RadCity or Aventon Pace 500

AHicks

Well-Known Member
I really do like the idea of comparing bikes. My thing though, is if you're going to condemn one of them/eliminate it from your potential buy list, do it for the right reason. Don't condemn all Rad's for instance, because the one you rode felt draggy with no PAS. That's ignorant.

If pedaling easiest possible unassisted is high on your list, stay away from the direct drive bikes, all of them. Realize it's the motor, not the bike manf.

In defense of direct drive, I think most people could care less about the slight direct drive drag when there's no power going to them, as they are riding with the assist on 99.9% of the time, and that drag is not even a factor.

BTW, I'm a huge fan of the gear driven hubs - for my purposes - as I rarely ever exceed even 15mph, and the gear drives do feel peppier (the bigger ones anyway, 500w+). I'm just sharing the fact there's quite a difference between the drive types. One is never going to be "better" than the other. Each have their fans as not all of us have the same riding preferences.

We could also get into tire sizes contributing to that "draggy" feeling as well or contributing to a harsh ride. It doesn't take a lot of difference. The jump from a 2.3 width, to 2.0 width for instance, can be a very noticeable difference in rolling resistance. The 4.00 tires are REALLY draggy, but the ride is great!
 
In my case, the DD vs geared discussion was a secondary consideration. My major impressions were from the ride quality, performance and look and feel of the Aventon and Rad bikes. The City and Rover just felt clunky and cumbersome to me compared to the sporty and agile feel of the Aventon Pace 500. Others have tried to explain the source of my impressions by discussing the weight, geometry, tires and motor type of the two bikes. My decision was based primarily on how the bikes performed and felt, not so much on the specs and technical details. The Rover (geared hub), for example, with it's 500 watt (750 peak), geared motor hid the issue of it's heavy weight and drag of the 4 inch tires well, as long as you have battery. Forget about pedaling that beast home if you exhaust the battery.

So lots to think about when making a purchase, but for me, it came down to the ride quality, look and feel and my intended use. My main point to others is to try before you buy, in addition to scouring the blogs and reviews. I got caught up in the "reviews" (many of which are paid for by the purveyor) too much, and almost purchased the wrong bike ... for me.

Kind of reminds me of the old man when asked about how he spent his money, who said ... "I spent most of my money on fancy women and race horses, the rest I just squandered". Get what makes you feel good and suits your intended use scenario .... don't fall for the marketing hype or specs alone.
 
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Greg Johnson

New Member
Simple suggestion on finding the right ebike: start with riding each brand you are comparing without any assist at all. See how it handles, how comfortable is your riding position, how confident you feel about your ability to control it, and what it will be like when you stop at intersections, ride up steep hills or down those same steep hills etc. See how it shifts and how hard it is to pedal or how easy it is to pedal. Different frame geometries can have a big impact.

THEN, evaluate how the assist is. My point is sometimes people are so infatuated with the novelty of the assist, they tend to overlook or not even notice compromises they are inadvertently making. The $100 price difference between a Rad city and Pace 500, for example of comparing two ebikes, is really neglible in the long term, and could even be a regret if the ebike proves to be not as 'comfortable' as you first imagined it would.

Again, using these two as an example, Between these two ebikes the weight difference is significant and one does ride a lot smoother, is much easier to pedal without assist in all gears, and just is much more comfortable all around due to its frame geometry and 5 frame sizes being available for a lot of height ranges, and arm length ranges, and ratios between those two fit aspects. Having a more nimble ebike, and one that is easier to lift onto a car bike rack carrier may be more important than you first think. Then if the ebike rolls better and is lighter, and has less drag unassisted, that means it will be less work for the motor and battery, and controller, and possibly even safer riding with easier acceleration for that hill, or outrunning that unexpected country dog, who is nipping at your heels.

