Spring is here, and avid cyclists have already been tuning their wheels in preparation for a new season of riding. Besides rotating tires and lubricating your chain, there are a few other things you may want to consider this year regarding safety. I’m not talking about personal safety, as that is usually the foremost concern for any serious biker (wear a helmet!). In this case, we want to make sure that your bike is not lost, stolen or damaged. Here are a few clever ways to protect your bicycle.
1. Buy a Lock and Use It
This might seem commonplace, but the easiest way for a bicycle thief to get away with your ride is if it isn’t secured where you leave it. Even if you are just ducking into a gas station to grab a bottle of water, it just takes a second for an opportunist to ride off with it. Buy a quality lock that can be quickly and securely deployed, and be sure to lock it around the frame, not just the front wheel.
2. Install a Custom Name Plate
In the event that your bike is stolen, it can be really difficult to get it back. Some people have had success finding lost or stolen bikes for sale on Craigslist, but in order to allay doubt that a particular bike is your personal property you may want to discreetly attach an engraved name plate on it. If a bike shows up for sale in an online marketplace with your name quite literally on it, that will help expedite the retrieval process. If you want to be really sneaky, get a barcode engraved instead of your name written out. This code could store your name, address or whatever information you want, and likely would not be noticed by someone who swiped it off the street.
3. Protect Your Frame
Your bike’s frame is pretty hardy, but if you really like the paint job, or if you want to be sure it doesn’t rust when exposed to the elements, get some frame protection material. This flexible material is available in sheets and will prevent surface damage to the paint, ensuring that you won’t suffer any scratches and eventual rusting.
4. Get a Tire Repair Kit
Nothing cuts a day of recreational cycling short like getting a flat tire right out the gate. In a pinch, a tire repair kit can save your day, and are very affordable. They are widely available and can either attach to your bike frame or fit neatly in a backpack. Better kits include tools and a pump to get you back on the road as quickly as possible.