RadPower? (mine's spent more time waiting to be maintained than in use)

jeturcotte

New Member
Region
USA
So, About this time last year I ordered my RadPower (4?) ... I'm not a cycle guru by any means, I just ride. Being older now, out of shape, and disdainful of the local traffic betwixt myself and the office, I wanted something that'd get me there without arriving as a geyser of sweat and get my exercise on the way home. I mean, it's kinda worked, having lost 25lb so far... but still. I've had two flats (both in the back) and a pretty nasty squeak develop so far, and it's been maintained by one outfit or another four times already. And it already feels like it needs another tune up after just a couple uses.

Kinda scared to even take it out anymore (presently, it's out of commission again, and haven't heard back from any local repair places yet (being a holiday weekend, of course.))

Has anyone else had this much trouble? Is there a not-absurdly-expensive alternative out there? (I see a 2500-or-so trek that I could probably swing if I tighten a belt or two, and the most reliable high I've ever had was a trek, so ... maybe?)

In the meantime, I should research how I might get this rear tire back up to snuff on my own. Last time I had to wait a month for an appointment.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
ANY bike you buy is going to need maintenance, and just as clear is the chance for flat tires. There is no such thing as a maintenance free bike. Anyone that tells you different is stretching the truth.

That in mind, 2 suggestions.

1. Look into all of the comments regarding the addition of something like Slime to your tires, to reduce the potential for flats (by a bunch!). Many bike shops don't like it, but until they guarantee you 24 hour turn around service for any flat you have, just ignore their advice on products like this.
2. Consider doing some of your own repair work. If you need a hand, post your question here. Many of us derive great satisfaction out of being completely independent of the need for local service.

And last, if the idea of getting your hands dirty working on your bike puts you off, check to see if there is a mobile bike service in your area. Check out Velofix.com
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
So, About this time last year I ordered my RadPower (4?) ... I'm not a cycle guru by any means, I just ride. Being older now, out of shape, and disdainful of the local traffic betwixt myself and the office, I wanted something that'd get me there without arriving as a geyser of sweat and get my exercise on the way home. I mean, it's kinda worked, having lost 25lb so far... but still. I've had two flats (both in the back) and a pretty nasty squeak develop so far, and it's been maintained by one outfit or another four times already. And it already feels like it needs another tune up after just a couple uses.

Kinda scared to even take it out anymore (presently, it's out of commission again, and haven't heard back from any local repair places yet (being a holiday weekend, of course.))

Has anyone else had this much trouble? Is there a not-absurdly-expensive alternative out there? (I see a 2500-or-so trek that I could probably swing if I tighten a belt or two, and the most reliable high I've ever had was a trek, so ... maybe?)

In the meantime, I should research how I might get this rear tire back up to snuff on my own. Last time I had to wait a month for an appointment.
My take is A: Yes get the Trek ( best if it has the Performance CX motor) and B : get some Schwalbe marathon plus or marathon plus mtb tires and add Tannus Armour inserts. With the Tannus you are so much less likely to get a flat and if you do you can still ride the bike (albeit slowly) to the LBS or home. Since adding those tires and inserts we have had 2 flats between us in almost 50,000 km travelled.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
So, About this time last year I ordered my RadPower (4?) ... I'm not a cycle guru by any means, I just ride. Being older now, out of shape, and disdainful of the local traffic betwixt myself and the office, I wanted something that'd get me there without arriving as a geyser of sweat and get my exercise on the way home. I mean, it's kinda worked, having lost 25lb so far... but still. I've had two flats (both in the back) and a pretty nasty squeak develop so far, and it's been maintained by one outfit or another four times already. And it already feels like it needs another tune up after just a couple uses.

Kinda scared to even take it out anymore (presently, it's out of commission again, and haven't heard back from any local repair places yet (being a holiday weekend, of course.))

Has anyone else had this much trouble? Is there a not-absurdly-expensive alternative out there? (I see a 2500-or-so trek that I could probably swing if I tighten a belt or two, and the most reliable high I've ever had was a trek, so ... maybe?)

In the meantime, I should research how I might get this rear tire back up to snuff on my own. Last time I had to wait a month for an appointment.
Yes that's not overly surprising.