The comparison is best done with a number of ebikes, as you might also learn about features or designs, or fit enhancers, that you didn't find out about from comparing just a couple of brands of ebikes during test rides, or just trying to evaluate them by on line specs or forum opinions from people who may be totally different weights, heights, strength, or even riding skill than you.
Great points and my patience and taking my time paid off and getting the right bike to suit my needs. The first a bike I ever test road put a huge smile on my face because of the torque and the assist and it even had a throttle and I nearly bought it on the spot. That bike was 67 pounds. I never did attempt to pedal it without assist. Long story short after test riding about five different bikes I ended up with a class one that is only 44 pounds. I have limited mobility and it is much easier for me to lift on to a bike rack or in the back of my van. This bike rolls amazingly well and at times I do not need any assist at all on a level surface. It only has a 250 W motor but because of the weight and it is a mid drive I have no trouble pulling any hill. Again best to test ride many different varieties because it is always easy to pull the trigger on a first ride because they are so incredibly fun.
 
They are close in price RadCity has more accessories included and suspension but has less range and is 13 lbs heavier. The Aventon has a faster top speed (28 mph) and more torque and range but 250 less watt output and no accessories included.
Not sure what is better rads fearless direct drive or Aventon’s geared one.
Please Help
Actually the Aventon 500 has more torque at 50 nm vs 40 nm for the DD RadCity. The Aventon feels quite a bit more powerful in actual test rides.
 
I really do like the idea of comparing bikes. My thing though, is if you're going to condemn one of them/eliminate it from your potential buy list, do it for the right reason. Don't condemn all Rad's for instance, because the one you rode felt draggy with no PAS. That's ignorant.

If pedaling easiest possible unassisted is high on your list, stay away from the direct drive bikes, all of them. Realize it's the motor, not the bike manf.

In defense of direct drive, I think most people could care less about the slight direct drive drag when there's no power going to them, as they are riding with the assist on 99.9% of the time, and that drag is not even a factor.

BTW, I'm a huge fan of the gear driven hubs - for my purposes - as I rarely ever exceed even 15mph, and the gear drives do feel peppier (the bigger ones anyway, 500w+). I'm just sharing the fact there's quite a difference between the drive types. One is never going to be "better" than the other. Each have their fans as not all of us have the same riding preferences.

We could also get into tire sizes contributing to that "draggy" feeling as well or contributing to a harsh ride. It doesn't take a lot of difference. The jump from a 2.3 width, to 2.0 width for instance, can be a very noticeable difference in rolling resistance. The 4.00 tires are REALLY draggy, but the ride is great!
I did not condemn all Rads, only the 63 pound RadCity with it's "draggy" and underpowered DD motor. While on the subject, makes no sense to me why they put the DD motor on the Wagon too. The RadCity would be a great bike, even if porky (edit, heavy), if they put the geared hub on it at 80 nm vs the DD 40nm ... just not enough power for my taste. Hope they standardize on the geared, 80 nm motor on all their bikes in 2020. The regen aspect of the DD motor is not much more than marketing hype/hope, LOL.
 
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
While I agree on most of your comments, the fact you have no use for regen tells me you're a flat lander. If you were not, you would know better than to make a comment like that. As a tool for controlling your speeds while going down long hills, regen is a VERY useful tool. Certainly well beyond "marketing hype" for those with any experience - unless you are talking about hype which might leave one thinking it's putting a useful amount of power back into the battery. That's hype for sure, on this bike anyway! I think we're going to see that change in the near future. The GMAC motor for instance, has regen that's so effective (even at reletively low speeds) it pretty much eliminates the need for a rear brake. That motor is pretty good at putting significant power back into the battery. That's getting off topic though...

You need to keep something else in mind. The Rad City is VERY popular among many of it's owners. Rad sells a TON of them. That tells me that although that you are entitled to your opinion of the bike, there IS a market for bikes like that. Because it doesn't work for YOU does not make it a "porky"/bad bike.
 
I counted 4 insults in your reply. Get a grip man. It's okay to disagree, that's how we learn, but you really need to stop attacking those who have a different viewpoint than yours.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
I really don't have an issue with you not liking the Rad City, and fully respect the fact you are entitled to an opinion. I did/do agree with most of what you had to say. Last comments were an attempt to keep the FACTS straight.

