E-bikes are enjoying increasing popularity in Germany. Sales in Germany reached loudly in 2020 Statista a new high with almost two million pedelecs. Electrically assisted two-wheelers are significantly more expensive than conventional bicycles and are increasingly becoming the focus of thieves. Theft of e-bikes is becoming more and more common. This can be seen, among other things, in the increasing amounts of damage suffered by insurers, such as the Association of the German Insurance Industry (GDV) announced. This is what makes reliable theft protection for pedelecs and co. So important.
E-scooters (best list) are also becoming increasingly popular, as is the increased demand for ours price comparison indicates. While e-scooters can only be activated by app for renting from Tier, Lime and Co., inexpensive electric scooters offer no theft protection. In this guide, we show you the ways in which you can protect an e-scooter or e-bike against thieves. In addition to various forms of bicycle locks, they also include GPS trackers and mobile alarm systems.
An e-scooter offers significantly fewer options to lock it securely with a bicycle lock. As a rule, only the rear wheel or the connecting tube between the handlebar and the running board remains – if available.
Brake disc locks, which are often used on motorcycles, are a sensible alternative for e-scooters. The way it works is quite simple: the brake disc lock is clamped into one of the holes in the brakes on the e-scooter using a bolt. This prevents the rear wheel from moving freely. There is also the option of attaching a steel cable with the brake disc lock to the terrain, for example.
The advantage: the lock is small and compact, which means it can be carried in a trouser pocket. In addition, these locks are affordable and hardly cost more than 10 euros. The disadvantage: The attachment to the brake disc requires a lot of skill and can hardly be done in dark light conditions. In addition, thieves can easily carry the e-scooter away if the vehicle is not also attached to a railing with a cable. The simple locks should also be easy to crack for professionals. At least a brake disc lock prevents someone else from simply driving away with the e-scooter.
An alternative to the brake disc lock on an e-scooter is a handcuff lock – also known as a chain lock. As the name suggests, the lock has the shape of a handcuff. Variants with two handcuffs connected by a chain link or designs with a single lock and cable are common. This is used to attach the e-scooter to a railing, for example over the rear wheel.
The advantages include the easy handling of the handcuff locks, which are small enough to be useful on an e-scooter. They are also lighter and smaller than larger padlocks. However, most handcuff locks are likely to be easier to pick than a U-lock, among other things. A simple lock with just one clamp starts at 20 euros – variants with two hinges cost just under 70 euros.
Folding locks are a practical all-round alternative. These can be stowed compactly, but offer a higher degree of stability and thus more security. A folding lock consists of several metal rods that are connected to one another with a hinge and which can be unfolded for use. Due to the compact format and the narrow struts, a folding lock is also suitable for securing an e-scooter. When folded, they fit into a narrow holder that can be attached to an e-bike, bicycle or e-scooter.
Particularly noteworthy is the folding lock from M-Wave. Here the metal struts are bent and wound as chain links on a holder in a circle like a coil. This saves space and allows convenient transport directly on the frame of the e-bike, bicycle or e-scooter. The price ranges from 24 euros to 85 euros, depending on the design.
The classics among bicycle locks are cable locks and padlocks. The cable lock is lighter, flexible and not as heavy and bulky as a U-lock. But it is easier for thieves to break into. A key or a combination of numbers is used to lock. Small variants with thin cables are also well suited for e-scooters. You can get a simple cable lock from Abus with a combination of numbers for as little as 6 euros.
With a U-lock you can be on the safe side with your e-bike or bicycle. To break this form of the bicycle lock, you need a flex. On the other hand, the U-lock is significantly heavier than a cable lock, which makes transport more difficult. Ideally, a bracket on the frame is used to attach the lock to the bicycle, e-bike or e-scooter. This means that you don’t have to drag it along individually every time. A U-lock from manufacturers such as Abus or Kryptonite is available from just under 50 euros.
Combination locks are considered less secure – but if you lose your key to the bike lock, you face the uncomfortable situation of having to break into your own bike. Technical aids promise a solution here: locks with fingerprint sensors or electronic keys via Bluetooth.
The bike lock with fingerprint sensor requires neither a number combination nor a key. However, this requires a clean and, above all, dry finger. In addition, a lock with a fingerprint sensor has a rechargeable battery that needs to be connected to the power supply every few weeks. There are both brake disc locks and padlocks that can be unlocked with a fingerprint. The AreoX U8 U-lock costs at Banggood about 60 euros.
But it also works without a fingerprint: users automatically open locks with Bluetooth via smartphone as soon as they are near the e-bike or bicycle. The spoke locks from Linka (test report), the folding lock Bordo Alarm from Abus and the rear light from Gunm even have an integrated alarm system that emits a shrill sound as soon as someone tries to move the two-wheeler. We show more about smart locks and other bicycle gadgets in the guide GPS, fingerprint lock, smart helmets: How to make bicycles cheap and smart.
Theft protection for an e-bike, e-scooter or bicycle does not stop with a lock. As an additional variant, GPS trackers and mobile alarm systems for two-wheelers are available to track down the thief. Ideally, the GPS tracker remains invisible to the bicycle thief and remains well hidden, for example in the drinking bottle holder or taillight. We explain more about tracking devices with GPS in our guide to GPS trackers for e-bikes, backpacks, suitcases or the family.
The Vodafone Curve Bike Light & GPS Tracker is a rear light with a built-in location device for GPS. In addition, a motion sensor is integrated in the light, which warns the bicycle owner via smartphone app if someone takes the two-wheeler away. The lamp costs around 120 euros, and Vodafone has to pay a service fee of 2 euros per month to operate it.
A more expensive e-bike, a bicycle but also an e-scooter need protection against theft. In principle, all bicycle locks are suitable for an e-bike, but there are some restrictions on an e-scooter due to the design. Brake disc locks and folding locks or thin cable locks are particularly suitable here.
If you have enough of always having a suitable key with you, you can choose a variant with a fingerprint sensor or unlock the bike with a digital key via Bluetooth with your smartphone. GPS trackers for two-wheelers are a useful addition to search for the thief after the act.