New RadMission Mid-Step on the way to me!

fuyume

Member
Region
USA
After much hemming and hawing over whether or not I was going to purchase a complete ebike or attempt to build up the ancient but totally unused Surly 1x1 frame and fork set I bought many years ago and never turned into an actual working bike, I finally decided to order the RadMission Mid-Step (with the free Front Mounted Basket promotion), which should arrive in a few days. I really hope it's comfortable, as I am a very tall woman (185 cm, 6' 1", but RadPower says it's designed for people up to 6' 2" tall.)

This will be my first new bicycle since the Specialized HardRock Comp I bought in the late 1990s (1999?), which got stolen out of my garage in 2003 while I was on vacation. I still miss that bike, the last of the great CroMo steel rigid mountain bikes at a reasonable price, and I had moved to the New Jersey suburbs just before I bought it, so it was still in practically mint condition. My wife's HardRock was actually in the basement, so at least they didn't get hers. There being no place to ride worth riding to in the suburbs, our bikes were only used to go day trail riding a few times a year. I have a few questions about the RadMission:

1. Does anyone know what type/size of chainring and freewheel is on the RadMission? I have an permanently injured knee and cannot pedal uphill or tall gearing. I can definitely say that the stock 50 x 16 gearing is going to be too tall for me, so I would like to go to 44 x 22, if I can, or even lower, if necessary. This will, I suppose, limit my top speed in pedal-assist mode, but I'm not worried about that. I am far more concerned about the ease of pedaling without power assist. My town is mildly hilly, and with my bad knee, I can barely pedal safely up even the slightest inclines.

I'm currently riding a 1991 Trek 820 I picked up at my local charity shop for $25 a few years ago, with a Shimano 200GS 21-speed groupset from which I stripped the shifting mechanisms, and fixed the derailleur to the center cog, while I run the chain normally on the smallest chainring. I'm running 28 x 18 (looking at the 1990 Shimano catalogue and 1991 Trek catalogue for specs). I run out of cadence really quickly on the flats, but at least I can (very slowly) work my way up the slight rise to my local grocery store without injuring my knee further. I can switch the chainrings manually up to the 38 or 48, but I almost never do so. My commuting distance from my home to my office and shopping is about 4 miles each way, max.

2. The rear rack. Because a check didn't come in that I was expecting, I put off ordering any other accessories, and elected to get the bike and the front basket promo before the deal expires on April 30, and as soon as that check comes in, I will order the rest: rear rack, fenders, ARB lock and chain, kickstand. I'm adding aftermarket mirror, too. But I want to put a large milk crate on the rear rack. Does anyone know if the RadMission Rear Rack is easily compatible with a MIK mounting plate adapter? I'd kind of like to go with a Basil crate and a MIK quick release adapter, but those are pricey for what they are, so for at least the time being, I have ordered a couple of FarmPlast 24 qt rectangular milk crates, and I will strap one to the rear rack somehow. I'm using heavy duty zip ties to attach a square crate to the Planet Bike Eco Rack on my Trek.

3. Winter tires. I got into a bit of a huff with RadPower customer service, because I asked them if Continental Top Contact II Winter Premium or Pirelli CYCL-e WT winter tires in 650B x 50 would fit with the fenders, and they told me that fitting aftermarket tires "could void my warranty" (which would be a violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975). That was almost enough to prevent me from buying anything from RadPower, but they finally did get back to me and clarify their position to my satsifaction. That being said, 650B x 50 tires would have a nominal width of 50 mm or 1.96", and RadPower specifies that the RadMission will accept a maximum tire width of 1.95". Now, granted, .01" should be well within manufacturing tolerances, but I would appreciate it if anyone has any experience with these tires on a RadMission, or can recommend other winter tires.

I live in Northern New England, now, and this bike is going to be my primary transportation all year round. I do not generally ride when it is heavily snowing, but road clearing happens quickly and pretty thoroughly in my town. Usually the roads are clear before I ever bother to get out of bed. I have been running Kenda 26 x 2.1" off-road knobby tires at 65-70 psi (since it's only used on the street, really) on my Trek, year-round.

My Trek (I spray-painted it black, instead of the awful white with black splatters factory paint job:

1651115700719.jpeg


It will be nice to have a proper town bike rather than a skittish, rear-biased mountain bike that is simultaneously too small and too large for me. I have to have the saddle so high to accommodate my long legs that I can barely touch the ground with my toes when stopped. That 18" frame has a top tube that is about 31" off the ground. When I'm wearing a skirt, as I mostly do these days, it's a real pain to lift my leg over it, plus with my bad knee, it's actually a bit dangerous, especially with a load of groceries and my briefcase.

