Any RadMini people out there

psychl

New Member
I just got my RadMini today and took it out for a short spin at my local park. It feels really nice and climbs hills a lot better than my E-Joe Epik SE. The knobby tires make the ride a bit noisy but no big deal. I usually would prefer a light colored bike for visibility but I choose the black model because I did not want to draw attention to the black battery. I think I am really going to like this bike. Not that I would do it often, but the bike tires a way to wide to fit on a public bus carrier rack. I will try getting it inside the bus by taking out the battery, the front wheel, and the seat, and sticking them in a canvas bag. I tried pedaling with no power assistance and it is do-able on level ground. It will be interesting to see how far I can go with the 11.6 AH battery. I am a big guy yet the Mini sailed along at 20 MPH when using the throttle. I think it will be an attention getter because of its appearance. It will not win any beauty contests with its industrial straight forward design but it sure is a blast to ride. Bill
 

NinjaNick

Member
I am supposed to get mine tomorrow! Really excited to ride my first e-bike. I have ridden other peoples bikes and some at the stores and have been impressed so far. Thanks for your initial thoughts on the ride and experiences! I would love to hear more once you have gotten some more time logged.

Nick
 

psychl

New Member
I would also like to get your and other peoples impressions of the bike. I am no bike expert but the Mini really feels like a winner. I would love to be the one promoting the bike at one of the electric bike shows like they had recently in Palo Alto, CA. I think potential buyers would be very impressed with their products. And you are not paying the high prices that some of the European bike makers are charging. I ordered my Mini the first second the last batch became available. I knew they would sell out quickly. I want to thank Court for has video clueing me in on this bike. By the way, I ordered Wellgo quick release pedals from Asia (Ebay) to possibly use on the Mini to help discourage thieves from stealing it if I am at a store. I now need to get a good U Lock. I understand that Abus locks are some of the best but the price of well over $100 is painful.
 

psychl

New Member
I rode the RadMini some today. The front brake did not sound right (like the disk was warped) so I decided to have the local bike shop (Ray's Bikes) to check out things and everything is OK (just needed a bit of adjustment). I do feel like the high gear should be higher and the low gear lower, just like the E-Joe I have. The E-Joe is much better with the new gear set, especially going up hill. I guess I would lose my warranty if I changed out the gears so I will let it ride for now. I hope they come out with a battery with more amps. The 2 things that concern me when riding is battery longevity and getting a flat tire. I replaced the seat with a larger one although the seat that comes with it is not the worst one I have seen.

Bill
 

mbirds

Member
Thanks for posting your first impressions. Actually, if you look at the Radmini FAQ it looks like swapping the cassette wouldn't void the warranty. It might be hard to find a suitable replacement for the low-end gears though. Mine's supposed to arrive on Monday, very excited! I haven't had an ebike since 2007 so I'm psyched to see the latest and greatest of these affordable ebikes. It was love at first site when I saw the video and learned that the company seems very responsive and innovative. The only thing missing is fenders and I have some DIY ideas to tide me over until something is available. I couldn't find anything online. I'd like to hear more about your experience as I anxiously await my mini's arrival.

Regarding flats, you could try some fat bike tire liners cut down to size... I will probably do this as I'm going to use it for commuting sometimes.
 

Manitou

New Member
I've ordered one for June. Anyone thought about a hard case for it? I'd like to put it in something like a pelican case and mount it outside my vehicle.
 

NinjaNick

Member
Just got my RADMINI today........First turn i broke the front light because I had the cables too tight. This bike has some power but I felt it could use more at times. I was able to get in a 3 hour charge and do 10 miles very easy pushing the bike most of the way. The fat tires are awesome and really do help me not miss having full suspension as much. With its current configuration doing 20 MPH was consistent and I even tackled some major hills. I must agree with psychi that the gearing is a bit low and is not helping at 20 MPH. One thing that is really tough to get used to is the weight, cant just fling this bike around. Once the technology quadruples in performance, I can easily see myself upgrading this bike in the future.
 

