Nowadays, it seems like everyone wants to get their hands on an electric bike — including nefarious thieves, unfortunately. This is the part where you may expect us to drop a particularly frightening statistic about e-bike thefts in the U.S., but we’re not going to go the scare tactics route. You’ve probably heard about or even know someone who’s had their e-bike stolen, so you already know what a huge (and heartbreaking!) problem it is.
Thankfully, there are several precautions you can take to help keep your electric bicycle safe and secure when it’s parked. Here are six of the most effective safeguards against e-bike theft.
1. ALWAYS Lock Up Your E-Bike!
Invest in a quality e-bike lock and use it every single time you park your bike — even if you’re just stepping away for a few minutes or in what appears to be a safe area. Look for a heavy-duty lock with an excellent security rating and anti-theft features like a hardened double deadbolt for maximum protection (this Kryptonite bike lock fits the bill!). For added security, use two locks. This may seem excessive, but it’s all about making your electric bike as unappealing to would-be bike thieves as possible, and removing two locks is more of a hassle than one.
So what’s the best way to lock e-bikes? Ask a few riders, and you’ll likely hear different (and probably legitimate) answers, but this is a proven technique we recommend:
- Find an immovable object to lock your bike around (cemented or reinforced bike racks are awesome choices; wooden fences or chain link fences, not so much).
- Place your lock high up — either around the front wheel and down tube or the rear wheel and seat tube. Never use your lock close to the ground or on the top tube!
- Try to make the lock inaccessible as possible. If you can, position the keyhole downwards to make it difficult for baddies to tamper with the locking mechanism.
- If you’re using a U-lock, fill as much of the space within the U and the e-bike and object it’s attached to so thieves don’t have any room to work with their tools.
One last word of advice is to lock up your bike if you’re transporting it on a bike rack mounted on your vehicle. Nothing would be more tragic than looking in your rearview mirror at a traffic stop only to see your e-bike fall into the grimy hands of a crafty thief because you forgot to lock it down.
2. Sound the Alarm
An excellent electric bike lock is a must for thwarting nefarious nogoodniks from riding away with your bike, but an alarm is added insurance against the unthinkable happening to you. Bike alarms emit a loud, high-pitched audio alert to draw as much attention to a grand theft e-bike in progress, which is an extremely effective way to stop criminals in their tracks.
3. Leave Your E-Bike In a Secure Location
When it comes to where you park your e-bike, there’s safety in numbers. If possible, leave your bike secured in a crowded public place, ideally in a reinforced bike rack with lots of other bikes around. Remember, the more eyes you have on your bike, the better. If you’re popping into a shop for a few minutes and there isn’t a bike rack nearby, try to lock your electric bike to a pole or signpost within your view. And when storing your bike at home, a garage with the garage door closed is the best option.
4. Bring Your Battery With You
Want to instantly make your e-bike less of an attractive target for crooks? Simply remove the battery and take it with you whenever you park your bike! Without its battery, your electric bike has no power source to activate its motor, and an e-bike without a motor is just a bike —nothing special in the eyes of thieves dead set on swiping an electric bike. Best of all, it takes just seconds to take out your e-bike battery (compared to the lifetime of regret you’d have if your bike got stolen!).
5. Use a GPS Tracker
Protecting your e-bike against theft is a numbers game, where the more measures you take, the less likely you’ll be a victim. But the cold reality is that no matter how many deterrents you employ, there’s still a small chance that your bike may get stolen. For this reason, theft recovery solutions like GPS trackers are essential to getting your beloved bike back. We highly recommend the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag or Apple AirTag. These theft-recovery devices can be mounted underneath your bike’s seat, bottom bracket, or in the case of the AirTag, in a compartment built into your G2 battery pack. GPS tracking devices can alert authorities of the location of your stolen e-bike to help speed up the recovery process.
6. Get E-Bike Insurance
Here’s a nightmare scenario — some jerk steals your e-bike, and you don’t have a GPS tracker installed, so you have to fork over hundreds or thousands for a replacement bike. Thankfully, you can avoid this headache by insuring your e-bike. Shop around, and you’ll find dedicated e-bike insurance providers like Velosurance as well as specific electric bike coverage through big-name auto and homeowner insurance companies. It’s worth mentioning that some homeowners insurance providers cover e-bikes under their policies, but you’ll have to verify this coverage with your insurance agent.
You Have the Power to Help Prevent E-Bike Theft
Let’s face it, bike theft happens, but you’re now equipped with the tools and knowledge to help prevent it from happening to you. Purchasing and using a proper bike lock and e-bike alarm and wisely choosing a highly-visible public bike rack or similar place to park your bike can significantly reduce your chances of having your electric bicycle stolen. Browse our extensive collection of premium bike locks and get your peace of mind today!