Ebike Theft and Security

SuperGoop

Active Member
I am wondering whether an eBike is practical for daily use. How do you manage security? Do you never leave your bike for long, or do you lock it up for hours at a time?

When commuting to work, do you bring it inside the office or leave it outside with no concern for theft? Have your own usage been limited by these concerns?
 

Hugh

Active Member
I have been riding my e-bike to work since this spring. I work right in the middle of our downtown area and theft of bicycles is on the rise in my city. So I bought 2 Kryptonite locks, one is a New York forgetabout it U-lock and the 2nd is a Kryptonite chain link lock wrapped in a nylon sheath. The bike which is a Bion X 500 equipped road bike has a rear rack with EVO panniers. I remove the battery and the tail and headlight and the removable speedo/control panel and put them in the pannier used to carry the locks. The bike sits outside in a high visability area and locked to a bike stand or lately a cast iron bench and sits for about 6 1/2 hours both in daytime and evening depending on the shift. Needless to say the panniers get taken into work every day.. If it,s not locked it will be stolen. Cable locks are not enough although most of the bikes I see outside my work seem to use them.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
I'm going to be facing the same: locking my bike in the middle of downtown on a public bike rack. I currently have access to a secured parking garage but my company is moving soon. The new location only has bike parking external to the garage. the is right in front of the building entrance where there is some security presence. In addition there is high foot traffic at the building entrance. It would also be exposed to the elements. Thus one plan I have considered: I have some outdoor bike covers with grommets on the bottom to allow cables to pass through (use these to cover my regular bikes when in storage). I could carry the cover in my trunk bag as they fold up very small. So I was thinking of using a u-lock or the litelock to secure the back wheel to the frame and 1 or more cable locks to secure the cover and the bike frame and front wheel to the rack. In this manner, I was hoping the cover would protect the bike from the elements and protect the electronics (or bike in general) from vandalism and theft.

But do you think being the only covered bike on the rack would scream out "expensive bike under here!" to would-be thieves and vandals? With the amount of building entrance/exit foot traffic, I figure it would take a really bold thief to cut the cables (hopefully heavier duty), to take off the cover in order to get a good look at what he was intending to steal. There are days when I work late and the amount of employee foot traffic and security is much reduced going on 8pm or so.
 

Hugh

Active Member
Not sure about a cover saying steal me or not. I did forget to mention I also put a pinhead bolt system on the seat on my ride so some idiot can,t easily steal the seat. I have the pinhead bolt for the quick release front wheel also but have not applies it yet.
 

James Kohls

Active Member
There are a number of variables you can do to manage security. It really depends on the areas you plan to park your bike at and the risk in your area. Even when buying a bike, there are features you can consider to reduce the likelihood of theft. Easily removable batteries and removable controllers are good for high risk areas. Even choosing bikes that look more plain than others can help. All of these things can reduce temptation. If your bike looks like a shiny gold nugget, it is going to draw attention to everyone including bike thieves.

Take a long look at the area you are going to park your bike. Is there a bike rack? Is the rack secure? What type of bike rack is it? Does it just allow securing a single wheel? Does it allow securing the frame with a wheel? Is it big enough to allow securing the frame and both wheels with two locks? Is there a secure pole large enough to prevent someone from someone standing on top of a vehicle and lifting your bike over it? Where will you park if the rack or your other favorite spot is already occupied? Are there multiple bikes parked in the same spot? If your bike is highly secure and others are not, even if your bike looks more valuable, a thief will probably go for the easy payday. If there isn't a good spot where you work, is there something within walking distance?

Once you know what you are going to be locking your bike to, this may determine the type of lock(s) you can use. A light pole is probably going to be too thick for a U-Lock to fit around. Large poles will probably require a chain lock or Bordo style lock. High security chain locks are often very heavy. If you are parking on private property, you may be able to get permission to leave a heavy lock at the property if you plan to return daily. If your place of business doesn't have a place to lock up your bike, check with the neighbors.

