I was set the task of searching for a lock for an electric scooter. An electric scooter are lightweight, eco-friendly, fun to ride making it easy to lock up. The risk of theft is likely, so protection is necessary.
There are 3 main ways to secure your electric scooter. Using a chain, a lock and a cover.
|Type of lock||Security rating ( 1=most secure, 4=least secure)|
|D-lock||1 (made from gold and hardened steel)|
|Chain lock||2 (made from silver, gold version available)|
|Ring lock||3 (made from silver)|
|Cable lock||4 (made from bronze, can be cut through)|
If your scooter is not locked, the risks of stealing are increased manifolds, so never leave a scooter unlocked. Many types of locks can be used to secure an electric scooter. A rider can choose out of them depending upon his requirement and his budget.
Last year more than thousands of electric scooters were stolen in London only. It is a game of seconds for a thief to take away the electric scooter if it is not appropriately secured.
You are probably thinking, or at least trying to work out the running costs of actually owning an electric scooter as opposed to other alternatives, like taking the bus or cycling.
Keep reading and we will conclude at the end if it is actually worth it.
Lock your electric scooter with a cover, chain or lock
An electric scooter can be secured by taking the steps mentioned below and securing it using a cover, lock, or chain.
Covering an electric scooter may hide its vibrant appearance but may not be considered a reliable method of securing an electric scooter.
Chains can be used to secure the electric scooter with a solid frame, but they may also be cut easily with sharp tools. Sharp tools such as a saw or a machete can easily break the chain.
Locks can be considered as the best option to secure an electric scooter from thieves. They can be used either singly or in the combination of more than one lock for the security of an electric scooter. Every lock would be discussed in detail in the upcoming section of the article.
So for the better protection of the electric scooter, it is better to use more than one layer of the security layers, as discussed above.
Removing the keys
After locking an electric scooter, never forget to remove the keys from the lock. Otherwise, it would be a blessing for the thief and can be taken away very quickly. This tip must be followed at all costs because many people nowadays tend to forget the keys to their vehicles.
Lock your electric scooter
Despite all the accessories of an electric scooter, a lock is an essential tool and a helmet and protective glasses. Some of these locks have keys while other work gets open with the combination of digits. The disadvantage of the latter remembers the exact combination of numbers used to secure a lock.
Types of lock for your electric scooter
Depending upon the need, a rider can choose from any of the following locks.
The most common type of lock that can be used for an electric scooter is a cable lock. These locks might have a key or use a combination of digits to secure an electric scooter. The cable lock needs to be wound around the scooter handle. The other end to the reliable support traditionally a bike rack outside any big shopping malls or in the parking lots.
Cable locks are flexible and lengthy locks may be up to 120 cm, and a diameter up to 8 mm can secure the scooter with a wide range of robust support systems.
This chain is made up of thick steel or zinc alloy, which can withstand excessive shear. In addition to this, it has a vinyl coating, which prevents it from scratches.
These locks are portable and can easily be carried in a backpack along with you. If you are a forgetful person and forget after putting the keys, then you may choose a combination lock over the traditional lock with a key.
It also prevents taking the mess of keys along with you. It is really easy to carry because it can be twisted easily. These locks are black, mostly, and quite affordable, with a price of up to 20 pounds.
The main disadvantage of a cable lock is that it can be easily cut in seconds with a wire cutter. Hence the cable locks are rated in the bronze category by the sold secure rating system.
The disc type of lock is used for the electric scooters with a caliper like a brake system. The lock functions by getting attached to the brake caliper and hence prevents the wheel from turning. This lock is applied mostly to the electric scooter’s back wheels but can be used on the front wheels too.
The disc lock is firm, and when applied, it is practically impossible to move the scooter even up to an inch. But the electric scooter can be quickly loaded in a truck due to its lightweight and can be carried away. The disc lock is made up of alloy steel, so it is hard to cut.
Some locks are rated as silver, while some are rated as gold according to the sold secure rating system. Other advantages include its durability and waterproof feature due to the steel pin.
This lock has been provided with two stainless steel keys.one can be carried along while the other can be kept safely at home. This makes them a suitable choice in rainy weather and monsoon season when rusting is a curse.
They are heavy and made up of metal, so they are challenging to cut. The heavier the metal, the hard it is to cut it. It is basically a key lock that is wound around the electric scooter wheel, and then it can be easily supported against reliable support. It is the most commonly used lock type because of its easy handling.
U lock / D lock
The U- shaped or the D-shaped lock is passed through the wheel, and the electric scooter can then easily be secured against reliable support. These locks freeze the electric scooter wheel so that it can not be pushed away. They are more affordable than the chain locks.
Their strength and durability make them the most secure type of lock; most of the thief tools are unable to cut them. These locks lie in the gold category according to the sold security rating system of locks. The additional vinyl coating of the lock makes it dust, dirt water-resistant, and prevents it from corrosion.
This conventional lock has two keys. One can be taken along, and the other can be kept at home safely. Due to the hard and compact design of the lock, it is not portable, much easier than the chain and cable locks.
The ring lock can be used in the electric scooters with open spokes. This hard type of lock is made up of zinc alloy or hard steel with an additional outer coating of Polyvinyl chloride. The hard steel is on the sides attached with a cable in the middle.
When in use, this cable is wrapped around the wheel of the electric scooter, which immobilizes the wheel. This feature provides more security than an ordinary cable lock. For additional protection, a ring lock can be used along with a cable lock.
