Electric bikes, or e-bikes, are a fast and fantastic method of travel. But, since the lockdowns for SARS-COV-2, e-bike theft has been on the rise. In NYC, there’s been a 27% increase, while Chicago’s had a 50% spike. These numbers could double over the next five years too. So, if you own an e-bike, you must make a concerted effort to protect it.
We’ll tell you all about how to prevent e-bike theft. This will include the best practices along with proven strategies. You’ll definitely want to invest in some insurance for your e-bike, a traditional lock-and-key mechanism, and maybe even an alarm. However, there are other things you could consider, like a GPS tracker or a camera.
Regardless of what you choose, the most important thing you can employ is situational awareness. It’s free and doesn’t require special training, although you will absolutely have to practice it.
1. You Are in Control
You are in control of what happens to your electric bike. This means being aware and wise about where you use it and where you leave it. If you live in a big city, you will have to be virulent and proactive in your efforts.
2. Get Insurance
E-bikes aren’t cheap and are something you’ll want to use for many years. If someone takes it, that ends your ability to get around unless you have insurance. So, it’s an intelligent investment for your bike. This way, in the event someone is able to steal your bike, you can at least receive compensation to buy a new one and recoup your losses.
There are a number of methods available to obtain e-bike insurance. You could purchase it through an auto insurance provider like Progressive or Geico. However, your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may be able to cover it as well, such as is the case with companies like Lemonade.
3. Invest in a Quality Lock
Of course, you should always invest in a bike lock, whether your two-wheeling transport is manual or electric. But in the case of an e-bike, you want to get a U-shaped or disc lock that will withstand the efforts of any thief. The following table provides a brief overview of five of the best ones available.
|New York Fahgettaboutit (mini or regular)
|Weight: almost 11 or 15½ lbs
Length: 3¼ or 5 ft
|The chain comprises 3T manganese steel
3 steel keys and one LED key fob
Dust Cover protects chain
|Brute Mini Lock (lock only, no chain)
|Weight: ¼ lb
Length: 9 inches
|Quattro locking mechanism
Tri Radius Shackle
Snap Lock Quick Release
|Bordo Granit x Plus 6500
|Weight: almost 4 lbs
Length: almost 9 inches
Extra soft two-component casing
Comprises hardened steel
|Weight: 1800 grams
Length: almost 9 inches
|Lightweight and portable
Ferosafe Graphene composition
Weatherproof rubber key seal3 coded keys
4. Prime Alarms for E-Bikes
Another thing to think about purchasing for your e-bike is an alarm system. There are many out on the market, and which one to buy will depend on your budget along with the severity of theft in the location where you live and travel. The list below touches on three of the best ones available:
- Smart Taillight by Antusi: This anti-theft system is a taillight alarm with a bell exuding 120dB and a wireless remote. The sensor works on vibration, is waterproof, and can uphold well in harsh weather. The USB-chargeable lithium-ion battery provides 40 hours of battery backup.
- Anti-Theft Bike Alarm by Onvian: This robust security system has a vibration trigger, seven-level settings of sensitivity, and a wireless remote. It has the capacity to produce high-intensity sequential alarms at 113dB that not only deter thieves but also warn others.
- Disc Lock Alarm by Yohoolyo: This comprises metal, making it sturdy and weatherproof. The disc-locking mechanism features an alert reaching up to 110 dB. It acts as a traditional bike lock and an all-encompassing alert system.
5. Other Anti-Theft Considerations
If you are in an area where theft is high, consider purchasing a GPS tracking system or a video camera for your bike. There is a whole world of devices available. Some are tiny, being practically invisible to unsuspecting thieves. Yet others are large, letting potential kleptomaniacs know what they’re getting into.
These range in price greatly, so you will have to do some research into trusted brands. However, your insurance company may have suggestions and/or deals with manufacturers so you can get the best price.
6. Practicing Situational Awareness
When people aren’t paying attention and not looking at who’s around, they make themselves a prime target for thieves and other nefarious characters to take advantage of them. The best defense is to be acutely observant of surroundings and the kinds of people in the vicinity.
This means making eye contact with those watching you along with individuals who seem overly helpful or friendly. Always pay attention to the clothing people wear, the height of the person, and other necessary details. In the event you’re in an area where there are less-than-desirable characters, do not appear timid or afraid. Like wild animals, these individuals can smell fear and could be opportunistic. Making eye contact and keeping a poker face while maintaining distance are truly the best deterrents.
Preventing the theft of your e-bike is entirely up to you and the devices you choose to institute. No matter what, always get insurance and a good, sturdy lock along with employing situational awareness. However, getting an alarm, a camera, or a GPS tracker might be ideal, especially if you live in a high-crime area.
Whatever you choose, make sure you think long and hard about your bike. This should include the local crime rate. It’s the best and surest way to devise a secure system that guarantees your bike stays safe, unmolested, and with you for many years to come.