Café locks are a handy way of quickly securing a bicycle quickly and easily by preventing the rear wheel from spinning. They’re called café locks because they’re meant to be used for a short period of time, as when you want to run into a store or coffee shop and just need a quick way to secure your bike.

I saw that Rad was planning them when the RadRunner 3 came out earlier this year, and they are now available. They are compatible with Rad ebikes released in 2021 and later, since they require mounting points that aren’t on the frames of earlier manufactured Rad frames.

The new lock costs $69 and mounts to mounting points on the bike’s frame. This makes it super convenient since you don’t have to remember to pack a lock in a bag. It’s always with you attached to the bike. A chain is also sold separately to attach to the lock, so the bike can also be locked to a pole and then fed through the front wheel to further secure it.

There isn’t a bike lock made that a persistent thief can’t break, but using multiple locks might dissuade some from choosing your bike. I wouldn’t rely just on a café lock, but they are handy when you want to briefly stop and not worry about someone just riding off with your bike, like when I frequently stop to take photos along a scenic bike trail. In those cases, I’m always close to my bike, but somebody could still ride off with it before I could stop them.

I ordered one for my RadExpand 5, and I’ll share photos when I get it installed. You can purchase the lock from Rad Power Bikes, here.

Update: I got the lock installed! It took less than a week to arrive to Illinois after ordering. When I took the lock out of the box, I was surprised by how heavy it was. It probably adds another 2-3 lbs to your bike. It’s definitely not made out of cheap plastic. Mounting it was fairly simple once I figured out how it was supposed to mount. There wasn’t a clear picture of the lock on a RadExpand to be found. So, I wasn’t quite sure how to go about it, but another RadExpand rider shared a photo of his bike on Facebook with one installed, and I went “Duh!” It’s easy to install.

I installed it the same day I upgraded the freewheel and replaced the tube in the rear wheel, so that explains the grease marks on the frame and key! I think the lock is going to be very handy to have.

RadExpand Wheel Lock

Categorized in:

How-to & Tips,

Last Update: April 16, 2023