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. :)
 
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.
 
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
 
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.
 
I suggest multiple locks of different designs. I use 2 Altor Apex Ti locks and 2 Ottolock Hexband cinch locks. A disc brake lock isn't a bad idea either. Just remember that any lock can be cut with enough time. Cute bike, if my bike had a girlfriend it would be a SuperDelite. Hope you have taken battery charging in freezing temps into account. Those little packs R & M use are pretty pricey, baby them.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ADgC6oyPM2gyrCq27
 
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.
 
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.
 
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
 
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.
 
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
 
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.
 
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.
 
I suggest multiple locks of different designs. I use 2 Altor Apex Ti locks and 2 Ottolock Hexband cinch locks. A disc brake lock isn't a bad idea either. Just remember that any lock can be cut with enough time. Cute bike, if my bike had a girlfriend it would be a SuperDelite. Hope you have taken battery charging in freezing temps into account. Those little packs R & M use are pretty pricey, baby them.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ADgC6oyPM2gyrCq27

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:
 
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I was researching your setup last night... What do you think about folding locks in general? ….I’m starting to collect too many keys on my bike ring. :oops:
To be totally honest I have only used the Apex locks a handful of times. A lock is the same as body armor for police... if a bulletproof vest is great and will stop a high-velocity round it's going to be awkward, thick, heavy, uncomfortable, and probably be in the trunk of the car when the cop gets shot. The Hexbands are with me every ride. They are easy to use and are long enough to really secure both wheels and the frame... comfortable. The best thing is when you can get off your bike to run into a store and have someone watch it. I think a lock is necessary, even two, to actually lock the bike to something, but they can all be cut if you are gone for any significant amount of time. I have a good folding lock mounted on the trailer when I pull it, they can be strong, and convenient, if a bit heavy but having a couple of different designs of locks could make some asshat think twice. The Apex lock folds in their own way and mounts on the frame pretty well, they would defiantly put on a fireworks display if someone tries to grind through one, but like you said they are pricey. For me, it's not just securing the bike but everything on it also...I'd suggest one or two Hexbands, an opaque bike cover, and a friend to watch while you go get the beer.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/6qs3omh1GG1GGRJp6

Stay safe.
 
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
 
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.
Hexband security actually comes from steel... "HEXBAND is differentiated by using six stainless steel band layers (versus three in the original) while still being wrapped in an internal aramid fiber jacket."

The thing I don't like about U-locks is that they will either lock a single wheel to the frame or lock the frame or wheel to something secure but not both. A U-lock by itself isn't enough security. Don't discount the security that an opaque cover offers in addition to a quality lock. Buy a single lock and try it out, see what you need in addition to it to feel safe for how you ride.
 
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.

 
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.
 
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.
This is exactly why I want to see pivot lift clam-shell enclosures that completely cover and secure the bike and everything on it without letting s**theels eyeball my baby. They don't have to break anything on the bike to screw you over. just pull a skewer or two.
 
I use an old rotor lock and I have alarm that will go off when someone or something shakes the bike puts out 120 decibels.
"Tap" (smash the s**t out of) the alarm with a hammer, pick up the bike and throw it in the back of a truck. The bike needs to be locked down, secured to something that can't be moved. A rotor lock should be nothing but additional security. Is bike theft big on the Islands?
 
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