However you didn't provide how long you had the bike for, how many mileage you have, etc.
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
In the meantime, I should research how I might get this rear tire back up to snuff on my own. Last time I had to wait a month for an appointment.
There are many reasons people don't or can't fix their own flats, but fixing flats is a very basic bike riding skill that you ought to learn if possible. Fixing flats yourself can usually be done on the trail in less time than it would take to walk back to home or to your car, forget about being out of commission for a month or more! Slime is great stuff too.

And as mentioned, any bike is going to need regular, and sometimes special maintenance. From what you've said, it's hard to say whether you're outside the norm. A lot of routine maintenance is pretty easy if you just try. There are plenty of how-to videos on YouTube.

Nothing wrong with going to you local LBS, but it kind of sounds like you ought to blame them for your downtime more than your bike.

TT
 

sc00ter

Active Member
The stock Rad Power brand tires have poor puncture protection. I added Tannus liners and so far, so good. And learn your own service. Its not hard, you'll know its done right and you can generally control the turn around time. All our local bike shops are backed-up for service because of the lingering effects of Covid and lack of people wanting to work.
 

mjeds

Active Member
Region
USA
I have a Rad Power (Rad Mission) I bought for my daughter for Christmas last year. 1,900 miles on it now and the only issue was a flat 2 weeks ago with a nail about 2 inches long. Replaced the tube and kept going.

FWIW however, I maintain my own bikes and do general maintenance on them every weekend since I ride 300-400 miles a week. So I just plan time every Sunday to clean, adjust, tighten, and lube everything on all the family bikes (we have 5 e-bikes, 4 singles and a tandem). Makes me feel more confident in them not breaking when used.
 
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steve mercier

Well-Known Member
There are many reasons people don't or can't fix their own flats, but fixing flats is a very basic bike riding skill that you ought to learn if possible. Fixing flats yourself can usually be done on the trail in less time than it would take to walk back to home or to your car, forget about being out of commission for a month or more! Slime is great stuff too.

And as mentioned, any bike is going to need regular, and sometimes special maintenance. From what you've said, it's hard to say whether you're outside the norm. A lot of routine maintenance is pretty easy if you just try. There are plenty of how-to videos on YouTube.

Nothing wrong with going to you local LBS, but it kind of sounds like you ought to blame them for your downtime more than your bike.

TT
That is true about the routine maintenance. I used to rely on the LBS for everything but since Covid made it near impossible I bought the tools and learned to do the routine stuff on my own. Park Tool Videos are great and Scooteretti has a great video on changing a Bosch front ring. But I would still rather prevent a flat than fix it.
 

mjeds

Active Member
Region
USA
There are many reasons people don't or can't fix their own flats, but fixing flats is a very basic bike riding skill that you ought to learn if possible. Fixing flats yourself can usually be done on the trail in less time than it would take to walk back to home or to your car, forget about being out of commission for a month or more! Slime is great stuff too.

And as mentioned, any bike is going to need regular, and sometimes special maintenance. From what you've said, it's hard to say whether you're outside the norm. A lot of routine maintenance is pretty easy if you just try. There are plenty of how-to videos on YouTube.

Nothing wrong with going to you local LBS, but it kind of sounds like you ought to blame them for your downtime more than your bike.

TT

100% agree. I carry a spare tube, pump, patches, and the tools needed as I have had 4 flats in the past year. 30 minutes or less on the side of the road to patch or replace the tube and continue with my day. No different than popping a spare onto a car when you get a flat.
 

RunForTheHills

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
The Trek is going to get flat tires also, but it might be nice upgrade from the Rad. If your LBS is backed up, perhaps you can find a neighbor kid to fix the flat for you for $10. You can buy the patch kit from Walmart if your LBS is closed.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
As was mentioned, flat tires happen. You can't avoid that reality but you can put it off or almost completely eliminate it.

If you have a fat tire bike (I am guessing you have a RadMini v4?) , then belted tires like a Schwalbe Marathon Plus - which on its own is effectively flat-free - is not an option due to the weight such a tire would come in at. Your flat avoidance strategy has to be multi-pronged in other areas as a result.

