Monday, April 8, 2019

Given the proper time any bicycle or trailer can be stolen.  The vast majority of thefts, however, are crimes of opportunity.  Bikes have multiple ways to protect and secure pieces and parts, but what about trailers?  With a little bit of creativity, you can increase the security of your trailer and decrease its appeal as a target.

Trailers don’t usually feature easily accessible solid areas like the main or rear triangle of a bicycle to securely fasten a u-lock.  On the Burley D’lite, your best option is the loop atop the rear storage compartment.  Carefully slip the U-lock shackle in between the fabric of the cover and the bar itself.  This will put some strain on the fabric, but it creates the most secure area I have found.  You can leave the U-lock attached when not in use to insure you always have a quick access to a lock, further encouraging you to keep your trailer safe!

There is a threshold of protection on U-locks, at minimum, you want your lock to be able to withstand an attack from a bolt cutter.  A U-lock’s shackle should be a diameter of 13-15mm to resist all but the biggest bolt cutters and 16-18mm will require something more serious in the way of an angle grinder to remove.  Bear in mind that $20 spent now prevents an $800 trailer from being stolen!   The brands I rely on are Kryptonite, Abus and OnGuard.  These brands, as well as others, offer some insurance, and I will cover lock insurance in another post.

Now we U-lock our trailer every time
Speaking with one of the awesome folks at Burley after a theft of our Burley Nomad, it was suggested that I pursue a couple of padlocks in sensitive areas.  The Masterlock 140DLH(MSRP 10.49) is a similar size to the Retaining Pin and as such can be used on both ends of the tow-bar to keep your trailer securely fastened to your vehicle.  Keep in mind that using the padlock in this way will require you to modify the Safety Strap to remain safe in the event of an equipment failure, this will, however, make disconnecting your trailer from your bike impossible without tools and time, a big step up from just popping a pin  out of place.

Last year, we had our sons Burley Nomad Stolen from in front of our local Albertsons.  We made the mistake of securing it only with a cable on a shopping trip.  The bigger mistake, however, was that we secured it in an area that had no video surveillance, not even dummy cameras.  I know it may seem odd that the designated bike parking had no cameras, but it is something that we should have realized.   As mentioned earlier, opportunity is the number one reason for theft.

If your trailer is so equipped, the best way I have found is to simply take the trailer with you inside.  Though not always possible, with a little practice, you'll be pleasantly surprised with the number of places you can take it, and the sense of security it can provide when you don't have to take your eyes off of your kid hauling transportation.  As a bonus, it can provide a comfortable napping spot for your wee ones.

Nothing makes a trailer impervious to theft, even  bikes can’t be invincible.   The goal is to make your trailer not worth the effort.  The standard has always been a cable through the wheels, and that is still true today, but with these extra levels of security, you can help to make sure your trailer will be more difficult and less appealing for thieves.