eBike Theft and Security
As a growing number of ebikes hit the street, they are becoming valuable new targets for bike thieves. eBikes are more likely to be stolen than their traditional counterparts, with some thieves only going after their batteries. Luckily, your Gazelle comes equipped with high-quality AXA locks to help secure the battery and immobilize the back wheel. The built-in AXA cafe lock acts as a first line of defense, which is why we recommend using additional locks. Smart bike parking is also a key safety strategy because deterrence is an important part of bike protection. If your ebike is stolen, there are basic precautions you can take to lessen the pain. By employing our recommended practices, you can ensure more time spent enjoying life on two wheels.
Gazelle’s Built-In Lock
All Gazelle bikes come equipped with the AXA Cafe Lock, which is a convenient tool that immobilizes your rear wheel when your bike is not in use. To operate the lock, turn the key while pushing down on the lever on the opposite side with your other hand. This action causes the key to turn in the lock and puts a metal bar through the rear wheel, locking it in place. If you are having a hard time pressing the lever down, simply roll the bike forward an inch as a spoke is likely blocking the bar. The key is designed to stay in the lock while you are riding and can only be removed when you are locking the bike. Since it is attached to your bike, you can never forget to bring it.
If you are leaving your bike for an extended period or parking in a high-theft area, we advise using at least one additional lock to secure your frame and front wheel. We recommend the AXA chain locks, which integrate with the AXA Cafe Lock and act as another line of defense for securing your bike. These chain locks can be ordered through your local Gazelle dealer. Additional brands like Abus and Kryptonite also make plug-in chain locks that are compatible with the Cafe Locks. Check with your dealer for compatibility with your specific Gazelle model.
Besides using physical security measures, we also advise you take a few additional precautions that will prepare you if your bike is stolen. We recommend looking into bike insurance, whether it be connected to your homeowner’s policy or through Velosurance. To help recover your bike if it does get stolen, we advise writing down your serial number, keeping your original receipt, and taking pictures of your Gazelle. Your serial number can be found on the white rectangular sticker on the bike’s downtube and begins with GZ followed by 8 digits. We also encourage you to register your bike in databases like Bike Index. Bike databases help police return stolen bicycles when they break up bike stealing rings.
Best Lock-Up Practices
Although these best locking practices may seem obvious, a friendly reminder can help keep them front of mind. eBikes often function as commuter bikes, making them easy targets because they are parked in the same location daily. Try switching up where you park your bike, or better yet bring it inside if you can. Additionally, parking your bike next to others reduces the chance it gets stolen, especially if you use more robust security measures than your bike neighbors. Busy locations can also deter thieves because breaking high-quality locks is loud and time-intensive process. With the importance of visibility in mind, avoid leaving your bike anywhere overnight.
Bike thefts can also occur during more unexpected situations when your guard is down. For example, a garage door left open is enticing for thieves passing by, which is why it can be a good idea to lock up your bike at home if you live in a high-theft area. Additionally, as ebikes are becoming a vacation essential, they are becoming targets on the road. If you carry your bike on a bike rack, consider locking it up when leaving it unattended or purchasing a covered storage trailer.
What if Your Bike is Stolen?
Although all of these security measures help deter thieves, no combination of them can provide assured security. If your bike does get stolen, the best steps you can take include reporting it stolen, contacting your insurance, and searching for it on online marketplaces. Police don’t usually investigate individual cases of bike theft, but it is still important to report your bike stolen in case police recover it during a larger operation. Additionally, reporting your bike stolen within 24 hours is required by most insurance providers. Once your bike is reported, you should contact your insurance company.
We recommend you notify the bike databases you may have registered your bike with. They will inform you if their users or partners come across your bike. Online marketplaces like eBay, Facebook, and Craigslist are good places to look for your bike. If you do encounter your bike, WE DO NOT RECOMMEND MEETING UP WITH THE SELLER. Instead, contact the police with pictures of the listing and the ones you took of your bike, your receipt, and the bike’s serial number. Reporting your bike stolen immediately will also help prove to the police the bike is yours.
Hopefully, your riding is uninterrupted thanks to our bike safety advice. Afterall, riding your Gazelle is a source of joy.