Tips for Locking Your Bicycle

  • If possible, park your bicycle close to your destination and in an area with people walking and where there are “eyes on the street” to discourage theft and vandalism.
  • For added security, park your bicycle in a location where it is visible from the inside of the establishment you are visiting.
  • Use a quality U-lock. Some bike thieves can find cable and chain locks relatively easy to cut through. In general, properly using a sturdy U-lock is enough to deter theft. In high-theft areas, consider using two locking devices (two U-locks or a U-lock complemented by a cable or chain lock).
  • No lock is completely secure, but do research and buy the best you can afford — a lock is always cheaper than purchasing a new bike. Some manufacturers make bike locks with high-theft areas in mind.
  • Lock your bicycle to a fixed object. Be wary of loose sign posts and make sure whatever you decide to lock to is firmly planted in the ground by giving it a good tug.
  • Lock your wheels in addition to your bicycle frame, especially if they have a quick release mechanism and can be easily removed.
  • When using a U-lock, secure the frame and wheels in such a manner that leaves as little room as possible for thieves to put a leaver or crowbar in to pry the lock apart.
  • If your seat is secured by a quick-release, consider replacing it with a standard nut and bolt. Alternatively, consider investing in a small locking mechanism or cable lock that connects the saddle to the frame of the bicycle.
  • Remove items such as lights, bags, water bottles, or pump unless you are prepared to lose them. The items may be inconspicuous or of small value but that will not prevent some thieves from taking them.
  • If you commute on your bike and plan to park in very public places, like rail stations or parking lots, for long periods of time, you might consider buying a “beater” bicycle that is unattractive to bike thieves. Be sure to have any used bicycle checked out by a professional bicycle mechanic for safety.