Probably the most important equipment you can have to go with your bike is your lock (or two). It helps keep the bike secure and prevent it getting stolen and you should have it with you at all times. Here’s our handy help sheet for how to pick the right lock…
Choose one tested by Sold Secure as a ‘Gold’ Standard
Sold Secure is a not-for-profit organisation, set up and run by the Master Locksmiths Association which rates locks as Bronze, Silver or Gold in ascending order of security. Locks in the UK do not have to be tested at all, but the best ones are and this is a great way of selecting the best lock. They are rated to withstand progressively more sophisticated and tooled-up attacks as follows:
Locks are designed to stop opportunist thieves most commonly, so few will withstand a thief that arrives with heavy-duty tools, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in a lock. First off, locks are a deterrent and thieves will pick the easiest target and second, they provide a physical delay between a thief selecting your bike and walking away with it, meaning there’s more opportunity for them to be interrupted.
Choose the right type of lock
Locks range from thin wires to thick chains and some people even opt for motorcycle chains (although these are incredibly heavy). Typically speaking, the more you pay for the lock, the more it weighs, but also the better security it offers.
Put simply, there are two categories of lock: ‘flexible’ i.e. those which move and can be wrapped around your bike, and ‘shackle’ locks which are rigid i.e. D-Locks or U-Locks.
Flexible locks have the advantage of being flexible and lightweight and many people prefer them because they allow you to be more selective about how and where you lock your bike. As they stretch, you can choose a wider variety of places to lock your bike and you can also put the lock through more parts of your bike.
The downside of these locks is that they are usually easier to cut through and can be broken in a brute force attack where the chain is twisted and forced. They’re a good option, but less secure than the shackle locks.
Shackle locks are more commonly known as D-Locks or U-Locks and are solid steel. They are more restrictive for locking your bike, simply because they are smaller and therefore the bike has to be closer to the object, but they are much harder to cut through, much harder to force and need specialist tools. At minimum, you should be using one D or U-Lock through your frame and back wheel, attached to an immovable object. You can then enhance security with additional locks or cable locks.
Check your insurance
It is worth noting that some insurance companies stipulate what type, make, rating or even model of lock you must buy and use to secure your bike, so make sure you have checked your policy. As a guide, experts suggest spending about 10% of the value of the bike to secure it, so on a £500 that’s £50 worth of lock!
What locks can I buy at the Bicycle Hub?
We are a stockist of Oxford Products and sell a variety of locks from cable locks through to Shackle locks. Take a look online here or give us a call and one of the team will happily source the right lock for you.