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Security Hacks For Protecting Your Bike From Being Stolen On Your Ride

Security Hacks For Protecting Your Bike From Being Stolen On Your Ride

(dramatic music)
(mysterious music) – Now before I get on to
the actual video itself, I’m just gonna point out
this isn’t scaremongering or anything like that, but sadly, we do have some
unscrupulous people among us who want to steal our pride and joy, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve worked nice and hard
so you can save up to buy it. So today, let’s look at a few hacks so you don’t have to carry a big old chain and padlock around with
you on your training ride. Also, this video is really just to try and stop the opportunist thief rather than a professional,
because quite frankly, they will get through almost anything you put in their way.
(upbeat music) Right then, cyclists love cafes. They also love coffee
and they love cake too. So when you go into
the cafe, why not leave your bike in the biggest gear possible. So the big chain ring and
the small little sprocket at the back, therefore,
if someone comes along and tries to take it, unless they’re built like a track sprinter, they’re
probably not gonna know how the gears work, and they’re not gonna be able to set off with enough force, and you can just stop ’em like that! (mysterious music)
(upbeat music) Now this next one I got from friend of the channel Adam Hansen when I spotted something over on his Twitter page. What he does when he stops off at a cafe or just somewhere temporarily
on his rim brake bike, he actually removes the
wheel from the dropout, just slides it forward
or backwards slightly so that the tire is actually resting on the underside of the
caliper or fork crown, meaning that if someone tries to steal it, when they try and get on, well, they just fall flat on their face. With this bike though,
I’ve got this brake, so something you could do easily is just remove your through axle, meaning that if a thief
tries to ride off on it, well, hopefully the front
wheel is gonna fall out and they’re gonna land flat on their face. Alternatively, you could
take the rear wheel just out of the dropout there too, just remember to actually re-tighten those through axles because of course, that could land you not only
sore, but also out of pocket with some potential damage to the bike. (mysterious music)
(upbeat music) Of course, if you do
have standard rim brakes, one bit of advice I can give you there is just to undo the
quick-release mechanism on the caliper itself, tighten
that barrel adjuster fully, and then try and lock down
that quick-release mechanism again so that literally,
if someone tries to ride off on the bike,
well they’re gonna be riding with the brakes jammed on. It’s not gonna be particularly easy, that. Now this method is not
necessarily my favorite but I do still see people
doing it from time-to-time outside of shops and cafes, they simply turn their bike upside
down, making it just a little bit more inconvenient for one of those thieves
to run along and take it. Now depending on where you’re going and how much room you’ve got
in your pockets for instance, you could take something like this which is an almost industrial
strength zip tie if you like. This one comes from
Hiplok and it’s even got a combination lock built in within it. So you could use that when
you’re out on your cafe ride ’cause it’s probably small enough to go inside of your jersey pocket, or also, if you’re on a train journey where you’re not necessarily able to keep an eye on your bike at all times. This could just slow down
a thief and let’s face it, if one bike’s locked up and one’s not, the thief is more likely to
take the unlocked version. Now another cheeky little
hack you can do is to use your helmet straps and
buckle as a temporary lock. Now myself and my cycling friends, we’ve got a rule, no helmets
on the table at the cafe. So, well why not use it
for that reason indeed? So simply wrap it around a frame tube, connect it to something you cannot move, therefore, when the thief
tries to take it, they can’t. (dramatic music) Now this last little nugget
comes from my colleague Ollie who says why not get a bit of paper, get all your details on it, laminate it and then store it inside
of one of the frames tubes. So you could remove the seat post, slide it into the top tube for instance, take out the forks and do the same. Therefore if your bike
sadly was to get stolen but recovered luckily by the police, if you have to go along
and formally identify it you can tell them exactly
where that note is hidden and prove it’s yours, essentially. Then of course you could
simply ask a friend of yours when you stop off at a
cafe to mind your bike whilst you go in and get something and vice versa, just being extra safe. There we are, a few security hacks there so that your pride and joy
stays a little bit safer when you go in quickly for
a bit of coffee and cake. I do hope you’ve enjoyed this, let me know though your security hacks just down there in the
comments section below. And also remember to like and share this video with your
friends, don’t forget too to check out the GCN shop at, we’ve got loads for you to check out. And now for another great video, this time, how does a freehub work? In fact, how do different
types of freehubs work? Click just down here.

100 comments on “Security Hacks For Protecting Your Bike From Being Stolen On Your Ride

  1. After watching this, I popped into Poundland and got a lock for less than £1.01. It's pretty light, came with two keys and stores neatly around the seat tube and stays.

  2. About hack #7 : over here, in France, there's a national registry of bikes. Registering is on a voluntary base and gets you a nice and very visible code engraved on your bike and a written proof of ownership. The idea is that marked bikes can not be easily resold. This will not deter the opportunistic thief who needs a bike for his own use though, and it might not be compatible with carbon tubes. Picture here :

  3. @gcntech if you leave the wheel so it can fall off they will just take the wheel!? Most likely thing is they will steal parts of your bike not the whole thing. Only way not to get your bike stolen is never stop anywhere during the day and to spoon it in bed each night 😂

  4. Walk it in the store with you and if they say no it's their money loss. My tires are cleaner than most shoes.

  5. Always pause my Wahoo Elemnt and take it with me in the cafe. And take the bike around in the cafe garden at the bike, not outside by the road, if possible. My favourite cafes have bike racks there as well. I use the helmet lock all the time. Used to ride a fixie around town partly for its simplicity and cheapness, and knowing most thieves would fall off at the first corner!

