Properly Locking An Electric Bike & Tips To Prevent Theft


Electric bikes are typically higher-valued than regular bikes. The electric parts add a whole new element to bike-riding. You could easily drop more than $1,000 on a good e-bike. With that said, do you think a thief would consider taking one?

If you said yes, then you’re absolutely right. Thieves are always out to get their hands on the property of others. It’s not an ethical way to make ends meet, but this is reality. If you plan on getting an electric bike, or already own one, then you have probably thought about this.

With the risk of getting your bike stolen, it’s important to take the necessary steps to make sure that your bike remains in your possession. You’ll need to commit extra time, money, and effort to make sure that your electric bike is safe from the menaces of society.

So, what types of locks are available for keeping your e-bike safe? What precautions should you take while parking/storing your bike? Should you invest in bike insurance? And what should you do if your bike gets stolen? We’re here to help you answer all of these questions.

Types Of Bike Locks

What’s one of the best ways to keep your e-bike from getting stolen? Simple… be sure that you invest in a high-quality bike lock. A common rule of thumb is that you should spend about 10% of the bike’s value on a locking system. For example, if you have a $2,000 e-bike, then you should be willing to fork out around $200 for a system of locks that will keep your bike protected. So, what types of bike locks exist in the market? Read on to find out.

Cable Locks

These types of locks should not be used alone to protect your bike from thieves. But why? It’s because they’re so easy to break. Typically, a cheap cable lock can be cut through with some common pliers. Even the more expensive cable locks can be pierced with bolt cutters. Both of these tools can easily be carried around and concealed by a thief looking for his next freebie. Cable locks, however, are great additions to an already-existing set of locks. For example, you can couple a cable lock with a high-quality lock to de-motivate thieves (because, more locks).

Disc Brake Locks

These locks will only work if you have disc brakes. Basically, they slide over the disk. And then you put a locking pin into place to keep the wheel from spinning. Let’s assume you have disc brakes. Even so, these locks are still not up-to-par with the standards you should be looking for in order to protect your e-bike. Disc brake locks don’t really prevent anyone from just walking off with your bike. But, just like cable locks, they’re good to pair with already-existing locks of higher quality. Multiple locks really will help repel the thieves away.

Wheel Locks (Amsterdam Locks)

These locks are similar to disc brake locks. Basically, the lock is mounted onto your e-bike’s wheel. When you lock it, the wheel is rendered from being able to turn. Just like disc brake locks, wheel locks will prevent someone from riding off with your bike. But they won’t prevent a thief from just picking up the bike and taking off with it. The convenient part about wheel locks: you can keep them attached to your bike. But just like the other locks mentioned so far, it’s not good to use these locks alone as protection. You’ll need a higher-quality lock for peace of mind.

U-Locks

The aforementioned locks are what we call “supplemental locks,” which means that they’re not stand-alone ways to really protect your e-bike from thieves. However, U-locks are different. These types of locks are full-security bicycle locks. So, what are some advantages of this lock?

For starters, U-locks have a fixed shape. This simple design allows for quick and easy locking and unlocking. Also, the shape allows you to lock your e-bike up without having to weasle your lock in-and-out of the different parts of your bike. Another great thing about the shape of this lock? It helps prevent leverage-type attacks from thieves.

So, is there a downside to U-locks? Actually, there is. For example, you won’t be able to lock your bike to anything wider than the “U” on your lock. That’s right… you can’t lock your bike to a tree, or other objects that are just too wide. There are many different brands to choose from, and you’ll want to keep the “10%” rule in mind. Your e-bike needs something better than a $15 U-lock, so be sure that you’re really investing in the security of your bike.

Chain Locks

This is another high-quality full-security lock. There are many different types of chain locks, and each of them come with different standards of quality. It’s easy to find chain locks that are more effective than U-locks. So, what are some advantages about chain locks?

One big advantage is the fact that you can actually lock your bike to nearly anything. Want to lock your bike to that tree in the park? No problem, because you’ll be able to snake a chain around the tree (unlike the U-lock). With enough chain, you can lock your bike to anything.

Another advantage to the chain lock? You can snake it through different parts of your e-bike for added protection. It’s good to keep in mind that you don’t have to choose only one source for keeping your bike locked. Pair your chain lock with a U-lock for an even-higher advantage against thieves. And go ahead and toss some supplemental locks on that bad boy as well. Thieves won’t even think about touching that bike with all those reinforcements.

Other Security Measures

Bike locks are important, and you’ll absolutely need them to keep your e-bike secure. But, did you know that there are other measures you can take to keep your bike out of thieves’ hands? We’re going to discuss some other techniques that will help keep your bike safe.

Pay Attention To Location

Some areas are better than others, as far as crime goes. Electric bikes are big investments. So you’ll want to refrain from locking your bike in dangerous areas. Do you plan on riding through some shady areas of town? It may not be best to leave your bike unattended in these locations.

Take The Bike Inside

Let’s assume that you have to stop by one of those “shady areas” in the town. For whatever reason, you’re in a location where there’s a higher chance of getting your bike stolen. If this is the case, then you should consider just taking your bike inside with you.

Change Your Routine

There are some smart thieves out there. If you’re following the same riding pattern every day, and parking your bike in the same spot, then a potential thief may notice this. Want to maintain your edge against the thieves? Of course you do, so you’ll need to switch up your biking patterns. This will keep a thief from plotting his next plan of action for a sweet new e-bike.

Park Near Higher-Quality Bikes

But why would you do that? Well… if a thief sees a set of bikes, he’s probably going to try taking the one with the most value. We get it… this isn’t the most ethical thing to do. But, at the same time, this can really give you an edge in the protection of your own bike. Besides, it’s not like you’re the one doing the stealing. You’re just trying to prevent your own from being taken.

