radwagon wheel berrings & spokes !

captain wavy

New Member
i broke spokes ! i was complacent & neglected checking my spoke tensions as i have 1500 miles on it plus im a big guy - 300 lbs / started at 370 , i was actually expecting something to go wrong before then but they held up quite well to my agressive rideing habbits etc ! 2 broken spokes per wheel & i orderd new spokes from rob at sunnyspokes.com - awesome customer service guy ! i replaced the broken spokes first & then looked at wheel berrings & to my surprise they were the cup & cone type which surpised me concidering how well the bike rolled , they were adjusted to tightly & lacking if good grease , after repacking berring & setting proper tension it rolled smooth & true , so i held off replaceing all the spokes until i research radwagon wheel berring upgrades which may entail replaceing front hub to do so etc as to install cartridge style / easy to maintain berrings ! the real surpriseing part is how well the kenda tires are lasting , my upgrades to this point are the hobson articulated seat , handle bar riser to get bars higher & closer / will be getting jones bar upgrade soon , the radwagon is a great bike & im totally happy with it , if you ride far get ready to do maintenence - its part of the game , stay tuned for rear wheel report !
 

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AHicks

Well-Known Member
Big guy here too (6'2"/315). I ride a City, and did take out a rear tire on a pot hole I believe. Wound up with kind of a bump/knot that caused the bike to track kinda funny was the only reason I noticed it.

My spokes were making a weird clicking noise at about 50 miles, so they were snugged then and I haven't had any further trouble with them at about 2000 miles.

I have had some trouble with my pedals. More clicking, with the click occurring in sync with the bottom of a pedal stroke. This drove me crazy finding it. I pretty much eliminated all other sources, until it HAD to be the pedal(s). I drilled a 1/8" hole near the center of the pedal, and used a needle adapter on a grease gun to force grease through the bearings. Click now gone, until recently anyway, when I had to re-grease them.

That's it though, from a big guy tearing up a bike with a weight rating substantially less than my weight standpoint, I think it's hanging right in there. No complaints here!
 

captain wavy

New Member
with our weight the spokes take a beating plus the extreme angle of the rear spokes , ive found that spokes will unscrew at times as well , i plan on buying a spoke tension guage & trueing stand as i plan to never stop my new rad passion , i also was a rental fleet bike mecanic / motorycycle builder guy , its a learning curve we go through discovering quirks & upgrades , ive found over the years that anything sold with a berring is usually under greased with cheap grease to boot when ever i get a chance i repack with high temp berring grease , i have not neen been brave enough to look at the rear berrings yet but they feel like cartridge style & roll smoothly !
 

fooferdoggie

Active Member
when my new bike a eg bike kept having loose spokes then broken ones I went to a local Ebike store that builds wheels. the problem is they use too thick of spokes the 12 gauge ones. they cant be tensioned hough enough because they are too thick. if you had the rear wheel build by an experienced wheel builder with a new rim and the spacers to fill in those large holes in the hub the wheel will last a lot longer.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
when my new bike a eg bike kept having loose spokes then broken ones I went to a local Ebike store that builds wheels. the problem is they use too thick of spokes the 12 gauge ones. they cant be tensioned hough enough because they are too thick. if you had the rear wheel build by an experienced wheel builder with a new rim and the spacers to fill in those large holes in the hub the wheel will last a lot longer.
One opinion. I have several 3 year old wheels with 12G, one a custom build in a local shop. Never a failure. Their QC failed. They may have a machine that strings spokes and posters got a Monday morning build. the shop did use blue Loctite. I’ve seen that several times since.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
I've seen 4 Rad wheels now, and 3 of the 4, if there had been ANY attempt at QC done, they would have been very easily identified as failed/in need of work. I don't think they are even looking at them, and further, it's not a new issue. This should be a non event by now, water over the dam, but then again, maybe it is. I haven't messed with a later '19 production bike yet.
 

Tars Tarkas

Active Member
I've seen 4 Rad wheels now, and 3 of the 4, if there had been ANY attempt at QC done, they would have been very easily identified as failed/in need of work. I don't think they are even looking at them, and further, it's not a new issue. This should be a non event by now, water over the dam, but then again, maybe it is. I haven't messed with a later '19 production bike yet.
I have a late '18 Rover and have had zero problem with spokes. From what I've read, there probably was a problem, and maybe there still is. Anecdote work both ways.

Obviously, this doesn't work for everyone, but buying a Rad bike means you're either your own mechanic or you're the front-line overseer for mechanical issues. Dealing with spokes is a pretty basic issue that can come up any time. One would like to think it shouldn't be an issue right out of the box, but if it is, it can be pretty easy to deal with.

TT
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
TT, I get the fact I'm the final inspector and responsible for going over the bike completely. Not trying to dodge that responsibility in any way. I actually look forward to doing that kind of thing.

My point is, other brand bikes do not seem to have the same chronic spoke issue like Rad does. You don't see near the number of issues mentioned on any other line of bikes, ones that I've followed anyway. It's NOT your typical loose spoke here and there. That's something I could take in a stride.

Last, because you didn't get one of these bikes with loose spokes does not mean there is no issue. In my mind, it means you got lucky!
 

captain wavy

New Member
as stated above its the nature of the beast for shure , the rear wheel berrings are cartridge style pressed into hub motor & roll tight & smooth , short of haveing custom wheels & front hub stay up on the maintence schedule , it also helps if your not 300lbs banging big rocks on a ridgid cargo bike - doh ! love the tech suppport here !
 

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Tars Tarkas

Active Member
TT, I get the fact I'm the final inspector and responsible for going over the bike completely. Not trying to dodge that responsibility in any way. I actually look forward to doing that kind of thing.

My point is, other brand bikes do not seem to have the same chronic spoke issue like Rad does. You don't see near the number of issues mentioned on any other line of bikes, ones that I've followed anyway. It's NOT your typical loose spoke here and there. That's something I could take in a stride.

Last, because you didn't get one of these bikes with loose spokes does not mean there is no issue. In my mind, it means you got lucky!
Well, first, I said my experience was anecdotal. And I don't doubt that you're right that there were too many issues with Rad Wagon spokes, but I really don't know anything about the situation. Rad Wagons are inherently rough on spokes due to the weight they're expected to carry. Could be that this was purely a QC issue, and this is still QC, but there could have been a bad lot of wheels or spokes. From what I've picked up, it sounds like the issue is not common now.

I imagine the wheels are built in China and undergo primary QC there. I'd like to think the folks in Seattle would do a through final QC, and maybe they do now that they realize they have to. Or maybe they told China to up their QC and that took care of it.

I guess on an out of the box new bike, the responsibilty for spoke issues should fall back on Rad. I'll bet they would have provided new wheels or somehow fixed things. After the bike's been used, I don't think it takes long for spoke tension to be an owner issue. I've plucked my spokes a few times and not identified any anomalies. I don't think I'm just lucky.

TT
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
TT, it's not just the Radwagons with the spoke issues, the problem is across their line up, and it's been happening for years. It nearly has to be about the wheel builder they are using. There's an issue, and RAD has it on ignore - unless something has been done about it recently.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
I've ridden, built and own hub motor wheels and on heavy bikes. All wheels from good builders. NEVER have had, have seen, or even read about the level of failures seen with Rad.