Micromobility has already helped solve several modern transportation issues, and may reshape the way we get around in the near future. But small electric vehicle owners are still plagued by an ancient problem. Electric scooters present new security challenges, and their proliferation has ushered in a new epidemic of vehicle theft. It should go without saying that if you’ve made an investment in a high-quality personal electric scooter like the Unagi Model One, you’ll want to go the extra mile to protect it.
Luckily, Unagi is ultra-portable, with an easy, one-click folding mechanism and lightweight, high-grade materials. The single motor version weighs only 23 pounds and the dual motor only 26 pounds, setting it at an advantage to major e-scooter competitors like the Ninebot Max (weighing over 41 pounds).
For portability, the three-dimensional footprint that a vehicle takes up is another critical characteristic, and the Unagi makes a point of emphasis here too. In most cases, you can actually click an Unagi scooter closed and take it with you to school, work (even effortlessly putting it under a desk), the grocery store and your home. You can also sometimes just roll it beside you and pop out the kickstand.
However, not every place will accommodate a folding scooter. For those that need to leave their steeds outside, built-in security features are quickly developing in the lightweight electric vehicles industry to deter theft. These can include locking steering columns, brake locks, keyed ignition, and other features that prevent thieves from rolling or driving the scooter away. Other enhancements can include tracking and security alarms. These features are currently rare for scooters (both the Xiaomi M365 and Ninebot-Segway models don’t have them), and you can be certain that Unagi will be exploring cool anti-theft features potential in the future.
However, a bad-actor simply picking up the scooter and carrying it away is still a threat, regardless of the extent of anti-theft software or hardware. If you really want to keep your scooter secure, the best thing to do is lock it to an immovable object in a well-lit, moderately trafficked area. Avoid known high crime areas and try to lock it within view of security cameras and other deterrents.
What kind of lock works best? That will depend on a number of factors, including your budget, the type of electric scooter you own, and the level of security you might need. Let’s take a look at a few of the options. Many of these may already be familiar. Scooter-specific locks are rare, but many locks originally designed for bikes will get the job done.
Electric Scooter U-Locks
U-locks have been around for long enough that everyone recognizes them as an essential accessory for bike messengers and other cyclists. They can also double as scooter locks, provided they are small enough that they cannot be slipped over the handlebars or will fit between the spokes of a wheel. (For an Unagi scooter, the U-lock should have an internal diameter of roughly 4 in. by 6 in. or 10cm by 15cm.) The advantage of these heavy-duty locks is that they fit around a variety of different shapes--although note that for scooters, you will usually want a longer U-lock over a shorter one. In Unagi’s case, most U-locks placed around the front of the frame can’t be slipped over either wheel.
U-locks can notably be used on their own or in combination with cables or chains, and they slip easily in a back pocket or a backpack.
Kryptonite makes some of the strongest and most reliable U-locks on the market, and many of them include additional chains or cables for more security. Their New York Fahgettaboudit Mini lock has a security rating of 10 out of 10, with a hardened cut-proof steel shackle, double deadbolt, and a lifetime warranty. You can pay less for a cut-proof U-lock from Sigtuna, which has similar features, an 85/100 security rating, and comes with an additional cable, though it does not come with Kryptonite’s lifetime warranty and theft insurance. This lock is much larger, however, and may not be suitable for many e-scooters. There are also U-Locks with combinations instead of keys
Electric Scooter Chain Locks
If you live in a high-theft area and need serious security, a chain lock can be an option, but bear in mind that such locks, usually consisting of a heavy steel chain and padlock, can add several pounds to your ride depending on their size. Chain locks can also be vulnerable to bolt cutters if their links are under 16mm thick. (Links 16mm or greater can only be cut with a power saw.) One good option for a chain lock comes from Terra Hiker, whose keyless, 5-digit combination lock eliminates the need for keys and keeps your electric scooter safe with 100,000 possible combinations.
Electric Scooter Cable Locks
Cable locks are popular because they are lighter weight and more compact than the above options. They are not, however, nearly as secure as U-Locks or chains and are fairly easy to cut through with the right tools, so they should only be used in low-crime areas. They can be key or combination locks, or simply a cable with two looped ends through which a padlock or U-lock is inserted. A cable lock like the Bell Watchdog, made of alloy steel with a 4-digit combination, is easy to carry and easy to store, features that might outweigh premium security for many riders.
Electric Scooter Disc Locks
Disc locks, originally designed for mopeds and motorcycles, essentially slip around the scooter’s wheel and freeze it in place so that the vehicle cannot be moved. Like built-in security features, a disc lock will not prevent a thief from picking up the scooter and carrying it away, but disc locks can be combined with other kinds of locks for added security, and many disc locks, such as Kryptonite’s Kryptolok, will sound an alarm if the scooter is moved or tampered with. Since disc locks are typically made for wider wheels, they may not work with every scooter, but they can be suitable for electric scooters with wider tires.
