An electric bike is a fantastic investment for your health and overall happiness, and, as with any investment, you want to protect it. One of the best ways to do that is with a secure chain lock for bikes.
The right chain lock provides high security to help thwart bike thieves and keep your ride ready to roll when and where you want to go.
Why anti-theft protection is so important for e-bikes
Bike thieves suck, but they’re out there, and they’re busy. Industry experts estimate a bike is stolen every 30 seconds in the United States, resulting in 2 million stolen bikes each year. That’s a lot of stolen bikes.
In fact, the rate of annual car thefts is less than half that of bike thefts—just over 720,000 automobiles were stolen in 2019. While there are no statistics specific to e-bike thefts available, they’re likely more at risk because their value is higher—both monetarily and when it comes to the cool factor.
E-bikes change the whole biking game and make it an activity everyone can enjoy, no matter your age or experience. You don’t have to be super fit, don workout gear or have any finish lines to cross. You just have to want to roll through life in a different, more enjoyable way.
From commuter e-bikes to electric mountain bikes and those made for comfortable, leisurely rides, there are e-bikes to fit every lifestyle. Not only that, but e-bikes significantly improve the lives of those who ride them.
Many people realized these benefits during the COVID pandemic, and the surge in the popularity has severely affected the supply chain as demand for bikes and e-bikes in the last couple of years has soared. Experts say the bike boom is here to stay, which makes bikes hotter commodities than ever for bike thieves.
So yeah, a bike lock is a must these days. But thieves are crafty, and not all bike locks are created equal. Most bike locks will deter those looking to just quickly grab a bike and ride off, but if you want a higher level of security against bike thieves who use bolt cutters and other tools (and use them they will), then you need a heavy duty lock.
Like bikes, however, there can be an overwhelming number of choices when it comes to a locking mechanism for your bike. At Charge, as always, we like to keep things simple and streamlined, so we sell a small selection of bike locks that we know and trust. Chain locks, folding locks and U-locks.
Chain locks are made of hardened steel rings, linked together and secured with some sort of lock. To protect the bike, the links are typically wrapped in a material.
While there are a ton of chain locks on the market, we like the Kryptonite Chain Lock for bikes. It’s rated Gold Sold Secure (more on what this means later, but suffice it to say, it’s a good thing), and it’s made with 10 mm steel chain links, which are secured with a new, patent-pending integrated Evolutions series four-lock head.
It’s a great choice for moderate and high-crime areas, and because it’s not as bulky and inflexible as a U-lock, it’s convenient and easy to take on the go. It comes with three stainless steel keys—one lighted LED key with replaceable battery and two ergonomic 'I' keys.
Another bike lock option is a folding lock. Made more for moderately safe areas than those with prevalent crime, they’re generally small and easy to transport. They don’t offer the high security of chain locks for bikes, but they do provide a deterrent.
With hardened steel shackles and double deadbolt anti-rotation design, a U-lock, like this one from Kryptonite, is another high security option. It’s pick- and drill-resistant, but the tradeoff is that it may be less convenient to transport than a chain lock.
Sold Secure ratings
As we mentioned, the Kryptonite Chain Lock is rated Gold Sold Secure. That rating is issued by Sold Secure, which is a company that reviews security products, like bike locks, through manual attack security testing. Those locks that pass their tests typically come with a quality mark and rating by the organization, which is administered by the Master Locksmith Association.
They rate bike locks based on four levels, which they describe as:
Bronze rating: Offering theft resistance against a basic tool list (aimed at preventing opportunist crime).
Silver rating: Offering theft resistance against an enhanced tool list (aimed at preventing more determined attacks).
Gold rating: Offering theft resistance against a dedicated tool list (aimed at preventing dedicated attacks). Diamond rating: The highest level of theft resistance including use of specialist tools (aimed at preventing the most destructive attacks that could include angle grinders). So, depending on where you live and how you ride your bike, you can find a lock that provides the best level of security to protect your ride. None guarantees that thieves won’t find a way to get what they want, but with a good lock, you can make their job as difficult as possible.
