Radcity direct drive

Cassidy

Member
Im in the market for an Ebike. I was very interested in the Radcity until I learned it was direct drive as I read these were inferior systems. Can anyone with experience tell me the pros and cons of having a direct drive motor in general as well specifically as it pertains to the Radcity thanks
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Im in the market for an Ebike. I was very interested in the Radcity until I learned it was direct drive as I read these were inferior systems. Can anyone with experience tell me the pros and cons of having a direct drive motor in general as well specifically as it pertains to the Radcity thanks
That's simply not the case.

They both have pros and cons.. that's like saying MTBs are inferior to roadbikes because it won't go as fast.

Here's a good video to watch :)
 

Cassidy

Member
Thanks Timpo that was informative and adds to my confusion lol. So direct drives are better for city driving/speed where Geared motors are best for starting off, going up hills etc as it has more torque at the start. will be using it mostly for fun/sport/exercise, not many hills but we have some great bike paths from the beaches to inland and mostly flat surfaces with an occasional hill to climb :) I appreciate the responses :)
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Thanks Timpo that was informative and adds to my confusion lol. So direct drives are better for city driving/speed where Geared motors are best for starting off, going up hills etc as it has more torque at the start. will be using it mostly for fun/sport/exercise, not many hills but we have some great bike paths from the beaches to inland and mostly flat surfaces with an occasional hill to climb :) I appreciate the responses :)
Are you familiar with how electric motors work?

Basically, the gearless hub motor is a motor itself, it doesn't have any reduction gear.. so the hub itself is a motor.
It's like you trying to pedal at top gear(1:1 ratio), that's why it takes a lot more juice to start off the line.. but once you reach the top speed, it is more efficient.

Geared hub on the other hand, it has reduction gear (typically approx 5:1 ratio) attached to the motor.. because there are more gears, it does have mechanical friction and more noise.
However, because of gear reduction, you can go up hill and accelerate faster. But once you reach your cruising speed, it takes a lot more juice because the motor has to keep spinning faster, not to mention all the mechanical friction from attached gear.

https://www.elecycles.com/blog/post/electric-bike-geared-hub-motors-vs-gearless-hub-motors/

here's how the motor works

this one is brushless motor, which is a lot closer to modern ebike motor
 

Cassidy

Member
Thanks again ---It seems also gear less is heavier. In the original video you posted at approx 1:26 he says "geared motors are the way to go" But after reading your posts I think either would be ok for me do you have any suggestions as to other Ebikes I have not considered ? thank you :)
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Thanks again ---It seems also gear less is heavier. In the original video you posted at approx 1:26 he says "geared motors are the way to go" But after reading your posts I think either would be ok for me do you have any suggestions as to other Ebikes I have not considered ? thank you :)
yeah gearless motor tend to have bigger motor (maybe that is to compensate for 1:1 gear ratio?) because if you don't have a big motor, you won't be able to push through.
geared hub can use smaller motor because well...it has gears, so it can create more torque from smaller motor, but the top speed won't be as good.

I don't think gearless motor is inherently bad, for example, a lot of DIY ebikers are using gearless hub so that they can go 50-60mph.
Not even to that extent, if you look at higher end ebikes like Stromer ST5, it has gearless hub.

To me personally, I prefer gearless motor since it is physically smaller (clean look) and I don't need to go super fast lol.
However it's hard to say, for example if you look at Juiced HyperFat 1100, it is meant to go 40mph and has a large hub motor. (MAC Motor)
Initially I thought it was a gearless motor because externally, looks similar to SynoDrive on Stromer ST5, but it is actually 5:1 reduction geared motor.

The Rad City is a good bike I think.. if you're not happy with the power, there's always Bolton 35A kit.
https://boltonebikes.com/collections/motor-controllers-and-displays/products/radrover-upgrade-kit

The improvement is quite substantial with the Bolton kit.
https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/radrover-controller-display-upgrade-kit.27089/
 

Cassidy

Member
Well class 2 bikes have a limit of 20 mph so Im not sure that top end speed matters...But Im looking at the Juiced ccx as well which looks great
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Well class 2 bikes have a limit of 20 mph so Im not sure that top end speed matters...But Im looking at the Juiced ccx as well which looks great
oh if you're specifically looking for a class 2 bike, in my opinion geared hub motor is way to go.

geared hub is lighter, better acceleration, better energy consumption on stop & go scenario, etc.

at 20mph, I have a feeling you will be barely using the benefit of gearless motor. (but somebody might be prove me wrong)
 

Cassidy

Member
Thanks well the Radcity is a class 2 as well but based on your posts/video (thank you) I think I do want a geared hub :)
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Cassidy, a big piece of your call is going to be the geared vs. direct hub decision. Take your time here as there are a lot of things to consider. The tip of the iceberg - while the geared may climb and accelerate better at low speeds, they are not as quiet and there is increased maintenance required due to the gears. They also do not transfer heat as well as the direct drive, and take longer to cool after being stressed. The reason the direct drive are larger diameter is to take advantage of the extra torque they can deliver due to that. And on and on..... There is no right or wrong here. This is all about your available choices to satisfy how you see yourself riding most often.

