Best ebike locks
The best ebike locks need to focus on high security even if that means a bit more bulk
Finding the best e-bike lock presents a unique challenge. On one hand, the experience is similar to other bike security in that nobody wants to walk back to where they parked a bike and find it missing. It doesn't matter what the bike cost, that's a terrible feeling.
There are some differences though. The best electric bikes for commuting are a vulnerable target and the average price is higher than other commuter bikes. When we talked to Bikeindex.org about the ways in which bikes were being stolen, the one clear data point was the price of lost bikes, and that electric bikes are driving a rise in the average value of the loss. Not only is the average price higher for electric bikes, but with an electric motor helping every turn of the pedals, it's less of an issue if you add a bit of extra weight to your ride. With those basic needs as an outline, we took a look at the work we'd done covering the best bike locks and we tailored it for a new set of needs.
There is some overlap with that list, of course, but this time it's all about security. Gone are the options focused on low-security quick stops and there's much less focus on what it takes to carry each option. So, if you are in the market for the right lock to keep your prized e-bike safe in every situation keep reading to see our picks for the best e-bike locks.
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The trick to the New York Fahgettaboutit Mini isn't special technology. It gains it's signature name, and promise of protection even in the highest risk scenarios, because of a big thick 18mm shackle. That's a lot of steel to deal with. Unlike the D1000 lower down, it is possible to cut it with an angle grinder. That's true of most locks but it's also a lot harder dealing with it locked to a bike on the street than it is in a demonstration while in a vice. One challenge you might run into with the New York Fahgettaboutit Mini and an ebike though is that it's a small internal size. This keeps it less vulnerable to leverage attacks but it could be a challenge with an ebike. If you can make it work though we like its price for the amount of security it provides.
Smart locks are a hot-button issue when it comes to bike security. They have a tendency to worry people because of things such as battery life but in the context of an ebike, those concerns don't make as much sense. For one thing, many ebikes allow for external charging and you could plug the lock in if you needed to.
With normal use though, Abus says to expect around three months of use. The Abus SmartX 770a makes this list because it's both highly secure and highly convenient. From the security standpoint, it takes an already robust lock, the Abus Granite X-Plus 540, and it adds an alarm function. It's always tough to know if anyone will pay any attention to an alarm but with a 13mm double shackle design the lock is strong.
Then to add that there's the convenience of never having to think about locking or unlocking the lock. With your phone in range the lock will unlock seamlessly and if you need to allow someone else to use it, you can grant access. The downside of smart features is price. You can get a more secure lock for less money if you stick to a key.
When it comes to ebike locks this is the least secure option we'd consider. In terms of the overall lock market, it's a very robust lock and it's inexpensive compared to some of the most secure options, but in this list, it's at the lower end of security. However, even being lower on this list, it's still high security.
Onguard uses a 14mm hardened steel shackle that's thick enough to render bolt cutters ineffective. It's also robust enough that a leverage attack would be equally difficult. It won't take long with an angle grinder though, even with a double shackle design that requires two cuts, and the insurance offer is half that of the New York Fahgettaboutit Mini. It still makes the list because not only is it priced lower than others, it has some great ease of use features. It comes with five keys, one that includes a light, plus a frame mount kit that adds convenience.
When it's time to lock the bike up the generous interior space means there's enough room for both a frame and wheel. The security might be a little lower but this is an easy-to-use everyday lock.
The Hiplok DXXL takes a couple of pieces and combines them in a single purchase. There's a massive chain and there's also the Hiplok DX wearable U lock. Hiplok markets this option specifically for ebikes so it only makes sense we'd include it here.
There's another reason we like this combination though. If you've got an ebike as well as another bike that requires less security, this could be a two-for-one purchase. The U lock and the chain work together but you can leave the chain at home if you don't need it. The Hiplok DX is alone is one of the most secure, and convenient, U locks on the market. When it's time to take your ebike out add in a massive chain with 14mm thick links. When using the chain, the loop end design makes sure that you've got the most length available.
