The unfortunate reality of bike theft is that no method, lock, or security system will 100% guarantee protection.
A potential thief with the right power tools will be able to dismantle just about any lock. eBikes are much more expensive and valuable than traditional bikes, which means you need to be prepared for the possibility of theft and do the most you can to protect your bike.
Investing in a high-quality eBike lock is the best way to protect yourself and your bike. The best locks for eBikes will help ward off theft by making the bike more difficult to steal. While it won't be a guarantee, it can drastically reduce the chances your bike winds up stolen for resale.
Let's take a look at our top five picks for the best lock for eBikes, along with some tips on how to protect yourself from the risk of theft.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an eBike Lock
Before diving into our number one pick, it’s always essential to educate yourself on the kind of product you're purchasing.
A slim number of stolen eBikes are recovered: chances you see that bike again are next to zero, so make sure to read the review below before buying.
Registering Your Bike for Anti-Theft Protection
Police don’t take bike theft very seriously - even if it’s a more expensive eBike model. When left in an area without surveillance or camera footage, you risk thousands of dollars in loss should your bike be stolen.
You can help increase your chances of recovering your losses by registering your eBike, which will help ensure there's a record on file attached to that specific model.
We recommend checking with the manufacturer of the model you own to see what security measures they have in place in terms of verifying your bike.
Additionally, many third parties, like Kryptonite, offer additional security measures to protect your eBike should it get stolen. In this case, it’s referred to as their "Anti-Theft Protection Offer."
It’s important to keep in mind that there are specific terms of the offer - including you having to prove that their lock failed. You’ll also have to register within 30 days of purchasing the lock, and security measures like this one often only cover one year.
Most locks will fail in the presence of an angle grinder, but generally speaking, the more time and work a thief has to put in to remove the lock without being noticed, the less likely they are to steal it.
Some brands, like Kryptonite, will reimburse for the cost of the eBike up to $5000.00, provided there is proof the lock was cut.
Secure Your Battery for eBike Riders
Most eBike batteries can be unlocked, removed, and taken with you. Practically speaking, this helps make charging the battery easier, compared to carrying the bike with you to a nearby outlet, especially if you're commuting or traveling.
This also means you've removed and detached one of the most valuable components of the eBike, making it less of a target for theft.
Unfortunately, regardless of where you leave your bike, there still exists the risk of it getting stolen. Even if you’re leaving your eBike inside an apartment building, it’s best to secure it using a high-quality lock and remove the battery and seat, if possible. If you can take any extra components of the bike with you, we’d recommend doing so.
How to Securely Lock Your eBike
Even the most secure and rigid of locks won't help you if you aren't locking your eBike up properly.
You want to double (and triple-check) the lock is always secure. This may seem silly, but those one or two extra minutes could potentially save you a loss of several thousand dollars. You'll feel a lot sillier if you accidentally fail to lock your eBike around the bike rack.
If you're utilizing a single U-lock style of lock, we recommend locking the seat tube and rear wheel to some sort of secured post or rack. The frame of the bike itself should always be secured, as after the battery, rear wheel, and motor, it is the next most valuable component of the bike.
The rear wheel will contain the drivetrain, so this is also a big target for theft.
However, you never want to lock just the wheel itself. Obviously, a wheel can be pretty simple to remove, meaning a thief would not have to break anything to walk away with the bike.
A good tactic is to leave as little room between the frame, the lock, and the post as possible. This will drastically reduce the amount of leverage the thief has to position themselves to dismantle the lock.
Most companies, riders, and forum users will recommend using a combination of U-locks and chains, while being mindful of where the bike gets parked.
What are the different types of locks?
Chain locks, cable locks, folding locks, and "secondary locks" are the different types of locks.
Chain locks are chains, typically steel or aluminum, that can be linked around the bike's frame and doubled up with a U-lock. You can use the integrated locking mechanism itself. While these types of locks are much harder to break, they’re also extremely heavy and less portable than a U-lock.
