If, like me you have had several bikes stolen over the years, you will know only too well the paranoia that can set in when leaving your bike in public for long periods of time, especially if you have invested in an electric bike you should be asking the question how do I keep my ebike from being stolen?
So here we will run through some helpful tips to give you the best possible chance of keeping your pride and joy safe from theft including some of the best ebike locks and security measures you can put in place today.
Disclaimer: Any advice given in this article is for informational purposes and does not offer any guarantees your bike will not be stolen including any of the products reccomended.
1. How do I keep my Ebike from being stolen?
Most of the time, thieves are looking for an easy target so a visual deterrent can be a powerful thing and you want to make your bike look harder than any of the other bikes on the rack to steal.
Professional bike thieves however, given the right amount of time will and can get through most locks with the right tools so there are several things you can do to counter this –
- Try to secure your bike in busy public areas where possible – Always to a secure Fixed Object
- Position your bike in the middle of busy bike racks where possible
- Check the bike racks or fixed object has not been comprimised
- Secure D-locks to the down tube rather than the top tube of the bike to include the rear wheel
- Keep the barrel of the lock clear from the ground ( it is easier to get leverage otherwise to crack)
- Ideally use a second D-Lock to secure the front Wheel to a fixed object
- Never rely on Cable locks or ‘bronze’ graded locks alone when leaving your bike for long periods
- Remove the Battery, never leave on the bike for long periods of time in public areas
- If your ebike has a removable display then always take this with you
2. What is the best way to lock an Ebike?
When locking your bike it is very important to make sure you cover all bases and main components like the rear wheel secured with the frame to a solid fixed object – Then the Front Wheel with another lock
or Secondary lock.
3. What Is A Bike D lock?
D-Locks are a must and provide a decent level of security, such as a Sold Secure Gold rated heavy-duty D-lock accompanied by a cable with maybe a cafe lock as an extra layer of security.
To find out more about how locks are rated by Sold Secure click here
With D-Locks there are several sizes available on the market so its worth considering which would be right for your particular bike as it is recommended to ‘fill’ the space within the D to prevent thieves getting any leverage on the barrel.
You will be amazed how quickly bikes can be stolen, so even if you are popping into a coffee shop for 5 minutes with the bike out of sight is a high risk.
Always try to secure to a fixed post with a decent lock, it may be a pain sometimes but will be worth it in my opinion.
To be honest, it may well be worth investing in 2 D-locks if your bike is of high value, this will be greater visual deterrent to a thief and make you less reliant on cables to secure the front wheel ( which
can be cut with ease).
Many D Locks come with a high tensile Cable which is handy for securing other components of the bike for example the front wheel. (As an Amazon Associate I may earn from qualifying purchases)
Top Choice: Kryptonite Evolution Standard Lock with Flexframe Bracket
Sold Secure Rating: Gold
Suitable for: Electric Bikes Kryptonite Evolution Standard Lock with Flexframe Bracket Features: Gold Sold Secure Rating 14mm hardened max-performance steel shackle 3 stainless steel keys — including new key design and one LED replaceable key fob Patent-pending hardened double deadbolt design gives additional protection against twist attacks New smaller crossbar design Higher security disc-style cylinder is pick and drill resistant Includes Flexframe u-bracket providing convenient multi-location u-lock transport Protective vinyl coating Key Safe Program Specifications: Dimensions: 10 x 23 cm Weight: 1. 6 kg
Buy Here: Pure Electric
4. Should I Insure My Ebike?
Yes, for the sake of around £10 per month it is a no brainer in my view just for peace of mind, especially if you regularly commute into the city and need to leave your bike in public for any period of time.
Insurance for Standard ‘Class 1’ ebikes are not a legal requirement but depending on the value of the bike it may not be covered through your home contents insurance so worth checking this first.
In addition to theft cover some providers provide liability and accident cover should you encounter any scrapes on your daily commute.
If, have insured your ebike ( Which I strongly Recommend you do) then the insurer will require you to have a ‘Gold’ Standard D lock as D Locks are deemed as the most difficult to break and nothing less will do if you want to be covered by insurance.
I have insured my Ebike through Pedalsure who is specialise in bike insurance not just for theft but personal injury etc and various levels of additional cover if required.
You can check them out here for a Free Quote.
Providers usually require a picture of the bike, serial number and proof that you have a Sold Secure ‘Gold’ rated lock.
5. What is the difference between D lock and U lock?
Basically there is no difference, sometimes D Locks are referred to as U Locks due to the U shape of the bar when not attached to the barrel.
Either way, D Locks/ U Locks are the best chance you have to keep your bike from being stolen if you need to leave it for prolonged periods of time in a public
6. Cable bike locks – Should I use them?
Cable Locks can be a handy additional level of security to accompany your primary locks and can be useful to help secure your bike in tight spaces due to their flexibility, but never use the Cable alone on the fixed object – You will ideally need to have a D lock for this.
Use cable locks to help secure the wheels, especially if they are quick release or the saddle, or both.
With most good D-Locks, there is usually a high tensile cable included which is key to making sure you secure all the main components of the bike properly.
