Hi Richard here from eBike Sussex, here are my top tips on preventing your ebike from being stolen and to help you recover it if it is stolen.
I have had my own eBike pinched and fortunately had a Haibike eConnect Tracker fitted so was able to trace it post theft. Luckily I chose to fit the tracker the day before it was stolen! From now on i will always fit a tracker to my own eBike as standard, and recommend to others they do the same. It gives great peace of mind and if you have the Haibike eConnect fitted it also gives you trip recording capabilities with the built in gps and a special crash notification to send for help if you are in an accident. Clever stuff! The eConnect system is only available on Haibike Electric Bikes, and we are fully trained to install them in store at our eBike Sussex Haibike Dealership in Shoreham By Sea West Sussex. Many of our eBikes come already fitted with trackers, for example the whole Haibike 2020 FLYON range come with eConnect as standard!
Okay back to the tips for preventing eBike theft:
Security Code your Electric Bike!
We offer a security coding service whilst you wait. This is for the life of the eBike and can make the bike up to 10 times less likely to be stolen, and if it is stolen, more likely to get back to you. The Police recommend you get your electric bikes coded for this reason. If you purchase an electric bike from us we will extend your Aftercare Servicing period for a whole year if you get our security coding. Also all of our Aftercare Service Plans on eBikes purchased elsewhere come with Security Coding as standard. Please contact us for details.
Locks, Locks and more Locks!
My personal preference is three locks on an electric bike. This is usually split in the following way: 1st a Heavy duty D-Lock or Plate Lock that is Gold Sold Secure (an insurance rated lock of the highest rating). 2nd a lighter cable lock to put through the front wheel, through the saddle railings (if its long enough) and then around the back wheel or straight into a frame lock (like the Haibike MRS frame lock or the Raleigh Motus AXA rear wheel frame lock). Then a welded link Chain Lock either Gold or Silver Sold Secure. This may all seem like overkill but there is method to my madness. The chances of a thief stealing your eBike if you have an Insurance Rated Sold Secure Lock is much slimmer than a non rated one. Also if an opportunist thief is carrying a tool to break a bike lock it is much less likely they would have three different tools for each of the locks i have recommended (D-Lock/Plate Lock, Thick Cable and Welded Chain Locks). The reason that Sold Secure Locks are often insisted upon by Insurance Companies is that they are more difficult to break into and will buy you more time than cheaper alternative locks. We have a fantastic selection of Sold Secure Bike Locks in store, please come and visit for help with your requirements.
Lock your Electric Bike up to something immovable.
It sounds like common sense but many people lock their ebikes to their car racks or the back of a motor home and expect the bikes to be safe. A car rack is usually made of aluminium and will be quite easy to cut through, especially compared to a hardened steel lock. Also check with your insurance company to see if they have stipulations about where you can/can’t lock the electric bike as they will likely be basing their advice on previous customer experiences as they will want to limit the chances of having to pay out for the theft of your ebike in the future. Another useful tip is make sure the post you are locking the ebike to is higher than 6 foot. We have heard a few stories over the years of bicycles and their locks being lifted over posts.
Remove the eBike battery!
So your awesome electric bike comes with a 500Wh or maybe 630Wh battery? It’s locked onto the electric bike’s frame with a key unique to the bike. Why shouldn’t it be left on the machine when you leave your bike locked up at the shops? Well it will devalue your eBikes value to the thief if you take the battery with you. In fact it could devalue the electric bike by up to £1050 for a Bosch battery! So our advice is take the battery (and head unit controls if they are removable like the Bosch Intuvia) with you when you lock up the ebike. Lets make the machine less desirable and of a lower value to make it less likely to be nicked! As for removing the head unit controls, if your Bosch electric bike has a KIOX fitted you can pay to access the head unit lock. This means that when you remove the head unit the electric bike will not function unless you have the exact head unit refitted to the bike. In this way the KIOX acts as a key immobiliser for the electric bike.
Part 2. Best Ways To Prevent Your Ebike Being Stolen
Take down the chassis number of the ebike and the serial number on the ebike’s battery. That way you will have some unique identifiers if your ebike is ever stolen. You could also take down the pin number on the security coding tamper resistant transfer if you have one fitted. I also am an advocate for using UV pens for writing address details on the frame or battery, so if your ebike is recovered by the police they could see the hidden owner details if they shine a UV torch onto the bike. There are also other systems like microdots you can hide on your beloved ebike, the problem with that is then tallying it up with yourselves if the bike is found.
So going back to my experience with having my electric bike stolen. The bike was not locked up because it was in a locked storage unit. I could have improved my chances of scuppering the thieves by having a camera with motion detection in the shed. The systems available now are superb, you can use a rechargeable battery system, connect it to your home wifi and then log in to view your beloved ebike. You can set them up to notify you if there is unexpected movement in the shed.
The next thing I should have done, is use a ground anchor. This would have have either a large metal loop set in concrete, like you see at stations and in the center of many bike friendly towns and cities. This would have made the machine less mobile, as i would have had something solid and immovable to lock the bike to. My shed was pretty tight for space, so a small loop ground anchor would have been better. Well lesson learnt! If you fail to prepare you are preparing to fail. Ground anchors are pretty compact, can be screwed into the concrete floor of the shed, and you can loop your lock through them. There are also wall anchors, which you screw into brick or concrete walls. I have also seen some pretty cool bike specific storage sheds that use a scaffolding bar as part of their main frame to allow you to lock your bike to them and therefore make it much more difficult for thieves.
Let’s say you didn’t get a chance to do all of the things i have mentioned above. Or you did them, but unfortunately a particularly persistent thief has successfully stolen your pride and joy. That’s right… your ebike was stolen… so now what?!
I would advise you to first contact the police and get an incident number just in case you need to claim on the insurance. Give them your contact details and the unique identifiers the bike has. It is also useful to have brand of ebike, model name and size, colour to hand.
Fish out a recent photo of your ebike and email it to local bike shops with your contact details and explain that your machine has been stolen. You never know if the thieves will try and sell the bike on at a local store, or often they will be ringing up local ebike dealers to try and get a charger, battery or head unit for their new acquisition. So another tip is to store your head unit, battery and charger indoors, and not with your ebike. You could also post on local facebook group pages to say your ebike has been stolen and see if anyone has information as to its whereabouts.
So finally with my ebike, when it was stolen, as previously mentioned, it had a tracker hidden on it. So i could log into my app and see where the ebike was. I do not recommend you try and retrieve your ebike yourself. It is much better for you to contact the police and tell them you have a tracker and app and that you would like them to retrieve your stolen goods for you. They may wish to see a copy of your original purchase receipt, so have that handy and a photo of the ebike. In my case Sussex Police had to contact Merseyside Police force on my behalf and they used my login for the tracking app to view where the stolen bike was. They could see where the bike was been cycled, and stored. They then helpfully picked it up for me, and I arranged to collect it from the police station. I was over the moon, and the police were too! So in my experience a tracker is the best way to get your ebike back if it is stolen, you may also want to ask your insurance company if having a tracker fitted will lower your premium.
I hope these tips help you keep your lovely ebike safe from theft and that if your bike is stolen you have some idea on what to do next.
Thank you for reading my article,
Electric Bike Specialists in Shoreham By Sea