Deciding where to park your e-bike can be a real worry for e-bike owners. Having lived in a city where theft is sadly all too common, I can pass along some tips and tricks to keep your bike safe from thieves and in good working order, out of the rain.
You should always park your e-bike off the street, ideally inside your home or workplace. This reduces the chance of theft and keeps the electrical components in good working order, away from moisture.
There are several aspects to consider when deciding on a parking spot for your electric bike. Read on to discover more about parking your e-bike at home, work, or on the go.
How do I prevent my e-bike from being stolen?
Luckily I have never experienced an e-bike theft. Following the guidelines below should serve you well too.
- Park off the street, out of sight – if at all possible
- If parking on the street is unavoidable, do so in a well-lit area
- Try to park in a bike rack with many other bikes, if this is available
- Invest in a top-quality bike lock
- Lock your e-bike to an extremely solid item– like a lamp post or handrail set into concrete
- Make sure that the bike lock goes through the frame and at least one wheel of the bike
- If you’re in a high theft area, consider using a second, “beater” bike temporarily
- Remove the e-bike battery to make it less attractive to would-be thieves
- If parking for longer, remove the wheels, saddles, or other items
- Consider putting decals or vinyl on the bike to make it appear less attractive
Parking at home
The ideal place is inside your home. This is the most secure possible place to keep your e-bike, even better than a garden shed. There are sadly stories you hear about people having their valuable e-bikes stolen off balconies or from gardens, as the bike was still visible from the street.
The next place to consider is in a common bike storeroom or basement if this is available in your home or apartment. Other places to look are in a hallway utility area- so long as you know your neighbors and are comfortable with this. You should still lock your e-bike to something secure, just in case!
Next, you could look at a back garden, yard, or shed- as long as the parked bike is not visible from a public street. A would-be thief wouldn’t think twice about breaking into a shed to steal a valuable e-bike.
You may consider parking on the street near your home. This is a really bad idea, and shouldn’t be done unless you cannot avoid it- even then, it should only be done for a brief amount of time.
Parking at Work
The ideal place to park at work is in a dedicated parking garage, off the street, and not accessible to the general public. Your e-bike will be next to others, hopefully making it less of a target. It should also have a bike rack to securely attach your bikes to.
If you don’t have a dedicated bike parking area, consider parking your e-bike inside your building – if that’s an option. Perhaps there’s a public hallway or other space that’s not accessible to the public?
Lastly, consider parking the bike on work grounds, but away from the street, such as in a garden behind a wall or hedge. In the best-case scenario, your workplace will have provided a bike rack here.
If you find yourself with the need to park in a public area, like on the street, in a bus or train station, I would consider using a cheaper, “beater” bike as the risk of theft is very high indeed.
Always take the battery off your bike and charge your e-bike at work!
Parking when out and about- Cafes, Trails, at the Store
Home and work are all fine and well- but what about when you’re off exploring other areas?
If you’re at a cafe or restaurant- try parking the e-bike with other bikes, and securely locked to a piece of street furniture like a lamp post or railing. Ideally, keep the parking spot in the eye line of the cafe. That way, at least you have peace of mind against anything happening.
If you’re sitting outside at a cafe, I would simply park the e-bike near the table. In some areas that cater to lots of biking tourists, like bars and cafes on bike trails, this is expected and commonly done by the patrons.
When off exploring bike trails or national parks, try to simply remain with the bike at all times. Securely attach it to a car bike rack when not in use, or if you have a larger SUV or van, inside the vehicle itself.
When using the e-bike to go shopping, again park the bike at a rack in a well-lit area. If you are using a bike trailer, make sure you use a separate lock and loop it through the wheels of the trailer too.
E-Bike Battery Security
My rule is- if my e-bike is not securely parked in my home or at work, I take the removable battery with me. For bike thieves, this is a major deterrent as they cannot easily resell the bike as is without a battery. I simply pop the battery into my backpack, which takes just seconds to do. The battery clicks into a holder in the frame and is unlocked with a key- provided by the bike manufacturer.
Can you leave an electric bike outside?
Yes, you can leave your electric bike outside. However, it’s best to limit the time outside in the elements, as moisture can work its way into sensitive electrical components like the battery and the display.
You can also ride your electric bike in the rain, but again, try to keep it generally as dry as possible. E-bikes are splash-resistant but I wouldn’t try to test the claims beyond using it in “normal” rain showers. This means I wouldn’t try to ford my way through a shallow stream, ride it on the beach in seawater, or through a tropical monsoon downpour!
It’s not a big deal to have some raindrops on your e-bike so long as you park it inside somewhere dry, to let the moisture gradually evaporate off. In several years of riding an e-bike in all four seasons, following this advice has served me well.
How many bikes can you park in one car parking space?
It’s possible to fit at least 10 bikes in the parking spot designed for a single car. Some estimates put the number as high as 20.
In some countries, multilevel bike racks mean several bikes are stacked into one slot. This means that you could put more than average into a spot designed for a car.
Where can I find an electric bike charging station?
There are several mapping providers who have handy e-bike mapping applications and maps.
- Bosch – a major electric bike component manufacturer – have a map for charging points
- Bike Energy – provides charging points maps, including for electric bikes
- Openstreetmap.org– provides a list of cycling infrastructure, including legal cycle routes, parking spots, and map tags for charging points. Be aware that since it’s relying on user contributions, there may be gaps. You can always upload any charging infrastructure that you discover to OSM!
- Finally, try using Google Maps. Keep in mind that when searching for “electric bike charging stations”, often you’ll get results for electric cars, so read the comments first if you’re not familiar with the area.
So there you have it! We have covered all aspects of parking your e-bike, including at home, at work, and on the go. WE’ve covered theft prevention, whether it’s safe to park in the rain, and looked at tips for discovering e-bike charging locations on our travels.