Does your bicycle lock comply with insurance requirements?
If you have insurance, it is worth double checking that the lock you are using complies with your bicycle insurance policy. Most insurance companies, whether they be home insurance or cycle-specific insurance, will require you to have a bicycle lock approved by Sold Secure.
Their website offers this information:
“Sold Secure has developed a three tier security grading system. The Gold rated locking devices offer the highest level of security. The next level down Silver offers a compromise between security and cost, whilst the Bronze level typically offers defence against the opportunist thief. It is important to note that some items (D shackles in particular) may have extra cables attached to them, these “accessory” cables will not be covered by the Sold Secure approval and are only providing some extra minimum security for other items (e.g. wheels etc).”
If it doesn’t state on the bicycle lock packaging what sold secure rating it is, you can search the Sold Secure website. If you’re still unsure, you can always just email us a picture of the lock and we can verify it for you. For other security measures, such as your shed or home, check out our handy guide.
Remember, for Yellow Jersey customers, if your bike value is less than £1,000, you need a Sold Secure Silver rated lock. If your bike value is more than £1,000, you need a Sold Secure Gold rated lock.
Bicycle lock security tips
If a thief is really determined to steal your bike, you may not be able to stop them. However, when you’re out and about, you can take some extra measures to deter them and not make your bike an easy target.
Lock your bicycle through both the wheel and the frame. You don’t want to return to find a lonely wheel left behind because the body of the bike has simply been released and taken. Nor do you want to be carrying home a frame that’s been relieved of its wheels.
If possible, detach your front wheel and thread the lock through both wheels and the frame. Or you could consider a second lock for the front wheel.
Lock it to a sturdy, immovable object. Flimsy railings can be easy to cut through with bolt cutters, while a wobbly or unsecured post can simply be lifted from the ground. It might seem like we’re stating the obvious here but we really have seen bikes locked to nothing in this way!
Lock it in a safe area if possible. Good street lighting, CCTV cameras and nearby buildings are all useful deterrents. High footfall is good too – while members of the public may not step in if they see someone trying to steal a bike, it reduces the chance of wannabe burglars taking the risk.
Mark your bike. Anything that displays that your bike is registered, known to the police or simply is easily identifiable make it harder to sell off quickly. We provide a free DNA+ kit with all new annual policies, which comes with stickers to display that your bike is marked.
Don’t leave anything on your bike (like we have in our pictures!). Thieves may not be able to get your bike, but if you leave saddlebags, lights and GPS computers on your bike, they’ll almost certainly be gone by the time you get back. If your lights are hard or fiddly to take off, resist the urge to leave them on. A thief will be willing to put the effort in.
Beware of damage. If you come back and discover your bike has been damaged in some way – perhaps the tyres slashed, wires cut or someone’s put superglue into your lock (yes this sadly does happen) then find a way to get it home. Savvy thieves often deface bikes so that you leave them there and then they’ll pop back after dark with the best tools to break your lock and take your bike.
Make sure it’s locked up better than other bikes in the area. Unless a thief has specifically earmarked your bike because they know it’s worth a lot of money, they’ll probably just go for the least secure bikes in an area. If you have a solid D lock and a cable, odds are your bike is better locked up than those near it. This gives you a better chance of not being robbed.
Double check it’s actually locked to the thing you’re trying to lock it to. We debated whether to include this one, because it’s such a stupid mistake. But unfortunately it’s not unheard of to spend ages threading your cable through your wheels and frame, then securing your Gold Standard lock, only to realise that none of it is actually attached to the railing or bike rack. A very big oversight for sure, but one that’s surprisingly easy to make if you’re not paying attention.
Why not try Litelok?
If you’re looking to purchase a bike lock, why not give Litelok a try? We love this award-winning product and have been taking it out and about recently to try it out. (Litelok is now part of our partner discount program, check out our partner discounts here)
Litelok has stripped back the weight to just 1.1kg, making it the lightest Sold Secure Gold Rated lock on the market. What’s more, Litelok combines the flexibility of a chain with the security of a D-lock, so you can secure you bicycle to more unusual objects.
You can also easily store your Litelok on your bike without it rattling around – unroll it and strap it to the top tube, or roll it up and store it in the frame (if you don’t have water bottle cages otherwise it’s a little tricky unless you’re really tall and have a big frame!), the choice is yours.
Crucially, Litelok includes all these features without compromising on security. Just have a look at how difficult it is to break into!
As a Yellow Jersey customer, we have an exclusive discount with Litelok. Purchase a lock at the YJ checkout and you’ll get £10 off a new annual bicycle policy or your policy renewal.
We’re often asked to recommend a lock to our customers and we’re happy to recommend Litelok!
Follow Litelok on Twitter, where they regularly publish interesting stories like this one: “Litelok Stops Bike Thief in London“.