The bicycle is one of the most popular means of transport for short and medium distances and has become popular with commuters, especially in urban areas. However, it seems all the more complicated to ensure the environmentally friendly replacement of cars. Once left unobserved for a moment, the bicycle thief disappears into the next side street. In 2018, 353,000 bicycle thefts were reported in Germany, 160,000 of which were insured bikes. The number of unreported cases is considerably higher. The high number of thefts and the professionalised approach show that it is not only occasional thieves who can be spoken of. Therefore, there are a few tips that should be followed when securing bicycles.


If someone really want to steal a bicycle, that person can do so in most cases. But there are simple but valuable tips that make theft more difficult. The increased expenditure of time and small strategic refinements can prevent bicycle theft.

  •  Connect instead of lock: Nothing seems more logical than securing your bike with a lock. But there are major differences here. It is always advisable to connect the bicycle to the frame and the front and rear wheels to a fixed object. You should make sure that the bicycle with the lock cannot be lifted over it.
  •  Height of the bicycle lock: When attaching the lock, it is also advisable to ensure that it is connected at a high position, such as on the crossbar. Many thieves use a bolt cutter and benefit from their own body weight when breaking open. The lower the lock, the higher the leverage.
  •  Secure accessories: Dismountable parts such as wheels can also be secured with the lock. For accessories such as bicycle lights, bicycle computers and bags that cannot be secured, it is advisable to take them with you.
  •  Safety in the group: If there are several bikes, it is helpful if the bikes are also connected to each other. This increases the effort required to break open the locks.
  •  Transport safety device: It is also recommended to connect the bicycles when transporting the bicycles on the roof rack or on the trailer coupling. Waiting at traffic lights or during a short toilet visit at the motorway service area has already led to some unpleasant surprises.
  •  No power of habit: Especially when commuting to work or school, it makes sense to always change the parking space. This way thieves cannot easily determine when and where the bike is left unattended for several hours.
  •  Choice of location: Illuminated roads with busy public traffic additionally protect the bicycle. The inhibition threshold sinks in unobserved and dark side streets. In some cities there are already video-monitored bicycle garages where the bike can be safely parked. Please note the opening hours, as such garages close overnight at universities, for example.
  •  Home advantage is not protection: The parking of the bike in the backyard of the usual environment seems at first sight always quite safe. But also the well-known neighbours sometimes have dubious acquaintances and even the postman can leave the door open by mistake. Therefore, the following always applies: safe is safe - so lock properly at home as well.
  •  The dilemma of the combination lock: No matter how much memory is required, you should not use years of birth with combination locks. A four-digit sequence of numbers starting with 19 or 20 can be cracked very quickly.
  •  Uniqueness: The aim of bicycle theft is in most cases the re-sale of the bike. The more distinctive the bicycle, the more difficult it is to resell it on the flea market. This also applies to "eyes open" when buying second-hand goods. The bicycle bargains you get yourself should also be checked. When a stolen bike is identified, the new owner must return it to its original owner. The purchase price will most likely not be refunded by the illegal seller.


The motif of the thief is decisive in determining what influences the lock must withstand. In the case of occasional offences, a deterrent is usually sufficient, while the targeted resale is often supported by tools such as bolt cutters through to car jacks. The ADFC recommends that a lock should resist for at least 3 minutes.

  •  U-locks: This type offers a very high level of protection and is an efficient solution for locking the bike. Approximately 9 out of 10 attempted thefts can be avoided by such a lock. However, it is quite difficult and unwieldy to stow.
  •  Chain locks: Due to the movable links, chaining to trees and different objects is possible without any problems. However, these locks also weigh up to 3 kg.
  •  Folding locks: The mixture of robust material and sufficient flexibility makes them a good alternative to bulky locks. They are easy to store and can provide partial protection for multiple wheels.
  •  Spiral locks: They are lightweight and very comfortable to store and transport. The problem is the minimal protection they offer. Ideally, they complement another lock.
  •  Frame locks: These serve to block the rear wheel and are a type of immobilizer. However, these locks can also be opened quickly and should only be used as a supplement.
  •  Alternative methods: There are now a variety of solutions that complement, if not replace, traditional locks. Some trigger an acoustic signal to inform the environment or even the owner. Others are connected to the smartphone. Interesting are also concepts of locks that spray a foul-smelling smell.


Unfortunately, despite precautionary measures, the bicycle can be stolen. A police clearance rate of only 15.1% is not a good prospect. In order to increase the chance that the bicycle will be found again or that compensation will be paid, the following tips are helpful:

  •  Bicycle Coding: An encrypted personal code can lead to the stolen bicycle being returned to its rightful owner when it is found. The numbering consists of information about the place, owner, address and year and can be identified by the police even without a database. The coding can be engraved in the frame or stuck on. The ADFC offers such coding for about 15 €, with discounts for members. You can find more information here.
  •  Know bicycle facts: If the stolen bicycle fortunately appears again, the owner must be able to identify it. The frame number, make and special features help. You can record such information in a bicycle passport, which you can get from the bicycle dealer, the police or the insurance company.
  •  Clarify security protection: Bicycles and eBikes are covered by household insurance if, for example, they are stolen from a closed garage or secured property. An additional clause extends the household insurance to cover theft on the open road. However, for high-quality bicycles with a Pendix eDrive drive, for example, a bicycle insurance also makes sense, as the household contents insurance only protects an outdoor eBike to a maximum of 5% of the insured household contents. These insurances can be supplemented by a pick-up service and an all-round carefree package. An overview of bicycle insurance providers can be found here.
  •  Report the theft: Even if the rate of theft investigations for bicycles is low, it is still worth reporting the theft to the police.


All listed anti-theft tips apply to conventional bicycles as well as eBikes. The Pendix eDrive also offers other advantages to protect against theft.

  •  Longer stays: Here it is particularly recommended that the battery be removed. The Pendix ePower can be easily removed and put into the bag with a small twist. The new Pendix battery is particularly light and in the ideal handbag format with just 1.4 kg.
  •  Short shutdown: A spiral lock or folding lock can also secure the battery to the bicycle. The pull-out bracket underneath the battery, which can be tightly connected to the frame, is suitable for this purpose. These locks are particularly suitable for this purpose: Trelock FS460, Abus Bordo Big and MWave peel-off cables.
  •  Battery safes: A new trend is the so-called battery safes, which consist of either a plastic or metal housing and serve to store the battery on the bicycle.
  •  Deception: Those who want to attract less attention can also resort to the well-known method of deception. An old bag pulled over the battery or a worn rubber boot seldom lets one suspect anything of value in it. However, you should not be observed when hiding.


This video shows you how to easily lock the Pendix ePower to the frame of your bike.