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The bicycle coding: information on costs, benefits and contact points

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From bussgeldkatalog.org, last updated on: May 16, 2021

Have your own bike coded to protect it from theft

No bike owner would like to experience this situation: when they return to the bike, it has disappeared. About 300,000 bicycle thefts occurs every year in Germany, primarily in large cities. Also the Clearance rate, which amounts to around ten percent, is not promising.

For this reason, clubs like the ADFC and the police repeatedly recommend that bike owners have one Have coding done should. But laypeople often know little about the process within which the code is attached to the bike. First of all, the question "Where can I have my bike coded?" is uttered again and again.

This guide answers this question and provides further information about the coding. Here you can find out to what extent a bicycle is coded by the police or a cycling club like the ADFC The way in which such a code can be attached to the bike and what to watch out for when it comes to the Coded wheels for sale comes.

FAQ: bike coding

What is the bicycle coding used for?

With the help of the code engraved in the frame, wheels can be assigned to their owners. This is particularly important as a result of a bicycle theft. In addition, such bikes are less attractive to gangs of thieves.

Who codes bikes?

Many police departments offer the coding. But cycling clubs can also be a point of contact.

Which documents are required?

You will need to provide proof of identity and proof of ownership for the bike.

Protect your bike from theft with the right lock

In addition to coding, it also makes it difficult for thieves secure bike lockTo steal and resell your bike. But not every lock is equally good. In our comparison texts you will find out what you should pay attention to when buying a lock and which locks offer the necessary security.

Our comparisons can be found here:

The benefits of bike coding

The coding, which can be carried out by the police on bicycles, has a simple and effective effect: It helps to find stolen bikes and to assign them to the right owners without any doubt. Because no matter if lone perpetrator or gang, thieves usually try that resell stolen goods, at flea markets, on the Internet and even abroad. And this procedure will also be made more difficult by an existing coding.

The "Market value" of stolen goods that have been provided with a code, drops considerably. In addition, increased bicycle coding means that the Degree of deterrence and the inhibition threshold for possible theft rises, according to the ADFC. Last but not least, stolen goods that are left behind can be assigned to the respective owner more quickly.

The process that makes today's bicycle coding possible follows a simple principle: Either will using an engraving machine a specified code is punched directly into the frame or it comes in Special stickers for use, which encrypts the personal data on the bike. The encryption used for this is presented in a special compound letters and numbers and can only be decoded by knowing officials. These are composed of

  • the license plate number and the community code of the place of residence,
  • the owner's initials and
  • a two-digit year

The big advantage is obvious. A lost property office or the police can recognize a bicycle code directly and determine the owner, without first resorting to the databases of the bicycle manufacturers. Although these determine a separate frame number for each wheel, they punch this into the metal without a meaningful system. Not only does it exist no central number index, it also happens sometimes Duplications.

The consequence
: Bicycles without bike coding with sticker or engraving can hardly be assigned to the ownerseven if they are found again after being stolen. According to the ADFC, this affects about 90 percent of all found bikes. So it makes sense to secure yourself in this regard. For the bicycle coding with the police, appointments are regularly offered, which can be viewed online.

Already knew? This “anti-theft” measure is not only possible for bicycles. For example, you can also Strollers and similar valuables registered in this way.

Further information on coding procedures, costs and necessary documents

No matter which coding variant bicycle lovers choose, both are considered very reliable. In the case of engraving coding, a cutting process is used to engrave 0.1 to 0.2 millimeters deep into the metal of the frame. A transparent adhesive window is then attached over it, which prevents possible corrosion.

But also that Adhesive coding is a safe and reputable practice. A special label is used here, which makes unauthorized removal more difficult. The coding is often immortalized on the right-hand side of the seat tube, and the adhesive labels often also in other places.

Traders and police officers pay particular attention to these spots. This means that it is quickly noticeable when thieves try to cover up codes by sticking them over.

Are you planning to have your bike coded? You have to go to the police don't even pay for it, as there is no legal basis in this regard yet. However, this may change in the future. Bicycle dealers can also code them free of charge if the bike in question was bought directly from them. Otherwise, non-customers can pay a fee of 15 to 25 euros calculate.

