What Are Sold Secure Bike Locks? All You Need To Know

What Are Sold Secure Bike Locks? All You Need To Know

What are Sold Secure bike locks?

Choosing the right bike lock can be a bit of a headache. With so many options, ratings, and insurance requirements, how do you choose the right one?

In this guide we take you through what Sold Secure ratings are, as well as other lock ratings available so you can decide which lock is right for your needs.

What is Sold Secure?

First established in 1992 by Northumbria and Essex police forces, Sold Secure are is an independent accreditation agency now owned and administered by the Master Locksmith Association.

Sold Secure test and rate security products in their purpose-built laboratory in Rugby. Companies like ours can apply to have products independently tested and rated. Products sent in to Sold Secure undergo a series of standardised tests and must meet certain standards to be approved.

Tip: Looking for a rating on a specific product? All approved products can be found on the Sold Secure website.

What tests do Sold Secure do?

Sold Secure put locks go through several standardised tests following the same criteria identified with input from insurers and police. Testing involves a series of attacks with a set time limit by an experienced tester to determine the level of theft-resistance.

Locks undergo several extensive tests with a range of attack tools. The tools will vary depending on the product and rating level, and the tester can choose from a list of tools readily available and commonly used during thefts. The goal is to see how products withstand an attack.

The tests are designed to replicate real-world conditions using tools thieves have access to. Sold Secure works closely with insurance companies and the police to regularly update their tests and tool list to stay current.

What is the Sold Secure rating system?

Wondering what Sold Secure ratings actually mean? If a lock has a Sold Secure rating, it has a good level of resistance to certain types of attacks. During testing, locks will be tested for resistance against:

  • Drilling
  • Cutting
  • Manipulation
  • Pulling
  • Wedging
  • Bolt cutters
  • Leverage attacks
  • Picking
Sold Secure ratings

Sold Secure give security products a Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Diamond level of theft-resistance. If locks fail tests, they are unrated by Sold Secure. Below is an overview of each rating and the level of security each one provides.

Sold Secure Rating Updates

Sold Secure Ratings

In 2022, after discussions with the police and other parties in the cycle industry, Sold Secure renamed their Bicycle category Pedal Cycle, and Motorcycle became Powered Cycle.

Talking to Sold Secure about the changes, Lab Manager, Guy McCaffery said, "When the two specifications were written, the value of pedal cycles was relatively low, and e-bikes did not exist. Motorcycles were significantly more valuable, and the attack methods used by thieves were quite different between the two."

Due to the changes in the value of bikes in the past few years, updates were needed, he explains, "As cycling gained popularity and the value of cycles increased, the gap between these two categories became smaller, which led to the introduction of Bicycle Diamond in 2020.

However, due to the growth of the e-bike market, and the popularity of cycles with more than 2 wheels (such as cargo e-bikes, etc.), there was a significant demand for specifications to be more inclusive of all cycle types (bicycle, tricycles, quadricycles, cargo e-bikes, motorcycles, motor scooters, motor tricycles, etc.), yet still ensuring a gradient from the low value/low risk pedal cycle, up to the highest value/highest risk motorcycle/e-bike etc."

Because of this, Sold Secure changed the titles accordingly, creating a gradient from Pedal Cycle Bronze, through a crossover at Pedal Cycle Diamond/Powered Cycle Gold, to Powered Cycle Diamond, the highest grade for all cycles.

Sold Secure Bronze

  • Bronze locks offer theft resistance against a basic tool list.
  • Bronze locks are designed to prevent opportunist crime.
  • They offer low/medium security.
  • To be approved, they must withstand attacks with basic tools for a minimum of 1 minute.

Sold Secure Silver

  • Silver locks offer theft resistance against an enhanced tool list (including small bolt croppers, hacksaws, crowbar and more).
  • They are designed to prevent a more determined attack.
  • Sold Secure Silver offers medium/high security.
  • For approval, silver locks must withstand attacks from the enhanced tool list for a minimum of 3 minutes.

Sold Secure Gold

  • Sold Secure Gold locks offer theft resistance against a dedicated tool list (including a lump hammer, larger crowbars, and larger croppers).
  • They are designed to prevent dedicated attacks.
  • Gold rated bicycle locks offer maximum security.
  • Gold locks are approved if they withstand attacks for a minimum of 5 minutes.
  • They generally cover mid to high value bicycles.

