Bicycle theft statistics are chilling these days. Find out why bicycles are being stolen and how cyclists can better protect themselves against theft
According to the numbers (which we’ll get into in a second), bike theft is incredibly common. It doesn’t matter if you’re just getting started, a casual rider, or a competitor – there are thieves afoot. Most cyclists already know this, but let’s get into the details and talk about ways to protect yourself.
While you’re here, you can get an instant bicycle insurance quote in just a few seconds. Find policies starting at just $100 per year and protect your bicycle’s full value in case it’s ever stolen.
Let’s Start With The Bike Theft Statistics
A bicycle is stolen every 30 seconds in the United States. That’s roughly two million bikes a year, totaling about $350 million . To give you some perspective, less than one million motor vehicles are stolen each year in America.
Bicycle thefts might be even higher than what’s reported. Many cyclists, from casual riders to professional competitors, already know how common bike theft is. And they also likely know that filing a police report will do little to actually recover possession. If cyclists aren’t reporting bike thefts as often as they could be, we might be looking at more than two million stolen bicycles a year.
… so why is everybody’s bike getting snatched up?
Quite frankly, it’s because the risk is well worth the reward. We already know that some cyclists don’t report their stolen bicycles. We also know that even if a bike is reported, there’s a slim chance the police will be able to recover it.
This is a round-about way of saying that if someone steals a bicycle, they’re incredibly likely to get away with it
Whoever steals your bike is then selling it either for pennies on the dollar on the street, or for near-market value online. If your thief is selling on the street, they’re probably flipping it for incredibly fast cash and are unaware of how much your bicycle is actually worth. When a bike ends up online, however, that’s a sign the thief is a professional and knows exactly how much they can sell your bicycle for.
If You Own A Bicycle, Bike Theft Probably Impacts You
Amateur thieves are into ruining things for cyclists only when it’s quick. They’re looking for bikes that are unlocked, unattended, or otherwise easy to steal. What should you do? It’s pretty simple. Lock your bicycle up. If you’re in the city, keep it locked in a high-traffic area with lots of visibility.
Now what about the boss fight, the professional? Pro bike thieves seem to have an almost poetic understanding of how much your bicycle means to you – which makes it sting that much more.
However, the professionals don’t just go after the die-hard cyclists. They go after the neighborhood bikes, too. In fact, over 75% of stolen bikes cost less than $500.
That’s right. Those beach cruisers for afternoon rides, old mountain bikes for weekend trips, down to the fixie you’ve been keeping in the garage for your kid while they’re off for college – they’re all at risk.
If you ride for fun, for exercise, or even for leisure, you might think these bicycle theft statistics don’t include or affect you. But they do
There’s a chance the pro is staking out where your bike is stored and taking notes on how it’s secured. They probably have specific tools to break open locks. They’re in and they’re out, and they know what they’re doing.
You should still keep your bike locked and secured properly, preferably in areas with lots of pedestrians if you’re in a city. Remember to only lock up your bicycle to a secure bike rack and give it a once-over before leaving it unattended. But what else can you do to avoid the Professional Day-Destroyer?
Register your bike and do it now before you forget! We’ll wait. And while we do, know that according to the 30-second statistic, another bicycle was just stolen in the United States.
Registering takes just a few minutes and it can be totally free online. Many cyclists aren’t aware that bicycle registries even exist until it’s too late (AKA their bike was stolen). We recommend taking a look at our bicycle registry spotlights on Bike Index and 529 Garage to choose one that works best for you.
All you need to do is find the serial number on your bicycle, and your lock, and enter them into an online database. You can register as many bikes and locks as you wish. If your bicycle is stolen, you can alert the registry. Bike shops and other cyclists will then be on the lookout for your bicycle once you report it as missing. It’ll help you and the authorities to track and recover your stolen property.
Keep in mind that while registering your bike is smart, it’s just a piece of the larger puzzle – not a guarantee. Put simply, this is why you need bicycle insurance.
If you ride to work, school, or elsewhere, keep in mind that usually your company or university is not responsible for lost or stolen property. Meaning, if your bicycle goes missing from a bike rack at work or school, you’re on the hook for recovering it or replacing it. But if you invest in an affordable bike theft insurance policy, we’ll help you take care of it and get you clipped back in ASAP.
Win-Win With Bicycle Insurance For Theft
Even if you purchase the best bike lock in the world that promises it can withstand a shark bite, there is still a real chance your bicycle will be stolen (scroll back up and check those numbers again). A sturdy bike lock is a solid way to deter thieves, but there simply is no guarantee. We know, this bums us out, too.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking some limited coverage from your renters or home insurance is the same as proper bike insurance. While your other insurance providers might cover some of your bicycle’s value if it’s stolen from your home, it’s likely not going to cover all of it. And there’s a decent chance your rates will go up if you make a claim.
The only way to guarantee you are reimbursed for the full value of your bicycle should it be stolen is to become a bike insurance policyholder. It’s easy, it’s affordable, and it’s your strongest line of defense.
Renters Insurance Vs. Bicycle Insurance
Let’s take a look at how bike insurance compares to renters or home insurance. For just a few hundred dollars a year, you’ll be insured at full value, covered in case of crash or collision damage, and covered for theft whether your bike is stolen from your home or not.
Policy Pricing & Coverage
Replacement Bicycle Rental
Secure anti-theft locks, warranties, online registries, and even the police can’t promise your bicycle back – yet the chances of it being stolen are, sadly, high.
Get started in just a few minutes with Simple Bike Insurance. We believe in quick quotes, no-nonsense claims, and affordable bike insurance that’s accessible to every cyclist.