Beyond chain locks: Other ways to protect your e-bike
Chain locks provide great anti-theft protection, but there are other ways to secure your e-bike as well. Among the best— bring your bike with you.
At Charge, all of our bikes feature folding handlebars and pedals so they fit in small spaces. Need to store one in your office or a small city apartment? No problem.
In fact, our City e-bike was named the “Best E-bike for Small Spaces” by Gear Patrol. They noted things like its affordability (just $1,699) and ease of use, with five pedal-assist modes, built-in handlebar display lights, a rear rack and, especially, its versatility when it comes to storage and transportation.
“What makes this bike really stand out is some clever design — flip a lever to rotate the handlebar stem 90 degrees, then fold up the pedals and you can easily stash this rig where no bike has been stashed before,” they wrote in a roundup of “The 12 Best E-Bikes of 2021.”
Bicycling named the City one of the “Best Urban Bikes” for many of the same reasons. They wrote, “One of the lower-priced e-bikes we’ve tested, the City is a smartly equipped commuter. This class-1 e-bike has a hub motor, five levels of pedal assist, and a throttle. But it also comes with fenders, a rear rack, and running lights (nice additions at this price). Anyone with space issues will appreciate the folding pedals and handlebar (a flip of a lever at the stem rotates it 90 degrees).”
All of our bikes are lightweight too, meaning they’re easier to take up stairs or bring aboard a train or bus. While some electric bikes weigh in on the heavier side, Charge e-bikes are built lighter than most in their price range. In fact, the City Bike, which was named “Best Lightweight Electric Bike for Women” by Woman’s World, weighs just 45 pounds with the battery. That’s about 20 pounds lighter than similar bikes on the market.
“When it comes to bikes, lighter usually means more expensive — but this lightweight electric bike is the exception to the rule,” their review stated. “Although it’s the lightest e-bike on our list, it’s not the most expensive, or even the second-most expensive.”
Why your e-bike deserves high security
It’s unfortunate that e-bikes get stolen, but it’s not surprising. They’re pretty amazing after all. Our small-but-mighty lineup of Charge bikes are stylish, comfortable, affordable and durable. Who wouldn’t want one?
City Electric Bike
The City Electric Bike is designed for commuters. Five pedal-assist modes and a throttle mean you can coast as much as you want to and show up at work looking fresh and ready to take on the day. Made for urban life, its folding handlebars and lightweight design make it easy to store in an office or even in a studio apartment. With tough, Goodyear tires, integrated lights, a rear rack for storage and more, the City e-bike is packed with premium features that make it perfect for city living and commuting.
Comfort Electric Bike
The Comfort is our everyday e-bike, and it lives up to its name by keeping things easy and upright, even on hills. Featuring a low-step frame that makes getting on and off a breeze, plus our comfiest seat and bump-proof shocks, biking has never felt so good. The convenient thumb throttle lets you choose between five levels of pedal assist, so you’re in total control of if and how much you want to pedal.
XC Electric Bike
For off-road adventurers, our rugged, electric cross-country bike is equipped with big, grippy, fat tires, tough shocks, and a mid-drive motor to flatten out the rough stuff. With hydraulic disc brakes, you can take on most any terrain, and since it’s easily packed away, you’ll be able to take the XC e-bike wherever the journey leads. We don’t believe in adding a bunch of unnecessary bells and whistles that jack up the price of e-bikes and that you’ll likely never use either. Rather, we offer standard features that make the riding experience better. You don’t have to pick and choose and weigh one feature over another. They all come standard with our bikes at no additional charge. They include things like:
• Automated tire pressure sensors that turn red when you need air or green if you're good to go.
• Powerful battery with up to 50 miles in range and a display that shows range in miles to go, not just as a percentage.
• Integrated front and rear lights and reflective tires to provide better visibility in all light conditions.
• High-quality aluminum frame that is lightweight but durable, plus puncture-resistant Goodyear tires.
• Integrated rear rack so you can haul your gear, groceries or whatever else you need to get through the day.
Our bikes have what you need to get where you’re going and not a lot that you don’t. They have the power to let you go on your own terms and change the way you live your life.
