Purchasing an electric bike is a great short-term and long-term investment. You can benefit each day from the convenient transport mode and improve your physical health for the long run.
An electric bike uses advanced technology to provide convenience and comfort during a ride. However, the technological edge comes with its added costs.
In general, all electric bikes are significantly pricier than regular bikes. Hence, an electric bike’s theft can be a significant loss. Fortunately, some security measures can help prevent your electric bike from getting stolen.
How to Prevent Electric Bike Theft?
Electric bike locks, security measures, cameras, and GPS trackers are effective methods of preventing electric bike theft. Nowadays, few electric bikes come with an inbuilt security GPS tracker.
Moreover, one should always park the e-bike at secure spots. Furthermore, loading the e-bike inside the car during transportation can also help lower the chances of theft.
Why is Electric Bike Theft a Big Problem?
According to studies conducted by the New York City Police Department, almost two million bikes are stolen in the US every year. A high percentage of these bikes include electric bikes and electric scooters.
Electric bike theft can be a great loss that can cause mental distress to the owner. Bike theft can often discourage bike enthusiasts from getting a new electric bike. In the long run, it affects their transportation costs and physical fitness.
An electric bike is usually two to three times more expensive than regular bikes. The main contributors to its high price are:
- The electrical motor that converts the stored battery charge into kinetic energy to assist the rider’s pedaling;
- The e-bike sensor. It picks up on the pedaling motion and causes the electric motor to start functioning. One can choose the required level of electric motor assistance manually;
- The electric bike display screen. It allows the riders to remain informed regarding different bike data. For instance, it shows the speed, battery range, battery charging, assistance level, and the distance traveled.
Many new advanced electric bike display screens also notify the rider regarding the calories lost and their heartrate;
- The electric bike controls. The buttoned controls are connected to the electric bike’s display screen. These control buttons or switches allow riders to select the level of electric motor assistance while riding;
- The electric bike battery. It is the most sensitive and expensive component of the e-bike. Different electric bike batteries have varying capacities, ranges, and prices;
- The electric bike’s frame. The e-bike frames are designed to be rigid and stronger. This is because the e-bike has to perform at higher speeds under the pressure of electric force.
The table below shows the prices of four regular and electric bikes for 2022.
|Regular Bikes||Electric Bikes|
|Brand Names||Price (USD)||Brand Names||Price (USD)|
|Cannondale Supersix Evo||$12,100||Black Trail BT-01||$80,000|
|Trek Bike||$5,000||Trefecta DRT||$25,000|
|Brompton P-line||$2,965||Audi Electric bike||$17,000|
Tips and Security Measures to Prevent Electric Bike Theft
Electric bike theft can cause major mental distress to the e-bike owner. Fortunately, simple precautions and tips can significantly reduce the chances of having your electric bike stolen.
Learn About How Electric Bike Theft Operations Work
It is important to know exactly how thieves usually plan their theft and the tools they use. This information will help you better prepare for such situations and protect your e-bike.
Choose a Secure Parking Location for Your Electric Bike
Securing your electric bike with a bike lock is helpful but to a certain extent. Parking your e-bike in a part of the town where crime rates are relatively low is more important.
Thieves have no problem cutting out the electric bike locks in high-crime areas. Hence, choosing a secure location is critical, even if it means you would have to walk to your destination.
If you have no choice but to visit a poorly reputed area, ideally, do not go on your electric bike. You can either opt for public transport or take your car as cars are relatively harder to steal.
If you do not have any other transport options, take a friend along. You can ask a friend to watch your electric bike as you get done with work. For added protection, use two electric bike locks.
Moreover, you can inquire about safe electric bike parking locations by posting a question on a biking community group. Also, stay updated with the local news to remain informed about the high-crime locations.
Furthermore, choose a more crowded parking spot. On the one hand, more people would mean more exposure and higher chances of theft. However, it is implausible that a thief would carry out a theft around a tight crowd.
Choose a Well-illuminated Parking Spot for Your Electric Bike
It is not uncommon for e-bikes to get stolen from spots that otherwise have a good reputation for security. The theft usually happens if the electric bike is parked in a dimly-lit spot.
Without sufficient lighting, the security guards or other people on the street would not be able to spot the theft. Moreover, darker alleys or shady parking spots tend to attract thieves.
Hence, pick a properly illuminated spot for parking your electric bike. Ensure that people and security guards can see it easily.
Refrain from Developing a Biking Pattern
Picking the same time and route for riding your electric bike does not sound wrong. However, doing so could increase the chances of your bike getting stolen.
People can track your daily movements when you follow a biking pattern or develop a routine. As a result, thieves get the chance to pick the perfect time and spot for planning a theft.
Hence, keep switching between different routes. Moreover, try to ride your electric bike at different times every day.
Take Your Electric Bike Along Wherever Possible
Refrain from parking your electric park too far from your destination. Doing so would allow you to keep an eye on your e-bike at all times. Ideally, take it along wherever it is possible and permitted to.
Nowadays, many malls and retail stores allow people to take their e-bikes inside the building. However, you might be asked to leave the e-bike outside a shop’s door. For this, carry a lock around and lock your bike while leaving it at the door. You can ask the shop’s employee to watch your electric bike for further protection.
