Electric bicycles are becoming increasingly popular and more affordable every year. However, purchasing an e-bike is still a financial investment as most e-bikes that are worth their weight are still around $1,000. So, after you have taken the time to find the perfect e-bike, the next step you need is to get a high-quality bike lock to protect your expensive electric bicycle from potential thieves. But what are some of the best locks for e-bikes?
Any bicycle locks that can fit a standard bicycle will also work for an electric bicycle. With that said, there are tons of bicycle locks for you to choose from. Thankfully, we have done tons of research on bicycle locks for e-bikes, and we have a list of some of the best bike locks you can buy on the market today.
- Onguard 8003 Pitbull U-Lock
- Hiplok D1000 U-lock
- ABUS Granit X Plus 540 U-Lock
- OttoLock Sidekick U-Lock
- Hiplok Gold Chain Lock
- Kryptonite Keeper 785 Chain Lock
- Litelok Core Chain Lock
- ABUS Granit City Chain Lock
- ABUS Bordo 6500a Folding Lock
However, if you just spent a considerable amount of money on an e-bike, not any ordinary bike lock will suffice. As a rule of thumb, you should look to spend around 10% of your bicycle's total value on a sturdy locking system to secure your e-bike. For example, if your electric bicycle costs $1300, you’ll want to spend around $130 on a bicycle lock. While this is an excellent rule to follow, the 10% rule for bicycle locks is really the minimum amount you should spend on a bike lock. Of course, do not be afraid to spend more.
As you continue to read this article, we will talk about each type of bike lock you can get while also covering its pros and cons. Furthermore, we’ll get into our list of bike locks we think are the best for e-bikes and provide you with links and a brief description of each.
What are the Different Types of Bicycle Locks?
There are three distinct types of bicycle locks, U-locks, chain locks, and folding locks. Each type of bicycle lock has its pros and cons and is better suited for securing your bicycle in different ways.
U-locks, or D-locks in some countries, are the sturdiest bicycle lock type of the three. U-locks have three main components, the shackle, the spline, and the crossbar. The shackle is a long and thick piece of metal tubing that gives the u-lock its iconic shape. The spline of a U-lock is where the shackle and the crossbar connect to lock in place. Finally, the crossbar is the thickest part of a U-lock and where the locking mechanism is stored.
U-locks are a fantastic type of bicycle lock due to their study construction. The best thing about a U-lock is that there are only two ways to steal a bike that is secured with one. The first way is very loud, and that's by using an axle grinder to cut through the shackle. The second way is by picking the lock in the crossbar.
Fortunately, most manufacturers use materials which are very dense and durable to construct their U-locks. So if a thief decides to use an axle grinder to cut through your U-lock, it will take a bit of time, and due to the loud and sudden noise of an axle grinder, you’ll have some time to contact the police or stop the thieves yourself. However, the lock on a U-lock is not impossible to pick, and if a good lock pick finds your bike secluded for some time, they can do so quickly and silently. Thankfully, really good lock pickers like this are very rare.
While U-locks sound fantastic, they do have one major downside. U-locks can be difficult to use sometimes and require your bicycle to have a skinny downtube to secure in place.
- High durability
- Easy to carry around on your bicycle
- Makes for a fantastic visual deterrent
- It can be difficult to loop through bike frames with thick down tubes
- The small size makes it harder to fit around some thick bicycle racks
When most people think about a bicycle lock, the first thing that comes to mind is a chain lock. Chain locks are simple but effective at keeping your bicycle secured. However, when it comes to keeping your expensive electric bicycle safe, you won't be using a rinky-dink chain with some thin rubber around it. Instead, modern chain locks are made with very thick chains that are often placed in a sleeve of cut-resistant fabric.
Chain locks are a fantastic choice for securing your bicycle and are just as effective at keeping thieves at bay as U-locks. However, chain locks are much more flexible and longer, which will allow you to lock your bicycle to some objects that U-locks can't fit around. For example, with a chain lock, you can easily secure your bicycle to a telephone pole or even a tree.
Like the U-lock, chain locks can only be broken by an axle grinder or an exceptionally well-trained lock pick. Unfortunately, many bicycle thieves used to use bolt cutters to get through the chains on bicycle locks, but thanks to the cut-resistant (sometimes cut-proof) fabric, thieves will need to try a little harder to get through a modern chain lock. Thankfully, the fabric that covers the chain is designed to pull apart into strands that will snag or even clog up any axle grinders that a thief might use to cut through.
The most noticeable downside to chain locks is that they are cumbersome to store on your bicycle. You’ll need to take the time to wrap the chain around a safe spot on your bicycle and lock it in place. When you need to lock your bicycle to a bike rack or telephone pole, you’ll need to unlock the lock, unwrap it from your bicycle, then use it to secure your bike in place.
Chain Lock Pros:
- Length and flexibility make chain locks more versatile
- Fantastic visual deterrent
- Chain flimsiness makes it hard for thieves to hold the chain steady when trying to cut through
- Cut-resistant fabric can clog or even damage a thief's axle grinder
Chain Lock Cons:
- Chain locks are heavier than U-locks while providing the same level of security
- It can be a little annoying to store your chain lock after you unhook your bicycle
Folding bike locks are the newest addition to the bike lock family. They consist of multiple long metal rods that fold onto one another. Each rod is connected by rivets and ball bearings on each end. Folding bike locks are the easiest to use and the easiest to transport around.