If anyone has any tips they would like to share about the RadMission, I'd really appreciate it. I have a friend in North Carolina who bought one, and she loves it. There is someone else in my town with a RadMission High Step that I see locked up at my local market, but I don't know who it is, so I haven't been able to ask them how they are getting along with it.

All I know is that, after reading everything I could, it seems that in this price bracket, the RadMission has the best feature set. If I'd attempted to build up that Surly 1x1, I would have ended up spending substantially more money for a potentially better bicycle (in some ways, at least), but with all the parts shortages in the industry right now, I'm not certain I could have had a working bicycle before the end of the summer! I'm a former racer and bike store mechanic, so I feel pretty confident about putting it together. I hope my smaller torque wrench is light enough duty, though. I do like to have things torqued to spec, if I can manage it.
 

fuyume

Member
Region
USA
I was looking around for some elevation map sites, when I realised that Google Maps actually does provide elevation change data.

The big hill between my house and downtown works out to a 9% grade. YIKES. 95 feet elevation gain in 0.3 mi.
Going "the long way around" still entails a 0.3 mi section of about 6.5% grade.
And the "slight incline" that I can pedal up (very slowly, but without much strain on my bad knee) between my house and the supermarket is actually 0.3 mi of 3.5% grade.

But, it looks like the steepest stretch between my home and my office is 0.3 mi of about 4% grade. It's just barely beyond what I can comfortably push at 28 x 18 gearing, so although I have ridden it once or twice, I usually get off and walk it, especially the final short stretch which is substantially steeper, from the main road up a half-block long hill to the parking lot of our building.
 
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fuyume

Member
Region
USA
Today, the outstanding invoice I had was paid by my client, so I went to RadPower and ordered the rear rack, fenders, kickstand, and ABUS frame lock and chain.

Unfortunately, mere minutes after I placed my order, I discovered that ABUS has a terrible history of discrimination on the basis of sex which is religiously-based, and as a woman and a feminist, I cannot in good conscience support such a company. I issued a support request with RadPower, and within 20 minutes, they removed the ABUS items from my order and issued a refund.

After doing a bit of research, I discovered that AXA, the other major manufacturer of frame locks, is owned by parent company Allegion (same company that owns Kryptonite), which has a comprehensive global policy against discrimination. I was able to source an AXA Block XXL Retractable lock via Amazon (coming from the UK), and the matching ULC 130 chain from a dealer in California, Mike's Bikes. Hopefully, it's all going to fit.


Kryptonite does offer frame locks in the US, which are all made by AXA, but they don't seem to have any as nice as the ones offered under the AXA brand name. The model offered by Kryptonite in the US seems to be the AXA Solid Plus Retractable.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
i dont know anything about the radmission but it says 48 volt 500 watt and it is cadence, think it should do great for your knee
cant find a peak wattage for it

that is disappointing to hear about abus and good to know for future purchases, blah
 

fuyume

Member
Region
USA
My RadMission just arrived. The Front Basket is MIA, FedEx tracking still says it's in Georgia. Hopefully, the rest of my accessories ship soon. I also ordered a pair of Hafny E13 mirrors via Amazon today.
 

JohnJohn

New Member
Region
Canada
Unfortunately, mere minutes after I placed my order, I discovered that ABUS has a terrible history of discrimination on the basis of sex which is religiously-based, and as a woman and a feminist, I cannot in good conscience support such a company. I issued a support request with RadPower, and within 20 minutes, they removed the ABUS items from my order and issued a refund.

What an eye-opener. I had no idea and thanks for the hint. Well done.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ABUS#Family_ownership

https://plymouthbrethren.org/article/511
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
Congratulations on your Radmisssion. I hope you'll be as happy with it as I have been with my Rover and that your accessories make it soon. I'm curious about Abus gender discrimination though. I just did a casual Google search that didn't turn up anything. I have one of their locks that I'm not likely to throw away because of this, but, if true, it would cause me to look elsewhere for my next lock. Too bad. They make good locks.

As for Rad customer support, they have always come through for me, and I've tested them fairly well. I don't like their corporate attitude about proprieterity (word?) and their shipping charges. For example, if they are out of brake pads, or you balk at the shipping charges for them, it would be very friendly of them to point you to an Amazon product, for example, that might be identical, cheaper, ship free, and be to you tomorrow. Pretty sure their heads would explode before they'd do that.

Let us know how things go with the bike when you've had a chance to do some riding.

TT
 

fuyume

Member
Region
USA
Congratulations on your Radmisssion. I hope you'll be as happy with it as I have been with my Rover and that your accessories make it soon. I'm curious about Abus gender discrimination though. I just did a casual Google search that didn't turn up anything. I have one of their locks that I'm not likely to throw away because of this, but, if true, it would cause me to look elsewhere for my next lock. Too bad. They make good locks.

