While bicycle theft numbers are down in Calgary, there were still over 3600 reported bike thefts in 2017.* To help further reduce the number of bike thefts in our City, Bike Calgary partnered with the City of Calgary to create the stickers you see on bike racks all over the City. Knowing how to lock your bike up properly is one of the easiest way to prevent theft! To learn more about theft prevention and what to do in case your bike has been stolen, we’ve created a simple list to help.
Register and Record Information
- Create a record at home of the serial numbers of your bikes, as well as photos of the bikes. This information will help police to recover your bike.
- Register your bikes on a site like Bike Index. This site allows you to register serial numbers and pictures of your bikes. If your bike is stolen, you can mark your bike as stolen/lost on the site and the bike community will work to find your bike.
- Note: If your bike was stolen before you had a chance to register the serial numbers, the bike shop where you purchased your bike will often have this info in their records.
Lock Up Your Bike
- Buy a good lock – even a $100 bike is worth stealing if it’s easy to do so. A U-lock is a good place to start. Check out the site The Best Bike Lock for more info on all your lock options.
- Do not use cable locks as your main lock – they are cut in seconds with cheap cable cutters.
- Nice wheels are worth a lot – loop a high-quality u-lock through the frame and rear wheel. Secure the front wheel with an additional cable if the wheel has a quick release.
- Bonus theft prevention points – take off your front wheel.
- Extra bonus points – replace quick release skewers with a locking wheel skewer such as Pinheads. Seats, wheels and handlebars are regularly stolen off secured bikes so take them with you.
- Trust your local bike shop to help you select your hardware and show you how to use it.
Where to Lock Your Bike
- Make sure your U-lock connects your bike frame to a stationary immovable object, even if you are in a secured parking area.
- Give the immovable object your bike is attached to a shake to make sure the bike can’t easily be slipped over or under it.
- Check out Bike Parking in our Tips for Riders page to learn more about where to park your bike. Try not to lock your bike to trees, street signs or handrails – it’s not a great cyclist move.
- Don’t leave your bike locked in an easily accessible place for long periods of time, especially overnight.
- If you are using a garage or shed to park, make sure they are locked.
Reporting and Social Media
- Report your bike as lost or stolen using the Calgary Police online form.
- Join groups that are working to help cyclists find their lost or stolen bikes. For example,
- Sometimes lost/stolen bikes are placed on sites like Kijiji. If you find your bike listed on one of these sites, contact the police with the information but do not attempt to get the bike back from the seller.
- Finally, use your own social media accounts to let your community know about your lost/stolen bike. Let them know to contact you or the police if they see your bike.
*9 Different People Tried to Steal a Bait Bike in Calgary Over Just 2 Days (external source, 2018)