Project 529 and National Bike Registry Combine Forces to Fight Bike Theft

Project 529 and the National Bike Registry have joined forces to fight bike theft, creating the most comprehensive and advanced online bike registry in North America. This merger provides law enforcement, universities, bike shops, and cyclists better tools to engage in the recovery of stolen bikes.

The National Bike Registry was created in 1984, pioneering the idea of a bicycle database to aid law enforcement identify and recover stolen bicycles. It has been used by over 2,000 law enforcement agencies and has resulting in the return of hundreds of bikes to their rightful owners.

Project 529 was started in 2013 as an extension of this same idea. Users can register as many bikes as they want for free, including photos, components, accessories, and any other information that would be helpful in identification of a stolen bicycle. This cloud-based, community-oriented information sharing service also offers an app, so that in the event of a bike theft, users can conveniently alert other Project 529 users and law enforcement from their smartphones, and also broadcast a message over their social media sites to keep an eye out for the stolen property.

The service offers a printable flyer that is generated for your specific bike if you report it as stolen. You can also purchase an optional Project 529 shield with a unique ID number, which offers additional identifying features in case your bike goes missing, and also may deter theft.

“Bicycle theft has been an under-served problem for decades that has grown to epidemic proportions,” says J Allard, CEO of Project 529. “After losing a bike to theft 4 years ago, I was moved to build better tools for law enforcement and the cycling community to attack this problem.”


The combination the National Bike Registry and Project 529 means that over 400,000 bike records will be easily accessible by law enforcement, and all current users of the National Bike Registry will also have access to the additional features of Project 529 at no charge. Currently, this service is available to all North American cyclists.

“We’re very happy to pass the baton to the team at Project 529 to attack the bicycle theft epidemic,” said Eddie Orton, who has sponsored the NBR effort for over 2 decades. “The passion and capabilities of the team at 529 will be able to take our work to the next level and better serve our customers and partners.”

For more information and to register your bikes, check out the Project 529 website.


Project529 reaches 50,000 signatures on bike-theft petition


Photos courtesy of Project529

Having a bike stolen is an awful experience. Nearly everyone makes an emotional connection with their bike that makes it even more disheartening. Almost every cyclist will at some point have a bike stolen from them in their lifetime, yet at no point should it become commonplace.

Project529 has made it its mission to stop bike theft, primarily through education and better record keeping. At its heart the project works by recording relevant details and photos of your bike(s) and making that information easily accessible to law enforcement in the case of theft. It also includes visual warnings (stickers) that let potential thieves know that the bike is being tracked.

Because so many stolen bikes end up on eBay or Craigslist, Project529 began collecting signatures back in April that would demand the companies require serial numbers when users sell bikes. At the moment, even if you find your stolen bike on one of these services, there is very little you can do about it.


Project529 first projected 20,000 signatures, but when it realized it would easily reach that, it raised the bar to 50,000. In all it collected 51,203. Printed singles-spaced, front and back, the stack of paper weighs in at seven pounds! Project529 collected them into two, hard-back books that will be presented to both eBay and Craigslist as a sign of how serious the bike community is about protecting itself. Also, because the brand is based in Portland, it added a little custom, hand-crafted flair.


So now it’s up to eBay and Craigslist to take the next step, but in the meantime you can register your bike in your personal Project529 garage. Don’t worry, it’s private, so no one else will know what kind of awesome bike collection you have and potentially make you a target.

Learn more about Project529 and the results of the petition at


Video: Is this a bait bike?

Bike theft is a problem in all major cities, but San Francisco is making a serious effort to eliminate it with a bike theft task force, headed up by Officer Matt Friedman. His unit has planted bait bikes with GPS trackers all around the city, and not only catches bike thieves, he posts their mug shots to twitter.

This New York Times video show you how the program works, as well as some other efforts the department is doing to stop bike thefts. (Only in San Francisco would a police offer sport a Steal Your Face sticker on his sidearm.)

Have you ever had a bike stolen? Share your story in the comments.


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