After assessing the effectiveness of every type of electric scooter lock, we’ve selected the best 3.
Alongside our recommendations, this guide outlines the best practices for locking your scooter, the key things to think about when deciding which lock to buy, and additional safety measures to ensure thieves would have a better chance of stealing the Crown Jewels.
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Best Electric Scooter Locks
Security Level Scale:
ETOOK, a well known and respected manufacturer of locks, uses 6 levels of anti-theft protection to determine the effectiveness of a lock. The higher the anti-theft level, the stronger and better the anti-theft performance.
Since all of the locks that we recommend are manufactured by ETOOK, we made sure to include the score of each lock in our list.
To better understand the Security Level Scale, the ratings are best thought of in the following way:
- Anti-Theft Levels 1-3: Suitable for protection against opportunistic, common theft. Locks with this security level can resist the pressures of basic hand-held tools but can easily be cracked with high-performance tools. These locks should only be used for short periods during the day.
- Anti-Theft Levels 4-6: Suitable for protection against organized crime and professional theft. Locks with this security level can resist hydraulic pressure, drilling, cutting, sawing & picking from high-performance tools. These locks should be used for long periods during the day and night.
Heavy-Duty U-Lock (ETOOK ET500)
A hefty scooter requires a heavy-duty lock – and this one resoundingly lives up to its name.
ETOOK’s U-Lock could incapacitate the Incredible Hulk, so saws, drills, and shears are child’s play for this rust-proof, heat-treated bad boy.
Its 3/4-inch hardened steel frame can resist 20 tons of hydraulic pressure, which eliminates 99.9% of opportunistic thieves as threats. The other 0.01%? Let’s just say they’d have to invest in some serious, industrial-standard equipment to even have a hint of a chance. For context of what 20 tons of pressure looks like, imagine three large, fully grown African Elephants all standing on top of each other trampling the lock – as you can see, this lock is built to last.
Why We Recommend It:
Adding to its already impressive resistance to extreme pressures, the lock can also withstand 2 tons of pulling power, making it even more secure.
Thanks to its U-shaped design, it can be applied in various orientations to ensure it fits both your scooter and the object it’s locked to – be that a railing, street light, or gate. The shutter mechanism also does a great job at protecting the lock from water and any kinds of debris that a street can throw at it, making it a resilient and formidable first line of defense wherever you are in the city, and whatever the weather.
But of course, you don’t want your lock to damage the scooter. Thanks to its soft silicone coating, you won’t find so much as a scratch. And with the aid of an included holder and two mounting strips, the U-Lock can be easily attached to your scooter to ensure it's ready to go whenever you need it.
The Heavy-Duty U-Lock is perfect for bigger, weightier electric scooters – particularly those that do not come with additional security features such as electronic theft deterrents. That said, there isn’t a scooter on the market that wouldn’t benefit from the protection this serious piece of metal provides. At $59, the U-Lock is a small added cost that can make all the difference.
High-Security Folding Lock (ETOOK ET480)
An alternative to the Heavy-Duty U-Lock which will provide just as much of a headache for would-be thieves is the High-Security Folding Lock.
Able to resist 9 tons of hydraulic pressure due to its heat-treated hardened steel shell, you’d have to be MegaMind to pick this tough operator. That’s because the lock comes complete with a small Swiss-made lock cylinder and key technology that makes it impossible to tamper with. The hole is also drill-proof – it will turn with a drill head to render any motion ineffective.
Why We Recommend It:
So, lock picking? Tick. Drilling? Tick. What about brute force? The connecting rivets that secure each arm at its folding joints can withstand up to 1.5 tons of pulling force, which rules out every human and would require the force of a car – something not so inconspicuous.
Since the mechanism is foldable, each arm can be opened to create a circumference of 29.5-inches. This is a key advantage of folding locks (more on that later) and a reason for their popularity; they can adjust to fit securely around any part of your scooter and at any angle.
