Cycle theft is a national concern and you need to take as many precautions as possible when leaving your bike around town. We have highlighted a some tips below :
Where to leave your bike
At home - if possible where you have space leave your cycle in the house. If you have to leave the bike in a garage or shed lock your bike up & the door as well. If you have insured your bike check that where you leave it at home ensures that it is covered under the policy. Keep the bike out of sight of prying eyes & avoid leaving it in your front or rear garden.
At work - some local employers provide locked secure cycle stands so obviously use these but also use a lock as well to secure the bike fully. Otherwise any stands. post or railings should be used. Where possible leave the bike where it can be seen rather than hidden away from the public gaze.
In town - use a cycle stand or other immovable object like a lampost or railings. If you do secure your bike to a post make sure it cannot easily be lifted over the top - some are only a metre or so high.
You should normally spend around 10% of the value of your bike on a cycle lock. Keep a spare key in a safe place and always have a record of the frame number of your bike - usually its on the tube that runs down from the saddle.
The most secure locks are D locks sometimes called U locks. These are recommended for all use. Cable locks normally provide a lower level of security & can be more easily broken by would be thieves. There is probably no level of lock that is totally secure & thieves have resorted to using heavy duty cutters & angle grinders to cut through & steal a bike. This has generally been in the larger cities but areas in Aylesbury have been targeted. With care by you its possible to minimise the problem.
Sold Secure provide a three tier security grading system on locks they have tested: Gold, Silver & Bronze. The top level Gold locks give a very high level of security but are expensive and can be heavy to carry. It is true that as bikes become lighter & more expensive the locks required to protect them have become heavier. You need to assess the value of your bike against the cost of the lock and determine the most appropriate. Cheaper Silver & Bronze approved locks can still provide a good level of security. Sold Secure are a non-profit making organisation & you can find more details about them & bicycle locks they approve via the link.
Using a Lock
Always lock the cycle frame securely to an immovable object and through a wheel as well if you can. If you have quick release wheels then you may need to use two locks to secure the wheels or run a long & approved extension cable to lock them within the D lock.
Lock the bike as tightly as possible to a post or stand so that the bike cannot move within the lock. Also include the rear wheel if you have space in the lock.
Try to point the section of the lock the key slots into pointing towards the ground making it more difficult to pick.
The Home Office provide additional information on Bicycle Theft Prevention on their website which is well worth looking at.
If you are still unsure about what is the best lock for you to use visit a local cycle shop such as Buckingham Bikes in Aylesbury to discuss your requirements.