Bike shed security - part 2

Locks and anchors to protect your prized ride

At the start of the summer we explained the different bike storage options and how to make it harder for thieves to break into your shed. This time we're looking at the second wave of security needed if a burglar breaches those external defences: locks and anchor points.

Hooks and racks

Before deciding what locks and anchors to buy, it's important to think about how you're going to store your bike(s), because that will determine the length of the locks that you need and the position of the anchors. The main options are:

1 Lean bike against wall: The easy option, but the bike takes up valuable space and can be knocked over easily.

2 Use wheel rack to hold bike up: Bike takes up just as much space, but isn't as easy to knock over. Eg. Revolution Bike Stand, £12.71, Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative (click here for review).

Eg. THE Bike Stand, £19.99, THE Industries (click here for review).

3 Hang from hook horizontally: Frees up floor space but, depending on the height of the shed, you may only be able to fit one bike per wall. You can also buy 'horizontal' racks to use in the home. Eg. Revolution Storage Stand, £88.08, Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative (click here for review).

4 Hang from hook vertically: Frees up more space than any of the other options, as long as your shed is high enough.

In this case, the shed is tall enough to store bikes vertically, so that they take up less room. If you're in the same boat, here are some bike hooks to consider:

LifeLine Wall Rack, £10.99, Wiggle (click here for review).

Topeak OneUp, £32.99, Extra (click here for review).

X-Tools Wallmount, £9.99, Hotlines (click here for review).

Locks

Once you've got your storage sorted it's time to buy some decent heavy-duty locks and ground anchors. You'll need to make sure each chain is long enough to secure your bike(s) with but not so long that it's easy for thieves to use cutting tools on. For more tips see our Buyer's Guide To Bike Locks.

D-Locks (also known as U-Locks) are great for locking up your bike when you're out and about because they're relatively small and light. When it comes to shed security, weight doesn't matter, so it's a good idea to invest in a heavy-duty motorbike-style chain lock instead. Some of the best ones even come with a scaled down D-Lock instead of a padlock.

For ultimate toughness look for a Sold Secure rating. Sold Secure is an independent organisation administered by the Master Locksmiths Association. To achieve a top Gold rating, a lock must hold out for five minutes against a sophisticated array of tools.

Here's a selection of chain locks:

Abus Granit chain, £99.99 (110cm), Zyro (click here for review).

Kryptonite New York ‘Fahgettaboudit’ chain, £119.99 (100cm) / £149.99 (150cm), Madison (click here for review).

Oxford HD chain lock, £29.99 (100cm) / £34.99 (150cm) / £44.99 (200cm), Oxford Products (click here for review).

Pragmasis Protector chain and Master Lock Excell M50D padlock, £49.70 (150cm), Torc-Anchors (click here for review).

Squire DCL1 disc lock and J3 chain, £39.99 (100cm), Squire (click here for review).

Floor anchors

There's no good having an expensive lock if there's nothing to lock your bike to. Unless it's fixed to an immovable object, it will be easy for thieves to steal and may not be covered by insurance. The solution is to fit a lock anchor. The best option is a heavy-duty floor anchor bolted into concrete, but even a wall anchor screwed into a wooden shed panel or fencepost will provide some extra security. Here are some examples.

Abus WBA 100 Granit wall/ground anchor, £79.99, Zyro (click here for review).

Abus WA 50 wall anchor, £34.99, Zyro. We haven't put this wall-mounted unit to the test yet but it's made in Germany of hardened steel and has been designed to withstand attacks with bolt croppers, saws and drills. It mounts with two extra-long expander bolts.

Kryptonite Stronghold security anchor, £54.99, Madison (click here for review).

Oxford AnchorForce extra strong ground anchor, £49.99, Oxford Products (click here for review).

Oxford BruteForce ground/wall anchor, £14.99, Oxford Products. The BruteForce is a scaled down version of the AnchorForce, with a single steel layer and two expander bolts instead of four. As a result it meets Sold Secure's Silver rather than Gold standard.

Pragmasis Maxi Shackle, £42, Torc-Anchors (click here for review).

Squire Bull Point (BPGA) ground anchor, £39.95, Squire. We haven't had a chance to put this to the test yet but it's a heavy, tough-looking unit that has achieved a Sold Secure Gold rating and comes with a 10-year guarantee.

Squire BWA2 wall anchor, £5.99, Squire (click here for review).

How to fit a floor anchor

Here we'll explain how to fit the Abus WBA 100 Granit anchor. Many of the principles are the same, whichever model you choose.

1. Make sure you have all the tools you'll need:

  • Electric drill
  • Safety goggles/glasses
  • 5/8in and 5/16in drill bits (these are included with the Kryptonite anchor but not the others)
  • 4mm and 6mm Allen keys
  • Pencil
  • Vacuum cleaner

2. Decide where to put it. The floor anchor needs to be close enough to your bike(s) that your chain will fit through both the hoop of the anchor and your  frame(s). In this case, rather than attaching the anchor to the wooden floor of the shed, we've cut a hole in the floor so we can sink the anchor bolts into the concrete underneath for extra security. If you do this, make sure it won't affect the structural integrity of the shed. If you fit it in a corner, it will be harder for thieves to target. When you've decided where you want to position it, use a pencil to mark the position of the bolts.

3. Don your safety glasses and, using the 5/8in bit, drill the first hole

4. Use the vacuum cleaner to remove all dust from the hole

5. Gently insert one of the bolt-and-shield units supplied with the anchor to make sure the hole is deep enough.

6. If the hole is okay, hammer the bolt home.

7. Unscrew the Allen key bolt from the surrounding shield.

8. Place base plate in position over hole, reinsert bolt and tighten.

9. Use 5/16in bit to drill a pilot hole through one of the other holes in the base. Loosen first Allen bolt, slide base away and use 5/8in bit to enlarge hole. Repeat steps 4 to 8. Then repeat whole process for other holes.

10. Once the anchor is secured in position, tap hardened security balls or ball bearings into the tops of the Allen bolts. With some ground anchors, you will be given cover disks that can then be tapped on top.

11. Slide plastic cover onto base and secure in place using Allen key bolts. Now you're ready to thread your lock through the shackle.

We hope these articles have been helpful. If you have any safety tips to share, please have your say in the comments box below.

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