Sold Secure Diamond

    • Sold Secure Diamond locks offer the highest level of theft resistance.
    • They are designed to prevent the most destructive attacks.
    • Sold Secure Diamond locks are tested using angle grinders, the largest bolt cutters, drills and more.
    • Diamond locks offer ultimate security.
    • Sold secure diamond locks must withstand attacks of a minimum of 5 minutes, including a 1.5-minute attack with an angle grinder.
    • These locks are for e-bikes and bikes of high value.

You can also read in more detail What Sold Secure Diamond ratings mean for you and your ride or check out our revolutionary Diamond-rated armoured D-lock X1.

LITELOK X1 - Sold Secure Diamond

LITELOK X1: Sold Secure Diamond rated

What other bike security ratings are there?

Whilst Sold Secure is the standard for many bike insurance policies, there are other bike lock security ratings to consider. Some lock companies have their own rating systems, but these aren’t usually independently accredited.

ART-approved Locks

ART, a Dutch company, award locks a Quality Mark. They also work with a star system. The higher the stars, the better its preventative value. Their star rating works as follows:

      • 1 star offers minimum security
      • 2 stars are suitable for bicycles
      • 3 stars are suitable for mopeds
      • 4 stars are for motorcycles in use and away from home
      • 5 stars are for motorcycles whilst locked at home

ART have an approved list on their site that allows you to search and check if a lock is approved along with its star rating. Many of our locks also carry an ART rating which you can check on the product listing.

Bicycle Insurance and Sold Secure

Many people insure bikes through home insurance policies, or dedicated bike insurance providers. If you don’t have bike insurance, we would recommend it.

Whether it’s a specialist policy or part of your home insurance, do some research to find out what you will be covered for. For example, will an insurer cover bikes locked to a roof rack? How many hours can you leave a bike unattended? Where are you permitted to store your bike? Will the policy cover you away from home? Give them a call or look at their website for their policy wording to check it’s right for you.

If you don’t have insurance:

Not everyone has (or needs) bike insurance, in this instance we recommend assessing the risk against the cost of your bike. Choose the best lock you can afford vs versus the value of your bike. For many, locking a bike securely with a Sold Secure Silver or above should offer an adequate level of protection. Ultimately, if you’re not insured, the rating you choose is completely up to you.

Why buy a Sold Secure lock?

Even if you’re not insured and don’t need a specific lock for your insurance, Sold Secure offer the best level of security available. Buying a Sold Secure lock is a great way to deter thieves and keep your bike safe.

If you’re looking for a bicycle lock for your insurance, be aware that every insurer will have their own security requirements, so make sure you know what you’re required to do to be covered. Typically, all insurers will specify that you need a Sold Secure lock of appropriate level to cover the value of your bike and accessories.

When searching for a lock check the Sold Secure approved list to see if it has been approved and what the rating is.

How to Choose the Right Bike Lock

When choosing a lock, consider a few things:

      • What is the total value of your bike (and accessories)?
      • Where is your bike typically left unattended?
      • Where do you store your bike at home?
      • What is your risk level (low, medium or high)?
      • Which type of lock would work best and offer the right level of security?

For insurance purposes, the value of your bike will dictate the level of lock you need. Most insurers will only cover you if you’re using a Sold Secure lock that equals the value of your bike and accessories and you have met the requirements in your policy wording. However, the value will vary. For example, some insurers will only cover you for up to £300 for your bike and accessories with a bronze lock. Essentially, what this means is that if your bike and accessories are worth over £300, you need a better lock rating to cover the value. Make sure you check cover value with your insurance company.

Tip: Most insurers will also require proof of purchase for any locks, so make sure you keep the receipt. If you don’t have the receipt, some will accept a photo as proof of ownership.

Buy Sold Secure locks from LITELOK

If you’re a cyclist, even if your bike isn’t worth much, the sentimental value is bound to outweigh the cost. We hope this Sold Secure guide has answered any questions you had about bike lock ratings. Finding the best bike lock isn’t always simple, but despite the initial outlay, it’s always a worthwhile investment.

If you have questions about any of our products, get in touch! We’re more than happy to advise on what might work best for your needs. Contact us today.

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