Properly Lock Your Bike: Upgrade your lock from a cable lock. U-locks, folding locks and hardened chains offer better protection.
- Cable locks should never be used as a primary means of locking a bike in a city. Cheaper and older U-locks can often be broken without any tools. Use a U-lock that costs at least $40. Chain and folding locks are also effective.
- Aim to have the hardest bike to steal on the rack. We consider two U-locks, or a U-lock and one heavy duty cable, to be the minimum required in large cities to keep a bike secure.
- Don't rely on foot traffic to keep your bike safe; years of reports have taught us that many thefts, particularly those involving cutting cable locks, occur under the cover of crowd activity or in front of bustling cafés or restaurants.
- Don't rely on the presence of cameras to keep your bike secure. Security footage is rarely of much use once a bike is gone, and thieves know this.
- Tug on whatever you're about to lock to make sure it can't be easily removed. Signposts in particular can be easily removed by unbolting them and some are already unattached.
- Always lock to something metal and securely attached to the ground if possible.
- Many bicycles are stolen from garages and storage rooms. Lock your bike securely to an immovable object even if in a "secure" place.
Always Report to Police When Your Bike is Lost of Stolen: Reporting Makes it Easier for Police to return your bike to you and identify problem areas and trends for theft.
- Proper reporting allows law enforcement to be made aware your bike is stolen and teletype it to other agencies.
- Law enforcement need to have a theft report on file to seize your bike if they come across it.
- Proper reporting helps law enforcement identify bike theft hot spots, trends, prolific offenders and scope of bike thefts so they can then make plans to interdict.
Register Your Bike with BikeIndex.org: Registering your bike with this partner non-profit makes it easier for police to identify, recover and return your bike to you.
- First and foremost, know your bike’s serial number, make, model and description (accessories, stickers, lights, etc)
- Serial number usually located on underside of frame on bottom bracket
- Take pictures of the bike from different angles, as well as the serial number
- Take a picture of you with it
- Register your bike with Bike Index
- Submit your name, bike manufacturer, serial number, and component information to enter your bike.
- Upload pictures of your bike
- Bike index is a national registry that makes it easy for bike owners, citizens and law enforcement to verify in real time the status of a bike.
- If your bike is stolen, create a stolen bike alert
- If available, license your bike with your local municipality.