As for Rad customer support, they have always come through for me, and I've tested them fairly well. I don't like their corporate attitude about proprieterity (word?) and their shipping charges. For example, if they are out of brake pads, or you balk at the shipping charges for them, it would be very friendly of them to point you to an Amazon product, for example, that might be identical, cheaper, ship free, and be to you tomorrow. Pretty sure their heads would explode before they'd do that.

Let us know how things go with the bike when you've had a chance to do some riding.

TT
The family that controls ABUS, the Bremicker family, belongs to an ultra right wing evangelical fundamentalist Christian cult called the Plymouth Brethren (Brüderbewegung), and they refuse to allow the women of the family and ownership rights or management positions in the business. The women of the family for generations have been coerced into signing away any inheritance. One of the daughters is suing the family. There's an article about it in the Süddeutsche Zeitung from 2019 (in German), but it's also paywalled:


I have no doubt the company makes fine products. My issue is not with the quality of their products, it is with the quality of their character.

And yes, RadPower is unfortunately obviously not a company owned by and run by bicycle enthusiasts. I almost didn't order from them at all, because I asked a question about maximum tire size with fenders, since I want to fit 650B x 50 winter tires from either Pirelli or Continental next winter, only to be told that using third-party tires "could void my warranty". When I pointed out this would be a violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, they walked that back real quick like. They did not, however, answer my question, except to say "a maximum of 1.95 inches", which is the stock tire size. 650B x 50 tires should nominally be 1.96 inches.

My rear rack and fenders came in today from RadPower, and my AXA Block XXL frame lock came from Amazon (from France), and I finally got to take her for her maiden voyage, a run to my office on the other end of town and back, about 5 Km each way. I took the long way around to avoid the 9% grade hill, but I can't avoid the 6.5% grade hill. At max assist, with a moderate load (bicycle bag, handbag, some odds and ends from my office, 4.5 lb Kryptonite New York Lock), the motor slowed down quite a bit, but pedaling up the 6.5% grade was easier than pedaling up my usual 3.5% grade on my old Trek with 28/18 gearing. The kickstand and the chain for the AXA frame lock should arrive tomorrow. I will use the AXA chain and frame lock to lock my wheels to the frame, but the Kryptonite New York Lock will be my primary lock.

One additional problem I ran into was that the rear axle was very difficult to remove from the dropout on the non-brake side. Very frustrating, but I eventually got it out and got all the bits installed.

I still have to sort out the headlamp mounting problem. The bracket for the headlamp that is designed to be used on the stem faceplate will not work properly if you move the mount to the front of the basket. The installation instructions show a different bracket in the illustrations, but no such additional bracket is included in the parts list. With the original bracket, the headlamp cannot be positioned properly if mounted to the underside of the front basket. I put in a support request Friday afternoon, but they have yet to respond.

With the big milk crate mounted transversely, the taillamp is somewhat obscured. I may drill holes in the crate and mount the taillamp there. I think the extension cable is long enough. Also, I need to affix the crate to the rear rack better, especially since it is cantilevered. I can't find my heavy-duty zip ties, but I think I'm going to use bolts and fender washers. A friend is sending me some panniers she no longer uses, and I'm hoping I can fit them with the crate mounted.

Last things last, I need to readjust the read brake caliper. I backed out the adjuster because it was rubbing, and now there too much lever travel for my liking.

280489176_10225593198290001_8171575843124371066_n.jpg
 

fuyume

Member
Region
USA
I'm currently running 65 psi in the tires. I might soften that a bit, because the roads here are terrible.

I find that on the flats, PAS 1 is not quite enough, but PAS 2 is a little too much.

Also, I feel like I am much, much higher up on this bike than I am on the Trek, but I'm not sure that I really am.
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
I like the bike! It's too different than my Rover to be able to comment on your specific issues very much, but I found that I got a lot better with PAS levels and gears after a while. I thought Rad supplied a different headlight bracket with a front basket. You might check with them to be sure it wasn't simply left off your shipment. (I could easily be wrong, but it wouldn't hurt to ask.)

After a little more effort I found pretty much the same information you posted about the Bremicker family. I couldn't find much on the Plymouth Brethren, but what I did made it sound like the Bremickers are somewhere on the right wing conservative end of the group. People should, within pretty broad limits, be allowed their religious freedom, but that doesn't mean we have to do business with them. I somehow feel like there may be more to this story than I've heard. No sure whether the rest of the story would make me feel better or worse about it though. Gender bias in inheritances is an ancient tradition. Kind of like the attitude in Leviticus about mensturation (perhaps a too on point example of the many Old Testament laws found in Leviticus.) Maybe they should be allowed their beliefs but it certainly doen't make it easy to like them. Other companies make good locks! (But now I wonder how much I want to know abot their philosophies!)

