How to Lock Up Your Bike Safely

1. Always lock your bike when it is unattended, even if you are indoors or only leaving it for a minute. Most stolen bikes are not locked up.

Bike Rack on Hamilton Street


2. Always lock your bike to a solid object and double check to make sure your lock is closed.

Image of a bicycle locked to a post and ring bike rack








3. Use a U-Lock, Hardened Steel Chain Lock or a Folding Lock, which are stronger and harder to break than cables and chains.

Example of a U-Lock for a BicycleExample of hardened steel bike chain on bike








4. Lock up in a visible location. Thieves don't like to operate where they can be seen.

Bicycle locked to spiral bike rack in open public space









5. Do not leave anything on your bike that can be easily removed. For bicycles with quick-release wheels, lock both wheels and the frame to the rack. Remove easily detached items, such as packs, pumps, lights, and clip on fenders before leaving a bicycle unattended.

A Bicycle with a quick-release wheel locked to a rack









Locking Techniques


To ensure your bike is safe, lock your bike frame and both wheels. You can do this multiple ways:


Examples of correct and incorrect methods of locking up a bike.











Citations for page:

  1. City of Milwaukee photo
  2. / Dan Burden
  3. / CC0 Creative Commons
  4. Spiral Bike Rack by Andrew Napier,, CC BY 2.0
  5. Proper Bike Locking Quick Release by David Pena,, CC BY 2.0
  6. Cyclists/LAPD Task Force, Nov. 2010,


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 Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building 841 North Broadway, Room 501 Milwaukee, WI 53202 

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