There are many reasons to consider buying an electric bike. Some buy them because they’re eco-friendly and energy-efficient. Others, because they’re so easy and frankly fun to ride.
But as more and more people like you make the switch to e-bikes, another trend is also on the side: bike theft. Considering what these bikes sell for and how easier they are to steal compared to other means of transportation, it isn’t difficult to imagine why.
In this article, we’ll explore if an electric bike is likely to get stolen than a regular bike — and offer some tips on how to protect your electric bike from thieves. So grab your helmet and let’s dive in.
Are Electric Bikes Easy to Steal?
When someone brings up the topic of electric bikes and theft, the first questions people tend to have are, “Are e-bikes a target for thieves?” and “How easy are they to steal?”
You probably won’t like the answer, but we’re here to give it to you as it is… Yes, electric bikes are a big target for bike thieves nowadays. They are as easy to steal as regular bikes, but they’re also significantly more expensive, making the reward for thieves higher.
An e-bike doesn’t lock itself when it isn’t in use. So you’ll have to lock it up yourself, just like you would do with a regular bike. Keep reading, because we’ll go over some of our best e-bike locking tips further down in this article.
How to Keep Your e-Bike From Getting Stolen
Okay, we’ve made it clear that buying an electric bike also means buying a target for e-bike thieves. So, what are the measures that you can take to keep your e-bike from getting stolen?
Park securely: Park your bike in a secure place, like an access-controlled building, a gated underground parking lot, or near the entrance of a building with security guards out front, whenever you can.
Crowded and noisy isn’t best: A crowded bike stand on a busy street may seem like a good option at first. However, the many bikes, people passing by, and vehicles making noise also allow thieves to act unnoticed. Pick a place that’s visible but also quiet enough so that someone with power tools or cord cutters would raise suspicion.
Always use two locks: Two locks — the sturdier, the better — are better than one. Lock the front and back wheels securely to the frame and an anchor. The anchor must be fixed to the ground, and it must be tall enough to make it impossible for the thief to lift your e-bike and steal it.
What Kind of Insurance to Get
All of these measures make your electric bike less likely to be stolen. But, unfortunately, they don’t make it immune to theft. Have good insurance and make sure it covers the two most important aspects for you as a rider: theft and liability in case you crash and injure somebody or damage someone else’s property.
Nice to haves are loss in transit coverage, which ensures that you will be compensated if your electric bike ever gets “lost” on a flight or ferry trip, for example. Transportation costs in case your e-bike gets broken and needs fixing, and rental costs if getting it fixed takes longer than expected are also a great thing to have in your bike insurance policy.
Although bicycle insurance price varies from state to state, bike to bike, and rider to rider, you can typically get good coverage for $100 per year or more.
What Security Features to Look For
Get an electric bike with built-in GPS tracking if you can. After the surge in e-bike thefts in recent years, many manufacturers started offering this feature to make it more difficult for thieves to take your e-bike.
It works very much like the “Find My Phone” feature on your iPhone. If somebody steals your electric bike, you can open the manufacturer’s app or log on to their website and locate it. If you share the coordinates with the police, you stand a greater chance of getting your e-bike returned to you safe and sound.
Now, if you have an electric bike but it didn’t come with GPS tracking, you can get an aftermarket GPS tracker. These come in all shapes and forms, but the best ones are hard to spot (if the thief sees the GPS tracker, they can try to remove it from the e-bike) and have a long-lasting battery.