Here’s our complete guide for how to lock your electric scooter, what lock you should use, and the best (and worst) places to lock your scooter.
Because most electric scooters weigh under 50 lb and can easily fit in a car or be rolled away, it’s important to lock up your scooter whenever leaving it unattended.
Although there are many types of locks that you can use for an electric scooter, including built-in electronic alarms, the only lock type that we recommend are high-security U-locks, specifically the Kryptonite New York U-lock series.
Time needed: 5 minutes.
How to Lock an Electric Scooter
- Assess your electric scooter for secure locking points.
The best lock you can get for your scooter is the one that fits.
To properly size a lock, you’ll need to take a look at your scooter and identify secure locking points. Secure locking points are made from sturdy material or attachments that can’t easily be unscrewed or broken.
Bulky scooters may require larger locks to slip through the scooter and still be able to reach a fixed point (e.g., pole or bike rack).
The best locations on your scooter for locking are: 1) around the stem, 2) through the folding mechanism, 3) and through the carrying handle (though look out for easily removed screws!).
Some locations that you shouldn’t use are: 1) through wheels that can be unbolted, 2) around handlebars or 3) through removable or weak points, like fenders or bolted-on accessories.
- Purchase a high-security U-lock that fits.
Purchase a high-quality U-lock that is appropriately sized for your scooter.
U-locks are named from their shape and consist of a U-shaped shackle that locks into a straight crossbar.
U-locks vary wildly in terms of security. Some U-locks can be easily cut with bolt cutters in seconds, while others can resist power tools.
Quality U-locks are made from hardened steel and will be heavy — typically around 5 lbs. They have a thick shackle and crossbar and will cost around $100.
U-locks come in a variety of sizes. Some have longer shackles to make them easier to lock your scooter to harder-to-reach objects. However, you’ll want to purchase the shortest shackle that will fit your scooter as those are more secure.
We specifically recommend the New York Kryptonite series of U-locks and U-locks + chains, but ABUS also makes high-quality U-locks.
- Thread the U-lock through a secure locking point on your electric scooter.
The best location on most electric scooters for locking is around the folding mechanism or around the stem.
Some scooters have carrying handles or are build with slots specifically made for locking.
The Inokim Light 2 has a slot in the center of the folding mechanism that’s perfect for locking it up. These are the most common and most secure places to anchor your scooter.
- Lock the electric scooter to a permanent fixture, such as a bike rack.
Lock your scooter to permanent fixture or structure that’s cemented into the ground or that can’t be carried easily.
The fixture should not be something that a thief could lift your scooter over or dismantle, like unscrewing a sign from a short post to snatch it.
Aluminum or steel posts, bike racks, stair railings, and tall signposts are the safest. Don’t choose metal fences, as they’re often thin enough to be cut.
- Find a publicly visible place to lock up that is protected from the elements.
Lock your scooter in a public location that’s well lit and easy to see, like a bike rack adjacent to an entrance.
Especially in shopping centers and busy areas, it’s not as likely that a thief will want to run the risk of being caught on a security camera while trying to steal your scooter.
Avoid locking your scooter in places that you can’t easily see, like in a dark alleyway or between cars in a parking lot where a thief could take their time and compromise the lock.
Make sure that wherever you lock up, your scooter is protected from the elements, as lots of exposure to water or direct sunlight isn’t the best. In general, you really shouldn’t store your scooter outdoors for an extended period of time, as it’s just more likely to get damaged or stolen.
Lastly, be courteous and choose a location that’s out of the way of pedestrians and bike paths. If using a bike rack or other shared space, lock your scooter so that others can use the rack, too.
Best Electric Scooter Locks: Kryptonite New York Series
Not all U-locks are created equal. Some look strong, but are quickly compromised with hand tools.
Here are four Kryptonite New York Locks that we recommend for electric scooters.
Electric Scooter Lock Comparison
|New York Fahgettaboudit Mini||New York Standard||New York LS (Long Shackle)||New York Fahgettaboudit Chain 1410|
|Weight||4.60 lbs||4.50 lbs||4.90 lbs||10.8 lbs|
|Shackle/Link Thickness||18 mm||16 mm||16 mm||14 mm|
|Shackle/Link Length||6 in||8 in||10 in||5 ft|
|Lock Width||3 in||4 in||4 in||Flexible|
|Locking Style||Steel keys (3)||Steel keys (3)||Steel keys (3)||Disc lock with steel keys (3)|
The shackles on all Kryptonite locks are made of hardened performance steel, and the thicker the shackle, the more reinforced it is against hand tools.
