Theft prevention is an important topic for nearly all bike owners, but e-bike riders in particular are especially hard hit when it comes to bike protection. According to recent studies, e-bikes are 3 TIMES more likely to be stolen than traditional bikes. Surprisingly, however, many new e-bike owners don't purchase a sufficient, high-quality bike lock with their new bike. Riders might get lucky once or twice without locking up their e-bike, but odds are clear. If you aren't consistently using a suitable lock to secure your e-bike, eventually that bike will get stolen.
It's critical to lock your bike when leaving it unattended in an unsecured area. And, it's equally important to choose the right lock. Remember, no lock is unbreakable but a cheap lock is like a homing device for e-bike thieves letting them know your e-bike will take less effort to steal. So it’s very important to use high-security rated locks that may be more expensive but will better protect your investment. Here’s our guide to the three main types of bike locks and our top-lock pick in each category.
Pros: U-locks, also known as “D-locks,” are great for riders concerned about not adding additional weight to their ride. Light and compact, most U-locks come with mounts that can be attached to your e-bike’s frame for easier storage. This style of lock is typically thicker than chain or folding locks, making them harder for thieves to cut through. U-locks are also a great secondary lock which can be used to lock your wheel to the bike frame.
Cons: Depending on the size of your U-lock you may have trouble locking your e-bike up to certain objects. We recommend using two locks when possible to help with this. But if you are using a U-lock as a primary lock, you may want to consider a heavier chain lock instead for added versatility.
Juiced’s Recommendation: Abus U-lock 440 Alarm is a great compact U-lock with the added benefit of having a built-in alarm.
Pros: Chain locks deliver a high-security rating combined with the ultimate versatility. These locks can be used in a number of locations and positions on the e-bike. There are also a large variety of chain locks, some with padlocks and keys, and some with combination locks, giving riders more options. Chain locks typically come wrapped in fabric to protect your electric bike from scratches too.
Cons: It all comes down to weight. If you’ve been riding e-bikes for a while, you know that weight is a major factor in calculating the expected range of your e-bike’s battery. Depending on the length and hardiness of your chain lock this could add 9-15 lbs. to your gear. Not a major issue for the casual rider, but a common concern for commuters or bike tourists.
Juiced’s Recommendation: A combination chain lock is a great choice because you don’t run the risk of losing your keys. Check out the ABUS Tresor 1385/110 Combo for a heavy-duty yet easy-to-use lock option.
Pros: Folding locks are amazingly compact and typically offer mounts that can be attached to your e-bike for easy storage. These are slightly more versatile than U-locks due to their flexibility, while still being fairly lightweight.
Cons: This type of lock typically offers the least protection as it’s relatively easy to drill through at its pins. Depending on the length of your folding lock, you may also be limited on what you can lock your e-bike to. These are a great secondary lock for public areas, but you will still likely want to have a heavy-duty chain or u-lock available if you are unsure what you will be locking your bike to.
Juiced’s Recommendation: Get a lightweight mountable option like the Abus Bordo 6100 Combo. Again, no dealing with losing keys and enough length to wrap around different areas of the e-bike.
Other than a helmet, the most important accessory for all e-bike owners is at least ONE reliable, heavy-duty bike lock. And if you want even more security, you should use two: one to lock your front wheel and e-bike frame to the bike rack AND one to lock the e-bike frame to the rack. Remember, using cheap locks provides thieves with an even greater opportunity to steal your e-bike. Treat yourself by protecting your investment by getting a better and high-security rated bike lock. Or if you know someone who rides an e-bike, a new high-quality lock is one of the best things they can find in their stocking this holiday season.