How to keep your bike secure at work

By | 15 May, 2015

My office has a bike cage in the underground car park, and this week it was broken into and a number of bikes were stolen.

Apparently there’s been quite a few bike thefts from office car parks in recent times. They offer rich pickings, what with all those employees that have expensive bikes bought through the Cycle to Work scheme – and the thieves can operate relatively undisturbed during the working day.

In this case the thefts were of relatively low-hanging fruit. None of the bikes were locked up. Their owners had wrongly assumed that the locked bike cage would offer enough security.

An unsecured wheel with a quick-release was also taken in the theft.

Bike Cages

The patched-up door to the bike cage

The patched-up door to the bike cage

Office bike cages are often assumed to be much more secure than they are. In our case, the thieves snipped through the wire mesh near the door, and reached in to open the door from the inside. However, if they could just have easily guessed at the keypad combination, as there’s only 5 buttons – and only 3 of them are worn!

There are also plenty of opportunities to tailgate other people into the cage. During peak times of the day there are plenty of people going in and out, who’ll hold the door open for you out of politeness, even if they don’t know who you are.

With this is mind, it’s better to assume that bike cages only offer the minimal amount of security – and as such we should always lock our bikes securely to the bike stand.

Underground Car Parks

I’ve know bikes to go missing in underground car parks both at work and at home. Office and apartment block owners often don’t put much thought into bike parking. The security in these car parks is aimed only at controlling the entry and exit of cars, and does little to protect bikes.

Where I used to live, the roller gates to the car park under my apartment was always getting stuck open. I don’t know if it was just down to poor maintenance, but I also suspect that people would tamper with the gates to stop them closing. This obviously isn’t great for security.

I always made sure that I reported any security problems, and in fairness the property management people were always pretty good at getting things fixed. But I’m not sure that anyone else who lived there ever bothered to report any problems, and their complacency led to numerous thefts each year.

Improved Facilities

If your workplace doesn’t offer good quality and safe bike parking facilities, then it might be worth trying to approach your building management or facilities people to ask if they can help. They may not be aware that there’s a problem, unless someone reports it.

Companies can also help improve security by installing the better bike stands.

 

bikestands

The low-rise stand on the left is very poor for bike security, as at best you’re only going to be able to lock the wheel of your bike to the stand. The high-rise “Sheffield” stands are much better, as you can lock the frame of the bike to the stand, and thus reduce the chances of it getting stolen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *