LOCKS - All about Ebike locks !!

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Hi Guys,

I recently purchased a Easy Motion Neo Jumper with 27.5" wheels and this is a big investment for me..! I plan on using the bike mainly for commuting on the weekdays and I would like to secure it well, especially when parking in the University campus.

As suggested by many members on endless-sphere and other forums, it is essential to have a sturdy U-lock and a strong cable to secure the front wheel. So, based on the review from Gizmodo, I am leaning towards onguard pitbull lock.

Please suggest if you know any better ones. Also, I would like to keep this thread open for ebike locks.

Thanks
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hey Ravi,

Looks like you've done your research! This is exactly the system I used for my Neo Jumper (but I got a longer cable). I would stick the cable through one side of the front wheel then thread it through itself and go through the back wheel then up towards the top-tube of the frame which is where I would connect the u-lock to a railing that was cemented in. Sometimes I would even use a smaller cable to secure the seat as well. I wish I had a picture to show you!

I've been told it is important to lock your bike to secure metal posts and that some thieves steal entire bike racks (bikes and all) because they can simply drive up in a van, unbolt them from the ground and get 10 bikes all at once! With enough time and determination it seems like any cable can be cut and locks can be forced apart but that's why I try not to leave my bike out overnight. I've heard that there are some new locks that signal to your phone if they are being cut and I found a neat DIY from instructibles on how to make something like this. Check out this video I shot last year while visiting Blue Monkey Bicycles in Salt Lake City, Utah where he talks about bike locks.


Here's another video I shot with the owners of Practical Cycles in Sacramento California. They give similar advice ant talk about the new flat folding style "link locks" that are supposed to be secure but also smaller and more portable than u-locks.

 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Ha, thanks Ravi. I know they're kind of basic intro style videos but I always enjoy hearing advice from the shopkeeper's point of view. They see a lot of use cases and hear from different customers with unique needs (or actual experience with bike theft). It seems like there should be a bike lock that can text to your phone if someone is trying to cut it so you can go check. Also, with the different GPS units out there it seems like a bicycle LoJack could make sense.

It seems like that's what LOCK8 is going for (they were funded on Kickstarter UK). According to their intro video, 63% of all bicycle users get their bikes stolen at some point. Their product is a "GPS tracked, siren alarmed, sensor enabled bicycle lock that's fully remote controlled via smart phone." The video is pretty cool!


Have you heard of SpyBike? They make a seat, stem and light with GPS built in so you can recover your stolen bike. You still need those pieces of the bike to be exposed so they send a signal, but it's a neat concept and I've attached a picture of their products below. There's another company called Hiplok that sells "wearable" bike locks like a u-lock that has a clip to fit on your backpack straps or in your belt and a chain lock that you can wear almost like a belt. That's a step in the "more convenient" direction but the locks and chains loop pretty similar to what's already out there.

spybike-gps-tracker-for-bikes.png

There is another way to deal with bike theft and that is to insure your bike. This company Markel offers some decent plans for ~$100 a year and created a fun press release recently about the top 5 myths about bicycle insurance (quoted below)

Markel American Insurance Company presents five common myths & misconceptions about bicycle insurance

Waukesha, WI, September 26, 2013 -- It’s no surprise that Americans are riding their bicycles in increasing numbers. In fact, bicycle riding is the third most popular outdoor activity for adults and second most popular for children, according to the recently released Outdoor Industry’s 2013 Recreation Report. Across the country in 2012, 12% of adults and 22% of children were frequent cyclists. Markel American Insurance Company, a specialist in bicycle insurance, recognizes that while millions of Americans enjoy riding their bicycles, many are confused about what specialized insurance covers and — even worse — may fall victim to common misconceptions about insurance for their bicycles.

While most cyclists are familiar with traditional bike equipment of helmets, lights and mirrors, they may not know a lot about insurance. Bicycle insurance is a specialized stand-alone insurance policy made just for bicycles that can cover liability, loss, damage or even medical payments. Markel Bicycle Insurance has fielded questions from cyclists across the country and is sharing their top five myths and misconceptions about bicycle insurance in order to educate cyclists and help keep their beloved investments protected from “worst-case” scenarios.

Myth #1: My homeowner’s policy will cover me if my bike is stolen; I don’t need to have separate bicycle insurance.

While it may be true that a homeowner’s policy could provide support for bicycle theft, some homeowners’ policies may have low coverage limits for things like sporting goods equipment. A low coverage limit combined with a high deductible means bicycle owners may be faced with the majority of the cost to replace their bikes. Having a separate bicycle insurance policy can ensure that no matter how high the value of a bike, it’s covered in times of crisis. And Markel Bicycle Insurance offers policy deductibles as low as $100.

It’s also possible that submitting a bicycle claim on a homeowner’s insurance policy may cause your homeowner’s rates to go up. With a separate policy, your homeowner’s rates won’t be impacted if you have a bicycle claim.

