How to Keep your EMTB Protected from Theft
There are lots of reasons why e-bikes have become an extremely fast-growing segment of the bicycle market. For anyone interested in a fun and healthy outdoor activity, the pedaling assistance coming from a strong motor and capable battery opens all sorts of biking possibilities. Even people who thought their bike-riding days were long gone are finding they can once again enjoy biking for pleasure, sport, heart-healthy exercise, and even commuting.
This rather amazing popularity is confirmed by sales. Since March of last year, mountain bike sales have grown by 60%. Total sales in the US last year reached $1,464,000,000. It’s truly amazing that 47,000 bikes are being sold every day. Electric mountain bikes are claiming their share of the bike industry’s growth. It’s no wonder — people are discovering the joy of riding off-road, far from exhaust fumes and heavy traffic.
Exactly what is an Electric Mountain Bike?
You have probably seen a few mountain bikes or at least heard of them. Are EMTBs just a conventional e-bike by another name? No, definitely not. Mountain bikes have a few characteristics that are distinctive from most other bikes.
In general, EMTBs, including full-suspension electric bikes are “tougher” than conventional bikes. They are built to handle the stresses of off-road riding, whether on grassy fields, forest pathways, gravel roads, or mountain trails. At the same time, electric mountain bikes must be manufactured to meet rigid specifications that allow the bike frame to handle the stress and extra weight of a powerful motor and long-range battery.
Rugged and Capable
When you want to ride off the pavement, you naturally should expect to encounter higher impact conditions. Terrain that includes gravel, large rocks, dips, holes, tree roots, sand, etc. makes a tougher bike very desirable. EMTBs have the capability of taking you safely into these types of terrain.
Most likely, you will want an EMTB that is equipped with fat tires of at least 20″ in size. A good 4″ wide fat tire goes a long way toward helping your EMTB absorb those high-impact bumps — not to mention your personal comfort while riding the trails. You’ll also be looking for a good rear suspension. The more high-impact and technical the trails you prefer to ride, the better your suspension needs to be. You’ll definitely want high-quality front forks, and excellent rear suspension as well.
Stronger and More Powerful = Higher Prices
As you would expect, adding power and strength to an electric bike for adults increases the manufacturing cost of each unit. An e-bike company has to pass some of that extra expense along to you, the customer, or else it will soon be out of business. It is prudent to keep any e-bike safe and protected, and this is especially true of electric mountain bikes because they are more costly possessions. If you get careless about protecting your EMTB from thieves, you can count on discovering how it feels to have your expensive ride stolen.
Steps to Secure Your Electric Mountain Bike
Purchasing a top-quality and highly reliable EMTB is no small investment. Even a company like Magicycle which focuses on consumer-friendly pricing is forced to charge more for an EMTB. Look for magicyclebike.com to offer a new and competitively priced EMTB in 2023.
Assess Your Risk
Naturally, you will be very interested in protecting your new EMTB, so first let’s do a quick assessment of your security risk. If you live in a community or small town with a low population, then your security risk is likely to be low to moderate. But if you commute to larger communities, then your risk escalates. And of course, wherever you’re located, your risk is higher at night.
If you live in a large city or on a college or university campus, then you are at a very high level of security risk. This is true anytime your EMTB is left outside and unattended. And remember, the longer it is left unattended, the higher the risk…, especially for times in excess of 30 minutes. Always think in terms of risk assessment. Where will you be riding? What time of day? Will your Magicycle be left unattended, and for how long?
Always be Prepared to Secure your EMTB
Never ride without having a good bike lock on board. Never leave your e-bike unattended without locking it to some secure object, such as a bike rack, street sign, or lamp post. If you are in a higher-risk area, plan to return to your Magicycle within 30 minutes. And if you’re transporting your e-bike, lock it to the rack!
Many e-bike riders feel that a folding lock is the best choice. It is easy to attach to your frame and convenient to use. Bear in mind that it is essential to put your lock around something that is obviously stout and secure. Don’t even think about locking your precious EMTB to a chain link fence or a small-diameter signpost. Further, never use even a stout post if it is less than 8 feet in height, making it too easy to lift your bike and lock off the post.
Of course, the lock you choose must be long enough to go around a very sturdy post. Suppose you want to secure your electric mountain bike to a strong lamp post. With a long-style folding lock, it’s easy; but with a u-lock, it’s impossible. It’s important to have a lock that is long enough to go around a variety of objects that are sturdy enough to provide the security you need! Magicyclebike.com offers two styles of strong folding locks — a short version and a long version. Decide which best fits your security needs and order it now, while they are still on sale.
Is a Good Lock enough for Security?
Yes, it’s true that any lock can be defeated, but a good lock will slow down a thief and discourage any passers-by from thinking of stealing your EMTB. You can define “good luck” as one that will take more than three minutes to defeat. Three minutes seems to be the point at which most thieves will decide it’s too risky to continue. At that point, they are likely to believe it’s safer and easier to move on to someone else’s ebike for sale.
As you shop for a good lock, this is not the time to look for bargains. If you go cheap on your lock, you’re also making it easy for thieves to target your e-bike. Getting the right lock will mean a little more expense and a little more weight (the better locks are also heavier), but it is definitely worth it!
Whatever lock you use, do it properly. Bike wheels are too easy to remove, so that is not the place to put your lock. Put your lock around the frame. If you have a wheel with a quick-release feature, you may need to have a second lock to prevent theft of your wheel. In any case, two locks are always better than one. Anything that makes it more difficult for a thief is a good thing!
Keep Eyes On Your Ride
Considering that a skilled thief can defeat any lock, it’s still true that there is no substitute for watching your EMTB at all times. It’s not always convenient, but it is certainly the best security. When visiting a restaurant, coffee shop, bar, etc. look for a seat near a window where you can have a view of your e-bike. At a convenience store, get back to the front window every 2 minutes to take a look at your EMTB. That gives you just enough time to grab that coke or bottle of water and still keep eyes on your ride.
When you get back home, you should continue to keep security at the forefront of your mind. If you store your e-bike in a garage or shed, lock it to something that would make things difficult for any thief. Remove your battery — that makes your EMTB less appealing. If you live in a high-risk area and have a quick release, remove your front wheel.
Just in Case
In the final analysis, no e-bike can be 100% secured. It is important to be prepared, just in case you become the target of theft. In the worst-case scenario, you don’t want to get stuck with the bill for replacing an expensive electric mountain bike! This means you need to consider purchasing insurance to protect yourself.
This can be accomplished in a couple of different ways, and with varying levels of protection. If you have insurance on your home, it’s worth a call to your insurance agent to ask if your e-bike is covered by your policy. If it is not covered, the insurance company may be willing to provide an inexpensive rider that will give you adequate coverage.
If the home insurance route is a “no go” for you, then consider purchasing e-bike insurance. Do your homework and explore the options that are available. You can find a policy with very basic coverage, or you may decide to go for all the bells and whistles, even including a ride home if your e-bike fails while you’re out on a long ride.
Give careful thought to security for your EMTB — you won’t regret it!