Charge e-bikes aren’t cheap, but they are some of the most affordable, providing the best value for the money on the market. You don’t just have to take our word for it, either. Industry experts agree. Our Charge City e-bike was ranked as the “Best Parts at the Best Price” by Bicycling.
Their editors wrote, “One of the lower-priced e-bikes we’ve tested, the City is a smartly equipped commuter. This Class 2 e-bike has a hub motor, five levels of pedal assist, and a throttle. But it also comes with fenders, a rear rack, and running lights (nice additions at this price).”
Insider named the Charge City “Best E-Bike on a Budget.” “What sets the bike apart is that even with a price that undercuts much of its competition, it still offers a similar ride experience to its peers,” wrote editor Rick Stella. “That 50 miles of range is on par with many e-bikes on the market (almost all of which are more expensive) and its design is great for the city rider who wants to get a little exercise, needs to run to the store, or just wants to head out for a leisurely ride. And it's a lot of fun to ride, too.” Our bikes are also easy to assemble. There aren’t a ton of parts or lengthy instructions to juggle. Our bikes are shipped nearly fully assembled, and almost anyone can put one together in just about 10 minutes flat.
Bonus: As part of our commitment to environmental conservation, the packaging the bike is shipped in was intentionally designed to minimize waste by eliminating all the foam and plastic wrap, using only 100 percent recyclable materials!
But what about the battery?
Sometimes bike thieves don’t go for the whole bike, but grab whatever pieces are easiest to take. When it comes to e-bikes, that may include the battery.
At Charge, our batteries are top-notch. Our Comfort and City bikes feature 418WH Lithium ion batteries, while the XC boasts a Shimano E8035 504WH integrated battery. The time it takes to charge the battery depends on how much power is left. The City and Comfort bikes each take about 3 hours to reach 80 percent capacity and 7 hours to fully recharge. The Charge XC reaches 80 percent capacity in about 2.5 hours and requires approximately 5 hours for a full charge.
How far can you go after charging the battery? It depends, as things like a rider’s weight, how much pedal assist you use and the terrain you’re covering can affect the battery life. In general though, Charge bikes are good to go for about 50 miles after a single charge.
You don’t have to worry about running out of power mid-ride either as a display on the handlebar makes it clear just how much further you can go before you need to recharge the battery again.
Of course, because they're so great, they could also be prime targets for thieves. But we thought of that when designing our bikes. While our batteries are removable, so you can take the battery inside or wherever it’s most convenient to recharge, they’re also lockable, meaning thieves can’t just pop them out and take off with them. Bonus: Charge e-bike batteries are waterproof too.
More reasons to thwart bike thieves
Beyond the financial impact, there are so many other reasons you want to do everything you can to protect your e-bike. For one (of 1 million or so reasons…), riding an e-bike can save you money. For some people, they’re versatile enough that they can do away with a car all together. Considering the average price of a new car currently sits at $45,000, and you can get any of our bikes for less than $2,500, that’s a huge amount of savings right there. Then there are things like licensing and insurance, which add a hefty cost to car ownership, but aren’t necessary at all to ride an e-bike. That’s money in your pocket.
If you typically take the subway, bus or train to get work, think of all the ticket costs you’ll save riding an e-bike. Not to mention the headaches. Parking costs? No more. Valet charges and tips? All money right back in your pocket.
Even if you don’t ditch your car completely, riding an e-bike some of the time can save money on gas. A commonly used estimate is that a 10-mile trip by car costs about $1 in gas, while charging an e-bike costs just cents. Those dollars add up every time you choose to ride an e-bike instead of hopping in your car.
Riding an e-bike can also be a great form of exercise, so you might be able skip that pricey gym membership or home exercise equipment. With all the health benefits of riding an e-bike, you’re likely to save on medical costs too.
An e-bike is a great way to effortlessly build exercise into your daily life and embrace a more vibrant, active lifestyle. While the electric pedal assist and/or the throttle can do some of the work for you, your legs aren’t off the hook completely. Unlike a motorcycle or dirt bike, an e-bike requires pedaling most of the time. It’s up to you though, just how hard you want to pedal at any given time.
