RadWagon Observations and Reports

Uplink

New Member
Since RadWagons will be popping up like weeds around the country over the next few weeks, I thought I would open a thread to share observations and information about these new bikes.
I picked up my RadWagon Thursday evening at the Rad Power shop (more workshop than retail shop) near Fisherman's Terminal in Seattle. Awesome location on the water (they sell an electric kit to power paddle boards as well). A friendly and very knowledgeable crew of about 5 folks was scurrying around assembling, delivering, and preparing boxed bikes for shipment. After a quick test ride around the neighborhood, I loaded the bike in my small station wagon (removed front tire, seat post, and battery), took it home and charged it for Friday's commute.
My route to work is 9.4 miles, with grades up to about 8%:

WorkElvRide.jpg

Here are some observations from the first day (with a 210 pound rider and about 10 pounds of gear going and 20 pounds on the return trip):
  • When the grade hit 8% in the first half mile, the RadWagon did bog down a bit more that my other bike, which is 20 pounds lighter and has a geared motor, but stayed above 8 mph with some pedaling. Power output reached ~850 watts. On my ride home, during a long 5% grade, the bike was maintaining about 14 mph in mode 4 pedal assist. Overall, speed averaged about 16 mph.
  • Regen takes some getting used to... if it slows you down too much on the downhill, you have to use the throttle or token pedaling to turn it off.
  • I love having both throttle and pedal assist, and they work well together.
  • The Radwagon feels very solid and stable, and rides like a Cadillac compared to my other bike which is a skinny tire hard tail.
  • Brakes are excellent, also better than what I am used to.
  • Charging at work took 3 hrs 15 minutes. Charging back at home took ~ 3 hrs.
  • Measured voltage before and after charging back at home: 48.7 volts, 54.2 volts. I figure the 48.7 volts to be about 35% discharged, so I should be able to do the round trip without charging at work, but charging at work will make the battery last longer. I might consider not charging to 100% to increase battery life as well.
  • I had hoped to use my Cat Eye bar end mirror, but the ID of the handle bars was too small.
  • If you asked google maps, my commute should take 15 minutes by car, 77 minutes by bus, 164 minutes on foot, or 53 minutes by bicycle. Actual E bike time is 35 minutes, so E bike is my best alternative commute by a rather large margin!
  • Some packages for home arrived at work, so I zip tied a milk crate to the huge rack, threw the packages in, and was good to go! Let there be cargo!
 
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Jim123

Member
Uplink, thanks for the update. Would you say you are disappointed at the slower speed or is it acceptable?
 

Uplink

New Member
I think the overall performance is more than acceptable given that it did the 5% grade at 14 mph, and top speed was closer to 24 than 20. A person could change the controller to get more watts though the motor (sacrificing the smoothness of the included sine wave controller and the reliability that comes with a 20 amp limit), or consider geared or mid drive motors, but you would be foregoing some of the value and reliability that make the RadWagon a great deal. To be honest, my best shot at a performance upgrade is losing 20 pounds of beer belly !