Electric bikes aside, thieves can (and will try to) steal just about anything. It gets even worse if the targeted items are valuable. Electric bikes are high-class technological inventions currently making waves in how we define transportation, so it’s only normal that these machines are piquing everyone’s interest – including thieves. But, are e-bikes that easy to steal, to begin with? Aren’t they be more protected than traditional bikes?
Unfortunately, electric bikes are as easy to steal as any traditional bike. They are even bigger targets for thieves than standard bikes because they’re more valuable. You can keep your bike safe by storing it inside, using a GPS tracker (or just a GPS tracking sticker), and using a decent bike lock.
Thankfully, there are some simple ways to protect your E-Bike from theft. And in the case that you fall victim to bike theft, we’ll let you know what you can do. Read on to get all this info and more.
Do E-Bikes Get Stolen More Often?
Sadly, e-bikes are items priced highly among thieves, so they’re stolen even more often than standard bikes. All the parts of an e-bike – battery, motor, frame material, tires, etc. – make the machine an expensive and eye-catching prize for any criminal. Furthermore, the more expensive the bicycle looks, the more it becomes a target for miscreants.
Do E-Bike Batteries Get Stolen?
Some thieves focus specifically on e-bike parts instead of going for the whole bicycle, like the battery. Stealing parts is much easier and inconspicuous than picking up the whole bike and carrying it away. Plus, the bike’s battery is the most expensive part by far, making it much more valuable to thieves.
Since most of these batteries are easily removable, it’s simple for anyone to remove them and walk away. The fact that a bike battery isn’t as big as the bike itself makes it easier for a thief to store it without raising suspicion.
Thankfully, manufacturers have come up with a way to protect batteries from theft. Most batteries now have a key system to lock the battery in place.
For instance, the Lectric XP 2.0 model comes with a 48V lithium-ion battery which has a unique set of keys used to lock or unlock the battery onto the frame. You can learn more about this in the bike’s manual (p.15-16). Locking your battery to the frame and taking the key with you will secure your battery and help prevent it from being stolen.
How to Stop Your Electric Bike Being Stolen
You can take measures to ensure your electric bike or any of its valuable parts is protected from bike thieves. We’ve listed some precautions to protect yourself and your machine below
Avoid Parking Just Anywhere
One of the biggest mistakes any bike owner can make is parking in an unsafe location. If you want to keep your electric bike safe, you should first try to avoid areas that are prone to theft or crime in general.
If your destination is near any of these areas, you could park your e-bike a little out of the way and walk the rest of the distance.
In the same vein, always park in a well-lit or public area at night – somewhere thieves won’t be able to just sneak up to your bike and cart it away easily. Thieves usually stay away from places like this to avoid any risk of exposure, so that makes it all the better for you to park there.
While you may think that it would be better to park in a public area during the day, it might sometimes be riskier. Though people usually do this to discourage criminals, it can sometimes be counter-effective, as parking in a high-traffic area could attract more attention from thieves who will target the bike later.
Still, there’s no guarantee that parking in a back alley will keep your e-bike safe, either. Yes, it may be hidden away from prying eyes, but once the machine is discovered, there would be no eyes to witness or stop the robbery from taking place.
Since, sadly, there’s no way to 100% assure that your bike is safe anywhere, this means you need to pay very careful attention to where you park it.
Thieves don’t strike instantly. They often study their target’s patterns and daily routines and come up with the best strategy to strike based on those. So, if they’ve set their eyes on your electric bike, they’ll most likely pay attention to your routine first.
A bike thief will want to know what routes you take on your e-bike, where you park, at what times, and any other information that might help them easily steal your machine. To outsmart them, try to avoid the exact same daily routines.
Switch up your route to work some days, park in different places, arrive a little earlier or later sometimes. This will confuse the criminal and could even wear them out. If all goes to plan, they’ll move on to target another bike.
Consider Using Bike Locks
While there’s no foolproof anti-theft option, using a bike lock is one of the simplest ways to protect your e-bike. There are plenty of different lock types, and you can choose any of them based on your needs and preferences.
Let’s take a closer look at some available lock options:
Cable locks are cheap and efficient, but they sadly don’t offer much resistance against thieves. These locks are more or less plastic tubes that contain many thin strands of steel, making them light and flexible.