Park In Heavy Lighting

Here’s something about thieves: they don’t like being watched while they’re committing their crimes. So what does this mean for you? It means you’ll have a better chance of going back home with your bike if you lock it in a well-lit area. Try to avoid places such as dark alleys. Dark places will make it easier for a thief to pull off his next crime.

Use GPS

This is fairly new in the world of bicycles. But nowadays you can easily have a GPS transmitter attached to your electric bike. Although it could scare off a would-be thief, it may not necessarily keep your bike from being stolen. However, GPS works great after the matter, and will help you recover your bike after it’s already been stolen.

Remove The Battery

This is an important technique involved in keeping your bike protected from theft. First off, your e-bike will look like a regular bike without the battery. Thieves will be less-inclined to snatch your ride, because they think it’s just a normal bike. Second off, the bike will pretty much be rendered useless without the battery. You’ll probably need to carry a key around to remove the battery, but it’s worth it if you can protect your property more efficiently.

Insurance For Your E-Bike

We’ve discussed the different kinds of locks that you can use for your e-bike. We also covered some other techniques you can use for extra protection against thieves. But did you know that you can also get insurance for your e-bike? It’s a reality, and we’ll tell you all about it.

If you’re thinking about insuring your e-bike, where should you start? Well… you should start by looking into Velosurance and Markel Insurance. These two companies have worked together to make electric bike insurance available all over the United States. Curious about their policies? Just be sure to do a quick search to learn about your protection opportunities.

Before jumping the gun, it’s a good idea to look into your current insurance policies. You may not need bike insurance at all. It’s possible that you’re under a policy that already has certain types of coverage for your electric bike. So, be sure to look into the fine print for more details.

What If Your E-Bike Gets Stolen?

Well, this is unfortunate. You used plenty of locks on your bike. You took the extra safety steps to keep thieves away. But somehow, a criminal ended up snatching your bike. It’s a tough situation, and you want to know what your next steps should be. And we’re here to help. This section is dedicated to the steps you can take towards recovering your electric bike.

It’s going to be VERY important to get the word out as quickly as possible. The sooner you can let people know about your stolen bike, the quicker that others can be on the lookout for it. There really is power in numbers. Below, we’ll discuss how to quickly get the word out. We’ll also recommend some places that you should check first in your search.

Call Law Enforcement

A crime has been committed. Your prized electric bike has been stolen, and it’s time to tell authorities. The police specialize in situations like these. With law enforcement on your side, you should be one step closer to recovering your electric bike.

Notify Local Bike Shops

Are there any bike shops in your area? If so, you should give them the scoop of your situation. It would be helpful to give them a few flyers with a picture of your bike. The employees and customers of the shop may be able to lend you some extra eyes in the search for your bike.

Post Plenty Of Flyers

You’ll want to get the word out quickly. Be sure that you have a good picture of your bike on the flyers. Start by posting flyers in the area where the bike was stolen. You can branch out as far as you want… it’s up to you. The more flyers you post around town, the better chance you’ll have of recovering your bike.

Use Social Media

In today’s world, one of the best methods for spreading information is through social media networks. Let all of your friends, family, and colleagues know about your missing bike. This is going to greatly increase your chances of recovering your electric bike.

Search Pawn Shops

Do you think this bike thief has a huge collection of bikes sitting in his backyard? Well, this may be the case. But there’s also a chance that the thief just wanted a quick buck. It’s possible that your bike was traded at the pawn shop. So be sure to search around to see what you can find.

Search Classified Ads

Why? It’s because there’s a chance that the thief may have posted your bike here. The reasoning is the same for searching pawn shops. If the criminal is just trying to make some fast money, then he’ll be trying to sell that electric bike. One of the most popular places for posting ads? Craigslist. Be sure to look through that site to see if your bike is being sold there.

Check GPS

If you have a tracking device on your electric bike, then by all means, be sure to use it. There are options that allow you to track your electric bike right from your smartphone. This cutting-edge technology is being used increasingly throughout the electric bikes of today.

In Conclusion…

An electric bike can be a powerful investment. It can also be a bit pricey. If you’ve dropped a pretty penny on an electric bike, then it’s good to make sure that the bike is properly secured and protected when not in use. As a general rule of thumb, you should be willing to take at least 10% of the electric bike’s cost, and put that towards locking mechanisms.

Locks are important, and there are plenty of types out there. Supplemental locks include cable locks, disc brake locks, and wheel locks. These types of locks should only be used when accompanied by higher-quality, full-security locks such as U-locks and chain locks.

Aside from keeping locks on your bikes, there are other measures you can take in order to keep your bike out of a thief’s possession. Some examples include staying out of shady areas, parking in well-lit areas, and locking your bike next to more-attractive rides. GPS transmitters are great at de-motivating criminals, and they’re great for recovering a stolen bike as well.

If all else fails, and your electric bike gets stolen anyway, it’s very important to get the word out as quickly as possible. This can take the form of flyers, social-media posts, or just notifying the people in the area. It’s also a good idea to check local pawn shops, because the thief could’ve been looking for quick money. It wouldn’t hurt to check classified ads as well.

So, what do you think? Do you feel like you’re better prepared to maintain possession of your beloved electric bike? There’s never a 100% chance that your bike will completely avoid thieves at all costs. But with the proper knowledge and equipment, you can be on your way to greatly increasing your chances of avoiding bike theft. Hopefully we’ve helped you maintain your peace of mind throughout your riding experiences. And as always, keep riding on!

Ruben

I always had a thing for bike sports and love almost anything that involves bikes and boards. I work part-time as a designer in the tech industry and work on my blogs whenever I can.

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