7 Expert Tips on How to Keep Your Electric Bike Safe
7 Expert Tips on How to Keep Your Electric Bike Safe
Just any bike lock is not enough to protect expensive electric bikes from theft. Successful e-bike theft protection consists of various products and measures that complement each other. Here, we offer 7 expert tips on how to protect your e-bike from theft and how to make sure you get it back in an emergency. You’ll also learn what to look out for when implementing these tips.
For older wire bikes, a simple frame or chain lock may be enough protection. As the owner of an electric bike, you will have to go to great lengths to protect it from theft. Experts recommend taking action on several fronts to prevent electric bike theft and make sure you don’t end up empty-handed if it’s stolen.
We propose the 7 most important measures.
1. Buy a quality bike lock
A bike lock is a must. But which one? For the police, things are clear: A solid U-lock, chain lock, or armored cable lock provides the best protection. A simple frame lock, such as those integrated into some e-bikes, is much less secure. First, they’re easy to pick, and second, thieves can steal your bike because you can’t attach the frame lock to a stationary object.
However, there are also different models of U-locks and bike locks from different suppliers. The following tips will help you lock your bike properly for increased safety:
When choosing a lock, look for certification. For example, the German Association of Damage Insurance Companies (VdS) regularly tests bicycle and motorcycle locks. You can get tips for buying bike locks on their website.
Bike locks with alarms emit a loud warning tone in the event of someone trying to tamper with your bike. Depending on the model, you will also receive notifications through the app. In this way, security can be improved. However, a high-quality bike lock is still essential for this combination.
Several locks are better than one. For example, combine a simple frame lock with an expensive U-lock or chain lock. The threshold for thieves has been higher.
If you follow these tips to lock your bike, experts think you’ve got a good foundation for securing your e-bike. You can also find an overview of the best locks in our article “Bike Locks with GPS – How to Secure Your Electric Bike”.
But: Even the best bike lock won’t keep your e-bike safe. Professional bike thieves won’t be intimidated by any locks.
2. Connect the electric bike correctly
Many bicycle or e-bike owners make the same mistake: they park their bike in a corner without attaching it to a stationary object. In high-traffic areas and quick trips to the store, this may be sufficient. Longer or even overnight, this is not a good idea and is a threat to your bike’s safety.
It’s simple: if you don’t lock your e-bike to a stationary object, you run the risk of a thief in the field not bothering to pick out a folding lock, chain lock, or U-lock. Instead, they will take your bike and load it into a van. Later, they broke the lock at their leisure.
That’s why police advise: If possible, lock your e-bike to a lamp post, fence, permanently installed bike rack or other fixed object. This way, thieves have to pick the lock to steal your bike. With a little luck and a good lock, this will save them from trying. Of course, this advice applies not only to e-bikes, but any bike.
For effective theft prevention, it is best to use two different locks and always lock your bicycle or e-bike to a stationary object.
Tip: When buying, make sure the lock is large enough to hold your e-bike to something sturdy, even if it’s a bit thick. The rule here is that too much is better than too little. The folding lock can still be easily stored in the backpack.
3. Additional Security Components
Thieves don’t just covet complete electric bikes. Pedaled components are also in high demand. This starts with the battery and includes the seat post, lighting system and pedals. Component theft isn’t that difficult if you don’t take steps to prevent this. However, replacement costs are high, especially when it comes to branded products.
So not only can your entire e-bike be protected with a bike lock, but valuable components as well.
Pay special attention to the following sections:
When it comes to securing components, you now have almost as many options as you would when looking for a bike lock for the big picture. An easy way to deter thieves is to use a few traditional locks.
You can also find gravity locking systems on the market. The trick is that the corresponding screw, nut or quick release can only be opened when the bike is upside down. So thieves have to crack your bike lock — at least if you’re attaching your bike to a stationary object.
Screws, bolts, nuts and quick release strings with gravity locking technology that can only be opened when the bike is upside down or rotated 90 degrees.
4. Park your e-bike in the right place
One simple contribution to e-bike anti-theft that is often overlooked: choosing the right location.
But it actually makes sense: some places have a higher risk of someone stealing your precious e-bike, and vice versa. That’s why it’s important to choose a “parking spot” carefully for expensive electric vehicles.
5. Buy insurance
Bike locks, component safety, correct placement…even if you take all of this into account, it hits you: you go back to where you left the e-bike and it’s gone.
The main question then is how to get it back or replace it. You can handle the second situation by purchasing insurance.
To insure your electric bike, you have two options:
1. Home Insurance
If you do nothing, home insurance will only cover you if your e-bike is stolen from your home or from a locked bike vault. However, you can choose to extend your coverage to outdoor e-bike theft with a rider. One benefit of this is that you can buy insurance for all of your bikes. One downside is that the amount you get in an emergency is limited to a certain percentage of the total coverage. This is usually not enough for expensive e-bikes. In addition, there are usually other restrictions in the fine print.
