Hello from an ebike rider’s paradise, Asheville, NC

Sidthesurf

New Member
Hello ebikers! I’m a crazy 71 year old Viet Nam veteran, recovering from prostate cancer. Here’s my ebike story.



My first ebike was an orange Eunorau 20'' Foldable Step-Thru Fat Tire Electric Bike with a Shengyi 500w nominal 750w max motor, purchased from Rex of Ace Bikes here in Asheville, NC.



The first time I straddled her I was hooked on ebikes! This ebike had the most power of all the three ebikes listed here. She could handle steep hills and all the other ups and downs of the smooth roads here in Western North Carolina, but on some of the trails and bumpy roads, without front suspension, I felt like my brains were being shook out of my head! I realized I needed suspension! So on to EBike 2.



For my second bike I decided to do go with a DJ Ebikes 20” foldable step-thru fat tire bike with a 750w Bafang motor, it had front fork suspension. I’ve been a radio and mobile DJ for over 50 years, so I thought, this has got to be the ebike for me!





This ebike, with suspension, helped to smooth out the bumps along the roads, but failed miserably climbing hills.

How could a 500w ebike (my first ebike) perform better than this ebike with a 750w motor.



After emailing Bafang the serial/model number (RM G060.D 09 008F1TC110873) I was told that it was a 500w motor not a 750w motor! Mr. Yang of DJ Ebikes acknowledged the mistake and agreed to pay for repacking and the return shipping. On to ebike 3.



For ebike 3, and my current ebike, I decided to ride Rad!



Before purchasing the RadMini Step Thru 2, I first called Rad Power Bikes and, over a few weeks time, I must have talked with every support tech person and every sales person employed by Rad! I wanted this to be my last ebike purchase!



I asked all of them, especially the support people, if there were any issues with the Radmini and I really drilled them on the motor. I asked over and over if the Radmini had a true Bafang 750w motor. They all agreed it was a 750w Bafang motor. I asked one support tech, how he knew for sure. He said he owned one, and when the throttle was cranked all the way, the display read “750”. I asked for the serial number of the motor, but I failed to write it down! I must say, they ALL were very professional and answered all my questions. I was nervous about the motor, but ordered the RadMini anyway.



I instantly fell in love with my new RadMini! It is the best riding of the three!! Very smooth and the chicks dig it!! Then the hill test...



Oh crap! Not again! I have to put her in PA 5 and peddle as hard as my 71 year old skinny-a$$ legs could peddle to barely get her up a medium sized hill! And then I realized I’d gone past the 10 mile mark, so now I can’t return her!! I don’t want to return her, I just want her to be able to make it up hills!



I again emailed Bafang with the serial number (20-1909161399-1) and NO it’s not a 750w motor it’s a 500w motor!! I had read somewhere, that Rad, using their controller, got permission from Bafang, to say that their 500w motor was a 750w motor, so I asked Bafang about it, and was told no such permission was granted.



Now, this is not a bash of Rad, ‘cause I love ridin’ Rad with my Mini, but as I see it, I paid for, and was expecting a 750w Bafang motor. The motor on my RadMini, along with the Rad controller, might be said to have the power of a 750w-LIKE motor but that’s not the same as a real Bafang 750w motor, which I need for climbing hills.



I grew up in a different time and was taught by my parents to always do the right thing. I’m hoping Rad Power Bikes will do just that. I emailed Rad 2 days ago asking for a real 750w Bafang motor for my Mini and have not yet received a reply.



I just want my Mini to be able to climb hills...
 
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Geoffktm

New Member
Hi Larry, I'm new here too, with a lot less experience than you with ebike.
I have put together a bike, using a 'kit that didn't fit.'
My fault, but I didn't want to change my bike.
I hope you get satisfaction from the results of your endeavours, I too was taught to be straight, and do right by others.
 

