Where and where not to lock your bike

At home

If you can store your bike inside your home overnight, this is likely to be the safest option.

Many insurance companies will only cover you if you store your cycle indoors overnight.

If you have limited space, have a look at our info on ‘Parking and Storage’ for indoor space-saving storage solutions.

Parking your bike in a shed or garage can be risky, but you can take measures to improve their security: several companies sell tough anchors which either bolt directly to the floor or wall or can be installed into concrete.

They come complete the tools you need to install them.

Street parking

It’s best to use cycle parking stands if these are available.

Look for secure, immovable cycle parking. Make sure the parking is bolted securely or embedded into the ground.

It should ideally be possible for you to lock both your frame and your wheels to the stand – parking that only allows your front wheel to be locked should be avoided as thieves can remove your front wheel and make off with the rest of your bike.

‘D’ or ‘U’ shaped Sheffield stands will usually allow you to do this, but beware of the temptation to only lock your bike through the frame as wheels can be easily removed and stolen. Some new designs encourage double locking.

If there are no suitable parking stands available, then you can use secure, immovable street furniture.

Railings, lamp posts, etc will usually allow you to lock your bike through the frame and one wheel.

Do make sure your bike isn’t causing an obstruction to passers by as it may be removed, and always check for signage saying you can’t lock your bike there.

Where not to lock your bike

Dark alleys Even if your bike is locked, a thief will have an ideal opportunity to break through your lock.

Butterfly racks Avoid parking that only allows you to secure your front wheel to the stand. Even if you don’t have quick release wheels, it’s very easy for a thief to detach your wheel and make off with the rest of your bike.

Posts that a bike can be lifted over Even if there is a sign at the top that your lock can’t fit around, bear in mind that a thief could unscrew the sign and lift your bike over, especially at night.

Drainpipes or wooden posts Too easily broken or cut

Signs that your bike may be removed They usually mean it

Whitehall or Parliament Square Police can also ask you to remove your bike from some parts of the City if it is not parked in designated cycle parking.