Even if coding a bicycle to the police should not result in any costs, it must, however certain evidence be provided. This includes:

  • The proof of identity: An identity card or passport is suitable for this.
  • Proof of ownership of your own bike: A receipt is never enough to prove ownership. A receipt, a sales contract or an invoice are far more suitable. Clubs like the ADFC insist on a declaration of ownership in the absence of evidence, which is later checked by police officers.

Next to the wheel to be coded should also always brought some time with me The procedure takes about ten to fifteen minutes. This can be accelerated by doing that in advance annoying add-on parts such as bottle holders, air pumps or the like removed. Otherwise the engraving machine may be impeded.

Questions about suitable bike coding, moving and selling

This guide has clarified the basic aspects up to this point. Still there is some more questionsthat keep coming up on this topic. These are answered below.

  • Which coding method is suitable for which bike? Adhesive coding is often more recommended for ultra-light racing bikes, carbon frames and children's bikes. Engraving devices often find it difficult to cope with these as well as with wheels that have other special shapes.
  • Can an engraving damage the frame's stability? This fear of many cyclists was refuted by an expert opinion from the Technical University of Aachen. This shows that a depth of up to 0.2 millimeters does not affect either an aluminum or a tubular steel frame.
  • What should you watch out for when moving with a coded wheel? Cyclists don't have to worry about this. The residents' registration office can also quickly identify the new address from the old address. Only when you move several times does it make sense to think about a new bicycle coding.
  • Is it possible to sell a coded bike? This is generally not a problem. In order to avoid later complications, however, a written sales contract should be concluded and the coding papers should be given to the buyer. This means that recoding is not necessary, but can be done on presentation of the sales contract.
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13 comments

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  1. Hello, I only got a sticker from the company that offers the bicycle coding. It's not registered by the police or what? Wasn't there a police present, no stamp on the bicycle pass that you fill out yourself but nothing if someone steals it.

    • Hello Raffnixx,

      Of course, bicycle coding alone does not provide adequate protection against theft. However, it can be a deterrent, as a coded bicycle is difficult to resell. The owner can be found at any time. This means that even a stolen bike can often be found again. The sticker is one of the two options for coding bicycles in addition to an engraving in the frame.

      The editors of bussgeldkatalog.org

  2. Of course it always costs something? This is not offered free of charge by the police, not performed once! This is a separate company, independent of the police!

    • Hello Raffnix,

      There are various providers for coding bicycles, one of which is the police, along with the General German Bicycle Club and, in some cases, also bicycle dealers. In some federal states, the police offer certain appointments for coding bicycles and make the marking available as a free service.

      The editors of bussgeldkatalog.org

  3. Hello Raffnix,

    the coding number is the encrypted address of the bike owner. This number exists for every German citizen, regardless of whether he has a code or not. The service provider looks for the number from the database and uses it to code your bike.
    Therefore the number is automatically available in the database (it was taken from there) and does not have to be entered there again. That's the good thing about this one code.

    Unfortunately, there are only very few free providers left because the police have more important things to do. So I think it's right that it is offered by commercial providers. It is an artisanal service. The police don't build a burglar-proof window into an apartment either, a window manufacturer does that too.

    Best wishes,
    Kai [changed by the editor]

    • Hello xpert,

      Of course, it is possible to remove the coding, but this is a great effort. In addition, such work is often clearly visible in retrospect, which should deter potential buyers. You can obtain more information from the General German Bicycle Club, among others.

      The editors of bussgeldkatalog.org

  4. Hello,

    I 'inherited' the tandem from my grandparents. Unfortunately there is no longer a proof of purchase / receipt. Is it still possible to have the wheel coded?

    I'm looking forward to a message.

  5. hello, all is well and good to point out that coding makes sense, but if this is only done in big cities, the pedal knight from outside has nothing of it.

    Why is there no mobile coding, similar to the principle of the ADAC light and brake service at petrol stations?

    Kind regards

  6. Isn't it possible to find out where the owner lives from the coding? There are even tools online that show you the code you would get, which means it is not particularly difficult to decipher the code.
    That makes it easier to “track” the bike so that you can even better prepare for the theft.


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