Known Issues & Problems with Rad Power Products + Help, Solutions & Fixes

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
No ebike is perfect, this is a thread dedicated to sharing known issues or problems with electric bikes from Rad Power as well as any help and solutions you know of. Sometimes that means a DIY fix and other times it can mean a recall, software update or part replacement by a dealer.

Please be respectful and constructive with feedback, this is not a space for hate speech. In many cases, representatives from the company will see feedback and use it to improve their product. In the end, the goal is to enjoy riding and help each other go further and be safer.
 

Barkme Wolf

Active Member
4000 miles on a Radwagon here- Keep your spokes tight and true. Keep your chain oiled and have regular tune ups for your derailleur system. Upgrades on derailleur and seat advised. Additional lights a must.
My biggest issue has been spoke breakage. Otherwise it's all good. I ride 40+ miles daily, all hills.
 

BVC

Active Member
Brakes need lots of adjustments to maintain tightness. This is most likely due to 20+ mph and city street braking of a 60 lb bike + rider/gear (So trying to stop around 225-300 lbs?)

I found using a softer brake pad on the rear cuts down on excessive heavy braking thus leaving a more desired tread wear (less micro-skidding).

Headlight sucks. Buy one from 1859 NW. Plug an play with factory light.

Tilt brake levers down a tad to put less strain on the wrists by not having to twist your wrist down/fingers up just to clear the brake levers to get access. Both rovers had brake levers tilted too high up.

Few days after rain or beach - inspect all bolts and overall bike for rust. One rover had minimal rust. The other had rust on non-treated bolts (especially the controller bolts. What a pain).

Every month or so, depending on how often your ride, inspect the bottom of your kick stand. Mine tends to show wear on the bottom end. I placed a few screw bolts on the bottom foot to help ease wear on the plastic.
 

windmill

Active Member
800 miles on a wagon, no real issues, but room for minor improvement.

Rear derailleur needs to be upgraded for smooth reliable shifting through all gears, higher quality cables with better routing helps too.

No broken spokes, but they required fairly regular tensioning for the first 250 miles, the OE spokes don't run true and straight because the nipples can't sit true in the rim.

Problem Solvers rear axle nuts secure the real wheel better against loosening from torque reaction when climbing and descending long steep hills.

Replaced lights with significantly brighter Busch Muller IQ-X E headlight, and Spanninga Elips tailight. Both are plug and play with the bikes lighting circuit without any modification, and are true correctly engineered vehicle lights rather than glorified bicycle flashlights.

Better quality brake cables, and Shimano resin brake pads make a real improvement in brake power and control while being much quieter in the wet.
 

Barkme Wolf

Active Member
800 miles on a wagon, no real issues, but room for minor improvement.

Rear derailleur needs to be upgraded for smooth reliable shifting through all gears, higher quality cables with better routing helps too.

No broken spokes, but they required fairly regular tensioning for the first 250 miles, the OE spokes don't run true and straight because the nipples can't sit true in the rim.

Problem Solvers rear axle nuts secure the real wheel better against loosening from torque reaction when climbing and descending long steep hills.

Replaced lights with significantly brighter Busch Muller IQ-X E headlight, and Spanninga Elips tailight. Both are plug and play with the bikes lighting circuit without any modification, and are true correctly engineered vehicle lights rather than glorified bicycle flashlights.

Better quality brake cables, and Shimano resin brake pads make a real improvement in brake power and control while being much quieter in the wet.
When you say "plug and play", what is the description? I see some with wires and some without. If I wanted to search online what key words for the connection type?
 

Barkme Wolf

Active Member
4000 miles on a Radwagon here- Keep your spokes tight and true. Keep your chain oiled and have regular tune ups for your derailleur system. Upgrades on derailleur and seat advised. Additional lights a must.
My biggest issue has been spoke breakage. Otherwise it's all good. I ride 40+ miles daily, all hills.
Also the front fender is a bit of in the way of the peddles when you turn. No clearance.
 

Lost

Active Member
Only true issue was loose spokes. Rest was upgrades I did for giggles. Only have 250 miles.
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
I have two 2016 Radrovers since Sept/2016 with about 1000 miles each. First issue I've had was related to shipping and one of the Rovers with minor damage like:
- bent rear derailleur causing the chain to rub the rear tire in 3 lower gears (bent back in alignment)
- damage to pedal crank and it fell off in the first 10 miles. Only a replacement crank under warranty worked.
- minor stuff like re-torquing nuts/bolts/screws, adjusting brakes, adjusting derailleur (constantly), and tightening spokes

I later developed and issue on the same RR with the shipping damage with the controller hitting the power cut-off and watts show 000 and the power wouldn't re-engage when you mph slow down below the cut off speed. I had to pause my peddling for 2-4 seconds before it would restart the motor. New controller under warranty resolved this issue.

