One deterrent people often consider when deciding on a possible electric bike purchase is the issue of bike security (and the prevalence of e-bike theft!). Electric bicycles are no small investment, which makes a stolen bike even more painful. We’re happy to report, however, there are so many ways to ensure your new e-bike is safe and secure! Here are some helpful tips on how to prevent e-bike theft and what to do if your e-bike does get stolen.
LOCKS AND ALARMS
There is a misconception that if you use a lock your e-bike will never get stolen. Sadly, that’s not the truth. Locks, like alarms, are just a deterrent. Alarms are a great idea to scare off the baddies, however, they must be used in conjunction with a lock.
There is no such thing as an unbreakable lock. Bolt cutters or a portable angle grinder will make quick work of the most expensive locks. So, what is the difference between a cheaper cable lock and more pricey bike locks such as chain locks or folding locks? Why even use a lock if it's just going to get cut through?
Time. Remember the goal of locking your electric bike is to deter a bike thief from choosing your bike against another bike with less security. The main deciding factor for a bike thief is how long it would potentially take to steal your bike. A good rule of thumb is to spend 10% of what you spent on your bike on security.
Use at least 2 different locking systems AND an alarm - making it more challenging and less alluring to potential bike thieves. Look for a locks with a higher security rating, like a folding lock vs an inexpensive cable lock. The higher the rating the longer it will take to break. Check out this video from law enforcement in the UK on how little time it takes to break into each type of locking system.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Use common sense, only leave your e-bike in safe well-populated areas. Use a bike rack if there is one around. Never “hide” or cover your bike, locking it away from public view will give a thief plenty of time to work on your locks. Whenever possible, bring your e-bike inside with you for ultimate theft protection.
Avoid the dark! Always park that are well lit, minimize, or completely avoid, leaving your bike out at night. If you absolutely can’t bring your bike inside, prevent battery theft by unlocking the battery from the locking mechanism, then take it inside with you. Your battery is the most valuable part of your model - Protect your Power!
E Bike insurance is a fairly new concept, but a very good idea. Consider protecting your e-bike with supplemental insurance covering theft and accidents. Many people assume that bike theft will be covered under their homeowners insurance policy but most insurance companies now have separate policies. The motor will automatically classify it as a vehicle and not property and most policies only cover theft from your house.
However, there are a number of other things homeowners insurance would not address and would leave you without coverage. Example, you hit someone's child or run into a car or another cyclist. You could cause damage/injury and if you do not have a specific policy covering this you could be in hot water.
Veloinsurance.com is one company which offers e-bike specific coverage up to 750w motors. Also, check with your current insurance and see if they offer a separate e-bike policy. Hyper series models will often require motorcycle license and vehicle insurance (check with your local DMV/insurance for more information). In the end, insurance is truly the only way to get your bike back if stolen or damaged.
ASSUME, PREVENT, RECLAIM
The most effective theft prevention is theft assumption. Assume that at some point your model will get stolen. Register your bike with Juiced, as well as local law enforcement (if you have the option) before this happens.
This will help you point law enforcement in the right direction and settle any dispute between you and the thief. You really don’t want to have to buy your own bike back from the person who stole it.
Prevent the bike from disappearing by getting a GPS system. There are many great options on the market which can be hidden on the model. Also, getting a custom decal (link) made labeling the bike as being protected by GPS can prevent theft entirely if the bike thief wants to avoid the hassle. Having a record of your serial number registered and having GPS are the only ways of reclaiming your original bike.
BIKE SECURITY IS PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
Hopefully these tips help you avoid a tragedy and protect your new investment. Just like your car, the only person 100% responsible for the security of your vehicle is you. Always remember to register, lock and insure your bike. The only person who can prevent the theft of your model is you and in the end you are the choices you make before locking up are what will get you back on the road faster.