Rad Power Bikes lands massive $150M investment

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
It's just my opinion but I don't think you can compare an ultra mid drive to a rear hub motor.
Nothing personal, but I would say YOU need to ride a bike with a big hub drive motor fed by a 35a controller. Pretty sure that would have an affect on your opinion.....

I have both. An Ultra powered fattie and a 1000w+ rated hub drive (MAC 12t) on a more conventional bike (with a 35a controller). They are NOT that different. Both have way over the top power on tap. Enough where you don't use everything available very often, or for long..... -Al
 

Lightning 123

Well-Known Member
I thought we were talking about about stock radrover hub drives which can be upgraded but would fall far short of an ultra mid drive.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I thought we were talking about about stock radrover hub drives which can be upgraded but would fall far short of an ultra mid drive.
We were talking about ExPatBrit's bike, which has a REAL 750w motor and 35a controller. That's a pretty potent package as well. Do the math-
35a x 50volts = 1750 watts Even with the controller set conservatively to limit power to 20 amps, 20a x 50v = 1000w.........

That kind of power just isn't necessary often, nor is everything available from an Ultra. In everyday riding, and most other situations, that 750w hub drive is going to compare fairly well. Clearly when it comes to flat out capability, the Ultra is going to win - but the point is, how often do you think that's going to happen?
 

Lightning 123

Well-Known Member
I have seen all of the Bolton videos. I agree that using either one of these motors in high wattage mode is going to drain the battery down too fast.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I have seen all of the Bolton videos. I agree that using either one of these motors in high wattage mode is going to drain the battery down too fast.
The reality is, though both are clearly CAPABLE of draining the batteries quickly, they are actually pretty efficient when you aren't pushing them. The Ultra fatty w/19.2ah battery, with my 300 lb butt on board, can make 35 miles pretty easily in this rather hilly area. The MAC 12t powered bike, with it's 14.5ah battery and my 300lb butt, also makes 35 miles easily due to the smaller tires. Noteworthy maybe, is that when the wife is on the MAC 12t bike, she can make over 50 miles riding next to me. Point being, when you learn to ride them properly, these torque monsters act like pussy cats - until you start leaning on them.
 

BKing

Active Member
Rad is working on their biggest problems. Some customers can’t fix their bike and most bike shops won’t touch an ebike. For those that don’t know why shops won’t touch them, in the words of the shop if they spoke outright:

It’s too heavy for my service stand.

I don’t want that beast sitting here while waiting on parts.

If it’s the motor it’s going to cost more than they want to pay.

I would have to stock at least a controller and display to troubleshoot some problems.

If the parts are out of warranty this is going to cost the customer a ton of money and they might never pick up the bike

If the ebike just needs typical bike repairs but a motor craps out the day after they pick it up they will blame me.
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In a few years there will be tens of thousands broken ebikes sitting around. Let’s hope these people sell them to us cheap so we can fix/upgrade and sell.
 

ExPatBrit

Active Member
Rad is working on their biggest problems. Some customers can’t fix their bike and most bike shops won’t touch an ebike. For those that don’t know why shops won’t touch them, in the words of the shop if they spoke outright:

It’s too heavy for my service stand.

I don’t want that beast sitting here while waiting on parts.

If it’s the motor it’s going to cost more than they want to pay.

I would have to stock at least a controller and display to troubleshoot some problems.

If the parts are out of warranty this is going to cost the customer a ton of money and they might never pick up the bike

If the ebike just needs typical bike repairs but a motor craps out the day after they pick it up they will blame me.
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In a few years there will be tens of thousands broken ebikes sitting around. Let’s hope these people sell them to us cheap so we can fix/upgrade and sell.
This is a problem with all bikes, it seems nowadays that even minor repairs are impossible for many folks.

I have a neighbor who has a high end e-bike that was “broken” all last summer. No bike rack and not enough room in the car to take it to the shop who had a two week wait .

So one September afternoon I fixed his flat tire. Meh!
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
This is a problem with all bikes, it seems nowadays that even minor repairs are impossible for many folks.

I have a neighbor who has a high end e-bike that was “broken” all last summer. No bike rack and not enough room in the car to take it to the shop who had a two week wait .

So one September afternoon I fixed his flat tire. Meh!
Pretty sad state of affairs right there. Kudo's for lending a hand...
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
"The new funds will be used to double Rad’s 325-person workforce, expand its retail showrooms and service locations, and diversify its supply chain."

I don't know how credible this is, but if true, don't count on Rad's bikes to change much due to the investment.

It's worth noting that much of the time, VC investment is there to speed up growth that would have happened organically. So instead of relying on the business reinvesting it's profits each year into growth, you get a big cash injection to supercharge growth (and overtake rivals that might otherwise arrive). So VC investment isn't ipso facto evidence of things changing, just things accelerating.

 

Lightning 123

Well-Known Member
I agree that it guarantees market share domination. You will have to wonder how some people are going to feel when they see others riding ebikes that have gone up to the next level.
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
"The new funds will be used to double Rad’s 325-person workforce, expand its retail showrooms and service locations, and diversify its supply chain."

I don't know how credible this is, but if true, don't count on Rad's bikes to change much due to the investment.

