Bikes, and especially electric bikes, have increased considerably in recent years. And when the number of electric bicycles increases, so does the number of bike thieves. Statistics show that nearly 400,000 bicycles are stolen in France every year; that's nearly 1,000 per day and one bicycle per minute!
Whether a novice or an experienced rider, every cyclist is therefore at risk of being confronted with this scourge. However, having good reflexes makes it possible to reduce this risk significantly. It is, therefore, not inevitable. Here are a few basics to keep your electric bike security.
Always remember to tie up your ebike
This may seem obvious, but some people don't tie up their electric bicycles during shortstops. But it is essential to always secure your e bike, even for a few minutes, even in broad daylight, even in busy places, or indoors. After all, it only takes about ten seconds for a e bike theft to occur. This also applies to the home. Almost half of all thefts occur in the halls of buildings, in closed private rooms, or common areas.
Although it may seem restrictive, this reflex can drastically reduce the chances of electric bikes disappearing.
Choosing an excellent anti-theft device to limit the risk of electric bicycle theft
Don't forget to buy a quality bike lock. A lousy bike lock is often the cause of theft. Avoid cheap locks, such as a simple cable, chain lock, or soft lock that pliers can cut easily. Preferably choose a heavy, resistant U-shaped bike lock (resistant to physical and thermal shocks) or a folding lock that is difficult to see through.
These are among the most effective types of protection. Choose a long lock to be easily attached to a fixed point. There are also bike locks on the market with an alarm. This is triggered when the lock is handled suddenly or shaken for a long time. This usually deters the bike thief from continuing.
It can also be interesting to equip yourself with two bike locks to increase the difficulty of bike theft. For example, a high-quality U-lock and a frame lock. Thieves in a hurry will pass by and concentrate on an easier target.
A tip: avoid locks costing less than €30. Invest at least 10% of the bike price in a lock. This equipment is as essential as the pedals or the saddle! You can also secure sensitive and removable parts of the e bike (mainly the wheels and saddle) with component locks. These can be locked by key or by the position of the e bike. These systems are inexpensive and ensure that your e bike is always in one piece!
Other bike locks also prevent e bike theft from panniers or helmets if you leave them on your e bike for a few minutes.
Securing your electric bike properly
Statistics show that the electric bike was not correctly secured in 90% of the theft cases. A golden rule is always secure at least the wheel and frame to a fixed point. Preferably choose the front wheel. The rear wheel is usually more difficult and time-consuming to remove.
This is very important to keep your e bike security. If you only attach the wheel, you risk finding only the wheel!
A fixed point can be a post, a rack, a hoop, a lamppost, a signpost... A piece of street furniture that is secure and solid enough to prevent a malicious person from dismantling it and taking it away. This item must be stronger than your lock. For example, do not hang your electric bike on a fence, which is easy to cut, or on vegetation.
If you live in a building, hang the bike frame and wheel on a wall bike rack or a stair rail, for example to keep your bike security.
Always check that it is impossible to steal your e bike by lifting it. Also, avoid leaving the lock on the ground or a hard, flat edge. It would be straightforward to destroy it with a sledgehammer. If you use a U-shaped lock, keep the lock cylinder as hidden as possible and place it on the ground. This will make it more difficult for a bike thief to manoeuvre and protect your lock from the rain. Secure your e bike in this way at every stop, even express stops.
Choosing the right location
Whether you stop for a few minutes or several hours, choosing the location is crucial to make your electric bike safe. In town or a public place, it is best to leave your e bike in a busy place (in front of a restaurant or café, for example), well lit at night, or even, if possible, close to a police station or on the usual police patrol route!
Your e bike should be as exposed and visible as possible to deter potential thieves. Conversely, an e bike hidden in a dimly lit, low-traffic alley is an easier target. This is because people with bad intentions can act more discreetly.
If you can, avoid parking your e bike in the same place for more than 2 hours. If you go to the same place every day, change your parking place regularly. Your e bike should not be static to reduce the risk of being spotted and stolen. Also avoid leaving it on a station square, where e bikes theft is a popular sport. There are usually car parks nearby that accept electric bicycles for free. Think about it.
If you have to park your e bike for a long time, choose a private, secure place inside a building (cellar, closed garage, bike room, etc.). Even indoors, make sure you lock your e bike to a fixed point as described above. Half of all bike thieves take place in closed private premises.
Securing the battery of your electric bike
Remember to remove the battery from your electric bicycle when parking, even if it has its anti-theft key. An e bike without its battery is much less attractive to thieves. Batteries make e bikes differs from conventional bikes.
Moreover, by removing it, you avoid leaving it exposed to the wind, sun, rain, and cold, and you will keep it longer. Store it in a dry, ventilated place at room temperature.
Of course, insurance will not protect you against the theft of your e bike, but if it happens, you can be compensated.
In general, your comprehensive home insurance policy covers burglary at your home or in the outbuildings (cellar, garage, etc.). Look carefully at the clauses in the event of theft in your garden.
Only a specific insurance policy can compensate you for thefts outside your home. Taking out insurance is not compulsory, but it is strongly recommended.
In addition to theft, your insurance can cover the risk of breakage and material and physical damage that you may cause or suffer in the event of an accident.
What should I do if my e bike is stolen?
Remember to anticipate the risk of bike thief at the time of purchase by :
Carefully keeping the purchase invoice for your e bike
Checking that the e bike's serial number appears on the invoice
Keeping the purchase invoice for your anti-theft device will enable you to prove that you were using such a system.
Separating the duplicate keys from the lock
Noting and keeping the critical number of the lock
If, despite all the precautions mentioned above, when your bike stolen, here are the steps to follow
File a complaint with the police or online
Report the bicycle theft to your insurance company as soon as possible
Keep an eye on the classified ad sites for private individuals. If you recognise your stolen bike, contact the police after taking screenshots of the advert.