May 03, 2022

How Can I Keep My Bike Safe in the City?

George Turvec

By George Hosegood

Many people are reluctant to cycle because they fear their bicycle may be stolen. There are a few ways to reduce the risk of this occurring.


How to Lock up Your Bike Safely:

  • Two locks are better than one! Secure quick release items like the front wheel and saddle with a cable lock and secure the bike through the frame and rear wheel with a solid D-lock.
  • Secure the bike to a solid object like a bike stand or railing.
  • Keep the lock off the floor so it can’t be broken easily with a hammer
  • Use a good quality lock


Other Ways to Stay Safe:

Lock guarantee:

Many more expensive bicycle locks offer an anti-theft guarantee. If the lock is opened to enable your bicycle’s theft then the manufacturer will reimburse you for your bicycle (terms and conditions apply). Whilst the initial outlay for the lock may be quite high, this offers further reassurance when securing your bicycle.

Check local facilities:

Many cities offer residents secure CCTV monitored cycle parking facilities or hubs, with card access. Nottingham for example offers city residents with registered city cards access to their lock up cages that feature full CCTV coverage.

Local hire bikes:

Is there a local cycle hire scheme that you could use to make your cycle journeys? Many UK cities now have schemes running where bikes can be hired and docked at various points throughout the city. Examples include the ‘Santander Bikes’ in London, and the ‘Bike and Go’ scheme which runs from railway stations across the country.

Buy a less desirable bike:

Urban cycling does not require expensive bikes, Check local papers, Facebook Marketplace, and selling websites like gumtree or ebay for something cheap and less desirable that can be locked up without too much worry.


Home insurance often covers bicycles up to a set value even outside the home, check your policy to see if your bike is covered. Individual bike policies can be taken out or more expensive bikes added onto the home insurance policy but both options will increase costs.

Foldable bike:

Take the bike with you. Many foldable bikes like the popular Brompton will fold down to a tiny stowable size. Depending on the reason for the journey the foldable bike could be safely stowed under a desk or taken on public transport with the rider. Some cycle parking facilities are now also including folding bike lockers as part of their services.


City Cycling Guides:

Read our other guides for cyclists who commonly journey through cities:

What clothing should I wear while cycling in the city?

Following the highway code while urban cycling

What are the Types of Cycling Routes Found on UK Highways?

The Growth of Cycling in UK Cities

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