I personally use an Abus Bordo Centium and an Abus U-Lock. The Bordo lock stays with the bike at all times. I only bring the U-Lock when leaving my bike for long periods of time or when visiting areas with high risk. One of my favorite things I've purchased is a convertible pannier/backpack from Two Wheel Gear. It attaches like a pannier, but lets you easily convert it to a backpack. They also sell really nice garment bags if you need to bring clothes that you don't want getting wrinkled.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
since i am a casual rider i tend not have my bikes out of site much and they are locked with at least one lock , usually 2 on the car rack etc

but there have been several times i wanted to jot to the convenience store or dinner on vacation and hated to drive the car for a mile, but am so paranoid ended up taking the car and not the bike because i was not sure how or where it could locked it up

they are just so easy to steal....

i have a cargo trailer being seriously modified right now - mainly with locking mechanisms for tongue and doors - just to haul the bikes
traveling for work and changing hotels every nite for a few days is a huge hassle with 2-3 bikes with rain covers and double locks on the car rack
having to unload and load all that stuff twice a day , then leave them in the hotel for breakfast/lunch etc worries me, so decided a well locked trailer is the way to go

planning to go to interbike and wanted to take 2 bikes to ride
normally i only search out hotels that have outside floor access for the bikes, then realized none of the in town vegas hotels are built like this and they probably wont like me rolling bikes through the lobby lol

not sure i can take a cargo trailer into their garages...

so will be folding up the radmini and prodeco mariner and hauling them inside the suv, very glad to have a couple of folders for this trip

i tend to be a little crazy locking stuff up anyway but i do spend a lot of time worrying about the bikes if they are out of sight for any length of time
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
I don't worry too much myself, had been leaving my bike all day at my admittedly rural bus stop using a kryptonite serious 2 lock through the rear wheel (inside the rear of the frame), a small cable from that lock through the seat and then an abus Ivan heavy duty cable (like an inch thick) through the front frame and wheel, both locks through a concrete bolted bike storage stem at the bus stop.

Love that abus ivan lock, easy to carry across my shoulder bandolier style.
 

Greg Foulke

New Member
There are a number of variables you can do to manage security. It really depends on the areas you plan to park your bike at and the risk in your area. Even when buying a bike, there are features you can consider to reduce the likelihood of theft. Easily removable batteries and removable controllers are good for high risk areas. Even choosing bikes that look more plain than others can help. All of these things can reduce temptation. If your bike looks like a shiny gold nugget, it is going to draw attention to everyone including bike thieves.

Take a long look at the area you are going to park your bike. Is there a bike rack? Is the rack secure? What type of bike rack is it? Does it just allow securing a single wheel? Does it allow securing the frame with a wheel? Is it big enough to allow securing the frame and both wheels with two locks? Is there a secure pole large enough to prevent someone from someone standing on top of a vehicle and lifting your bike over it? Where will you park if the rack or your other favorite spot is already occupied? Are there multiple bikes parked in the same spot? If your bike is highly secure and others are not, even if your bike looks more valuable, a thief will probably go for the easy payday. If there isn't a good spot where you work, is there something within walking distance?

Once you know what you are going to be locking your bike to, this may determine the type of lock(s) you can use. A light pole is probably going to be too thick for a U-Lock to fit around. Large poles will probably require a chain lock or Bordo style lock. High security chain locks are often very heavy. If you are parking on private property, you may be able to get permission to leave a heavy lock at the property if you plan to return daily. If your place of business doesn't have a place to lock up your bike, check with the neighbors.

I personally use an Abus Bordo Centium and an Abus U-Lock. The Bordo lock stays with the bike at all times. I only bring the U-Lock when leaving my bike for long periods of time or when visiting areas with high risk. One of my favorite things I've purchased is a convertible pannier/backpack from Two Wheel Gear. It attaches like a pannier, but lets you easily convert it to a backpack. They also sell really nice garment bags if you need to bring clothes that you don't want getting wrinkled.
I ordered the Garment Pannier, and am very excited that this will hold my laptop, lunch, shoes, and work clothes!
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009IZJOZU/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
I’m convinced at this point that having good security that isn’t too much of a hassle and insurance is the way to go if you’re using the bike for transportation. It’s a real shame if you’re limited to use your bike out of threat of theft and good security and insurance. I have found this to be the best solution in the worst areas for bike theft, including NYC where bike theft is a serious business.