  1. Buy a heavier tire with a thicker casing. Downhill tires have lower 'tpi' counts due to their need to take a beating. Fancy tires are 120 tpi. Average/meh tires are 60 tpi. You want the 30 tpi count if you can get it as those tires are like tank treads. Thats the sort of tire I would have spit on back in my analog cycling days. But for an ebike commuter they are the most durable, and just as grippy as their more supple counterparts.
  2. Buy a thicker tube. Again if you have a fat bike, you are out of luck insofar as thornproof tubes are concerned. Best you can hope for is 1mm to 1.5mm thickness. But do look for thicker tubes. I don't have 20" fat wheels so I won't have any suggestions but get out there and look.
  3. Use tire sealant. Slime is the crowd favorite for tubed tires. Orange Seal and Stans come from the tubeless crowd. But Slime has been largely unimproved in decades, and Stans/OS are sub-optimal in tubed wheels - their working is hit and miss at best; their water-thin formula may seal the tire hole and leaves the tube to hiss away. Best-of-breed tire sealant now for both tubeless and tubed tires is the Sportsman Formula of FlatOut. Available on Amazon. More details on it are linked below. Its rated for 1/2" punctures which is double that of Slime and it dries into a hard nub rather than staying quasi-liquid and leaving a hole that weeps like a freshly popped zit as Slime does. Slime works but FlatOut works better.
Lastly... learn to fix your own flats. If you do the above, your sealant will actually render this step almost always unnecessary. But back when I only used Slime, I let it slow the leak to a trickle of air, where I only needed to pump the tire back up every week or so, and then I would pick a weekend morning and go in and patch all the slime-mostly-sealed-it holes. Rema Tip Top kits have been the gold standard for decades for a reason: The tube is if anything stronger than it was before the patch. The tube pictured below went to 7 patches before #8 gave it a cut on a seam that could not be repaired. At $20 a pop for a decent 26x5" tube, imagine the cost differential at one tube per hole versus about 10 cents.


Also... in this post-COVID environment, the local bike shop likely has a backlog of repair lasting for weeks. My LBS has devoted half its interior to a roped off area for bikes awaiting service. And they have the space because there are few bikes available for sale presently. Learn to fix things yourself or... sit and wait. A bike you ride on the mean streets of your town is going to need maintenance. Especially a Rad with its mechanical brakes etc.

IMG_20180623_123127.jpg
 
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jeturcotte

New Member
Region
USA
ANY bike you buy is going to need maintenance, and just as clear is the chance for flat tires. There is no such thing as a maintenance free bike. Anyone that tells you different is stretching the truth.

That in mind, 2 suggestions.

1. Look into all of the comments regarding the addition of something like Slime to your tires, to reduce the potential for flats (by a bunch!). Many bike shops don't like it, but until they guarantee you 24 hour turn around service for any flat you have, just ignore their advice on products like this.
2. Consider doing some of your own repair work. If you need a hand, post your question here. Many of us derive great satisfaction out of being completely independent of the need for local service.

And last, if the idea of getting your hands dirty working on your bike puts you off, check to see if there is a mobile bike service in your area. Check out Velofix.com
I appreciate your stating the obvious; I just make a distinction between my previous 15 years spent on a fairly basic trek with only a couple flats and maybe significant maintenance every third year or so vs. this one having to be walked back home every third outing or so. Pretty stark difference, hence asking if others have have similarly dismal rates of repair requirements on the model or lineup.

Re: Velofix, yeah... they've done two of the repair jobs so far. I like 'em. But they're also completely overrun, hence having to wait a month and a half for them to show whenever this happens.
 
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jeturcotte

New Member
Region
USA
The Trek is going to get flat tires also, but it might be nice upgrade from the Rad. If your LBS is backed up, perhaps you can find a neighbor kid to fix the flat for you for $10. You can buy the patch kit from Walmart if your LBS is closed.
You don't say heh.
I have a Rad Power (Rad Mission) I bought for my daughter for Christmas last year. 1,900 miles on it now and the only issue was a flat 2 weeks ago with a nail about 2 inches long. Replaced the tube and kept going.