Another string to the High-Security Folding Lock’s bow is its compactness – it can be easily attached to your scooter when not in use, with minimal rattling or vibrations even at high speeds. Plus, it's 43% lighter than the Heavy Duty U-Lock (1.6 vs 2.8 lbs), meaning that if you wanted to carry it in your backpack, not only is it more versatile but also less baggage.
Indeed, due to its adaptability, this lock can be used for all types of electric scooters. It even comes in a choice of four colors, bringing style to a safety-first approach.
INOKIM Folding Lock (ETOOK ET490)
INOKIM’s scooters are known for being well-built and durable. It will, therefore, come as no surprise to learn that their folding lock is also made of strong stuff.
By stuff, we mean heat-treated, cut-proof hardened steel (by now you’ll have realized that we’d recommend nothing less) that can swat away 9 tons of hydraulic pressure – reducing any mechanized attempts to break through it as futile and foolhardy.
Why We Recommend It:
Like ETOOK’s High-Security Folding Lock, the INOKIM Folding Lock wields Swiss cylinder and key technology. The small lock cylinder prevents any potential for lock picking, while the lock hole is anti-drill.
The simple-to-fit mounting bracket is sufficiently robust and vibration-proof. This means that not only does it not interfere with your ride, but it’s also hack-proof, so you can always rely on it to stay in place despite the best efforts of any wannabe saboteurs. The lock will stay tightly in its casing when not in use, making it a more compact option than a U-lock.
As for the rivets, they allow the arms of the lock to open out to a 25-inch circumference, which is ample room to tether your scooter at any angle. However, this is slightly smaller than the 29.5-inch circumference of the ETOOK ET480.
Though the lock was designed for INOKIM scooters, it works effectively on all electric scooters. But at $89, you may be better off with the ETOOK ET480 High-Security Folding Lock, which delivers the same level of security but costs $20 less.
How to Choose an Electric Scooter Lock
1. Application of the Lock
One of the key factors to consider when choosing a lock for your electric scooter is its application. In other words, where on the scooter will you be attaching the lock to?
Generally speaking, it’s important to choose a lock that can thread through a sturdy part of your scooter, whether it’s a dual-stem, folding mechanism, or as is the case with the Apollo Ghost 2022 and Phantom, a gap in the neck.
Consequently, any lock you opt for must be big enough to provide ample space to fit around both objects. You also do not want it to be too fiddly – having enough space to quickly lock and unlock the scooter is crucial.
2. Ability to Resist Hydraulic Cutting Pressure, Sawing, Drilling & Picking
Another important factor is the lock’s resistance to hydraulic cutting pressure, sawing, drilling, and picking.
You may think this all sounds like overkill – who’s going to get a saw out? But electric scooters are expensive – this makes them a valuable commodity, and thieves will go to great lengths to steal one – as we see from gangs that specialize in the organized crime of stealing expensive bicycles. Therefore, you must choose a lock with appropriate safety credentials.
Here, heat-treated hardened steel is the base-level requirement. Anything less and you’re opening yourself up to risk. You’ll also want a lock that comes with a small cylinder that prevents picking and an anti-drill lock hole. Always check before making your decision, as the lock itself is the most vulnerable part.
As for cutting, gangs that specialize in electric scooter theft will likely use some form of a hydraulic bolt cutter. The cheapest battery-powered hydraulic cutters typically have a cutting force of 15 Kilonewtons (1.5 tons), while top-end cutters can cut with 45 Kilonewtons (4.5 tons). All of the locks that we recommend can resist hydraulic pressure up to 9 tons, with the U-Lock withstanding 20 tons.
3. Selecting the Right Type of Lock
There's a variety of different locks to choose from. Some offer more anti-theft protection than others so choosing the right one is vital.
U-Lock (or D-Lock) – Recommended:
One that we’ve already featured in our list of the best locks is the U-Lock, or D-Lock, depending on who you talk to.