Moreover, invest in a foldable lightweight electric bike. Lighter foldable e-bikes are more convenient to take along and fit inside narrow mall spaces without disturbing anyone.
For example, a Brompton Electric e-bike weighs only 7 to 13 kgs. One can conveniently fold it down to a 23”x22.3” X10.6” compact size.
Hence, the e-bike owner can carry it, push it, and take it everywhere. Lightweight foldable e-bikes are also allowed onto public buses and trains. As a result, the e-bike is never left alone to be stolen.
Furthermore, never leave your electric bike parked outside your house for prolonged hours or overnight. Instead, park it inside your garage or bring it into your home to avoid theft.
Unfortunately, one of the most common places for electric bike theft is a person’s garage. Hence, remember to lock up your e-bike even inside the garage. Moreover, invest in better garage security.
Lock Your Electric Bike Properly
Bike locks were a common accessory way before electric bikes were introduced. Outdated bike locks may only slightly reduce the chances of theft.
Modern, high-quality e-bike usually locks range between $100-200 USD. It is essential to invest in complicated locks that take much more effort and time to break.
Before investing in a lock that is ideal for your electric bike, always measure the dimensions of your e-bike. Measure the width of its frame and the width of its tires. A loosely fitting lock would be easy to cut.
Moreover, make sure to secure your e-bike lock around solid fixed structures. You can choose a street light, concrete barrels, parking meter, etc. Avoid locking your e-bike to flimsy trees or movable public benches.
Chains locks can damage the e-bike’s exterior due to their bulky and heavy bodies. Moreover, it can be inconvenient to carry them around everywhere.
Folding electric bike locks are lighter in weight and easier to carry. They can conveniently be folded into your backpack and offer good security. U-locks and D-locks are very common; however, their shape can hinder the locking process.
The goal is to find a lock that provides maximum security and is light and portable. Moreover, it needs to fit your budget and be sized according to your electric bike’s dimensions.
The table below lists seven well-reputed electric bike lock options available in the US. It highlights their category, average price, weight, lock design characteristics, and pros and cons.
|Electric Bike Lock Name||Lock Category||Average Price (USD)||Weight Category||Lock Design Characteristics||Advantageous Qualities||Disadvantageous Qualities|
|Kryptonite NY Chain and Disk Lock||Chain and U-lock||$120-133||Heavy||150cm chain attached to a 15mm U-lock||It offers an anti-pull and anti-drill protection system||Heavy and poor portability|
|ABUS Granit CityChain Xplus 1060||Chain lock||$151||Heavy||10mm thick steel hexagonal links||The fabric covering prevents damage to the bike’s exterior. Offers great protection against violent breaking attempts||Heavy and poor portability|
|Hiplock E-DX||D-lock||$174||Light||Hard 14mm steel body with 10mm steel chain||High durability, has a wearable design that can be clipped onto a bag or belt||Mediocre security|
|OnGuard Brute Mini||D-lock||$75-80||Light||16.88mm shackle thickness||Light, highly portable, and less expensive||You might need two for proper security|
|ABUS Frame Lock Pro||Round-shaped frame lock||$40||Normal||8.5mm steel shackle||Affordable and can make a locked e-bike safer||Not recommended to be used without an additional lock|
|Kryptonite Evolution Mini||Chain U-lock||$83-110||Light||10mm, 6-sided chain links||Highly portable, pick and drill resistant disc locking mechanism, flexible cable helps lock the front wheel with the bike frame or around a fixed object, and can lock several bikes together||None|
|OnGuard Brute LS||Long D-lock||$80||Heavy||26cm steel shackle||Has a high security rating||Heavy and poor portability|
Protect All the Different Parts of Your Electric Bike
Lock different parts of your electric bike to one another. You can use multiple different bike locks or one long chain lock. This kind of locking technique is a foolproof method, and the chances of theft are close to none.
Moreover, the electric bike battery is one of its most expensive components. Often, thieves steal just the battery or steal the e-bike for its battery. Hence, if possible, remove the e-bike battery when parking the bike in less secure areas.
Invest in Security Cameras
Have security cameras installed in your garage, outside your homes, and at your workplace parking? Doing so would make your e-bike a tougher target and discourage theft.
Get Your Electric Bike Insured
All protective measures and tips can reduce the chances of your e-bike theft; however, they cannot eliminate them. Hence, the smartest approach to protect your investment and be at peace is by getting your e-bike insured.
Different insurance agencies and renter insurance policies can cover your electric bike insurance. Moreover, always choose a reputable agency. Doing so eases the process of claiming your e-bike insurance.
Related electric bike articles:
- Can You Take an Electric Bike on a Train?
- How Easy Is It to Ride an Electric Bike
- Can You Ride an Electric Bike on the Sidewalk?
- Are Electric Bikes Allowed on Bike Paths?
- How to Convert a Mountain Bike to Electric Bike
- Can an Electric Bike Run Without Pedaling?
- Ancheer Electric Bikes – Shall I Buy One?
Electric bikes are a great investment for a cost-effective everyday commute. They reduce your carbon footprint while significantly improving your physical and mental health.
Their high market values and advanced technologies make them expensive and attractive targets for thieves. Hence, investing in e-bike security and taking the necessary precautionary measures is vital to prevent e-bike theft.
My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric bikes caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my e-bike. Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric bikes. Check out more.