Bike TheftCycling is one of the best ways to commute to and from the University of Waterloo. The university currently provides dozens of open air bicycle racks, conveniently located close to all academic and residence buildings.

During the warm weather months many faculty, staff and students rely on bicycle travel as a preferred method of transportation. Unfortunately due to the increased number of bicycles on campus, the problem of bicycle thefts becomes a more prevalent concern. While it is not possible to make your bicycle 100% theft-proof, there are some simple steps that you can take to increase the security of your bicycle and its parts. In the time it takes you to read this headline someone can steal your bike.

If you are looking at buying a used bike from anyone, you can go to Canadian Police Information Centre to check and see if the bike is registered as stolen so you don't get taken by a thief. This is a great safety measure to ensure the bike is not indeed stolen.

**You should always secure your bicycle with a heavy duty steel “U” lock**

  • Always lock your bicycle.
  • Never leave your bicycle unsecured even “just for a minute.”
  • For added protection, pair the U-lock with a good quality cable lock.
  • Always lock your bicycle to a proper bicycle rack.
  • Lock your bicycle in well-lit and high pedestrian traffic areas.
  • When at the bicycle rack keep watch for, and report all suspicious activities to Campus Police immediately!! 519-888-4911 (24 hrs.)


Proper Locking Methods

Proper Locking Method 1Proper Locking Method 2

~ Both frame and wheels secured to rack


The University of Waterloo Special Constable Service recommends, whenever possible, you remove your bicycles components and bring them with you. If this is not practical, you can deter or slow down criminals by using a hose clamp to secure your bicycle's quick release wheels or seat.

Bicycle Quick Release

Poor Locking Methods

Poor Locking Method 1Poor Locking Method 2

~ Frame locked, but not the wheels      ~ Wheel locked, but not the frame

Never use a cable style lock as your primary lock. Any type of cable or chain lock, regardless of their thickness, can be cut quickly and easily!

Do Not Use Cable Style Lock

Bicycle Abandonment

University of Waterloo has the right to remove abandoned bicycles. The Federation of Students in partnership with UW Special Constable Service have initiated a program where abandoned bicycles will be tagged to alert that the owner is to remove the bicycle within 30 days. If the owner fails to do so, the bicycle will have the lock cut and removed. These bicycles will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to the Campus Bike Store which enhances active transportation at the University.

The University of Waterloo is private property and has the authority to remove abandoned bicycles at their discretion.


Unfortunately thefts occasionally do occur at the University of Waterloo. If your bicycle is stolen, it will assist in recovering your property if you know the particulars of your bicycle.

If possible retain the proof of purchase, take a photo of your bicycle and record the following details:

  • Bicycle serial number
  • The make
  • The model
  • The number of speeds
  • Any unique markings or engravings

Additionally, you can record and register your bicycle using the UW Special Constable Service Serial Number Reporting system.

Do not leave your bike unattended at any time. Leaving your bike will invite individuals to walk off with your property.