How to Lock an Electric Scooter

Find a secure locking point on your scooter, and always use a U-lock | Credit: Ramier J. and Richard S. / RG
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.

Your scooter may come loaded with locking mechanisms and security features that enable you to turn it off and on with a key, key fob, app, or biometric interface, just like an eclectic car. You may have remote on/off options and remote GPS monitoring, etc.

All those features are excellent, and we recommend you use them, but there is no substitute for a durable physical lock for keeping an electric scooter secure. 

A car has the always built-in security feature of weighing hundreds of pounds. By their mostly-lightweight nature, scooters are easy to steal. So always take extra precautions and lock your scooter with one of the methods we suggest below.

Assess Your Electric Scooter for Secure Locking Points

Electric Scooter locked to pole
The first step in how to lock an electric scooter, any scooter, is finding the most secure points on the vehicle to thread a lock.

The best lock you can get for your scooter is the one that fits around its frame and cannot be easily cut or broken with tools like wire cutters, bolt cutters, or an electric drill.

But the best lock is also a lock that you can carry with you wherever you go, so portability is key.

To properly size a lock, you'll need to take a look at your scooter and identify secure locking points. These are structural parts of the scooter made from sturdy material, or attachments that can't easily be unscrewed or broken off.

Bulky scooters may require larger locks to slip through the scooter’s frame and still reach around a fixed point (e.g., pole or bike rack).

Some of best locations on your scooter for locking are: 1) around the stem, 2) through the folding mechanism, 3) or through a carrying handle

Some locations that you shouldn't use: 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 Lock that Fits

U-locks

There are several different locks on the market suitable for locking an electric scooter. Some of the most high-security locks for maximum anti-theft protection are U-locks made by Kryptonite and other companies.

You've seen these U-locks securely anchoring bikes around your city, and you might have noticed how heavy they look. U-locks are named for their shape and consist of a U-shaped shackle that locks into a straight crossbar

U-locks are not the only option for securing your electric scooter, but the best quality U-locks do offer the maximum security against bolt cutters and power tools. Quality U-locks are made from hardened steel and will be bulky – typically around [esg_unit 5 lbs] – with a thick shackle and crossbar and will cost around [esg_currency $100].

U-locks come in a variety of sizes. Some have longer shackles to make it easier to lock your scooter to harder-to-reach objects. However, you'll want to purchase the shortest shackle that will fit around your scooter, as those are more secure.

It's important to purchase a high-quality U-lock that is appropriately sized for your scooter.

We highly recommend the New York Kryptonite series of U-locks and U-locks + chains, but ABUS also makes high-quality U-locks.

Folding Locks

Let’s face it, you don’t want to compromise on security, but you don’t always want to carry a heavy, hardened steel U-lock (or a lock+chain!) everywhere you go. 

U-locks are made to always be anchored to something else that’s anchored, whether that’s a stair rail or a bike rack, or a bike frame mount or cycling backpack. 

Even when mounted to a bike frame, U-locks can feel awkward and unsafe. On a scooter, their unequal weight distribution could more noticeably affect balance while riding.

Electric scooters are all about downsizing and portability, so folding locks can be a more practical option to keep your scooter secure while traveling light. 

Folding locks can be mounted to a stem without compromising the scooter’s center of gravity and they are easier to fit inside a daypack or shoulder bag without adding too much additional weight or bulk.

Be aware that folding locks have several more weak points than a U-lock since they consist of a ring of metal bars joined together with rivets. These joints should be made in such a way that they can’t be drilled out by thieves with cordless power drills. 

The rivets or nuts holding a folding lock’s bars together aren’t the only weak point. The bars themselves are thinner than U-lock shackles in order to fold into a compact shape, and they can potentially be cut more easily. 

The most effective folding locks use hardened steel bars of sufficient thickness and width to resist cutting, as well as nuts that spin instead of threading/unthreading or breaking when drilled.  

Thread the U-lock Through a Secure Locking Point on Your Electric Scooter.

One of the best locations on some electric scooters for locking is around a non-removable part of the stem 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. 

The Apollo City 2022 and City Pro have carrying handles that are part of the frame and perfect for threading a lock.

These are just some of the most common and most secure places to anchor your scooter, but use your best judgment when it comes to your specific make and model.

Lock the Electric Scooter to a Permanent Fixture, such as a Bike Rack.

It might seem like common sense, but any guide on how to lock an electric scooter will tell you: Lock your scooter to a permanent fixture or structure that's cemented to the ground or can't be carried away easily.

The fixture should not be something that a thief could lift your scooter over or dismantle, such as a sign on a short post. 

Wide aluminum or steel posts, bike racks, and stair railings are the safest. Don't choose metal fences, as they're often thin enough to cut through with wire cutters.

Best Electric Scooter U-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 as locks for electric scooters.
Kryptonite New York Standard provides exceptional security | Credit: Ramier J. and Richard S. / RG

Electric Scooter Lock Comparison

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. 
Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini | Credit: Kryptonite

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. 
Kryptonite New York Standard | Credit: Kryptonite

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. 
Kryptonite New York LS (Long Shackle) | Credit: Kryptonite

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 as a scooter lock.
Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain | Credit: Kryptonite

Anti-Theft Warranties: Don't Count on Them

All Kryptonite locks come with an impressive sounding warranty that will cover up to [esg_currency $2000] 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)

Best Electric Scooter Folding Locks

Fluid Fold

High quality folding locks from companies like ABUS offer very high security in a lightweight, compact package. 

But you can get the same level of security for half the price and in a smaller package made just for electric scooters with our favorite folding lock from Fluid Freeride, the Fluid Fold, available for $69.00. One of the best locks for scooters, the Fold features: 
  • heat treated hardened steel that resists 9 tons of hydraulic pressure
  • an anti drilling cap over that turns with drilling
  • high strength steel rivets that resist a pulling force of 2 tons
  • Swiss cylinder and key technology to prevent lock picking
  • a light weight of only 1.6 lb

Inokim Folding Scooter Lock

This bestselling folding scooter lock from Inokim costs about $20 more than the fold but still about half what an ABUS folding locks costs, with the same level of security.

It comes in five handy colors to match your scooter, mounts to the stem in a snug-fitting case, and is made from heat treated hardened steel that resists 9 tons of hydraulic pressure. It also features: 
  • anti drilling lock hole that will turn with drill
  • a small lock cylinder that prevents lock picking
  • lightweight of only 2 lb

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 or folding 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.
Keystart ignition on Apollo Phantom | Credit: Richard S. / ESG
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

A ring or frame lock encompasses the wheel, blocking it from rolling | Credit: AXA
A ring lock or disc brake lock is attached to the wheel and meant to immobilize the scooter. 

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.

Cable/Chain Locks

Cable locks are easier to dismantle or cut than U-locks | Credit: Schwinn
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

Summary

This guide has covered how to lock an 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.

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