How Secure is the Bicycle in your Garage?

How much security is too much security?

One Wheelsuckers' member ponders this question while introducing extreme measures that he hopes will ensure thieves don't nick his most cherished possession when it's tucked up in his garage.

I recently purchased my dream bike, a beautiful titanium Spin Spitfire MKIII, and parked it in the living room of my family home. It is, after all, a work of art. And my son's work of art, a vintage Coppi, was parked there already so it made sense to put them together. My long suffering partner disagreed.

With Christmas coming, the bikes were given marching orders. "No Christmas tree until the bikes have gone to the garage!" Problem is, the garage is not connected to the house. It's in the same street but if anybody breaks in (and garage door locks are child's play to break) the bikes would vanish like snow in the sun. Putting a stronger lock on the garage door is like advertising to passers-by that there is surely something worth stealing in the garage.

So, what to do? My motorbike (Triumph Daytona) is already parked there and heavily secured by an un-grindable chain to an un-removable ground anchor bolted with epoxy resin deep into the concrete floor. Trouble is, my Spin Spitfire is worth more than the motorbike, so a security upgrade was called for. At this point I started to wonder whether this was overkill until I applied for insurance to cover theft, damage, and 3rd party liability for the bicycle and was asked how heavy the chain was securing the bicycle to (presumably) a ground anchor and which make of padlock is used.

Next stop Security for Bikes who exhibited at the recent Cycle Show at the NEC in Birmingham where I found everything I needed. My shopping list comprised of the following at a total cost of £269.90 inc VAT:

  • 1x Torc Ground Anchor and 1x Torc Fitting Kit for a Concrete Floor (inc. Resin Capsules) at £59.95
  • 1x Squire SS65CS Lock and 1x 2m Protector 19mm Chain (each lock has a unique key = "Keyed to Differ") at £209.95

The parcel arrived and was so heavy I realised I had another problem to deal with: the Spitfire, being a Titanium-framed beauty weighing in at just over 7kg, would warp in no time with the 19mm thick links of the security chain.

Enter Heath Robinson. The solution was to bolt bicycle carriers to the wall above an O ring also bolted to the wall, enabling the weight of the chain to be carried by the wall rather than the bike, with a handy ring to thread an extra cable and lock through to make it difficult to remove the wheels. Here's the finished construction:

Here's what it looks like with the bicycle hanging from the carriers:

Next step, lock the wheels to the wall!

And, finally, the big fat chain through the frame:

Et voila!

Overkill? Possibly but I hope it keeps the work of art hanging on the wall when I'm not riding it!

Apart from the quality of the components from Security for Bikes, I was impressed by their attention to detail. For example, they included a reminder to fit the D ring before bolting the ground anchor base plate. This might seem obvious but I suspect experience has shown them that it isn't! They also provided the sharpest 12mm concrete drill I have ever had the great, good fortune to use!  I actually pre-drilled with a 10mm SDS and followed up with the 12mm, and it went in like a knife through butter.

Once the job was completed, I sent the above photos to Security for Bikes and they pointed out that the cable-lock I was using to secure the wheels was a definite weak spot: too easy to cut and for a thief to steal the wheels. They suggested a small chain between the wheels (and through the frame) would be better, looped through the ground anchor. I think this kind of support and advice is another good example of the company’s excellent customer service. All-in-all, very impressive!

If you have any security tips or security measure you've taken to keep your bike safe in the garage or out on the road, please comment below - I'd love to hear them.

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Comment by Rafe Aldridge on January 10, 2013 at 18:26

Good stuff! I wouldn't have stopped to think that a chain could cause the frame to warp.

Comment by Allan Brisbane on January 10, 2013 at 15:02

None of the bikes I have are of that cost but I would still be gutted if they were knicked. Fortunately our garage is connected to the house and  it`s alarmed. It`s just a pity that such steps have to be taken because of thieving scumbags. I am talking about thieves not insurers.  

Comment by Nick Williamson on January 10, 2013 at 12:57

Love it ........I've seen smaller anchor chain on north sea ferries!

Comment by Andy Dawson on January 10, 2013 at 12:19

Great read and piccies that show your system and good advice for anyone with a garage and a bike to secure.

For a bike like yours, there is no overkill only not secure enough! If it was mine I'd probably add a laser triggered by heat and movement to deliver a lethal blast. A completely proportionate response to a potential theft but don't forget to tell the family you installed it.

I have read before that a two D-lock/chain strategy is better than cables. I think though that most roadies (myself included) would only do that when out-and-about on their town bike - too much weight to carry on the road bike and I don't tend to take my eye off it at cake stops anyway!

Comment by Shaun Bradbury on January 9, 2013 at 19:53
Do what I did and fill the conservatory

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