Myth #2: My homeowner’s insurance company wrote special coverage (sometimes referred to as an insurance rider) for the value of my bike, so I don’t need a stand-alone policy.

Just because the special coverage is included in the policy doesn’t mean a stolen or damaged bike might not fall victim to the homeowner’s policy restrictions, like exclusions on coverage while competing or other limitations. Markel Bicycle Insurance includes coverage for spare parts & apparel, provides protection while racing, and much more. Policies are completely customizable and take into consideration just how expensive replacing a beloved bicycle can be. Also, bicycle insurance can offer 24-hour roadside assistance (including emergency transportation) for only $10/year — meaning that a broken chain or blowing your last tube won’t be the end of your next great adventure.

Myth #3: My bike lock is the best on the market, and I’m smart about where I store my bike — it won’t ever get stolen.

Most bike locks do act as a theft deterrent, but sometimes even the most prepared cyclists can have a stroke of bad luck. According to the 2011 FBI Crime Statistics Report, a bicycle is reported stolen every 2.8 minutes. Expert thieves know high-value bikes and know how to make your bike disappear (even with the best bike lock on the market).

Markel’s bicycle insurance protection will cover a bicycle anywhere in the US and Canada, any time — whether it’s during transit or at the staging area of a race.

Myth #4: Bicycle insurance is expensive!

With Markel’s bicycle insurance policies starting at just $100, it’s easy to see that bicycle insurance doesn’t need to be expensive. Markel’s average policy costs between $250 and $300 per year, which is a small price to pay for those who have bicycles worth thousands of dollars. USA Cycling, USA Triathlon and International Mountain Bicycling Association members benefit from an additional 10% discount off of their annual premium.

Myth #5: Only professional cyclists need insurance.

Sure, professional cyclists need insurance. But so do amateur cyclists, triathletes and anyone else who loves their bike! Markel’s bicycle insurance helps provide protection against liability, damage or loss — on anything from a racing bicycle to a classic cruiser. Markel’s insurance plans apply to the insured bicycle in all 50 states (and while riding in Canada) and even protect your bike during air/land transit (perfect for the next cycle tour). So professional, aspiring or casual cyclists can rest easy knowing that they are protected — whether for a hobby or a way of life, Markel’s bicycle insurance will make sure that it’s not a headache.

“When we ask our cyclists how much they have invested in their bike, they are often surprised with their answer — and just how much they’ve put into it,” says Kerri Nguyen, Marketing Director for Markel. “Many don’t realize just how much loss they may be faced with if their bike is stolen or wrecked. Our plans make it easy for cyclists to get the coverage that they need at an affordable price, and without jeopardizing their homeowners’ policies.”

###

About Markel
Markel American Insurance Company, part of Markel Corporation, specializes in providing insurance coverage on Specialty Properties (manufactured homes, vacation and seasonal homes, vacant homes, nonstandard homes, rental properties, and low value dwellings), Recreational Vehicles (motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, and snowmobiles), Watercraft(powerboats, fishing boats, PWCs, commercial marine, high performance boats, and yachts), Weddings, Private Eventsand Bicycles.

Markel Corporation is an international property and casualty insurance holding company headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. The Company markets and underwrites specialty insurance products and programs to a variety of niche markets. In each of these markets, the Company seeks to provide quality products and excellent customer service. The financial goals of the Company are to earn consistent underwriting profits and superior investment returns to build shareholder value. Please visit www.markelcorp.com for more information.
 
Ravi,

I followed the Gizmodo review and picked up a Pitbull. In hindsight I would go for something a little smaller as the base of the lock is HUGE and I prefer to wear the lock in my belt. Definitely tough though. Next time I'll probably do a Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit mini to prevent leverage attacks. It has a $4500 warranty against theft for the first year ($1500 for the pitbull).

Those kickstarters are going to be fun, Court!
 

EddieJ

Well-Known Member
As well as a good lock, if you are able to store it on campus, it could well be worth removing the battery and console. It wouldn't stop the bike from being stolen, but it would draw attention when the thief has to buy a battery and console for it.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Good call Eddie, if I were going back into a campus setting I'd consider buying an inexpensive ebike or just using a regular bike for class and then keeping my nice bike locked at home, reserved for longer trips. It feels wasteful having two systems but I've found that with a really expensive bike I almost use it less for fear of damage and stuff... In many ways I've become more minimalist as a result, keeping only a few simple things that are either well protected or easily replaced.

I used to ride a really nice Specialized Tarmac Expert with carbon Roval rims around and didn't want to bring a lock and cable because it would make riding less fun to have a backpack etc. and it would defeat the purpose of the super light weight. Ultimately with this bike, I would just bring it into stores and basically anywhere I went, never leaving it out of sight. Sometimes I would lean it up against the window of a shop I was in and just keep a close eye on it - I figured if someone was bold enough to grab it I could chase them down on foot if necessary. I would often clip my helmet through the spokes as a simplified deterrent as the thief wouldn't be able to roll the bike off so quickly and that would give me a head start. Another thought I was hoping to express with this behavior was "if the bike is just sitting there, the owner must be nearby" and it seemed to work! Here's a pic of that bike, she was so beautiful...

court-specialized-tarmac-expert.jpg
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Those are very valid points, Court. Well taken into consideration.

