Image: © iStock. Prevent theft of your e-bike with these 6 tips
You want to properly protect your expensive e-bike against theft. With these tips you reduce the risk of theft. Because prevention is better than cure.
E-bikes are popular, also among thieves. So there is a chance that a thief will get your e-bike in sight. With these tips you can make sure it doesn’t get stolen. And if it is stolen after all, you will also find tips here to find it again quickly.
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Tip 1: Use at least two good locks
A good lock slows down theft and also deters the thief. Because why would he steal your bike if the bike next to you only has one lock?
Almost every e-bike already has a standard ring lock through the rear wheel, but it is best to also use a strong chain lock. With this chain lock you can attach the e-bike to the “fixed” world, such as a pole, fence or tree. This ensures that the thief cannot lift or move your e-bike. Many thieves take your bike with them, put it in a bus and grind the locks off somewhere in a quiet place. If your bike is stuck, this is no longer possible.
When placing your chain lock, always remember to make it as difficult as possible for the thief. So make sure there is little space around the chain, so that messing with the locks becomes more difficult. Also, make sure your chain lock doesn’t touch the ground, as this makes it easier to sharpen or smash the chain in half.
Finally, preferably use locks with an ART-2 certification or higher, as they are more difficult to cut or sharpen.
Tip 2: Use a GPS tracker or AirTag
Some premium e-bikes have a built-in GPS tracker mounted in the frame of the bike. You can use this, whether or not by taking out an anti-theft subscription, to find the bicycle at any time of the day. This means that you can also find the e-bike in the event of theft or relocation.
However, most e-bikes do not have such a tracker built in and you are then left to your own ingenuity. A good budget option is to install an AirTag in your bike. This gadget from Apple is primarily made to find lost keys or backpacks, for example, but you can also use it to see the location of your bike. Our bonus tip will even help you find your stolen e-bike by using an AirTag.
In all cases, you want to make sure that the GPS tracker or AirTag is not easy for the thief to find. That will be the first thing he takes off the bike as soon as he sees it. Therefore hide it somewhere in the frame, under the seat or behind a handle. There are also special gadgets, such as a bicycle bell or saddle piece in which you can hide your AirTag.
Tip 3: Use the pin code of your e-bike
Many e-bikes come standard with a pin code that unlocks the bike’s electric motor. The motor then only works once this pin code has been entered at the start of the tour. An electric bicycle that he cannot cycle on is of no use to a thief and will therefore quickly leave it behind. Therefore always activate the pin code and choose a safe code (not 0000).
Tip 4: Think carefully about where you park your e-bike
In addition to properly locking your bicycle, the location of where you park it also affects the susceptibility to theft. Preferably, of course, you put it in a guarded bicycle shed or closed space.
Unfortunately, that luxury is not available everywhere, and you sometimes have to place it in less safe places. Then take the following points into account:
Preferably park the e-bike in a place where there are cameras Park it in a busy place so that thieves cannot work undisturbed Make sure that the place is sufficiently lit if your bike has to be parked there at night
Tip 5: Note the frame number of your e-bike
This tip is especially useful if your e-bike has already been stolen. If your bicycle is stolen, you will need the frame number or chip number when making the declaration. Without this number, it will be a lot more difficult to get your bike back, because it is more difficult to prove that the bike you found is really yours.
Tip 6: Insure your e-bike
E-bikes are expensive and you are therefore always careful with your bike. Still, an accident (or theft) can be in a small corner. Therefore, consider taking out insurance for your e-bike. The costs of an anti-theft insurance are between 50 and 100 euros per year, depending on the purchase price of your e-bike.
Bonus tip 7: This is how you can see the location history of your AirTag (on macOS)
Do you have an AirTag hidden in your e-bike, as we advised in tip 2? Then this tip can come in handy if your e-bike is stolen.
The big disadvantage of AirTags is that you can only see the last location of the tag in the Find My app. Fortunately, there is an (unofficial) way to save the entire location history. YouTuber AirtagAlex has developed a script for this that you can use on macOS. You can find the script and installation instructions here on Github.
This script saves the location of your AirTags to a csv file every minute. This allows you to view and connect multiple locations. You can easily create a route for your stolen e-bike and anticipate this in order to find it again. Even if the stolen e-bike (and thief) moves mainly at night, you can still see the locations again. In any case, this tip makes it easier to find your stolen e-bike.
What to do if your e-bike is stolen?
In case of (suspected) theft, always look around the area where you parked your bicycle. Sometimes your bicycle is moved by the municipality, or thieves temporarily move your bicycle to come and collect it.
If your e-bike has really been stolen, always report it to the police immediately. Also state the frame number and/or chip number of your bicycle. The police uses this number to identify your stolen bicycle. If they catch a bicycle thief or find a stock of stolen bicycles, they will immediately recognize your bicycle by its frame number.
If your bike has a GPS tracker (see tip 2), you can use it to locate the bike. Always inform the police about this.
Prevent your e-bike from being stolen with these tips. If it is stolen, hopefully you will find it again.
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