Home
More than 45 per cent of London cyclists surveyed had a bike stolen, while 75 per cent wanted to see more and better bike stands in the capital

Survey results from London have revealed a disturbing level of cycle theft and a critical need for decent cycle parking, according to the London Cycling Campaign (LCC).

Of 1800 London cyclists surveyed, more than 45 per cent had one bicycle stolen; 19 per cent had lost two, while 75 per cent wanted to see more bike stands in the capital. Most commonly thefts (13 per cent) occurred outside a place of work, while only six per cent of theft victims had their bikes returned.  

The survey, by Quanteze, commissioned by Stolen Ride and the London Cycling Campaign, revealed 91 per cent of bikes were locked, but a significant number of victims had only used cheap cable type locks to secure them. Unsurprisingly, 95 per cent of people stepped up security following a theft.

Beginner's guide to bike security—how to stop bike thieves and protect your bike

Tom Bogdanowicz from the London Cycling Campaign said: “The theft survey highlights the need for more cycle stands in London as well as the need to use good locks and insure your bike against theft.”

He added LCC members benefit from third party insurance, “preferential rates on theft insurance”, and discounts on cycling brands and accessories.

The survey also revealed the importance people place on their bike; 47 per cent classified a bike as their most valued possession, more than three times those who referenced a car, computer or phone. More than half (55 per cent) were very concerned about bike security out and about in London, although four out of ten didn’t have theft insurance.

Reported bike theft at 10-year low

Stolen Ride is an online community to which people can tweet images of their stolen machines in the hope others will spot it and alert them.

Richard Cantle, founder of Stolen Ride announced he’s expanding the business into prevention and education for 2017.

“I’m focused on helping to tackle the issues highlighted by this survey and today I announce that I’m going to be rapidly expanding Stolen Ride into cycle theft prevention and education in 2017.”

Anonymised responses included comments that employers needed to do more to provide safe cycle storage facilities, and that it can, at times, take 5-10 minutes to find a place to lock a bike in London.

One said: “It seems the police view the problem as very unimportant. While bike theft may not be an expensive crime, it has a massive impact on my daily life, both getting about and mentally feeling safe in my home area.”

 

15 comments

Avatar
MikeOnABike [104 posts] 7 months ago
2 likes

Bike thieves. On the same rung of the scumbag ladder as peadophiles in my book.

Avatar
Huw Watkins [138 posts] 7 months ago
11 likes
MikeOnABike wrote:

Bike thieves. On the same rung of the scumbag ladder as peadophiles in my book.

 

Really?  Are you quite sure?  I'm not certain anybody's ever killed themselves after having had a bike stolen.

Fool.

Avatar
ibike [164 posts] 7 months ago
2 likes

More and better bike stands are certainly needed.

I think you also have to adopt a more sanguine approach to bike theft. I have several cherished bikes which I would hate to lose but ultimately accept that should one get stolen it’s an inevitable part of having a thriving "bike culture". Bike theft is high in places like Copenhagen and the Netherlands.

I’m not saying go soft on thieves (far from it) but maybe just accept that you can take all the sensible measures but still be a victim of theft. After all that’s why we have more than one bike right?

Avatar
paulag [1 post] 7 months ago
2 likes

It was an interesting survey for www.quanteze.com to work on for those of us that are cycling addicts ourselves. What came through strongly was the level of attachment riders have to their bikes and the worry they have leaving them in often insecure places. There are also steps that can be taken to minimise the risk, especially through quality locks and appropriate locking techniques e.g. double locking

Avatar
brooksby [2235 posts] 7 months ago
1 like
ibike wrote:

More and better bike stands are certainly needed.

Agreed.

Quote:

After all that’s why we have more than one bike right?

You have more than one bike? Oooh - there's posh!

Avatar
MikeOnABike [104 posts] 7 months ago
3 likes
Huw Watkins wrote:
MikeOnABike wrote:

Bike thieves. On the same rung of the scumbag ladder as peadophiles in my book.

 

Really?  Are you quite sure?  I'm not certain anybody's ever killed themselves after having had a bike stolen.

Fool.

I did not state in my original post that the two crimes were the same or that they had the same repercussions on the victim. I just stated that the perpetrators were both low life scum.

 

Avatar
brooksby [2235 posts] 7 months ago
1 like

Whilst I appreciate that thieves will get anything if they have enough time, sometimes people also need to think about how they lock their bikes.

Anecdata alert:

Our local paper has just run a story about a student who "was left devastated after a thief made away with the bicycle, less than three months after she bought it.  The bike, a white Trek Domane 2014 with orange handle bars, is worth £800 brand-new."

They locked their bicycle to an iron fence on the traffic island because the bike racks were full.  But after coming back from their classes five hours later they found that a thief had cut through the cable while leaving the D-lock attached to the fence.

Basically, it appears that she locked her d-lock to the iron railings, then threaded a cable around the d-lock and the bike, so the d-lock wasn't actually locked around the bike...

