Two RadMinis in SUV or on a Rack

#1
Hi EBR Rad Power Folks!

We've cleaned out the garage to make space for two Rad Power bikes and are now wondering whether to get a pair of RadMinis (Step-Thru and normal) in hopes we could get them both into our KIA Sorento with the seats down, or get the RadMini Step-Thru and a RadRover. Working with the folded pictures from the website, it looks like they can fit between the wheel wells. I'll try to attach my attempt at scale pictures.

Does anyone have experience getting two RadMinis into an SUV?

Any thoughts on the sacrifices of going with a RadMini instead of a RadRover to get the advantages of being able to travel with them without having to add a tow hitch, bike rack etc?

If I manage to attach the photo, I hope it's helpful to others and/or triggers correction suggestions if needed.

Thanks,
Chris
 

Attachments

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
#2
I have two Radrovers and large and compact SUVs (MDX & RDX). The Radrover weighs in about the same as the mini; but, the rover's size is on a whole other level. One rover barely fits in the hatch of my large SUV with the 2nd row folded. Having two rovers, 4 bike rack, and now a Radcity Step-Thru takes up a parking space in my garage. The rover's wide body makes it a tight fit on the bike rack with bike's 4" fat tire+ bike rack+panniers. I don't "man handle" the rover anymore alone into the SUV or bike rack and get help lifting it (strained my arm once).

Lucky for me, 95% of time I need to ride starts out my garage door for work commuting or hitting the Rio Grande river trails for fun rides. Using a bike rack comes in handy if you need to travel with the rover and need the 2nd row seats for gear/people. I usually have to "prep" the ebikes for out of town travel longer than +2 hours if the weather might turn bad like remove rack bag, aux light, seat post, seat, wrap LCD, remove battery, lock suspension, etc.... I wouldn't have to do that if I could just fold and toss them in the rear hatch.

Another pain in the bottom is attaching my +60lbs platform rack when needed (Saris Freedom Superclamp 4). I can't close my garage door even with the rack in the store position because it sticks out too far on the hitch. The rack+ fat tire ebikes also block rear visibility out rear hatch window, back-up camera, I have to turn off back up sensors, obstructs license plate, and fat tires blocks rear lights/brake lights/back-up lights.

I would also check into a platform rack you can fold up when not in use. A platform rack would have a lower lift height, wouldn't block back-up cam/lights/brake lights, better rear visibility out hatch window, can wrap the ebikes in weather proof cover before strapping it down, add padding to the bottom of the rack if needed, the folding rack would take up minimal space at home when not in use, and the same bike chain/locks should secure it to the hitch/rack.
 
#3
Thanks for confirming my suspicions about the advantages of the Minis inside the SUV instead of the rack & bigger bikes. I really like the idea of not having to deal with the install / uninstall / storage / bike-prep and visibility issues of the rack. It all points to starting with a RadMini and RadMini Step-Thru that we try to fit inside the SUV. I still think there's a small chance we could fit them with the second row seats up, but that's iffy. The worst case is that we switch to one or two bigger bikes and rack later.

It's nice that you're close to the Rio Grande river trails. We too are likely to do 95% of our rides out of the garage on our local Stevens Creek trail or various bike lanes, but I'd like to at least start with the option of travelling easily with the bikes in the car.
 
#4
I faced a similar dilemma when I bought my wife a folding 20" ebike. I had put a deposit down on a folding fat tire, not a RAD, but with similar dimensions. While the two bikes would easily fit in my small SUV (VW Touareg), I soon learned loading a folding ebike into an SUV was awkward and cumbersome, especially at 72 years old. Plus while the wife's bike with 195 tires did not take up much room, the fat tire folder would take up almost twice as much, leaving less space for cargo. When we travel, we (read she) need lots of space for luggage, coolers, groceries, and just stuff. I opted for a single bike, hitch mounted aluminum motorcycle carrier that only weighs 34 lbs and has a carrying capacity of 400 lbs. It is perfect for the fat tires and the removable ramp makes it an absolute breeze to load and unload the 63 pound bike. They make a fold up version, but I just remove it and lean it against the wall in my garage when not in use. At 34 pounds, it isn't hard to do and only takes a few minutes to install or remove.

My bike has traveled over 1500 miles on the carrier with no ill effects. I do not do anything to prep for bad weather. I may start covering the computer with a plastic bag, but I leave the battery and seat post on the bike. I am very pleased with my $150.00 expenditure, but I realize this only works for a single bike with a second folding bike in the vehicle and certainly isn't an option for many riders.

Good luck with your new bikes and I hope you learn to enjoy them as much as I do.
 
#5
Thanks for the added perspective! I'm a little younger, and probably not as wise, so I'm not yet scared of wrangling two seventy pound folders into the back of my vehicle. We'll have to see if that changes when I actually do it.

