security: Keep your bike safe from theft
your bike locked up!
section of our guide
to cycling in Cambridgeshire looks at how to keep your bike
secure - including advice on bike locks and security marking.
In the UK 150,000 bicycles are stolen every year and many are
never recovered. Bicycle theft is preventable though - here are
some tips from the National Cycling Strategy:
- Don't leave your bike in isolated places.
- Park your bike safely and considerately where it will not cause
a danger or obstruction to others.
- Always lock your bike when you leave it, even if it is only
for a minute while you pop into a local shop.
- Secure your bike to immovable objects like cycle anchors or
robust street furniture e.g trees, parking meters, ralings (but
do observe requests not to use them), it stops it being carried
- Lock your bicycle through the frame.
- Lock the wheels and other detachable parts.
- Remove the smaller parts which cannot be secured and take them
with you when you can, especially lights and quick release saddles.
are various bike locks on offer
Locks and bolts
Look for products that have been tested against attack and are resistant
for one minute or more.
Here are some tips from Parkside Police Station in Cambridge:
- Some locks offer virtually no security and can simply be pulled
apart. 'D' or 'U' locks may look strong but the security they
offer varies widely.
- Thin cable locks can easily be cut, but the better ones are
thicker and have interwoven threads that force any attacker to
spend longer 'chewing' through them.
- Horseshoe locks, fixed to the frame around the back wheel are
strong. Use with an extension cable or second lock to secure to
an immovable object.
Mark your bike
Marking your bike can act as a deterrent to theft and may also help
the police to return it to you if it is stolen and subsequently
If you are unlucky enough to have your bike stolen, you can check
Constabulary Recovered Cycles website to see if yours has
Make sure you record details about your bike such as make, model,
frame number and colour. It will help you describe the bike to police
officers and increase the chance of recovery.
Here are some more tips on security marking from the National
- Security marking should be clearly visible. Hidden marks do
not deter theft unless they are backed up by visible ones - a
tamper proof label for instance.
- Make sure your security marking is permanent. It's no good if
it comes off easily!
- Place markings in two separate locations on your bike, and not
on any part which is removable.
- Give clear information that will quickly lead the finder to
the owner of the bike.
- You can buy easy to use property marking kits from stationers
and DIY stores and many bike shops provide this service too.
Alternatively, you can get help marking your bike at a Cycle Security
Coding Session held by the local police. In Cambridge these are
- The first Wednesday of every month at Cambridge Station Cycles,
- The last Saturday of every month at Park Street Cycle park,
out what cycling
equipment is on offer and take a look at some of the best
cycle routes »