Avatar
Huw Watkins [138 posts] 7 months ago
3 likes
MikeOnABike wrote:
Huw Watkins wrote:
MikeOnABike wrote:

Bike thieves. On the same rung of the scumbag ladder as peadophiles in my book.

 

Really?  Are you quite sure?  I'm not certain anybody's ever killed themselves after having had a bike stolen.

Fool.

I did not state in my original post that the two crimes were the same or that they had the same repercussions on the victim. I just stated that the perpetrators were both low life scum.

 

Yes you did.  How else should one intepret 'on the same rung of the scumbag ladder'?

 

 

 

Avatar
brooksby [2235 posts] 6 months ago
3 likes

If nearly half (of the people surveyed) had a bike stolen and a fifth (of the people surveyed) had two bikes stolen, then either there's a Great Stolen Bicycle Mountain somewhere or else a lot of people are (knowingly or unknowingly) buying stolen bikes... 

Avatar
jasecd [438 posts] 6 months ago
1 like
Huw Watkins wrote:
MikeOnABike wrote:

Bike thieves. On the same rung of the scumbag ladder as peadophiles in my book.

 

Really?  Are you quite sure?  I'm not certain anybody's ever killed themselves after having had a bike stolen.

Fool.

 

Agreed - it's one of the stupidest comments I've seen on this site.

Avatar
LastBoyScout [177 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes

Anecdote #2

While locking my bike up at the station one morning, I watched someone else very carefully lock their bike up, too - unfortunately, despite his intricate looping around the racks, he'd done it in such a way that he'd missed actually putting the cable through the frame or wheels (coffee not kicked in yet!) and left it in such a way that you could, with minimal effort, steal the bike by unlooping the cable from round the handlebars!

Fortunately for him, I pointed out his mistake before legging it for the train.

 

I've had a saddle and seatpost stolen from outside a pub, and a whole bike stolen from the station, but the most irritating one was probably when a bunch of scrotes went down the bike rack at the station pulling out all the QR skewers and variously throwing them onto the tracks/into the bushes. Bloody long walk home pushing a bike with loose wheels that night. That bike now has anti-theft skewers.

Avatar
OldRidgeback [2762 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
LastBoyScout wrote:

Anecdote #2

While locking my bike up at the station one morning, I watched someone else very carefully lock their bike up, too - unfortunately, despite his intricate looping around the racks, he'd done it in such a way that he'd missed actually putting the cable through the frame or wheels (coffee not kicked in yet!) and left it in such a way that you could, with minimal effort, steal the bike by unlooping the cable from round the handlebars!

Fortunately for him, I pointed out his mistake before legging it for the train.

 

I've had a saddle and seatpost stolen from outside a pub, and a whole bike stolen from the station, but the most irritating one was probably when a bunch of scrotes went down the bike rack at the station pulling out all the QR skewers and variously throwing them onto the tracks/into the bushes. Bloody long walk home pushing a bike with loose wheels that night. That bike now has anti-theft skewers.

 

I was just about to lock up my bike outside the station yesterday when I realised the stand had been sawn through, so I locked it to another post instead. However the fixie rider who had locked his/her bike on the other side of the post had not taken care to check.

I was surprised to find the fixie was still there when I got back in the afternoon. But I reckon if the owner had left it overnight, it would have gone by this morning. Some bicycle owners do increase the risk of being victims of theft through their own carelessness and though it's perhaps wrong of me, my sympathy for them is lessened.

Avatar
Username [206 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

There is certainly a need for more Sheffield stands throughout London, especially in Westminster (quelle surprise). Ever since parking meters have been replaced with pay-and-display machines there are no handy places to lock a bike to.

One ride in to a meeting on the north side of Oxford Street was a tipping point for me. I spent longer searching the side streets in an increasing radius than it took to ride into town. I bought a Brompton shortly after, it now comes into meetings with me.

I remember fondly my cycling in Japan. Crime is zero; cycle parking is simply cycling up to the door of your destination, lowering the kickstand and walking away.

Avatar
atgni [428 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
jasecd wrote:
Huw Watkins wrote:
MikeOnABike wrote:

Bike thieves. On the same rung of the scumbag ladder as peadophiles in my book.

 

Really?  Are you quite sure?  I'm not certain anybody's ever killed themselves after having had a bike stolen.

Fool.

 

Agreed - it's one of the stupidest comments I've seen on this site.

What's so bad about pea lovers?

Avatar
hawkinspeter [679 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
atgni wrote:
jasecd wrote:
Huw Watkins wrote:
MikeOnABike wrote:

Bike thieves. On the same rung of the scumbag ladder as peadophiles in my book.

 

Really?  Are you quite sure?  I'm not certain anybody's ever killed themselves after having had a bike stolen.

Fool.

 

Agreed - it's one of the stupidest comments I've seen on this site.

What's so bad about pea lovers?

You obviously didn't listen to the podcast.