Electric bicycles are changing the way we ride bikes, how we get to work, how we exercise, they’re brilliant.
They’re also quite expensive, making them desirable to thieves. So how do you lock an e-bike?
A chain should be placed through the main triangle part of the frame and fixed to an object. Ideally, you should remove your front wheel too. If you’re storing your electric bicycle at home, you should take safety precautions such as adding a privacy zone on your Strava profile.
There are many more little steps you can take to keep your e-bike secure and they’re worth knowing about so let’s get to it!
Whatever way you want to go about it, one thing you must do is to run a chain through the main triangle part of the frame and through a fixed object.
To be honest, that’s probably not going to be enough but it’s a start and if you’re just quickly nipping in somewhere then this could be enough - though I’m not saying it is!
[Want to know why e-bikes are so expensive? Read this.]
This method is really easy if your electric bike has quick-release wheels - a lot nowadays.
What I like to do is to remove my front wheel and lock it through the mainframe too, this adds an extra level of security.
Depending on how long your lock is you can also take it through the mainframe triangle, front wheel, and rear wheel.
The idea behind this is that when your e-bicycle isn’t fully assembled, you’re making a thief’s job more difficult...which is exactly the aim!
Most of the time a bike thief is looking for an easy target, if it looks too difficult, they may well move on...make sure your bike isn’t the easy target.
So you know it’s all about making things so difficult for a bike thief that they don’t feel like it’s worth trying.
Another security tip is to add another lock.
Have you ever looked at something that you can’t figure out and rather than trying to work it out, you simply move on?
That’s what we’re going for here.
Don’t just add two locks in the same place. Make sure to place it somewhere awkward but somewhere that will do the job.
Getting your e-bike stolen at home is a risk and you need to minimize that risk as best you can.
There are lots of different ways to do this depending on where you’re storing your bike.
When I bought my first expensive road bike, I kept it in a spare bedroom with a chain on it. It felt like the safest option and gave me peace of mind. I also always kept the blinds closed in that room as the window faced out onto a park so nobody knew what was in that room.
That’s the key, if nobody knows what’s there, they don’t know if it’s valuable. I was fortunate that my house was on a private road and I was at the end so nobody ever really saw me with my bike.
If you have two bikes, it’s worth locking them together, nose to tail if you can. It makes it just that little bit more difficult to steal and sometimes that can be enough.
Anything that isn’t on the floor is more difficult to take. Securing your e-bike to the walls or ceilings is another deterrent that I’m a fan of and I promise you it isn’t that much of a faff to do as you may think!
Cameras are relatively inexpensive these days so if it’s an option to get some installed, I’d highly recommend that.
If you do record your rides on Strava then you might want to adjust your settings and introduce a privacy zone, which will increase your overall security.
What this will do is create a radius of your choosing around an address (your home address for example) so nobody will be able to see where you start/end your ride.
This means that nobody on Strava will be able to work out where you keep your bikes.
I understand that this could sound like overkill but if your profile is public or you don’t know every follower you have, this can leave you open to risk and it genuinely happens.
A cyclist posts a nice picture of what type of bike they ride, clearly showing where they started and finished their ride and a bike thief has everything they need to know.
Don’t be that person!
While we’re on the topic of Strava, do you know how you can add equipment? It’s great, isn’t it?
I have several bikes so it’s nice to keep track of how many miles each one covers. I recommend it, highly!
What I don’t recommend is clearly stating the model of your bike.
Let’s say you ride an S-Works Turbo Creo SL EVO, firstly I’m rather jealous but more importantly, this bike retails at £11.5K so don’t advertise where you store it!
If you’re tracking your mileage on Strava, give it a nickname.
I’m not the best to come to for inspiration as my indoor bike is simply called “Indoor Bike”...but that’s the point. You can’t work out what type of bike I’ve got kitted up to on my trainer. You don’t know whether it’s worth breaking into a house for and you don’t even know where I live!
[Just for the record, it’s not an S-Works :(]
There is some temptation to buy the biggest U-lock you can find but don’t do that.
Get the smallest one recommended for your e-bike. You may think I’m a bit mad for saying that but stay with me on this!
The smaller space, the more difficult it is to get crowbars or bolt cutters in.
If you get a really good one and both sides of it are locked in place, a thief is going to have to make two cuts and that could be too risky, take too much time and they might move on.
If you’re unfortunate enough to get your electric bike stolen, your best chances of getting back are if you have registered your bike.
If the Police have all the information they need, then you do stand a better chance.
Make sure to keep a record of your serial number somewhere safe. As well as other places, I do keep it handy on my phone in the notes section.
[Should you insure your e-bike? Find out here.]
This is a bit of a tricky one but it’s important.
Cycling is encouraged in a lot of workplaces, many even run the “Cycle To Work’ scheme. Thankfully that has been improved so you can now purchase an e-bike using that scheme.
Which is genuinely fantastic and really opens up plenty of opportunities for people to use cycling as a way to commute.
However, what needs to happen in workplaces needs to provide a secure place to store these expensive electric bicycles, secure bike parking is a must.
If a few of your work colleagues feel the same, it could be worth an email to someone higher up to request more secure storage of bicycles...you never know!
If you have a removable battery or motor and you're planning on putting your bike in a bike rack then you should remove the battery and take it with you.
Don't leave your battery with your bicycle. A battery pack can be expensive and something regular bikes obviously don't have, which will stand out in a bike rack!
If you don't have a removable battery, then you don't have to worry about it!
Some e-bikes these days come with a pre-installed battery lock and this functions to keep the battery safe, with the need to remove it every time - a nice security feature!
Food for thought I hope.
Keeping your electric bike safe is something which I think about a lot. Heck, I spend a lot of time thinking about how to keep my traditional bikes secure!
It sounds cruel but if you’re locking your bike up in a public place, you need to make sure your bicycle is more secure than others. That way, a thief is more likely to go for someone else’s bike...sorry for whoever that person is but it’s true.
At the end of the day, it’s about not catching the attention of a thief. If they don’t know what you’ve got, they can’t take it. If you make it too hard for them, they will find another e-bike to target.
Keep your electric bikes safe, people, and ride on!