Woman locks bicycle

Tips for securing your bike, e-bike or company bike: The best parking spaces and anti-theft devices

Tips
Miscellaneous
10 July 2024

The security of bicycles, especially e-bikes and company bikes, is an important issue now more than ever, especially in urban areas. A stolen bike not only means a financial loss, but can also cause considerable inconvenience and emotional distress, especially if it is used as a daily means of transportation. Find out how to identify secure parking spaces, which locks are best and how you should act quickly and effectively if your bike is stolen.


Bicycle theft: rising numbers and growing losses

In 2023, a total of 150,000 insured bicycles were stolen, the same number as in 2022. While insurance companies only record reported thefts, police crime statistics also take into account uninsured thefts of bicycles and e-bikes. According to these statistics, the number of stolen bicycles fell by 0.6% to around 264,000 in 2023. However, as many thefts are not reported, the actual figure is likely to be significantly higher. Damage caused by bicycle theft reached a new high in 2023, as insurers paid out compensation amounting to 160 million euros, compared to 140 million euros in 2022. By comparison, in 2013, annual compensation payments amounted to 80 million euros, exactly half the current amount. The average loss per stolen bike rose to a record €1,100 in 2023, reflecting the continuing trend of high-value bikes such as racing bikes, e-bikes and mountain bikes in particular being stolen for resale. The average loss value has more than doubled since 2014. 

Source: Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft e.V.


Costs and hassle in the event of bike theft

Bicycle theft can lead to considerable financial and emotional stress. Even if the bike is insured by the household contents insurance and the insurance company covers the loss, the bureaucratic effort remains. Insurance claims must be made and the damage reported. Emotionally, the loss of a beloved means of transportation is painful, especially if the bike is used daily for commuting to work. Commuters have to switch to alternative means of transportation at short notice, which means additional costs and time. In the case of company bike leasing, such as through Lease a Bike, theft and damage protection is included. The all-round protection ensures that the stolen bike is replaced, which minimizes the financial loss and reduces the inconvenience. Further benefits and information on company bike leasing with Lease a Bike can be found here.

Covered bicycle parking space
bicycle parking space

Criteria for a safe parking space

Busy places vs. remote places

The location of the parking space plays a decisive role in the security of your bike. Busy locations offer better protection against theft, as the presence of many people can deter potential thieves. Remote locations, on the other hand, offer thieves more time and opportunity to operate undisturbed. You should therefore preferably park your bike in places that are well frequented and visible.

Importance of well-lit areas

Well-lit areas are much safer for parking bicycles. Lighting not only increases visibility, but also security, as thieves are reluctant to operate in well-lit areas where they can be easily observed. Make sure you park your bike in places that are adequately lit at night to reduce the risk of theft.

Surveillance by cameras, security personnel, etc.

Surveillance is another important criterion for the security of your bike. Parking spaces that are equipped with surveillance cameras or are regularly checked by security personnel offer additional protection. The presence of surveillance technology and security personnel can deter potential thieves and, in the event of theft, provide valuable information for solving the crime.

Covered, specially secured bike racks, etc.

The physical nature of the parking space also contributes to security. Covered parking spaces not only protect your bike from the weather, but also provide an additional barrier against thieves. Specially secured bike stands that offer firm anchoring and stable locking options further increase security. Make sure that the parking space has sturdy, permanently installed bike stands to which you can securely lock your bike.

By observing these criteria, you can significantly reduce the risk of bike theft and ensure the safety of your e-bike or company bike.


Secure parking spaces in detail

Public bicycle parking garages

Public bicycle parking garages offer a secure way to park your bicycle in heavily frequented areas. Advantages include the fact that they are often monitored by cameras and security staff, the well-lit and covered parking spaces and frequent access authorization checks. Disadvantages can be the cost of use and potential overcrowding at busy times. Nevertheless, bicycle parking garages are a good option for commuters and city visitors who want to keep their bikes safe during the day.

Covered, specially secured bike racks, etc.

The physical nature of the parking space also contributes to security. Covered parking spaces not only protect your bike from the weather, but also provide an additional barrier against thieves. Specially secured bike stands that offer firm anchoring and stable locking options further increase security. Make sure that the parking space has sturdy, permanently installed bike stands to which you can securely lock your bike.

By observing these criteria, you can significantly reduce the risk of bike theft and ensure the safety of your e-bike or company bike.

