How to Safely Store Your Bike Outside

Published: 18/05/2021

Tiger Sheds, Bike Shed, Apex Roof, Bike Shed with bike

Finding safe and secure bike storage is vital. Let’s face it – leaving your bike outside isn’t ideal. If it’s outside for a day or two won’t do it too much harm. But leaving it there permanently will make it vulnerable to moisture and mean it’ll probably start to rust – especially in the UK where we have a lot of rain and some snow. And that’s not to mention thieves! If you leave your bike outside, it'll be more tempting for people to steal. According to data from Statista, there were 88,299 bike thefts reported in England and Wales in 2019/20 [1]. While those figures are noticeably lower than 2018/19 (when there were 98,283 bike thefts), they still highlight the need to keep your bike safe. 

Read on to read our top tips on how to secure a bike outside:

Buy a Secure Bike Shed

Bike sheds are becoming increasingly popular and have many advantages. First and foremost, it gives bikes a safe and tidy place to stay, shielding them from rain, sun, snow, and thieves. This helps them last longer and saves money on repairs. Moreover, having secure bike storage keeps the garden area neat and attractive and gives you peace of mind.

A bicycle in a shed, bike shed, garden

Choose the Bike Shed’s Location with Care

The best place to store your bike is somewhere where thieves can’t see or reach. Ideally, you would place your bike in a back garden or backyard that no-one can see from the road, back lanes, alleys or from other houses nearby.

Secure the Garden

For secure bike storage, it makes sense to keep the fences or walls surrounding your yard or garden in good condition. Preferably, you should also have high enough fences that thieves find it hard to see in or climb into your garden and reach your bikes.

Think about the Design of the Shed

To further protect your bike from theft, it would be wise to choose dedicated bike garden storage – and not a standard garden shed. Why? Because most (but not all) general-purpose sheds have windows – making the bike visible from the outside (and more tempting to thieves). If you must have windows on your shed, you may consider something like the Security Apex, which comes with security windows and free security protection bar.

A wooden shed with a ladder, security shed with slit windows

Metal, Plastic or Wooden Bike Shed?

You can also choose between a metal, plastic or wooden bike shed. The average metal bike shed is strong but are prone to rust. Plastic sheds don’t need much maintenance, but they tend to suffer from condensation build-up and they warp after time.

There are stark differences between the quality of wooden sheds – they are not all made equal! Cheaper sheds can use OSB (orientated strand board) on the floor and roof, to keep the price down, but the cons of OSB is that the sheets swell up when exposed to water and damp condition and offers little protection for your bike. Look for a shed that has strong 12mm shiplap cladding and tongue and groove floorboards and roof boards to prevent the wind and rain getting inside, making them extra strong and long lasting.

A Tiger Bike Shed benefits from…

  • Strong 12mm shiplap cladding with scalloping to have prevent water ingress
  • Superior tongue & groove timber board
  • No cheap OSB board is used 
  • Slow grown European softwood, cut in our Yorkshire woodmill to a high grade
  • Pre-treated with TigerSkin®, a specially formulated wood preserver developed over many years – for a non-greasy weatherproof seal before it leaves the workshop

A Tiger Bike Shed also comes with double doors for easy access, as well as a lock and key as standard to make them more secure.

A wooden shed with a bicycle and helmet in it, apex bike shed

Shed Security Measures

Securing a shed is important to protect your belongings and ensure the safety of your property. Here are some general shed security measures you can consider:

Shed Alarms

Often a shed will store a wide range of valuables as well as your bike so fitting an alarm can be a reassuring security method for those overly concerned about a potential break-in.    Key fob alarms can be picked up from loyal DIY-stores and installed almost effortlessly. All you need to do is install a sensor onto your door and or windows so when it detects movement of either an alarm will sound and it can only be turned off with the fob key. 

Shed Security Cameras

For those that have invested a significant amount of money on a new bike then you might want a little bit more protection through surveillance. If you can’t afford to install and run your own camera then you can pick a dummy camera online for under £10. Dummy cameras can be fixed to your shed or premises to act a deterrent.    For those that feel that they would like an outside camera that can record and hold footage for at least 48 hours then these can also be picked from as little £30.    As deterrents go cameras can offer piece of mind to bike and shed owners alike, but they can also attract unwanted attention by advertising your property/shed as having highly valuable assets. 

Shed Signage

Some of the cheapest deterrents are the signs you can often find in your local supermarket. You know the beware of the dog signs and the surveillance in operations signs you can pick up for cheaply and can be added to you shed, gates and fences to warn off any potential thief’s from entering your premises.  

Fit Anti-vandal Screws, Locks and Alarms

A deadbolt or padlock with a shroud to prevent cutting is a good choice. Tiger has a great range of shed security products including a Security Post, Security Bar, Hasp & Staple with Disc Lock, Mesh Window Frames and not forgetting our Anti Vandal Screws.  All designed to deter burglars and help keep your belongings safe and sound.  Make sure your shed security products are installed properly and then you can relax!

A picture containing a shed security post

A shed security post takes a matter of minutes to install yet offers a great security solution for securing bikes and expensive tools in your shed.

Or, how about a shed security bar?  

A picture containing an apex roof garden shed with security door, security bar

A visual deterrent and a simple way to ensure your shed is safely locked. 

Anchor your Shed to the Ground

Anchoring kits are designed for wooden bike sheds (and wooden sheds in general). These help secure the body of the shed to the ground and stop would-be thieves from lifting it up and getting inside.

