Rad Runner Single Speed Advice

DrJay

Member
I am seeking the experience of Rad Runner users on the single speed setup. I am interested in the Runner for utility use. The Rad Wagon is more than I need. I have a Qualisports Volador with a 350 watt/40 nm motor vs the Runner 750 watt/80 nm. The Volador is 40 lbs vs the Runner 60 lbs. Living in Florida, I can ride the Volador easily in the highest gear (14 tooth) with a 52 tooth chainring using power level 1 with occasional blips of the throttle on inclines (can't really call them hills). The Runner has a 16 tooth sprocket with a 52 tooth chainring. My intended use is grocery shopping/light errands, flat terrain, total trip distance 10-15 miles. I thought of the Runner Plus but I have no need for the passenger package and given the fact that I ride sidewalks and smooth pavement the fork is not a necessity for me. I do plan to upgrade the seat post and seat. Experience and feedback on likes/dislikes of the single speed would be appreciated.
 
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EasyRiderDude

New Member
Hey DrJay: Ya i think about the same thing - having only one gear for pedaling. I am a prospective 1st time buyer of eBike and there is a lot about the RadRunner that I find appealing. Many more hills in my area tho and I wonder about the one pedal speed- especially if you run out of power & have to pedal home, I don't say it would be fun!
Of all the reviews I read on their website tho, not a single owner voiced any concerns or complaints about having only single speed.

I also wonder about the cadence type power assist. Some say that compared to a torque sensor based power assist, the cadence type is just not as refined or smooth? But again, in owner reviews, nothing ever comes up about that either. Those that have reviewed the bikes on the Rad site have mostly nothing but good things to say about their experience. Unfortunately I live in northern Ontario, Canada and I don't have the privilege to test drive one before I buy which is a big issue for me. It's a lotta coin to spend on a bike (Likely two!...) & not know how you will like & fit it until after the fact.
 

DrJay

Member
Hey DrJay: Ya i think about the same thing - having only one gear for pedaling. I am a prospective 1st time buyer of eBike and there is a lot about the RadRunner that I find appealing. Many more hills in my area tho and I wonder about the one pedal speed- especially if you run out of power & have to pedal home, I don't say it would be fun!
Of all the reviews I read on their website tho, not a single owner voiced any concerns or complaints about having only single speed.

I also wonder about the cadence type power assist. Some say that compared to a torque sensor based power assist, the cadence type is just not as refined or smooth? But again, in owner reviews, nothing ever comes up about that either. Those that have reviewed the bikes on the Rad site have mostly nothing but good things to say about their experience. Unfortunately I live in northern Ontario, Canada and I don't have the privilege to test drive one before I buy which is a big issue for me. It's a lotta coin to spend on a bike (Likely two!...) & not know how you will like & fit it until after the fact.

I hear you ERD. Not being able to test ride makes it hard to "pull the trigger" on the purchase. I was in Vancouver last year and I did go to the Rad Power Bike store there and test drove the Runner. Of course in Canada the maximum wattage for the hub motor is 500 watts versus 750 here in the U.S. The store is located in an area with a lot of hills and the bike was able to get up the hills with the one speed but I had to use PAS level 4 to be pedaling comfortably. Either that or use the throttle a lot. Of course this really draws a lot of power from the battery. If I lived in a hilly area I would not do single speed with a 500 watt motor mainly because of range issues. Also I feel that I would be using the throttle a lot from a standstill to get going. Here in FL hills are not an issue but I would still have to throttle from a stop or going up slight hills or just use a higher PAS level. I have a 350 watt, seven speed, Qualisport Dolphin that I ride around my neighborhood. I have tried to simulate a one speed by using only sixth gear and changing the PAS level. It works but the 350 watts requires me to use the throttle to get up slight hills/inclines. Mostly I ride in PAS level 1,2 and very occasionally 3. The main issue is that with only one speed I have to use higher PAS or throttle vs changing gears and staying at the same PAS level. What interests me about the Rad Runner is the utility function and all the accessories one can get. I'm interested in the Runner as an inexpensive bike to do light errands and shopping. I also like the 3 inch tires and the built in lights and brake light. I have only heard great things about Rad support. I think the big decision is how much range you need for your trips. I have heard a "rule of thumb" that says if one uses only throttle take the amps x2 to get an estimate of the maximum range (hills and weight will decrease that number). If one uses mostly pedal power, multiply the first result again by 2 to get maximum range. So for the Runner, 14 x 2 =28 which comes close to Rad's published minimum range. The max range using the formula would be 56 miles which is probably too optimistic but it depends on the PAS level one uses. Rad publishes 25 to 45+ miles ( 40km to 72km) so if you can live with 40km range the Runner should be okay. Good luck on your decision. I can tell you this as I have 2 e bikes, they are fun! You will be riding more frequently and farther than you think. They are great investments.
 

EasyRiderDude

New Member
Thanks for all your feedback DrJay, It really helps with my decision making & educating myself on the market, what's out there & how it all works, lol
 

Jessica K

New Member
We're in FL too, & just picked up 2 secondhand RadRunners on Sunday. The single speed is definitely different. We have Aventon Pace 350s as well, which were our first electric bikes. The Runners are tanks but have more power & I can see getting to work without getting super sweaty on one. At higher speeds I was air pedaling a good bit, to keep the motor going in PAS when I wasn't using the throttle. We definitely want to replace the seats, too--they're rocks. But very fun to ride--no regrets!
 

DrJay

Member
We're in FL too, & just picked up 2 secondhand RadRunners on Sunday. The single speed is definitely different. We have Aventon Pace 350s as well, which were our first electric bikes. The Runners are tanks but have more power & I can see getting to work without getting super sweaty on one. At higher speeds I was air pedaling a good bit, to keep the motor going in PAS when I wasn't using the throttle. We definitely want to replace the seats, too--they're rocks. But very fun to ride--no regrets!

Thank you for the description of your experience. I installed the Suntour suspension seat post on my commuter bike and it is fantastic. I would suggest you install that along with a new seat. The Suntour seat post is available on eBay for a lot less than Rad Power Bikes sells them. I plan to use the Runner for its utility purposes and for guests. I'm curious. Where did you find used Runners? Thanks.
 

Jessica K

New Member
I definitely want to get new seats for the Runners - the ones that came on them are *rocks*, lol! I'm probably not going to add the suspension posts, since one of us already needs the seat as low as it can get. Thanks for the eBay tip.

We saw an ad on Facebook marketplace. Someone tried to start a rental business at the beach & then apparently the reality of current life kicked in. We had to drive 1.5 hours to get them but are glad we did!
 

DrJay

Member
I definitely want to get new seats for the Runners - the ones that came on them are *rocks*, lol! I'm probably not going to add the suspension posts, since one of us already needs the seat as low as it can get. Thanks for the eBay tip.

We saw an ad on Facebook marketplace. Someone tried to start a rental business at the beach & then apparently the reality of current life kicked in. We had to drive 1.5 hours to get them but are glad we did!
Yes, a suspension post will raise the minimum seat height. Lucky find on the Runners. Good luck and enjoy them.