BicycleSource Newsletter

The best thing you can do to safeguard your bike is to register it with your local police or campus security. Registration is usually free, and means that if your bike is stolen, you can call up the police and likely have it returned to you. If you don't even have the serial number written down, then your chances of getting it back are very slim.

Call your local police or the campus security at the nearest university. They may have a bicycle registration program; many do. It will probably be free.

If you can't find a local registration service, in the US the National Bike Registry charges $25 for a lifetime registration, and services about 85 police departments, counties and campuses in the United States.

However, if you don't have a free local or national program, you can serve the same purpose simply by writing down your bike's vitals and keeping it somewhere safe. Get the serial number, colour, make and model, number of speeds, and the like. The police department in my area has little card which you can fill out and keep in your wallet, to produce in the event that your bike is stolen to ensure a useful report.

When a bike is reported stolen, it is entered into a national computer database maintained by the police for furniture, cars, bikes, and everything else. If you have the information on tap, registering a stolen bike works just as well as registering it before it is stolen. Provided you have your serial number available, of course.

Next time you ride by the police station, stop in and use their engraver to etch your driver's license number onto your bike. Choose somewhere obvious, such as your top tube, to act as a deterrent against theft. Use your driver's license number, as it is the easiest for police to look up.
Post a Comment
1 comments posted so far.
Posted By: Jake Klovenski on June 18th, 2009
As an option to NBR, free bike registration is available at This service allows stolen bike information to be viewed by the police as well as the cycling public.