Introducing myself.

bluegoatwoods

New Member
Hello, all.

I'm a recent buyer of two e-bikes from Rad Power bikes of Seattle. One "Rad Rover" and one "Rad Mini". Purchased them in Dec, 17. I've got about a hundred miles on the Rover and about 50 miles on the Mini. And I'm highly impressed with both.

I guess I was inclined to write here some of my impressions of the strengths and weaknesses of these bikes. In the hope of helping someone who's considering an e-bike but hasn't yet chosen which one. But I don't suppose those folks will be looking for that info in an 'intro' thread. So instead I'll try to give you folks some notion of just what sort of rider I am. That might give you some notion of the life that my bikes will lead.

And.....since I am capable of being fairly long-winded and cheerfully self-appreciative.....I'll start at the beginning.

I'm a lifelong bicyclist. For a few years there, fresh out of high school, I didn't own one and it didn't occur to me that I might want to ride one. But I got lucky; my market turned to mush and the career that I'd been starting up crashed. Out of sheer desperation I went to the west coast and got a job as a bicycle messenger.

It was a blast. And I was also very impressed with my ability to get around quickly using a mode of transport that was obviously much more healthy than four wheels. I haven't been without a bicycle since.

That would have been in the range of 35 years ago now. Sometimes the need to make a living has limited those riding miles. After the bike messenger gig, that is. That only lasted a few years. It was fun but it was a dirt poor living. I'm not even all that acquisitive. But I needed to make at least a bit more than minimum wage equivalent. (Big city traffic was getting on my nerves, too.) But... anyway... I was still riding some even when I had less time for it and there can be no doubt that it's helped me keep my health.

About 30 years ago now I started raising a family and I've stayed in the same spot since. This is in Illinois, roughly half-way between Chicago and St Louis. We live on a bluff. The highest point is about 200 feet in elevation over the commercial district below that we deal with mostly. But I don't live at the highest point. I live about 50 feet below. And the road does go through the highest point. So I've been dealing with pretty serious hills the whole time. In both directions. Not complaining; it was a wonderful place to raise my kids. But my bikes, and I, haven't had it exactly easy. I do still drive sometimes, of course. But I've always been pretty good about going on two wheels unless four was absolutely necessary. I haven't taken the easy way all that often.

My kids are good with a bicycle, too. I made sure that they rode. And they did become skilled at it. But I might have burnt them out. As adults two of them simply refuse...a pity.....and one talks about maybe getting a bike together and riding it. But she doesn't seem to get around to it. Perhaps that hill killed the fun for them? But there wasn't any choice. Ya gotta work with what ya got. E-bikes might have helped, though. But they were more primitive and less available then.

About ten years ago now I started messing with those 2 cycle gasoline motors that mount on a bicycle. It's possible that I knew intuitively that the day would come when I just couldn't pedal quite as strong as I was accustomed to. Maybe, maybe not. At the time I merely thought that a moped on-the-cheap sounded like fun. And the first one, too, was really meant for my wife. Who is no fan of the pedal bicycle. But those bicycle/gasoline motor combos are finicky and she failed completely. So I rode that one plus built another that was more my size. They were good. But they just weren't quite good enough. You'd get one all 'tuned in' to the point where you'd actually get along nicely for a while. Then something would go out of kilter. Getting that back in line puts something else out of place. You find yourself tearing your hair out and not feeling quite sure that you'll make it to work. Or home. But you finally get everything working well again. Then the magneto dies. Quickly and completely. They're cheap and not hard to swap. But it gets frustrating. Better components are available. But the price skyrockets.

So about six or seven years ago I tried out my first E-bike. It was a Currie E-Zip Trailz. The bike wasn't bad. Though the drive-train was a bit clumsy, I guess. Those SLA batteries really did stink, though. One trouble I had was that I'd charge those batteries and have range that was certainly good enough. Other times I'd charge those batteries, apparently no differently than before, and then find myself pushing that heavy bike up the hill. I've never been able to account for just why the full charge would sometimes seem to be so much less than other times. Plus the batteries needed to be replaced more often than one would have hoped. There were Lithium Ion batts, and I think a few other chemistries, available. But I was a bit reluctant to put any real money into it only to find, I feared, that maybe they weren't even enough. (I no longer have such fears, by the way. Lithium Ion is just fine.)