That means anyone could steal your e-bike by simply cutting off the lock using a tool as simple as some sturdy scissors or other simple cutting tools. You have to be careful when using cable locks. A good example of one would be the Schwinn Anti-Theft Bike Lock (on Amazon).
U-Locks, sometimes called D-Locks, are much better anti-theft devices for your e-bike. You can use these to secure your bike against a railing or a sign pretty securely.
To get the best out of this U-Lock, you have to ensure that it fits tightly around your machine and whatever you’re attaching the bike to. That way, thieves won’t have enough leeway to break the lock and get away with your e-bike.
You can look at the Via Velo Heavy Duty U-Lock (on Amazon) as a good example of a U-Lock.
You could also secure your bike using a chain lock. Chain locks are difficult to cut through and would discourage anyone thinking of stealing your e-bike due to their sturdy appearance. The Kryptonite Keeper Chain Bike Lock (on Amazon) is a prime example of this lock type.
However, that’s not to say that your bike will be completely safe from thieves and criminals using this lock. Whoever has enough time and enough motivation, and the right tools, could still use a battery-powered grinder to cut through the chain.
Instead of sticking to just one lock, you can make things a little more difficult for thieves by using more than one lock to secure your e-bike. While it may seem a little more excessive, this will make your bike a much harder target.
It’s enough hassle for thieves to deal with one lock – two or more is a headache that most criminals would not want to deal with.
Use a GPS Tracker
You can also protect your e-bike using a GPS tracker. However, since trackers can be a little on the expensive side, you might want to try using a fake GPS sticker instead, like the Langersun Bike Stickers (on Amazon). This will trick the thief into thinking that your bike will be tracked if stolen, and probably deter them from stealing it.
Take Your Bike Inside Buildings
If you have your bike with you all the time, it becomes more difficult for thieves to get to it. That’s why you can try to take yours into any building you’re going into. Of course, you’ll need to find out if bikes are allowed inside there first.
To make this easier for you, you should invest in a folding e-bike . They are much easier to transport and carry anywhere than a non-folding bike.
Do Homeowners Insurance Cover Bike?
Yes, homeowners insurance can cover bikes, but that’s only partial coverage – don’t expect to get 100%. You might receive some benefits if your bike is stolen from your apartment or home, but you won’t get back the total value of the bike.
Also, in the case of collision or travel damage, homeowners’ insurance policies won’t help. While you’ll receive some level of insurance for your electric bike under this contract, you won’t get the benefits of full insurance coverage.
To ensure that your e-bike is fully insured, the best thing to do is to set up specific e-bike insurance with a reliable company.
This insurance will cover any mishap you could encounter on your e-bike, such as full-value coverage, bike theft, cycling gear and accessories, collision damage, and so on.
If you’re getting electric bike insurance, you need to make sure you fully understand the company’s policy before you buy it. Then, you also must confirm that this insurance covers damages that may occur during a failed theft attempt.
Also, be sure that the insurance covers bikes with a motor, as some insurance policies don’t classify electric bikes as bikes.
The bottom line is this: do extensive research before buying any insurance policy, so you don’t run into any problems when you may need coverage later.
What to Do if Your E-Bike Gets Stolen
So, while you may have tried your best to keep your e-bike safe; in the end, nothing is certain, and your bike might still end up getting stolen. Sadly, it happens. But if this happens, what should you do?
The first thing to do after a theft is to report it to the police. If your bike is covered by insurance, you may also want to update your insurance company about the situation.
Then, if you have a picture of your e-bike, its original receipts, registry details, or frame number, you can try searching local bike shops to trace your bike. This is why it’s essential to keep records of your bike’s information.
All this data could also help the police in their search, and help them verify that the bike they find (if they do) is actually yours.
As e-bikes become more popular, more and more e-bike thieves will appear. You can’t stop this, sadly, but you can prevent your bike from falling victim to them. The best way to do this is to enforce more than one of the safety measures we’ve listed out in this article.
Also, since nothing is certain, get decent e-bike insurance and keep all the details of your bicycle on record to ensure that it is easier to locate your bike, and you can be compensated for any damages.
Tuesday 19th of April 2022
a lot lately with my father so hopefully this will get him to see my point of view. Fingers crossed! mortgage bankers ny