At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.
Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
Master Lock's Python cable lock boasts a neat ratchet mechanism that allows you to adjust the cable length from 30cm to 1.8m, and cuts out excess cable that could be easily snipped. Unfortunately what remains is easily snipped, making the Python hard to recommend.
The adjustable cable system actually works very well: you pull the excess cable through to tighten the lock, and that leaves less exposed cable for thieves to have a go on. However, when you're measuring the life expectancy of said cable in tenths of a second, it's pretty academic. Ours took just 12.6 seconds to snip through with the big croppers, which isn't a good score by any means.
That's not to say the Python doesn't have its uses. It'd be handy as a secondary lock to hold wheels and helmet, for example, where the ratchet system would be useful to keep everything tidy. It's also be a good option for locking your bikes to a bike rack, as you could tighten it down to stop them moving about. Just don't rely on it as your first line of defence in town: it's just not up to the job.
Clever cable lock with its uses, but keeping an expensive bike safe isn't one of them
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Make and model: Master Lock Python Cable lock
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Cut resistant - 10mm diameter 100% steel braided cable
Ultimate Flexibility - Cable length adjusts from 30cm to 1.8m
Patented pick resistant reliable pin tumbler locking mechanism
Tie Down convenience - "Cinch" hold feature prevents slack when cinching cable tight
Non scratch with its vinyl-coated cable
Weather Tough - Rust resistant lock body and cable
Compact Storage - Velcro strap holds excess cable
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Used as a secondary or low-security lock it's okay, the adjustable cable length can be useful
Did you enjoy using the product? No
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Age: 38 Height: 190cm Weight: 98kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.