My wife and kids, by the way, really did enjoy that bike. My wife sometimes frightened me with her recklessness. And she's not gentle with a bike either. So I found that bike suffering wear and tear that I would never put on a machine I loved. I probably could have lived with that and simply maintained the bike a bit more strictly than I'd have needed to on my own. But after only a couple of years I noticed that the motor was growing louder and giving less torque. So I knew it was over and I gave up on that bike. Just like the gasoline motors; good but not good enough. Nice frame, though. I kept that around for a few years hoping to find some use for it. Nothing came of that. But that front fork got some more life on other bikes.

So I took another stab at the gasoline motors. I was getting better at it and my last bike was getting into the range of having some real style and some actual strength. For a while both I and one daughter used those as work commuters. She did well. I remember one time coming home and finding her bike sitting on the patio with the rear wheel completely dis-assembled. I went inside and found her stretched out on the sofa, all-but-dead to the world, with her arms folded up toward her face covered nearly to the elbows in grease.

I woke her up and asked, "What's wrong with your bike?"

"Nothing's really wrong. It just felt like the rear wheel bearings could use some adjustment. But after I got it all apart I realized that you had the cone wrenches."

She realized, of course, that she needed to wait for me. Her job at that time was intense physical labor. She was tired enough that she didn't even bother to wash her hands. She just figured she'd rest her poor body while she waited for me. But she passed out. Poor thing.

It was nearly sunset and we had to hustle to get that wheel and drive-train back together for the morning. But we made it. Using a flashlight at the end.

Not long after, she got a better job. But with a commute that put and end to bicycling. Too bad.

I kept going for a few years at, perhaps, half pedal bicycle and half motored bike. Even to this day I have a working pedal bike. But for the last three or four years I simply haven't ridden it very much. Age is diminishing my abilities there. I'm in my late 50s now. I can still push pretty hard on those pedals. I simply can't do it every day anymore. It used to keep me strong. Now it just wears me out. It's a shame. But I had a good run.

During all of this time I've been trying, and scheming, to find some way of getting my wife out of the car and on to two wheels. I finally figured it out. Better late than never, I guess. It would have been January of 2016. I told her, "You know......I've been thinking about buying you a scooter."

She turned to me. I've never seen such an obvious 'green light' on her face. Before or since. I've forgotten exactly what she said. But it was short and it boiled down to, "Tell me more!"

But there wasn't much to say. We went down to the local Honda dealer the next morning and bought her a Metropolitan 50cc scooter. The temp was about 12 deg F and the salesman just assumed that we wouldn't be riding that thing for a month, at least. But we were riding it that day. Taking turns going to the gas station and getting a cup of hot chocolate. Stuff like that. She was enthusiastic from day one and still is. Now she does also frighten me with her recklessness on this vehicle, too. That's too bad. But I have no choice but to take it on faith that she'll be observant enough to avoid catastrophe. And it is good to see her not driving her car every day of her life. I have a pickup truck. And there are times when our trouble is getting those two vehicles out and moving a bit. Rather than just sitting and getting stiff. Wintertime? Not so much. But in the summer it actually has been a bit of a concern. I've also noticed they get awfully dirty when they just sit.

What I was figuring is that we could ride together. She on her scooter and my on my motored bike. And, yes, we rode together. But those two bikes have such different characters that it could never be done very gracefully. So after about a half a year I bought myself a scooter. No regrets there. It's fun.

My plan was to ride both vehicles more or less alternately. But I only took my motored bike out once after buying that scooter. It was like operating a civil war era steam locomotive compared to that smooth and sophisticated scooter. On the way home I just kinda knew that I'd never ride that motored bike again. And I haven't.

The scooters really are great. And they're so inexpensive that I soon realized that having more would be desirable. So I bought two more. For spares and also for sharing with the kids or friends who might want to do some riding. We've found that most of the people around us are either not very interested or too shy. It's puzzling. I do have one friend up the road who's pretty enthusiastic about it. His wife is scared to ride, though. And he's the type who's just always, always running around. So he doesn't manage to ride with me very much.

My kids have done better. One daughter is so enthusiastic about riding that I've sort of, kind of, almost given her one of the scooters. It spends most nights in her driveway, for instance. Another daughter doesn't seem very interested. She'll take gentle rides and acts like she's enjoying it. But she doesn't come around looking for more. One daughter (the one who took apart the bicycle wheel) is more enthusiastic and quite competent. But she really craves a motorcycle. I nearly bought her a second hand Yamaha V-Star 250 a few months back. But there was some bad timing and I found myself anticipating a big expense and tight budget. So I backed away. But perhaps we can manage to get her on a real motorcycle pretty soon. Right now the weather is (January) that I don't have to act quickly.

So......let's see here............just where was I going with all of this?

Oh, yes! I know! E-bikes, of course! That's what we're here for.

