When looking for a lock, the first thing to do is consider the value of your bike. A lot of people have expensive e-bikes now. Some with beautiful gravel bikes. Others have relatively cheap commuters. Therefore there will be a different lock that suits a different purpose in the different places where you might lock it. Let's break it down and find a lock for you.
The locks we recommend cover three basic categories. There are D-locks – which are generally very secure but are limited in length and versatility. The second type is Folding locks – which are slightly longer than D-locks, expanding your options for securing your bike. They also have the added convenience of being able to mount neatly in a holster on the frame of your bike, so they are easy to carry with you. The third type is Chains – when we are talking chains, the thicker the chain, the higher the security. They also tend to be quite a lot longer – and so they afford you more options when securely locking your bike to something. They have the disadvantage of not being particularly easy to carry with you. If you have a basket, you can put one in, but otherwise you're left with putting it in a backpack, pannier or wrapping it around your frame.
Unfortunately, we still see a lot of people locking all kinds of bikes with cable locks. Cables locks in short – they are just not good enough for most bikes. They are okay if you are quickly popping into a café and you have a relatively inexpensive bike, but otherwise you really should consider upgrading your lock from a cable type.
The main lock brand that we carry is Abus, who have their own rating system from zero to fifteen - fifteen being the highest. For e-bikes over $5,000 we recommend twelve or above. But you also need to be mindful of where you're leaving your bike locked. For example, if you're leaving your bike locked outside overnight, you really need a lock at level 15 – maybe even two. If you're just leaving it outside your work all day, a lock with a security rating of twelve might be fine.
We see a number of thieves these days using battery powered angle grinders. Most locks can be cut with an angle grinder so here are a few steps you can take that will make prospective thieves not even consider an attempt on your beautiful bike. We call this the deterrant factor. Light and line of sight are your best friends. If possible, especially in the evening, park up in an area that is well lit and populated. This combined with line of sight is a strong deterrent – this does not mean you have to always see your bike but next time you’re locking up have a look around - is there a restaurant or café nearby where people can clearly see your bike? Is your bike clearly visible from all angles? If not, that thief could squat down, take their time, and have a good go at your lock. Let your environment work for you, not against. Another hot tip is simply having a lock that appears stronger than your neighbour. Ultimately, thieves will look for the easiest catch. Of course, these steps are not fool proof. Bikes inevitably get stolen. This is where a good insurance plan, as well as registering your bike on 529 Garage, really pay. Most bike are available for cover under contents insurance however, you may be required to declare you bike if it is over a certain value to receive adequate cover – if you are unsure get in touch with your insurance provider. If you don’t have contents insurance, there are providers out there like Sunday Insurance who offer cover for your bike alone. Garage 529 is a free and simple app where you can register your bike and helps the police quickly return your bike if it is found.