Radcity direct drive

AHicks

Well-Known 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.
Just to supply a counterpoint, The Rad City I've been riding the last couple of seasons now, the one with 1200 miles or so on it, have been adjusted one time since new and work just fine hauling my 300+lb butt down to safe limits on some pretty big hills. They work just fine, leaving me confident I can stop safely any time I want to.
 

Dread168

New Member
Can anybody put some light on the noise sitution with direct drive hubs?

I have a geared das-kit hub: the drone at steady speeds is annoying; at 25kph, people can hear me coming 15 meters away.
 

TimJohn

Active Member
You gotta change the gears from "straight cut" or "helical cut". Most of the noise (wining) comes from the gears inside a gear driven motor. BTW you can't really change them.
 

johnny333

Member
I have a Radcity and like the direct drive because when you use the brakes it charges the battery. Have the front brake set up lose so the switch starts charging the battery before the brake start working. The geared motor could be better if you have big hills but doesn't charge the battery. I wouldn't get a mid drive because of the chain up keep. There is one make that uses a gates belt drive that looks good but the coast is to high for me. The mechanical brakes work fine. Had them on my motor cycles and worked fine. Now the fast I every had one was to about 160mph. When you start talking about making anything go faster it is how much money you have. I am 72 so speed just gets me a ticket.
Johnny333
 

DDBB

Well-Known Member
I wish my ebike dealer was as knowledgeable as Mike. I know more about lithium ion cells than my dealer and more about brushless motors as well. I didn't want to buy a bike and have no dealer support though but I was tempted to buy online to save some money. Too many components with the potential to fail for me to be comfortable buying online as well as the fair chance the bike would arrive damaged.
 

FreeWheelie

Active Member
Picked up the Radcity and it is a nice ride. Has pretty good pep too especially when cranking the throttle. Might bump up the speed to 25 mph in the settings and see how that goes.
 

BlueGenes

New Member
I've always been puzzled as to why Rad markets the City as an urban commuter (even the name implies this). I use my City to commute in a city. Here, like in most cities, I have almost no hills to negotiate. As such, the regenerative braking is useless to me. I now realize I'd much rather have a geared motor with more torque (to get out of the way of the cars that continually try to run me over.) Live and learn.....
 

jcanavera

Member
No regrets on choosing the RadCity. Since I'm retired, any street riding for me is usually in low traffic areas. I tend to used the local paved bike trails in our metro area, and when camping I find a multitude of areas that are more for enjoyment of the surroundings, than the challenges of climbing or extremes. As far as the torque, if I need that extra, I'll grab the throttle. No its not neck jerking but substantial enough to get me moving quickly. Some of our paved trails near my home have to cross major multi lane roads and we are fortunate on those busy roads, to have electric signals to protect us when we cross. On those and at stop signs only for us that cross the roads, I will use the throttle to quickly get across, rather than use the pedals from a dead stop. I can't wait for spring to come to my part of the midwest.
 

Greencat

New Member
There is no perfect bike if you have a budget. I have a city and am very happy with it. Why don't you test drive one. If you are not close to a dealer or rental place, check out the Facebook group. You will find someone close by that will let you test ride.
 

KenS

Member
I've always been puzzled as to why Rad markets the City as an urban commuter (even the name implies this). I use my City to commute in a city. Here, like in most cities, I have almost no hills to negotiate. As such, the regenerative braking is useless to me. I now realize I'd much rather have a geared motor with more torque (to get out of the way of the cars that continually try to run me over.) Live and learn.....
It depends on your definition of "urban." I live in a less-than 50K people town with lots of hills but it is the biggest town in the county and is definitely thought of as the urban area of the region.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
I think a gear driven 'City would be a home run for RAD. Or, at the very least, give buyers a choice of direct or gear driven. The gear drive will make for much sportier performance and offer better efficiency in stop sign to stop sign type traffic, PLUS much better hill climbing ability.

That said, if you are a light weight rider (say under 150 lbs?) the direct drive is probably fine.
 

cuwatra

Active Member
A little different perspective here...I literally was just at RAD bikes today and test-rode pretty much every model except the Wagon. I went in fully expecting the Rover to be my bike of choice but instead came away most impressed with the City. My thoughts are that the City is imminently better suited to casual street riding and light commuting than any of the fat-tire geared-hub offerings. The City's narrower rubber and direct drive worked great for me as I rolled around Ballard, WA including some pretty good inclines and dirt and grass sections in nearby parks. Not only is the direct-drive noticeably quieter going down the road it is also faster at the bike's upper end speeds once you are moving along. True, the stand-still torque was more anemic than the geared-hub offerings but I live in a pretty rural setting back at home (300 miles East of the Emerald City) and value the rolling speed more than immediate throttle response down low. I also like that the gearless hub is simpler overall mechanically, and more likely to outlast the geared hub (according to the RAD salespeople themselves.)

Yep, the City gets my vote and will likely get my money. And, BTW I am nowhere near 150lbs...more like twice that! Not a problem for me to hit North of 23MPH on the City in the highest gear and on #5 pedal-assist. A real hoot!
 

