Watch your bike! How to not get your bike stolen in Amsterdam

There are a lot of bicycles in Amsterdam, an estimated 880,000 and that is even more than the number of inhabitants. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of bicycles stolen every day. The feeling when you can't find your bike after a night out is so sad. We would like to save you from this pain. So here are our tips to ensure you will always bring your bike home.

Note your frame number 

First thing first: write down the frame number of your bicycle. This is located on the seat tube or on the frame of the bicycle. The frame number makes your bike unique and makes it easier to report the theft to the police. 

Lock your bike with two locks 

Invest in an ART-certified lock. These locks are difficult to open for thieves. Most thieves are specialized in 1 type of lock. So, it's best to secure your bike with at least 2 different locks, such as a ring lock, a U-lock and a chain lock. 

Secure your bike 

Always secure your bicycle to a bicycle rack or a bridge. That way, your bike cannot be lifted into a van or taken into a dark alley where the thieves can do their thing. Never lock your bicycle with the front wheel only because thieves unscrew the front wheel and take the rest of the bike. Fasten the lock as high as possible. It is difficult for thieves to use bolt cutters if they can’t put the pliers on the ground to apply force. 

Where do you put your bike? 

When storing your bicycle, avoid places that are prone to theft. For example, the risk of theft is higher in the vicinity of a station or a shopping center. A bicycle thief is less likely to be noticed in these busy places. Always put your bike somewhere with sufficient light. Park your bike opposite a place where people are waiting, such as opposite a bus or tram stop.   

Bicycle parking 

The safest place to park your bike is in a guarded bicycle parking. There is usually a guard or CCTV surveillance in almost all municipal bicycle parking facilities. In most cases, you can park your bike there for free for the first 24 hours. After that, it costs € 1.25 per 24 hours. Please check the opening times of the parking facility. It would be a shame if it’s closed when you want to pick up your bike.  

Take a picture of your bike 

Are you not putting your bicycle in a secured bicycle parking? Then take a picture of where you park your bike during a night out with a recognizable building or a street sign. In Amsterdam, the canals are all very similar, and you think you remember where you parked your bike, but practice shows that you forget that after a few hours. Your photo will help you remember where your bike is. Also, many phones store the precise location of a picture, so you just navigate to the place. 

It's gone! 

Is your bike gone? Take a deep breath. It doesn't always mean it’s stolen. The municipality removes bikes that are not parked properly. This usually happens if a bicycle is blocking a passage or creating a dangerous situation. Removed bikes are brought to the Bicycle Depot in Amsterdam. On the website, you can find a picture of every bike that was taken. So make sure to check that first! Picking up your bike at the depot costs € 22.50. If you want to have your bike delivered to your home, it costs € 35 extra. 

Has your bike been stolen? File a report! 

What a bummer! Don’t forget to report the theft. The more reports, the better the police can fight bicycle theft. The chance of a reunion with your bike is bigger if you file a report.  

Red act 

If you see someone stealing a bicycle, call 112. 

Is your bike stolen? Read here how to buy a new bike or use a shared bike.