2. Bicycle Insurance
An alternative to homeowners insurance is special bike insurance, or more precisely, e-bike insurance. This requires more money. In return, it offers a wider range of benefits designed specifically for e-bikes. For example, in addition to the entire bike, you can provide theft insurance for components. Additionally, many insurance companies offer you the option to insure your e-bike against wear and tear and accidents, as well as service for breakdowns while you’re on the road.
Bicycle Theft Insurance and Protection
If your e-bike is covered by home insurance, coverage will only apply if your e-bike is stolen from a locked cellar.
Which option is better depends on the situation. Experts often recommend that you base your decision on the value of your bike. For cheap and/or old e-bikes, home insurance may be sufficient; for expensive e-bikes, special insurance is a better option.
Important: No matter which insurance you choose, please review the terms of insurance carefully. For example, if your e-bike is not locked, insurance companies will usually not pay. Keep your bike lock receipt as evidence. Also, notify your insurance company as soon as possible after an electric bike is stolen.
We also recommend that you find the best electric bike and bicycle insurance policies for you in our article “E-Bike Insurance – Everything You Need to Know About the Subject”. look at this!
Either way, with insurance, you might get money to replace your e-bike or parts if it’s stolen, but no matter how much you love it, you won’t be able to get your e-bike back. Thieves also usually go unpunished. This is the key differentiator for GPS trackers.
6. Install GPS Tracker
In addition to lock and component security, GPS trackers have become the standard for modern e-bike theft prevention. They combine GPS and IoT to alert you early in the event of a theft and help you get your e-bike back.
The fundamentals of trackers are generally the same. However, the individual devices differ significantly in key details.
PowUnity’s BikeTrax GPS Tracker works as follows:
You integrate a GPS tracker into your electric bike. Even if you are not a hobby DIYer, you can easily and quickly complete the attachment yourself. Therefore, the tracker itself is invisible to thieves – unlike a device attached to the frame, it can be removed in a few simple steps.
Once someone moves your e-bike without authorization, you will be notified via the associated app using the motion alarm. You or the police, depending on where your e-bike is located, have a chance to stop theft.
Don’t you have time to put the spokes on the thief’s wheel? The GPS tracker then gives you the opportunity to track the location of the e-bike in real time and pass it on to the police. This is thanks to seamless network coverage throughout Europe.
One big advantage of BikeTrax GPS trackers for e-bike theft protection: under normal circumstances, only about 10% of bike thefts are solved. Tracking with GPS greatly increases your chances of getting your e-bike back after theft.
For example, police in Halle an der Saale, with the help of GPS trackers, found three stolen bikes in a delivery truck. The story of one customer’s electric bike stolen from a campsite in Italy proves that BikeTrax’s value is in gold, especially when on vacation. Thanks to the integrated GPS tracker, the thief was caught at the Hungarian border just hours after the theft was discovered. By the way, the owners of 19 other e-bikes that the thieves carried in their luggage also benefited, and these e-bikes did not have GPS trackers.
You can read more about how the GPS tracker Bike Trax was used successfully after an electric bike was stolen in our Top Stories and Success Stories.
Important: In order for a GPS tracker to reach its full potential for electric bike safety, it must have some important features. One of them is that it is not attached to the frame, but is firmly integrated inside your smart electric vehicle. At least as important is real-time location tracking. This is where most devices on the market fail.
What else you should look out for and why not every GPS tracker test helps with the search process, which you can find in our blog post “Best GPS Trackers for Bicycles: 2021 Tests – How to Find the Best Device for You” .
7. Save your bike passport
If your e-bike is stolen, it’s important for the police to be able to identify it – a bicycle passport can help you.
Sometimes when you buy a bicycle or e-bike, you get one. You can also create your own or save directly in the BikeTrax app and send it to the police via the app after theft. This saves valuable time.
Some experts recommend marking your own bike or e-bike to make it easier to identify if it’s stolen. For example, this can be achieved by using paint. Of course, this approach only works if the problematic features are difficult or impossible to remove. Also, there is no need to break your e-bike for added safety. With a GPS tracker and a digital bike passport, you’re already safe.
Tip: Your bike or e-bike has been stolen, what to do? Now is the time to stay calm and take the right steps quickly. We tell you step by step what these are in our guide “My bike was stolen, what do I do now? – The most important immediate action”.
Investing in theft protection is worth it
Maybe you’re wondering how much anti-theft protection for an e-bike costs? As a rule of thumb, experts like to refer to the 10% rule to improve safety. It says you should spend 10% of the value of your smart electric vehicle for anti-theft protection.
However, this is just a guideline. What’s more, the investment in high-quality anti-theft equipment paid off. Above all, a high-quality lock, good component protection, and a modern GPS tracker are an important part of electric bike anti-theft. With this trio you can take the right precautions and get your e-bike back after theft. Additional measures like choosing the right parking location are even free.
It’s up to you whether you want to insure your electric bike with home insurance or a special bike insurance policy.
If you are looking for a new way of commuting or want a healthier lifestyle, we are here to help you. Visit our website to learn more about electric bikes and electric scooter or please leave information to us.