Follow these steps to protect your bike, and if stolen, increase the chances of having it returned.  As soon as you buy a bike you should:

  1. Buy a decent lock – preferably two
  2. Expect to pay at least £40 for a decent lock

    2 Locks are Best a Solid D Lock and Flexi cable lock or chain.
    2 Locks are Best a Solid D Lock and Flexi cable lock or chain.
  3. When locking up your cycle you should follow these pointers to keep it secure:
  4. Lock ‘tight’ so that your cycle is hard to move around when parked
  5. Lock both wheels and the frame to a cycle stand or other immoveable object
  6. Secure your lock so it does not touch the ground


D Lock around frame, rear wheel & anchor. Flexi round front wheel, frame & anchore.
D Lock around frame, rear wheel & anchor. Flexi round front wheel, frame & anchore

Visit the London Cycling Campaign website for types of lock and Sold Secure for certified locks.

Get insurance

An easy way to do this is to extend your home contents insurance to cover your bicycle – but make sure it covers you for thefts outside the home too. If your bicycle is particularly valuable you may need to insure it separately. See Bike For All for recommended insurers.

Security mark it

A number of bike marking schemes are available. Always ensure you use an ACPO-approved marking scheme, such as BikeRegister kits – the MPS preferred bike marking product.

As part of their move to improve cycle security, the Cycle Task Force regularly set up engagement stalls offering free security marking and registration onto For more information about Cycle Task Force security marking email

If you are marking your bike, please ensure the security mark:

  • Is clearly visible, highlighting that the bike is security coded
  • Is secure and difficult for a thief to remove
  • Include a registration log book, proving ownership

Follow the Three R’s:


Keep a record of the frame number, make and any other marks that can identify your bike if it stolen. If you can’t find your bike frame number, have a look:

  • Near the handlebars
  • Below the seat post
  • By or underneath the pedals
  • Towards the back wheel


Register your bike details onto online property databases such as This will help the police return any recovered bikes to the rightful owners


If your bike is stolen in London, please report this to the Metropolitan Police Service by calling 101 or online at In an emergency dial 999.

If you are a victim of bike theft and you suspect your bike is being sold, do not arrange to meet the seller, contact the police, quoting your crime reference number.

Extra points to remember

  • Park your bike where it can be seen – people will also see if someone is trying to steal it. Use designated parking areas.
  • Make sure the locks catch the bike frame as well as both wheels and the post, or a thief may steal the bike and leave the wheels behind. Also, make sure the post can’t be cut through, or the bike lifted off it
  • Don’t leave your bike in the same place every day
  • Make it impossible for a thief to smash the lock open: fill the D part of a lock with as much of the bike as possible. Never leave the lock lying on the pavement, where it can be sledge hammered easily
  • Take any items that can be removed without tools – wheels, lights, pump, computer, panniers, seat post and saddle – with you

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