However, the major downfall of this type of bike lock is that it’s extremely easy to break. By applying enough pressure to one of the rivets, you can easily pop one out, at which point the entire lock fails to function. With that said, the best way to use this type of bike lock is for quick pit stops.
Folding Lock Pros:
- Very easy to use
- Easiest to carry around when folded up
- Quick to lock and unlock your bicycle
Folding Lock Cons:
- Easy to break
- You should only use it if you're going to get back to your bike quickly
9 Best Bike Locks for Electric Bicycles
Now that you know about each type of bicycle lock, we can get into our list of the best bike locks you can buy for your e-bike. This list will provide links to each lock, a price tag, and a brief description.
1. Onguard 8003 Pitbull U-Lock - $59.99
Starting off our list is the Onguard 8003 U-Lock. This U-lock is not the most secure option on our list, but it’s a budget option that still provides a ton of security for your e-bike. The shackle is made with 14mm hardened steel, making it too big for bolt cutters to be used. And because the shackle locks on both sides of the crossbar, potential thieves will need to cut through both sides of the shackle in order to get to your bicycle. The Onguard 8003 comes with five spare keys, so you don't have to worry about losing a key or two. Finally, this lock is large enough to be used on bicycles with thick down tubes and can fit your downtube and tire into the lock.
2. Hiplok D1000 U-Lock - $100
The Hiplok D1000 is a significant upgrade to security from the previous entry on our list. While the Onguard 8003 is still susceptible to an axle grinder, the D1000 is nearly impervious to them. If someone was actually able to cut through this lock, they would have to do it twice because the U-lock locks on both sides. The Hiplok D1000 also comes with three high-quality coded keys, vastly increasing the difficulty of picking the lock. The only downside to this U-lock is that it has a small internal space which will not allow you to lock up your frame and wheel.
3. ABUS Granit X Plus 540 U-Lock - $112
ABUS is a fantastic bicycle lock manufacturer, and their Granit X Plus is a fantastic example. This bike lock is resistant to grinders and will need to be cut twice to give full access to your bicycle. The Granit X Plus holds the highest grade of Diamond from Sold Secure while also being the lightest on the list. The best part about this lock is that it provides a ton of security for your bicycle, and it has a ton of interior space for your bike's frame, wheel, and the post you're securing your bike to.
4. OttoLock Sidekick U-Lock - $85
The OttoLock Sidekick is a fantastic U-lock for those on a budget. Let's face it. If you just bought an expensive e-bike, you might not have a ton of cash available for the best lock you can buy. That’s where this fantastic U-lock comes in. The OttoLock Sidekick is the most durable U-lock you can buy for this price point. It has a 12mm thick shackle that needs to be cut twice to access your bicycle and a silicon-based paint that provides a weather-resistant coating. But you also have a more expensive option that comes with a cut-resistant silicone strap that you can use to secure your bicycle further.
5. Hiplok Gold Chain Lock - $140
The first chain lock on our list is the Hiplok Gold, which is one of the most durable chain locks we have ever used. The Hiplok Gold features a 10mm chain link made with hardened steel covered in a cut-resistant fabric that protects your bicycle from damage and helps protect the chain from being cut. This chain lock comes with three coded keys that make picking the lock much more difficult. The only downside to this lock is its immense weight.
6. Kryptonite Keeper 785 Chain Lock - $46.95
If you’re looking for a budget option when it comes to chain locks, then the Kryptonite Keeper 785 is for you. The chain is a bit thinner than the previous entry being only 7mm thick, which allows it to be cut by bolt cutters. However, the chain links are made from manganese steel and are 4-sided, which makes using bolt cutters much more difficult.
7. Litelok Core Chain Lock - $169.99
Litelok Core chain locks are made from a special material called "Boaflexicore," which Litelok designed to be a complex cable composite specifically designed to be impervious to cable cutters. This lightweight chain lock can be worn as a belt while riding your bike, making carrying this lock a breeze. This Diamond rated chain lock comes in a wide variety of colors and is extremely easy to use.
8. ABUS Granit City X-Plus 1060 Chain Lock - $ 200
The Granit City X-Plus is one of, if not the best, chain lock made by ABUS. It features a 10mm thick hexagonal chain, making it highly resistant to bolt cutters. The hardened steel ABUS uses to make the chain links for this lock is super durable, and it will take a decent amount of time to cut through with a grinder. Finally, ABUS added new technology to this chain called power cell, which makes the cylinder and key mechanism virtually impossible to pull apart by force.
9. ABUS Bordo 6500a Folding Lock - $179.99
The last bicycle lock we’ll be talking about is the Bordo 6500a made by ABUS. We recommend you stay away from folding locks due to how easy they are to break. However, if you prefer ease of use above anything else, folding locks are the way to go, and the Bordo 6500a is possibly the most robust folding lock on the market.
When it comes to protecting your electric bicycle from theft, you need to have a robust lock to protect it. Most high-end e-bikes will require you to have a key, input a code on a digital lock, or both. While these locks are fantastic at preventing people from riding off with your e-bike, they don't stop people from picking up your bike and walking off with it. This is why you also need to have a study bike lock. Hopefully, our list of the best bicycle locks has provided you with the info you need to get the perfect lock for your new e-bike.