RPB RADMINI STEP-THRU - CYCLE OR SCOOT

Banzai

Active Member
Before plunging into the world of electric biking I used an electric scooter to shuttle about locally, strictly for the purpose of eliminating some of the need for gasoline. The scooter had a low mounted seat ensuring a good footing when necessary, and was excellent for short trips on pavement with a top speed of 18 mph. It had one limiting factor with a total range of only about 6 or 7 miles, so I kept it fully charged when not riding it. Not exactly designed for use on the sandy trails of my locale, I soon discovered that some enterprising fellow had fastened an electric motor to a fat bike and thus the RADRover became a household name, perfect for my favorite pastime of booney-hopping. But the scooter still had some benefits not usually found on bicycles, and with some insight RPB's latest addition to their lineup can well serve those looking for an electric bike that has all the conveniences of a scooter or an e-bike combined. The smaller 20" tires and low profile of the RADMini have been the perfect answer for many riders, and now RAD Power Bikes has gone one better with an even more versatile model. Scooters are typically more accommodating over bicycles in several ways, the first being to eliminate much of the physical effort to ride them. Simply hop on and go. For those who may have some injury that can make riding a bike a real impossibility, then this is when a scooter can be better utilized. Now enter the 2019 RADMini Step-Thru with top tube eliminated. With the seat lowered it replicates riding an actual scooter while only using the pedals as foot rests and powering up to 20mph with the grip throttle for a range of around 25 miles, possibly even more. A real plus in some situations. Been there, done that.
Other improvements include tires with street tread and better sealed to repel against flats. The gearing has been improved and has a nice shiny chrome sprocket cluster mounted on the rear axle and the battery has been moved from behind the seat to the front of it for easier access. The controller is now mounted on the back of the seat post instead of inside a box mounted on the bottom of the frame of the previous Mini. This version managed to somehow gain a few pounds of weight at 68 pounds, but don't we all. The front forks offer improved steering and better stability, and the bike now arrives minus a rear rack, so as received from RAD, it’s a sporty run-about, and is suitable for a wide variety of riders, young and old.
2019 RPB - RADMini Step-Thru sm.jpg
Assembly went well, with not really much to finish up after pulling it from the shipping carton. The packaging was much better for this Mini over my previous 2018 model that arrived with a front fork protruding from the box. That can't happen with the new process with the front forks anchored to a base plate, and generously padded with Styrofoam throughout with some rigid plastic sheeting fastened inside at vulnerable places for repelling impact damage during transport. Everything was zip-tied securely to restrict movement inside the box and it arrived with no holes and everything within the box was intact and in perfect condition upon arrival as delivered by FedEx.
After completing assembly I checked for loose bolts and connections, spun the wheels and checked for proper assembly and operation of the brakes and suspension. I oiled the chain and checked the tire air pressure bringing them both up to 22 pounds as recommended in the assembly video. After a full charge on the battery I installed it and went for a little test ride that went well.
The handlebar assembly is typically RAD. On this bike the handlebars sit a little too far forward for my liking forcing more weight to be placed on the grips. I prefer sitting upright so will be doing some small changes. The wires and cables are all zipped-tied neatly and don't tangle with handlebar movement. The seat post clamp has been changed and is intended to be hand tightened only. I preferred the older type better, but my Suntour post and Cloud 9 seat have not slipped down at all after several rides. The rear tail light is now wired into the brake controls and shines brightly when working the brakes. The drive train worked perfectly starting in first gear and PAS 0 and shifting thru all seven gears and back down to first without a hint of hanging up or missing any gears. Then I went thru the 5 PAS settings while in 7th gear and everything operated as normal. No wobble or squeal in the brakes at all, working perfectly while doing some hard braking tests. Operation on the sand roads wasn't disappointing either and I even checked the stability of the front wheel when doing some quick 180s in soft sand - no wash out at all. This bike is really special, and I'm really going to like riding it. It will get a rear rack and a set of fenders because I'm not likely to be running it thru any rough areas. I have other bikes for doing that.

