As the popularity of e-bikes continues to rise, so does e-bike theft. To combat this, e-bike manufacturers have developed some neat tricks, like requiring a password, or a key to turn your e-bike on or to allow the wheels to move. With these additions to e-bike security and with a robust U-lock or chain lock, most e-bike thieves are getting stumped by well-secured e-bikes.
However, it’s much easier for a would-be thief to unplug and steal your e-bike's battery. After all, a five to ten-pound battery is much easier to carry around than a 30 to 60-pound e-bike. So this raises another question, how can you protect your e-bike battery from theft? Can you lock your e-bike battery?
When it comes to protecting our e-bikes from theft, we will use multiple security measures. Depending on how long you’re going to be away from your e-bike, you should use one or two strong locks. We recommend using a chain lock to secure your e-bike to a sturdy object like a telephone pole, lamp post, or bicycle rack. If you plan on watching a movie or heading to a restaurant for some food, use a U-lock as a second lock in conjunction with your chain lock. If you’re using a U-lock along with a chain lock, use the U-lock to secure one of your wheels to the bicycle frame.
The U-locks we recommend using on your e-bike is the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit and the Kryptonite Evolution. For chain locks, nothing can beat the ABUS Granit City X-Plus 1060 or the Hiplok Gold. For additional security, we use and also highly recommend the Onvian Bike Alarm, which detects vibration, so if anyone barely touches your e-bike, it will first send off a loud chirp, and if they touch it again within 30 seconds, this alarm will continuously make a loud sound at 113 decibels.
When it comes to protecting the battery on your e-bike, nothing’s better than unhooking the battery and taking it with you. After all, what isn't available can't be stolen. However, some e-bike batteries are pretty heavy and can be cumbersome to carry around if it's not in a backpack. Thankfully, any e-bike worth its price will have a locking mechanism on the battery that prevents it from being removed unless it’s unlocked. If your e-bike doesn’t come with a lockable battery, you can buy one online. The Onvian bike alarm we discussed will also help prevent someone from stealing your battery.
As you continue to read this article, we will discuss all things e-bike security, including our top picks for e-bike locks. We will also talk about how you can prevent your e-bike battery from getting stolen. Finally, we will provide some additional tips that will help you in the unfortunate circumstance that your e-bike is stolen.
Electric Bicycle Theft Prevention
To start off this article, we’ll talk about ways you can prevent your entire e-bike from getting stolen. While getting your e-bike battery stolen will suck, it’s not the end of the world. After all, it’s much easier to replace a $50 to $80 battery rather than a $1,000 or more e-bike.
Buy a Good Bike Lock or Two
The first step in theft prevention of your e-bike should be a robust bicycle lock. They are fantastic and prevent would-be thieves from stealing your e-bike because, most of the time, seeing a big lock on a bicycle will act as a deterrent for most thieves looking for an easy score. However, a bike lock is not a 100% guarantee because some thieves might have a grinder to cut through the lock or be skilled enough to pick the lock. This is where the second lock comes into play.
Having one strong bicycle lock on your e-bike is a great deterrent for most thieves, but two will give those dedicated thieves that have the skills and tools required to look elsewhere. However, two locks are not always necessary, as locking and unlocking two locks takes a bit of time. In most cases, where you’re riding your e-bike to the corner store for a couple of drinks or some snacks, one lock will do perfectly fine. But two locks are the way to go if you take your e-bike to work and can't store it inside.
If you decide to purchase two locks for your e-bike, we recommend getting a chain lock and a U-lock. Having two different types of locks ensures that the most dedicated thieves have the hardest time possible as they will need all the tools required for the job.
Also, if you follow our advice and get a chain and a U-lock, you should use the locks on two opposite ends of your e-bike. For example, use the chain lock to secure your front wheel and frame to whatever you’re locking your e-bike to, like a bike rack or a light pole. Then use the U-lock to secure your back wheel to your bicycle frame.
We have some lock recommendations for you as well. These locks are fantastic, robust, and highly rated. For chain locks, nothing beats the ABUS Granit City X-Plus 1060 or the Hiplok Gold. Both of these chain locks have fantastic locking mechanisms and feature unique chain link shapes, making using bolt cutters very difficult.
Finally, we recommend getting the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit or the Kryptonite Evolution for U-locks. Both of these U-locks are made of hardened steel and have thick shackles that lock on both sides of the crossbar, which means these U-locks need to be cut twice on either end to gain access to your electric bicycle.
Bring Your Electric Bicycle Inside If You Can
Keeping your e-bike inside while you’re not using it is hands down the best way to prevent theft. Storing your e-bike in your garage or home will keep all prying eyes off your expensive e-bike. If you use your e-bike to commute regularly to work, talk with your boss and see if there’s a way you can bring your bike inside. Unfortunately, this option is not always available, but you should use it whenever you can.
