How Can You Protect Your Electric Bike from Getting Stolen?

Purchasing an electric bike is a great short-term and long-term investment. You can benefit each day from the convenient transport mode and improve your physical health for the long run.

An electric bike uses advanced technology to provide convenience and comfort during a ride. However, the technological edge comes with its added costs.

In general, all electric bikes are significantly pricier than regular bikes. Hence, an electric bike’s theft can be a significant loss. Fortunately, some security measures can help prevent your electric bike from getting stolen.

How to Prevent Electric Bike Theft?

Electric bike locks, security measures, cameras, and GPS trackers are effective methods of preventing electric bike theft. Nowadays, few electric bikes come with an inbuilt security GPS tracker.

Moreover, one should always park the e-bike at secure spots. Furthermore, loading the e-bike inside the car during transportation can also help lower the chances of theft.

Schwinn Marshall Adult Electric Hybrid Bike, Step-Over Frame, Large/X-Large, Blue

Why is Electric Bike Theft a Big Problem?

According to studies conducted by the New York City Police Department, almost two million bikes are stolen in the US every year. A high percentage of these bikes include electric bikes and electric scooters. 

Electric bike theft can be a great loss that can cause mental distress to the owner. Bike theft can often discourage bike enthusiasts from getting a new electric bike. In the long run, it affects their transportation costs and physical fitness.

An electric bike is usually two to three times more expensive than regular bikes. The main contributors to its high price are:

  • The electrical motor that converts the stored battery charge into kinetic energy to assist the rider’s pedaling;
  • The e-bike sensor. It picks up on the pedaling motion and causes the electric motor to start functioning. One can choose the required level of electric motor assistance manually;
  • The electric bike display screen. It allows the riders to remain informed regarding different bike data. For instance, it shows the speed, battery range, battery charging, assistance level, and the distance traveled.

Many new advanced electric bike display screens also notify the rider regarding the calories lost and their heartrate;

  • The electric bike controls. The buttoned controls are connected to the electric bike’s display screen. These control buttons or switches allow riders to select the level of electric motor assistance while riding;
  • The electric bike battery. It is the most sensitive and expensive component of the e-bike. Different electric bike batteries have varying capacities, ranges, and prices;
  • The electric bike’s frame. The e-bike frames are designed to be rigid and stronger. This is because the e-bike has to perform at higher speeds under the pressure of electric force.

The table below shows the prices of four regular and electric bikes for 2022.

Bike U Lock with Cable - Via Velo Bike Lock Heavy Duty Bicycle U-Lock,14mm Shackle and 10mm x1.8m Cable with Mounting Bracket for Road Bike Mountain Bike Electric Bike Folding Bike

Regular BikesElectric Bikes
Brand NamesPrice (USD)Brand NamesPrice (USD)
Cannondale Supersix Evo$12,100Black Trail BT-01$80,000
Diamondback bike$7,505M55-Teraminus$34,000
 Trek Bike$5,000Trefecta DRT$25,000
Brompton P-line$2,965Audi Electric bike$17,000

Read How to Charge an Electric Bike Battery at Home?

Tips and Security Measures to Prevent Electric Bike Theft

Electric bike theft can cause major mental distress to the e-bike owner. Fortunately, simple precautions and tips can significantly reduce the chances of having your electric bike stolen.

Learn About How Electric Bike Theft Operations Work

It is important to know exactly how thieves usually plan their theft and the tools they use. This information will help you better prepare for such situations and protect your e-bike.

Choose a Secure Parking Location for Your Electric Bike

Securing your electric bike with a bike lock is helpful but to a certain extent. Parking your e-bike in a part of the town where crime rates are relatively low is more important. 

Thieves have no problem cutting out the electric bike locks in high-crime areas. Hence, choosing a secure location is critical, even if it means you would have to walk to your destination. 

If you have no choice but to visit a poorly reputed area, ideally, do not go on your electric bike. You can either opt for public transport or take your car as cars are relatively harder to steal.

If you do not have any other transport options, take a friend along. You can ask a friend to watch your electric bike as you get done with work. For added protection, use two electric bike locks.

Moreover, you can inquire about safe electric bike parking locations by posting a question on a biking community group. Also, stay updated with the local news to remain informed about the high-crime locations.

Furthermore, choose a more crowded parking spot. On the one hand, more people would mean more exposure and higher chances of theft. However, it is implausible that a thief would carry out a theft around a tight crowd.

Kryptonite Evolution 13mm U-Lock with FlexFrame-U Bracket

Choose a Well-illuminated Parking Spot for Your Electric Bike

It is not uncommon for e-bikes to get stolen from spots that otherwise have a good reputation for security. The theft usually happens if the electric bike is parked in a dimly-lit spot.

Without sufficient lighting, the security guards or other people on the street would not be able to spot the theft. Moreover, darker alleys or shady parking spots tend to attract thieves.

Hence, pick a properly illuminated spot for parking your electric bike. Ensure that people and security guards can see it easily.

Read How to Make Your Electric Bike Go Faster?

Refrain from Developing a Biking Pattern

Picking the same time and route for riding your electric bike does not sound wrong. However, doing so could increase the chances of your bike getting stolen.

People can track your daily movements when you follow a biking pattern or develop a routine. As a result, thieves get the chance to pick the perfect time and spot for planning a theft.

Hence, keep switching between different routes. Moreover, try to ride your electric bike at different times every day. 