With a longer shackle length, you have a slightly wider range of places where you can lock up. However, the longer the shackle, the less secure, as any extra space between the lock, anchor point (pole you’re locking to) and the scooter gives thieves more room to work their tools.
New York Fahgettaboudit Mini
The New York Fahgettaboudit Mini has the thickest, shortest shackle, making it the best security you can get. It’s also on the lighter side for carrying around in your backpack. Note: The shorter shackle will make it more difficult to lock to a variety of parking fixtures.
New York Standard
The New York Standard U-lock has a standard length shackle that’s slightly thinner, which is a little easier when locking a scooter to different objects.
New York LS
The New York LS has an extra long shackle, which might work best if you’re locking up a larger scooter that has a wider stem. However, longer shackles are less secure and easier for thieves to manipulate.
New York Fahgettboudit Chain
Another option that’s twice as heavy to tote around is the New York Fahgettaboudit Chain. This isn’t technically a U-lock, but consists of a heavy duty, 5 ft long chain that opens up many possibilities for locking to all kinds of things while still maintaining a high level of security.
Anti-Theft Warranties: Don’t Count on Them
All Kryptonite locks come with an impressive sounding warranty that will cover up to $2,000 replacement cost (or insurance deductible), however don’t count on using it.
You’ll need to meet the requirements below, and it’s also not clear whether or not electric scooters are covered as powersport vehicles.
- Have registered the lock and vehicle with Kryptonite before the theft
- File and provide a police report
- Provide a description of how you locked up your vehicle
- Provide an image of the broken lock (you may have to send in)
- Provide an image of an original key
- Show proof of deductible (if covered by insurance)
Other Types of Locks for Electric Scooters
In general, we recommend storing your scooter indoors, but there are a few other ways to secure your scooter if left outside.
Some scooter riders use a U-lock along with electronic theft deterrents to double their protection against burglars.
Electronic Theft Deterrents
Many electric scooters come equipped with anti-theft features. Some security measures can be installed fairly easily with plug-and-play cabling, while others need professional electrical rewiring.
Probably the simplest and most popular anti-theft feature, the keystart ignition controls the scooter’s power. There are also NFC card readers and scooters that come with key fobs. If you do not have the key, card, or fob, you cannot power on the scooter.
Some of these configurations also include immobilizer alarms, which use the scooter’s power to keep the wheels from being rolled. These usually come with a loud audible alarm that’s triggered when the scooter is moved.
One downside to anti-theft deterrents that utilize the scooter’s battery, to sound alarms and restrict the wheels movement, is that they can drain the battery completely — especially if the scooter has been kept in storage for an extended period of time.
Another alarm that’s common on entry-level scooters is Bluetooth-enabled security, which is controlled through a smartphone app. When active, the lock usually causes the scooter to sound an alarm, immobilize the wheels or both.
Ring Locks and Disc Brake Locks
Most electric scooters with spokes in the wheel have minimal space for using a ring lock. It might make its way around the scooter and a pole, but the shape is more restrictive than the U-lock. Some disc brake locks are accompanied by cables for wrapping around a bike rack, but are easily cut with wire cutters.
If these types of locks are not used in combination with something that anchors it to a secure locking point, the scooter can easily be carried away.
Although very common for securing a bicycle, cable locks and chain locks aren’t the most locks for an electric scooter, as they generally have smaller builds and there’s less space to carry the added 10 lb weight of a metal chain.
If the chain is placed too loosely around the stem, you could slip the scooter out of the loop. If the cable or chain is resting on the floor, it can be hammered until broken. Most cable and chain locks can be severed or compromised by impact, so won’t provide you long-term security outdoors.
This guide has covered how to lock your electric scooter, what lock to use and where are the best location to lock your scooter.
However, even using proper technique, all locks can be compromised by thieves, given enough time.
This why you should always try to bring your scooter inside and leave it locked up in public spaces for as short of time as possible.
Looking for more information on keeping you and your scooter safe?
Check out our comprehensive guide on electric scooter safety.