See below steps on how to use a cable with a D-Lock:
Step 1: Thread the cable through the front wheel, the through the loop the other end
Step 2: Make sure the D-lock goes through the back wheel, the frame and the object you are securing it to
Step 3: Loop the end of the Cable onto the D-Lock
Step 4: Secure the Barrel of the D-lock with the key
Step 5: Use the cafe Lock (if you have one) on the back wheel to the frame for additional security
Step 6: Remove battery from the bike if leaving for long periods of time
Top Choice: Kryptonite Kryptoflex Double Loop Cable
Sold Secure Rating: Not Rated
Suitable for: Electric Bikes Kryptonite Kryptoflex Double Loop
Cable Features: Perfect for accessory security when combined with another Kryptonite lock 10mm braided steel cable provides increased cut resistance Double looped cable for use with all Kryptonite U-locks, disc locks and padlocks Protective vinyl cover
Specifications: Dimensions: 10 mm x 120 cm / 10 mm x 220 cm Weight: 0. 3 kg
7. What is a Cafe Lock?
Cafe Locks provide a low level of security and thieves can usually get through these very quickly so in my view should only be used as a back- up layer of security as either another visual deterrent or extra provide extra peace of mind for those times when you need to pop into a store for a few minutes with the bike within view.
Cafe locks can come in many shapes and sizes but usually are very quick and accessible and can come in the form of a lockable ring around the rear wheel liek the below one from ABUS.
(As an Amazon Associate I may earn from qualifying purchases)
They can also be when used alongside your ‘primary’ locks, but these should never be relied upon if leaving your bike for any long periods. (As an Amazon Associate I may earn from qualifying purchases)
Top Choice: ABUS Pro Tectic 4960 (From Amazon)
8. How do I protect my ebike battery from theft?
Battery theft has unfortunately been a big problem as this is one of the most expensive components on an electric bike. Fortunately in most cases ebike batteries are removable so I would always recommend taking the battery with you whenever possible.
Although most Batteries can be locked onto the bike with a key, this is not usually enough to stop thieves trying and at best, you may return to a damaged bike that is un-rideable, so don’t give them the opportunity and by leaving the bike without the battery makes the bike slightly less desireable to thieves.
9. Conclusion – How Do I Keep My Ebike From Being Stolen?
With Electric Bikes becoming a more common solution for commuters, bike theft is also on the rise due to their value so out-smarting thieves is a constant battle and you would be surprised to what lengths these guys will go to steal bikes.
I have even heard stories of bike racks being cut in some cases! The truth is it is almost impossible to be 100% sure your bike won’t be stolen, regardless of how much you spend on security, but what you can do is make it as hard as possible for them to try to be smart around where you leave your bike and for how long.
Of course, there are also trackers and alarms on the market you can use which we have not covered here, however I am not sure with the trackers how effective the response is from the authorities – even if they do know where your bike is located. (Please message me below if you have had any experience with these)
Believe me when I say a decent lock or Two is well worth the investment and for 5-10% of the overall cost of the bike it will be money well spent. If, have spent upwards of £1000 on a bike then this should be a no brainer.
If you have been a victime of bike crime I would love to hear your story or if you would just like to share any methods that we have not covered in this article on how do I keep my ebike from being stolen, please feel free to message me below.
10 thoughts on “How Do I Keep My Ebike From Being Stolen?”
Thanks for bringing this subject to my attention as we are now considering purchasing e-bikes for the family. It is good to know the various locks available and their features and benefits. I appreciate this information.
Thanks for your comments Joseph
What a horrible thought to have your bike stolen. I’ve had a car stolen and I remember that sinking feeling when I realized it was gone. You give some great advice about the D locks and how to use them and the cable for the best solution. I wonder if you could ask someone outside a cafe to keep an eye on it as well (unless they were the thief).
This really is a serious problem and it will only get worse I fear as we move to more bikes. I think I would consider a tracking chip, it would be great to get it back even if not a conviction.
Hi Lilly, I will be doing a post on tracking chips soon so watch this space. Thanks for your comments. Dan
Hi Dan, can you use these on motorcycles as well? I don’t have an E-Bike but I do have a Honda motorcycle and worry about it being stolen.
Hi Steven, I think motorcycle locks are another level and wouldn’t be able to advise, but the same rules apply I guess – ULocks or Dlocks mentioned here probably wouldn’t be able to get around the components and are designed mainly for bicycles or ebikes. Dan
Hubby had an electric bike that won attention from so many who wanted one but couldn’t afford one. The first time he got it he was smart enough to secure the bike so it wouldn’t be stolen but didn’t factor in the seat nor the battery. He learned this lesson the hard way one day when he went to take his bike to work in the morning. There was no insurance taken on this bike, so having to cough up the money to replace the battery and the seat wasn’t something he was able to do. He wound up selling the e-bike in its condition on Kijiji and sold it quickly. That e-bike made his life easier when he traveled to work and back as he lived in Montreal at the time. When he had no choice but to give up the e-bike he went back to taking public transportation, which he hated.
Hubby read this article before I did and commented if he saw this before what happened to him regarding his e-bike he’d probably still have it now.
So sorry to hear about what happened to your husbands ebike, Especially as it was his main source of transport to work. Hope he can get back to riding again soon. Dan
Oh no, I am sorry to hear that you’ve had so many bikes stolen! I’ve been fortunate to travel where I can safely secure my bikes when they aren’t in use, but I’m glad I found this for the times I start venturing out a little farther. I appreciate the candid advice on sturdy locks versus the ones with low levels of security. I definitely want to protect the investment in my bike with a great lock!
Thanks Aly, these methods have worked for me so far. Leaving your bike in a secure unit where possible is definitely the safest option as you mention here. Ride safe! Dan