Rad City and Rad Mini ... Harsh ride

My wife and I want to buy the RadCity and RadCity step thru, so we test drove them recently at a rental location in CO. Loved everything about them except the ride was very harsh on both. Yes, I know about suspension seatposts, but we own 8 bicycles, or all types, and never experienced such a jolting ride over typical sidewalks and pavement, with or without suspension. Briefly rode the RadMini, same harsh ride. Maybe the tires were at 80 psi, and 55 would help. I would appreciate any feedback from owners.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
The 2.3" tires generally offer up a pretty reasonable compromise as far as ride and rolling resistance, but you do need to inflate them for your weight and riding preferences. They're actually one of the reasons I like the City.

As long as you're comparing apples with apples, I think they ride as well as anything else I've been on.
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
I usually keep my wife's Radcity Step-thru at around 50-55 PSI and my Radrover around 19-21 psi (along with front forks in the open position and Cloud-9 11.5"X12.5" cruiser seat+Bodyfloat v2.0). Way smoother ride compared to our old 700X40c hybrid commuter bikes.

We also wear padded under shorts and padded gloves when we ride (every little bit helps).
 

Greencat

New Member
We also have the rad City and step thru at 55. It rides the same as my old hybrid. Maybe the tires feel a little stiffer but I think that's because they're brand new. Just installed some new seats and I think that'll make a difference going for a long ride this weekend.

Was the front suspension locked on the rental bikes?
 

Trail Cruiser

Well-Known Member
You can actually lower the tire pressure into the 40's psi range (minus 5 psi in the front). I also do the old school way of checking tire pressure. If I can slightly squeeze by hand the opposing side walls (of course, I double checked it with the pressure gauge), then I know that it has some degree of compliance when hitting road bumps.

As long as the tires still looks round at the ground contact when riding, and you don't pinch the tires when hitting bumps, you are OK. For me the comfortable pressure turns out to be in the 40's psi and I don't see significant sacrifice in battery range.
 

sl_duck

Member
I routinely run 2.3 bike tires at 25psi. If I'm expecting a long ride on pavement or somewhere traction isn't an issue, I might pump them up to 35psi. The pressure spec on the side of the tire is maximum pressure, not necessarily what you should be running it at. Don't be afraid to go much lower.
 
Thanks for everyone's comments. We'll rent them again when we get back to AZ, and carefully check the tire pressure. I am still perplexed why people would have to purchase a $250 suspension seat post, lower tire pressure to 30 psi, or wear padded bicycle shorts for this bike. I've had Diamondback hard tail MTB's with 2.3 inch tires at 80 psi (on pavement), Electra Townies with no suspension and 2 inch tires at 65 psi and Trek Hybrids with no suspension, and 700x45 tires at 80 psi. I would consider none harsh riding on pavement. In fact, all were pleasant to ride. I'll report back when we are able to rent them again and check the tire pressure carefully this time. Thanks for your comments. Keeping my fingers crossed, because the CityBikes check all the other boxes.
 

Tars Tarkas

Active Member
Yeah, it sounds like tire pressure. This doesn't really relate, but I have a thousand miles on my RadRover. Stock saddle and suspension and my ride is fine. I generally run the recommended 20 psi.

TT
 
Yes, I may end up with the RadRover, which I've seen reported as a comfortable ride at all tire pressures. Also, beginning to see that there are more complaints of the RadCity harsh ride. Not sure what to do at this point for the wife. Will start researching the RadMini step thru.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
IMHO, there is nothing unusual about the Rad City's design that might lead to a harsh ride. Obviously, the Rover with it's fatty tires (or any other fatty) is going to ride differently.

I take any comments regarding a "harsh" ride with a grain of salt as generally the rider is inexperienced, and/or hasn't taken the time or trouble to tune their bike to their needs, or likely even more commonly, didn't know they could. Suggest you don't convince yourself one way or the other, based on what others are saying, until you've had a chance to mess with it yourself....
 

Greencat

New Member
IMHO, there is nothing unusual about the Rad City's design that might lead to a harsh ride. Obviously, the Rover with it's fatty tires (or any other fatty) is going to ride differently.

I take any comments regarding a "harsh" ride with a grain of salt as generally the rider is inexperienced, and/or hasn't taken the time or trouble to tune their bike to their needs, or likely even more commonly, didn't know they could. Suggest you don't convince yourself one way or the other, based on what others are saying, until you've had a chance to mess with it yourself....
I agree. I was fine with the standard set up. I changed the seat because I saw others did and it was an inexpensive upgrade. I wonder if you are use to a road tire instead of a hybrid.
 