RADMini 2018 & 2019.jpg
The steering and stability when on sandy surfaces were noticeably improved during my test rides. Click on the pics to enlarge them and look carefully at the RPB ad picture of the Step-Thru and the front end shows some forward angle, made even more noticeable because the frame now sits lower than previous models. My picture shows a comparison of the front end angles on my 2018 and 2019 bikes with slightly more fork angle forward on the Step-Thru. However so slight, it does make a big difference in handling. When riding the 2018 with tire pressure above ten pounds there is a tendency to bog down when turning on soft sandy surfaces and even some front end washout when doing hard 180 turnarounds. It tends to disappear when tire pressure is dropped below 10psi. With the new Step-Thru tires at the recommended 20 pounds pressure, surprisingly they glided over sandy surfaces and the bike performed tight 180 turnarounds without a glitch.
Doing some measuring, the wheelbase on the two bikes is identical. The knobby tires show one inch more in diameter height, and the bottom of the 2018 frame sits two inches higher than the Step-Thru frame. Even though the Step-Thru appears to have a taller front end, both measure identical height to the base of the head tube. The head tube of the 2019 has one more inch in height over the 2018 to match the massive new down tube design. This also translates to two inches higher at the top of the 2018 seat tube, and with the seats of both bikes bottomed out, the 2018 RADMini seat sits three inches higher than the identical arrangement on the 2019 RADMini Step-Thru. It all adds up to more versatility and better handling, the perfect take along when vacationing.
 

Banzai

Active Member
RADMini Easy Handlebar Fix

Hopping onto my new RADMini Step-Thru the first time, I immediately noticed the distance between me and handlebars had me leaning forward, a position that puts extra weight on the grips while also bending my back forward, making it vulnerable to the jolts of hitting bumps, pot holes, whatever. I took a minute to look the situation over and saw that the handlebars could be positioned 4 or 5 inches closer to the rider just by turning the stem around 180 degrees. It took about 5 minutes just to remove four bolts and loosen the stem bolts, position the handlebars and tighten it all back up again with nothing else to adjust or fix. I still get the full range of steering and it hasn't interfered with fold up so turns out to be the easiest handlebar fix I have ever made and now has me sitting upright while riding. This little fix may also be suitable for the other RADMini models as well.
 

Hoppy

Member
Before plunging into the world of electric biking I used an electric scooter to shuttle about locally, strictly for the purpose of eliminating some of the need for gasoline. The scooter had a low mounted seat ensuring a good footing when necessary, and was excellent for short trips on pavement with a top speed of 18 mph. It had one limiting factor with a total range of only about 6 or 7 miles, so I kept it fully charged when not riding it. Not exactly designed for use on the sandy trails of my locale, I soon discovered that some enterprising fellow had fastened an electric motor to a fat bike and thus the RADRover became a household name, perfect for my favorite pastime of booney-hopping. But the scooter still had some benefits not usually found on bicycles, and with some insight RPB's latest addition to their lineup can well serve those looking for an electric bike that has all the conveniences of a scooter or an e-bike combined. The smaller 20" tires and low profile of the RADMini have been the perfect answer for many riders, and now RAD Power Bikes has gone one better with an even more versatile model. Scooters are typically more accommodating over bicycles in several ways, the first being to eliminate much of the physical effort to ride them. Simply hop on and go. For those who may have some injury that can make riding a bike a real impossibility, then this is when a scooter can be better utilized. Now enter the 2019 RADMini Step-Thru with top tube eliminated. With the seat lowered it replicates riding an actual scooter while only using the pedals as foot rests and powering up to 20mph with the grip throttle for a range of around 25 miles, possibly even more. A real plus in some situations. Been there, done that.
Other improvements include tires with street tread and better sealed to repel against flats. The gearing has been improved and has a nice shiny chrome sprocket cluster mounted on the rear axle and the battery has been moved from behind the seat to the front of it for easier access. The controller is now mounted on the back of the seat post instead of inside a box mounted on the bottom of the frame of the previous Mini. This version managed to somehow gain a few pounds of weight at 68 pounds, but don't we all. The front forks offer improved steering and better stability, and the bike now arrives minus a rear rack, so as received from RAD, it’s a sporty run-about, and is suitable for a wide variety of riders, young and old.
View attachment 33355
Assembly went well, with not really much to finish up after pulling it from the shipping carton. The packaging was much better for this Mini over my previous 2018 model that arrived with a front fork protruding from the box. That can't happen with the new process with the front forks anchored to a base plate, and generously padded with Styrofoam throughout with some rigid plastic sheeting fastened inside at vulnerable places for repelling impact damage during transport. Everything was zip-tied securely to restrict movement inside the box and it arrived with no holes and everything within the box was intact and in perfect condition upon arrival as delivered by FedEx.
After completing assembly I checked for loose bolts and connections, spun the wheels and checked for proper assembly and operation of the brakes and suspension. I oiled the chain and checked the tire air pressure bringing them both up to 22 pounds as recommended in the assembly video. After a full charge on the battery I installed it and went for a little test ride that went well.
The handlebar assembly is typically RAD. On this bike the handlebars sit a little too far forward for my liking forcing more weight to be placed on the grips. I prefer sitting upright so will be doing some small changes. The wires and cables are all zipped-tied neatly and don't tangle with handlebar movement. The seat post clamp has been changed and is intended to be hand tightened only. I preferred the older type better, but my Suntour post and Cloud 9 seat have not slipped down at all after several rides. The rear tail light is now wired into the brake controls and shines brightly when working the brakes. The drive train worked perfectly starting in first gear and PAS 0 and shifting thru all seven gears and back down to first without a hint of hanging up or missing any gears. Then I went thru the 5 PAS settings while in 7th gear and everything operated as normal. No wobble or squeal in the brakes at all, working perfectly while doing some hard braking tests. Operation on the sand roads wasn't disappointing either and I even checked the stability of the front wheel when doing some quick 180s in soft sand - no wash out at all. This bike is really special, and I'm really going to like riding it. It will get a rear rack and a set of fenders because I'm not likely to be running it thru any rough areas. I have other bikes for doing that.

