Radwagon: How steep of a grade can it handle?

CargoBill

New Member
I'm considering getting the Radwagon and will be using it to carry groceries and other light loads. I won't be carrying kids on the back as I'm past that stage. Almost everywhere I ride is flat except for a short hill up to my house. It's a 10.3% grade but it's only for about 900 feet and then it flattens again. I'm assuming the radwagon can handle that climb (I'll be peddling as well). What are all of your experiences? Will the Radwagon handle this short climb?
 

OrangeWagon

New Member
I think it can, but you will need to pedal hard. Maybe even get off the saddle. So it really depends on rider ability - the RadWagon will not climb that by itself.

I have taken it to 10%+ grade, on PAS 5, with not much load (remove the floorboards) and it climbs it just fine, but I also get a workout.
I feel that climbs that I can do at 5mph with my light carbon bike, I can do at 10mph with the RadWagon.
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
The RadCity would save you around 10-15lbs if that would help on the climb. The Radmini or Radrover geared rear hub has 2X the torque of the Radwagon or Radcity direct drive rear hub to get you up the same incline easier.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Only 40Nm of torque, but 21 speeds. Should be able to "Granny gear it" up most hills. But you might call them and ask about higher assist levels on hills.
https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/power-assist-5-and-steep-hills.14499/
The manual says to NEVER run over 500w on a 15% grade or steeper. I run PAS 3 on hills and that tips at about 500-550. FYI
Higher PAS doesn't give that much more help on hills anyway. Not enough for it to be worth wearing on the motor.
 

judeo5

New Member
I've climbed 15+%. You don't want it to exceed 500W on hills like that, so that means drop it to the 2nd or 3rd gear (with the lowest on the crank), and PAS 3, and you'll do about 5 mph up a steep hill like that while putting in marginal effort.

1400+ miles and have done hills like that at least 3 or 4 dozen times, with no major issues to the bike showing.
 

CargoBill

New Member
Thanks for the info everyone. It seems like I should be ok unless I'm really weighted down and I just don't see that happening all that often (if ever).
 

slomoshun

Active Member
... It seems like I should be ok unless I'm really weighted down ....
Then what is the point of buying a 72# cargo bike that handles like it weighs that much under power, and like you're dragging an anchor if the battery ever goes flat? Add cargo, and it's a beast bike. A mere 250w mid-drive ebike will do hills with 30# of stuff in panniers, and some of them weigh 25# less than the Radwagon.
 

CargoBill

New Member
Then what is the point of buying a 72# cargo bike that handles like it weighs that much under power, and like you're dragging an anchor if the battery ever goes flat? Add cargo, and it's a beast bike. A mere 250w mid-drive ebike will do hills with 30# of stuff in panniers, and some of them weigh 25# less than the Radwagon.
You raise a good point and that's why I'm asking the question before I buy. I currently have a commuter bike and it does not carry as much gear as I would like it to, hence the cargo bike. Do you have any suggestions for a mid-drive ebike that can handle the hill and doesn't cost more than $500 than the Radwagon?
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
I have two 2016 Radrovers I use for work commuting and fun rides. The wife doesn't ride hers as much as I do and switch off ebike to keep mileage/wear/tear the same. I have +4500 miles between both Rovers:
- Radrover 72-75lbs: Topeak Rack, Topeak MTX DXP rack bag with panniers, extra lights, suspension seatpost, extra tube, flat repair kit, air pump, Cloud-9 cruiser seat, two water bottles
- Me 270lbs+commuter backpack (work cloths, lunch, extra riding gear, helmet, helmet light with battery)

I'm pushing the max weight capacity of the Radrover and she has performed to my expectations. Having the carrying capacity with the rack/bag and commuter backpack as back-up gives me plenty of space. The Rover (and Mini) 80 nm of TQ never felt under-powered on inclines and/or windy days. Having the front suspension, suspension seatpost, and fat tires makes for a very comfy ride on almost any terrain. My radrover is just as capable work commuting as it is single track trail riding. You get the added bonus with the 2018 Rads with the front basket for more capacity.

A lot of urban riders change out the Kenda tires for Origin8 Supercells, Duro beach bum cruiser tires, or Maxxis Hookworms. You will get longer tire wear, less noise, less flats, and faster acceleration with these tires. The $1000 of savings compared to the Radwagon could go a long ways toward other accessories like gear, vehicle bike rack, ebike vacations, etc.
 
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CargoBill

New Member
I managed to find a friend of a friend that has a 2017 Radwagon and rode up the hill. With PAS 4 it was running at 568 W. I bumped it down to PAS 3 and it was running at 443 W. Definitely buying two of these when they are in stock.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
You need two 70+ pound cargo bikes? You haul that much cargo? I'd think you'd want something lighter and more nimble for longer rides.
 

CargoBill

New Member
One for me and one for the wife. We both bike commute to work and at various times each of us is handling errands/shopping tasks.
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
Some advantages with the Radcity and Radcity Step-thru:
- shorter wheelbase for vehicle bike racks and public transportation
- same 750w/40nm direct drive and 14 ah battery
- front suspension for a smoother ride
- smaller footprint for storage
- lighter if you need to move or lift
- capacity of 275 lbs each, a lot of groceries with front basket, commuter backpack, rack bag, and rear panniers
- save $200 with the purchase of 2 Radcities compared to Radwagons
 

John49

New Member
With my weight of 280, saddlebags loaded with 15, bike weight of 75, and lastly the dog who is 17 lbs, I can climb a 10% grade with no problem. Almost 400 lbs. While a mid drive bike can be more efficient, the Radwagon does a nice job.
 

