Working to prevent bike theft

Bike theft is unfortunately a common problem in Alberta. The pandemic has made biking more popular, which is driving an increase in theft. We’re working with our project schools to solve the problem holistically, making improvements to bike racks and ensuring they are placed in a high-traffic and visible location.  We are also working to get schools Lock Libraries, where students can sign out a U-lock.

We recognize that the risk of theft is a barrier for students. Here are our tips to reduce bike theft.

Get a good lock

  • Get a U-Locks if you can.
  • The thinner the lock, the easier to cut. Cables can be cut almost instantly
  • Use racks in high-traffic locations, ideally near a video camera, window or the school’s front doors
  • Your school might have U-Locks to loan & we are working to get better locks. Reach out if you need help with a lock.
Bikes locked at John Diefenbaker HS, lots of cable, poor locking technique, style of rack doesn’t help.

Secure the frame, not just a tire

  • Loop U-Lock through FRAME and RACK, ideally through a TIRE. We know school bike racks can make this difficult. Use an end, and talk to your principal and trustee about getting better bike rack.
  • Take off your front wheel – it takes longer to steal.
  • Remember, wheels, seats and components can be also stolen. Instead of quick-releases, use skewers that require tools to loosen. Ask for help at your local Bike Shop.
  • Lock to a RACK, and not a tree, railing or fence.
  • Most bike thefts happen in garages and secure parkades. Always lock your bike to something, even when at home

Register and get a Bike Index Sticker

  • Calgary Police partners with Bike Index to register and catalog bikes to help reduce theft.
  • Bikes that can be traced are less likely to be sold. Thieves may see the sticker and have second thoughts, because they can’t take it to Pawn Shop or sell on Kijiji.
  • It’s easy:
    • Go to BikeIndex.org
    • Set up an account
    • Include a photo of your bike, and all the information about it that you can find – make, model, colour, distinguishing features.
    • Include the serial number. It can be found underneath the bottom bracket.
    • Your bike will show up with its own page on Bike Index. Copy the web URL
    • Get a Bike Index Sticker from your School’s Bike Champion.
    • Carefully, stick it on the seat tube
    • Scan the QR code on the sticker. You’ll be asked to link to a Bike Index URL.
    • Paste the code in
    • IF YOUR BIKE IS STOLEN:  Report the theft to Police and on Bike Index.  If it’s found, it’s easier for Calgary Police to get it back to you
Serial number location

Bike Index sticker

If you’re buying a used bike, consider checking Bike Index to make sure it hasn’t been reported stolen. We all have a part in reducing the trade of stolen bikes.

We’ve created a couple of posters with this information. We also have a supply of Bike Index stickers to share. Many schools are setting up information tables to help students understand how to use Bike Index. Reach out if you want to support your students to get their bikes registered. Email: info@youthenroute.ca

Sources: Bike Calgary, Calgary Police 

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