I wanted to know your thoughts on this: I was thinking of purchasing a Burley Travoy trailer for grocery shopping and also use it for carrying stuff like lock, key, mybackpack, sports kit etc (Pitbull STD lock and chains).

burley-travoy-bicycle-trailer.jpg

Pete from Electric Bike Report had very some very points about it (Here is a review). Any ideas about trailers or what might be a good option for carrying locks?

Thanks
 

FitzChivalry

Active Member
I'll add that Tim from Practical Cycle pointed out that not all trailers will work with electric bikes (or at least with the Pedego Step-through City Commuter) because they attach to the hub bolt on the back tire, and with the additional motor parts already attached, there sometimes aren't sufficient threads available for a secure connection. Of course, the Burley Travoy doesn't have that issue, since it connects to the seat post.

He specifically recommended the trailers from bikesatwork.com, but they're pricey. I hope to find something similar to the $60 one I found on Amazon that will work with my new bike. (Which is still en route. I am far too accustomed to the instant gratification that today's society has so frequently provided me. I need to re-learn patience!)

generic-cheap-bicycle-trailer.jpg

inexpensive-bicycle-trailer.jpg
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Fitz,
Waiting and anticipation leads to more satisfaction...! :)
In fact, all our excitement starts saturating in a couple of months but the waiting period is kind of exciting and frustrating. I know your feeling because I ordered my Jumper on December 28th and will be receiving it in Feb 3rd week, this waiting period has turned me into a Zen master :)

Coming back, I am holding back on purchasing this Burley Travoy even though it has great reviews, for the sheer reason that it costs $260. I could get a fancy backpack, locks etc for that.
If you find something in the range of $100, do share it here, please.

I plan to use this trailer for groceries, visiting gym carrying my sports kit, if I need to carry lunch, extra pack of clothes etc to school, I can easily do that. It also looks very different compared to other models.
 
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FitzChivalry

Active Member
I'm going to wait to see how much room are in the panniers that came (free) with my bike. I may not need the trailer at the outset. Considering I save $6 every 20 miles I ride (based on the calculations I posted in another thread), I have to ride only 866 miles before I can afford the Burley Travoy. ;)
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hey guys, so funny that you mention the Burley Travoy as I got to hear from their reps at Interbike and actually spoke with Tim from Practical Cyclery a few months back! Here's what he had to say:


This design does make a lot of sense, I like how it folds down and works with modular upgrades so you can kind of build whatever kind of transporter you need. Also, just the fact that it connects to the seat post tube vs. the rear axle. Thanks for sharing all of the great resources and the less expensive option on Amazon. Might be worth looking on Craigslist as well for someone who is passing along a used Burley or a BOB Yak or Ibex Trailer. I love the single track designs for maneuverability. Bought myself an ExtraWheel years ago and it worked alright but was tricky to attach. Here's my written review on it and the video I shot for one of my other sites:


ps. maybe we should create an electric bicycle trailer storage thread and dig into the pros and cons of each option?
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hey guys, in addition to locks there's always secure storage for bikes... A friend just shared this video with me today on Japanese bike parking technology. It's a motorized bicycle storage lift that places bikes under ground! These bicycle parking garages are popping up all over Japan and do a great job of preventing theft and keeping bikes from getting vandalized and weather worn. I can't imagine that they are cheap to build but they sure are cool!

These bicycle parks in japan suck bikes down into the depths of the Earth . . . The bicycle is quickly rotated and put away for safety . . . It means your bicycle is safe from the weather and pranksters . . . Now what happens when I want to retreive my bike? I use this digital keycard, I have an account and just touch the card to the machine . . . These huge robotic arms retrieve the bike . . . These bicycle parks work on the concept of organizing things that take up space on the surface and moving them underground. This gives us more space on the surface and allows it to be used for more everyday things. One of these machines can hold as many as 200 bikes, and we will be rolling more of these out across Japan.

 

James

Well-Known Member
Hey guys, in addition to locks there's always secure storage for bikes... A friend just shared this video with me today on Japanese bike parking technology. It's a motorized bicycle storage lift that places bikes under ground! These bicycle parking garages are popping up all over Japan and do a great job of preventing theft and keeping bikes from getting vandalized and weather worn. I can't imagine that they are cheap to build but they sure are cool!
How cool is that!
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Cool, thanks for calling this out Ravi! That's a neat product, makes a lot of sense. There's that flat lock again by Abus... must be a popular product. I personally own a regular u-lock and two cables right now to secure the seat and the two wheels.