Secure parking spaces at work

Many companies recognize the importance of secure parking spaces for bicycles and offer specially secured areas. These include locked bike garages or covered bike racks with access control. These measures can not only minimize the risk of theft, but also encourage employees to use bicycles as an environmentally friendly means of transport. In addition to security measures, companies can also provide bike maintenance stations or charging stations for e-bikes to increase convenience for employees.

Private storage

Private storage facilities such as cellars, garages or special bike boxes offer ideal conditions for particularly secure storage. These locations are generally only accessible to residents and offer a protected environment that protects against the weather and theft. Garages and cellars can also be equipped with permanently installed bike racks or hooks to securely lock up the bike. These options are particularly recommended for expensive bikes or those with sentimental value, as they offer greater security and privacy.

Woman with bicycle lock and bicycle helmet
U-lock on the bike

The best methods for securing your e-bike/service bike

U-locks: U-locks are considered particularly secure due to their robust design and resistant materials such as hardened steel. They offer a good deterrent against thieves using tools such as bolt cutters. However, they are often heavy and unwieldy, which can make transportation difficult. They are also less flexible when used on differently shaped bike racks.

Folding locks: Folding locks are a good alternative to U-locks and offer a similarly high level of security. They consist of several links that can be flexibly placed around various objects and the bike itself. Folding locks are lighter than U-locks and can be folded up compactly, which makes transportation easier. Disadvantages can be the higher cost and lower robustness compared to U-locks.

Chain locks: Chain locks are flexible and can easily be placed around various objects and the bike itself. They offer a good balance between security and ease of use. Chain locks are often somewhat heavier than folding locks and can be susceptible to bolt cutters on cheaper models, which is why high-quality versions with hardened chain links are recommended.

Frame locks: Frame locks are usually permanently attached to the frame of the bike and offer a simple way of securing the bike for a short time. They are easy to use and can often be operated with a key that remains firmly in the lock. However, frame locks alone do not provide sufficient protection against theft and should therefore be combined with an additional chain lock or U-lock.

Using several locks for additional protection: The combination of several locks, such as a U-lock together with a chain lock, offers additional protection against theft. By securing different parts of the bike and fixed objects, it becomes much more difficult for thieves to steal the bike.

Locking to fixed objects: When locking the bike to fixed objects, it is important to choose sturdy and well-anchored objects that cannot be easily sawn through or removed. Permanently installed bicycle stands, lamp posts or railings are ideal. Make sure that the bike lock fits snugly against the frame and a wheel to minimize leverage attempts.

Correct use of locks: Effectively securing your bike requires proper use of the lock. Always lock the bike to a fixed object that cannot be easily moved or cut. Make sure that the lock is secured through the frame and front wheel or through the frame and rear wheel to protect all important parts of the bicycle. Avoid connecting only to accessories or parts that can be removed, as this could increase the risk of theft.


What to do in the event of theft?

Immediate measures

In the event of theft, there are a few steps to follow: First, the theft should be reported to the police immediately. A police report is required in order to make an insurance claim. All relevant documents, such as proof of purchase and photos of the bike, should be submitted to the insurance company. For company bikes, it is important to also report the theft to the leasing provider, such as Lease a Bike, to initiate the replacement process. Although these measures mitigate the financial loss, the annoyance of the theft and the delay in getting a replacement remains, increasing the overall stress.

Search strategies

When searching for the stolen bike, social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram can be used to share photos and information that may lead to leads. Local online groups or forums also provide a platform to ask the community for help and increase the spread of information. In addition, some cities and municipalities offer online lost and found offices where stolen bicycles can be reported and possibly rediscovered.

Prevention for the future

After a theft, it is important to learn lessons and improve future security measures. This may include investing in more secure bike locks, such as U-locks or chain locks, which can better protect the bike. Regularly check the security measures at your parking space and improve them with additional lighting or monitoring if necessary. The use of GPS trackers or bike registration programs can also help to track down stolen bikes more quickly. By learning from the incident and taking appropriate action, you can reduce the risk of another theft.


Conclusion

A secure parking space for your e-bike or company bike is crucial to prevent theft and ensure the protection of your property. By choosing a well-lit, frequented location, using robust bike locks and connecting to fixed objects, you can significantly reduce the risk of theft. In the event of theft, quick responses such as contacting the police and insurance company and using online platforms to track down the stolen bike are crucial. Learn from every incident to optimize future security measures and protect your bike even better.

Have you already found your dream bike? With company bike leasing with Lease a Bike, you have a free choice of make and model. Take a look at the bike finder. Or calculate your leasing rate now in the bike leasing calculator.