View attachment 33357
The steering and stability when on sandy surfaces were noticeably improved during my test rides. Click on the pics to enlarge them and look carefully at the RPB ad picture of the Step-Thru and the front end shows some forward angle, made even more noticeable because the frame now sits lower than previous models. My picture shows a comparison of the front end angles on my 2018 and 2019 bikes with slightly more fork angle forward on the Step-Thru. However so slight, it does make a big difference in handling. When riding the 2018 with tire pressure above ten pounds there is a tendency to bog down when turning on soft sandy surfaces and even some front end washout when doing hard 180 turnarounds. It tends to disappear when tire pressure is dropped below 10psi. With the new Step-Thru tires at the recommended 20 pounds pressure, surprisingly they glided over sandy surfaces and the bike performed tight 180 turnarounds without a glitch.
Doing some measuring, the wheelbase on the two bikes is identical. The knobby tires show one inch more in diameter height, and the bottom of the 2018 frame sits two inches higher than the Step-Thru frame. Even though the Step-Thru appears to have a taller front end, both measure identical height to the base of the head tube. The head tube of the 2019 has one more inch in height over the 2018 to match the massive new down tube design. This also translates to two inches higher at the top of the 2018 seat tube, and with the seats of both bikes bottomed out, the 2018 RADMini seat sits three inches higher than the identical arrangement on the 2019 RADMini Step-Thru. It all adds up to more versatility and better handling, the perfect take along when vacationing.
Very informative report. Thank you. Can you get full leg extension when peddling once owners indicated the maximum seat height is too low on the step thru. It depends on your height.
 

Banzai

Active Member
Hi Hoppy,
Glad you found my write-up to be informative. As usual I tried to hit on points of interest about assembly and riding, but did leave other things like fold up, or describing the drive train and brakes, and the electronics to be found elsewhere for those with a specific interest in them. I was happy everything all worked from the get-go.
In regard to seat adjustment, while the shorter seat tube makes it possible to lower the seat substantially, it doesn't prevent adjusting the stock seat up to 31 inches at the top. I stand an inch below six feet and don't have any difficulty with fit, usually setting my seat at a height of thirty inches. The stock seat post insures significant stability by taking up 5.5 inches of the seat post for the heavyweights while allowing a little over six inches for adjustment. I always use a Suntour suspension post (RPB has them) that will allow placing the seat safely up to 35 inches and should work well for those standing six feet or a little more, while also removing some of the shock from bumps while riding.
Seat posts are plentiful and are available in several lengths, and are not an expensive item, so in the rare case that extra seat post height will be needed, Amazon or your favorite source for bike accessories can quickly supply one.
 

Hoppy

Member
Thank you again. I guess a 450mm Suntour suspension seat post will provide more seat height for a taller person. The stock one is 350mm long.
 