My purpose is never to offend. Just trying to keep a level playing field for those following later on. Communications has never been one of my strong points. Apologies if I offended you in the process. Thanks for letting me know. -Al
 
I really don't have an issue with you not liking the Rad City, and fully respect the fact you are entitled to an opinion. I did/do agree with most of what you had to say. Last comments were an attempt to keep the FACTS straight.

My purpose is never to offend. Just trying to keep a level playing field for those following later on. Communications has never been one of my strong points. Apologies if I offended you in the process. Thanks for letting me know. -Al
Okay AHicks, thanks. "Porky" was a poor choice of words by me, edit to "heavy". I do like the downhill braking with the DD motors regen, but I also like the ability to get home with no juice left, and that's one thing I really like about the Aventon Pace bikes, as they are almost as easy to pedal as my non-electric Townie or Trek Verve. I agree, Rad is immensely popular, and the RadCity has a lot going for it. I just wish it had the geared hub as in Rad's other bikes.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
DD regen vs. free wheeling while coasting with a gear drive can be a big deal, making for a tough call for a lot of us. Which will work out better is a matter of preferences and where you live.

The new GMAC hub will never coast well with no power on it, but it's a darn good compromise for those looking for more torque (a peppier ride) while maintaining the regen feature. A greatly enhanced regen feature! The gear drive means the armature is spinning 5 times as fast as a DD hub would be at the same speed, translating into an incredible amount of braking available at very low speeds. That's something unheard of previously. This due simply to the fact the GMAC stays engaged with no power on it. It's a gear driven rear hub that does NOT disengage when coasting. Further, it's designer has set it up so that it gets a small amount of power when coasting, to make the normal DD armature drag virtually undetectable. Downside of course, is that feature is only available when there is power available. Upside is the GMAC regen does replace a significant amount of power - extending battery range noticeably.

Point being, hopefully the GMAC is a good indicator that sharp minds are at work messing with stuff like this every day, and our future choices like this one have fewer compromises.....
 

Sharkbait

Member
Im wondering, if rad city is promoted as their commuter bike, who is doing all this long hill braking in stop and go city conditions? This would be used more in a long distance ride or for maybe some who commutes long distances (over 10 miles each way) but then why wouldnt you give them a more powerful motor to get UP the hill you seem to know they ll be going down? Sorry but learning about rads motor marketing really blew it for me on them and it was really disappointing. I know other makers do it but i was really ready to pull the trigger on the rover. Great for off road weekend, love their modular cross fitting gear for cargo etc, love their "branding" and i could also use the rover to commute so all around i thot awesome. Until i found out the 750 w motor was PEAK and it was really a 500 w motor (or 350 or whatever). Maybe nothing to some but to me was taken as deception and trying to "get one over" on us Americans who dont buy as much as their EU customers.....idk. They seem like the ikea of bikes to me. The arrangement looks good in pictures but never turns out to come true in life or hold up. I think theyre great for getting around town if youre not in rush hour or a city situation. I cant afford to be dragging around i have to get where im going. On the weekends a rover or wagon may be awesome since agility and performance wont be such an issue you just need a cool workhorse.

Im trying to find a commuter now thats all purpose and its hard. The aventon is high on my list bc a lot of the same reasons. Its quick and nimble and noone here can drive....ive been hit (once by UPS!)on my electric scooter three times even with lights (it only goes max 15mph....its fla and the traffic here is horrid for bikes I am very careful and have been on motorbikes and cycles all my life). Also the weight bc i dont have a lbs around the corner and if my electronics go bad i cant wait a week i may have to ride to work no power.
Also the motor i think would let me pull a small trailer i could use for cargo so that only leaves off road and matbe Ill just have to get another bike for weekends....maybe there is no "all around " bike. But im still looking. And drowining in information. I need a weekday commuter and weekend toy that can take some beach or path riding and carry some gear, matbe even a person....idk if it was going to replace my car it would have to do a lot. If i could have a combo of the best in class it would be
blix wagon
juiced ccs or aventon
Ariel rider fat cargo bike (not the n class or d class the shorter one with the 4" tires and racks) or the m2s scout
Im waiting for someone to make the mustang.
 
