Precautionary measures for protecting your electric bike from thieves
Electric bikes don’t come cheap, and bike theft is as perennial as it gets. Finding your bike stolen while you pop into the shops is the last thing you need when you have spent a handsome sum on it. At the height of lockdown, Britain saw bike sales soar to a 60% high. The pandemic-induced bicycle boom also means these two-wheeled machines will inevitably be more available to thieves. We think your beautiful e-bike should not get into unsolicited hands, and so here we list down the best ways of protecting your electric bike.
Select a suitable location
Leaving your bike outside without surveillance is always a risk. However, leaving it alone in a questionable neighbouthood (we all have those) is riskier. Having prior knowledge of the area you ride into is an advantage. Poorly lit and dark areas, too, are more welcoming to bike thievery. Look for places with security cameras. These sometimes deter thieves and help you find the culprit.
If you are going into a shop or café, park it nearer to the establishment where you can take quick glances at it. Indoors is always the best parking option at home. Park your e-bike in the garage, shed, or inside the house.
Avoid parking in isolated areas
Park somewhere where there are more bikes parked, preferably in public view. An isolated bike is more eye-catching to a thief and more convenient for picking the lock without an audience.
When there's no option but to park in risky circumstances, remove the battery of the bike (the most valuable component of an e-bike) and take it in with you. Bike battery theft is also common, and an e-bike without the battery defeats the purpose of its theft. An e-bike without the battery removed is unappealing to thieves.
Use a bike lock
A bike lock is invaluable in protecting your e-bike. Keep your bike locked whenever you leave it out of sight for more than a couple of minutes. There are multiple locking mechanisms you can deploy to secure your bike. Chain locks are more commonly used, but their benefit lies mainly with how the lock passes through the bike. Your bike should be locked in such a way that removing it from the lock causes damage to the bike, rendering the illicit process counter-productive.
The cable or chain lock should pass through the frame triangle and a wheel, preferably the hub motor wheel. It means that a bike thief has to cut through the frame and hub motor rim, ruining usable and integral components.
D locks are the most secure for electric bicycles. However, make sure the ones you use are tight around the bike and the post you attach it to. There should be no crowbar space in between. Folding locks offer more locking options but can be cumbersome to carry. The lock and the object the bike is anchored to should be stronger than the bike itself. It ensures the only way to steal the bike is to cut through it, which leads to bike damage, which is a deterrent. You can also lock the bike battery, saddle, and wheels separately.
Break the habit of parking in the same place consistently to prevent planned theft, especially if you are riding to work. Alternate between parking spaces and times you arrive at the bike.
Bike alarm system
The popularity of e-bikes and the risk of e-bike theft have led to several anti-theft mechanisms to keep your bike safe and secure. Bike lock alarms let out a warning sound whenever someone tries to tamper with the lock. Even if you don’t hear it, it will still attract attention from others and discourage a thief from carrying out the theft.
An advanced GPS tracker can be attached to the bike hidden from sight. These help you track stolen bikes on an app on your phone. Invest in a high-end product to make it worth your while.
It is always a good idea and additional contingency to have your bike insured. Bike insurers offer the opportunity for you to regain your losses. Just make sure the policy covers electric bikes and their parts. Pay attention to the maximum payout value as a 50% value claim may not entirely satisfy the objective of insuring your bike.
Protecting your e-bike from theft is part of lovingly caring for it. We hope you will never have to lose your valuable e-bike. UK’s latest electric bike technology and new products are available at Mini Bikes Off Road.