Radwagon first impressions

WilliamT

Active Member
So I got the Radwagon yesterday night. At 75 lbs, I had someone help me lift it out of the box.

Assembly:

I followed the instruction video and there was some mistakes. In the box, you get 8 hex bolts and 4 washers.

When installing the kick stand, it comes with 3 bolts but the video uses 3 hex bolts and washers that you will need for other parts of the bike. In the end I was left missing 3 hex bolts and 3 washers; basically the ones I needed for the kick stand. I ended up using the original kick stand bolts and then it was enough.

The left front brake cable started from the forks and wrapped underneath the down-tube and then back up to the left brake lever. The problem was that it was it didn't leave enough cable to turn the handlebars.

The video has the cable correctly going straight up to the brake lever. I had to unhook the cable and re-route it.

There is a little sticker on the computer that you must read. Its the only place that tells you how to turn on and off the front light. If you throw that away, you'll never know that you have to hold the up+mode button to switch on/off the lights.

The remaining instructions was pretty spot on.

Ride:

This is my first e-bike but I have ridden others before. The motor is very quiet. There is no whining at all that you hear when someone passes you on an e-bike. There are 5 modes, but mode 3 is enough to easily get up to 20 mph with a bit of pedaling.

Its a 21 speed, but I keep it at the highest gear all the time. Any gear lower and I'm spinning my pedals too fast. I think the bike is geared so that you really can't go much faster than 20 mph. You can but the motor shuts off and then your left hauling a 75 lb bike. The sweet spot seems to be around 18 mph. Just stay below 20 mph and enjoy the ride. There will be cyclists that go faster on regular lighter bikes so don't expect to blow past everyone. Now going uphill I think that is where the battery assist really comes in handy. I'll do that tonight and post back.

I rode with 3 bars and got into work with 1 bar pedaling and carrying about 10 lbs of gear. I'm 145 lb with a commute of 12 miles. That should give you an idea of its range based on weight. Half my ride is a slight downhill and the remaining flat.

My panniers do not fit on this bike. I have a topeak rack with ortlieb panniers. Even with the adapters removed the bars on the bike is too thick. I will need to look for new bags to carry my commuting equipment.

This is a fairly long bike (78 in). I live in a building with elevators and it barely fits. I have to roll it in and then pick up the rear end to get it into the elevator diagonally. I bought the passenger handle accessory and have to say without that I'm not sure how any one could lift the rear end of the bike easily without it. (I work out and regularly bench press 185 lb).

I'm 5'6" and this bike feels long for me. I had to pull the handle bars back and raise the stem; felt more than the 22 inch from post to handlebar (will have to measure). The seat is low so I had to raise it several inches and push it forward. If I were taller I would be concerned the seat post wouldn't be long enough. I still need to raise the post some more but concerned about it being too much. Will need to check where the cut off point is.

The ride is pretty comfortable but the some of the roads I ride get bumpy and I can really appreciate the suspension forks on my hybrid.
 
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mrgold35

Well-Known Member
Nice write up.

What made you decide on the Radwagon vs the Radcity or Radrover?

I added a suspension seatpost (Suntour SP12 NCX) and the Sunlite cloud-9 (12 X 11 size) to my Radrover and that really smoothed out the road for my commute.

The Radrover only has 7 gears and we max out also around 20-22 mph depending on the incline. I noticed I don't need to shift as much as I was expecting I would with PAS. I usually just downshift when coming to a stop just to help the motor out when I need to accelerate. It still feels like fun riding my bike to work (even at 22 degrees at 5:30am).
 

WilliamT

Active Member
Hello,

I wanted the bike mainly as a commuter and for occasionally picking up groceries at the local Trader Joe's mart. I live in the city and driving plus finding parking takes longer than riding a bike.

I looked at the RadCity but I already have a non e-Bike that I used to commute with. I'll ride those on dry days. The wagon will be work wet days.

I think I'll probably follow your direction and replace the post and seat too. Even on my non ebike, I rarely shifted and stayed in one gear. With the wagon, 95% of the time using the highest gear at around 20 mph with easy pedaling.

At stops, I'm too lazy to shift and just suck it up and pedal into it. haha

My coldest has been 24 degrees at 6am using my non-e bike to work. I was so warm, that steam coming from under my balaclava was generating water on my eyebrows, LOL

Had to wipe my eyes every few blocks.
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
I have a GT Transeo 3.0 XL commuter bike and I only rode it to work once after getting the Radrover in September. Ended up being a strong head wind that day for my ride home on my old bike and it took me a little more than twice as long compared to using my Radrover. My old bike has been parked ever since. You get spoiled really quick with an ebike when commuting at that speed and comfort compared to a regular bike.
 

WilliamT

Active Member
Yes, on my first day riding back on the trail with a strong head wind I pedaled hard and kept it at 19 mph. Someone on a road bike heading in the same direction yelled is that even legal on this trail? When I pass them, its illegal. When I stay behind them its legal LOL.
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
Hi, that sounds like the W&OD trail? Only trail in DC area where anyone said anything to me.
 

WilliamT

Active Member
It was CCT. Rode on it today but at a slower pace around 12 mph uphill (against 14 mph head wind) to keep in line with my friends on non electric road bikes. I didn't have any rude comments when going slow.
 

Tom Kriek

New Member
It was CCT. Rode on it today but at a slower pace around 12 mph uphill (against 14 mph head wind) to keep in line with my friends on non electric road bikes. I didn't have any rude comments when going slow.
The RadRover is the coolest one in that it has the most torque. The RadCity has a different motor and includes regenerative braking. When I bought my RadRover they said the RadCity was smoother overall with assist and obviously has more speeds. So you will get a little more battey life with the RadCity. The RadWagon looks like it has the same setup as the RadRover but has more speeds - does not have regenerative braking. I love my RadRover and it is a blast to ride. Level 2-3 assist is usually enough, but it is nice to ramp it up a bit when doing the return ride and let the bike do more of the work. They really have the best bang for the buck in my opinion. Nice group of people too.
 
The radwagon looks to be a strange choice for somebody who wants a commuter bike that will fit in a lift. What influenced your choice?
 

WilliamT

Active Member
In addition to commuting, I was looking for something to replace my car for local errands. I didn't think about the elevator when I got it but it easily fits in the freight elevator. With the bags, I can haul everything I need to work and occasionally run errands with my kid on the back seat. It's much easier than pulling the car out of a 4 floor underground garage, driving 1/2-1 mile to the stores, and then driving around for 10-15 minutes looking for parking.