10 min.

How to Prevent Bike Theft: 6 Tips for Bike Security

Discover how to protect your bike from theft in Belgium with our comprehensive guide. Despite the high number of unreported stolen bicycles, there are effective strategies to safeguard your ride. From registering your bike to investing in a high-quality lock, learn six essential tips to deter thieves and enhance your bicycle's security. Plus, explore Ubike's top-rated insurance options for added peace of mind against theft and accidents. Secure your bicycle's safety today!
How to Prevent Bike Theft: 6 Tips for Bike Security
Published on
February 15, 2024

It’s challenging to provide an exact number of stolen bicycles in Belgium, even with figures from both the police and cycling organizations, due to underreporting. However, it is evident that bicycle theft remains a prevalent issue, with incidents numbering in the thousands.

Despite the persistent issue of bike theft, the numerous benefits of cycling compel us to find innovative solutions! We encourage you not to be disheartened by the statistics. By applying the following advice, you can significantly reduce the risk of theft. Additionally, Ubike offers top-rated insurance options to provide a safety net in case of theft or road accident.  

Learn more about Ubike's insurance plans at:

6 Tips for Bike Protection - Let's explore 6 tips, based on the experiences of everyday bikers, to enhance your bike's security and effectively deter thieves:

  1. Register Your Bike!
  2. Invest in a Proper Lock for Ultimate Bike Security
  3. Become the Master of Proper Locking Techniques
  4. Choosing the Right Location Matters
  5. Inconvenience the Thieves
  6. Sound the alarm!

1. Register Your Bike!

One step you can take right away is to sign up and get a sticker.  

For free, you can create an online passport for your bike with all the necessary identifying characteristics. Upon registration, you receive an ultra-resistant sticker with a unique identifier and a QR code. In case of theft and subsequent resale, the new buyer can easily access your bicycle’s status, and alert you of its location. Patrolling officers can also scan a potentially abandoned bike as a checkup.

Good news for riders outside of Brussels. The database and stickers are set to expand nationwide, around summer 2024, offering protection for cyclists across Flanders and Wallonia.

2. Invest in a Proper Lock for Ultimate Bike Security

Choose a U lock (sometimes called a D lock) or a chain lock, as they’re both extremely durable and strong (see images 1 and 2). While they may be heavier than basic cable or foldable locks, they provide significantly better protection.

Remember, the lock’s price should align your bike’s value. While a high-quality lock may come with a significant cost, it offers top-notch security and theft resistance. Regardless of the lock you end up choosing, opt for a key-operated mechanism rather than a combination lock, as the latter can be unlocked through trial and error.

As a Ubiker, you must use a bike lock rated at least 2 stars by ART*. This is the minimum requirement for bike protection. Always look for a certified lock (by ART or Sold Secure) that has undergone proper testing. You can find videos of these tests online, to witness the lengths some thieves are willing to go to steal your bicycle.

Check whether your lock is secure enough on ART’s website:

*ART is a quality mark issued by the ART Foundation for anti-theft products designed for bicycles, scooters, and other vehicles. The lock undergoes testing and receives a rating, ranging from 1 to 5 ART stars, indicating the level of security. The higher the number of stars, the more robust the resistance against theft.

3. Become the Master of Proper Locking Techniques

A lock won’t protect your bike if your locking technique is incorrect. Don’t just secure your wheel! Prioritize locking the frame, but ideally, ensure that both the frame and one of the wheels are secured (see images 3 and 4).

When securing your bike, aim to leave as little space possible between the lock and the bike frame to limit leverage (see image 5). But be careful! If the lock is too tight, it may break more easily. Avoid installing the lock too close to the ground to prevent using it to smash the lock.

4. Choosing the Right Location Matters

The parking location plays a crucial role in your bike’s security. Avoid leaving your bike in less-frequented streets without surveillance for extended periods of time or at night. Opt for well-lit places with high traffic as a form of social pressure.  

Selecting the right bike racks is also important. Avoid the ones that only secure the wheel (see images 6 and 7), and put your bike in the middle of other bicycles to make access harder. If racks are not available, use lamp posts, signposts, or any well-grounded object, unless it's prohibited. Remember, your frame must be anchored to a solid, grounded object.

If your building has a bike room or a cellar, assess its security. Check that the main entrance or the bike room itself isn’t easily accessible and has something to which you can lock your bike. If it’s not secure enough, consider storing your bike in your apartment, while still locking it as a safety measure.

The same applies if you're biking to work; avoid leaving it outside the building for extended periods, as the location suggests the bike will be unattended for long periods of time.

5. Annoy the Thieves

Introduce discomfort for potential thieves by taking your saddle off your bike and increasing the resistance. It will be challenging for thieves to ride off quickly and, if you’re nearby, you can catch up to them.

If possible, try to take your accessories with you (see image 8). Don’t leave anything easily removable, and in the case of e-bikes, don’t leave the battery on your bike. If carrying all accessories and wheels seems cumbersome, replace quick-release mechanisms with security bolts to slow down potential theft attempts.

6. Sound the alarm!

For those who prefer a more extreme approach, investing in a bike alarm can be an effective deterrent. Although more expensive than most locks, bike alarms are discreet, and once activated, thieves tend to abandon their attempt.

Often combined with an alarm, trackers are great if you want to always keep your eyes on the bike. Our tip is to get one with GPS instead of a Bluetooth connection, as they offer a wider range of connection.


Follow these 6 proven tips to enhance your bicycle’s security and minimize the risk of theft. Invest in a quality lock, install it properly, and choose strategic parking locations. Never leave easily removable accessories that could attract unwanted attention. The sticker initiative provides an extra layer of defense. Make your bike a hassle for thieves, and you'll never have to worry about an unexpected walk back home!"

If your bike has been stolen, contact the police. As a Ubiker, your insurance covers theft, but you need to report it to us via your biker app within 48 hours.

For more information about the steps to take in case of theft, visit our Employee FAQ:

1. U locks come in multiple sizes and are our go-to bike lock.
2. Chain locks are a great, more flexible option.
3. A good example of bike secured with a U lock.
4. A good example of bike secured with a chain lock.
5. Even though the wheel isn’t locked with the frame, the lock is tightly securing the bike to the pole. It’s impossible to smash the lock against the ground or pull on the bike, and there’s very little space for tools.
6. This kind of rack only allows you to lock the front wheel. They shouldn’t be your choice.
7. Bike racks that make it possible to attach your frame are a much better, safer option.
8. A locked bike without a saddle or accessories is much less appealing to thieves.
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