It's worth noting that much of the time, VC investment is there to speed up growth that would have happened organically. So instead of relying on the business reinvesting it's profits each year into growth, you get a big cash injection to supercharge growth (and overtake rivals that might otherwise arrive). So VC investment isn't ipso facto evidence of things changing, just things accelerating.


Ok that bit was from the CEO, published via Tech Crunch apparently.

"The company’s founder and CEO Mike Radenbaugh told me the funds will be used to double its 325-person workforce, increase the number of retail showrooms and service locations, continue to bring on more contract manufacturers to diversify its supply chain and add more accessories so consumers can customize their bikes."

I'm not only disappointed but I also think it's bad business for Rad to just ignore the Class 3 market, which I think will form an increasing share of non-mountain ebikes in the US. Ebike sales will keep growing and lift all boats, so I don't think Rad will see any revenue decline anytime soon as a result.

 

billpetro

New Member
Region
USA
City
Colorado Springs
They need to replace that City with a bike that's got a gear driven hub and hyd. brakes at minimum...
Why do you think so? Is it that the current model has only 40 nM torque, vs. the 80 nM torque of the gear motor?
 

BKing

Active Member
I’m sure that’s what he’s thinking for more torque. The city may have some kind of peak torque of 40nm but the typical riding is probably around 20 nm. It’s just the old days of advertising stereo amp power. Did you know that 1 true watt of music into a quality speaker will blow you out of the room but everyone wants 200 watts per channel which even if it was capable of that it would smoke the speaker coils.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Why do you think so? Is it that the current model has only 40 nM torque, vs. the 80 nM torque of the gear motor?
Basically, there is no upside to the direct drive motors - as seen by the fact there are so few in use by the OEM's. The noise and maintenance factor advantages are 100% sales hype. Geared hubs don't wear out very easily, and as for the Bafang geared hubs, they operate with very similar noise levels (have/have had both).

For every person that can get by with 40nm, there are 50 more that wouldn't mind having a little more. IMHO, a little more power would add significantly more utility to the bike.

And yes, I get the fact there are a lot of very happy City owners. I have to question though, how many they would sell if it were not for the RAD nameplate? Or, how many more they might sell if equipped with the the geared hub technology?

I bought a new '17 City, had it 6 weeks, and pulled all of it's electronics in favor of an aftermarket set up that allowed some (way more) control (no more "soft start" for starters). Then I doubled the available power with another direct drive motor (750w>1500w). Much better, but that motor was then replaced with a geared hub motor because the 1500w direct drive was left panting, along with it's rider, at the top of some of the bigger hills around here. The gear driven hub (a good one to be fair/1000w MAC 12t) could ACCELERATE while climbing this same hill. The bonus came after realizing the 25 mile battery range experienced with the 1500w direct drive, INCREASED to 35 miles with the 1000w geared hub - with NO other changes.
 
Region
USA
some of the funds are being put to good use for their mobile vans, i bought a different bike because i wanted a LBS but after test driving a rad through their mobile shop, id be comfortable buying one, we setup a time on their website and met them at sloan park in mesa arizona, the guys running the vans were top notch pros and gave a nice test ride, its a neat model having "mobile bike shops" as opposed to traditional bike shops, they had a converted sprinter type van all setup as a bike repair shop, wife is looking at their entry level bike for simple rides around town and taking the kids to school, definitely put my mind to ease buying an ebike "online" knowing they have mobile support
 

Kyogiro

Member
I think Rad's biggest priority should be customers' service.

Despite the increasing competition, Rad will still retain for some time the top spot, in order to stay there, they need to leave satisfied their current customers. Best promo ever.

I remember when I bough my bike a little over a year ago, nobody was responding to my emails (I'm in Europe). They would respond from time to time to phone calls though.
 

JES2020

Active Member
This is good news regarding the continued growth of affordable EBikes.


Rad Power Bikes has announced a large funding round that will see $150 million added to the industry-leading electric bicycle company’s coffers. Rad Power Bikes is the largest e-bike company in the US. Sales for 2020 are estimated to have topped 100,000 e-bikes and are growing quickly. Rad Power Bikes is expected to use the new funding to reinvest in maintaining its market dominance through further innovation in new e-bike models as well as by scaling the company’s retail presence and service offerings.

While the company mostly operates a direct-to-consumer model that has allowed it to offer industry-leading prices unmatched by typical bike shop e-bikes, Rad Power Bikes has spent the last few years increasing its retail and service footprint. The company’s Rad Mobile service, which uses vans outfitted as nearly full-service bicycle shops, has helped the company assuage service and support worries that typically plague most direct-to-consumer e-bike companies. I had the chance to test out the Rad Mobile service myself and was impressed to see how the company managed to bring a bike shop experience right to my driveway.

Rad Power Bikes tells us that the company expects to have retail and service coverage for 75% of its US customers by the end of 2021. A new showroom is expected to open in San Diego this spring. The company has been growing internally as well, increasing to 325 employees in 2020 and is expecting to double that number by the end of 2021.
Interesting to note that the largest ebike producer in N. America only makes hub motor bikes.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Interesting to note that the largest ebike producer in N. America only makes hub motor bikes.
It's not unique to them (hub motors only), but it sure makes a good point!

Got to say though, it would be no surprise here if they came out with a mid drive model that would appeal more to those spending most of their time in areas that require a little more hill climbing stamina. Those with experience with both drive types are all going to tell you a mid drive will be tough to beat in the (bigger) hills.