Vlad in MI

New Member
I received my RadMini last Friday and have been commuting on it this week. Here are some impressions:
The bike arrived well packaged, but I was a tad surprised by the amount of assembly I had to do: front wheel, seat, pedals, light, front rack. I would not have been a big deal, but some things gave me trouble. For example, the front wheel's axle appeared to be too short for the fork. Only after installing the quick-release rod and closing it, the fork got pinched together and works fine. Similar problem was with the front rack, which did not seem to fit. I tried different positions of the connecting rods, but to no-avail. I finally brute-forced it to fit. :) I disassembled it and will try again, hopefully with more luck this time. Finally: the front light... It is made of really cheap and brittle plastic. I might have tightened it too much (so that it would not move) and its mount just crumbled into small pieces. In any case, when mounted on the front rack, it is sticking out so much that it won't last very long. I'm awaiting a replacement lamp and will have to figure something out to make it last.
The ride is great. The motor is quieter than I expected. The fat tires add a bit of noise, but that's actually pleasant to my ear. :) I have a throttle-only bike, so the pedal-assist gets some getting used to. I'm still not there yet. I hope I can find a guide to riding this kind of bike most efficiently.
For people who like speed (like myself), this bike will disappoint a little. I could get to 20 mph only on full throttle, going slightly downhill (I'm adding 180 lbs to the 60 lbs bike). On pedal-assist, at best 17 mph, which seems a bit counter-intuitive, since I'm adding muscle power... Again, it may be my lack of experience with this mode. Also, I noticed that the bike lurches forward a bit when I stop pedaling (not using throttle) - it's become disconcerting on street crossings. I may be wrong about that, or... yes, lack of experience.
I'm a bit concerned about the battery. After riding 16 miles one day I noticed the power level down to one bar. I used pedal-assist, switching between levels 3 and 4, so I expected more power to remain. However, I do not think the display is terribly reliable, as it sometimes shows 2 bars, only to go to 4 a minute later, and to 5 at rest. I do not think it is the fault of the display, but the nature of the power type, which, unlike gasoline, is difficult to measure accurately.
Another small disappointment was with the user manual, which came half-Mandarin, half-English. I am a realist, but I was secretly hoping that this bike would at least be assembled in the US. I probably would have bought it anyway, since it offers so much at a good price, bit I'm thinking that for my next bike I will go straight to the source and save some money.
Other things I like about this bike:
  • I like the look of it - so unique!
  • My back is straight, not bent. This may prove to be worse for my spine - time will tell - but it feels comfortable. (Till now the bent-forward position has been giving me trouble.)
  • The seat is perhaps the most comfortable in any new bike I had, so I do not have to replace it right away
  • It is a very practical bike. I purchased a bag for the rear rack, so I no longer have to wear a backpack. I have yet to do any grocery shopping with this bike, but this is coming.
  • It is not intimidating like my Phantom X, so I hope my cautious wife can be convinced to ride it. :)
  • It feels solidly built, but with attention to detail
Last but not least: I hope Rad Power Bikes will offer fenders for this bike. For now I will go to my local bike shop - maybe they will find something for me.
 
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NinjaNick

Member
Well I had a great ride your bike to work day until the mini decided to stop working on me. Took a break after finishing a downhill, motor and throttle are not functional. checked all wires, even took the controller out of the bottom bracket. The lights and display worked perfect. Called support and they are sending me out a new controller. I will tell you what isnt RAD, biking home on the MINI 10 miles with no power!

End rant.
 

grench

Well-Known Member
Well I had a great ride your bike to work day until the mini decided to stop working on me. Took a break after finishing a downhill, motor and throttle are not functional. checked all wires, even took the controller out of the bottom bracket. The lights and display worked perfect. Called support and they are sending me out a new controller. I will tell you what isnt RAD, biking home on the MINI 10 miles with no power!

End rant.
I feel your pain! I have had to pedal a heavy Ebike home a few different times - the E.

I think this only makes us appreciate the E more!
 

mbirds

Member
Received my Radmini yesterday! Package was intact with only the kickstand having poked through a bit, but everything was in great shape. The tool kit is a nice touch. Assembly was quicker than I expected and I charged the battery. Unfortunately the weather was really nasty so I only went for a quick 1.5 mile spin around the neighborhood and decided to quit while I was ahead… with a big smile on my face.


Power was good… this is my first pedal-assist bike so I’m getting used to it, and how it interacts with the gears. On motor only it got to a bit over 21mph… I had set the limit on the display to 40kph, so I’m not sure if this gave the top speed a little boost. I weigh 160. The big tires feel really secure, my first ride was in light drizzle and I felt confident.


The best part of the bike is the frame… it’s awesome. Love the matte black. Will be easy to change any components as needed.


I was surprised by a couple of things. First, the size – it is BIG. It’s not any smaller than a mountain bike. I guess I was expecting it to somehow seem compact, but it’s a full sized bike.


Secondly, the ride angle. I was using the handlebars at the lowest setting and it’s still more upright than I’m used to. I liked it, it’s like a little motorbike, very fun, comfortable, and secure to drive. I’m looking forward to some longer rides and better evaluation of range and power, and will update here when I can.


