Play it safe: E-bike security guide – from lock to insurance
Around 300,000 bicycles are stolen in Germany each year — and the number of unreported cases is probably a good deal higher.
If you’ve never been a victim of bike theft, you likely know someone who has. As a bike owner, it’s time to take every precaution available to ensure your e-bike doesn’t become another statistic.
You can ease the fear of having your bike stolen by being more knowledgeable and prepared when it comes to bike security. For example, what do you do if someone steals your bike? Will insurance help?
In the next month, you get a high-quality bike lock for every order. Ensure to catch the limited offer by putting a bike and a lock into the shopping basket and use the promo code LOCK80.
Choosing the right lock
Locking up your e-bike when not in use seems like a simple task, but there’s more to bike locks than you may think.
Most bike thieves will target bikes with weaker locks, so the more robust your lock is, the better. So don’t attract attention by using a weak lock—choose your bike lock by security rating.
About security ratings
One of the most popular security testing systems is Sold Secure. They recognise and rate locks by four levels of safety, including Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Diamond.
The Bronze level covers locks that offer only basic theft defence, whilst Silver offers protection for leaving e-bikes and other high-value bikes in low-risk areas. The Gold ratings are for acceptable locks for high-value bikes in high-risk areas such as cities.
The Diamond level is for locks that keep the highest-value bikes and e-bikes safe in the riskiest of situations and areas.
When searching for a lock, you’ll find options at every quality and price point, but Gold is a good starting point in terms of helping you choose the most effective lock for your bike.
Gold and Diamond locks are heavier and more expensive. However, those who value their investment don’t mind carrying the extra weight and spending a little more. Some bike insurers will even require that you use a lock of a higher rating.
No matter which lock you choose, stay away from cheap cable-style ones and padlocks. They’re easier for thieves to remove, so they’re hardly worth purchasing. If you’re using a cheap, inefficient lock, it only provides a false sense of security.
D-locks (or U-locks, as they’re also called) are typically lightweight with a high-security rating, which makes them very popular. In addition, they’re usually competitively priced compared to other lock styles.
Many D-locks include a bracket that allows you to fix your lock to your bike frame so you can carry it more easily.
The downside to D-locks is that they’re sometimes difficult to manoeuvre around whatever you’re locking your bike to. Some of the thicker, smaller shackled designs are nearly impossible to manhandle. However, this isn’t always a bad thing, as leaving as little space as possible around your lock will deter potential thieves.
Chain and padlock
The chain and padlock is a winning combination, as it combines high security with flexibility. You should strongly consider a chain and padlock approach if you’re regularly locking your bike in awkward spots on the street.
They are, however, some of the heaviest and most expensive locks available. For a chain to receive a Gold rating, it must have links that are a minimum of 9mm thick. Lighter chains will receive a Silver security rating at best.
Folding locks are much lighter than chain and padlock locks, making them an excellent alternative to D-locks. In addition, these locks are more flexible than D-locks, thanks to rotating joints. You can wrap them around objects that you can’t tackle with a D-lock. They’re made of solid steel plates held together by large rivets.
Folding locks fold into a compact size, making them easy to transport when removed from your bike. or
If you’re not sure which to choose, when you buy a Curt, Stout or Stellar, you’ll receive a free, high-quality bike lock with your purchase. Just use the Promo code LOCK80, when you include the lock to your e-bike of choice.
Park in a public place
It’s not impossible, but thieves are less likely to steal a bike in view of other people. Also, it’s more difficult for them to fiddle with and break a lock when someone could easily catch them.
For this reason, always park your e-bike in a public place. And try not to leave it locked up in public overnight.
Lock your bike or e-bike to something secure
When considering where to lock up your bike, choose secure and fixed objects to lock your bike to. Here are a few ideas:
- Bike parking areas set in concrete
- A solid fence (you can cut a chain length fence)
- A tree, street light, or street sign (make sure no one can lift your bike over the object—avoid parking meters at all costs)
- A handrail that is attached to a sidewalk or wall
Lock your helmet to your bike
Your bike isn’t the only valuable thing you should strive to secure. So don’t forget about your accessories!
