Register your bike with your city as soon as you can. You’ll receive a labelled sticker to attach to the frame, which helps ward off potential thieves and distinguish your bike from others if it ever goes missing.
When you go to park your bike, choose a safe location with good lighting; bike racks and grounded posts near stores are good options. Make sure to bring the bike’s frame the nearest it can get to the post you’re locking it to. Secure your bike with at least two locks, preferably a cable lock and a small U-lock, for added protection. Picking one lock is hard enough, so it’s unlikely someone will try to pick two.
Station and lock your bike correctly. Feed your U-lock through the triangular part of the frame, the back wheel, and the section of the post you’re locking it to before clamping it shut. Remove and store any easily stolen saddles, lights, or bags. Now you’re good to go.
Whenever you need to lock your bike, avoid securing any single part of the bike on its own. Locking only your frame leaves your wheels up for grabs, just as securing only your wheels leaves your frame unprotected. Don’t lock just your seat, either – it can be removed and left behind with the lock, releasing your bike from its previously secured position.
If your bike still goes missing despite following these rules, notify your local police station immediately. But if you’re playing it safe, there’s no need to worry.