Take Your Electric Bike Along Wherever Possible

Refrain from parking your electric park too far from your destination. Doing so would allow you to keep an eye on your e-bike at all times. Ideally, take it along wherever it is possible and permitted to.

ONGUARD Brute LS U-Lock (16mm)

Nowadays, many malls and retail stores allow people to take their e-bikes inside the building. However, you might be asked to leave the e-bike outside a shop’s door. For this, carry a lock around and lock your bike while leaving it at the door. You can ask the shop’s employee to watch your electric bike for further protection.

Moreover, invest in a foldable lightweight electric bike. Lighter foldable e-bikes are more convenient to take along and fit inside narrow mall spaces without disturbing anyone.  

For example, a Brompton Electric e-bike weighs only 7 to 13 kgs. One can conveniently fold it down to a 23”x22.3” X10.6” compact size.

Hence, the e-bike owner can carry it, push it, and take it everywhere. Lightweight foldable e-bikes are also allowed onto public buses and trains. As a result, the e-bike is never left alone to be stolen. 

Furthermore, never leave your electric bike parked outside your house for prolonged hours or overnight. Instead, park it inside your garage or bring it into your home to avoid theft. 

Unfortunately, one of the most common places for electric bike theft is a person’s garage. Hence, remember to lock up your e-bike even inside the garage. Moreover, invest in better garage security.

Read Do Electric Bikes Need To Be Registered?

Lock Your Electric Bike Properly

Bike locks were a common accessory way before electric bikes were introduced. Outdated bike locks may only slightly reduce the chances of theft.

Modern, high-quality e-bike usually locks range between $100-200 USD. It is essential to invest in complicated locks that take much more effort and time to break.

Before investing in a lock that is ideal for your electric bike, always measure the dimensions of your e-bike. Measure the width of its frame and the width of its tires. A loosely fitting lock would be easy to cut.

Moreover, make sure to secure your e-bike lock around solid fixed structures. You can choose a street light, concrete barrels, parking meter, etc. Avoid locking your e-bike to flimsy trees or movable public benches.

Chains locks can damage the e-bike’s exterior due to their bulky and heavy bodies. Moreover, it can be inconvenient to carry them around everywhere.

Folding electric bike locks are lighter in weight and easier to carry. They can conveniently be folded into your backpack and offer good security. U-locks and D-locks are very common; however, their shape can hinder the locking process.

The goal is to find a lock that provides maximum security and is light and portable. Moreover, it needs to fit your budget and be sized according to your electric bike’s dimensions.

The table below lists seven well-reputed electric bike lock options available in the US. It highlights their category, average price, weight, lock design characteristics, and pros and cons.

Electric Bike Lock NameLock CategoryAverage Price (USD)Weight CategoryLock Design CharacteristicsAdvantageous QualitiesDisadvantageous Qualities
Kryptonite NY Chain and Disk LockChain and U-lock$120-133Heavy150cm chain attached to a 15mm U-lockIt offers an anti-pull and anti-drill protection systemHeavy and poor portability
ABUS Granit CityChain Xplus 1060Chain lock$151Heavy10mm thick steel hexagonal linksThe fabric covering prevents damage to the bike’s exterior. Offers great protection against violent breaking attemptsHeavy and poor portability
Hiplock E-DXD-lock$174LightHard 14mm steel body with 10mm steel chainHigh durability, has a wearable design that can be clipped onto a bag or beltMediocre security
OnGuard Brute MiniD-lock$75-80Light16.88mm shackle thicknessLight, highly portable, and less expensiveYou might need two for proper security
ABUS Frame Lock ProRound-shaped frame lock$40Normal8.5mm steel shackleAffordable and can make a locked e-bike saferNot recommended to be used without an additional lock
Kryptonite Evolution MiniChain U-lock$83-110Light10mm, 6-sided chain linksHighly portable, pick and drill resistant disc locking mechanism, flexible cable helps lock the front wheel with the bike frame or around a fixed object, and can lock several bikes togetherNone
OnGuard Brute LSLong D-lock$80Heavy26cm steel shackleHas a high security ratingHeavy and poor portability
How to Prevent Electric Bike Theft
How to Prevent Electric Bike Theft

Read Can You Ride an Electric Bike After Drinking?

Protect All the Different Parts of Your Electric Bike

Lock different parts of your electric bike to one another. You can use multiple different bike locks or one long chain lock. This kind of locking technique is a foolproof method, and the chances of theft are close to none.

Moreover, the electric bike battery is one of its most expensive components. Often, thieves steal just the battery or steal the e-bike for its battery. Hence, if possible, remove the e-bike battery when parking the bike in less secure areas.

Invest in Security Cameras

Have security cameras installed in your garage, outside your homes, and at your workplace parking? Doing so would make your e-bike a tougher target and discourage theft.

Get Your Electric Bike Insured

All protective measures and tips can reduce the chances of your e-bike theft; however, they cannot eliminate them. Hence, the smartest approach to protect your investment and be at peace is by getting your e-bike insured.

Different insurance agencies and renter insurance policies can cover your electric bike insurance. Moreover, always choose a reputable agency. Doing so eases the process of claiming your e-bike insurance.

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Final Thoughts

Electric bikes are a great investment for a cost-effective everyday commute. They reduce your carbon footprint while significantly improving your physical and mental health.

Their high market values and advanced technologies make them expensive and attractive targets for thieves. Hence, investing in e-bike security and taking the necessary precautionary measures is vital to prevent e-bike theft.