Are Ebikes more or less vulnerable to theft than standard bikes?

Mikes245

Just Joined
Apr 3, 2017
3
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73
Bedford
We all know how vulnerable ordinary bikes are to theft. I personally have had 3 stolen over the last 20 years and, indeed, it was to replace a bike two years ago that had been pinched that I switched to an Ebike.

Maybe I am being naive but it strikes me that my Ebike bike is less vulnerable for several reasons.

Firstly an ebike without a charger or a key to the battery is likely to be a less attractive to a potential purchaser. Thieves want things that can be exchanged for cash quickly and my guess is that most potential buyers would be ultra-cautious purchasing a secondhand bike without these.

Secondly many ebikes allow the user to unclip the control unit on parking. This of itself disables the electric motor and so it is less easy to pedal away. Not having the unit also adds to the problem of selling it.

Thirdly Ebikes are much much heavier than standard bikes so more tricky to lift into a motor vehicle.

Whatever I am still ultra cautious when parking my ebike in a public place.
 
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Andy-Mat

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 26, 2018
321
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Really good question.

I have a sensitive alarm on mine that doubles as a rear light, with a remote control. Not expensive and runs around 2 weeks as an alarm before needing a recharge via a USB cable....Less than 15 UK Pounds!

I also chain it up wherever I am. I have a really thick and heavy motorbike chain that I myself cannot "pick", being an amateur lock picker, with all the tools and the knowledge!

I have a lighter chain with special links for when underway.

Both would need very loud tools to cut and the alarm would sound first!!

I am not saying its perfect, but I have never "lost" a bike!

Regards and thanks for the question, an important one I feel!!

Andy
 
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Nefarious

Pedelecer
Jul 27, 2016
188
99
South Yorkshire; S11
Thing with calculating risk is that you calculate it by multiplying the probability by the impact to get the overall risk rating. So the risk associated with the theft of an E-bike will always be greater because the impact of its loss (the replacement cost) is so much greater. In my case, compare a half-decent MTB at, say, £600 with my eMTB at £3,500...
 

anotherkiwi

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2015
7,595
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My bike frame and fork were found in a skip, the kit is the expensive part, though all told I have spent about 1200€ - wheels, brakes, seat-post, the list is endless... I have all the receipts and a good insurance company, I use a Gold rated frame-lock and chain.

My next pedelec will be an expensive one but I can't see just anyone picking up a +27 kg trike and walking away with it. It will always be covered when parked to discourage kids from trying the seat.
 

xena

Pedelecer
Aug 31, 2017
74
30
41
Cross Hands, Carmarthenshire
I'm always worried about getting bike-jacked! One time when I was riding down a quiet lane near an abandoned farmhouse (where some people with caravans are staying), I got accosted by two lads who moved to block the lane so I couldn't get past. They may have been friendly but I panicked and got some speed up and they did move out of the way!
 

Chris M

Pedelecer
Dec 31, 2018
47
55
It could be that bike jacking is a big risk. I find strangers do like to stop you and talk about ebikes. The good thing is that at least you have a reasonable speed available uphill so have a chance of out running someone.

Pinching a parked or stored one is probably a little more difficult than a normal bike but also more lucrative so well worth the extra effort. I’m only 5ft 2in and in my 60s but I can drop my ebike in the back of the car with no problem so they aren’t that difficult to take away.

An ebike without a battery and key will have reduced value. I hope that no bike shop would buy one like that but there re plenty of people without scruples who would.

Two recommendations.
Always make sure you have the frame number and some photos of the bike.
Make a few changes, even if it just a bit of paint somewhere, so you can identify your bike easily from a photo.
The above will help you to spot your stolen bike for sale on eBay or wherever and also help you to prove to the police that the one on sale is actually yours.
 

Andy-Mat

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 26, 2018
321
55
72
I'm always worried about getting bike-jacked! One time when I was riding down a quiet lane near an abandoned farmhouse (where some people with caravans are staying), I got accosted by two lads who moved to block the lane so I couldn't get past. They may have been friendly but I panicked and got some speed up and they did move out of the way!
That is where my alarm with remote is good, if they had taken the bike, before they got out of range (30 meters or so), you switch the alarm on, they would have simply left the bike.....it is 110 db!!
regards
Andy
 

xena

Pedelecer
Aug 31, 2017
74
30
41
Cross Hands, Carmarthenshire
That is where my alarm with remote is good, if they had taken the bike, before they got out of range (30 meters or so), you switch the alarm on, they would have simply left the bike.....it is 110 db!!
regards
Andy
More details please! Would you recommend the one you have?
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
42,293
17,919
Over the years of this forum many members have had their e-bikes stolen while temporarily parked, so I'd say they are at least as vulnerable as ordinary bikes.

Many others have had them stolen from gardens, sheds and garages, often without battery and always without charger and keys, so I don't see those missing as deterrents.

Many who steal don't rationalise, if they think an item will fetch any money at all, they'll take it.
.
 
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anotherkiwi

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2015
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certainly bike-jacking makes me nervous when riding through dodgy areas...
The problem is when you are travelling you don't know where the dodgy areas are, there are no signposts with "Dodgy Area Ahead"... I got caught out a couple of times in Boston (Mass.) one of which a hand gun was waved in my general direction :eek:

On your bike you can't stay on the motorway and out of trouble...
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
42,293
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The problem is when you are travelling you don't know where the dodgy areas are, there are no signposts with "Dodgy Area Ahead"...
Not a problem in many parts of the UK. When we see the road signs sprayed with "tags" or uprooted and flat on the ground, speed cameras "necklaced" with burnt rubber tyres and cars burnt out or up on bricks with wheels missing - - - - - - -

Then we know it's a dodgy area.
.
 

anotherkiwi

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2015
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There are less than 30% of speed cameras in working order in France at the moment apparently. Please don't tell Zlatan, he will be upset... :p
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
42,293
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There are less than 30% of speed cameras in working order in France at the moment apparently.
Same in Britain, the police say they don't have the manpower to utilise or maintain them. Even when flashed when one is working, usually nothing happens since the record is never examined.

Even when our police are using hand held it doesn't mean that they act. In early July last I was caught by a Lancashire copper bobbing up on a motorway bridge to record my well over 70 in a 50 mph zone on his hand held radar.

Never heard from them. Remorse I daresay, feeling guilty about using such underhand tactics. ;)
.
 

russ18uk

Pedelecer
Sep 18, 2018
71
23
I'm surprised they weren't upgraded to Internet of **** as they are lucrative.

I rarely use cycle paths anymore as long as the weather isn't horrible. Less glass, no low branches, brambles to dodge. I feel safer being able to meet the 30mph limit in most built-up areas. I carry two D locks in my rucksack/laptop bag.
 

Andy-Mat

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 26, 2018
321
55
72
Any links to the alarm/light please?
They are available in many countries on ebay. I bought mine over a year ago and I would buy the same again even if it went wrong! It sits right under the saddle and appears to be a red rear light!! It is also a hooter. As a rear light it has several flashing programs as well as one steady red light.
The LEDs are switched on when charging and go off when the battery is fully charged....
See here:-
https://www.ebay.de/itm/3-in-1-Fahrrad-Wireless-Alarm-Rucklicht-Hupen-mit-Fernbedienung-Fixed-Position/283299751756?hash=item41f5fb274c:g:TeEAAOSwNXpcD~w1:rk:2:pf:1&frcectupt=true
This is ebay Germany,but once you have seen the pictures, you can look for it on your country's ebay easily...
Prices are very variable, cheapest is if you buy directly from China!
If I can answer any further questions, just ask!
regards
Andy