Say there’s a route you’d really love to take, but there are some huge hills along the way. On a traditional bike, you may choose to take another, easier route, but an e-bike gives you the confidence to take any route you want to take. Some days you may want to push yourself and pedal hard to conquer those hills and use little to no power assist. Other days, you can kick in a higher level of power assist and say to hell with those hills. With our bikes that are equipped with a throttle, you can even kick up your heels all together and coast for a while when you feel like it.
One of your customers—Debra, 61—told us that in less than a year after her husband got her a Charge e-bike, she lost 50 pounds and was down two sizes due to her daily rides. She said the e-bike keeps her exercising consistently and lets her go further and to places she never dreamed she could go before.
Also something to keep an eye on: Proposed legislation currently in Congress that would give e-bike purchasers a tax credit worth 30 percent of the cost of an e-bike—up to $1,500. The reason? Because of the significant savings to the environment e-bikes can bring. One recent study found that if just 15 percent of urban transportation miles were made by an e-bike instead, carbon emissions could be reduced by 12 percent.
In other words, riding an e-bikes pays off for the individual and the world as a whole. While the upfront cost isn’t insignificant, the ways in which your life becomes more enjoyable and easier are priceless. So, back off, bike thieves.
At Charge, we want to move you, both literally and figuratively. Of course our bikes are a fantastic alternative to cars or public transportation whether you’re running errands, commuting to work or just going for a spin. They’re nimble, dependable and have the power to get you where you’re going without the hassle of fighting for a parking space or getting stuck in traffic.
It’s the experience you have along the way, however, where our bikes really shine. We aim to provide people with authentically moving experiences. Our bikes are designed with the belief that life is less about winning the race and more about enjoying all the moments along the ride.
At Charge, we believe there’s an absolute need to celebrate real life and not chase an idealized version of it. In fact, we shaped our whole brand by the real-life frustrations we’ve experienced ourselves and seen others face when bike shopping. We set out to eliminate things like the intimidating jargon, overwhelming number of product choices and male-centric catering. And with a team of like-minded, big-hearted individuals, supported by the technical expertise of Schwinn and Cannondale, we did just that.
Our bikes aren’t made to whiz across finish lines, but they will get you where you need and want to go, from the grocery store to grab coffee with friends or out to the beach to cruise the sand. They’re comfortable, safe and reliable, and they’re a heck of a lot of fun to ride. They’re made for real life—your life— and you want to do everything you can to protect yours.
The bottom line on chain locks for e-bikes
In an ideal world, no one would take what wasn’t theirs, and we could all enjoy the amazing freedom and fun of riding e-bikes without worry. In the real world, however, bike thieves lurk, many with power tools and bolt cutters ready to help them help themselves to your ride. They’re on the hunt for cool, valuable things, and e-bikes check those boxes and then some. That’s why riders should do everything possible to guarantee a high level of security for their bike.
Finding a good chain lock is a great step. With hardened steel rings and a solid lock, they make a thief’s job hard… so hard, they’re likely to move onto another target and leave your bike be. U-locks and folding locks may be good options for some people as well. No matter which type of bike you choose, though, make sure it’s one that’s not only able to stand up to bike thieves, but one that fits your lifestyle and is easy for you to take on the go and wherever you’ll need to secure your bike. Afterall, purchasing a bike lock is great, but you have to use it for it to be effective.
So, if you’re in the market for a chain bike lock, check out the Kryptonite Chain Lock. With its Gold Sold Secure rating and innovative design, it’s a great way to thwart thieves, and its flexible design makes it easy to take with you wherever you ride.
As we said, there are no guarantees that bike thieves won’t find a way to get what they want no matter what you do. But you also want to make it as challenging as possible for them. You put a lot of thought, not to mention cash, into choosing the right e-bike, and it’s inconvenient and infuriating to have someone just take off with it. Send them a serious signal that yours isn’t for the taking with a chain lock and store it in a secure place when possible.
Hopefully, your bike lock—chain or otherwise— will never be put to the test by bike thieves. But if you use a well-made one, you can rest (and ride) easier knowing you're doing everything in your power to protect your investment.