Overall, my expectations have been exceeded. I thought for sure something would be off, but it’s a really nice package. I need to figure out how to adjust these cheap disc brakes. They’re rubbing a bit but have plenty of stopping power. I think I can get them dialed in, but brakes would be on my list of possible upgrades. Also, the kickstand seems a bit flimsy and I don’t expect it to last forever, but that’s a cheap and easy upgrade down the road.


The headlight is moderately bright and fragile, but provides a nice running light, I’m going to add an external headlight from Amazon to get more light.


I’m going to try to use some black coroplast to fashion some fenders, the racks and some zipties should make it pretty easy, and I scrounged a part from an exercise bike that can cover the back of the front wheel.
 

mbirds

Member
Figured out how to properly adjust the brakes so they are much better. This thing is very nice so far. Also the Wellgo folding pedals are metal, I thought they'd be plastic.
 

mbirds

Member
Went for a six mile ride transitioning from street to paved bike trail to gravel. Rides like a dream. Gravel was awesome. So smooth. Good braking power but it's pulsing on both wheels. Going to see what's up with that. Hard to help it pedaling on full throttle on the flats, but fun to help it up hills. PA 1 and 2 are good for acting like a normal bike around people. One person shouted "fat bike" in a friendly manner. I came home grinning ear to ear. BTW I passed one of those speedometer road signs and it said 22, but the bike's speedo said 20.3.
 

NinjaNick

Member
After 5 miles my brakes broke in perfectly. My controller should arrive tomorrow. Very excited to get back on the road!

Glad you have had such a great experience so far! I am definitely happy with my purchase, just wish i could have put 100 miles on it already.
 

mbirds

Member
Thanks Nick. Ran a 4 mile errand today and I think the brakes are settling in, the rear is pulsing less and it's starting to feel better. Yesterday after the 6 mile ride I charged with it plugged into a kill-a-watt meter and based on what was put back in, looking like at at least a 24 mile range with a fair amount of hills, including a mile long moderate hill, and lots of throttle only. I'm finding I mostly pedal when starting and when climbing a steep hill. Still only about 12 miles total on the bike, so I am hoping the controller holds up. Hope your replacement arrives and you're back on the road soon. I'm looking forward to a longer ride, hopefully this weekend.

Interested in any cargo bag options people are using with this bike. I have touring panniers but they will only fit with some messing around because the hooks are too small, and I'm looking for some dedicated bags for this bike.

Marcus
 

mbirds

Member
Took the mini out for a second ride last night, 11 miles. I used a gps app on my phone to examine the speed. If the GPS and the radar speed sign are to be believed, the speedometer on the bike is about 1 to 1.5mph slow. The GPS was showing cruising speeds at or above 21mph. I’m thinking this is because the computer is calibrated to a “normal” 20-inch wheel and not a ginormous tire with greater circumference. Distance readings compared to Strava at the end were at least 10 percent short as well. I have no problem with any of this, just interesting.


I tried setting the wheel to 16” to see if speed went up. It doesn’t. I think the motor is at max rpm at around 20-21mph, so I was seeing no difference on GPS. If the RadRover has the same motor, I guess it could theoretically go a bit faster with less torque based on the larger wheel size.


After the ride the charger consumed about 280 watt hours overnight, I figure charging is maybe 80 percent efficient, so about 220 watt hours for 11 miles, or about 25 miles total range. I was going max speed whenever I could do so safely.


Still loving the mini.
 

NinjaNick

Member
25 miles total with full throttle sounds great! Hopefully my controller comes in today and I can get back on the road!
 

mbirds

Member
Just got the email from Rad about changing the headset spacer... now we're both out of commission for a bit. I'm hoping I have one in my parts box; otherwise I may check the bike shop, I'm still in the honeymoon phase where I want an evening ride every day. I do appreciate their quick notification of the issue, hopefully no one had any major problems with the spacer.
 

mbirds

Member
Fortunately I had a 5mm spacer in my bike box, so I had a good ride to work and back today, which is 2.5mi each way, for a little while. Tonight I went out on the gravel next to the paved bike trail and I got a flat. I was not prepared with a patch and pump, and it was getting dark. I was only 2 miles from home, and my wife didn't pick up. So I called an uber and folded the bike up for the first time! $9 dollar ride home. I took the battery out and carried it and the bike short distances without a problem. Now I remember why I got the mini. Autopsy at home - the tire and tube were pierced with a half inch gash. Tube and tire were not super thick or high quality, but ok. Something sharp went through there. I immediately ordered some Mr. Tuffy tire liners. It was surprisingly easy to get the rear wheel off, using a stand, but would be a pain on the road. The tire is super easy to get off the wheel. I also ordered a spare tube, but am going to patch this one too. The tubes are like $15.