wikiHow to Stop Your Bike from Being Stolen

Around 150,000 bicycles are stolen in the United Kingdom alone. It is a tragedy losing it. Sometimes you'll never get it back. However, you can take specific steps to prevent your bike being victimized. You can't change the fact that bikes are stolen, but you can prevent, or at least slow down, the stealing of your bike.


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    Get good locks. Spend money on good locks. No lock is totally thief proof - but the more you spend, the better the lock will be. As a rough-guideline, look to spend 20% of the value of your bike on locks. There are many different types. The more kinds you use, the harder the bike will be to steal. These are the most popular.
    • D or U locks are rigid steel locks that separate into two pieces. Get a lock that physically lock both ends of the U to the cross-bar. If you are going to get a cable lock for the front wheel, get the smallest lock possible, and lock it through the rim of the rear wheel.
    • Cable locks can been be looped around the bike and around larger objects like trees. Go for a thick one with interwoven threads - which will take a thief longer to cut through. However, any cable lock can be cut through in seconds with a good set of bolt cutters. In high-theft areas, they are only good for securing the front wheel to the frame.
    • There are also specially hardened bike chains which are the best option if you have to use non-standard things like lampposts to lock your bike to. If you have quick release mechanisms on your seat or wheels, you can also buy locking nuts and bolts. These can be undone with a uniquely shaped key - so passing thieves can't steal them.
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    Lock it somewhere sensible. Always lock your bike - even if you are only leaving it for a minute. Leave it in as public a place as possible. Ideally lock it where you can see it - or where lots of other people can. Never leave it in an isolated place. If you're going shopping, leave it locked up outside the shop. If you're just having a break, lock it up nearby to where you're sitting down.
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    Lock it to something solid. Make sure it is secured to an immovable object like a cycle anchor or railings. Some things that look solid are not, so check. If you're locking it to a post, make sure the post is at least 4m high, so thieves can't lift it off the top.
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    Lock it tight. Whatever lock you use, make sure you lock the frame and the wheels to something immovable. Make sure your d-lock is tight, so the lock is not hanging loose and there's no space between the bike and the object it's locked to. This makes it difficult to lever the lock open. Make sure the key-hole is pointing down - so thieves can't fill it with a corrosive fluid, or with glue, which means you can't move it, but they can come back and steal it later and when you leave it, remember to remove accessories like the lights - or the seat if you haven't fitted locking nuts.
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    Register it. If you are unlucky enough to have your bike stolen, this will help you get it back. In most countries, there are schemes run by the police or online with whom you can register the unique frame number of your bike. The police also recommend that you take a photo of your bike and record its details, like the model and colour, as well as the frame number. Most importantly, make sure to TAG your bike in multiple places indicating where the bike is registered. If stolen, the thief will likely strip off what tags he easily sees, the one TAG he misses will be his undoing.
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    Keep your bike in the shed so no one would steal it
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    If you have a drill, carve your name under the bike, so if they stole the bike, they couldn't take off your name without breaking the bike. Even if they paint over your name, it will be rough, and your name will be visible.


  • If you are allowed, place the bike into your own house after each session.
  • Remember to lock the bike to the frame and something solid to make stealing it very, very difficult.
  • Be careful who you trust with your bike; only let your closest friends borrow it.
  • Make sure your bike has a frame number.
  • Sites such as allow you to store information on your bike, including the serial number and a picture. You can also purchase cheap stickers for your bike to notify others the bike is registered.
  • If you see your bike getting stolen, try to get a glimpse of the face and report him/her right away.


  • If you see someone stealing your bike, do not put yourself in danger in order to stop the thief. Your safety and the safety of others is more important than your bike.

Sources and Citations

  • - Original source of this article. Shared with permission.

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Categories: Bicycles | Bicycling