Everything You Need to Know About Sundays Insurance-Approved Bike Locks
One of the most common questions our Sundays Insurance customers ask is, “Which bike lock should I use?”
While bicycle security technology is getting better every day, there’s a dizzying number of lock brands on the market these days, which can make it difficult to pick the one that’s right for you.
Just like how you had hearts in your eyes on the day you saw your new bikes, so do thieves - for all the wrong reasons. Concerns about your bike’s safety when it’s locked up can make commuting by bike stressful, and even put some cyclists off commuting by bike altogether.
To make it simple for you to know which locks you can use, we’ve put together a list of Sundays Insurance-approved locks. This list isn’t exhaustive, and we may cover other types of locks - simply email us at [email protected] or call us on (805) 448-6558 to check whether your bike lock is approved.
How to Choose a Bike Lock
The unfortunate reality is that it’s next to impossible to stop a truly determined thief from stealing your bike. But luckily, many thieves are opportunistic: if they see a bike that isn’t securely locked up, they may steal it but they’re unlikely to be carrying around the equipment needed to remove a solid lock.
If you make it as difficult as possible to steal your bike, chances are that thieves will give up.
If you’re a Sundays Insurance policyholder, you’ll need to pick one of the locks on our approved list - but this doesn’t mean your options are limited! There are over 50 approved locks of all types on our list from various brands, so you can select the one that suits your unique needs. If your lock isn’t on the list, you can contact us to review it.
Remember, if your bike is stolen while it’s locked up without using an approved lock, your claim may be rejected.
Here are some additional things to consider when selecting your bike lock:
- Where will you be leaving your bike? It’s at higher risk of theft in big cities than small villages, so you may want a lock that’s not only Sundays Insurance-approved but also looks intimidating.
- How will you be carrying your lock? Chain locks can be very heavy and D-Locks can be impractical to carry around. If you’re locking your bike up at the office, consider leaving a hard-to-carry lock at your office so you don’t need to lug it around on your commute.
- We’ve rigorously selected each of the locks on our approved list, so we’re confident that they all provide fantastic value for money. However, there is a large price range when it comes to bike locks. While you should keep your budget and your bike value in mind, you should always spend as much as you can afford to on a bike lock (especially if your bike is pricey!)
- While having two locks on your bike won’t affect your premium or your claim with Sundays Insurance, if your bike is expensive or you’re leaving it in a high-risk area, consider using two different locks to make it almost impossible for thieves to steal it.
- If you can easily remove components from your bike, so can thieves! While most opportunistic thieves will want the complete bike, more sophisticated thieves will be able to spot expensive components a mile off. If it would hurt your pocket to have it stolen, remove it from your bike before locking it.
How to Lock Your Bike
If you leave your bike unattended (i.e. out of your direct line of sight or more than five yards away from you) when in town, at a friend’s, during a café stop, etc. your bike needs to be locked to an immovable object through the frame using an approved lock. Ideally, lock your bike in a busy area with CCTV cameras and other bikes.
For clarity, if you are stopping to have a coffee after a ride, you don’t have to lock your bicycle if it is less than five yards from you and in your direct line of sight the entire time. If you can’t see it, even if it’s just for a moment, it must be locked as specified above to be covered.
For home storage, your bicycle can be locked in a shed or garage but remember, if your bicycle is in the shed or garage and you are not (for example, if you’re busy in the house or pop out to the grocery store) the doors and windows must be locked.
If your bicycle is left anywhere else on your property, for instance, in an open garage or garden shed without a lock, it must be secured to an immovable object with an approved lock.
While there are many ways to lock your bicycle, to meet the Sundays Insurance security conditions, you should lock your bicycle securely through the frame and quick-release wheels, and then to an immovable object using one of our approved locks. Locking your bicycle in another manner or to a moveable object may affect the outcome of your claim.
Types of Bike Locks
D-locks (also called U-Locks) were first designed in the 1970s by a company called Kaplan, which later went on to be renamed Kryptonite. If that rings a bell, it’s because Kryptonite locks are still some of the best-selling bike locks in the world.
D-Locks are some of the strongest, most popular types of locks available. You can think of them as large padlocks that lock around your bike and whatever you’re securing it to.
While there are many ways to lock your bike with a D-lock, for it to be covered in the event of a claim with Sundays Insurance, it must be locked through its main frame to an immovable object.
Alarm D-locks or U-locks are similar to standard D- and U-locks, but they come with the added benefit of an alarm system that will sound if someone attempts to remove it without the key.
Even if you aren’t in the vicinity to hear the alarm, having attention drawn to your bike and the thief is likely to send them scurrying off.
Link locks (also called folding locks) are a relatively new design that gives you the same security as a more traditional lock, with the added benefit of being easy to carry.
They’re made from a series of interlocking plates that give you loads of options for locking your bike to various immovable objects that might be too difficult to lock with a D-lock.
For added peace of mind, you can also get a link lock with an alarm.
Chain locks tend to be some of the strongest locks on the market and are easily maneuverable to allow you to lock your bike to various immovable objects. There is a downside though: they tend to be significantly heavier than other types of locks.
If you lock your bike in a specific location every day (for example, at the office) you might want to consider leaving a chain lock at the office, or if you get one of the lighter chain locks available you can wrap it around your seatpost while riding.
What to do if Your Bike is Stolen
Despite your best efforts to securely lock up your bike, things can always go wrong. If your bike is stolen and you need to make a claim with Sundays Insurance, here’s what you’ll need to do to help move the process along swiftly:
- Report the incident as soon as possible by following our claims process here. All incidents involving theft or attempted theft require a police report in order to make a claim
- Contact us within a reasonable amount of time from the incident
- Report the incident or loss to the police in the event of a theft, attempted theft, malicious damage/impact
- You’re likely to need the bicycle’s serial number if it has been stolen
- Try your best to prevent any further loss, damage, or cost
We’re all cyclists here at Sundays Insurance, so we understand how stressful an event that leads to a claim can be. If you need any assistance, call us on (805) 448-6558 or email us at [email protected]
A common piece of advice given to cyclists whose bikes have been stolen is to check their local pawn stores or online marketplaces for their bike. While this may lead to you finding your bike, we discourage cyclists from tracking down criminals for your own safety.
If you suspect a bike you’ve found online or in a pawn shop is yours, go to your local police and follow their advice.