Bike Lock & Security - Enthusiast & Soon-To-Be Riese & Muller E-Bike Owner

aaronhamlin

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I just made my order for an e-bike after researching what seems to be forever. I got the R&M Superdelite for my travels in Chicago. This will be my only vehicle (other than the bus or train).
Riese-Muller-Superdelite-GT-Rohloff-51cm-Warm-Silver-Matte.jpg


As many are quick to point out, this bike is expensive—though a fraction of the cost of many cars and much cheaper over time. I got the belt drive and internal gear hub to avoid regular maintenance as well. I also don't like the idea of creating traffic, polluting, finding parking, and contributing to the many ills of a city caused by cars.

The other issue I've been thinking about has been bike security. In fact, I thought so much about it, I wrote a long-form essay. As someone who is into locksport and picks locks and thinks about destructive and nondestructive entry, this was a fun task (the community I'm in doesn't steal, and we use our own locks to practice on). If anyone is interested, you can see what I came up with here: https://www.aaronhamlin.com/articles/completists-guide-bike-security

Really looking forward to riding now that I've made my order at my local bike shop! I'm so jealous of all you with your e-bikes already. :)
 
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Best advice I got is something many owners of stylish new bikes will not want to hear.

FUNK it UP! Make it look unique, different, and highly identifiable. Also ugly enough that even a crackhead would not want to be seen on it. Park next to the pretty bikes, so those will be targeted first.

ID'ing your bike may be a problem. I put my business card in the seat tube. In many cases, there is no way for law enforcement to verify that the bike actually belongs to you. No title.

Been to Chicago many times. Good luck to you with that bike in that city. Secured parking area or it stays in my sight would be my plan.
 

aaronhamlin

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This just doesn't seem like very good advice.

"FUNK it UP! Make it look unique, different, and highly identifiable. Also ugly enough that even a crackhead would not want to be seen on it. Park next to the pretty bikes, so those will be targeted first."

Really, for a bike that costs over $10K? It's already identifiable with a hidden serial number. And I use a UV pen to mark it like I recommended in the article. I also have it registered with bikeindex.org, like I recommend in the article. There are locks that take a lot of time to angle grind. I have two U-locks from Hiplock that take 20min each to angle grind through. I got it on sale during their Kickstarter. I've done plenty of research on this. Again, I wrote an article on this that took me six months to write.

"ID'ing your bike may be a problem. In many cases, there is no way for law enforcement to verify that the bike actually belongs to you."

I have no idea how this would be the case. Also, R&M, hardcodes my information into the bike's software. Not only is this bike inoperable without my specific display, but if another display is used it won't work. And when you take it to the shop and plug it in the computer, my name comes up.

Lastly, I have full-cost reimbursement insurance on the bike through Veloinsurance if someone is so determined as to get through all my security precautions. And after all that, my bike is still cheaper than a 10-year-old Honda Civic and has way cheaper (and more comprehensive) insurance and maintenance and associated costs.

Please don't give this kind of advice to anyone else. It's really not helpful and even counterproductive to being able to fully enjoy owning and riding a bike. Have them read this instead: https://www.aaronhamlin.com/articles/completists-guide-bike-security
 
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Most folks are not riding an expensive boutique bike in Chicago.

Ability to identify a stolen bike is often cited by police agencies as a major problem for recovery.

Few have insurance on their Ebike.

I fully understand how you would have no clue on any of this.

My statements are based on over a decade of research, and almost as long of ownership, of an ebike in an urban area. They come from suggestions of knowledgeable owners with far more experience than I, and certainly you, possess.

You are entitled to your opinion. Evaluating yours, as opposed to mine, is something I would advocate all readers endeavor to do. Insisting that yours is superior is how bad ideas propagate.

Good luck to you.
 

Pine_marten

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Even with a great lock and cable/chain i could see the meth heads targeting parts. Batteries, seat posts and seats and the like. I think my battery will be coming with me if my bike will be unattended for any length of time. And the quick release on the seat post replaced with a bolt, perhaps a security tork type. A battery powered sawsall with a good metal blade could liberate the part of your frame that holds the battery and mid drive motor in short order. Like it or not there are probably already fences who specialize in e bike parts in the larger cities. Choosing where you lock your bike up is probably more important than how you lock it. And i'm sure riders have already been assaulted and their bikes stolen out from under them too. Riding buddies and bear spray! I would guess we are on the cusp of an e bike crime wave. Best prepare.
 
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Battery-powered angle grinders with diamond cutting wheels, or a can of Freon and a hammer. 2 minutes, maximum.

Engraved or concealed identification, with documentation.

Make it look like less of a target.

Tell anyone who asks the battery is recycled laptop cells.

Check your homeowner's insurance policy, and note any restrictions. One recently posted from a major company essentially covered a class one, but not two or three, and only $1,000. Also, their restrictions varied slightly from accepted class one definition, as there really isn't one in many states.
 

srzylstra

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Good for you on your purchase. I certainly would not deface the bike to avoid theft. Just love nice machines. If you drop 10 thousand then specialty insurance shouldn’t be a problem. We should enjoy the fruits of our labor. Just protect yourself
 

Pine_marten

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Found an old krytonite large U Lock ( and key ) so i will use that to start. I can protect my front wheel that way, rear one too with a long enough cable. Have to pick busy, visible places to secure an e bike or the lock won't matter.
 

srzylstra

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I agree with your thoughts. A decent lock and a quick coffee dash. If I dropped 10 on a bike , probably wouldn’t leave it out of sight for long. I have an older German sports car and don’t trust my regular insurance so I insured it with Hagerty‘s very reasonable and they pay a set amount if there is loss, no negotiations
I’ll do some homework on ebikes and post
Home owners usually beats you up
 

Pine_marten

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My wife and I lived in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego for a couple years and bike theft was rampant. We both lost a bike to theft. These were not E bikes though and were covered by our renters insurance. The cops all but laughed out loud when we reported the thefts.
 

Pine_marten

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That is a gorgeous bike Aaron! I know Chicago fairly well and it is a good City for riding. Best wishes to you for safe travels.
 

Snoop

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I was researching your setup last night, Brian…..those Apex titanium locks are sweet. Wish they weren’t so expensive though. Probably worth it for an expensive bike, however.

What do you think about folding locks in general?
I was thinking about mounting a U-lock with an 11 inch throat depth, and a 33.5” folding lock to my bike.


A perk with the above is the pics in the ad show it mounted on my specific bike, which has atypically shaped/non-round tubes, and it looks like it attaches and fits well.

I just wish more of these came in combination options….I’m starting to collect too many keys on my bike ring. :oops:
 

Snoop

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Thanks! Those kevlar bands do look handy and quick.

The other thing I’ll have to find out, if I get the U-lock, is if I can sway it side to side while mounted. As shown on my bike style, it would get in the way of me popping my battery up and out at the end of each ride.

CAAA5CF2-A483-464C-8E55-042A94931B13.jpeg
 

rewheel

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Even when I have locked up the bike with everything from the kitchen sink to a chastity belt, they steal or break parts, it seems to be out of spite.

 

Snoop

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Even when I have locked up the bike with everything from the kitchen sink to a chastity belt, they steal or break parts, it seems to be out of spite.


I think you’re right. I can see a frustrated thief just kicking the heck out of a well locked bike just because they’re angry it wasn’t an easy lift.
 
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