U-locks are locks with a U-shaped shackle that links the crossbar. Usually lighter than chain locks, they offer the highest level of security, while still being easily portable. They are referred to as "U-locks" for the form of the U-shaped shackle that links a crossbar. These can also be called "D-Locks" as they form a "U" unlocked, and a "D" locked.
U-locks, like the Kryptonite, are often made from hardened steel, which makes them more difficult to break unless an angle cutter is used. eBikes will often have larger and thicker frames, so you'll want to ensure you get a lock that can accommodate a large size - which is just another reason why we love the Kryptonite.
A cable lock is an option that is often the cheapest and most widely available. Cable locks, like folding locks, offer minimal security when it comes to securing your electric bicycle.
While cable locks might be useful for securing accessories on your electric bicycle, we would never recommend them as your primary lock. Most of these will be able to be destroyed with a pair of bolt cutters or cable cutters.
A folding lock is much more portable and flexible compared to U-locks or chain locks. They also tend to be much less secure. As a secondary lock, you can consider them, but we wouldn't recommend them as your primary lock for securing the rear wheel and frame.
You want a lock that will only falter against an angle grinder/portable angle grinder. This means either a U-lock or a chain lock (and ideally both.)
How should I secure my electric bike?
Depending on the lock you choose, you want to make sure the lock can loop around the place you're securing it to, the rear wheel, and the bike frame. Remove all accessories and extra weight (battery, seat) before securing the bike. Ideally, both wheels should be secured to the lock-up point.
Even an electric bicycle can be easy to disassemble. It’s easy for a thief to steal a front wheel if it’s not secured. You can use multiple locks, or separate cables to combine with U-locks. Ensure the spot you're locking up the bike in can’t be dislodged from the ground easily (like a signpost.)
Lastly, you'll want to keep your U-lock as far away from the ground as possible. Thieves will try to utilize a car jack and place it inside the "U" if it’s close to the ground to break it open. This can be prevented by ensuring there’s as little extra space inside the U-lock as possible, as well as ensuring the lock itself isn’t near the ground.
Best Lock for eBikes - Our Top 5 Picks
The Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboutit Mini Bike U-Lock is one of the most secure bicycle locks available. Highly resistant to thieves, it comes equipped with a double-locking mechanism and an oversized double-locking latch. Its robust construction and hardened steel casing offer top-notch security in difficult and high-risk situations.
With its modern design and portability, the New York Fahgettaboutit Mini Bike U-Lock provides ultimate security without weighing you down. At just 4.5 pounds, this lock offers unbeatable security in a compact and lightweight key-lockable U-lock, making it one of the lightest as well as one of the most secure portable bike locks available.
If you're looking for superior protection without sacrificing convenience, the Kryptonite Fahgettaboutit should arguably be your top choice!
Things We Like:
One of the strongest bike lock on the market - 18mm shackle offers maximum security
The New York Fahgettaboutit Mini Bike U-Lock is incredibly sturdy and can withstand even the most determined thief
Kryptonite is a well-known, highly trusted brand in the security industry
It's small enough to fit easily into a backpack or bag, but strong enough to offer maximum security
It's also very affordable, making it perfect for anyone on a budget
Things We Don’t Like:
It doesn’t come with a frame mount so securing it may be more difficult than other options on the market.
The lock itself isn’t invulnerable to being manipulated since it can potentially be picked.
Its small size provides only 3.3” x 6.3” of locking space, leaving wheel attachments or larger frames too big to lock securely.
The Sportneer Bicycle Chain Lock features a “keyless” secure lock mechanism, which features a 5-digit combination lock for up to 100,000 possible codes. This makes it impossible to crack if a thief tries to steal it by simply fiddling with the security code.
The actual bike lock cable is made from manganese steel and is resistant to cutting.
The cable itself is long and flexible: at 3.2 feet long, it provides the length needed to secure it to a variety of set-ups, racks, and posts. At only 1.48 pounds, the lock is super lightweight as well.
Things We Like:
The product quality on the build is sturdy and great for the price. The length is great for securing your electric bike to a number of posts, too.
The company itself is extremely responsive, based on consumer feedback. Anyone who reported issues with the lock and reached out directly to the company seemed to receive a new lock in its place, or helpful support.
