Budig Bike racks

While KU's campus is generally a safe environment to lock up your bike without worrying about it being stolen, it is always important to take the necessary precautions. In fact, in 2011 28 bicycles were reported stolen to the KU Office of Public Safety. You can help prevent bicycle theft by following these tips.


  1. Serial Number LocationsRegister: Register your bicycle with the Lawrence Police Department (Law Enforcement Center at 11th & New Hampshire). The cost of registration is only $0.25 and can help law enforcement officials recover your bike if it is stolen. To register, make sure you know your bike's serial number, found in one of the locations numbered in the picture to the right.

  2. Be Smart: Always lock your bike, no matter how quickly you plan on returning. You never know when you might run into a long lost friend and chat for half an hour. Also, bring your bike inside whenever possible. Not only is this better for your bike by keeping it out of the elements, but it also means your bike is safer. All on campus residences allow for you to store your bike in your room, so why take your chances by leaving it outside? Finally, lock your bike where it is meant to be locked. Don't use trees or railings (it's against campus policy). There are plenty of bike racks across campus and throughout the city.

  3. Use the Right Lock: There are many bike locks on the market and, as with anything, you get what you pay for. Lock prices range from $20 to $200, depending on type and dependability. Below is a description of the three main types of bike locks.
    Cable Lock
    Cable Lock
    In general, it is best not to use a cable lock, especially if you are in an urban area with heavy foot traffic. They are lightweight and flexible and allow you to strap your bike to just about anything, but they are not very formidable to someone with a pair of cable cutters. While there are some pretty heavy duty cable locks, most can still be cut with relative ease.

    U lock

    Using a U-lock is the next best option, but be careful, not all U-locks are created equal! As you might guess, the thicker the U-lock the more secure it is, but even if you have the thickest U-lock on the market, if it has the wrong locking mechanism it can be easily picked. To avoid this problem, make sure that your U-lock is designed for a "flat" key as opposed to a "circular" key, as the latter are easily picked.


    chain lock
    Chain Lock
    A third bike lock option is a chain lock. Chains allow for more flexibility when locking and they are really tough. The one drawback is that they can weigh at least twice as much as the heaviest U-locks. Check out this link for an in-depth lock comparison.

  4. Lock it Correctly: Even with the best lock on the market, you may still be at risk if you do not lock your bike properly. Check out the image below for the most common way of locking a bike using a U-lock. If you would like more information regarding the proper technique for locking your bike, the Kryptonite website is helpful.

correct bike locking technique


If your bicycle is stolen while on campus, report the theft immediately to the KU Office of Public Safety at 785-864-5900. If it occurs off campus, contact Lawrence Police at 785-832-7509.


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