Electric Scooter Folding Locks
For the most portable, compact option, you cannot do better than a folding lock. While these will not stop a pair of bolt cutters, they will fit in your pocket. A quality folding lock like Foldylock will typically feature components made of hardened steel. Foldylock’s rivets will stand up to a hand saw and its cylinder and other components can’t be penetrated by a drill.
These are just some of the locks that can work for keeping your scooter safe. As a general rule, however, 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, compact foldability and lightness, and carry it inside with you to your favorite restaurants or stores.
Unagi Opens Flagship in SoHo
At Unagi, we’re determined to be here for our customers. That's why we’re excited to invite you to visit our first ever flagship store in the heart of SoHo. If you’re in the area, come by to check out the latest models and test-drive an Unagi for yourself.
How To Maximize Your Electric Scooter's Battery Life
One of the great things about owning an electric scooter is that they require so little maintenance. Unlike cars, or even bikes, which need regular trips to the mechanic and routine replacement parts, electric scooters that are treated well do…
Accessorize Your Adventure
Start your journey with a collection of curated goods selected for safety and style. Unagi curates the best and reinvents the rest so you never have to stress over your gear.
Say Hello to Our Newest Color, Moss
We’re proud to offer the Unagi Model One in Moss, our newest shade. Green is of course the color of nature and growth. A green light says go and invites action. Our Moss green signals all that.
Unagi All-Access: Rolling into Summer
With the addition of Chicago, Washington DC, Northern Maryland and Virginia, and NW Indiana, our All-Access scooter subscription service is now available to more than 75 million people. But we’re just getting started: we want to make Unagi the ubiquitous standard for short-distance transportation around the world.
The New Unagi Service Center
You're already aware of many of them: Dual motors. Premium materials. Lightweight is king. And it's not difficult for anyone to see that Unagi cares about design more than any other scooter company...But the topics for today are brand, customer obsession, and our All-Access subscription service...
Unagi Springs Forward
We’re launching our All-Access subscription service in six new cities, and expanding in two more. And with $10.5 million in new funding, we’re ready for takeoff in 2021...These areas represent a market of more than 30 million consumers – putting Unagi’s All-Access service within reach of 1 in every 10 Americans
The World's Fastest Electric Scooters in 2021
Electric scooters are quickly overtaking other means of transportation as the best way to cover short distances. They’re lightweight, portable, convenient, and more environmentally friendly than almost any means of powered transport.
Love or Hate: 9 Studies Show What People Actually Think About Electric Scooters
It’s more or less a given these days that micromobility solutions like electric scooters are part of a major transportation revolution “Among many [recent] technology milestones,” reported Government Technology, “one of them was certainly that...e-scooters became a fixture in many…
Pro Tips from Real Scooter Riders
Telling people through paid advertisements that an electric scooter will change their life is one thing. Letting them hear it from real people who own and love their scooters is something else. Now that we all have the ability to…
5 Reasons to Buy a Scooter This Holiday Season
As we brace for another surge in COVID-19 cases this winter, many people find themselves asking how they’re going to get through another season indoors. The latest CDC forecast is not encouraging, and we will need to work together to…
Security and Locks for Electric Scooters
Micromobility has already helped solve several modern transportation issues, and may reshape the way we get around in the near future. But small electric vehicle owners are still plagued by an ancient problem. Electric scooters present new security challenges, and…
No Sleep 'til Brooklyn
The world’s best-designed scooters now have a New York address We’re opening the doors today on a new Unagi brand store, on Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg. We couldn’t be more excited. Our new store, located at 324 Wythe Avenue, will…
Introducing Unagi All-Access
New Yorkers and Angelenos can now get our revolutionary electric scooters for less than $10 a week – and you won’t have to share with strangers. https://youtu.be/ZDKaTQeSBOU Two years ago, our team set out on a quest to build the…
CES Dispatch: The E500 Is A Big Upgrade
Every year, the Consumer Electronics Show brings hundreds of thousands of visitors to Las Vegas in order to show off, contrast, compare, or merely gawk at the latest consumer electronic gadgets and trends We’re also in town for the show,…
5 E-Scooter Life Hacks
We all know electric scooters are fun. The sun on your skin, the wind in your hair – trying one out is not a hard sell. On top of that, there are also the practical benefits of riding electric scooters.
5 Tips for E-Scooter Etiquette
Anyone can ride an e scooter, but not everyone who rides one rides it with the proper electric scooter etiquette.
Your Personal Liberation Device
Beginning today, Unagi Scooters is now shipping its world-class electric scooters to pre-order customers in the United States, and new orders are immediately being fulfilled “The Unagi Scooter heralds a new era for the commuting consumer who simply wants an…