Some people absolutely love folding locks. They are never as secure as chains or u-lock designs but they are super convenient. It's easier to mount them and, compared to u-locks, they are easier to use with unusual shapes and sizes. Looking at the field of folding locks, the Bordo Granit 6500 might be the most secure available.
It's also got great features such as a slick frame mount and plenty of rubber coating to keep it from scratching your frame The 5.5mm steel bars are just a little thicker than the Kryptonite 790 folding lock, which is another highly secure folding lock option. Like the Abus smart lock above, the problem is the price for security offered. Folding locks are less secure and cost more. If you are willing to trade security for convenience and want a folding lock, this is the one to get.
Our expert review:
Technology affects everything and tools are no different. As portable angle grinders get even smaller, cheaper and better at what they do, they've become a rising problem for bike theft. There is nothing on this list that can withstand an attack from a portable angle grinder, except for the Hiplok D1000.
There are other locks available for sale that promise immunity from a portable angle grinder but the D1000 remains a portable option. It's a bit heavier, and there's no frame mount option available, but it's portable and usable in a wide variety of situations. The one challenge it has is the same as the New York Fahgettaboutit Mini which is a small space inside the shackle. Again, this adds security but it can make it tougher to use and that's especially true for an ebike with large frame shapes.
You can read more details about this lock in our full review of the Hiplok D100.
If you start to study bike security, you will no doubt run into the chain vs U lock argument. There are proponents on both sides and there's no good answer. Chains are better suited for different anchors or bike shapes but they are also more hassle to carry with you. Even on an ebike you'll have to figure out what to do with a bike chain. The Hiplok Gold solves this problem by being wearable when unlocked. The system allows it to hook together while bypassing the lock for safety and convenience. The links use 10mm steel for plenty of security and if you choose the reflective option you can even add a big reflective hit into the clothing you wear. The only downside is all that security does mean you've got to deal with a bit of weight.
The Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain 1415 & New York Disc Lock is another option in the massive chain lock category. It's even heavier than the Hiplok DXXL and the security is similar. In fact, the two offerings are similar in a lot of ways but they are unique enough that each has a place on this list. The Kryptonite chain doesn't loop through itself the way the Hiplok does and instead of a U-lock you get a lock that's a lot closer to a padlock. What Kryptonite does offer instead of the flexibility that comes with the Hiplok is an insurance offer.
Make sure you've followed all the rules exactly and if your bike disappears you could be eligible for up to a $5,000 pay out.
Every lock on this list represents a high-security option. There are still a range of options that cover different price points and security but there's nothing that you might consider low security. The vast majority of bikes stolen are not locked at all so start by always locking your bike. Remember, that includes inside your home, your garage, and any type of shed or outbuilding. Kryptonite, Abus, and Hiplok all offer anchor products that give you something secure to lock to so you might consider installing one. From that starting point, the choice is all about security vs usability.
The most common choice is a U-lock. They are very secure, very easy to carry, and there are a lot of choices across a wide range of price points. The challenge with U-locks though is that they aren't flexible in the way they lock. They have a set site and only fit in a specific way. Many ebikes have larger tubes that incorporate batteries and if you need to lock to something other than a bike lock it can be difficult to make it work. It's even harder because it's more secure the smaller the U-lock is.
If a U-lock isn't going to work for you then you'll want to look at chain options. Chains tend to be more secure for less money. They are also very secure against angle grinders because they are hard to hold still. They are less secure against bolt cutters because individual links often don't match the diameter of a U lock. They tend to be bigger and heavier than a U lock design and carrying them can be more difficult. Where they excel is in their flexibility. If you need to lock your bike to signpost or any kind of non-standard anchor chains can do it for you.
