Bicycle theft and BICYCODE

Bicycle theft and BICYCODE

Bikes are stolen way too often. Be sure you lock them up tight with two quality locks. Cable-type locks don’t withstand the test of an equipped thief. U-locks are the best rated and will hold up longer. Add a fixed frame lock to be even better protected. Be sure to lock your bike to something solid and fixed as well. Position the lock on your frame – not on the wheel – and try to place it as high up as possible (50cm from the ground) so a thief doesn’t have easy leverage. Many bike racks are not well conceived and only allow you to lock the front wheel to the rack, these are best avoided as they are pretty much useless. Lock you bike inside a hallway or garage or bike room as well. Most bikes are stolen during the day, in busy places and from inside buildings. Thieves use discreet tools or pretend that it is their bike and they have lost the key. See the results of lab tests on bike locks here.

bicycodeAnother thing you can do to fight bicycle theft (and this will work even better as more and more people who do it) is to have your bike registered. For less than 30 euros a bike shop will engrave a BICYCODE number on the frame of your bike, then you register it in the national online database www.bicycode.org. The more bikes registered the less easy they will be to resell and thus fewer will be stolen. Plus about a third of the bikes stolen are abandoned later and if the bike is registered you just might receive a call saying it has been found. In France more than 400,000 bikes are stolen every year ! Each year over 150 000 recovered bikes can’t be returned to their owners, due to the lack of traceability. So give your bike a chance to find its way home, register it! Read about Bicycode in English

PS: If your bike is stolen, spend some time on the boncoin, craig’s list or other free ads sites – you just might see it for sale. Be safe and contact the authorities, don’t go get it yourself. And even un registered bikes can be declared stolen on www.bicycode.org.

Thank you to the people at FUB (Fédération française des Usagers de la Bicyclette, an association of associations) who have worked on putting this system together since 2004. So far almost 300 000 bikes have been registered.

bicycle theft


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