So you just bought a new e-bike, and now you’re wondering how will you secure it? If this was your first thought after purchase, then your head is in the right place because as e-bikes become more popular, unfortunately, so will theft. Similar to bikes and motorcycles, e-bike theft is most common in big cities where groups specifically target bikes to make their bread & butter.
To prevent having your new beloved e-bike stolen, the following five e-bike security tips are all essential for you to know. Once you take the time to consider these tips and implement them into your electric bike security plan, you’ll give yourself the best chance of avoiding theft.
#1 Invest in a Good Lock
This goes without saying, though, there are multiple options for you to choose from. In the lock category, you’ll find U-locks, chain locks, and folding locks. In the case of e-bikes, folding locks and chain locks are your best bet. Since you don’t need to pedal on an e-bike most of the time, you can get away with choosing a heavier chain lock that thieves need power tools to cut.
Additionally, you might want to take your electric bike security a step further by investing in multiple locks. To make this work, invest in a good lock as your main lock, and for your secondary locks, it’s possible to get away with choosing cheaper ones as deterrents. Because when a thief sees that they’ll need to make multiple cuts that adds time to the robbery. In most cases, a thief will skip over an e-bike with multiple locks.
When choosing your e-bike locks, stick with the recommendations here for ultimate security and to get a clear idea of which brands are the most trustworthy & reliable.
#2 Always Be Mindful of Where You Park
When choosing a place to park your bike, particularly in a large city, it’s imperative to park in a well-lit public location. For example, if you’re parking at a grocery store, then always check for a bike rack where you have the ability to make your bike blend in with the others.
Also, thieves are less likely to target bike racks since they’re usually located in the public eye. Now, on the other hand, imagine parking your bike in a place without many people and securing it to a random pole. Does this situation seem more favorable for a thief? That’s because it is.
All in all, you want to avoid the second scenario as best you can unless it’s your only option. And if it is, then make sure to minimize the time you park it in that situation. Clearly, you wouldn’t want to park overnight in that scenario.
#3 Take the Time to Learn How to Lock Your E-Bike
One thing you don’t want to do is buy a great lock, then skip past the time it takes to learn how to properly lock your e-bike. For instance, if you choose a folding lock, one of the advantages is that when not in use, it folds up cleanly. Then, when you need to use it, it gives you enough length to secure your frame to a fixed object such as a bike rack.
One common mistake that people make when they’re in a rush is to lock the wheel of the electric bike to a rack, which is a surefire way to get your bike stolen. Another good method is to lock both the frame and wheel if you have a chain lock that’s long enough.
The key here is take the time to practice locking your e-bike and learning the best methods for locking a bicycle before you get out there and begin doing it in the real world. Ultimately, locking an e-bike isn’t too much different than locking a normal bike.
#4 Calculate the Value of Your Primary Lock
In the cycling community, there’s a general rule of thumb of spending 10% of the value of your bike on a lock. However, in the e-bike category this doesn’t transfer quite as well since premium e-bikes can cost thousands.
A better option is to consider how much you value your e-bike and how much it would hurt you financially if it were stolen. Chances are, you spent a good chunk of change on your e-bike, so it’s advisable not to skimp on your locks.
So rather than 10%, the 5-10% range is a better option. For premium e-bikes, you’ll want to stick with the most reliable brands such as Kryptonite and ABUS. In the US, you might find that ABUS is better since thieves are very used to seeing Kryptonite locks.
#5 Consider Electric Bike Insurance
If your e-bike is worth 1000s, then investing in e-bike insurance is a wise idea. Similar to car and motorcycle insurance, e-bike insurance gives you peace of mind every time you ride. When selecting an insurance plan, check to make sure the plan covers theft, damage, and accidents.
Also, if you already have renter’s insurance or home insurance, it would be wise to check whether the plan includes e-bike coverage, though, it’s a slim chance. Overall, e-bike insurance is worth it for people who made a large investment on their e-bikes, and probably overkill for people who spent $500 or less.
The main thing to do is compare the cost of the insurance to the value of your bike to see if it’s worth the investment. Lastly, don’t let having insurance allow you to slack when following the preceding points because in reality, the last thing you want to do is have to final an insurance claim for a stolen e-bike.
E-bike security really depends on the value of your bike, where you live, and how often you use your bike. If you’re someone who uses your e-bike daily in a big city, then you’ll want to follow each of the five tips in this guide.
If you live in a safer rural area where you only ride your e-bike occasionally, then you’ll want to put some extra thought into your electric bike security plan to decide which of these tips you do and don’t need to follow.