Electric Bikes

8 Things You Can Do to Prevent E-Bike Theft

Man with e-bike

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Is the threat of theft stopping you from buying an e-bike?

In recent years, the popularity of e-bikes has soared. Offering an eco-friendly and efficient alternative for commuting and recreational riding, it’s no wonder.

Unfortunately, there are some concerning crime stats. A G4S study conducted in the Netherlands showed that e-bikes are three times more likely to be stolen than their analog counterparts. 

Their high value regrettably makes them a target for thieves, understandably leaving both owners and prospective buyers wary. With the average cost of an electric bike sitting around €2,800, according to Statista, it’s not a sum that many of us can afford to lose.

We take a look at eight things you can do to keep your e-bike secure, helping to protect you from theft and, ultimately, to keep you cycling.

Bike safety, double-lock your bicycle

1. Use Two Locks Instead of One

When locking an e-bike, you should always use a minimum of two locks. It doesn’t matter whether you’re just popping into the shops or leaving it for longer. 

Investing in high-quality locks is the first line of defense for your precious pedelec. A combination of a heavy-duty D-lock and a sturdy cable can deter thieves from stealing your bike. 

For the D-Lock, we’d recommend something solid and sturdy, like the angle-grinder-resistant X1 from Litelok, and for a cable, something thick like the HipLok Gold. Using two different locking systems adds additional protection because, usually, you’d need two different sets of tools to break them open. That’s not something your everyday thief will have in their back pocket.

Lock your bike

2. Know How To Lock Your Bike

If you don’t use them properly, there’s no point spending your hard-earned cash on decent locks.

The most secure way to lock your bike is to use the D-lock to secure the frame and back wheel to an immovable object, preferably a designated bike rack. With your second lock, thread it through the front wheel, frame, and stand, and if possible, the rear wheel, too. Some locks, like many from the cult classic Kryptonite, have an integrated cable to make it easier for you.

Remember, your bike is only as secure as what you lock it to. If you’re using a rack, ensure it’s properly secured to the ground. If you’re using a post, ensure that a thief can’t just slide your bike over the top. Don’t be surprised by the lengths that criminals will go to, especially regarding an e-bike.

Bike in house

3. Know Where To Lock Your Bike

Did you know that, according to the National Office of Statistics, more than half of reported bike theft occurs at home

Half the battle of protecting an e-bike is knowing where to keep it safely when you’re not riding it. 

Thieves are more likely to steal e-bikes from poorly lit locations with low footfall; after all, they want to remain discreet where possible! Unfortunately, your home when you’re not there or a shed in the garden are both prime targets. 

If you’re locking your bike on the street, lock it in a well-lit place where plenty of people can see it. If you’re keeping it at home, lock it as if it were on the street. Don’t get lazy, or you might pay the price.

bike accessories

4. Secure Your Accessories

It isn’t just your entire bicycle that you should consider when locking it up.

It’s extremely important to remove any accessories which aren’t secure. In the case of e-bikes, detachable batteries are an extremely popular target for thieves. After all, they are the most expensive components by far.

It’s so often that you see a quick-release wheel, frame bag, or saddle unattended, but think of it this way: If it wasn’t on a bike, would you just leave it alone on the floor? Of course you wouldn’t, so take it with you or lock it up. 

It’s a minuscule effort to take care of your things, so get in the habit of always doing it.

bike with jacket

5. Insure Your E-Bike

Paying for insurance is a pain until you need it. Then, you’ll be glad you have it.

Despite your best efforts, thefts can still occur. Spend time looking for insurance that protects you from theft. This way, you won’t be at a loss if heaven forbid it’s stolen.

Make sure to look deeply into the premium clauses you take out, as some won’t cover it being stolen from a home if you didn’t lock it!

It might sound like a tedious extra step, but when your e-bike is your lifeline, you’ll want to protect against the worst. 

bicycle handles

6. Track Your E-Bike

Another great step you can take is to install a GPS tracker or an Airtag. These are small, discreet, and easily concealed. They’re usually connected via an app on a smartphone.

If your bike is stolen, you can usually check the app to pinpoint an exact location without the thief knowing. This can be shown to the police, who are more likely to assist you in recovery, especially since they don’t have to search for it!

You can also put on a sticker informing potential thieves that your bike has a tracker. This can be a huge deterrent, as bike thieves largely don’t want the hassle if they can avoid it.

bicycle branding

7. Personalize Your Bicycle

Personalizing an electric bike isn’t just a way to express yourself; it’s a way to make your bike easily identifiable. 

Adding stickers, changing a paint job, or even adorning some distinct accessories can make your bike easier to recognize. While it might draw attention in the first place, which might not work in your favor, thieves don’t generally want to resell bikes that are too distinct in a local area. 

Documenting your bike by taking regular photos is also a good idea. It’s clever to keep a record of it should it be stolen, as you never know where it might pop up.


8. Know What Thieves Look For

Knowing what thieves look for is one of the most important things you can do to prevent your e-bike from being stolen.

While e-bikes are vulnerable, as are regular bikes, knowing how and why they’re being stolen might help you to make yours more secure.

If you know that motors and batteries are a frequent target in your local area, then make sure to remove them when possible. Likewise, if there’s a location known as a hotspot, it’s best to avoid keeping your bike there.

While many of the things you can do to prevent your e-bike from being stolen might seem like common sense, you’d be amazed at how much people start to neglect their bikes, especially once they’re no longer shiny and new.

The key is to create a layer of deterrents and a security system around your bike, making stealing it more hassle than any of its neighbors.

While theft is always a concern, with careful planning and proactive measures, you can enjoy the freedom of riding an e-bike with confidence, knowing that you’ve done everything in your power not only to prevent theft but also to overcome it should it happen.

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