An e-bike is a fun, convenient way to get about, and having it stolen is the last thing we want to see. Many people choose to fend off bike thieves with a physical lock, yet just "having a lock" may not seem good enough. According to a recent study in Europe, 90% of bike-theft victims had their bikes stolen whilst they were locked up, because most of their bike locks were not strong enough to withstand even a manual bolt cutter! Although this statistic sounds worrying, there are strong actions we can take to help protect our beloved e-bikes. Read on for our four simple steps to choose the best lock for your e-bike.
Know your surroundings
Though we all want our e-bikes to be secure, there is a constant trade-off between security and cost. "Know your surroundings" is the first step for buying a suitable bike lock, and we can start with the three following questions:
- Do you work and live in crowded places?
- Does your e-bike attract the attention of thieves?
- Are you going to leave your e-bike unattended for more than 45 minutes?
These questions can be answered with simple "Yes" or "No". The answers will come in handy for the next step.
Know your security ratings
With millions of options on offer, making comparisons between bike locks can seem overwhelming. Luckily, there are trusted third-party organizations like Sold Secure (with ratings Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Diamond) and ART (with ratings from 1-5 stars) to test and determine bike locks' effective security levels. Their labels and ratings can be found on reputable lock brands' products and websites. Referring to the answers to the three questions above, we can now determine the needed security ratings for our e-bikes.
- For a "Yes" to 1 question: choose a lock with Sold Secure Silver or ART 2-star rating.
- For a "Yes" to 2 questions: choose a lock with Sold Secure Gold or ART 3-star rating.
- For a "Yes" to 3 questions: choose a lock with Sold Secure Diamond, or ART 4-star and above rating.
If you have bike insurance, you should also check if there are specific requirements for the lock rating.
Choose the right type of lock
Ideally, a bike lock should be strong, easy to carry, and can help to lock the bike to another object. There are different types of bike locks available, and choosing the right one is important:
- The U-lock / D-lock
The terms U-lock and D-lock are generally interchangeable – they describe the same kind of lock. A thick U-lock / D-lock offers one of the best deterrents to bike thieves, though sometimes it can be hard to lock onto other objects.
- Folding lock
A folding lock is easy to carry and can offer enough security, though questions are raised about durability.
- Chain lock
A chain lock is easy to carry and can comfortably fasten around other objects. The downside is that they are usually heavy and expensive.
- Cable lock
Cable locks are vulnerable against bolt cutters and do not offer enough protection for your e-bike. Unless you are confident that there are no bike thieves in your neighborhood, this is definitely a no-go option. It can be useful as a secondary lock to slow down thieves, by looping through wheels, etc., and your stronger lock.
Choose a suitable brand
Just like purchasing any other product, the choice of the brand will determine the value for money, product quality, and after-sales service. We won’t make direct suggestions here, but we highly recommend you check a lock's public feedback on review sites or social media before making a purchase.
Protect your e-bike today
Purchasing an e-bike is not a small investment, so getting a decent lock is definitely worth the money. Follow these 4 simple steps today, and you will find the most suitable lock to protect your beloved e-bike.
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