I have an '18 Rad City and I flat love the bike, but I'm getting ready to put it's 3rd motor in it. I'm a big guy, over 300 pounds, with a couple of "kit" bikes I built myself previous to buying the Rad. Turns out those kit bikes spoiled me a bit, showing me what could be done electronically with the bike's controls. This led me to install a "kit" on my 6 week old bike - that included a 1500w direct drive motor. Me being the larger and older type, and rarely seeing over 20 mph (on purpose) I find the DD sometimes lacking in the hill climbing power I need as the bike is often used in a rolling hills coastal type area. My weight (the load on the bike) is causing it to strain on the longer taller hills.

So, this bike is about to recieve it's 3rd (!!) motor. I ordered a MAC 12t geared rear hub motor to install on it. MAC has a pretty good reputation for building quality gear drive rear hubs - but you don't see them on production bike much. Damn the extra noise, damn the potential extra maintenance, damn the cooling issues, my priority now is to see what this hub will do for my riding style. On paper, I should have nearly double the torque from a standing start while using considerably less power under the conditions I normally ride in! We'll see... -Al
 

Cassidy

Member
Cassidy, a big piece of your call is going to be the geared vs. direct hub decision. Take your time here as there are a lot of things to consider. The tip of the iceberg - while the geared may climb and accelerate better at low speeds, they are not as quiet and there is increased maintenance required due to the gears. They also do not transfer heat as well as the direct drive, and take longer to cool after being stressed. The reason the direct drive are larger diameter is to take advantage of the extra torque they can deliver due to that. And on and on..... There is no right or wrong here. This is all about your available choices to satisfy how you see yourself riding most often.

I have an '18 Rad City and I flat love the bike, but I'm getting ready to put it's 3rd motor in it. I'm a big guy, over 300 pounds, with a couple of "kit" bikes I built myself previous to buying the Rad. Turns out those kit bikes spoiled me a bit, showing me what could be done electronically with the bike's controls. This led me to install a "kit" on my 6 week old bike - that included a 1500w direct drive motor. Me being the larger and older type, and rarely seeing over 20 mph (on purpose) I find the DD sometimes lacking in the hill climbing power I need as the bike is often used in a rolling hills coastal type area. My weight (the load on the bike) is causing it to strain on the longer taller hills.

So, this bike is about to recieve it's 3rd (!!) motor. I ordered a MAC 12t geared rear hub motor to install on it. MAC has a pretty good reputation for building quality gear drive rear hubs - but you don't see them on production bike much. Damn the extra noise, damn the potential extra maintenance, damn the cooling issues, my priority now is to see what this hub will do for my riding style. On paper, I should have nearly double the torque from a standing start while using considerably less power under the conditions I normally ride in! We'll see... -Al
Thank you for that post :) Keep us updated on the new motor
 

Cassidy

Member
I'm here looking at rad city that was brought into my shop the other day. This thing has to weigh more than 70lbs. The direct drive is the bulk of the rear weight. Guy had a flat and apparently no other shop wants to touch it. The axle nut on the drive side was torqued on so tightly, I needed a breaker bar to budge it. Worse is a washer that has flat edges inside to correspond with the axle shape. The over torquing caused that washer to rotate and embed itself into the threads. It won't budge. Not sure how to remove it. The axle cannot be easily removed with this washer piece so tightly mashed, without risk of causing other damage. This would be a nightmare to work on in the field on a ride with a flat. The exposed wiring underneath the bottom bracket, and above and around it is a mess, and bound to be damaged by rocks, stones, curbs whatever. I was surprised by all the exposed and unwrapped wiring on this radcity. For such a low torque motor and for that amount of weight, it's just surprising anyone would ever be comfortable riding this or trying to lift it onto a car bike carrier. It's too bad people don't get a chance to see this in person or test ride it. They'd likely make more prudent decisions. Oh well - back to the business of this wheel. Do I take a grinder or metal cutter to cut this washer off ? Probably not a good idea.
Wow how do you feel about the Juiced ccx ? I know it's cables are exposed but the manufacturer said they did that on purpose to allow easy repairs etc. As far as the Radcity I dont think I have read one post here that says they were displeased after the purchase on the contrary they love it, so Im not sure about your bike. Most bikes I have looked at do weigh a lot the ones that seemed to weigh less all had no rear rack or fender. So I think 50-65 pounds is the norm.
 

