There are more bikes than ever out on the roads. The overflowing cycle parks and packed bike racks say it all really. Sadly, thieves see this bicycle boom as a welcome opportunity to get their hands on people's precious bikes.
Bike theft is a common crime, with busy towns and cities as major hotspots. We've put together a few handy hints and a list of simple steps you can take to stop thieves getting away with your child's woom bike.
Store bikes inside if you can
If you live in a town or city, the safest place to store your child's woom bike is inside your home. And you may find that our folding DOCK Bike Stand is just the practical solution you need if you're keen to keep your child's woom bike stashed away nice and neatly.
Be careful when using bike stores
You may have access to a locked bike store or a secure basement where you can keep your child's bike out of sight. But bear in mind that thieves have now worked out ways of clearing out bike stores – especially in big towns and cities. Make sure you always use locks to keep your child's bike secure and don't forget to lock the door behind you. And it can't hurt to check on the bike every so often
Avoid dark corners when leaving bikes outside
Your child's woom bike is at most risk of being stolen when it is stored outside. And you won't even be covered by your insurance in most cases (through your household contents insurance or otherwise). If you don't have any other choice, follow these top tips:
- Leaving bikes in dark corners or down back alleys is an open invitation to thieves, as they can go about their business without much risk of being caught in the act. You should always choose a well-lit, busy spot where your child's woom bike is in full view. If you park your child's bike in an exposed area, you are more likely to put off thieves.
- It is not a good idea to always leave your child's woom bike in the same spot outside since thieves can easily pick up on patterns and work out exactly when to strike. We would recommend mixing things up a bit when it comes to cycle parking.
Buy a decent bike lock
You should never leave your child's woom bike unlocked. Whether you're running errands, visiting a playground or popping the bike away in the cycle store, don't give thieves the opportunity they're looking for. You'll need a secure bike lock to hand too if you want to keep your child's bike safe and sound. Thieves need more time and special tools to break open more robust locks.
Are you still looking for the perfect lock to go with your child's woom bike? Our LOKKI Bike Lock made of hardened steel ensures protection at security level 8.
Use locks properly
When locking up your child's woom bike, make sure you fasten several components – always the frame and ideally a wheel – securely to something that isn't going to move, such as a lamp post or (even better) a bike rack. For an added layer of security, turn the lock cylinder so it's facing down to make it more difficult to reach.
Top tip: Use a second lock that functions differently to make life even harder for thieves.
Keep components and accessories secure
Quick-release mechanisms may be handy, but they also make it so much easier for thieves to dismantle parts like a wheel or the saddle. If you find that your child's woom bike has to be left outside frequently, you can replace these mechanisms with screwed alternatives to be on the safe side. You could even remove the saddle and wheels and take them away with you when leaving the bike outside for longer periods overnight.
Be extra cautious when it comes to accessories like handlebar bags and LED lights. Our AMIKO Bag and CYCLOPE Bike Lights are just two examples that can be fitted (and removed) without requiring any tools. Unsecured accessories can be swiped in a second, so try not to leave them unattended if you can help it – even if you're just popping into a shop.
If your child's woom UP e-bike is going to be left out for all to see for any extended period of time, we would recommend removing the battery first. Thieves are less likely to be tempted that way.
Sort out bike insurance
You can cover all bases by taking out bike insurance too. Most insurance providers offer special policies for bikes and e-bikes. Some household contents insurance policies do also cover bike theft, but the maximum compensation is often limited. You may also find that cover under household contents insurance policies only extends to locations specified in the policy documents, such as the house, garage and basement. Not to mention that theft may be covered, but this may not apply to individual components. You should always take care to read through your policy documents carefully to avoid any nasty surprises later down the line.
Keep a record of the main details
Jot down a few key details and ideally take a photo of your child's woom bike to help you identify it in the event that it is stolen. Keep a record of the brand, model, colour and any other distinguishing features (such as gears, drive, battery for e-bikes, any damaged areas) as well as the frame number. This number is unique to the bike and provides an important way of identifying it when reporting a theft to the police and liaising with your insurance provider. You can find the number on the underside of the frame near the bottom bracket (woom ORIGINAL, woom OFF, woom OFF AIR) or on the back of the seat post (woom UP). Why not add the frame number to the guarantee card you'll find in the cover of the instructions for use.
In many countries, you can also be issued with an official bike passport, where you can keep a record of all the main details. In Austria, Germany, the UK and elsewhere, this document can serve as proof that a stolen bike really belongs to you. It can come in handy when reporting the crime to the police and having your claim processed by your insurance provider.
What should I do if my child's woom bike has been stolen?
If your child's woom bike is stolen despite all your efforts to keep it safe, report the theft to the police immediately. Have the frame number for a woom bike or the information on the type plate for a woom UP ready.
Unfortunately, there's no way of guaranteeing the safety of your child's woom bike. But putting our tips into action should at least make life that bit harder for thieves on the prowl.