How to help your child remember her bike lock combination

Sarah’s found a solution that works for her and her daughter:

We have purchased a bike lock for our 6 year old daughter and were concerned about remembering the four-digit combination. In a fit of genius I wrote the number in her school folder that she brings to and from school every day. This way she and her accompanying adult always have it, but no one else does. It worked for us this morning when we couldn’t remember it!

Sarah’s hack wouldn’t work for my son as his bike riding is more likely to happen on weekends when there are no school folders in sight. Assuming the helmet doesn’t get locked up with the bike, how about a small adhesive label inside the helmet with the combo written down?

Any other ideas, Parenthackers?


  1. MidlifeMidwife says

    Not about a bike lock, but my teenage son, a freshman in college, can’t remember his PIN for his debit card. We added a fake person to his contact list in his cellphone and the PIN is the last 4 numbers in the phone number.

  2. Katherine says

    I’d look for one of those combination locks that use letters instead of numbers, and then pick a word she can remember.

  3. says

    I used the PIN-as-phone-number hack years back, but wrote it on a slip of paper in my wallet. This was (gasp!) before cell phones. I’m thinking of doing something similar with my son’s SSN, probably with made-up street addresses, e.g., “123 Oak St, 45 Poplar St, 6789 Maple St” but less obvious.

  4. Rob says

    When I was a kid (5 or 6 I believe) and started riding a bike to school, I had a 3-digit combination lock for it. To help me remember the code, my folks got a tiny metal tag engraved with the number, put a small hole through it, and laced it onto one of my shoes down at the toe. Worked great, it couldn’t come off because of where it was on the laces, and it was so small no one else noticed it.

    I still remember that code almost 20 years later.

  5. lisa says

    I write my gym combo lock number on the inside of my tennis shoe. This is telling of how often i go to the gym isn’t it? :)

  6. skywind says

    I have used birthdays of favorite relatives, ZIP codes, parts of phone numbers and house numbers. It’s a bike lock, not the PIN to your bank account; it doesn’t have to be that obscure.

  7. Melissa says

    Growing up, we used our street address or the last four digits of our home phone number. Works great and you don’t have to remember a new set of numbers.

  8. says

    Putting the combo on helmet is a good idea and a bad idea. I would be afraid someone would steal the bike (which happened to me as a kid and it was traumatic). You could put the number on the helmet as a phone number if there are enough digits, or add a number or 2 to the real combination: real combo 33-12-9 fake combo: 35-14-11. That’s how I did it when I used to go the gym (100 years ago).

  9. Abby Spice says

    Kids are using cell phones to text message earlier and earlier–try using a short word. Most kids can tell you that “BIKE” is 2453, if they picture a phone in their head.

  10. geoerge says

    Bike locks of the sort pictured can be set to any code you want. Set it to the last four digits of a number he already knows, like his home phone number.

  11. says

    Following up on Katherine’s post, there is a padlock that uses letters instead of numbers — Wordlock. (Their site is and I think it’s available at stores like Target, hardware stores, and online.)