Due to the high durability and sheer strength of these ring locks, they are not easy to deform. These locks are rated in the silver category by the sold secure rating system of locking because they provide more security as compared to an ordinary cable lock.
The ring lock may have a diameter ranging from 12 MM to 100 MM. These locks are light in weight, flexible and small in size.
As the name indicates, the grip locks work by securing the handlebar of the electric scooter and locks both the brake lever and the throttle grip. This is a more clean type of lock than the ordinary chain and disc locks. It has a compact size of 15 x 4.5 x 5 cm, which makes it fit easily in the pocket of the pants or the backpack. It comes in a wide range of bright colors.
Grip locks are pocket friendly. This lock comes with a key, so it is easy to lock and unlock the electric scooter. This lock keeps the scooter in place, and it is hard to move, but still, the threat exists of putting the scooter in a truck and carrying it away.
The cuff lock’s unique feature is that it can be used both for indoor and outdoor security of the electric scooter. Cuff lock is compact and can secure the electric scooter by hanging around the parking fence or sturdy rods on the roadsides.
They might present as keyless locks with a push button. This adds convenience to the person who has a habit of forgetting the keys constantly. The cuff lock’s length may range up to 22 inches, while the diameter of the cuff may be up to 3 inches.
The cuff lock is made up of hard laminated steel, which can give a tough time to the thief to break it. It is foldable, so it can be carried away easily in a backpack. Cuff locks can get attached to the scooter easily, making it difficult to move.
Alarm systems used in electric scooters
Alarm systems can add an additional layer of security in addition to the security locks. Their benefit over ordinary locks is that they can attract the public’s attention by producing noise when a thief is intruding on the security of an electric scooter. Alarms can either be used alone or in combination with other traditional lock systems.
The advantage of using an alarm system over other locks is that, unfortunately, if the electric scooter gets stolen, then due to the fitted alarm technology, the vehicle can be easily tracked and immobilized using a tracking system. So an active alarm system may deter the thief from stealing an electric scooter.
The wireless alarm system may be operated by using a remote control. The range of the remote control is up to the distance 6 ft or 20 meters. Some may be equipped with a dual remote control system.
The waterproof feature of the alarm makes it a good choice to be chosen in rainy weather. No wiring or screw is required to install the alarm system in an electric scooter. Due to its compact and small size, it is easy to hide from the thief.
The alarm system may have 4 to 5 different types of sounds, out of which anyone can be chosen and makes it easy to relocate the stolen vehicle. The alarm system requires voltage ranging from 36 to 72 volts.
An electric scooter is a treat for people who are looking for a lightweight, easy, fun to ride pocket friendly and, more importantly, an eco-friendly vehicle for transportation.
Hence due to all these benefits, an electric scooter can be a vehicle of choice for any age group; instead, they are children, teenagers, or old people. Being a new invention, thieves get attracted to an electric scooter easily either to steal it or its parts.
It can be easily stolen if not protected or appropriately secured in a parking lot as indeed, it is a big attraction for the thieves. In addition to different accessories like helmet, protective glasses, lights, etc., the lock system for an electric system can not be ignored.
Combinations of locking up your electric scooter
Different types of locks and alarm systems can discourage a thief from stealing such a valuable asset. These locks include cable locks, chain locks, disc locks,m ring locks, D/U locks, grip locks, and cuff locks, etc.in addition to these an effective alarm system can also be a choice of the rider to protect the electric scooter from the theft of being stolen.
While the combination of both the lock and the alarm system would be commendable, and it would be almost impossible for the thief to intrude on the scooter’s security.
The reliability of a lock depends upon its sold secure rating. According to this grading system, a security lock can be categorized as silver, gold, and bronze. Those locks that lie in the gold category are the safest ones, while those in the bronze are the least secure locking systems.
This three-tiered system is easy for a person to select the lock for an electric scooter. Those locks that lie in the gold category provide resistance against a range of tools, e.g., large bolt croppers, when they are hit multiple times for more than 5 minutes.
Similarly, the silver category locks are effective against hammers and medium bolt croppers for 3 minutes only. On the contrary, the bronze category locks are barely resistant to a minute only when hit by a primary tool like a junior hacksaw.
Either a single lock or combination of locks or an alarm system alone or in conjunction with the other locks can be used to successfully secure the scooter and keep it away from the hands of the thieves.
Is owning an electric scooter worth the running costs?
In my opinion, I would argue that owning an electric scooter is more cost effective compare to faster modes of transport, such as driving a car, cab and using public transport. Whereas compared with manual bicycles, then owning an electric scooter would prove slightly more expensive. But of course, this would depend on the traveling distance and time factors of course.
Now, aside from the upfront cost of an electric scooter, the running costs of owning an electric scooter is pretty minimal. Although the costs of charging vary according to country, (EU countries being the cheapest at the moment) it proves much more cost effective compared to the continuous increase of cost for travel, particularly in prime cities such as London.
For example, as of January 2020, adult fares on trains have increase by 20p or 30p. This as an annual increase can prove costly and you have no control over those charges. Click here to check the updated fares on the official Transport for London’s website.
Whereas you have more control over the cost of charging your electric scooter, by simply shopping around different energy providers and their charges to help lower your costs.
But overall, an electric scooter is a lot cheaper than a car or a motorbike. And using in major cities where transport can be an issue as well as expensive (such as London), is a lot more ideal and a recommended mode of getting around.
For more information form the UK Met Police, click here.