A tourist in town for Crankworx has been left gutted after her bike was stolen - as police warn festival visitors that mountain bikes are a "hot item" for Rotorua's thieves.

Mea Bishop travelled from the South Island with her daughter, who was competing in the National Secondary School Mountain Biking competition as part of Crankworx.

Her bike was stolen from the roof of her car while it was parked at her motel.

"I was gutted, I'd come all the way from Blenheim for a few days' riding," she said.

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"It went missing during our first night here."

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Mrs Bishop wanted to warn other riders, especially with all the bike activity during Crankworx.

"I won't be going biking anymore," she said. "I just want it back before I leave for home."

The bike is an On One mountain bike, titanium colour with a carbon stem and a woman's specialised seat.

Mea Bishop said she just wants her bike back Photo/Supplied
Mea Bishop said she just wants her bike back Photo/Supplied

Crankworx event director Tak Mutu said bike thefts around the country were huge at the moment and Rotorua was no different.

"It's embarrassing to be honest," he said.

"Over the last few years we've had really good behaviour during Crankworx, you know - 15,000 people and only this one bike."

Mr Mutu said his biggest piece of advice was just to use common sense.

"The reality is there are unsavoury people out there, you can use all the preventative measures and they'll still find a way," he said.

"Don't cheap out on the locks."

Rotorua police area prevention manager Inspector Stuart Nightingale said two bikes had been reported stolen this week.

"Mountain bikes are always a hot item in Rotorua," he said.

"We are regularly having them stolen and it's a serious offence, especially when you consider the value of some of these bikes."

Mr Nightingale said Rotorua police did recover quite a few stolen bikes.

"It's very disappointing. We want our tourists to remember their trip to Rotorua for all the right reasons," he said.

"I was actually at Crankworx [yesterday] talking to tourists and letting them know how they can prevent these thefts happening."

Mountain Bike Rotorua has offered to lend Mrs Bishop a bike so she can at least get some riding in before she heads home.

Advice on protecting your bike
Use a combination lock with a strong metal chain.
Secure the bike through the frame to a solid object.
Make a note of the make, model and serial number of your bike and take a photograph to help police identify it if it does go missing.
- Rotorua police