5 Best Locks for Electric Scooters
Owning a folding electric scooter should eliminate the need for a heavy-duty padlock or shackle to secure your ride.
That's especially true for foldable e-scooters like the Model One from Unagi, which folds down in just one click and offers serious advantages compared to other bulkier motorized rides like electric bikes, motorbikes, and mopeds.
But in some situations, you might not be able to easily collapse your scooter and tuck it under your arm. If that's the case, here are five common types of electric scooter locks—and some of the pros and cons of each.
1. U-Locks for Electric Scooters
U-locks get their name from their signature "U" shape, perfect for looping around shapes as diverse as mountain bike frames and bike chains to kick scooter decks.
Bike U-locks are well-known, but U-locks can be used for other forms of transportation, including electric scooters, as well. If you opt for this type of lock for your own Model One e-scooter from Unagi, get one with a roughly 4 in. by 6 in. (10 cm by 15 cm) internal diameter.
Securely affix your scooter deck to a bike rack or other secure location. Some U-locks are available as combination locks that can also include a disc lock, chain lock, or cable lock. Read on to learn more about these types of locks.
2. Chain Locks for Electric Scooters
In exchange for some extra weight on your ride, these hefty chains made of steel offer greater protection than many other alternatives.
Keep in mind that, with its heavy shackle, this type of lock could add anywhere from 3 pounds up to nearly 30 pounds (more appropriate for a motorcycle), depending on the size you choose. Consider what chain link thickness and length matters to you.
Chain links of 13 mm or smaller may be able to be burglarized with medium bolt cutters, while 13–15 mm are less likely to be dismantled, unless by someone with large bolt cutters. Chain locks with 16 mm links or greater cannot be cut apart using bolt cutters but instead would take (loud, obvious) power tools to break your scooter free.
Some models come with anti-theft lock protection plans, should anything happen to your belongings. Others may also be paired with disc locks, as described below.
3. Disc Locks/Disc Brake Locks for Electric Scooters
Just as grocery stores arm their carts with anti-theft locking features that freeze the wheels when they go outside of the grocery store parking lot—essentially locking them in place—disc locks can prevent your scooter from being pushed away. With wheel locks, your scooter won't roll.
For added security, some high-quality disc locks also come with built-in security alarms.
Of course, as with shopping carts, locking the wheel in place so your scooter can't be used doesn't mean that it can't be picked up and carried away by a potential thief.
Given that, chain locks and U-locks that come with built-in disc locks might be a better alternative than standalone disc locks for commuters with lightweight scooters that can be easily carried away.
4. Cable Locks for Electric Scooters
If you're looking for a folding lock to compliment your folding scooter, cable locks are popular because they can wrap up into a compact size. Often lighter weight and more portable, foldable, and affordable than other types of locks, cable locks are a popular choice for these advantages.
One disadvantage is that these are easier to cut apart with the proper tools. Thus, not a high-security alternative compared to the options. Some, however, are offered in combination with U-locks, providing added benefits.
Paired together, you can secure your electric scooter deck with the sturdier U-lock and wrap your scooter and handlebars several times, using the longer, more flexible cable lock for extra protection.
5 Combination Locks/Multi-Style Locks
Many riders experiment with different types of bike locks before settling on one lock (or combination of locks) that best matches their daily commuting needs.
As described throughout this article, many of the types of locks described here can be purchased and used separately, while some products bundle two or more of these types of locks into one as combination locks.
You may also come across a different type of combination lock that requires you to enter a code—rather than use a key—to open the lock, which may be preferable if you're the type to lose or forget your keys. (Of course, you will have to keep track of the code to open the combination lock.)
As a general rule, we don't recommend locking your Unagi and leaving it unattended, especially in high-traffic areas like New York City or Los Angeles, given its lightweight, compact size.
When in doubt, take advantage of its unique foldable feature, and carry it inside with you to your favorite restaurants or stores.