Cycle insurers share insight into thieves' most common targets

Depending on where you are in the world the most common stolen bike probably looks a little different. Now, thanks to an exclusive data-share from two of the UK’s top cycle insurance companies we can reveal the most taken bike brands and price brackets.

Specialist cycle insurer Bikmo is one business to share data snippets with Stolen Ride. As far as brands taken, there’s little surprise to see two of the so-called ‘big three’ in Bikmo’s most stolen – Giant and Specialized.

A second bicycle insurer corroborates the finding; PedalSure also name the two brands as their most wanted by thieves.

Bikmo indicates that most of the bike thefts listed on their claims occurred in London, in particular east London. Again, PedalSure’s data backs the notion that London is the UK’s theft capital and further adds Manchester and Bristol to round out its top three.

While insurer’s data may be skewed by the likelihood that bikes that are insured are worth insuring (aka they cost a fair bit to replace) we learned that the average value of the bikes stolen on the Bikmo database sat at £1,102 and £1,200 on PedalSure’s files.

It is generally considered that the average sale price of a bicycle in the UK now sits between £400 and £700 for sales completed with specialist retailers, so thieves may well be growing savvy to rough values of bikes they steal. Their preference, unsurprisingly, is to stalk prey on the streets as opposed to taking a bicycle from a private property; 82% (away) and 18% (home), says Bikmo. PedalSure on the other hand warns that theft from vehicles tends to be a preference for the thief on the move.

Office for National statistics data from 2018 suggests that around 1 in every 50 households with a bicycle have been victims of theft in recent years. While that sounds bad, it is significantly down from the peak of home cycle theft in 1995 where 6 in 100 households fell victim. Disproportionately it is younger people and poorer urban areas that are most targeted.

It’s wise to invest in a strong primary lock and secondary lock to secure frame/wheels and components to cycle parking, car racks and at home. Effective locking technique is crucial to deterring thieves, as are security markings and registration, so check out our recent features on the subject for tips.

With bicycle insurance, previously released Bikmo data stated that 97.4% of claims made were approved, with total claims averaging £1,431. As a nation of fair-weather cyclists, it’s unsurprising that claims spike from March through September, peaking in June and July. You can read further details here.

*Data from September 2018 – September 2019

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