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.
Axa's Roll Lock is a lightweight and easy-to-use deterrent lock ideal for rural café stops, urban errands and mass events. It slots into any bike baggage or jersey pocket with ease and will make your bike less appealing to an opportunist thief over one that isn't locked.
With everything opening up again, group gatherings are becoming a more regular occurrence. While deterrent locks are never going to stop a thief intent on getting your bike, something like this Roll Lock may put off the opportunist, particularly if another bike near yours isn't secured.
I'm a fan of these kind of locks for touring – when I want to pop into a shop for food and still have sight of the bike but might not be able to react to an opportunistic thief. They definitely have their uses and get my vote over something that requires a key or widget, such as Hiplok's Security Ties.
The Axa Roll Lock is a three-digit combination setup that weighs in at 50g (by our scales). Its size is a big selling point – it takes up very little space in a saddle bag, dropping into a rucksack pouch, jacket or jersey pocket without any problems.
The code is easy to set up, and once selected, the lock is smooth running – it pulls out and retracts without jumps, and there's no resistance on the digit dials, which line up with a subtle click.
The 75cm cable is enough to lock a rear wheel and frame to a post, if you line things up right. Alternatively, I've had it round two bike frames. A bit more length would be handy, but it isn't a disaster, and if you start adding length, you add weight and bulk.
As a no-frills, deterrent lock, it's decent value for money. Some manufacturers try adding features, but this ultimately increases bulk and weight. Hiplok's FLX Lock features a clip and light, adding 50g on top of AXA's, as well as £20. Its Z-Lok Combo is £19.99, not as long and not as easy to pocket.
Overall, I'd say this is an ideal deterrent lock for anyone wanting to put off opportunist thieves, be it at a café, sportive registration or a 'corner shop trip'. For a tenner, it could well save thousands if it makes your bike less appealing than one that isn't secured.
Affordable, no-frills deterrent lock, certainly worth a tenner to put off an opportunistic thief
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road.cc test report
Make and model: AXA Roll Lock
Size tested: 75cm cable
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?
AXA says: 'The AXA Roll can be used for all your accessories. Not just for securing your bike for short periods, but also for securing all kinds of other things. Think about securing bike helmets, spare wheels or tools, garden furniture or bags.
'Easy to use and you can give it your own personal 3-digit code.
'The AXA Roll is easy to carry with you due to its lightweight and compact shape.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Design: combination cable lock
Length: 75 cm
Cable Diameter: 1.6 mm
Security Rating: 1 (out of 15)
Weight: 30g (not by our scales)
Take a pair of pliers to it and it'll soon be done. However, as a working product it's fine. There are no clips or extra features to break off or go wrong, I've dropped it from a height several times and it's still working as it should. Might sound silly, but don't forget that the lock is on and wheel your bike away with enthusiasm – this has the potential to kink the cable and retraction then isn't smooth.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great – light, small and easy to use.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Size – it's as small as you can make something like this, I think.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Competitive. Abus offer a similar one for £14.44. Hiplok has added features that may or may not appeal, in either case, you pay for them: a clip adds a tenner on top of AXA's, a clip and a light is triple the price of AXA's.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Neat, compact design that does what it's designed to, at a competitive price. It's great.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road.
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!
Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing.
Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…