Things We Don’t Like:
While easy to set your own combo code, which will likely not be broken by an average thief, the lock is only really a deterrent towards opportunistic criminals. A pair of simple bolt cutters seemed able to dismantle the lock – not something people buying a lock for security will want to hear.
A 16mm, heavy-duty U-lock with shackle and mount holder, this Sigtuna product is awarded and well-regarded as a sturdy bike lock for eBikes and regular bicycles alike. This would be our runner-up if we had to choose.
It features a high-security “disc-style” cylinder, and a double-deadbolt locking mechanism. The precision cylinder is supposed to be pick and drill resistant, while the double-bolt and U-lock ABS shackle are supposed to be resistant to jacking, pulling, or cutting.
Things We Like:
The overall weight and feel of the lock is reassuring, with the perfect size at 16mm compared to 13mm U-locks.
Usually, with U-locks, you’ll need a cable in addition to the lock. While this comes with a cable, many people did not need to utilize it for security. The cable is still a great option for added security in high-crime areas.
Things We Don’t Like:
The mount itself might be too small for a large portion of frames, especially on commuter electric bikes or sport eBikes.
The lock weighs more than most comparable U-locks, at around 4 lbs.
Among the top-rated locks when it comes to compact folding bike locks, the FoldyLock Bike lock is supposed to be bolt cutter and saw proof.
To ensure the lock can withstand attacks directly to the rivet, the rivets are ultra-protected. A 2020 European product design winner, the FoldyLock is also super sleek and portable, easily offering the most visually appealing lock on the market.
Things We Like:
The lock offers superior anti-theft deterrence features when compared to other folding locks, which often aren’t as secure.
Things We Don’t Like:
It has a silver certification, despite similar brand locks having gold certification.
The design itself could be improved. A couple of customer reviews make note of the device stiffing and splaying apart, with the clips in the joints becoming slowly more exposed.
In practical terms, locking the bike can be a bit difficult and not seamless. Trying to mount it to the bike frame was also frustrating for most users.
A heavy-duty, foldable bike chain lock, the West Biking foldable bike lock is made of stainless steel, ABS, and zinc alloy. The lock-core surface is sprayed with "rubber lacquer," making it waterproof and preventing damage to the locking mechanism.
This folding lock will fit most electric bicycles. Weighing only 1.27 pounds, it’s formatted with folding rivets for easy transportation.
West Biking’s foldable bike lock is made from high-quality zinc alloy, with a high tensile strength and yield ratio, to prevent it from being sheared or cut by hydraulic cutters or saws. Of course, with enough time, it won't be 100% secure against thieves using power tools.
Things We Like:
The West Biking folding lock is compact, super lightweight, and easy to mount with Velcro straps.
The lock is secure, as reported - multiple reviews make note that thieves tried to cut or dismember the lock and were not successful.
Things We Don’t Like:
This will generally work best if you don't need a longer lock - to offer the most security or protection when the bike is being secured to bike racks, you'd want it to be a couple of feet longer or with an extension.
This folding lock takes a little longer than a typical U-lock to set up and secure, and it takes longer to put away in the holder. Some users report requiring patience to unlock it once secured.
Our Top Pick for the Best Lock for eBikes
Kryptonite regularly tops best-of lists when it comes to secure locks for bikes and eBikes, and with good reason. While we've seen similar Kryptonite models like the New York Mini and the Integrated Chain Lock, the Evolution offers plenty of security and is lightweight.
Many reviews across various platforms, including Amazon, praise the lock as one that has lasted them years. These same reviewers make note of leaving their eBike in unsafe places, while the lock was the only thing left protecting the bike overnight.
Factoring in the cost of the lock, the convenience of carrying it, and the security offered by the lock, a U-lock, like the Kryptonite Evolution, will be the best choice for most consumers looking to secure their eBike.
We had no issues with the key or locking system, even after heavy rain/sleet and worries about corrosion.
Offering beefy security, portability, an affordable price, and better craftsmanship than comparable locks at the same price, our top pick for the best lock is the Kryptonite Evolution with FlexFrame U Bracket.