Banzai

Active Member
I have seen the longer posts at Amazon that allow about 4 more inches of height. The Suntour shafts are heavier and the safety line sits closer to the bottom edge. That and Cloud 9 seats are a regular accessory item for my bikes, but the custom seat from Electric Bicycle Company is really cushy too and looks good with the chrome Suntour post they have.
 

Banzai

Active Member
Hi vincent,
Thank you for that.
I try to mention the things that riders are most interested in so its always nice to know that readers are appreciative.
Assuming you are from Arizona, like you I'm in a really sandy locale so its a good test of the stability of a bike, and since RPB has made a real effort on providing better tires, these are performing just as well as the knobby tires in soft sand.
Can't wait to see what they have next!
Happy Trails...
 

Banzai

Active Member
Using my excellent Spin Doctor Pro G3 bicycle repair stand, installation of the fender set and rear rack went very well. I didn't need to turn the bike over and since the RADMini is lifted 15 inches at the stand's lowest height adjustment, there is plenty of space for reinstalling the rear wheel now that the rear fender hangs in the way. If doing it this way, you will also need either a floor jack or some blocks to push the axle bolt back up into position.
Installing the rear rack needed some persuading with a heavy screwdriver, but everything assembled nicely and I didn't even have to chase the threads like on two other rear racks. I also have a front rack for this bike.

My lil' Run-About.
 

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Hoppy

Member
Thank you. The 2019 radmini come with puncture resistant tires. Are you using additional protection measures to minimize flats, such as lime sealant and Mr Tuffy?
 

Banzai

Active Member
Hi Hoppy,
I get flats on my pickup truck from nails but haven't had any on my bikes. I run out through the desert on the bikes and sometimes run over bushes, cactus, and twigs and so far have resisted getting any damage. These are definitely better tires on the Mini, and while pulling it out of the box I mentioned that now I'll probably get my first flat. Isn't that the way it goes? I'll see what happens. So far so good.
It mainly depends on the area you are riding in. Things like Goat Heads are death on tires and fortunately they are not a problem here. If in such an area I would probably be using some protection and know more about it. I keep a couple of bottles of green slime available just in case, but have only had to use it in my truck tires so far.
 

trainman

Member
The wife and I are new to ebikes and we are looking for two to take camping with us. We have pretty much decided on the Rad Mimi's, one Rad Mini Regular and one Rad Mini Step-Thru. I personally wanted the Mini Step-Thru for myself as well as one for my wife, but thinking the Mimi Step-Thru would be to small, short, etc. over the standard mini for my height. I'm 6'1" and have a 31" inseam so after reading this post I'm thinking the Mimi Step-Thru will work for me to, were in our early 70's so if the bike is easier to mount and dismount the better it will be for us. If extending the seat post is the only thing I might need for the correct leg extension then I'm going with the Mini Step-Thru for myself as well. If you think of any reason why I shouldn't go with this model, please let me know. Thanks

trainman
 

Banzai

Active Member
Hi trainman and welcome to the RPB forum. I must admit that I can't think of a single reason why anyone should not want to have a RadMini ST to ride around on. I guess I'm real partial. But I like all four of my RADs. I don't know where all these myths come from but the stock seat post will work just fine. I have a lot of rough trails in my area to ride so I put the Suntour shock seat post on all my RADs as standard equipment. Helps cushion the rough spots on our old worn out paved roads as well.
Second point is that having several bikes from RPB keeps inventory to a minimum. Lots of the parts are identical and easily switched from one bike to another in a pinch. Having several batteries works great and I always have an extra charged battery ready to slip into place whenever needed.
Since I have both models of the Mini there is very little difference when riding them. There are times that leaning on my bum knee gets a little painful so for that the step-thru removes any difficulty. I'm 73 and battle-worn, so to speak, but still have a favorite purpose for each of my bikes.
Happy Trails!
 

trainman

Member
Thanks Banzai, I'm 74 and come from a motorcycle riding background, over 50 years of riding dual sport bikes and just quit riding around two years ago. Are you happy with the street tires that come on the Rad Mini Step-Thru or will I have to change them to the knobby tires for what little off road riding we will be doing. My wife which is pretty active for 71, but I don't think she would do too well off road so I would be leading her there. Maybe hard packed dirt, gravel, very little sand, and I hope no mud. Thanks for your reply.

