More than 265,000 bicycles were stolen in Germany in 2022, according to the Federal Criminal Police Office. There are no separate statistics for ebike batteries. But some thieves are exclusively after them. Presumably because they can be resold relatively risk-free. To save you from such a mess, a company from Münster has developed an additional theft protection for frame batteries.
Jens Kattner should be very familiar with metal. The graduate engineer has been managing MBM Maschinenbau Münster since 2005. In this position, one certainly has to deal with hardened stainless steel more often. This is exactly the material he uses for his anti-theft device for ebikes, which he recently started selling under the name katt’fix Akkuschloss.
Band made of steel
To put it simply, this lock is a ten-centimetre-wide stainless steel plate that encloses the frame tube and battery together. At both ends of the plate there is a plastic construction in which a locking mechanism is incorporated. The mechanism interlocks and is locked by an Abus lock. From that moment on, the battery can no longer be removed from the holder. This is only possible after opening the katt’fix and the actual battery lock.
On the inside, i.e. where the metal sheet touches the frame and the battery, special foam rubber strips prevent scratches or worse. The solution is only suitable for frame batteries – and even here only for the Bosch PowerPack. At least, however, this applies to various versions of the battery. This means that a PowerPack 545 for the Smart System can be secured just as well as a PowerPack 400.
Installation within a few minutes
Mounting the lock is very easy. Depending on whether the PowerPack is attached to the seat tube or the down tube, you hold the katt’fix in place for a test run. Once you have decided on a position, remove the protective film from the adhesive strips on the inside of the plate, bring the lock into position, press the plate against the frame tube and lock it. After 72 hours, the glue is finally hardened. You should heed the manufacturer’s advice and leave the lock closed for that long.
If you have taken all this into account, the lock should remain exactly in position when you open it. According to the manufacturer, it can help to carefully press the plastic ends together with your fingers so that the mechanism in the lock engages.
As soon as the sun shines on it, the polished sheet metal signals from afar that a particularly pretty security feature is here to deter casual thieves. Beneath the shiny surface lies another advantage: the sustainable concept of the lock. Firstly, it can be repaired. And secondly, it can even be recycled if you no longer have any use for it.
Compatibility still quite limited
Since the numerous bicycle manufacturers integrate identical Bosch batteries differently on their bikes, the katt’fix cannot be a universal solution. That’s why there are seven locks for seven selected ebikes to buy so far:
- Cube Fold Hybrid
- Cube Compact Hybrid
- Hercules Rob Fold
- Kalkhoff Endeavour
- Pegasus Swing E7R
- Qio Eins
The list mainly includes small compact ebikes and foldable ebikes with the battery mounted on the back of the seat tube. On its website, however, the manufacturer is apparently open to making suitable locks for other ebikes if the need arises. For example, preparations are already underway to offer versions of the lock in the shop that are suitable for intube batteries in the future.
What does the gut feel say?
The question remains, is this additional theft protection worth it? Once the battery is gone, the answer is easy. How high the risk of theft really is cannot be reliably quantified. This is due to the fact that in Germany, stolen batteries are not recorded in a separate statistic. Even if this information were available, the assessment would probably be similar to that of the statistics for stolen bicycles. Experience shows that there are large regional differences as well as differences between larger cities and more rural areas. In addition, there are factors such as the parking situation or the frequency of use.
The bottom line is that you are the best judge of the risk of someone stealing your frame battery. The manufacturer charges 199.90 euros for its solution. For comparison: You can now buy a Bosch PowerPack 500 for the second development stage of Bosch ebike systems for well under 600 euros. And this is secured to the frame by a battery lock from Abus as well.
Data on the katt’fix Akkuschloss
- Length: 163 mm
- Width: 100 mm
- Height: 100 mm
- Weight: 268 g
Pictures: MBM Maschinenbau Münster GmbH