We’ve got everything you need to know about locking e-bikes with this handy guide.
Why should I lock my e-bike?
The answer is relatively straightforward: to stop criminals from stealing it. E-bikes are considerably more expensive than regular cycles and are therefore in higher demand, with thieves looking for any opportunity to snatch them.
Locking your e-bike – whether in public or even at home – offers extra security and reduces the chances of someone coming along and snatching it. There’s also the insurance aspect, as it’s incredibly unlikely an insurer will payout for a stolen bike if it wasn’t secured with a gold-rated lock.
How do I lock my e-bike on the street?
Through the main triangle of the frame
Your best bet for locking an e-bike involves threading it through the main triangle on the frame and onto a fixed object. A good lock will be light and long enough to attach to most bikes and bike racks, making it easy to lock up your e-bike.
Doing so makes removing the bike's frame harder for criminals, as opposed to locking it through the wheel, which could see them remove the frame and leave you with nothing but an e-bike wheel.
While locking the bike through the frame is a smart idea and certainly works if you're leaving it locked up for a short period of time, it's not the only way to lock the bike. The goal is to be as thorough as possible, and locking it through the frame's main triangle is just one way to secure your e-bike.
Remove the front wheel
Walking around with a bike wheel isn't ideal, but it can be a handy option for bike security in some scenarios. A partially assembled bike makes life much harder for criminals, as it gives them more work to do and isn't as appealing as a fully assembled e-bike. Alternatively, if you don't fancy removing the wheel, you could always take the seat with you. It might not be enough to discourage the most determined criminal, but most of them are chancers and won't fancy stealing a bike with only some of its parts.
Two locks are better than one
Consider using two locks if you don’t fancy walking around with an extra wheel all day. Two high-grade locks are much better than one, and spending a couple of hundred pounds on a couple of locks will likely be a savvy long-term investment. Using a second lock means you can secure both the frame and the wheel.
There is one train of thought that two locks bring added attention to bikes. But if you’ve got an e-bike, potential robbers will already have their eyes peeled for an opportunity. Spending ages trying to break two quality locks takes a lot of effort and will dishearten most criminals.
How do I lock my e-bike at home?
Keep it out of sight
Most people decide to keep their e-bikes indoors, away from criminals. But what happens if someone breaks into your house while you’re out and about without the bike? If the e-bike isn’t chained up, a burglar could swipe it along with your other possessions.
If the e-bike lives in a garage or is hidden away in the garden, there's even more reason to lock it up and make lives more challenging for thieves to snatch it. If you have two bikes in the household, it might even be worth locking them together. A thief will find it much harder to steal two heavy bikes chained together than they would one single bike sitting in the shed.
Somewhere secure and battery friendly
E-bikes use a battery, which means storing them requires a different approach to regular cycles. Ideally, you will remove the battery when you store your e-bike, especially if it’s overnight or for longer periods of time.
The battery also needs to remain in a room where there are no extreme temperature changes – a sudden dip or rise could result in the e-bike battery exploding. And while that might not be an issue in terms of someone stealing it, you will be left needing to replace the battery.
Which e-bike lock should I use?
Chain locks are strong and durable and loop around practically any bike, including e-bikes. They’re robust just to look at, which could be enough in itself to deter criminals. However, this also means they are quite heavy to carry.
Cable and combination locks
If you’re looking for a lightweight option that’s convenient and easy to carry around, a cable lock is a solid bet – especially in low-crime areas. Combination locks don’t have keys, so there’s no risk of losing the key and not being able to unlock your bike.
A d-lock is a solid metal shackle with a removable crossbar. You loop it around the frame of the bike and to a bike rack or somewhere secure. These locks are tough to break but can also be awkward to carry due to their shape.
A safe and secure e-bike
Locking your e-bike reduces the chances of it being stolen significantly. While there are never any guarantees, criminals are far less likely to spend time trying to unlock something that looks complicated to break. And there's always bicycle insurance options available, just to give you added peace of mind when your e-bike is locked up.