How to lock your bike securely

  • Protection against theft

Having your bike stolen is not inevitable. If you use a good bike lock and follow the tips below, you can reduce the risk of your bike being stolen by over 90%.

Always lock and properly attach your bike

  • Even if you leave it unattended for just a few minutes.
  • Even in a reputedly safe place or an enclosed or private space where thefts are infrequent.

Lock your bike to a solid immovable object (cycle stand or rack, post, railings, …)

  • Make sure the bike lock cannot be pulled away from the object to which you have secured your bike.
  • The immovable object must be more solid than the bike lock.
  • Even if you lock your bike in an enclosed or private space, it must be to an immovable stand/rack/post.

Make locking the frame a priority

  • Secure your front wheel if possible (see the diagram above).
  • Public places should be equipped with solid immovable stands rather than low racks that do not allow you to secure the frame. See GRACQ’s advice about what facilities are available.

Use a heavy-duty bike lock

The best way to discourage potential thiefs is to use a good bike lock. We recommend a U-lock, also known as a D-lock (see locks approved by the ART foundation in the Netherlands).

  • Always carry your lock with you (you can fix a special fastening on most bikes).
  • Use a key-operated lock rather than a combination lock.
  • Avoid locks that use tubular keys (which are extremely easy to pick).

Keep your lock off the ground or any ledge

If the lock is resting on a hard and flat surface, it is much easier for a thief to smash. Turn the keyway so that it faces downwards as far as possible. This prevents rain from getting inside it and also makes it less accessible to thieves.

Avoid places that are deserted and out of sight

It is much easier for someone to carry out a theft in a deserted place or when conditions are favourable. So choose busy large roads rather than dark alleyways.

Make sure valuable parts cannot be detached easily

  • Replace the quick release mechanisms on your front wheel and on your seat post with nuts.
  • Remove and carry with you all accessories such as lights, bags, GPS computer/speedometer, baby carrier/child seat, etc.