Nearly 7,000 bicycle thefts have been reported to gardaí in the last 16 months, according to new figures.
From January of last year to April 23 of this year, a total of 6,845 bicycles were reported stolen across the country.
Gardaí said that while they were able to recover 2,139 of them, many were never found or returned to their owner as the bike serial numbers were not recorded.
Dublin saw the vast majority of the thefts, with 3,956 bikes reported stolen in 2020. A further 869 were stolen in the capital up to April 23 of this year.
In Cork city last year 256 bikes were stolen, with 43 more taken so far this year.
A total of 208 bikes were reported stolen in both Limerick and Galway in 2020, while gardaí were notified of 41 and 19 thefts respectively in each county this year.
Just one in every five bike owners was able to provide gardaí with their bike's frame/serial number when reporting it stolen.
Gardaí are now urging people to take extra precautions to keep their bicycles safe.
They say bike owners should spend 10% to 20% of the cost of their bike on two good-quality locks.
Bicycles should always be locked tightly to an immovable object, and the lock itself should be kept off the ground.
Anyone storing their bike at home in a shed or garage should also ensure it is locked to another immovable object or heavy item.
Bike owners should always have a photograph of their bike, and a record of its serial number stored digitally.
Where possible, gardaí say it is best to lock bikes indoors or in well-lit areas.
Crime Prevention Officer in the Galway Garda Division, Sgt Michael Walsh said that with more people taking up cycling and availing of bike-to-work schemes during the pandemic, it makes sense to invest in quality locks to prevent theft.
"A good quality lock would involve spending on average €140/€150," he said.
"If your bike is stolen, report the theft to Gardaí as soon as you can, and ensure you have your serial number to hand if you have it."
- Gardaí have said that anyone who has had a bicycle stolen can now go onto the Garda website www.garda.ie or Garda divisional Facebook pages to view bicycles currently in their property stores.