Sidthesurf

New Member
Hi Larry, I'm new here too, with a lot less experience than you with ebike.
I have put together a bike, using a 'kit that didn't fit.'
My fault, but I didn't want to change my bike.
I hope you get satisfaction from the results of your endeavours, I too was taught to be straight, and do right by others.
Thank you!
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Input watts to the motor are a big fraud anyway. companies advertise them, they are easy to measure, but power at the rim of the wheels really matters to grade climbing ability. At least rad mini is a geared hub motor.
My "1200" watt geared hub motor will in fact consume 1200 W. What it puts on the ground is another thing. It will lift 320 lb gross (me, bike, 60 lb supplies) at 6 mph up a 15% grade. I calculated once that is 340 watts. The other 860 watts turn into heat in the motor. About 30% watts on the ground more than an olympic bike rider can put out, but about 4 times what 69 year old me can put out. I can pedal the 320 lb load up the grade unpowered at 1.5 mph. That is in 32:28, but my bike goes down to 32:32 if I need to go slower than 1.5. My bike was advertised as suitable (unpowered) for a woman with 2 toddlers in child seats in San Francisco. Probably right.
A 15% grade is 7/8" of an inch rise in 6" of level. I bought the level at K-mart, cost a whole $3. You might measure your grade to compare.
 

Sidthesurf

New Member
Input watts to the motor are a big fraud anyway. companies advertise them, they are easy to measure, but power at the rim of the wheels really matters to grade climbing ability. At least rad mini is a geared hub motor.
My "1200" watt geared hub motor will in fact consume 1200 W. What it puts on the ground is another thing. It will lift 320 lb gross (me, bike, 60 lb supplies) at 6 mph up a 15% grade. I calculated once that is 340 watts. The other 860 watts turn into heat in the motor. About 30% watts on the ground more than an olympic bike rider can put out, but about 4 times what 69 year old me can put out. I can pedal the 320 lb load up the grade unpowered at 1.5 mph. That is in 32:28, but my bike goes down to 32:32 if I need to go slower than 1.5. My bike was advertised as suitable (unpowered) for a woman with 2 toddlers in child seats in San Francisco. Probably right.
A 15% grade is 7/8" of an inch rise in 6" of level. I bought the level at K-mart, cost a whole $3. You might measure your grade to compare.
 

Sidthesurf

New Member
Indianajo - Thanks so much for chiming in. I’m hoping others will too.

I’ve ridden an ebike with 750w max power (my first ebike) it handled the hills around here with no problem, so that’s not an issue.

What is an issue, is that I have a RadMini with a 500w Bafang motor, verified by Bafang. What I ordered was a RadMini with a 750w motor. That’s the issue.
 

GypsyTreker

Well-Known Member
The right thing for Rad to do is send a 750w hub and have Liberty ( they sell eBikes I believe) install it for you.

Good luck brother, welcome home :)
 

Chancelucky2

Active Member
On the matter of the 750 watt motor. If it was advertised or claimed to be a 750 watt motor, you should have gotten a bike with a 750 watt motor. If they can't provide it free of any extra charges,
you're entitled to a full refund, just like the one DJ bikes gave you. Rad's description of its motor is pretty slippery. As you mentioned, they dont' say which motor it is in their specs.

I probably know more about stereos than I do bicycles, but there are some similarities between issues with amplifier ratings and e-bike motor specs. I've learned there are multiple reasons why one 50 watt rms
amplifier will play much louder than another 50 watt rms amplifier. Often it's a matter of looking at the specs really closely (50 watts continuous is different from 50 watts peak at high distortion), but almost as often the specs are accurate, but other specs matter just as much if not more as the nominal wattage rating of the amp. One of the obvious ones is the sort of load presented by the source and the speakers. Another is power supply capacitance and other factors that determine how quickly your amp can get what it takes to get to 50 watts, especially if you've just hit a peak. Getting back to e-bikes, I suspect that there are a bunch of 500 watt e-bikes that'll get you up your hill, though it may depend a little on your level of effort, your size, and your technique. In fact, there are probably several mid drive 250 watt e-bikes with full sized wheels that could climb most any paved road. Given what you said about the need for suspension though, you may be talking about climbing hills off road where the grades are different and the surfaces are really different. If that's the case, while I know that you wanted to stay with your bike, I suspect you'll have much better luck wtih a mid drive bike with at least 26 inch wheels and full suspension. In any case, the wattage of the motor by itself doesn't necessarily tell you whether or not an e-bike will climb hills well. For one the rad mini's lowest gear ratio appears to be 48:34 (with a 7 speed gear range and small wheels, you're choosing between delivering top speed or hill climbing) {your original e-bike that was 500 watts but climbed hills was 48:38 btw) . The Specialized Turbo Levo, a bike designed for getting up off road hills, has a low gear something like 32:42.

Bottom line, the hill climbing issue has some facets beyond the motor wattage. How set are you on staying with a folding e-bike?
 
