A few days ago Bike Biz ran a news item on the size of the bicycle black market. The basis of the story was some research from LV=Home Insurance, which estimated the black market was over £58m.
They based this figure on the fact the average sale of a second hand bike is £260. The LV survey also questioned 2,000 bike owners about their experiences of bike theft.
From the 2,000 surveyed, 70% said they would consider buying and second hand bike, which is good news for the likes of us. However, from that 70%, worryingly 27% said they wouldn’t ask about the bike’s background.
With thieves easily able to sell on bikes second hand via online sites, cyclists really should ask about a bike’s history before buying it. We try to encourage buyers here at Going Going Bike to ask questions to our sellers about bike history, while asking sellers to prove the ownership of their bikes by giving the serial numbers of their bikes.
Additional stats from the survey revealed that a fifth of the respondents had a bike stolen at some point with one in 20 being the victims of thieves three or more times.
On average, a bike owner would have their bikes for just under two years before they are stolen.
Nearly a third said their bike was stolen from their shed or garage; a fifth from their drive; and one in ten had their bike stolen either from outside their office or a bar or restaurant.
More than one in four people in London said they had fallen victim to bike theft, compared to one in seven in Wales.