Bike repair and security

Like any machine, a bicycle will work better and last longer if you care for it properly. Get in the habit of checking your bike regularly – simple checks and maintenance can help you enjoy hassle-free riding and avoid repairs.

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If your bike needs a minor repair, take a look at these videos to help you fix some common problems. Otherwise, help is on hand from the Mobile Mechanic Scheme.

The University has teamed up with two local companies – Oxford Mobile Cycle Repairs (OMCR) and Walton Street Cycles (WSC) – to provide staff with a mobile bike repair service for punctures, brakes, cables, gears and lights.

Labour is free for staff (although not for students), as long as you use the bike to travel to and from work or on University business, and you must show your University card.  You will need to pay at the point of service for any parts your bike needs, but your mobile mechanic will give you a quote before undertaking any work. 

The mobile mechanic is only able to repair a limited number of bicycles in each session on a first-come-first-served basis, subject to availability.

You can take your bike to the mobile mechanic at any of the following locations:

  • University Club, Mansfield Road, Wednesdays 9:00 – 17:00 (OMCR) – (available)
  • Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, behind the Mathematical Institute, second and fourth Fridays of the month 08:30 – 15:30 (WSC) – (currently unavailable)
  • Oxford University Old Road Campus (between the Big Data Institute and the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology buildings) Fridays and the third Thursday of the month 9:00 – 17:00 (OMCR) – (available)
  • St Cross/Manor Rd Buildings car park, St Cross Road, first and third Fridays of the month 08:30 – 15:30 (WSC) – (currently unavailable)
  • Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, South Parks Road, opposite Dunn School reception, every second Thursday of the month 10.00 – 17.00 (WSC) – (available)

You can book a mobile mechanic repair at the following locations:

  • Old Road Campus service operates via a booking sheet available at the distribution centre, within the Innovation building. Book before midday on the third Wednesday of the month (for the third Thursday visit) and Thursdays (for the Friday visits)
  • St Cross / Manor Road & Radcliffe Observatory Quarter Bike Dr (WSC) offers a booking service, simply email to make arrangements.

If there are at least ten bikes needing repair, the mobile mechanic may also be able to visit your workplace. Ask your departmental administrator to contact OMCR or WSC for further details.

Be aware: 

Card payments accepted by Walton Street Cycles but Oxford Mobile Cycle Repairs requires cash.


Look after your bike – if it is defined as unroadworthy, with two or more of the following problems – it may be considered abandoned and taken away:

  • flat front/rear/both tyres
  • missing wheel
  • missing seat
  • buckled front/rear/both wheels
  • bent forks
  • seized/damaged brakes
  • rusted chain/gears
  • missing chain

If you leave your bike in the wrong place on University property, or if it is in a state of poor repair it may be considered abandoned and then removed. This may happen if it:

  • is secured in a dangerous position, for instance blocking a road or emergency access
  • is secured to a University cycle rack and in an unroadworthy condition
  • is secured in an inappropriate place, for instance causing an obstruction to pedestrian or disabled access
  • has not been moved for several weeks

If we notice an abandoned bike or someone reports it to us, a tag will be attached to the handlebar warning the owner to remove the bike. If it is not removed within 7 days it will be taken away and held in a secure compound for 5 weeks. The University has authorised Oxford Direct Services to do this.

If your think your bike has been removed you can reclaim it from Streetscene, Cowley Marsh, Marsh Road, Oxford OX4 2HH. Contact Streetscene on 01865 249811 to enquire.  Before they release it, you will need to prove you own the bicycle by giving a description (colour, make/model and identifying features) and telling them where you left the bike.

If you don't reclaim it after five weeks, the bicycle will be donated to our partners at Broken Spoke Bike Co-op, recycled as scrap metal or used in other recycling schemes. We do not sell abandoned bikes to University staff, students nor members of the public.

Noticed an abandoned bike? Help us keep the streets and pavements safe by reporting a bike that is unroadworthy or causing an obstruction.

One way to reduce the chance of you bike being stolen is to use Bike Register.  This secure database, used by police forces across the country, holds information on more than half a million bikes nationwide. Registering is free, simply visit and add your bike’s details to the database. It has reunited hundreds of cyclists with their stolen bikes.

If you need any further assistance, please contact Security Services at

It’s very important to lock your bike in the right way to deter thieves:

Bicycle D-Lock

  • use a D-lock and a strong chain or cable lock so that a thief needs to attack two different kinds of locks in one visit – many will move on to an easier target
  • if possible secure the bike to two different immovable objects
  • use a D-lock if you decide to use only one lock and try not to leave room to insert a car jack or scaffold pole into the shackle – both are common ways of attacking these locks
  • if your bike has an expensive saddle, take it off and keep it with you
  • remember to remove your bike lights or they will probably be stolen too

Watch the below video for more help on how to use your D-lock effectively.

How to use a D-Lock to secure your bike

D-lock and bike lights

Due to coronavirus restrictions, we are unable to sell bike discounted D-locks or bike lights from the Old Observatory at this time.



Abandoned bike?

Help us keep the streets and pavements safe by reporting a bike that is unroadworthy or causing an obstruction.



Made Good repair videos


Contact us

Sustainable Travel team

+44 (0) 1865 6 14605


Facilities Helpdesk

+44 (0) 1865 2 70087

Oxford Mobile Cycle Repairs


Walton Street Cycles