A bicycle tattoo is a good way to prevent theft of your bike. The city of Amsterdam is once again providing free engravings (gratis graveren).
Why engrave your bicycle?
A bicycle frame that has an engraving is undesirable to a thief as it becomes more of a risk and hassle to unload.
The owner of the bike is also easier to locate. Recovered stolen bicycles are also brought home free of charge (avoiding a €22.50 cost to pick up the bike)
Can any bicycle be engraved?
Nope. The thickness and material of the frame may prevent the bike from getting an engraving. This is more common for new bicycles, electric bikes and especially those with a carbon frame.
It’s also important to note that some manufacturers will void the warranty if the frame is damaged due to an engraving. Though if it happens that the bicycle can’t be engraved, the engravers will look up the characteristics and let you know before hand.
All bicycles are also checked for theft. If the bike is listed as stolen, it cannot be engraved.
Where can I get my bicycle engraved?
After being on hiatus due to Covid, the city of Amsterdam is back providing a free engraving. The service is offered between 10:00 and 16:00 throughout the city at scheduled locations. For information on where to find them, click here. Remember to bring a valid ID.