Tips to keep your bike safe and secure.
Apartment living. Sometimes it’s not the best living situation. When owning a bike, living in an apartment can offer other challenges. Rules governing the parking, security and maintenance of bikes can differ for each apartment complex. Check with management and read the lease details to understand specific policies for your complex.
For many riders, keeping their bike secure from vandalism and theft, as well as protecting it from the weather is crucial. You can’t count on people doing the right thing. Across rider forums, many riders share stories of waking up to find their bikes missing or mangled.
Carports, found in many parking structures for apartment complexes, simply don’t offer the security and protection that the bike owner needs. But there are some strategies you can use to make sure your baby stays protected.
Bring it Inside
One of the easiest solutions to avoid weather and theft is to bring your bike inside. You need a first-floor apartment with a wide enough doorway (or slim enough bike) to allow entry. Some apartment units might have sliding glass door in the back, which if accessible make for easy entry into a kitchen or living room. Another option is if your unit has an adjoining patio to park and lock your bike on the patio. In any case, closer is always better.
Use a Portable Storage Shelter
Parking privileges usually come with an apartment unit rental. Speak with the property manager about installing a bike enclosure. These shelters are easy to set up and disassemble, provide weather protection and allow you to lock the shelter to prevent would be thieves and vandals. In addition, it provides a high level of visibility. Drivers easily overlook motorcycles making it easy to back into your bike. A storage shelter, like those by CycleShell makes setup and storage a breeze.
Image courtesy CycleShell
Rent a Storage Unit
A reasonable alternative, though at times somewhat inconvenient, is to rent a storage unit. This solves so many issues for renters. No worries about security and the elements. As a bonus, it provides a covered space to do routine maintenance such as oil changes. Many apartment complexes have polices against doing mechanical work on their properties.
Use a Disc Lock, Security Alarm and Bike Cover
At a minimum, bike owners will want to use a disc or rotor lock. Disc locks prevent the bike from being moved and some come with built in alarm systems. You can couple this with an alarm system that sends a notification to you if people try to move or molest your bike. With both of these solutions, cover the bike to protect it from the weather as well as to provide a little discreet cover to what lies underneath (out of sight, out of mind). Some riders also suggest chaining the bike to a post or car axle.
One interesting suggestion is to park horizontally into the parking space and then pull your car behind the bike. This limits the space thieves have to work around your bike and with a disc lock would make it very hard to maneuver the bike out of the narrow space.
Rent Garage Space from a Neighbor or Business
Talk to neighbors and local businesses near your rental that might be willing to rent part or all of their garage space to store your bike.
If you’re friendly with people in the community this might be a viable option. Don’t just trust anyone however. Make sure that they understand the importance of keeping your bike safe and secure.
One rider found a retired woman on a fixed income that was more than happy to rent out her garage. Another rider also rented a garage and sublet space to other riders, offsetting the cost.
Get Theft Insurance
One of the easiest things you can do to protect yourself is to add theft insurance to you insurance policy. This added protection is for peace of mind, knowing that whatever happens you are covered.