Bike theft in Amsterdam is a major problem with estimates running at more than 50,000 bicycles stolen annually in the city. Therefore, it is important to take precautions and lock your bike properly.
Visitors to Amsterdam who are renting a bike should check that the bicycle comes with two different locks:
The wheel lock is attached to the bicycle’s frame and it works by positioning a metal rod between the spokes on the back wheel so the wheel cannot turn. Generally, a key is connected to the lock and when you push a latch down, then turn and pull the key out of the mechanism, the back wheel becomes locked. You will need to look after this key to unlock the wheel lock when you return to your bike. The key stays inside the lock as you ride your bike, which helps remind you to use this lock when you leave your bike.
A fairly standard bike lock, the chain is used to wrap around the wheels, the frame, and the stationary object you are locking your bike to. The ends of the chain have different connections, some have a combination lock, some require a key. It is important to attach the lock to something stationary and wrap this chain around the wheels as thieves will steal parts of a bike, especially when it’s easy because it’s not locked.
Before leaving the bike rental shop, make sure you have tested and know how each of the locks works. Some of the wheel locks and the connectors on the chains can be finicky and it’s much easier to ask one of the bike shop employees who are familiar with the particular locks.
Locking your bike will not guarantee that someone cannot steal it as thieves have a variety of tools and tricks they use to break locks. However, using the two locks above will ensure your bike is not stolen 90% of the time. Here are some other tips to help prevent your bike from being stolen in Amsterdam:
Taking these precautions will help prevent your bicycle from being stolen and ensure you enjoy your time cycling around Amsterdam.