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How to Lock Your Bike
- Always lock your bike’s frame and wheels with a high-quality, modern U-lock.
- Remove all detachable items—lights, bags, quick-release parts—and take them with you.
- Lock to a bike rack or firmly affixed (bolts covered in concrete) parking meter or sign pole. These are the most secure places.
- See locking diagrams below.
- Record your bike’s serial number. Get a photo of you with your unlocked bike. Keep the sales receipt. All will help you identify the bike if it is stolen.
- Always lock your bike, even if you’re leaving it for only a moment
- If your bike has quick-release wheels, always lock through the frame and a wheel. Add a cable, cable lock or second U-lock to secure the second wheel. See diagrams above.
- Buy the most expensive lock you can afford. U-locks are strong, and better ones come with theft warranties.
- Beware of locking to “sucker poles” that are loosely bolted down and can easily be removed.
- Avoid locking to private property. Store your bike inside if space is available. Garages in Chicago are less secure than basements or living spaces.
- Lock your bike when keeping it in a garage or on a porch.
- Learn about the lock manufacturer’s warranty and product replacement policy.
If Your Bike Is Stolen
- File a theft report with the Chicago Police Department by visiting your local district headquarters or by calling 311.
- If the police recover your bike, it’s beneficial if you previously registered your bike with the Chicago Police Department. Register your bike now.
- After filing a theft report with the Chicago Police Department, file a report on the Chicago Stolen Bike Registry as soon as possible.