We know that you expect us to say this, but the truth is that e-scooters have become a thing. Their meteoric rise isn’t slowing down any time soon. Streets where you don’t see them now will soon be full of them. Like many other countries, the UK is working hard to keep up with the needs of those who are turning to clean, convenient urban transport.
Being in the scooter industry ourselves, we must say the attention is flattering.
But we’ve noticed that e-scooters can get the wrong kind of attention too. There are people who notice that these valuable devices are lightweight and portable and are not especially interested in the fact they already have an owner. They even get certain ideas about taking what doesn’t belong to them. Shocking, right?
That’s why we’ve put together a few tips for e-scooter owners who would like to avoid the very unpleasant feeling of discovering that your precious ride has gone on a one-way trip without you.
Here’s what you can do to keep your e-scooter yours.
Lock it up
Yes, we know—a rather obvious place to start. Still, you should be aware of the different kinds of locks available and which one might be better for you than the one you’re using now. Bear in mind that locks are only meant to deter or slow down potential thieves. Anyone with the time, tools and determination can steal just about anything. The idea here is to make moving on to some other “opportunity” a better option than dealing with your e-scooter. Also, be sure to lock your e-scooter to something. Just adding a lock that immobilises the scooter without securing it to something is simply an invitation to pick it up and take it to a place where the lock can be destroyed at a leisurely pace.
- Cable locks. Affordable, lightweight and flexible, cable locks of the same type used to secure bicycles are a popular choice. The tradeoff for what you can in convenience and ease of use is the fact that there are butter knives that can cut through some cable locks. While certainly better than nothing, this option provides the minimum security possible.
- Chain locks. Now you’re getting serious. Thick chain links, usually encased in a nylon tube, will defeat those butter knives and wire cutters. The problem is that the bad guys can get serious too and up their game with hacksaws or bolt cutters. More protection, more effort required to defeat, but still no guarantee.
- U-locks. Or is it a D-lock? Depends on how you look at it. Hardened steel makes these impossible to defeat without power tools. On the other hand, some bad guys have power tools. Also, U-locks can be heavy and inconvenient to carry.
- Ring locks. Depending on the kind of wheels you have, you can attach one to make it impossible for them to turn. Lightweight and easy to carry, they provide protection well out of proportion to their size.
- Disc / caliper lock. If your e-scooter has disc brakes, this is a good option. Also, small and lightweight, these are very hard to defeat.
Lock it up, again
What’s better than a lock? Two locks. A cable lock and a U-lock is a familiar combo. Remember, the idea is to discourage thieves by increasing their cost in time and trouble.
Use a cover
A simple cover is not only a good idea to protect against the elements and help keep your e-scooter clean, but it helps with security as well. Forcing potential thieves to lift the cover to see what’s underneath and take a look at whatever locks you might have in place creates a measure of inconvenience for them, which is the whole point.
Use your head
We mean in a slightly different way from the cover. There is obviously a strong element of common sense involved in taking appropriate measures to keep your e-scooter safe. Among other things, this means not leaving it in secluded areas, even when locked up.
Take it with you
Yes, we know—again. File this under “You don’t say?” Since their general portability is always a plus, why even leave your e-scooter in a position to be stolen in public. They can literally go anywhere you can. Take it to your desk, leave it in the kitchen or drop it off in a place that you trust. And if you don’t want to take it to your job interview or doctor appointment, you’ll surely be able to find a reception area, office or other area where you can leave it and it will be 100x safer than it would be outside.
So, a little bit of hardware and common sense can go a long way towards avoiding having a really bad day. Be safe, be sensible and minimise the opportunities for your e-scooter to disappear.