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Sidthesurf

New Member
On the matter of the 750 watt motor. If it was advertised or claimed to be a 750 watt motor, you should have gotten a bike with a 750 watt motor. If they can't provide it free of any extra charges,
you're entitled to a full refund, just like the one DJ bikes gave you. Rad's description of its motor is pretty slippery. As you mentioned, they dont' say which motor it is in their specs.

I probably know more about stereos than I do bicycles, but there are some similarities between issues with amplifier ratings and e-bike motor specs. I've learned there are multiple reasons why one 50 watt rms
amplifier will play much louder than another 50 watt rms amplifier. Often it's a matter of looking at the specs really closely (50 watts continuous is different from 50 watts peak at high distortion), but almost as often the specs are accurate, but other specs matter just as much if not more as the nominal wattage rating of the amp. One of the obvious ones is the sort of load presented by the source and the speakers. Another is power supply capacitance and other factors that determine how quickly your amp can get what it takes to get to 50 watts, especially if you've just hit a peak. Getting back to e-bikes, I suspect that there are a bunch of 500 watt e-bikes that'll get you up your hill, though it may depend a little on your level of effort, your size, and your technique. In fact, there are probably several mid drive 250 watt e-bikes with full sized wheels that could climb most any paved road. Given what you said about the need for suspension though, you may be talking about climbing hills off road where the grades are different and the surfaces are really different. If that's the case, while I know that you wanted to stay with your bike, I suspect you'll have much better luck wtih a mid drive bike with at least 26 inch wheels and full suspension. In any case, the wattage of the motor by itself doesn't necessarily tell you whether or not an e-bike will climb hills well. For one the rad mini's lowest gear ratio appears to be 48:34 (with a 7 speed gear range and small wheels, you're choosing between delivering top speed or hill climbing) {your original e-bike that was 500 watts but climbed hills was 48:38 btw) . The Specialized Turbo Levo, a bike designed for getting up off road hills, has a low gear something like 32:42.

Bottom line, the hill climbing issue has some facets beyond the motor wattage. How set are you on staying with a folding e-bike?
Hello Chancelucky2!

My first ebike, with a 500w nominal 750w max motor, would handle these hills without a problem. The hills are all regular asphalt city streets, no off-road. I’m pretty sure that a 750w, Bafang motor, on my Mini, will do the same.

I really like my Radmini and don’t want to lose her! When folded, she fits perfectly in the back of my Jeep Renegade. I need the folding capability.

The motor, on my mini, is advertised as a 750w, Bafang motor. I talked with most of the sales and tech support staff at Rad, and they all said it was a 750w Bafang motor. I emailed Bafang the serial/model number and they confirmed that the motor on my Mini is a 500w motor. I just want to have what I paid for.

BTW - thanks for the audio reference! I’ve been a mobile DJ for years and know audio too!
 
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jaizon

Active Member
Hello Chancelucky2!



The motor, on my mini, is advertised as a 750w, Bafang motor. I talked with most of the sales and tech support staff at Rad, and they all said it was a 750w Bafang motor. I emailed Bafang the serial/model number and they confirmed that the motor on my Mini is a 500w motor. I just want to have what I paid for.

And you should get it. It is for this very reason (and you are not the first to have this problem), that I will not buy from Rad. It is one thing if the problem happens, s**t happens. But not to take care of it IMMEDIATELY and without any cost to the customer is not good. I have no idea what their business plan is, but this is not a good part of it. TAKE CARE OF YOUR CUSTOMERS or you won't have any. Good luck, sir.
 

Sidthesurf

New Member
And you should get it. It is for this very reason (and you are not the first to have this problem), that I will not buy from Rad. It is one thing if the problem happens, s**t happens. But not to take care of it IMMEDIATELY and without any cost to the customer is not good. I have no idea what their business plan is, but this is not a good part of it. TAKE CARE OF YOUR CUSTOMERS or you won't have any. Good luck, sir.
IMMEDIATELY! Thank you!
 

Chancelucky2

Active Member
If you want to stay with the Rad Mini, I suspect going to a 42 tooth front chain ring would probably help a lot even with the motor that's on the bike. It's probably inexpensive and not hard to do or get done. I'm not
sure how it'll affect your top speed.

That said, their web page says 750 watt motor and that's misleading. It should be a motor that can sustain 750 watts and not one that can simply hit 750 watt peaks. I wouldn't mess with the gearing, if you're going to
go with gimme the motor you advertized route.