We re-tested the Aventon 500 and 350 today. The 350 is surprisengly zippy and a little easier to manage the accel to 12 mph in PAS 1. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to hold a steady 5 to 10 mph for either bike, as you have to pedal, stop pedaling, and/or modulate the brakes. I think it would be easier for a heavy person as the total weight would possibly slow things down.

I found the throttle to be very difficult to maintain a speed, but good for short bursts as long as you remember to pedal 1 revolution each time you want to use it. I would prefer that it was there, on demand at all times, but Aventon has implemented what I feel is a poor safety provision here.

I still think the 350 and 500 would make good "commuter" bikes but found them difficult to manage in "city" driving and maneuvering.

The owner of the Aventon elite dealer here in Mesa, AZ (Archer Bikes) told me they are their best seller and almost never come back for any issues.

If we were looking just for the "commuter" mission, we would buy them without hesitation. For the "city" mission, which is also important to us, we found them difficult to use.
 
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
I must have misunderstood somewhere. I thought you had made up your mind and made a purchase already. A bike you might want to consider is a bike with attributes that are easily customizable by the rider. This would allow you to set the electronic calibrations to suit your tastes. The only controllers like that that I am aware of are aftermarket, so you could consider a purchase of a bike (a used one, or maybe build your own starting with a donor bike) with the idea you could set it up "your way" after purchase. This would likely void any warranty of course, but might offer a little clearer course towards the purchase of a bike, to let you start riding soon vs. hopelessly wallowing in bike specs. into the foreseeable future.
 
I must have misunderstood somewhere. I thought you had made up your mind and made a purchase already. A bike you might want to consider is a bike with attributes that are easily customizable by the rider. This would allow you to set the electronic calibrations to suit your tastes. The only controllers like that that I am aware of are aftermarket, so you could consider a purchase of a bike (a used one, or maybe build your own starting with a donor bike) with the idea you could set it up "your way" after purchase. This would likely void any warranty of course, but might offer a little clearer course towards the purchase of a bike, to let you start riding soon vs. hopelessly wallowing in bike specs. into the foreseeable future.
I'm not that handy AHicks. Maybe have to go back to the RadCity as a compromise. Running out of choices for 2 bikes under $3200 that are good city AND commuter bikes. Specs are secondary to me ... ride/handling quality, look and feel are more important. Thanks for the reply, I enjoy your posts. Re "wallowing in specs", we don't need the bikes until December when we move to the hills and mountains of Prescott, AZ.
 
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
From what you've said in your notes, I would avoid the DD rear hub the City runs. A little more expensive for sure, but the Juiced Cross Current will check more of your boxes, the ones I remember you discussing most anyway.

The only thing I don't know about and can't find anything on right off hand, is their controller. The common specs look good, including it's ability to have the firmware upgraded. That's what I would like to know more about. Particularly, if it's open source or not, where you are able to mess with it unimpeded by "locked down" parameters. Even if you could talk with a factory tech and discuss them, then download an "updated" firmware package with any changes you'd like.
 
From what you've said in your notes, I would avoid the DD rear hub the City runs. A little more expensive for sure, but the Juiced Cross Current will check more of your boxes, the ones I remember you discussing most anyway.

The only thing I don't know about and can't find anything on right off hand, is their controller. The common specs look good, including it's ability to have the firmware upgraded. That's what I would like to know more about. Particularly, if it's open source or not, where you are able to mess with it unimpeded by "locked down" parameters. Even if you could talk with a factory tech and discuss them, then download an "updated" firmware package with any changes you'd like.
I contacted Juiced ... the only way to test drive their bikes is at their office in Chula Vista, CA. Looks pretty good on paper however.

"Hey Larry, thanks for the note. We only sell direct to the consumer, so, no dealers. Our offices are in Chula Vista, Ca. We take appointments for people that want to test ride the bike and have all of our bikes here to do so. Right now, that the only way to test ride the bikes. Rich
Rich Davis
Sales
Juiced Bikes www.juicedbikes.com"