So.... the scooters are great. But from about Christmas to sometime in February we can manage some rides. But racking up any real miles is all but impossible. So we've been needing something more. And that's where these pretty neat bikes from Rad come in.

I sure hope I chose well by going with fat bikes. Clearly they'll be good on actual snow. In fact I've already tested that and they pass. I'm still not sure how they'll do on slick, traffic beaten ice. But even I won't be riding all that much in such conditions. Some, yes. Every single day? No. In any case, snow, ice and mud are just why I chose fat bikes. I'd better get some fenders. I've already got skunk stripes on my back.

The Rad Mini was meant for my wife. I didn't even buy the Rover at the same time. I wanted to get a feel for the Mini first. But the moment I rode it I knew I wanted one for myself. So I placed the order for the Rover.

I've got about a hundred miles on the Rover and about fifty on the Mini. My wife has only rode hers once so far. But she's enthusiastic. The weather's been very bad for two wheels. She's actually willing to face that pretty well. But she's so careless about keeping proper clothes on hand and I don't want to invite her out if she's going to get frostbite.

But better weather will come. Good enough that she can dress carelessly if she wants without being in actual danger. And I can tell already that she has high hopes for this bike.

I can already tell that mine is a magnificent machine with enough power for my uses. It might even be too much bicycle for summer. That'll be no matter. I can always rig up something a bit lighter. In fact I do have the components on hand.

And I'd actually like to tell a bit more about just what makes this bike so great. Plus those few downsides (such as big a a bit clumsy) that it has.

But I'll try to save that, instead, for a thread that might help someone who's shopping for bikes.

So instead I'll just say, "It's nice to meet you all!"





 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
@bluegoatwoods, you are quite the storyteller and I enjoy that :). Welcome to our EBR community (Hopefully those gas bikes are permanently parked.)
Please update us as to your family's adventures with those 2 new Rad Power ebikes and include a couple of pics, too!
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
Hello, all.

I'm a recent buyer of two e-bikes from Rad Power bikes of Seattle. One "Rad Rover" and one "Rad Mini". Purchased them in Dec, 17. I've got about a hundred miles on the Rover and about 50 miles on the Mini. And I'm highly impressed with both.

I guess I was inclined to write here some of my impressions of the strengths and weaknesses of these bikes. In the hope of helping someone who's considering an e-bike but hasn't yet chosen which one. But I don't suppose those folks will be looking for that info in an 'intro' thread. So instead I'll try to give you folks some notion of just what sort of rider I am. That might give you some notion of the life that my bikes will lead.

And.....since I am capable of being fairly long-winded and cheerfully self-appreciative.....I'll start at the beginning.

I'm a lifelong bicyclist. For a few years there, fresh out of high school, I didn't own one and it didn't occur to me that I might want to ride one. But I got lucky; my market turned to mush and the career that I'd been starting up crashed. Out of sheer desperation I went to the west coast and got a job as a bicycle messenger.

It was a blast. And I was also very impressed with my ability to get around quickly using a mode of transport that was obviously much more healthy than four wheels. I haven't been without a bicycle since.

That would have been in the range of 35 years ago now. Sometimes the need to make a living has limited those riding miles. After the bike messenger gig, that is. That only lasted a few years. It was fun but it was a dirt poor living. I'm not even all that acquisitive. But I needed to make at least a bit more than minimum wage equivalent. (Big city traffic was getting on my nerves, too.) But... anyway... I was still riding some even when I had less time for it and there can be no doubt that it's helped me keep my health.

About 30 years ago now I started raising a family and I've stayed in the same spot since. This is in Illinois, roughly half-way between Chicago and St Louis. We live on a bluff. The highest point is about 200 feet in elevation over the commercial district below that we deal with mostly. But I don't live at the highest point. I live about 50 feet below. And the road does go through the highest point. So I've been dealing with pretty serious hills the whole time. In both directions. Not complaining; it was a wonderful place to raise my kids. But my bikes, and I, haven't had it exactly easy. I do still drive sometimes, of course. But I've always been pretty good about going on two wheels unless four was absolutely necessary. I haven't taken the easy way all that often.

My kids are good with a bicycle, too. I made sure that they rode. And they did become skilled at it. But I might have burnt them out. As adults two of them simply refuse...a pity.....and one talks about maybe getting a bike together and riding it. But she doesn't seem to get around to it. Perhaps that hill killed the fun for them? But there wasn't any choice. Ya gotta work with what ya got. E-bikes might have helped, though. But they were more primitive and less available then.