FWIW however, I maintain my own bikes and do general maintenance on them every weekend since I ride 300-400 miles a week. So I just plan time every Sunday to clean, adjust, tighten, and lube everything on all the family bikes (we have 5 e-bikes, 4 singles and a tandem). Makes me fell more confident in them not breaking when used.
Glad to hear it. This one's had three flats and two front derailleur replacements so far, plus some work on the rear tire rim after the first flat (dunno about the current 3rd flat yet). In just 400 miles. Could be extraordinary bad luck or a lemon, perhaps. The flats, though... shaking my fist at all the construction going on around here. I can't avoid it and get to the office, and they're not holding up their end on keeping shrapnel out of the road and off the sidewalks, I can say that.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
\
  1. Use tire sealant. Slime is the crowd favorite for tubed tires. Orange Seal and Stans come from the tubeless crowd. But Slime has been largely unimproved in decades, and Stans/OS are sub-optimal in tubed wheels - their working is hit and miss at best; their water-thin formula may seal the tire hole and leaves the tube to hiss away. Best-of-breed tire sealant now for both tubeless and tubed tires is the Sportsman Formula of FlatOut. Available on Amazon. More details on it are linked below. Its rated for 1/2" punctures which is double that of Slime and it dries into a hard nub rather than staying quasi-liquid and leaving a hole that weeps like a freshly popped zit as Slime does
How does flat out work in higher psi's? thats been the problem I run my tires at 70 psi. most of what I see is at a lower psi.
 

jeturcotte

New Member
Region
USA
100% agree. I carry a spare tube, pump, patches, and the tools needed as I have had 4 flats in the past year. 30 minutes or less on the side of the road to patch or replace the tube and continue with my day. No different than popping a spare onto a car when you get a flat.
Carry where? I'm curious.
 

jeturcotte

New Member
Region
USA
How does flat out work in higher psi's? thats been the problem I run my tires at 70 psi. most of what I see is at a lower psi.
Fat tires like those that come with the RadRover? The guy who did the major tuneup a couple weeks back said they should be a lot lower than that.. Between 20 and 30, I think, and slightly more on the back tire... but when I did that, the whole rear of the bike felt... weird/wobbly... and well, the trip was cut short by it just going straight up flat. Thankfully I was only about two and a half miles from home at the time.

Honestly, I'm not particularly happy with fat tires now that I've had some. Am I stuck with one variety or another of them with this model, or can I get something a tad more normal?
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Fat tires like those that come with the RadRover? The guy who did the major tuneup a couple weeks back said they should be a lot lower than that.. Between 20 and 30, I think, and slightly more on the back tire... but when I did that, the whole rear of the bike felt... weird/wobbly... and well, the trip was cut short by it just going straight up flat. Thankfully I was only about two and a half miles from home at the time.

Honestly, I'm not particularly happy with fat tires now that I've had some. Am I stuck with one variety or another of them with this model, or can I get something a tad more normal?
no not rad ties. I use stand on my road tires but they are 70 psi. I wonder fi the flatout would work at higher psi"s since regular car tires don't have that much pressure.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
From what I read on your original post, none of that is unusual and you don't list anything that is really a Rad Power problem. You don't remember flat tires as a kid? Have you had any electrical issues? Motor issues? I have no idea what you consider a tune up, but bicycles aren't built like cars and trucks and need routine maintenance. You could spend $10,000 on an eBike and you'll still get flats and need regular maintenance.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
So, About this time last year I ordered my RadPower (4?) ... I'm not a cycle guru by any means, I just ride. Being older now, out of shape, and disdainful of the local traffic betwixt myself and the office, I wanted something that'd get me there without arriving as a geyser of sweat and get my exercise on the way home. I mean, it's kinda worked, having lost 25lb so far... but still. I've had two flats (both in the back) and a pretty nasty squeak develop so far, and it's been maintained by one outfit or another four times already. And it already feels like it needs another tune up after just a couple uses.

Kinda scared to even take it out anymore (presently, it's out of commission again, and haven't heard back from any local repair places yet (being a holiday weekend, of course.))

Has anyone else had this much trouble? Is there a not-absurdly-expensive alternative out there? (I see a 2500-or-so trek that I could probably swing if I tighten a belt or two, and the most reliable high I've ever had was a trek, so ... maybe?)

In the meantime, I should research how I might get this rear tire back up to snuff on my own. Last time I had to wait a month for an appointment.
Which Rad Power bike are you talking about?

Rad Rover?