The same Radrover (with shipping damage) battery stopped charging after 200 miles (it would power the bike and discharge properly). Replaced under warranty.

The second Radrover shipping box was in very good condition. I assumed both were shipped at the same time side-by-side because they arrived on the same delivery truck. A thicker box with extra padding would help solve warranty issues as you ship further across the country (WA to NM).

The second Radrover developed a controller issue (30 maintain error) around the 500 mile mark. It started only at start-up 1-3 times in a row; but, wouldn't occur for the rest of the ride (6-30 mile rides). A few months later, the 30 maintain error would occur in the middle of the ride and shut down +10 times a ride. Rad Power Bikes sent me a new controller, wiring harness, and controller under warranty to resolve the issue. Installed all 3 and got the same 30 maintain error every single time I engaged the PAS. Put the old controller back on the RR to trouble-shoot and that worked and zero errors after +350 miles.

I have to commend Rad Power Bikes on their responsiveness and customer service. Never an issues trouble-shooting with them and shipping of replacement parts. I worry about how much $$ it might cost to keep the Radrover running out of warranty. I might convert to a mid-drive depending on the cost of replacement parts.
 
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windmill

Active Member
When you say "plug and play", what is the description? I see some with wires and some without. If I wanted to search online what key words for the connection type?
Plug and play as in correct volt and amp range for the lighting circuit. Besides the lights one will need some some connectors and shrink tube. The headlight comes with enough wire for the tail light.

Male spade connector, Nobel U-501D .110 X .020 22-18 g
Female spade connector, Nobel U-502D .110 x .020 22-18 g
The Johnsons Do-It-Best hardware store in Maple Valley (at the end of the Ceder river trail) has them in stock.

The lights are near impossible to find in the US, I ordered them from,
Tail light $13.26 https://en.hollandbikeshop.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=461997
Headlight $97.47 https://en.hollandbikeshop.com/bicycle-parts-electric-bicycle/e-bike-bicycle-lighting/e-bike-bicycle-headlight/busch-muller-lumotec-iq-x-e-led-headlight-150-lux-black/
Works out to about $148.00 with shipping
 

windmill

Active Member
"Spoke" too soon,
Broke a spoke today at 807 miles. Relaced the wheel after drilling out the spoke holes with 13G Sapim spokes and nipples. The Sapim nipples allow some deviation in angle, but the spokes still aren't perfectly true. If any of the new spokes break, I will get a better rim with eyelets.
 
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Ann M.

Well-Known Member
@windmill :rolleyes:!

Anyone know what that proper spoke tension should be for those RadWagon wheels? Particularly the rear motor wheel.
Our shop repaired a RadWagon that was about to tear up the motor wires. The lock nut that Rad Power uses is not strong enough for such a heavy cargo bike. We replaced it with a heavier duty one; there wasn't enough room for the GRIN torque arm to fit which is what we wanted to use. Need a slightly thinner torque arm. For cargo bikes in general torque arms would be a better choice than the lock nut.
 

windmill

Active Member
@windmill :rolleyes:!

Anyone know what that proper spoke tension should be for those RadWagon wheels? Particularly the rear motor wheel.
Our shop repaired a RadWagon that was about to tear up the motor wires. The lock nut that Rad Power uses is not strong enough for such a heavy cargo bike. We replaced it with a heavier duty one; there wasn't enough room for the GRIN torque arm to fit which is what we wanted to use. Need a slightly thinner torque arm. For cargo bikes in general torque arms would be a better choice than the lock nut.
Who knows, and its dubious as the spokes are short and thick. I simply did it by feel and sound. I agree a torque arm would be best, but the Problem Solvers nuts seem to be up to the task as one can really tighten them down.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
@windmill, Gotcha, just curious. Have a link for those Problem Solver nuts? This isn't the first bike that we've dealt with that has weak lock nuts.
 

windmill

Active Member
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@Ann M. The RadWagon does not employ a lock nut on the rear axle. Instead we use a long thread acorn nut (for maximum thread engagement) and a lock washer. On the inside of the frame there is also a Torque washer. I would advise against using a Grin tech torque arm on this bike, but not for the reasons you have brought up. The axle on the RadWagon is circular, rather than having two flats required for a Grin Tech arm, so it would not perform any torque capturing functions on the RadWagon. Otherwise they are awesome torque arms and Grin Tech makes my favorite DIY components :)

All of our bikes use torque arms except for the RadWagon which employs a steel frame and the washer/nut arrangement shown in the attached photo, which is more than sufficient as long as the axle nut tightness is properly set.

Also, when you have a moment, please adjust our company name from "Rad Power" to "Rad Power Bikes" in the OP, for accuracy. You rock, thanks for all that you do for this community!
 

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J.R.

