strong and near impossible to cut through.
Wooden shed
Good for keeping your bike dry, though the level of security isn't high.  Wooden sheds and wooden bike stores are very easy to break into.  When looking at a wooden shed, 1st check the lock.  A hasp and staple really offers very little deterrent to a thief. No matter how good your padlock is, most thieves will simply force the hasp off the door with out ever touching the padlock. Wooden sheds will also require regular maintenance, every 12 months or so you will need to apply wood preservative to the panelled sides, then every 5 years or so re-felt the roof.  In the long term  you may find a cheap wooden shed has a high long term running cost.  Wood burns, there could be nothing worse than seeing your prized 3 grand bike burn inside a £100 shed because your teenage son has a sneaky cigarette in there!
Metal sheds
These offer the best all-round security to store your bike. However, you do tend to get what you pay for. A cheap metal shed can actually be worse than a wooden shed!
When looking at metal sheds check the following:
  • Does it have an integral base? - Essential.
  • How does it lock? - Avoid hasp and staples.
  • How is the unit fixed together? - If the screws are on the outside a thief can just take your shed apart look for internal screws.
  • British-made or import? - UK manufacturers work to better quality standards by law, but imported sheds are not necessarily as good quality.
  • Accessories? Do you need shelves or hooks? For your helmet and other gear  and often overlooked but very handy for wet clothes to dry on after a tough winter ride.
  • What type of metal is the shed made from?? Look for galvanised steel, with a warranty against rust.  Also check the gauge of the steel avoid corrugated materials.
  • How heavy is the unit? - You don't want it to tip or be kicked over
  • Do you really need a store with LCPBcertification? - Such a shed will cost you more than £600  if it's just for a £250 bike it's a waste: for a £6000 carbon bike then yes, it's a worthwhile purchase.
What do others think? - Check the internet for feed back. Try for real life reviews of products and service and check the manufacturers site for a feedback or case studies section?
Shed security: 1  why does your shed need to be secure?
  • One of the main reasons to buy a shed or outdoor storage unit is for the security of knowing that your garden tools and other possessions are safe and secure from theft.
  • Thieves will seize anything they can sell, including patio furniture, ornaments, and electrical equipment, such as lawnmowers and pressure washers.
  • Bike theft is also unfortunately on the increase. The 'Cycle to work' scheme has seen a huge rise in bike sales so there are many more bikes to steal.
  • Unfortunately, too, a thief will often break into your shed for your tools, then useyourtools to break into your house.
How can you prevent these kinds of losses?
Thieves like garden tools and equipment because they are often easy to sell and difficult to trace. Clearly marking items with your postcode using an approved identification kit can deter thieves - especially when you use window stickers which warn that your possessions are marked.

Asgard top tips to improve security are:

  • Look at your garden shed, garage or workshop through the eyes of a potential thief - how easy would it be for you to break in and remove valuable tools or equipment?
  • Be aware of security issues when choosing your shed.
  • Use your local community and the advice of the police to guide you in protecting your possessions.
Shed security: 2  What features does a shed need to be secure?
In our previous post we looked at the reasons why your shed needs to be secure.  Whether you already have a shed or garden storage unit or are thinking of buying one, here are some tips on what to look for in a shed to ensure you have secure and safe storage:
  • Make sure all your garden equipment is secured in a strong unit with an adequate locking mechanism.
  • Bicycle storage is becoming very important. A metal bike shed is by far the best option. If you have a particularly expensive bike, or a lot of bikes, you should consider a dedicated metal bike shed. If you already have or want to have a wooden shed then keep your tools in this and your bike in a metal shed.
  • Look for units that offer at least three-point locking systems (five-point locks are even better)
  • Look for approved locking systems such as LPCB approved units
  • Locks with hasp and staples are too weak. Try for a drill-proof cylinder lock, choose pick-resistant locks for the best quality.
  • For real security choose units that are made from a strong material such as brick or metal, not wood, which is much weaker.
  • Be wary of lightweight units which are often made from corrugated iron, and have either no base at all or one made of or a PVC material, which offers little protection from theft or from the elements.
  • Consider the long-term life of your shed. Wood is often cheaper but will require constant maintenance. A metal construction will last years with little or no maintenance. Check that metal sheds are galvanised, which means they are weatherproof.
  • Ensure your shed has a floor. No matter how good your lock is, if a thief can just lift up your shed to gain access, then it is useless.
  • Ensure your shed or garden store can be bolted to the ground. If the shed can't be moved it is much more secure.
  • Think safety - If you have young children or pets look for sheds that have been finished correctly. Often cheap imports are badly finished with dangerous sharp edges on the outside. UK-made products adhere to stringent safety standards.
  • Look for sheds with reinforced doors. Doors are often the weakest point of a storage unit and can be prone to being 'kicked in'.
  • Avoid felt roofs, which offer no protection at all. Look for roofs that have been reinforced or bolted onto the shed body.
  • Don't have a shed with external hinges, as a thief can remove these in seconds with a simple screwdriver
Shed security: 3  What can you do to ensure your garden tools, sports and play equipment stay secure?
Once you've ensured your shed or storage unit is as secure as it can be (see above). It's important to use it!

Simple security tips


  • Ensure you remove any objects which could allow a thief to work unobserved - overgrown bushes or trellis work may provide a handy screen behind which a thief could hide.
  • Mark all your equipment with your name and postcode to help the Police identify your property in the event of theft
  • If you have a shed, it's very important to ensure garden tools are locked away after use. Tools stolen from the shed or garden could be used to force entry into your home, causing you even more expense, hassle and misery.
  • Never leave lawnmowers and other equipment unattended - thieves have been known to remove items while their owner has popped indoors for a few minutes.
  • Consider a security light on your shed. These can often put thieves off.
  • Photograph valuable possessions such as garden antiques and statues.This will help the Police to recover your items.
  • Data-tag or mark items with your postcode, to aid recovery in the event of a theft. Note the serial numbers of high value equipment such as mowers.
  • Never leave a garage or shed unlocked - especially if it is an integral garage that provides access to the rest of your property.
 Shed security: 4  How your community can help your security
We've looked at a variety of actions to ensure your tools, garden and play equipment are safely and securely stored in your shed. Your local community can be a great support in this, too, whether it's your immediate neighbours, a neighbourhood watch group or your local community police.  
  • If you are going away, alert a neighbour or contact the local Police station.  Nosey neighbours are great!
  • Consider joining or setting-up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in your area - they really do help reduce crime. An active membership can provide insurance discounts (check with your insurer).
  • Remember to mark every thing in your shed with your postcode or a data-tag. Your local police may be able to advise on free marking services for some households.  If not special security pens are available at most staionary shops.
  • Security lights can deter thieves from around your neighbour's houses as well as your own.  No thief wants to be seen.
For more help and advice about metal storage and garden security see our blog