    Most of all, look out for men in stripy tops with bags of swag!!

  6. I never ever leave my road bike unattended. I rather take my bike inside the store, than leave it outside.

  7. I clip my helmet around the rear rim and pull out the front thru axle. This would slow down the thief long enough for me to run out there and fuck up their day. Fuck thieves.

  8. All those advices fails by a bike of that value. Forget that coffee shop if there is no place to have such a bicycle standing right beside you. In that case the big gear trick makes it or a black, well tighten velcro tape.

    Also, record the serial number from the bottom bracket (take a photo).
    Make sure you check such registers if buying a bike 2nd hand.

  10. i have very wide wheels with 25mm tires, due to the wheel size the tires have stretched to 29mm. if i put a 23 mm tire on will i get the same grip as a 25mm tire due to the stretching or will it be as slippery as a 23, the reason i as this is because my dogma can only accomodate 25mm max, and while running 25mm i have had frame rub, so if i switch to 23mm tires will the frame rub stop and will i have enough grip for racing. #torqueback

  11. This is very irresponsible for this channel to recommend such unsecured methods of locking your bike.

  12. £4.99 combination lock has worked for me for the last decade. Light enough to carry, can be disposed if deemed to heavy. The extra weight of it – not much – is good for training. No keys needed is a bonus, can be used with D-lock at stations to secure wheels, so standard carry item. The stickers for bikeregister are good too. None of this hidden messages in bottle stuff needed, no need to upset brake/wheel alignments, which are safety critical. These hacks can make you look stupid, the simple lock doesn't.

  13. I always have the Allen key for my saddle tube, so I actually take my saddle and tube when I have a prolonged stop.

  14. Rule No 49: It is completely unacceptable to intentionally turn one’s steed upside down for any reason under any circumstances.

  15. Hey Jon, great show! I have a 7 speed 105 RD-1055 rear derailleur. I've also got an older pair of ST-3300 shifters. I am having a problem reaching the little thumb shifters from the drops, even with compact bars. I have looked up some 7 speed Dual Control models with the smaller shifters (or whatever) being located behind the brake leavers, which one do you recommend? Thank you for reading my question, have a nice day! #AskGCN

  16. I love my Otto Design lock. Gives me a piece of mind at the cafe or bathroom break. Especially on solo rides

  17. Hey guys, all time fan from the Dominican Republic. I've got a very old predicament. My spokes break off from either side and when they do, the wheel completely locks up into the frame, leaving me effectively stranded wherever I am. I feel that the wheel should not go so out of true that it bends beyond repair, stranding me every time. Im very interested to hear your thoughts. I am 238 pounds of weight and ride custom mavic cxp wheels with 25mm gatorskin tires at 90 PSI. Cheers.

  18. And then the optimist walks outsides, notices the discarded zip-tie lock, and thinks, "Well, that was a good cup of coffee."

  19. I wrap one glove around the top of the chain and rotate the cranks just a little to jam it into the front chain ring, then wrap the other around the bottom of the chain so that if anyone tries to pedal it, then it too will get jammed into the cassette. Then I put my helmet against the frame and snap my helmet strap around the frame and through the spokes to the other side.
    Finally, I carry a re-usable zip tie that is long enough to wrap around the front wheel and the frame which prevents it from rotating. To thieves, the zip tie looks like it needs to be cut, but is in fact reusable. If they miss it after removing the gloves and helmet then at least it buys a few more seconds, or causes them to fall which will draw attention from passersby.

  20. hi john , i like your channel and i got alot of ideas from the videos ,
    please i need help , i got a road bike , a good frame but the problem is the last owner painted on the original color , when the original color was great and new .
    do you have any way to remove the extra color and back to the bike color .

  21. Dont disasamble the wheels will forget and Trap on your own trap.
    And the more important 2. They /you will damage the fork and/or wheels when they/you fall.

  22. I thought this tip was presented on the GCN Channel before, but somehow it didn't make it to this list. It is simple: put your chain in the highest gear and then click both of the shifters as far as they would allow without spinning. This way, the chain would do a horrible sound if somebody tries to ride off with the bike. It might jam or fall off as well.

  23. Tap 👆 To see the bicycle show From Tanzania 🇹🇿

  24. If you can turn your wheel completely so it faces your seat, its a small thing but can potentially save your bike

  25. Some lights have an alarm feature – see sense for example – that will alarm your mobile phone if your bike is moved

  26. HAHA! First world solutions my friends…. South American thieves dont have PHDs and will steal the bike even with the most expensive Kryptonite lock. 5 stolen bikes in 10 years are the proof. Cute video though, LOL

  27. I'm usually out with someone on a ride, we take photos of each other on our respective bikes so if they do get nicked the police have an instant reference to exactly what the bike looks like.