IMHO, there is nothing unusual about the Rad City's design that might lead to a harsh ride. Obviously, the Rover with it's fatty tires (or any other fatty) is going to ride differently.

I take any comments regarding a "harsh" ride with a grain of salt as generally the rider is inexperienced, and/or hasn't taken the time or trouble to tune their bike to their needs, or likely even more commonly, didn't know they could. Suggest you don't convince yourself one way or the other, based on what others are saying, until you've had a chance to mess with it yourself....
I've been riding bikes for 55 years and own 8 now, so I don't consider myself inexperienced, LOL.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
You stated something to the effect that you had a lot of experience. I got that. My point was, even though you are in posession of that kind of experience, that you would let input from those with MUCH less experience have an affect on your thinking. That because you read that others are discussing a harsh ride, that there could possibly be something wrong with the bike's design?

Tires maybe, seat maybe, handlebar design maybe, but those are all components that can be replaced easily and inexpensively. I'm not sure why you are considering them a factor?
 
Ahicks, thanks for the replies. My reference to others confirming the harsh ride were from 2 owners of the CityBike, not hearsay.

My current reference points are: a) Diamondback hardtail mountain bikes with 2.3 inch Kendas at 80 psi on pavement ... not harsh. b) Electra Townies, no suspension, 2 inch tires at 65 psi ... not harsh. c) Trek Verves, no suspension with 700x45 tires at 75 psi ... not harsh. d) Dahon Speed P8 with 20x1.75 at 60 psi ... not harsh. e) CityBike rentals, tire pressure unknown ... significantly harsh (wife on step thru and me on 19 inch)

When we get back to AZ in September, we are going to rent the CityBikes again, and set the pressure at 45 - 50 psi, as several here have suggested. I have to assume the ones we rented in CO were set at 80 psi. I will report back later. We love Rad Power bikes and what they have done to promote sensible value for the e bike community. Keeping our fingers crossed for the CityBikes!
 

Pay Jota

Member
I guess I dont understand how a hardtail bike at 80 psi could not be considered a harsh ride and what is basically a hardtail Rad City at 50 psi be even harsher. Metal is metal, isnt it?

My wife's previous bike did have a Post Modern absorbing seat stem. Before we transferred it over to her Rad City, she was complaining about the harsh ride. The seat stem did help her. I also recommended that she lower the inflation down to 45 as a compromise to the patchwork sections of pavement and dirt that we encounter on our rides.
 
Like I said, I suspect the RadCity rentals my wife and I tried, were at 80 psi, not 50 psi, or so, as many have recommended. Even so, I can understand your confusion Pay Jota ... it still doesn't make total sense to me either. Perhaps it has something to do with it's weight at 65 lbs. The heaviest bicycle I ever owned, excluding my trikes, was 35 pounds. Perhaps this 65 lbs is why you must lower the pressure to 45 to 55 psi, add suspension seat posts, change saddles, etc. to overcome the stock, jarring/harsh ride that we both experienced on sidewalks and pavement. I'll let you know when I test them again in September at 45 to 55 psi.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
I doubt seriously the weight of the bike has anything to do with the harsh ride you experienced. The reason for the majority of options you hear discussed is about luxury, and older riders that can afford it.....

It's not like we are discussing inexpensive Walmart brand bikes that are generally far more spartan when it comes to options. I think MANY electrics are viewed as luxury rides. Anything to make it more comfortable means the bike is going to be used more often, which I think is a goal for many e-bike riders.
 

Pay Jota

Member
For the 2019 model year, at least, Rad recommends 50-60 psi in the Rad City bikes. I cant imagine why a rental company would have put anything over that in those tires.

I have ridden my wife's bike at 50 and at 60 and I felt the ride was too stiff for me, at both inflations. I liked 40-45. But it's her bike and she wants it at factory specs.

I mean, at 40-45, the tires still have minimal rolling resistance. 40-45 is still a lot of air.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
I run mine at 65psi, and feel it rides good at that pressure. But in the spirit of full transparency, I weigh a little over 300lbs. Point being, the right psi is what works for you! Get a little crazy and do some experimenting! What is it going to cost you to go around the block trying a "different" air pressure to see how it works for you?