Well-Known Member
We still see products using split lock washers, but seldom where they're relied on for safety or security. In addition split lock washers aren't designed to be reused, as with every time they're compressed the steel loses strength and the sharp edges typically only bite the surface material and nut once. Adding a flat washer that can spin, further weakens the joint.

I'm not trying to alarm, just offer information that may answer Ann's question. There's a lot of engineering information on lock washers, its rather dry reading. The following isn't bad and hits the high points and is informative.

http://www.boltscience.com/pages/vibloose.htm

There are lock washers that work and in many circumstances can be reused.

http://www.nord-lock.com/bolted/video-tips-on-reusing-nord-lock-washers/
 
Those are great links @J.R. thanks for sharing!
Just spoke with our technical support and service managers, and the only common questions they receive regarding the rear axle hardware on the RadWagon is how to re-install/arrange/what order the washers go on after being removed to change flats. I believe the round axle, versus double D shaped axles (two flats) results in more friction grip because of more thread engagement and the thick steel frame + locking washers prevent self-loosening normally caused by side sliding or rocking of the hub motor axle under accel and decel. Vibrations and twisting torque also contribute to loosening, and I would suspect sin wave controllers paired with direct drive hub motors smooth these factors out.

My guess is the bike which Ann M.’s shop had in for service either 1) Had improperly torqued axle nuts or 2) Had the washers in an incorrect orientation which resulted in poor clamp force, then self-loosening. This is a good tip for owners and service providers for our bikes: Check with us (support@radpowerbikes.com) whenever performing service if there are questions on the correct orientation of hardware, getting replacement hardware or torque specifications. Properly setup and checked as part of normal service intervals and folks won’t have any trouble.

The RadRover, RadMini and RadCity all have a different style of axle, by design, compared to the RadWagon since they are outfitted with an aluminum frame. These models use a combination of Nyloc and serrated flange lock nuts, torque washers, flat washers (to keep the nut from scraping the aluminum frame) and torque arms for additional security in light of these being aluminum.

The feedback is definitely appreciated, and thanks again for sharing those links, your posts are some of the most value loaded on this forum.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Mike, your advice regarding proper torquing of fasteners is spot on and can never be said enough. It great you're so accessible to the forum.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
@Mike Radenbaugh , thank you, I used the wrong technical term when calling a torque washer a lock nut. It's very likely that the Rad Wagon's owner had issues from a visit to a shop that doesn't regularly work on ebikes and didn't realize the importance of all of the fasteners & their order. That's why he came to us. This guy's torque washer was bent to the point that it really wasn't doing anything on one side and we didn't want to see him strip motor wires with all of the load in the back.

Thank you and Tora for sharing so much info on the site; it's much appreciated!

@J.R. thank you for the links, the reading is only dry if it doesn't matter to you :)
 

windmill

Active Member
Those are great links @J.R. thanks for sharing!
Just spoke with our technical support and service managers, and the only common questions they receive regarding the rear axle hardware on the RadWagon is how to re-install/arrange/what order the washers go on after being removed to change flats. I believe the round axle, versus double D shaped axles (two flats) results in more friction grip because of more thread engagement and the thick steel frame + locking washers prevent self-loosening normally caused by side sliding or rocking of the hub motor axle under accel and decel. Vibrations and twisting torque also contribute to loosening, and I would suspect sin wave controllers paired with direct drive hub motors smooth these factors out.

My guess is the bike which Ann M.’s shop had in for service either 1) Had improperly torqued axle nuts or 2) Had the washers in an incorrect orientation which resulted in poor clamp force, then self-loosening. This is a good tip for owners and service providers for our bikes: Check with us (support@radpowerbikes.com) whenever performing service if there are questions on the correct orientation of hardware, getting replacement hardware or torque specifications. Properly setup and checked as part of normal service intervals and folks won’t have any trouble.

The RadRover, RadMini and RadCity all have a different style of axle, by design, compared to the RadWagon since they are outfitted with an aluminum frame. These models use a combination of Nyloc and serrated flange lock nuts, torque washers, flat washers (to keep the nut from scraping the aluminum frame) and torque arms for additional security in light of these being aluminum.

The feedback is definitely appreciated, and thanks again for sharing those links, your posts are some of the most value loaded on this forum.
My daily 16 mile RT commute includes a mile long 15% to 18% hill (James st in Kent) and a couple of short hills close to 20% , I was having trouble keeping the OE axle nuts tight with those climbs and descents, and the nut threads were degrading. I've had the same issue on other bikes with IGH hubs, and my go to solution has been axle nuts with captive serrated washers from Problem Solvers http://problemsolversbike.com/products/hubs/axle_nuts_-_25017. They do not loosen from the torque reaction of climbing and braking.

I didn't see any torque specifications in the manual so I defaulted to the standard torque specification for grade 2, 3/8 X 24 tpi @ 26 ft-lb. This also falls withing the torque range recommended by Shimano and Park tool.
HU7100.jpg
 
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