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How To Protect Your Bicycle Business From Theft

By Maria Hickey on September 11th, 2022

UK bike shops have always been a target for criminals wanting to steal high-value goods to sell for cash. But apart from protecting your business with cycle shop insurance, what bike theft prevention measures can you implement to boost your bicycle shop security?

We often think that security for bicycles is something the bike owners do once they have purchased a cycle and taken it home. But we never think about how vulnerable bike shop owners are or how they can reduce their risks.

Thieves are ruthlessly targeting many bike shops specifically for high-end stock, including the increasingly popular electric bikes that are worth thousands of pounds.

How to prevent bike theft

Bike owners can use a range of methods to keep their bicycle safe, such as using a top-of-the-range anti-theft bike lock with a built-in alarm and made from hardened steel chains, bars or shackle locks that are resistant to tools, bolt cutters, and leverage attacks.

They can also fix sturdy bars for securing the bike in the shed and add extra bike shed security, an obvious visual deterrent to would-be opportunist thieves looking for a quick smash and grab raid from a garden shed.

But for a bike shop owner that may hold stock of hundreds of high-value bikes and accessories, fitting each bike with an expensive bike lock or other bicycle anti-theft device isn’t a cost-effective way to secure their inventory.

Bike shop owners need to look at other solutions to protect their premises from criminal attacks and protect their livelihood. With the latest police-recorded crimes in England and Wales showing that retail robbery has risen by 31 per cent, officers are now using the latest developments in new technologies to tackle retail crime, including a new DNA intruder spray system.

A trial of this new DNA intruder spray system, in Manchester, helped to reduce crime across the city by nearly a quarter. The shopkeepers in the trial were not targeted a single time in 12 months.

What Can Bike Shops Do To Improve Their Security?

There are still several practical steps that bike shop owners can take to help protect their premises from thieves, including investing in comprehensive business insurance. Steps can include:


One of the most effective ways for bike shop owners to protect their inventory is to register all their bike stock on the national cycle database BikeRegister.

This bike security UK database registry links any bike a thief steals from you and tries to sell. You can flag up your stolen bikes from your online account if you suffer a burglary. Should the criminal attempt to sell on any of your stolen bikes, the prospective buyers can use Bike Checker to find out if the bike on offer has been stolen.

BikeRegister has become the leading registration system in the UK for cycle shop owners to help reduce bike theft and have their stock returned following a burglary. With over 800,000 bikes on its database and is used by all UK police forces, it is easy for police to check the legitimate owner of any bikes ceased in raids or on stolen goods recovery missions.

Offer Bike Marking Sessions

Another effective move to offer more bike protection from theft is to team up with your local Police force or Business Improvement District (BID) to provide bike marking sessions to your local community and as part of your point of sale service to your customers.

Widely promoting your bike marking sessions will also deter would-be thieves looking to steal bikes in the local area. It means their chances of selling on a stolen bicycle will be much reduced as people will be aware of the scheme and be on the lookout for marked bikes being sold cheaply.

Update CCTV Security

A well-designed CCTV security system is essential to protect your stock from theft, especially if your bikes are on full display and are unlocked to allow customers to try them out for size and seat comfort in-store.

Good-quality in-store lighting displays your bikes to their best advantage. It makes it easy for your CCTV system to pick up any unwanted activity, such as shoplifting bike accessories.

However, if you switch off your shop lights at night when closed, it can help to install the latest in CCTV technology and security systems for your shop that uses sensor lights that come on when triggered to deter potential burglars.

Modern CCTV will give you video surveillance that can be fed to your smartphone in Real Time and also alerts the police of your break-in. Your CCTV footage will be clear and crisp enough to quickly identify the criminals and recover any bikes and accessories stolen as a result.

CCTV also offers a powerful visual deterrent to would-be criminals. No burglar wants to risk being caught on camera in the act of committing a crime, so they will quickly move on when they see CCTV protects your bike shop.

Always Have An Employee On The Floor During Opening Hours

Although modern technology is revolutionising the retail sector and automating many tasks, there is nothing better for your shop security than having a live staff member on your shop floor during opening hours.

Your shop staff are the eyes and ears of your business and provide your customers with invaluable help and advice when looking to buy a new bike for themselves or a family member. However, your shop-floor staff can also act as an effective deterrent to shoplifters targeting your store.

Your staff will be invested in your business and won’t want to see anything bad happen to your shop that might result in your shop closing down and them losing their job. Keeping an eye on your shop and looking out for suspicious behaviour is part of the job and your staff are worth their weight in gold in this respect.

Your CCTV footage may pick up a criminal activity such as shoplifting, but your shop-floor staff may prevent it from happening in the first place by simply being present on the floor.

Upgrade Your Alarm Systems

These days’ bike shop owners can no longer rely on locks and keys to keep their premises safe and their stock protected. You will want to display your bikes and accessories in their best light to attract customers, but ensuring you have the best security system your budget will allow will help prevent people from stealing your goods.

Modern retail shop alarm systems can include small, hard-to-see wireless alarm sensors with long battery life. These wireless sensors can detect the movement of protected items that will trigger an alarm to alert you. Your staff can quickly disarm the sensors should they need to take a secured item off the display to show to a customer.

The flexibility of modern retail alarm systems means you can protect everything from your shop doors and windows to a display rack or display cabinet and larger independent objects like electric bikes.


Your bicycle shop security is at the top of your list of priorities as a business owner. You cannot leave anything to chance these days, so taking as many precautions as possible to secure your business premises and protect your stock makes sense.

But don’t forget that cycle shop insurance is also essential for protecting your cycle business. No matter how many anti-bike theft measures you put in place, there will still be a risk of losing your stock to other things besides burglary, such as fire and flooding, which can devastate your business. You can get a better idea of the coverage you need by comparing quotes with Brisco Business Insurance.

Maria Hickey

For more than 20 years, Maria has worked in the insurance sector and has extensive underwriting and customer service expertise. Maria is an experienced Senior Underwriter with a particular specialism for shop, office and surgery related insurance.

All articles by Maria Hickey

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