Protect your bike!

Over a million bikes are stolen every year in the US 1
Make sure your bike isn't one of them

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Many bicycles are stolen from garages and store rooms. Lock your bike securely to an immovable object even if in a "secure" place.

Correctly locking a bike

A correctly locked bicycle
The frame is locked to an immovable object. Both wheels are secured.

Thanks to Chicago.StolenBike.org for suggestions and the research behind these guidelines. Thanks to Sweethome for their excellent article on choosing a lock.

  1. According to FBI statistics, 206,053 bikes were reported stolen in 2010, the most recent available year with data. An estimated 9 in 10 incidents of bike theft go unreported. That's a lot of bikes! What’s more: reporting bike theft is sometimes actively discouraged by the police. If you would like to read more about bike theft in the US, check out Priceonomics' exploration of the topic. .