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You’ve got the bike, the helmet and all the accessories - but have you thought about security? Don’t give bike thieves an easy ride. Follow these top tips to protect your new investment.
Electric bikes are a fun and accessible way to get more out of cycling. They enable you to go further and faster – but what happens if your wheels are stolen far from home?
If you’re desperate to become part of the E-bike revolution sweeping the country, then you’ll need electric bike insurance to protect your new piece of cycling kit. Let the friendly team at Bicy find the right cover for you.
How popular are E-bikes?
Fuelled by recent advances in technology, electric bikes, or E-bikes, have soared in popularity in the UK in recent years. According to market research firm Mintel (2020), electric bike sales now represent a quarter (25%) of the cycling market and are growing all the time.
But with increasing popularity comes a big problem – bike theft. Being a target of criminals is a big concern for many electric bike owners. And when you take into account the fact that many of the best electric bikes cost several thousands of pounds, it’s easy to see why.
So, how many electric bikes are stolen in the UK every year? Well, we don’t know precise figures because E-bikes are still relatively new to the mainstream market and the police don’t collect separate figures for bikes and E-bikes in their bicycle theft statistics as yet.
However, a study in the Netherlands found that electric bikes are three times more likely to be stolen than a standard bike. If that trend is followed in the UK, then there’s clearly cause for concern.
What’s the best way to protect your electric bike?
Let’s be honest, if you want to deter thieves from stealing your expensive new E-bike, you’re going to need much more than a standard padlock.
You need to up your security game with a whole host of tools and tricks – but how?
We’ve rounded up 10 easy ways to keep your E-bike safe, endorsed by the experts.
- Double up on locks
According to London’s Metropolitan Police, the number one tip to protect your bike is to invest in a couple of quality locks to make your E-bike less attractive to thieves. A high quality D-lock and chain lock will put off most criminals as they’re unlikely to carry a multitude of tools when they’re out searching for bikes to steal.
But whatever you do, make sure the lock is made of tough materials and is the right size for your bike frame. It’s also a good idea to invest in a lock that’s fitted with an alarm that sounds when the bike is moved.
The Abus SmartX 770A is recommended by the bike experts at Cycling News as a lock that features both an alarm function as well as a smart unlock. Check out its list of best E-bike locks and find the perfect deterrent for you.
- Mount a GPS tracker
Unfortunately, of the many thousands of bikes that are stolen every year very few are ever recovered and returned to their rightful owners. Increase your chances of recovery by installing a GPS tracker on your bike to warn you if the bike is being tampered with and help you locate it if it does go walkabout.
While a GPS tracker that’s invisible to thieves is more likely to track down your stolen bike, if it’s visible then it also serves as a deterrent to those who know the bike can be tracked.
Again, Cycling News has a list of excellent GPS trackers that are worth considering – we love the TKStar TK906 Tail Light that hides your GPS tracker in plain sight.
- Don’t let your guard down at home
When you’re home, you’re safe, right? Think again. While most bikes are stolen off the street, many are taken from people’s sheds and garages at home.
If you have the space, bring your electric bike inside at night for extra security. And if you must leave it in a locked shed or garage overnight, make sure you put a bike lock on the E-bike itself.
It might be tempting to flaunt your shiny new E-bike but don’t advertise the fact. Removing car bike racks might be a pain but as the old saying goes ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Anything to make a thief’s life more difficult!
- Don’t forget your frame
Something that thieves love is when bike owners fall into the habit of just locking up their bike’s wheels. The thief simply removes the wheel with the lock on and carries or wheels the rest of the expensive bike away.
Your best bet is to lock the frame and both wheels to a secure cycle stand or another immovable object. It’s also a good idea to secure your bike as close as possible to the stand giving thieves less room to manoeuvre.
- Don’t get lazy with parking
The bike experts at Halfords remind us that you should only leave your bike in a well-lit, visible area. Ideally somewhere that gets a lot of foot traffic or that’s covered by CCTV.
Locking up near other bikes in a recognised secure cycle parking area is more likely to keep your bike safe. There’s safety in numbers!
- Move your electric bike immediately if you find it’s been damaged
A common tactic of bike thieves is to remove or damage part of a bike, so they can return later and steal the rest. Don’t give them a second chance. Move your bike as soon as you notice any damage.
- Be smart with your battery
Bike parts such as wheels and saddles, and cycling accessories such as lights, baskets and bags are a common target for opportunistic thieves. However, due to their high value, E-bike batteries are also at significant risk of being stolen.
While most come with a built-in lock and key, these are no problem for an experienced thief. Either secure the battery with an additional lock (or locking skewers/nuts) or remove the battery entirely and take it with you.
Removing the battery is a simple and effective way to prevent theft, since the bike cannot be used without it. Not only is a battery free bike a heavy lump to ride, but they’ll also have the hassle of finding a replacement battery and key.
- Register your E-bike
Registering your bike for free on a national cycle database like BikeRegister, DataTag or Immobilise.com can help recover it if it does get stolen. It also serves as a deterrent to thieves who know the police are always on the lookout for registered bikes that have gone missing.
- Get insured by the specialists
There’s no legal requirement to have electric bike insurance, but why wouldn’t you protect such a large investment?
Imagine if your E-bike is stolen or damaged, you could be facing a hefty bill to repair or replace it – not to mention the hassle and expense of finding alternative transport.
If you’re new to the E-bike experience, it could take you a while to master the extra speed. If you injure someone or damage their property while on your E-bike, insurance could help cover the costs of any legal claim against you.
Fortunately, Bicy prides itself on providing specialist electric bike insurance perfect for you and your bike. Speak to the team at Bicy and you should have no trouble getting an electric bicycle insurance policy that covers you or a family member.
Other benefits of Bicy cover can include:
- New for old replacement
- Legal expenses cover
- ID theft cover
- Stay road safe
Even though the Highway Code has recently changed to give cyclists more protection, you still need to do all you can to ride safely. TFL offers this advice for all cyclists:
- Stay back from HGVs and parked cars.
- Never run a red light - you could be fined £50.
- Don’t ride in the gutter.
- Wear bright clothes and make eye contact with drivers.
- Make sure you have the right night lights and reflectors.
Protect your investment with electric bike insurance from Bicy
Here at Bicy, we know that even ‘budget’ E-bikes can cost a lot. That’s why you’ll always want to have the right insurance in place to cover such a desirable item.
Bicy is the specialist when it comes to protecting bikes of all shapes and sizes - e-powered or not! Cover will :
- Theft, accident and mechanical breakdown cover
- Personal accident cover up to £10,000
- Public liability cover up to £1 million
- Worldwide cover
Get a quick quote for electric bike insurance today.