I would also not discount locking down the little bits with something like Hexlox, it makes it a lot easier so when you’re locking the bike you can focus on locking down the most valuable parts like the frame.

Another handy tactic when in an urban environment at night include locking your bike in front of a bar with a doorman at night if there is one in the area.

Also - I really like alarm locks as they can help to ward off opportunists.
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
I work on in an area where I can see that bike theft is a somewhat of a problem based on the bike parts I see locked to racks. Methinks those are for bikes that were left for a long period of time.

I mostly was parking my bike in my office due to rain, but I found an under-cover and very dry spot near my building that is also in clear view of workers through the building's window-wall, just a couple of feet from the rack, so have started parking there. I lock the frame to the rack with a foldylock. I remove everything removable from the bike, including my cheapo rear flashy light. I use cheap-looking side baskets instead of panniers--they stay on the bike. The battery locks onto the bike, but sometimes I bring it along. The rack is also next to a well-travelled pedestrian walkway. So far so good. I started locking the bike outside because getting "Ariel" (um, yes, I named, um, her) up into my office is a bit cumbersome due to the bike's long wheelbase. Great for going down hills (as my bike tech said, "that thing's like a train") but not for maneuvering indoor corridor corners, or sharing an elevator! I do like having my bike in my office because I like looking at it and spreading the ebike joy amongst my colleagues, but, hey, outdoors is working.

My bike-brand-branded-lock came with an anti-theft warranty. If the entire bike is stolen while locked, the lock company will replace it. Not equal to insurance (which also covers things like damage, theft of parts, etc.), but it is something.
 

jazz

Well-Known Member
I usually don't leave my ebike locked up anywhere. I take it inside everywhere I go. I know that is not practical for everyone but I only use my ebike if I know I can park it securely inside.
 

mako

Member
Also - I really like alarm locks as they can help to ward off opportunists.
I am thinking that's the next thing I want to add. Probably one of the disc locks along the lines of a YOHOOLYO You would think somebody throwing sparks everywhere from a portable cutting wheel on your D ring would suffice to attract attention. Throw in some serious noise and someone might actually shy away and move on.
 

fr8dogjoe

Member
Does anyone know whether hotels are ebike friendly? As far a letting you park your bike in the room overnight? I am not talking about a Motel 6, where the doors to the rooms are outside. More like a Courtyard or Springhill Suites where you have to walk the lobby to your room. Any insight would be appreciated. Do not want to leave the bikes locked to a hitch mounted rack over night.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
As far a letting you park your bike in the room overnight? I am not talking about a Motel 6, where the doors to the rooms are outside.
In 2016, I traveled across the nation on an eBike and that took me almost 34 days. Every one of those nights, I stayed at a hotel (Mariott, Holiday Inn, Hyatts etc.)
None of the hotels posed any problem. I was able to roll my bike into the room and not worry about its security. As long as it's not a very dirty mountain bike, most hotels don't care and are happy to let your charge your bike inside.
 

fr8dogjoe

Member
In 2016, I traveled across the nation on an eBike and that took me almost 34 days. Every one of those nights, I stayed at a hotel (Mariott, Holiday Inn, Hyatts etc.)
None of the hotels posed any problem. I was able to roll my bike into the room and not worry about its security. As long as it's not a very dirty mountain bike, most hotels don't care and are happy to let your charge your bike inside.
Thanks for the info. Good to know. I guess an alternative would be an Airb&b or a Vrbo. I feel much better about traveling.
 
I lock my Pedego City Commuter with a 1217 New York chain around the rear wheel and frame, with a pair of Masterlock Street Cuffs on the front wheel. Nobody has messed with it in four years. I always use two good locks, never just one. The pros will tell you, two decent locks are much more likely to make your bike a "walk by", instead of a target. I also have a Masterlock Tuff links chain which makes a good secondary problem for a bike thief.