About ten years ago now I started messing with those 2 cycle gasoline motors that mount on a bicycle. It's possible that I knew intuitively that the day would come when I just couldn't pedal quite as strong as I was accustomed to. Maybe, maybe not. At the time I merely thought that a moped on-the-cheap sounded like fun. And the first one, too, was really meant for my wife. Who is no fan of the pedal bicycle. But those bicycle/gasoline motor combos are finicky and she failed completely. So I rode that one plus built another that was more my size. They were good. But they just weren't quite good enough. You'd get one all 'tuned in' to the point where you'd actually get along nicely for a while. Then something would go out of kilter. Getting that back in line puts something else out of place. You find yourself tearing your hair out and not feeling quite sure that you'll make it to work. Or home. But you finally get everything working well again. Then the magneto dies. Quickly and completely. They're cheap and not hard to swap. But it gets frustrating. Better components are available. But the price skyrockets.

So about six or seven years ago I tried out my first E-bike. It was a Currie E-Zip Trailz. The bike wasn't bad. Though the drive-train was a bit clumsy, I guess. Those SLA batteries really did stink, though. One trouble I had was that I'd charge those batteries and have range that was certainly good enough. Other times I'd charge those batteries, apparently no differently than before, and then find myself pushing that heavy bike up the hill. I've never been able to account for just why the full charge would sometimes seem to be so much less than other times. Plus the batteries needed to be replaced more often than one would have hoped. There were Lithium Ion batts, and I think a few other chemistries, available. But I was a bit reluctant to put any real money into it only to find, I feared, that maybe they weren't even enough. (I no longer have such fears, by the way. Lithium Ion is just fine.)

My wife and kids, by the way, really did enjoy that bike. My wife sometimes frightened me with her recklessness. And she's not gentle with a bike either. So I found that bike suffering wear and tear that I would never put on a machine I loved. I probably could have lived with that and simply maintained the bike a bit more strictly than I'd have needed to on my own. But after only a couple of years I noticed that the motor was growing louder and giving less torque. So I knew it was over and I gave up on that bike. Just like the gasoline motors; good but not good enough. Nice frame, though. I kept that around for a few years hoping to find some use for it. Nothing came of that. But that front fork got some more life on other bikes.

So I took another stab at the gasoline motors. I was getting better at it and my last bike was getting into the range of having some real style and some actual strength. For a while both I and one daughter used those as work commuters. She did well. I remember one time coming home and finding her bike sitting on the patio with the rear wheel completely dis-assembled. I went inside and found her stretched out on the sofa, all-but-dead to the world, with her arms folded up toward her face covered nearly to the elbows in grease.

I woke her up and asked, "What's wrong with your bike?"

"Nothing's really wrong. It just felt like the rear wheel bearings could use some adjustment. But after I got it all apart I realized that you had the cone wrenches."

She realized, of course, that she needed to wait for me. Her job at that time was intense physical labor. She was tired enough that she didn't even bother to wash her hands. She just figured she'd rest her poor body while she waited for me. But she passed out. Poor thing.

It was nearly sunset and we had to hustle to get that wheel and drive-train back together for the morning. But we made it. Using a flashlight at the end.

Not long after, she got a better job. But with a commute that put and end to bicycling. Too bad.

I kept going for a few years at, perhaps, half pedal bicycle and half motored bike. Even to this day I have a working pedal bike. But for the last three or four years I simply haven't ridden it very much. Age is diminishing my abilities there. I'm in my late 50s now. I can still push pretty hard on those pedals. I simply can't do it every day anymore. It used to keep me strong. Now it just wears me out. It's a shame. But I had a good run.

During all of this time I've been trying, and scheming, to find some way of getting my wife out of the car and on to two wheels. I finally figured it out. Better late than never, I guess. It would have been January of 2016. I told her, "You know......I've been thinking about buying you a scooter."

She turned to me. I've never seen such an obvious 'green light' on her face. Before or since. I've forgotten exactly what she said. But it was short and it boiled down to, "Tell me more!"

But there wasn't much to say. We went down to the local Honda dealer the next morning and bought her a Metropolitan 50cc scooter. The temp was about 12 deg F and the salesman just assumed that we wouldn't be riding that thing for a month, at least. But we were riding it that day. Taking turns going to the gas station and getting a cup of hot chocolate. Stuff like that. She was enthusiastic from day one and still is. Now she does also frighten me with her recklessness on this vehicle, too. That's too bad. But I have no choice but to take it on faith that she'll be observant enough to avoid catastrophe. And it is good to see her not driving her car every day of her life. I have a pickup truck. And there are times when our trouble is getting those two vehicles out and moving a bit. Rather than just sitting and getting stiff. Wintertime? Not so much. But in the summer it actually has been a bit of a concern. I've also noticed they get awfully dirty when they just sit.

