How to Lock an Electric Scooter
No matter how much we spend, we all invest a lot in our vehicles. So it's important to also invest in good security. That will look very different for different vehicles.
Locked doors and electronic theft deterrents are often enough to turn away a would-be car thief. If they can’t get in the car and start it, there’s no way for them to steal it.
When it comes to keeping an electric scooter safe, however, all the electronic security in the world can’t stop a thief from physically carrying off a portable vehicle. They might not be able to power it up and ride it later, but then again neither will you.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to physically lock your scooter to a permanent fixture every time you take it somewhere or leave it outside, even if you’re just popping into the store for a few moments. That’s all it takes for someone to toss your scooter in their car and drive away.
While you’ve probably locked a bike before, it’s a good bet (since you’re reading this) that you’re new to locking up scooters. Good for you for seeking help, because there are right ways and wrong ways to go about it. We’ll look at some of the right ways below, then discuss the different types of locks that work best.
Assess Your Electric Scooter for Secure Locking Points
When you purchase an electric scooter, you’ll want to look it over carefully for a secure locking point. This is a place on the frame or other sturdy part of the scooter through which you can slip a lock.
The deck latch/handle at the rear of the Apollo City 2022 and Apollo City Pro is a great example, just one of many secure locking points you'll find on Apollo's electric scooters.
If your scooter has a carrying handle, check to see that it's integrated into the frame, like the City's, and not screwed or bolted on.
Make sure that wherever you put it, your lock isn’t through a part of the scooter that can be unscrewed or snapped or broken off.
Avoid threading your lock through handlebars or a removable panel or fender part, or near the folding mechanism.
Also, avoid locking the scooter through only the front or rear wheel, either of which might be removable with minimal effort.
Always Find a Safe, Well-Lit Area to Park Your Scooter
The best place to park your scooter in a well-lit public area with lots of visibility, like a bike rack, open stair rail, or prominent signpost or traffic signal near a busy retail space.
While it might seem like hiding your scooter from view would make it safer, this really just makes it easier for thieves to take their time destroying a lock, away from the prying eyes of concerned bystanders or police.
Find a well-lit area with an immovable object to thread your lock around.
There is safety in numbers, so if you see a group of bikes together, that’s the safest place to park your scooter.
Thieves look for easy opportunities where they aren’t likely to be seen, so make your scooter as visible as possible.
Lock Your Scooter to a Permanent Fixture that Can't be Cut Through or Dismantled
Make sure whatever you lock your scooter to is securely anchored to concrete or asphalt and that can’t be unscrewed or taken apart.
Avoid locking your scooter to fixtures that can be broken through with tools, such as metal fences and other structures easily cut with bolt or wire cutters.
Invest in a High-Quality Lock for an Electric Scooter
Don’t skimp on your scooter lock or you might pay for it later by losing your scooter. Invest in the best you can afford.
When it comes to locks, you’ll want something heavy-duty, preferably composed of hardened steel and at least 5-10mm thick.
While cable locks can seem like the easiest option since they're light and relatively inexpensive, they are also fairly easy to cut through with hand tools like bolt cutters.
The most physically secure methods for locking an electric scooter aren’t always the most portable, so consider how much extra weight you’re able to carry around with you while you ride.
There's no such thing as a perfect lock, but some work better than others, so let's look at the best locks for maximum security.
Bicycle-style U-locks have become popular with electric scooter riders, and they can be a great way to secure your scooter, provided they fit snugly around a secure area on the scooter’s frame and a bike rack, stair rail, etc.
A premium U-lock can be nearly unbreakable. They are also expensive, heavy, and awkwardly shaped.
While U-locks mount easily to bike frames, the same cannot be said for electric scooters.
U-locks have uneven weight distribution that can throw riders off balance, so you might want to consider an alternative.
Best Electric Scooter U-Locks
The best u-lock made for all small vehicles is made by Kryptonite, a company well-known for the distinctive orange and yellow colors on its rubber-covered locks.
The highest quality line of Kryptonite locks are its New York fahgettaboudit series, which also comes in a mini size. The best electric scooter locks should always fit snugly, so this is a great choice as an electric scooter lock.
Chain and Padlock
Another option is a thick chain and padlock. You’ll get a bit more flexibility in finding the right locking point, but there are several drawbacks to using a chain lock.
Chains are bulky and heavy and they can be cut through with power tools or even hammered through if laid flat on the sidewalk.
Smaller electric scooter chain locks might be easier to carry, but they can also be more easily defeated by bolt cutters.
A chain and padlock can be a good locking system if you can't bring your scooter inside with you where you live, but it may also be the least portable locking option available.
New York Fahgettaboudit Chain
If you're serious about security, nothing says so more than New York fahgettaboudit chain locks.
Immune to most tools, this may be one of the best locks you can buy if you're up for carrying around 10-15 lbs of chain and padlock, depending on the size.
Folding locks are probably the most popular choice for electric scooters because they offer a good balance of security and portability.
A high-quality hardened steel folding lock will generally weigh less than a comparable U-lock and considerably less than a chain and padlock.
A folding lock will mount to your scooter frame or fit in a backpack without throwing you off balance, so it can be the best electric scooter lock for frequent commuters who ride a lot.
Consider that the thinner bars of folding locks can be cut through with power tools, or even sometimes bolt cutters.
Make sure to get a good lock with hardened steel bars that resist cutting and rivets that can’t be drilled out with power drills.
Best Folding Locks for Electric Scooters
Both Kryptonite and ABUS make great locks for bikes that will work well as electric scooter locks.
For less than many of the most expensive options, but with a similar level of high security, you can grab the ETook Folding Lock. It's saw, drill, and bolt cutter resistant and attaches easily to your scooter with an included bracket.
Other Types of Locks
We've talked about why cable locks aren't the best electric scooter locks you can get because they are easily cut through with hand tools.
That said, a cable lock can make a great secondary lock if you have extra security concerns. Sometimes the extra show of force, and the extra work, of two locks instead of one is enough to deter a potential electric scooter thief.
Cable locks are often lightweight and easy to carry around in a backpack or shoulder bag.
Disc Brake Locks
These are locks adapted from motorcycles: as their name implies, they clamp over disc brakes to keep the wheels of a scooter from moving.
Obvious disc locks will only work with electric scooters that have disc brakes. This excludes some Apollo scooters, such as the City 2022 and City Pro, that use maintenance-free drum brakes.
If you can use disc brake locks, they make good secondary deterrent locks, but you should never rely on them as a first line of defense. Still, many locks are always harder to defeat than one lock.
There is no substitute for the anti theft protection provided by an electric scooter properly locked to a sturdy object that's securely anchored to the ground.
An alarm by itself won't save your scooter from theft, but combined with an effective lock, it can definitely help prevent theft by scaring away most thieves before they can get to work with any lock-breaking tools.
If your scooter lacks its own built-in alarm, check out this anti-theft alarm you can zip-tie anywhere on frame or stem. The alarm will emit ear-piercing sounds if anyone tampers with your scooter while you're away.
Whether you’re using a U-lock, chain and padlock, folding lock, or some combination of the above and/or a cable, disc brake, or other type of lock, always make sure to lock your electric scooter whenever you leave it outside. You don’t want to come back to an empty spot.
While electronic anti-theft safeguards can be helpful, and we welcome security tech innovations, these methods can’t prevent physical theft. Locking up your electric scooter is the best way to make sure it stays where you left it.