Another common locking solution is a folding lock. Folding locks are less secure than chains or U locks because they've got a lot of pieces that allow for attack vectors. Quality folding locks do their best to protect the hinges but there will always be vulnerability there. The wide hardened steel makes them difficult to cut with bolt cutters so it's not like they are pushovers and they are convenient. They can be flexible enough for non-standard anchors and they are easier to carry than other options. We included one high-security option here for those that love the form factor.
There are other options available on the market. All kinds of variations on cable locks exist but we do not recommend them for use with an ebike. They are so fast, and silent, to cut that it's not worth the risk, even briefly for a bike as pricey as an ebike.
Other variations of this question are things like what's the hardest lock to cut or what's the most secure lock? The basic question is all the same, if you want the absolute highest security available, that means the Hiplock D1000. It's the only option that will withstand a portable angle grinder and remains somewhat portable. There are downsides to it though and you might be willing to live with some manner of risk in exchange for the convenience of other options. The D1000 is hard to buy, expensive, and small enough you might still need another lock. If you want the most security though, that's your answer.
Locking an ebike is the same as any bike and we have an article covering all the details of how to lock a bike. The only difference with an ebike is that often the larger pieces will make it more of a challenge for small locks. There are also extra pieces to consider, like batteries, but typically the battery has its own integrated lock. Other than those specifics, you’ll want to limit extra space between the lock and the bike and keep the lock farther from the ground. These small changes in how you use the chosen lock will make it more secure. Keeping the lock farther from the ground makes it more difficult to use the ground as leverage on a bolt cutter. Limiting extra space between the lock and the bike means it's more difficult to get a tool positioned for a leverage attack.
When it comes to insurance offers from bike locks, it's best to think of them as an added bonus and not as the only reason for purchase. The biggest thing to remember is that they are insurance and, as such, come with very specific language about how they work. You will need to make sure that you follow every detail and even then, there might be times when you can't take advantage of the coverage. Gotchas such as the requirement to have possession of the broken lock can be issues.
Still, despite the challenges, the coverage is essentially a free add-on and it doesn't hurt to have. Both Onguard and Kryptonite require registration at time of purchase and it's a good opportunity to read through the details and make sure you understand the process.
While you are following the directions for registering your new lock, make sure you also register your bike. Bike Index is a non-profit that works to register bikes then help with recovery if something happens. There's no guarantee of anything but they are doing amazing work and it doesn't hurt. If a bike goes missing you can access a community of people who will keep their eyes open and help you recover it. It's also a great opportunity to record the serial number of your bike and make sure you have it on hand. If law enforcement happens to recover a bike it will only come back to you if you've filed a police report and given them a serial number.
As we researched the best bike locks, it became very clear that it wasn't worth cutting them apart. With the exception of the Hiplock D1000 every lock on our list is vulnerable to portable angle grinder. Even the biggest steel shackle takes only a few minutes to get through. When it comes to bolt cutter attacks the story is a little better but somewhat similar.
If a lock is small enough, it's vulnerable and if it's bigger, it's not. A 24-inch bolt cutter is able to handle up to about 5/16 inch / 7.9mm and we've avoided anything less than that in this list. That leaves usability as the deciding factor in what lock makes sense for you and that we have tested. We spent the time researching what was out there then made sure that our choices were usable and under what circumstances it made sense to choose one product instead of another.
Furthermore, each ebike lock on this list represents an option we'd buy with our own money.
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Josh hails from the Pacific Northwest of the United States but would prefer riding through the desert than the rain. He will happily talk for hours about the minutiae of cycling tech but also has an understanding that most people just want things to work. He is a road cyclist at heart and doesn't care much if those roads are paved, dirt, or digital. Although he rarely races, if you ask him to ride from sunrise to sunset the answer will be yes.Height: 5'9"Weight: 140 lb.Rides: Cannondale Topstone Lefty, Cannondale CAAD9, Enve Melee, Look 795 Blade RS, Priority Continuum Onyx
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