BlueGenes

New Member
A little different perspective here...I literally was just at RAD bikes today and test-rode pretty much every model except the Wagon. I went in fully expecting the Rover to be my bike of choice but instead came away most impressed with the City. My thoughts are that the City is imminently better suited to casual street riding and light commuting than any of the fat-tire geared-hub offerings. The City's narrower rubber and direct drive worked great for me as I rolled around Ballard, WA including some pretty good inclines and dirt and grass sections in nearby parks. Not only is the direct-drive noticeably quieter going down the road it is also faster at the bike's upper end speeds once you are moving along. True, the stand-still torque was more anemic than the geared-hub offerings but I live in a pretty rural setting back at home (300 miles East of the Emerald City) and value the rolling speed more than immediate throttle response down low. I also like that the gearless hub is simpler overall mechanically, and more likely to outlast the geared hub (according to the RAD salespeople themselves.)

Yep, the City gets my vote and will likely get my money. And, BTW I am nowhere near 150lbs...more like twice that! Not a problem for me to hit North of 23MPH on the City in the highest gear and on #5 pedal-assist. A real hoot!
Good luck with your purchase. I've found the best thing about my City is that it has shown me what I want, and don't want, in a city commuter.
One the plus side, I appreciate the upright riding position of the City (good visibility). I also like the simplicity of only 7 gears.
On the down side, I want more torque, which the direct drive of the City doesn't provide. Higher quality components would also be nicer (hydraulic brakes, a better derailleur, a chain that won't break after a few hundred miles, tires that aren't garbage....I got 3 flats in the 1st 300 miles before replacing them with Schwalbes, a head light that is actually useful for riding in the dark, etc.) I'd also like a battery that will last more than 3000 miles. (Mine is only getting 10 miles of range after 3000 miles. I plan to replace it with a much less expensive non-RAD battery). Needless to say, my next ebike won't be a RAD, nor would I recommend them to a friend (or stranger, as I often do when asked about the bike).
 

cuwatra

Active Member
Good luck with your purchase. I've found the best thing about my City is that it has shown me what I want, and don't want, in a city commuter.
One the plus side, I appreciate the upright riding position of the City (good visibility). I also like the simplicity of only 7 gears.
On the down side, I want more torque, which the direct drive of the City doesn't provide. Higher quality components would also be nicer (hydraulic brakes, a better derailleur, a chain that won't break after a few hundred miles, tires that aren't garbage....I got 3 flats in the 1st 300 miles before replacing them with Schwalbes, a head light that is actually useful for riding in the dark, etc.) I'd also like a battery that will last more than 3000 miles. (Mine is only getting 10 miles of range after 3000 miles. I plan to replace it with a much less expensive non-RAD battery). Needless to say, my next ebike won't be a RAD, nor would I recommend them to a friend (or stranger, as I often do when asked about the bike).
Court lists it as one of the best City Electric Bikes of 2020. 🤔

1583169106065.png
 
Last edited:

AHicks

Well-Known Member
It's back to different strokes....

If you like and can frequently use speeds in excess of 15 mph so much that it's a priority, go for the direct drive. That's where the gutless feeling at speeds under 10mph start paying off and the bike is actually becoming efficient.

Personally, I haven't seen 15mph while under power in quite a while. I MUCH prefer having the grunt to cross a busy street quickly with very little downside when it comes to battery life. Or climb hills that used to leave me AND the 1500w direct drive (the one this bike had previous to the gear drive) panting by time we got to the top! Actually, under the conditions I ride most frequently, my battery mileage moved from about 25 miles (easily, including use in hills) using a 1500w direct drive, to 35 miles with a 1000w gear drive. This was a direct comparison, geared vs. direct drive, with NO other changes made..... on an '18 City I've been modifying as I learn.

I started out concerned about noise and maintenance on the gear drives too. Have since learned both concerns were a waste of time. Not only does the gear drive run quietly, despite it's ability to supply "spirited" performance, it does not have a reputation for excessive maintenance.

Do as you like! -Al
 

Mr. Max

Member
I've got a 2019 RadCity and I really like it. I ride it most every day per week that I can, meaning 3-7 days a week and often carry a pile of stuff commuting. I never use it above level 3 pedal assist (usually just level 2) and I live in an area of pretty steep hills. Compared to a pedal only bike, it's like magic and makes me feel super human. My grip with all the Rad Bikes, which I didn't know before I bought one, is that neither of our two rural LBS want to work on an internet e-bike. I'm on my own to do maintenance. I'm leaning towards selling the RadCity and getting a Specialized Vado, since that's what's best supported locally at my LBS. That's the question, I'd be asking. Are you willing to do all of the maintenance yourself as the inevitable problems develop? I wouldn't worry about geared or non-geared hub motors. Like do you know how to repair a broken spoke and true a wheel that has a hub motor with super short spokes? That's going to be true with any internet e-bike. Maintenance will always be an issue. I will say, that I appreciated the RadCity a heck of a lot more when I did the hack to bump the speed limit to 24.5 mph. I'm amazed how much better a little bump over 20 mph is.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Regarding repairs that you don't want to do, or can't do, many areas have Velofix mobile bike repair available. This is a national outfit, and is fully supported by RAD when it comes to warranty work.