Secure your bike – Lock it or Lose it!

With your help we can beat cycle theft and help to continue to build a cycling friendly city. We’re working hard on your behalf – a partnership of local organisations* has put together a comprehensive plan to help to deter bike thefts. In addition, Nottingham’s Cycling Action Plan – which sets out Nottingham’s ambitions as a cycling city – has a strong commitment to increase the number of cycle trips whilst reducing the number of cycle thefts.

Once you’ve got in the saddle then it’s important to make sure that you keep your bike safe and secure. There are five easy steps you can take to make sure your bike is secure (you can watch a film about keeping your bike secure here.)

1. Always secure your bike, even at home.

As the majority of bicycle thefts are opportunist ones, it is essential that, no matter how long you leave your bike for, you take adequate precautions to ensure that your bike is still there when you return. Lock it up, no matter how short a period of time you intend to be away for. Even if it is visible from where you are, you should remember that a person riding a bike is faster than the person running after them! Lock it to something immovable and solid; leave it in a busy, public place where there is less opportunity for a thief to work unnoticed. Storing your bike in a secure location – a garage, shed or one of Nottingham’s Cycle Hubs will provide greater security than if you leave it locked to railings.

Check out our Bike Security Advice and Guidance.

2. Use two alarmed cable locks or preferably hardened locks such as D locks to at least Silver secure standard

Spend a suitable amount of money on a good quality lock – you do get what you pay for and Police guidelines suggest that you spend approximately 10% of the value of your bike on a lock to secure it. Don’t be fooled by cheap locks that appear to look substantial. Using good quality D locks to Silver Secure standard on the frame and onto both the front and rear wheel can be a significant deterrent and will increase the security of your bike.

Some insurance policies may stipulate the use of certain kinds/brands/models of lock to qualify for insurance so if you have your bike insured make sure that the lock you buy won’t invalidate your insurance policy.

3. Take quick release items with you like wheels, lights and seat.

There are certain parts and accessories which can be easily taken and, although quick release parts are handy, if you can’t secure any such parts and equipment like removable lights and panniers, take them with you. The inconvenience of losing a part is irritating and the cost of replacement can be very high.

4. Permanently mark your bike for identification, we recommend Cremark.

Marking or tagging your bike won’t stop a determined thief, but a very visible indication that it has been registered does act as a deterrent. Plus, if the police recover your stolen bike they can ensure it gets back to you.

Some markings like Smartwater or computer chips in the bike frame alone are not visible but can ensure it gets back to you in the event of recovery – but by themselves they act as no deterrent, so make sure there is a rugged label or visible marking on the bike telling potential thieves that it is traceable. In the event of a bike being stolen some safety products use social networking to trace the stolen bike amongst the cycling and law enforcement communities.

Make sure your bike is marked and labeled – CreMark is recommended by our partners as an effective means of marking your bike. If you’re using CreMark on your bike read our guidance notes.

5. Immediately – register it on a property database for free – Love it, log it!

Register your bike through schemes like Immobilize. This means that if the police recover your stolen bike they can ensure it gets back to you, so get your bike registered as soon as possible. It only takes a few minutes to set up and could really pay dividends in the event of theft.

*Partners include Nottingham City Council, Sustrans, Nottingham Trent University, the University of Nottingham, Nottingham University NHS Trust, the Greater Nottingham Transport Partnership, Broxtowe Borough Council and the Nottinghamshire Police.

The Sustainable Travel Collective is an Investor in the Environment committed to reducing their environmental impact and to the continual improvement of environmental performance. The Sustainable Travel Collective Ltd - Registered Charity number 1153800.