The Sold Secure organisation test bike locks by physically trying to break them under laboratory conditions. They then rate the locks Bronze, Silver or Gold according to how long they take to break (Gold are the best). Some insurers will only cover your bike if it is locked with a sold secure lock of a particular level.
Who are Sold Secure?
Sold Secure is an independent organisation which was originally setup by Northumberland and Essex police forces with the help of the Home Office. They are now owned by the Master Locksmiths Association but still work closely with police forces.
Sold Secure have their own laboratory near Daventry where they test out locks. They have a team of professional locksmiths who test each lock using the same tools and techniques to see which ones stand up against attacks for the longest. They also work with police on new techniques for breaking locks that are being seen on the streets.
What are the Sold Secure Ratings?
The sold secure ratings are done on a grade. They don’t mean that one lock will definitely stand up to attack for a set period of time. Instead they give a guide to the general level of protection.
- Gold locks are the hardest to break and offer the top level of protection. They should be used in high crime areas, on higher value bikes or when the bike is being left for longer periods of time (e.g. outside your work all day).
- Silver locks offer reasonable protection at a lower cost than a gold lock. They should be used in medium risk situations. This might be locking your bike while you are at the gym or locking it while it is inside your home.
- Bronze lock are only designed to deter opportunistic thieves. They should be used in low risk situations. This might be locking you bike outside a café or shop while you quickly pop in.
Which Locks to Buy?
The Abus Granit range of locks have been around for years but Abus regularly update them to cope with the latest attacks. The Abus Granit 53 D-Lock is Gold Secure and is ideal for locking your bike in high risk areas. You can use the cable that comes with it to loop around wheel, seats or other easily detached parts for extra security.
The Abus Bordo folding lock packs down to a neat little rectangle which is really easy to carry in a bag or to neatly attach to a bike. If you want a reasonably secure lock that is easy to carry then the Bordo is ideal.
The OnGuard Akita is classic cable lock which is really light and easy to use. As a Bronze rated lock it is not designed to stand up to sustained attacks but is great for locking your bike for short periods of time.