Jerry LM

Active Member
Wow, I have not as yet purchased a bike as I am having trouble making up my mind as to which model, almost got a Radwagon today and then at the last minute decided to read some more. As a complete new ebikee or any bike for many years, I am thinking maybe I don't need a cargo bike after all. It concerns me when I read you need to peddle as hard as stated earlier here to get up a hill? I thought the things climbed with little to no effort. I am 76 and don't want to have a coronary trying to climb, I live in Oregon and flat roads are few and far between here. Lots of hills and wind on the Ocean so I want enough help to make it worthwhile purchasing one. If you need to pump up hills then might as well stick with a conventional bike with ?
I'm not lazy but wanted the convenience of using a throttle sometimes and not pedaling at all. My store runs are about 5 miles on the long one and only 2 miles on the other most things are pretty close. But I was thinking about the coast route and it has a ton of long hills. I used to ride a recumbent and some of the hills were killer, one is almost 2 miles long and steady climb at about 6%, and a few steeper. Course the payoff was hitting 55 on the long downhill, backed off when I thought about losing it at that speed.
I think I am going to take a better look at the Rad City now, beginning to think it may be a better choice. I also need one I can lift easily to the rack on the back of our RV.
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
Wow, I have not as yet purchased a bike as I am having trouble making up my mind as to which model, almost got a Radwagon today and then at the last minute decided to read some more. As a complete new ebikee or any bike for many years, I am thinking maybe I don't need a cargo bike after all. It concerns me when I read you need to peddle as hard as stated earlier here to get up a hill? I thought the things climbed with little to no effort. I am 76 and don't want to have a coronary trying to climb, I live in Oregon and flat roads are few and far between here. Lots of hills and wind on the Ocean so I want enough help to make it worthwhile purchasing one. If you need to pump up hills then might as well stick with a conventional bike with ?
I'm not lazy but wanted the convenience of using a throttle sometimes and not pedaling at all. My store runs are about 5 miles on the long one and only 2 miles on the other most things are pretty close. But I was thinking about the coast route and it has a ton of long hills. I used to ride a recumbent and some of the hills were killer, one is almost 2 miles long and steady climb at about 6%, and a few steeper. Course the payoff was hitting 55 on the long downhill, backed off when I thought about losing it at that speed.
I think I am going to take a better look at the Rad City now, beginning to think it may be a better choice. I also need one I can lift easily to the rack on the back of our RV.
Have you looked at the Radmini folding fat tire bike for RV travel? The geared rear hub has 2X the torque compared to the direct drive Radcity/wagon for faster acceleration and inclines. The Radcity, Radcity Step-thru, Radmini and Radrover ebikes come in at the same weight, price, and carrying capacity. No regen braking with the Radrover/mini and that will reduce your range a bit if you have a lot of hills. I still get a range of 30-35 miles on my 2016 Radrover at PAS 3 with +3000 miles with my 11.6Ah battery at +270lbs (and 75lbs with bike+accessories).

Some folks change out the tires on the mini if they are mostly urban riders with some light trail duty.
 

Jerry LM

Active Member
Good advice, thanks, I thought all the rad bikes had the same motor, learned something here. Tried a few bikes that had mid drive the Magic Pro and a couple others, but the frames were really large for my short stature and I only have a 28" inseam so throwing my leg over was a problem for me. Step thru is ok but I prefer a center bar seems more rigid. I also need a way to carry stuff and here in Or. it rains now and then so I must have fenders at least. When I look on the Rad site all the accessories are always sold out so I guess I would need to go to aftermarket companies and that may be a hassle.
 

Winfried

New Member
Hello,

I'm located in Europe, where e-bikes with a motor > 250W are considered light motorcycles, which has a bunch of nasty requirements (registration + license plate, insurance, motorycle helmet + gloves, bike lanes/tracks are off-limit, etc.)

In one of the threads on the Radwagon here, someone pointed out that the Shengyi that powers the Radwagon only has 500W instead of the advertised 750W, and about 27Nm of torque instead of 40Nm.

Considering the consequences in Europe of using a > 250W motor, I was wondering why RadPowerBikes made that decision: Was it because there is simply no 250W hub motor in this price range (below $100) that would offer enough torque?

Thank you.
 

Electricfish

New Member
Wow, I have not as yet purchased a bike as I am having trouble making up my mind as to which model, almost got a Radwagon today and then at the last minute decided to read some more. As a complete new ebikee or any bike for many years, I am thinking maybe I don't need a cargo bike after all. It concerns me when I read you need to peddle as hard as stated earlier here to get up a hill? I thought the things climbed with little to no effort. I am 76 and don't want to have a coronary trying to climb, I live in Oregon and flat roads are few and far between here. Lots of hills and wind on the Ocean so I want enough help to make it worthwhile purchasing one. If you need to pump up hills then might as well stick with a conventional bike with ?
I'm not lazy but wanted the convenience of using a throttle sometimes and not pedaling at all. My store runs are about 5 miles on the long one and only 2 miles on the other most things are pretty close. But I was thinking about the coast route and it has a ton of long hills. I used to ride a recumbent and some of the hills were killer, one is almost 2 miles long and steady climb at about 6%, and a few steeper. Course the payoff was hitting 55 on the long downhill, backed off when I thought about losing it at that speed.
I think I am going to take a better look at the Rad City now, beginning to think it may be a better choice. I also need one I can lift easily to the rack on the back of our RV.
Hi. I was just wondering if you ended up getting the rad wagon. And if you did how do you like it?