KLee

Active Member
Wow how do you feel about the Juiced ccx ? I know it's cables are exposed but the manufacturer said they did that on purpose to allow easy repairs etc. As far as the Radcity I dont think I have read one post here that says they were displeased after the purchase on the contrary they love it, so Im not sure about your bike. Most bikes I have looked at do weigh a lot the ones that seemed to weigh less all had no rear rack or fender. So I think 50-65 pounds is the norm.
The Juiced CCX has hydraulic brakes and torque sensor vs mechanical brakes and cadence sensor on Radcity. The new Rad bikes have integrated lighting which includes a brake light when the brake levers are applied.
 

Cassidy

Member
The CCX has Dual Torque and Cadence Pedal Sensors but yes given the differences I think the light integration is cool it would not be a priority given the other factors :) The brakes are supposed to be awesome:)
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
The CCX is a really formidable adversary when compared to the Rad City. It's 52v 19.2ah battery is clearly in a whole different league when compared to Rad's 48v 14ah. The hydraulic brakes are a great option, but the City's mechanical are up to the job at hand as well (remember, I'm the fat guy that rides in the big hills). Love the thumb throttle as I feel the twist grip is hard on my wrists. That's without getting into the direct drive vs. gear drive arguments. The thing to keep in mind, for me anyway, is what you could do with the thousand dollar difference in price. If it's in your budget, I don't think it would be hard to justify spending to get the CCX. My opinion anyway, FWIW. -Al
 
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Chopperbill

Active Member
Regenerative braking on the City. My dad swears it goes further than his prior 3 ebikes because of that. I’m not too sure about that though.
 

Cassidy

Member
The CCX is a really formidable adversary when compared to the Rad City. It's 52v 19.2ah battery is clearly in a whole different league when compared to Rad's 48v 14ah. The hydraulic brakes are a great option, but the City's mechanical are up to the job at hand as well (remember, I'm the fat guy that rides in the big hills). Love the thumb throttle as I feel the twist grip is hard on my wrists. That's without getting into the direct drive vs. gear drive arguments. The thing to keep in mind, for me anyway, is what you could do with the thousand dollar difference in price. If it's in your budget, I don't think it would be hard to justify spending to get the CCX. My opinion anyway, FWIW. -Al
Al thank you I appreciate that and you are right, at what point does one make concessions for the $1,000 difference...The CCX is sold out (my size I think) and they do not respond well to Emails, however I did get one FB response.
 
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Timpo

Well-Known Member
The CCX is a really formidable adversary when compared to the Rad City. It's 52v 19.2ah battery is clearly in a whole different league when compared to Rad's 48v 14ah. The hydraulic brakes are a great option, but the City's mechanical are up to the job at hand as well (remember, I'm the fat guy that rides in the big hills). Love the thumb throttle as I feel the twist grip is hard on my wrists. That's without getting into the direct drive vs. gear drive arguments. The thing to keep in mind, for me anyway, is what you could do with the thousand dollar difference in price. If it's in your budget, I don't think it would be hard to justify spending to get the CCX. My opinion anyway, FWIW. -Al
I own a Juiced CrossCurrent Air and initially my brakes came with Shimano M375 mechanical brakes.

I later upgraded to Tektro E715 hydraulic brakes. There's no way I can recommend mechanical brakes to anyone. I use my bike as a daily commute and I had to adjust it like once every 2 weeks.

The mechanical brakes work great only when they're brand new, or right after the adjustment.
If I were to get a Rad City (or any bike with mechanical brakes for that matter) I would upgrade the brakes as soon as possible.
 
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Cassidy

Member
I own a Juiced CrossCurrent Air and initially my brakes came with Shimano M375 mechanical brakes.

I later upgraded to Tektro E715 hydraulic brakes. There's no way I can recommend mechanical brakes to anyone. I use my bike as a daily commute and I had to adjust it like once every 2 weeks.

The mechanical brakes work great only when they're brand new, or right after the adjustment.
If I were to get a Rad City (or any bike with mechanical brakes for that matter) I would upgrade the brakes as soon as possible.
The CCX says it comes with
  • Powerful Tektro Hydraulic Disc Brakes