This will always be our first recommendation when considering which type of lock to buy, as quite simply, no other kind can offer the same level of protection. If maximum security is important and you have no additional layers of defense, we say go with a U-Lock every time.
However, some U-Locks can be easily breached with bolt-cutters and power tools. This brings us back to our insistence on opting for a lock with a heat-treated hardened steel alloy, which is practically invincible to any form of attack.
The size of your shackle – or U-bend – is also important. While you want a lock that gives you enough room to secure your scooter to an immovable object, you also do not want it to be too long, as this will make it less secure. The trick here is to find one that snuggly fits the profile of your scooter.
Folding Lock – Recommended:
While not quite as robust and durable as a U-Lock, folding locks come out on top when considering portability and practicality. They’re lighter, adjustable, and more compact, which may appeal if you have an added layer of security such as an electronic theft deterrent.
You’ll also want to be careful which folding lock you buy. Due to the fact they use rivets to bind the metal arms together, they can be more structurally vulnerable than a U-Lock. With this in mind, you’ll want one that uses hardened steel and rivets that can withstand pulling power.
Cable locks are lighter and more flexible than pretty much any other type of lock, which makes them appealing to riders who also have a light and portable electric scooter.
Some scooters – including the GoTrax G4 and GMAX Ultra – come with a cable lock pre-installed.
The disadvantage? Anyone with the right tools can cut a cable lock in mere seconds. In terms of security they trail behind U-Locks, folding locks, and chain locks – so be warned, while fine for a short stop as you venture into a shop, you’ll want to use a stronger lock if you plan on leaving your scooter for any considerable length of time.
If they’re good enough for motorbikes, they’re good enough for electric scooters, right? Absolutely – but chain locks are also very heavy.
You could go with smaller chain links, of course, but beware that going too small (less than 13mm) can make your lock vulnerable to bolt-cutters, while even 16mm links or larger can be prised apart with heavy-duty power tools. Unfortunately, with chain locks, there’s often a weak link if someone looks hard enough.
Considering this and their relative heft, we don't recommend a chain lock over a U-Lock or folding lock.
A ring lock may be suitable if your electric scooter sports wheels that have open spokes. Typically, they have a reinforced steel ring that is threaded through the rim of the wheel, before looping back into the steel ring to prevent the scooter from being rolled or ridden away.
Some ring locks also come with the ability to plug them into cable or chain locks to double up on the security to prevent lift-away theft.
We don’t recommend using a ring lock on its own because, ultimately, a scooter’s wheels are one of its most vulnerable parts. Even if your lock is strong and secure, powerful tools can easily overcome the wheel.
Disc Brake Lock:
Disc brake locks are great as an added layer of security alongside a U-Lock or folding lock. The problem is that, while they’re effective in stopping somebody from wheeling your scooter away, they offer no protection from thieves picking it up and carrying off with it.
Based on our experience, disc brake locks are better suited to heavier scooters. It’s generally good practice to use a disc brake lock in tandem with another more robust lock that secures it to an immovable object.
For lighter scooters, disc brake locks should be avoided.
How to Lock an Electric Scooter: 3 Simple Steps
1. Find a Public Area
Ideally, you want to lock your electric scooter in a public space. The more public, the better. Other people are a hugely effective first layer of deterrence – they alone will spook the majority of thieves.
So, bustling streets, busy parks, train stations, town centers, and malls are all ideal spots to lock up your scooter. Alleys? Not so much. Always survey the scene before establishing whether it’s safe to leave your scooter – the more people around, the safer it is.
But of course, a location could be heaving with people and also be known for high crime rates. So it’s always a good idea to know the area and do your research before leaving your scooter – and don’t leave it for too long. Overnight should never be an option regardless of which lock and other deterrents you use. If going to work, the mall, or the train station and you need to leave it for several hours, check to see if there are safe storage facilities.