If you’re in a high-risk area such as a town or city, you might want to lock your helmet up with your bike by snaking the bike cable through the helmet’s vents. You can also route the cable through the helmet straps.
Take detachable displays with you
Some e-bikes have electronic displays that detach from the handlebars. Most are made to deactivate the bike’s electric assist when the display isn’t present.
Consider e-bike insurance
Electric bikes can cost anywhere from 500€ to well over 6000 €. If your e-bike suffers damage or is stolen, you may have to fork out hundreds or thousands for a replacement. Much is also covered by a classic bicycle insurance, but the more value is involved or specific wishes come into play, one should know the details. The public liability cover or household insurance covers damage to your e-bike and theft from private property, apartments and cellars. It covers damage to your e-bike and theft from private property, flats and cellars.
Choosing electric bike insurance can provide peace of mind if something goes wrong.
What does e-bike insurance cover?
Typically, electric bike insurance policies cover the following:
- Personal accident: If you’re seriously injured in a bicycle accident, and your bike suffers damage
- Theft: If your e-bike is stolen when you’re out and about or at home
- Accidental or malicious damage: If your bike is somehow vandalised or damaged
Most insurance policies replace new bikes on a new-for-old basis, meaning you’ll receive a new or equivalent model if your bicycle is stolen or damaged.
If you’re using a secondhand bike, you’ll likely receive a bike based on your previous e-bike’s market value.
There are usually extras that you can add to your e-bike insurance policy. Depending on your insurer, some will be standard and some will cost extra. You might find:
- Third-party liability cover: Cover for the cost of claims made against you if you damage someone’s property or injure them while riding your e-bike
- Breakdown cover: Roadside assistance if your bike breaks down or needs repair
- Accessory cover: Accounts for accessories that aren’t a part of the bike, such as a GPS, helmet, clothing, or lights
- Cover abroad: Peace of mind if you take your bike overseas
- Replacement cycle hire: A temporary replacement if your bike is stolen or damaged beyond repair
- Amateur races and competitions: Cover for the cost of race and travel fees if you’re injured and can’t attend a race
- Cover for multiple bikes: Cover for additional bikes that you or your immediate family own
Policies will vary, so be sure to jot down any questions you have before speaking to an insurer.
What to do if someone steals your bike
Suppose the worst happens: you walk out of a restaurant and notice that your bike is missing from where you left it. A thief stole it.
Don’t panic, but it’s essential to complete the following tasks right away.
Report the theft to your local police
The very first thing you should do is contact your local police station. Be prepared to provide ample detail, including:
- Where, when, and how the theft occurred
- Bike make/type, frame number, and unique features
- Photographs of the e-bike
Contrary to popular belief, many stolen bikes are recovered but have trouble tracking down the bike’s owner. Too many people don’t report their bikes stolen or don’t provide enough information.
Plus, reporting a crime like this can boost the accuracy of local and national crime statistics, which ensures that the big picture is seen and resources can be allocated to prevent theft in the future.
Notify any bike registration companies
Next, notify any companies you’ve registered your bike or parts with, including the manufacturer. Some have services that allow you to shut down certain functionality of your bike. Plus, they can check to make sure no one enters your bike’s part number into another service.
Notify your bike insurance company
If you’ve insured your e-bike, you must speak to your insurance company as soon as possible—no more than 24 hours after the theft occurs. Be prepared to answer questions and provide as much detail as possible such as the bike’s location when it was taken, what it was locked to, and how it was locked.
The more information you can provide up front will speed up your claim and have you on an e-bike sooner rather than later.
Secure your e-bike from theft
Your e-bike is a valuable asset, so don’t give it away to bike thieves. Instead, empower yourself with the knowledge and security accessories to ensure utmost bike security wherever you are. Every bike has a concrete serial number. To know this serial number can be a help in the cooperation with the police.
If you’re considering purchasing your first e-bike or think it’s time for an upgrade, check out our selection of lightweight and nimble e-bikes today. With a free lock, you are safe from your first day.