  28. if you're out on your own, on a bike with a QR hub, pop the wheel off and lock it to the frame. It's a ten second job to put the wheel back on when you go back to it. Although, if you're in London, take BOTH wheels with you. And the saddle. And the pedals. And the brake blocks. And the cables. And the frame. Hell for that matter if you're in London invest in a foldaway that collapses to the size of a briefcase. Then you can carry it on the Tube.

  29. One I usually did when I forgot lock when I went shopping was simply remove the front wheel and take it to the shop along with me. Another one I do on my gravel bike (where I got SRAM X9 MTB mech) when I stop very briefly to literally buy a drink or a bar is push the mech into the cage lock position. With a chain slacking you might get one or two pedals out and then chain either falls off or jams.

  30. I'm from long island new York I could pull up with a 12k bike and people will think I'm poor. Basically what I'm saying is that I don't have this problem

  31. Haha imagine this thief runs to your upside down bike, turns it, jumps on, Then The front wheel fells out, back one is blocked by brake and so on XD I just bring my bike inside The shop

  32. Here in Japan I just park my bike without a lock. It’s been 19 yrs now. No one has ever even touched the bike.

  33. Super glue a ball bearing in Allen key bolts, dissolve the glue with nail polish remover for matientence

  34. use 50 dollar walmart bike, use 100 dollar lock, and laugh at the thief who doesnt realize that the lock is the thing he should be stealing 😀

  35. About the last point: in Belgium you can have your social security numer branded into your frame by the police. Hurts a bit when you see them clamping that machine onto your frame but at least your identity is now burnt into your pride & joy

  36. If you leave a bike like this unlocked under any circumstances for a cafe or whatever consider it stolen…

  37. I personally keep my butt my bike. If there is a chance i might change that on a ride, lets say for a cup of tea, I take a backpack with a ulock inside with me.

  38. I bought this bike alarm/rear light of Amazon. So you can lock it with a fob like you do a car and if someone tries to move your bike then the alarm goes off.

  39. I Germany bikes usually have some kid of ID on the bike tube. You would have the same on your purchase agreement.
    Or just put a GPS in it.

  40. I've used my jacket to tie my bike to a bike rack a few times. I purposely put in a fiddly knot (Advantage of being an ex climbing and sailing instructor, I know a few dastardly ones). It's pretty similar to the helmet one but I'd say more secure!

  41. Been doing this for a lot of years. I'm currently around $11,000 into my bulid on my custom carbon hardtail mtb. No locks, no hack, my baby is on my hip next to my whip at all times. If I have to stop anywhere, it goes in with me. Never really had a problem with stores or cafes, bars or any where else. You don't want it stolen? Keep it with you.

  42. Ridiculous…have you ever seen a guy just hop your bike on his shoulder and run along happily?
    Do you really think he'll be bothered with 200E worth left front wheel if he's running away with 3000E rest of the bike?
    And especially that helmet trick…I wouldn't do that even when I'm directly looking at the bike all the time.

    Come on, you can do better…

  43. a guy at work has the worst idea of bike security i have ever seen. He used some electrical tape to tape his bike to the bike stand, I did point out he took it off easily and so could someone looking to steal it but he still does it. Its strange since he is the only person who rides home from our work place to wear a helmet

  44. Quick note. "Ziptie" type locks can be bypassed in less time than it takes to unlock it using a cheap set of snips.

  45. I would go for GPS but what worries me is the batterytime and these companies that want you to pay consistently.

  46. In Canada there are a few no goods that steal bikes. If you like loose the tires or take them with you they would try take the metal frame to a scrap yard to try make some money sadly. I heard a few use a saw hack to brake tied up chains.

  47. Or there is this..

    Bike theft being a bit of a problem in our town.

  48. A riding mate of mine, a special effects artist, helped me to create a nasty, sick to your stomach “poop” smear out of latex. This gets put on the saddle, with a smaller, hand printed one on the bars. Splash a little water on it and voila! (This is not my usual bike security – but it is funny to see people’s reaction to it!)

  49. There are cheap packs of Reuseable Zip ties (~£10 for 100) just chain a couple together and tie spokes to the frame.
    I much prefer razor wire around the bars.. 😈 PC culture can do one! when it comes to my bike!!!

  50. To not get your saddle snatched, just make a silver ducktape form, to place on the saddle, tight enough, to be thought as a quick fix for a saddle

  51. Another trick is to find a more expensive bike that is locked as well or worse than yours and lock your bike near that one.

  52. My best security hack is to buy an ar 15. And tie the bike frame to the tree with 20m of rope and then watch them fly over there bars and laugh ur head off watching them

  53. at coffee shop with clear view of the bike, we usually park the bike then click the gear levers, on either front or back or both, so that first jump onto the bike it's 10/20 seconds before they can get moving or figure it out. similar to highest gear method

  54. i did almost everything possible to protect my canyon endurace and it still got stolen last week out of the basement…

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