What I was figuring is that we could ride together. She on her scooter and my on my motored bike. And, yes, we rode together. But those two bikes have such different characters that it could never be done very gracefully. So after about a half a year I bought myself a scooter. No regrets there. It's fun.

My plan was to ride both vehicles more or less alternately. But I only took my motored bike out once after buying that scooter. It was like operating a civil war era steam locomotive compared to that smooth and sophisticated scooter. On the way home I just kinda knew that I'd never ride that motored bike again. And I haven't.

The scooters really are great. And they're so inexpensive that I soon realized that having more would be desirable. So I bought two more. For spares and also for sharing with the kids or friends who might want to do some riding. We've found that most of the people around us are either not very interested or too shy. It's puzzling. I do have one friend up the road who's pretty enthusiastic about it. His wife is scared to ride, though. And he's the type who's just always, always running around. So he doesn't manage to ride with me very much.

My kids have done better. One daughter is so enthusiastic about riding that I've sort of, kind of, almost given her one of the scooters. It spends most nights in her driveway, for instance. Another daughter doesn't seem very interested. She'll take gentle rides and acts like she's enjoying it. But she doesn't come around looking for more. One daughter (the one who took apart the bicycle wheel) is more enthusiastic and quite competent. But she really craves a motorcycle. I nearly bought her a second hand Yamaha V-Star 250 a few months back. But there was some bad timing and I found myself anticipating a big expense and tight budget. So I backed away. But perhaps we can manage to get her on a real motorcycle pretty soon. Right now the weather is (January) that I don't have to act quickly.

So......let's see here............just where was I going with all of this?

Oh, yes! I know! E-bikes, of course! That's what we're here for.

So.... the scooters are great. But from about Christmas to sometime in February we can manage some rides. But racking up any real miles is all but impossible. So we've been needing something more. And that's where these pretty neat bikes from Rad come in.

I sure hope I chose well by going with fat bikes. Clearly they'll be good on actual snow. In fact I've already tested that and they pass. I'm still not sure how they'll do on slick, traffic beaten ice. But even I won't be riding all that much in such conditions. Some, yes. Every single day? No. In any case, snow, ice and mud are just why I chose fat bikes. I'd better get some fenders. I've already got skunk stripes on my back.

The Rad Mini was meant for my wife. I didn't even buy the Rover at the same time. I wanted to get a feel for the Mini first. But the moment I rode it I knew I wanted one for myself. So I placed the order for the Rover.

I've got about a hundred miles on the Rover and about fifty on the Mini. My wife has only rode hers once so far. But she's enthusiastic. The weather's been very bad for two wheels. She's actually willing to face that pretty well. But she's so careless about keeping proper clothes on hand and I don't want to invite her out if she's going to get frostbite.

But better weather will come. Good enough that she can dress carelessly if she wants without being in actual danger. And I can tell already that she has high hopes for this bike.

I can already tell that mine is a magnificent machine with enough power for my uses. It might even be too much bicycle for summer. That'll be no matter. I can always rig up something a bit lighter. In fact I do have the components on hand.

And I'd actually like to tell a bit more about just what makes this bike so great. Plus those few downsides (such as big a a bit clumsy) that it has.

But I'll try to save that, instead, for a thread that might help someone who's shopping for bikes.

So instead I'll just say, "It's nice to meet you all!"


Hey Bluegoat-Great story indeed. Love the part about going to the west coast to be a bike messenger. Never gave it a thought. Only had a local daily paper delivery route during that time for 4-5 years. I myself have not gotten off a bike since then either. I was hooked. Sounds like your whole family was made for being on 2 wheels most of the time. Have fun. Perhaps put together a family trip on two wheels with bike packing and the whole getup. Ride safe to you all!!:D
 

bluegoatwoods

New Member
Thank you, Ann M.

Those gas bikes are definitely finished, kaput, fubar-ed and.........like........nowhere, man.:)

Although I actually don't dislike them on principle. I'm very fond of low powered, miserly internal combustion engines. Though I do think that all gasoline engines need to be gone one day. I'm satisfied for now with merely minimizing them. And if they get us out of that darned automobile, then they're doing us a service.

I could snap a few pics of those bikes right now. But I'll wait until we get them out riding and take photos with decent backgrounds. Weather's not real good today, plus I'm busy with other things. But it shouldn't oughta take long.