TT
 

JohnJohn

New Member
Region
Canada
I've rigged up something like that before but find the milk crate too close to the back of the seat and a bit restrictive and uncomfortable. If I did it again I would cut out the overlapping lip on the crate behind the seat.

I bought one of these and it fits really well on the rear rack and holds my second battery:

Looks wonderful. I have the same mirror system and it was the best money I've spent. And I had a similar feel for PAS 1 & 2 but have become really used to the cadence (will wrap the odometer shortly) and have adapted my riding and don't even notice any longer.

I have a step thru and it definitely is a higher ride than I was originally used to from mountain bikes and hybrids but I spent a fair bit of time on Dutch bikes and knew that going in. On long haul rides I found it a more comfortable position. And I bought a cheap Bell gel seat cover at Walmart, it's a savior on long treks too.

Good luck with the new ride.
 

Kayakguy

Active Member
Thanks for the heads-up on the Abus brand. I had no idea. I have their chain lock and their cafe lock. I'd throw those away, but it would be like cutting off my nose to spite my face.

I have a similar problem with Hobby Lobby. They're the ones who got SCOTUS to let them refuse contraception coverage for their (female, specifically) employees. This is also why corporations are legally regarded as individuals. They may also have been part of the suit to allow corporations to contribute unlimited amounts of money to (friendly) politicians. Not sure about this, so don't quote me.

Actually, I lost my respect for SCOTUS after they appointed GW Bush president back in 2000 by not allowing the recount in Florida to continue.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
I will also spend my dollars somewhere else in the future and not abus
And I definitely don’t shop at hobby lobby!
Thanks for bringing this to our attention
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
I will also spend my dollars somewhere else in the future and not abus
And I definitely don’t shop at hobby lobby!
Thanks for bringing this to our attention
I knew about Hobby Lobby and haven't been there for many years due to their politics. It makes one wonder though, what kind of agenda/religion/politics/whatever drives other corporations.

There's a website based out of Nashville run by someone who has described himself as "to the right of Genghis Khan". The website is secondvote.org (or something like that). It's meant as a guide for right-wingers who vote Red to help them vote again with their money by buying from corporations that support right-wing causes. It's been a while since I've looked but it serves just about equally as well as a guide for left-wing, liberal-minded people. Whatever the website recommends, do the opposite. It's really that simple.

I don't go to the website any more just because I don't want to run up their visitor numbers. It may not even still exist. And I don't have the bumper sticker but I'm more of a COEXIST kind of person, or at least wannabe. If nothing else the website is an example of just how absurdly (IMO) partisan things can be nowadays.

Sincere apologies for hijacking this thread, I am still interested in how things work out with the new bike and with RadPower support.

TT
 

fuyume

Member
Region
USA
Thanks for the heads-up on the Abus brand. I had no idea. I have their chain lock and their cafe lock. I'd throw those away, but it would be like cutting off my nose to spite my face.

I have a similar problem with Hobby Lobby. They're the ones who got SCOTUS to let them refuse contraception coverage for their (female, specifically) employees. This is also why corporations are legally regarded as individuals. They may also have been part of the suit to allow corporations to contribute unlimited amounts of money to (friendly) politicians. Not sure about this, so don't quote me.

Actually, I lost my respect for SCOTUS after they appointed GW Bush president back in 2000 by not allowing the recount in Florida to continue.
No sense in replacing what you already have. There's no undoing the past.
 

fuyume

Member
Region
USA
I knew about Hobby Lobby and haven't been there for many years due to their politics. It makes one wonder though, what kind of agenda/religion/politics/whatever drives other corporations.

There's a website based out of Nashville run by someone who has described himself as "to the right of Genghis Khan". The website is secondvote.org (or something like that). It's meant as a guide for right-wingers who vote Red to help them vote again with their money by buying from corporations that support right-wing causes. It's been a while since I've looked but it serves just about equally as well as a guide for left-wing, liberal-minded people. Whatever the website recommends, do the opposite. It's really that simple.

I don't go to the website any more just because I don't want to run up their visitor numbers. It may not even still exist. And I don't have the bumper sticker but I'm more of a COEXIST kind of person, or at least wannabe. If nothing else the website is an example of just how absurdly (IMO) partisan things can be nowadays.

Sincere apologies for hijacking this thread, I am still interested in how things work out with the new bike and with RadPower support.

TT
No worries, I'm a disabled woman of color in the LGBT community, so I don't patronize companies with blatantly sexist, racist, ableist, homophobic, or transphobic policies or practices, if I can help it.
 

fuyume

Member
Region
USA
I thought Rad supplied a different headlight bracket with a front basket. You might check with them to be sure it wasn't simply left off your shipment.
They got back to me last night. The headlamp supplied with the RadMission does not work for mounting on the Front Mounted Basket. They are shipping me their "Standard Headlamp" (which is used on all their other models) free of charge.