2. Assess Your Electric Scooter and the Environment For Secure Locking Spots
Never attach your lock to a part of your scooter that can be removed or loosened; in other words, the stem and carry handles/kickplates are no-gos. Because the handlebars can be easily unscrewed and removed, the lock can be slid off the stem before reattaching the handlebars. Similarly, some carry handles/kickplates are attached to the scooter via small screws that can be removed using a standard Allen key set.
Your safest bets are looping the lock around or through the folding mechanism, or a gap in the scooter’s frame – like the neck. Wheels? Handlebars? Fenders? Absolutely not – you are asking for trouble. Always ensure you can fully thread the lock through a secure area of your scooter.
The object you attach it to must also be permanently set in position without any chance of it being moved. Common sense should prevail here, so street lights, iron gates, metal railings, and any sturdy poles that are anchored to the ground are fine – but anything wooden or flimsy is a no-go.
3. Thread the Lock Through the Scooter and Secure it to a Permanent Fixture
Finally, the size of your scooter and lock are important factors. The bigger the scooter, the bigger the lock needs to be. This is an obvious thing to state, but you also want to ensure it’s not too big.
A U-Lock, for example, needs to be small enough to stop a fist from fitting through the space between the scooter and shackle. Though generally very secure, the greater the space, the more room thieves have to use their tools.
Get all the above right and you’ll successfully minimize the likelihood of somebody stealing the scooter that you’ve spent your hard-earned money on.
Additional Security Measures
Electronic Theft Deterrents
While we always recommend using a physical lock, electric scooters now come with additional layers of security.
From key-lock ignitions to mobile apps that allow you to remotely lock the wheels of your scooter, there’s a vast array of electronic theft deterrents.
Scooters like the EMOVE Cruiser, EMOVE Touring, and WideWheel Pro are equipped with key-lock ignitions. This is an increasingly common feature that immobilizes a scooter until a key is inserted.
However, there is the potential for picking with anything involving a key.
NFC Card Reader:
A step up from key-lock ignitions are NFC card readers. Because these rely on near-field communication – a proximity-based wireless communication standard – they can’t be picked.
NFC technology works by waving an NFC card in front of its receiver (usually on the handlebars) to unlock a scooter. The card is uniquely paired with its receiver to ensure that only you can unlock the scooter. Aside from keyless entry, it's the same technology used in contactless payments.
As for its application in the world of electric scooters, you’ll find this snazzy tech across the VSETT range.
Fingerprint readers are similar to NFC readers in the regard that they are tuned to a unique input.
This method of theft deterrent is rare and can be found on a handful of premium Dualtron models, such as the Storm Limited (which costs $5,399).
Digital passwords are fairly common.
Scooters including the NAMI Burn-e 2 and Wolf King GT enable riders to set 4-digit codes that stop anyone else from powering on the scooter.
Apps that Enable the Remote Locking of Wheels:
One of the newer additions to the world of electronic theft deterrents is apps that allow you to lock the wheels remotely – as seen on scooters such as the Apollo City 2022, AnyHill UM-1, and AnyHill UM-2.
This is a cool feature that engages the electronic brakes to prevent the scooter from being rolled or ridden away – but, we never recommend using an app as a lone source of security.
Some scooters come equipped with inbuilt alarms that sound when a would-be thief attempts to roll or ride an electric scooter away. However, the alarms don’t tend to be loud or even siren – most of the time they emit a beeping sound. As a result, they aren’t the greatest deterrents.
You can purchase separate alarms that emit loud sirens, though.
GPS Trackers & Apple Air Tags:
As the world of anti-theft technology grows, so too does the application of new technologies on electric scooters. Scooters – such as the SPLACH Twin – come equipped with hiding spots that carefully conceal Apple Air Tags. In the event of a theft, the Air Tag allows you to track its whereabouts using the Find My app.
Other scooters grant you the opportunity to install an Air Tag so long as you can find a secure spot for it. For scooters that don’t already have a dedicated hiding spot, a go-to area of concealment is inside the deck.