Lock Your Electric Bicycle in Wide Open and Crowded Areas
Where you lock your e-bike is also essential and can act as a great deterrent. If you live in the city, it’s unlikely that you can bring your e-bike inside wherever you go. In cases like this, it’s smart to lock your e-bike in an area with a lot of traffic. If there are a lot of cars driving by or pedestrians walking past, then there’s always a pair of eyes looking near or around your e-bike. All of the potential witnesses act as a great deterrent for thieves, especially if they need to use bolt cutters or a grinder to cut the locks off.
Never Leave Your Electric Bicycle Unattended
Another fantastic way to prevent theft of your e-bike is to always be near it. You don't have to be right next to your e-bike, but at the very least, keep it near and in sight. For example, if you’re going out for a bite to eat, look for a restaurant with an outdoor area where you can eat and park your e-bike where you can constantly see it. This way, you can enjoy your meal and be able to defend your expensive e-bike from a potential thief at the same time.
Get An Alarm for Your Electric Bicycle
We talked about this briefly at the beginning of the article, but we highly recommend purchasing an alarm system for your e-bike. Something like the Onvian Bike Alarm is a great choice for e-bike defense. The Onvian alarm is super cheap for the amount of protection it provides. This alarm can be fitted to any bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, or moped and detects vibrations on your vehicle. The Onvian alarm is also sensitive enough that barely touching your handlebars will trip this device.
The Onvian alarm comes with a dongle that you hook onto your e-bike keys which has an on/off switch and a volume adjuster. If you fashion this alarm on your bicycle, it will make a loud chirp to scare off anyone who touches your bicycle. If the would-be thief tries to tamper with your e-bike within 30 seconds of the first warning sound, then it’ll start blaring a 113-decibel noise that won’t stop until you hit the button on your dongle.
Electric Bicycle Battery Theft Prevention
While stealing the entire bicycle is the end goal of any thief, stealing the battery is the next best thing. After all, e-bike batteries are an expensive piece of equipment that thieves can sell online or at a pawn shop to make a quick buck. However, now that you know all of the tips and tricks to prevent people from stealing your e-bike, now we can talk about preventing thieves from stealing your e-bike's battery.
Take Your E-Bike Battery With You
The single best way to prevent thieves from stealing your e-bike battery is to unhook it from the bike and take it with you. If there isn't a battery, then they can’t steal it. Also, taking the battery into your workplace is easy, and none of your co-workers nor your boss would mind. Moreover, some e-bikes have an additional theft prevention function; if the battery is not connected to the chassis, the e-bike will simply not function. The wheels won't move, and the pedals won't turn.
Taking the battery with you and locking your e-bike with a robust bike lock or two is a surefire way to prevent theft. Couple that with an alarm system like the one we discussed, and you can almost guarantee your e-bike will always be safe and sound.
Buy a Lock for Your E-Bike's Battery
While taking your e-bike battery with you will prevent its theft entirely, carrying around a five to ten-pound battery can still be a bit cumbersome. Thankfully, any e-bike worth its cost will come with a battery that has a locking mechanism preinstalled. Unfortunately, however, this is not always the case.
If your e-bike doesn’t come with a battery that has a lock on it, then you can purchase a battery that does. There are plenty of batteries out there that have locks, and a simple search for a battery that fits your bicycle will yield promising results. But e-bike batteries are still kind of expensive, and if you don't have the spare cash for a battery that costs over $100, then there’s a cheaper solution.
If you go on Amazon, you can quickly find an e-bike battery lock that you can install on your bicycle. These battery locks will either fashion themselves onto the battery or attach to the bicycle frame and the battery.
Prepare Yourself for the Unfortunate
Everything we talked about up to this point is about preventing your e-bike and its battery from being stolen. Unfortunately, even if you use two bike locks and an alarm system and remove the battery, there’s still a chance your e-bike can be stolen. In the unfortunate circumstance where this happens, you should still be prepared.
Register Your Electric Bicycle
Registering your e-bike is quick and easy. You can use registering services like Bike Index, and 529 Garage. They’re fantastic and free to use. Registering your e-bike with one of these services will drastically improve your chances of finding your e-bike if it’s ever stolen. Both of these services will assist in finding your stolen e-bike and provide you with a large barcode sticker that can act as another deterrent from thieves.
Insure Your Electric Bicycle
We highly recommend you insure your e-bike, even if you regularly lock it up like Fort Knox. As we previously stated, you can secure your e-bike as much as you want, but there’s always a chance that your expensive e-bike can still be stolen. Furthermore, while registration services are fantastic at finding stolen bicycles, they’re not 100% guaranteed to locate your e-bike. This is where e-bike insurance comes in.
Many insurance companies provide policies for e-bikes. However, Simple Bike Insurance is a fantastic choice that we recommend using. They offer a few different policies covering broken parts, offering temporary rentals, and even providing full replacement of your stolen electric bicycle.
If you own an e-bike, then you have a costly investment that you use for traveling around. Whether you use your e-bike for daily commutes to work or if you use your e-bike for fun, theft is something you should always keep in mind. Thankfully, theft will be rare if you follow our guide to keeping your e-bike and its battery locked up and secured. However, in the unfortunate circumstance where your e-bike is stolen, there are additional steps you can take to help recover it if you have taken the time to register and insure your e-bike.