Talk me out of a Rad Mini

psy1

New Member
#1
I have been researching eBikes and have zeroed in on a Rad Mini for both my wife (step through) and me (regular). We currently have Brompton folding bicycles so we are used to small wheels (16 inch on Brompton). We rode inexpensive electric bikes as rentals a couple of times and it was great - we developed a great love for the motors! We would prefer folding bikes for ease of transport and avoiding a hitch rack. My wife would rather I keep the Bromptons so I don't want to spend the money and then have the "Rad Mini Story" become part of my lowlight reel. I have too many of those!

We would use the bikes for casual riding - city streets, hard packed bike trails, maybe a beach at some point but we live in WI. I don't mind maintaining a bike but I am not a bike mechanic. Some questions:

Is the Rad Mini reliable?
What are must-have additions/accessories?
Any advice on the knobby tires vs the "slick" tires? My understanding is that both models of Rad Mini can be purchased with either.
What vehicles will fit 2 Rad Minis and what vehicles won't?
Any other tips for a first time eBike buyer in regard to Rad Mini?
Is there a better brand for the money that will meet my goals?

Thanks.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
#2
I think the Radmini is a great bike, but wonder if it's really mini. I recently acquired a cheap Ecotric, which is not a Radmini, but has the same size tires and general frame size.

Here it is next to a 26" fatbike and also my wife's e-folder (home built). Outweighs it by 20 pounds too. My hopes of packing it inside the Jetta wagon were dashed when I saw its size. Bit hefty for that purpose, but a better bike for gravel trails than the blue ine.

I would suggest smooth tires for pavement.


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psy1

New Member
#3
Thanks @harryS . One of my potential misgivings is whether two Minis will fit in the vehicle. Two Bromptons - no problem even in a Ford Focus hatchback. Doubting the Minis will fit in there. Also have an F150 crew cab but the bed has a tonneau cover so the bikes would not fit in the bed upright. Would have to lay them on their sides. I wonder if two would fit in the back seat of the F150 when folded?
 

Alex M

Active Member
#4
Mini weighs 70 lbs with rack. Try lifting your truck battery from the ground into Ford Focus, and then imagine an item twice heavier and inconvenient shape to lift.

You are riding hard packed trails with 16" wheels and no suspension. Try maybe 20" cruiser tires with suspension fork and seatpost, before going for a fat tire.

No, I don't think there is "a better brand for the money", compared to Mini - if you need fat tires. You won't find anything cheaper with same or better features from US-based companies.
 
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#5
Psy1. First off, I really like my 2018 Radmini a lot. Much of the time it gets used on forest roads and sand, so it doesn't get babied and the fatter "knobby" tires were important to me. Plus the battery lasts forever - I usually ride at PAS 1-2, a little at 3 on grades with some short bursts of the throttle when I get lazy. BUT...it is not a light compact folding bike. The 2019's weight 67# (mini) and 68# (step thru mini) w/o a rack. A rack would add 2#. And the dimensions folded are 43"x22"x28" and 42"x24"x28". So pretty large - in a great part due to the fat tires. I do fold and transport it on a regular basis, mostly in my Jeep but also in my Crosstrek. Could I get 2 Minis in these vehicles? Not easily, but I think I could wedge them in.

Usually I take off the battery and the seat which saves about 10#. Most of the time I don't use the rack and use only the rear fender if it's wet out (the MRI-Denver - very quick to attach). Overall, it can be kind of a pita at times, though I've got used to it. The pedals however do drive me nuts! Always seem to get in the road even folded.

I travel all over the country in my Crosstrek and I do want a folding ebike for the campgrounds (some primitive) or for just exploring. For this the Radmini would not work with all of the other gear I take - too non-mini. I'd probably would (will) go with one of the Terns when it comes to these journeys. More money, but they are really great bikes and fold down to half the size of the Mini's and weigh about 42-43# w/o the battery (Gen 2 Vektron S10). Too bad Brompton still hasn't brought out their ebike (at least I don't think they have). Good luck.
 

psy1

New Member
#6
Thanks all for the advice. I ordered just one mini today. Could not get my wife to bite on this one.

The e-Brompton is available but the price is $4000 and the range is a bit limited. I like the idea of bigger tires (than the Brompton) for riding trails with mulch or gravel. Difficult and sometimes dangerous with the Brompton.
 

psy1

New Member
#8
I am already wondering about mods and accessories. With the Brompton a wide array of options are available. Less so with the Mini. I am especially wondering about tires. I am not using it as a military weapon - I just want something that won't go flat!
 
#9
The new tires are supposedly better than the ones that came on my 2018. So far I have not had a flat, but probably just lucky where I take the mini. You can add a liner and Slime it for extra puncture proofing. I'll will be adding a liner and I do carry a tube of Slime plus patches and mini pump. I also carry a complete tire repair kit and have compressors in my Jeep and Crosstrek, but I'm not going to drag the kit with me on the bike.

The one mod I really like is the 1859 Northwest (www.1859nw.com) throttle attachment.
 

Alex M

Active Member
#11
Psy1, better wait with accessories until after you've got the bike and used it for a while.

This throttle attachment makes half-twist throttle a trigger throttle. This is a matter of personal preference and riding style. If you find that you like trigger better, it would make sense to replace half-twist with a trigger, and have a room for full-size grip. Trigger costs ~$20.
 
#12
I got my bike yesterday and assembled it. First assembly was clumsy - hint: turn the bike upside down. The only thing missing was the nut that attaches the headlight to the fork. Customer service was responsive. Had to bend out the derailed protector. Otherwise everything was fine.

Went out for the first ride. Went 13 miles, mostly on PAS 3, occasionally 5 on a hill. Used the throttle rarely. Typically buzzing around 14-18 mph. Brakes rub a little but I am chalking that up to the "break in." No squeaking. I did get the suspension seat post and a massive Cloud 9 seat. Overall, it was fantastic. I still got a workout but went faster farther, was unimpeded by hills or rough pavement, and no sore but on the first ride of the year. So far, the bike cost me $1500 per day of riding! Will see in the end how much it costs per day but I hope to bring that down considerably. So far so good and I am quite pleased.

I will say, the Rad Mini is certainly not "mini." It is a beast.
 
#13
So far, I have had three fair weather days for riding and have racked up 60 miles. A great way to see the city and explore all the bike trails. No problems so far. Occasional creaks and moans but they seem to go away. No loose spokes that I have found. Longest ride has been 27 miles on mostly flat ground and battery just turned to 3 bars. I need to pedal less.

I installed both front and rear racks, but I am struggling to find bags to attach. Separate post on that without much luck.

Compared to regular bikes, there is a slight learning curve regarding the "dismount." But I am pretty comfortable now.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
#14
How does Ms psy1 feel about it?

My wife got back on her 20" downtube and won't change. I'll be putting the 2.0" Schwalbe Big Apples on her bike to handle packed gravel.
 
#15
She is not that interested in bike riding. I could not talk her into getting a Rad. If I had, I would have bought her a Rad Mini step through. I will likely sell the two Bromptons which are very nice bikes.
 
#16
So far, I have just over 90 miles on the Mini. No problems at all. Longest ride was 33 miles - used 3 bars on the battery. I estimate 50 miles per charge for me, mostly flat city streets and paved bike trails with some packed granite, PAS 3, almost all pedaling with very little throttling.
 
#17
Radmini step thru and Radmini first ride 50 km snow and ice....yuck. No falls and a blast to ride. Bought Iberra racks and mounted with no issues except the Stepthru brake light cable is too short to reach the rack mount at the rear. Anyone out there found a source for these waterproof four conductor blue tinted connector cables?