Your hitch-mounted aluminum motorcycle carrier sounds like a great option if I end up going that route.
 
#7
I've should have said a cargo rack to be more precise instead of a platform rack. You could put the folded ebikes on there.
That's an interesting idea too. We usually travel light so space in the car isn't an issue, but if we needed it, the platform cargo rack would have all the advantages you outlined as well as being a bit stealthy. I doubt most people would expect the tarp-covered shape of two folding e-bikes to contain bikes at all.
 
#8
We have 2 ebikes - a RadMini and a conventional frame mid-drive cruiser. We also have a 2011 Kia Sorento. I have carried the RadMini (folded) inside the Sorento with the back seats folded. It takes up most of the flat floor space, and as mentioned above, is extremely awkward to load and unload. It's not so much the weight (although that is a factor) but more the shape. There is no good place to grab it when lifting it up over the sill. With one person, it is (in my opinion, at 73 years of age) very difficult. With two people (me and the wife) it is do-able.

I am pretty sure two Mini's would not fit inside our Sorento, no matter how you arranged them. Also, like mentioned above, it is the big fat tires that make the folded package so bulky. A similar sized folding bike with little skinny 20" tires would be much more compact (and lighter), but then you would lose the comfy ride and excellent flotation provided by the fat tires.

I think a bike rack or cargo platform on the rear of your vehicle will be the best way to go. Just my opinion. RAD has a very nice rack on their "accessories" web page. It can be configured to hold two Mini's.
 
Last edited:
#9
Thanks Cayjak -- This morning I was thinking I had it all figured out and put a RadMini and RadMini ST in my shopping cart. Then I watched more videos and read your post. Not being able to fit two RadMinis in my SUV would be disappointing. Now I'm conflicted again. The RadRover seems more like a fit for my 6' frame and would be nicer for local rides. Maybe the right solution is the RadMini ST for my 5'2" wife and the RadRover plus tow-hook-rack for me. I'll mull over the collective great input and sleep on it in hopes all will become clear in the morning :)
 
#10
Inspired by a video showing two RadMinis fitting in an SUV (thanks E-Bike Explorers on YouTube), I pulled the trigger and ordered the RadMini and RadMini Step-Thru. If it doesn't fit in the SUV or feels too small, I'll sell the RadMini and get a RadRover. Now, the wait begins.

Thanks again to all of you for the great input and perspective that helped me get unstuck on this decision.
 
#11
When you get your Minis, and have had time to play with them, let us know how it works carrying them in your Sorento. You may get it to work, and if so, that would be of great interest to other potential buyers.

If you do get them to fit, take some photos of how they are arranged, and how you tie them down. In a panic stop, two unsecured Minis would be lethal! Photos are always of interest!
 
#13
Bikes arrived today. Unfortunately, FedEx managed to bang them up pretty badly. The RadMini and RadMini Step-Thru derailleur guards were smashed in along with the derailleurs. The RadMini Step-Thru front brake disc was bent and the shift controller was mangled. Rad Support was apologetic and promised to help after I send some pictures. Hopefully, the electronics are OK when I fire them up tomorrow after an overnight charge.
 
#14
Sorry to hear that your bikes got roughed up, but it is a story that has been heard here way too often. I won't go off on a rant about shipping damage, because it doesn't seem to accomplish anything.

In all the cases I know of, RAD eventually made it right with the customers. Hope this is true for you.
 
#15
RAD provided the replacement parts (two derailleur hangers & bash guards plus one front disc brake) and I've installed them, so we're good to go. It was all pretty easy to do using YouTube videos as a guide. The only hiccup was when I accidentally cut the good rear brake cable to the RadMini ST instead of the derailleur cable -- DOH! I now know how to replace those too.

I've already ridden the RadMini 85 miles on flat & hills and LOVE IT. My only complaint is that the highest seat post position is still a little low for me (6', 34" inseam).

Regarding fitting them both in the back of a KIA Sorento with the seats up, it's fairly easy for me and there are tie-downs that work well with cinch straps. To keep things clean, I've got a moving blanket to go under the bikes. The moving blanket and cinch straps fit nicely in the little storage area in the back too. See pix attached.

I think the combination of the RadMini and RadMini Step-Thru packed in the back of the SUV are an ideal place to have started for us. We get to try our E-Bikes and travelling with them without having to diddle with installing a trailer hitch and rack. Maybe as I get a bit older or more out of shape, I'll decide lifting them in and out is a pain, but for now, it seems reasonably easy.

Thanks again for all the guidance and helping me get unstuck.
 

Attachments

#16
Well, I stand corrected. I didn't think 2 Minis would fit in the Sorento, but seeing is believing! I think my mistake was putting our single Mini in our Sorento laying in a horizontal position, instead of standing up the way they are designed to ride. Live and learn! Thanks for the great photos - will be very helpful to future buyers.