Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Bike Security Solutions

From past blogs its probably become apparent that the bikes in my family have successfully bred over the past few years. As a result between the family we now have a total of 6 bikes stored in what is essentially an over sized garden shed. I've been promising myself for some considerable time that I will 'do the sensible thing' and invest a small proportion of the value of the bikes on a decent security solution. My sentiment was further encouraged by the fact that I've been unable to find a household contents insurance company who don't hang up when I tell them that the bikes are stored in a shed! Apparently 40% of all bike thefts are from garden sheds.......

Having justified it to myself, I needed to find a suitable product. A few hours of intense google searching, product reviews and general price comparisons resulted in a short list headed by http://www.torc-anchors.com/

I decided to use a 'Ground Anchor'...resin bonded into the slab and concrete sub-base of my shed and 13mm heavy duty chain secured with a Squire padlock.

Prior to purchase I gave torc-anchor.com a call and spoke with their Technical Director Stephen Briggs. He gave me some great advise on chain/lock configuration to ensure that I had a manageable solution. He suggested two smaller chains as an alternative to one long chain (the chains are very heavy!) and gave me some precise directions on how to resin bond the ground anchor into a concrete slab and also the concrete sub-base that acts as the shed base. This essentially involved purchasing a higher volume of resin from screwfix to ensure that any cavity between the concrete slab and concrete base was also filled with resin thus ensuring that the ground anchor bolts were successfully bonded throughout the whole of the concrete base structure.

Including floor preparation, hole drilling and bonding the installation probably took me around 2 hours.....Here are a few pictures of the finished installation. I'm pleased with the results and satisfied that any would be thief will be confronted with a serious challenge......hopefully enough to make them look elsewhere for easier pickings..............

Finally, the product and service from torq-anchors comes highly recommended!


Dangerous Dave said...

Good post.

Having just had my 3 bikes nicked, I'm looking to do something more to secure them - though they were stored in the house.

One thing I have learned is that if they know what's there, and they want it, they'll take it.

Rob#2 said...

3 bikes stolen from your house is a shocker! How was the insurance company? Will you get the money to replace them? I'd certainly recommend a look at link in my post...there security products are very substancial (more so then they look in the picturers)....and meet all current ensurance company gold standards....

Dangerous Dave said...

Insurance are still messing about at the moment! Definitely thinking if getting a ground anchor so nice to see it's not all that difficult to fit!

The police have said to look out for locks resistant to some spray which freezes the metal and allows them to shatter it with a quick whack. Might be worth looking at this if you haven't already!!

Rob#2 said...

The locks supplied were Squire high security. They weigh around 0.6KG each. They are very substancial and I'd be surprissed if you could freeze them very easily. However, I'm no expert..I'd give the guys at torc anchors a call. Here is some of the info that they provided me re angle grinders I'm sure they would as happy to comment about lock security:
Excellent setup and glad you're pleased with our stuff. Well done
indeed. That looks really good, and I'm impressed with the way you've
done it.

Re angle grinders: Yes, they will get through pretty much anything,
but the boron steel material we use makes them tough going (especially
with traditional grinding discs) as the metal tends to bind onto the
side of the disc. However, there are more modern cutting discs that
will still cut it. This is another aspect where keeping the chain and
lock off the floor helps because it is not funny trying to cut one of
these things with it swinging around, indeed I would refuse to try as
it is dangerous. Our chains also have to be cut twice in order to
defeat them. Thieves don't have the same H&S worries as us, but they
are still unlikely to want to get hurt. Even so, a grinder is a threat
and 'bigger is better' is the response to counter it. Hence the 16mm
and 19mm - they can still both be cut but it's getting harder and
harder. Of course, these are less and less suitable for securing bikes
as there's a serious risk that dropping a chain like that will take a
chunk out of the frame! To give you a benchmark, though, with a
mains-powered professional-grade grinder and the modern specialist
cutting discs that we use, I'd expect it to take less than a minute to
cut a 13mm chain, twice, **providing it's held in a vice**; if it's
not held firmly then I'd expect it to take a lot longer. Longer again
with a cordless grinder as even the pro-grade ones are pretty feeble
in comparison with mains tools, and longer again with a poorer disc.
Very fortunately, it is very rare for bike thieves to use grinders. It
does happen, but the usual tools for bicycle thieves are bolt
croppers, hacksaws, cable cutters, etc. Motorbike thieves tend to use
mostly the same things, but bigger ones, and industrial/plant thieves
are commonly using grinders and gas in isolated locations. If I was
you, I'd probably stick with what you've got until/unless someone does
steal something, and then I'd go up to the 16mm chain, perhaps over
the most valuable bikes. Hence, you've got a backup plan if something
does go wrong, but I think you are well protected and should sleep
well ;-)

Dan Howell said...

What a minefield bike security is, indeed. As most of you know, I've had my share of 'fun' in the past, as have most of us I think.

Like Dave said, if they want something they'll have it, and you won't believe the cheek and determination some of them will show in getting at your gear.

For my part, I'd just add :-

1) Sheds, I'd shy away from to be honest, they're just too insecure IMHO, but stuff like this ground anchoring is a must if you have to put them in there.

2) Either way, even if they're in your house, if someone knows they're there it won't stop them trying to get them!

So, be careful about returning home in full view with your bike - is anyone watching you? Following you?

Be careful about how much you post online, too. Thieves are getting increasingly smart these days and it doesn't take much to piece together a few forum posts, blog articles, Twitter/Facebook posts and some pictures coupled with Google Streetview and, before you know it, they've got all they need to find you!

A number of shed-type breakins near us have been overnight, so I guess there may be some value in a loud alarm for your shed - it might not stop them actually breaking in but if you're asleep it might be enough to wake you up and allow you to intervene/phone the police....?

Farqui said...

Sad news DD, I hope the insurance sort you out sooner rather than later.

All good tips for securing your precious gear, thanks.

Once the "horse has bolted" a well respected tracking/return tool is Immobilise - so get your gear cataloged!

Dangerous Dave said...

There's a video on YouTube where they test Thatcham and Sold Secure locks, all purporting to last 5 minutes; most last no longer than 20 seconds.

Sheds are also very insecure as dan said - I had a break in last year so beefed up security on the door only for these thieves to take the roof off to get in.

Alarms, and lots of locks so it's too risky is about all you can do to mitigate against theft.

Rob#2 said...

I saw the video...very interesting. They were using record 42" bolt croppers. One of the guys was also carring a few extra punds in weight. He was required to cut through the most substancial 13mm chains...The 16mm and 19mm chains fron torc-security are guaranteed to be Record 42" bolt cropper proof. I guess that will just move the week point to somewhere else. In my case I have no where else to store the bikes, I've done 'more then the average' and it's about all I can do. However, I agree with all the comments. If some one wants em bad enough (just like anything else we own) they will have em!! I guess the final option is to employ one of those blokes from Afganistan who wears a balaclava and dagger emblem on his arm. He who dares wins....

Eliathah said...
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