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Understanding the bike lock security system

When it comes to understanding the bike lock security system, we know there’s a lot of information to take in. We’re here to help you understand what the different Sold Secure ratings mean and what you need to know about the different types of locks.

What is Sold Secure?

Good question. What is Sold Secure and who gave them the authority to determine lock security levels? Firstly, Sold Secure is an independent, non-for-profit owned by the Master Locksmiths Association. They specialise in testing and certifying all locks. Originally Sold Secure was established in 1992 by Northumbria and Essex police. So, Sold Secure have a solid history in making sure the bike locks used to protect our property is of great quality. We will go into detail about the different levels of security later in this blog.

Sold secure

How does it work?

In order to get the seal of approval from Sold Secure, manufacturers have to submit their locks and they are given a grade depending on the level of security. This range is based on the amount of time it takes to defeat the lock. The categories are: gold, silver and bronze.

Why should we use this rating?

The Sold Secure rating will give you a consistent benchmark to compare your bike lock. Your insurance company will feel confident if you’re using a Sold Secure rated lock on your bike. The police work closely with Sold Secure and the experts who deal with locks day-in-day-out so you can be assured that your lock is of high standards.

How does the grading work?

Here we’ve outlined each of the grades:

Lenght of time graphic


This grade will offer a defence against opportunity thieves. This will give you some decent protection, but if you’re planning on leaving your bike for at least an hour, you should go for the Silver rating.


This is for low risk areas such as small towns or a village. If you’re likely to leave your bike out for any longer than an hour, Gold security is the best level for you.


Gold security rating is required for those of you who are living in a big town, city or university campus. If you’re likely to be leaving your bike for longer than an hour, this is the lock for you!

What else should I consider?

The grading is important but you should also think about the type of lock you’re using (for example a U-lock, cable lock etc). The thickness of the lock is also important. We have a complete blog post which will help you to select the right type of lock here. In the meantime, here’s a quick look at the different types of the most popular locks available:


Also known as a D-lock these act like a giant padlock that can be fastened around solid objects and your bike. Good U-locks provide a nice balance between price, practicality and security. They are generally cheaper, lighter and a bit easier to use than chain locks, while still offering a high level of protection.


These are usually a long metal chain (covered by a sleeve to protect your paintwork) coupled with heavy duty lock. While they can be easier than U-locks to fasten around objects they are heavy and so are generally used as a second stationery lock which you leave where your bike is regularly parked for longer periods.


Cable locks are light, relatively inexpensive and easy to carry around. Available as key or combination varieties, these are best used in conjunction with other locks listed above as on their own, they offer the least deterrent to thieves.

Yale’s products

Since 1843 Yale have been at the forefront of security solutions. We are trusted globally, providing locks of every design and function in over 125 countries. As one of the oldest international brands, Yale is among the best-known and most respected names in the lock industry, with millions of Yale locks in use worldwide. Designed to protect the things that matter most, you can trust Yale to deliver security and peace of mind.

We have a range of bike locks which will work for you. Click here to view the range!

Your thoughts:

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