Bike Security

Bike theft is a common concern, and taking proper security measures is crucial to protect your investment. Here are some effective bike security measures:

Bike Locks 

With a million and one bike locks on the market it is hard to know what would best suit your needs. So, in a bid to help you choose the right one for your garden we have provided a short description of each of the common locks on the market today:

Cable Locks

A close-up of a bicycle and cable lock

There are three traditional cable locks; 

  • Basic Cable – Usually a steel cable of various thicknesses covered in plastic – traditional used for the basics of bike security needs. 
  • Coiled Cable – A low level security lock that houses sprung cables, which can recoil for ease of storage and transportation. 
  • Armoured Cable – The best of all the cable locks is protects the steel cable with a hardened steel shell that is frustratingly difficult to cut.  Armoured cables can weigh as much as 2.8 kg they are often supplied with a carrying bracket.

Chain Padlocks

The different weights, lengths and chain link sizes all affect the security of a chain padlock. The thicker the chains and the closer the links spaces are the better the level of security, especially if the ends of the chain are locked into a close shackle padlock as they are less resistant to levering. These types of chains are generally covered with a protective fabric or plastic sleeve to reduce corrosion and to avoid damaging the bike’s paintwork.  Chain padlocks are one of the best overall security locks available; however, they tend to be heavy and cannot easily be carried on the bike but make the perfect lock for those that plan on just using a lock in their garden or shed.

D and U Bike Locks

Both shaped locks comprise of hardened steel shackles of various lengths, widths and thicknesses, which lock into an oblong shaped lock body. Often compared to an oversized padlock, the lock is lightweight making it easy to transport, apply and secure. The length of the D and U locks reduces the space between the secured bike and the desired secure object (Shed, drain bike, fence, etc…) minimising levering points. These types of locks have become increasingly common in recent years and are reliable for covering home bike security and in-town/parking security needs. When it comes to bike security in the garden or shed it is important to invest in a lock that is suitable for your needs.  Investing in the right lock can make all the difference and failure to use the wrong lock can result in a preventable theft so always do your research.

A picture containing a d bike lock

For more information on the different types of bike locks including information on Skewers and Cuff shackles and their uses visiting Crime Prevention Website in which the above information was inherited from.   If you would like to find out more information on how to lock your bike correctly then these websites have excellent guides; London Cyclists and Howdini or watch this short video guide created by PC Ian MacPherson, from the Metropolitan Police that gives you some useful tips so that you can properly lock your bike safely up safely:

Bike Covers

Covering your bike in your shed with an old sheet or bike cover can be a good way of reducing the attractiveness of your sheds or gardens content.  You can pick up a basic bike cover from as little at £5 online! 

Extra Bike Protection

In addition to the basic bike security measures, you can consider some extra precautions to provide additional protection for your bike:

Bike Insurance

For those that rely on their bike to commute to work every day then investing in bike cover essential. A stolen bike can be more than an inconvenience to you and your family, especially when you report the incident to the police.  If you value your bike and or your bike is valuable and you want to make sure it is covered on and off your premises then it’s best to shop around for the best bike insurance deals. It is important that you read the terms and conditions of your cover as you might only be covered for a limited amount, and you might have to pay an excess should you make a claim.   You might find that you are covered in your home and content agreement, however claiming on home insurances will usually cost more than a bespoke claim through a bike insurer. Also, it is worth mentioning that a claim on a home insurance policy “could” push up your premiums next time you renew your policy. It’s important that you look at what protection you currently have around your bike and home, the cost of claiming and the repercussion of claiming should the worst happen. 

Bike Registration

The website Immobilise is the world largest free possession ownership database. The website has become a very effective tool for those who register as it can help repatriate recovered personal property to its rightful owners. Immobilise can be used by members of the public to registers their bikes and other valued possessions on their database which gives them an ownership account which are viewable on the Police national property database the NMPR, which means that if your bike is recovered by the police, they have a good chance of finding you and returning the stolen bike.   There are other databases online which are free but considering that as a direct result of Immobilise there are over 250 cases a week where property is returned, or information collected that assists the Police in investigating criminal activity involving stolen goods.

Neighbourhood Watch

A yellow circle with black and yellow logo, neightbour hood watch logo

The Neighbourhood Watch is a voluntary network of schemes where neighbours come together, along with the police and local partners, to build safe and friendly communities and has been going since 1982 in the UK. The network enables individual sand neighbourhoods to share concerns within their local community.   The aim of the network is to drive down crime in trouble neighbourhoods and works with the local community to reduce crime.  If you feel that your bike and shed are at risk due to increased crime in your area, then it is advisable to not only speak to the police but also consider taking to the NHW. Working with your neighbours can mean that extra security measures can include on your street/area: no cold calling zones, key holder schemes, home security improvement drives and even architectural alterations to reduce the potential for crime and anti-social behaviour on estates. Joining your local scheme can ensure you and your property are better protected, you become educated on the crime around your area ad you communicate with your neighbours who can help keep an eye out for bike thieves. If you’re interested setting up your own NHW scheme, click here to find out more information.

Don’t Advertise your Bike’s Location

If you use an app like Strava, which tracks the route of your rides, you should know that bike thieves now target users [2]. As a result, it’s sensible to start tracking your ride a good distance from your home; you can also set up a ‘privacy zone’ or keep your profile private and avoid posting your whereabouts on social media.

Bike Security Resources 

With the tough economy forcing workers to down scale and the Olympic and Paralympic Games inspiring us to get on our bikes it is not hard to imagine the opportunities presented to thieves on a daily basis. We hope this guide will help you keep your bikes and sheds safe and if you need more information take a look at the following useful resource section, in which you will find useful website and article on how to keep your bike, home and shed safe:  

Located in the heart of Yorkshire, Tiger is one of the UK’s leading garden building specialists and has a growing collection of sheds, summerhouses, log cabins and garden storage, providing excellent quality, safe and secure products and offering unprecedented levels of service. 

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