trainman
 

Banzai

Active Member
The new tires for the step-thru were a pleasant surprise. I have always used nobbies for better grab, but these are working just fine in all the offroad places I travel. They are also fortified better and have the safety striping, but like any hard surface with some soft sand on it, they will tend to slide when taking a corner at a fast rate until hitting hard surface again. It will probably never be a problem, but I hit a corner just like that every day and have learned to just coast through it and keep my traction instead of trying to power thru it.
When doing a quick 180 on the regular mini on a softer surface, the front wheel will wash out, and so a foot down will let you keep your balance. That does not happen with these newer tires on the step-thru. It makes a good clean turnaround even in deep soft sand. I tried it over and over again and the front wheel never did wash out or cause me to tip over.
I have hit the dirt several times in really tight places on the standard mini, but that just doesn't happen (yet) on the step-thru. It takes months to get all the cactus pulled out. I have to wonder how the standard mini would be improved when wearing these new tires.
The tire pressure on the nobbies must be lowered to between 5-10 pounds when riding on soft sand. 15-20 pounds on standard trails and hard surfaces. The tire pressure on the step-thru works just fine on all surfaces where I keep them at 20-25 pounds.
 

trainman

Member
I will order two Rad Mini Step-Thru's as soon as they are back in stock again, should be the end of Sept. or the 1st week of Oct.

trainman
 

Driftway

New Member
Hi trainman and welcome to the RPB forum. I must admit that I can't think of a single reason why anyone should not want to have a RadMini ST to ride around on. I guess I'm real partial. But I like all four of my RADs. I don't know where all these myths come from but the stock seat post will work just fine. I have a lot of rough trails in my area to ride so I put the Suntour shock seat post on all my RADs as standard equipment. Helps cushion the rough spots on our old worn out paved roads as well.
Second point is that having several bikes from RPB keeps inventory to a minimum. Lots of the parts are identical and easily switched from one bike to another in a pinch. Having several batteries works great and I always have an extra charged battery ready to slip into place whenever needed.
Since I have both models of the Mini there is very little difference when riding them. There are times that leaning on my bum knee gets a little painful so for that the step-thru removes any difficulty. I'm 73 and battle-worn, so to speak, but still have a favorite purpose for each of my bikes.
Happy Trails!
I do have one reason to consider other bikes: I owned a Rad Rover (it was stolen recently) and my major beef with the bike was its weight - 61 lbs. Even with the battery off, putting it on a bike rack was misery. I am also looking at the rad mini and it weighs 68 lbs!!!. That will be a beast to lift or place on a rack, and to ride without power. I also own an FLX which, with rack and suspension post and lights, weighs in at 54 lbs, with 120 nm of torque. Rad Power will need to lighten these bikes....
 

trainman

Member
True weight can become a problem, since we will be taking our Rad Mini's with us in the tow vehicle when pulling the RV they will have to go in the back of the pickup bed when they are to be used. If lifting the bikes becomes a problem I have a motorcycle ramp that does fold up and fits in the pickup bed just fine, I have been using it for my 300 lb. dirt bike for years, so 68 lbs. should be a no brainier. I guess I look at 68 lbs. to be rather light, rather then heavy, but I can see where for one person to handle this could be a problem. We did order the two Rad Mini's Step Thru's last Monday and as of today we have not received a shipping date, but Rad has keep me informed and says that due to the large amount of orders that there shipping people are swamped with orders to ship and ours is coming us soon. We did yesterday receive our accessories that we ordered for the bikes, so progress is moving slowly. This wouldn't normally be a problem, but we are scheduled to leave next Wednesday for a RV trip and hoped to have the bikes by them, now it may get postponed till the bikes arrive.
 

trainman

Member
Just received our two Rad Mini Step Thru's yesterday, both arrived in excellent shape as I was holding my breath on the shipping. The shipping was done in 3 1/2 days from Seattle, Washington to Ft. Worth, Texas, one truck carried the shipment the whole distance, thus probably helped with all arriving in very good shape. Put then both together, charged the batteries, install the Rad Luggage Racks on both bikes and we were off on our first ride around the neighborhood. Now the fun begins, both riding and shopping on Amazon for add-ons. We went with the Orange Racks, Black was the other choice, but thought the Orange would add a little color to the White Mini's. Now just waiting for Amazon to bring our bags for the racks, there are Black with Silver and Orange stripes, this should look good on the Orange racks.
 

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Banzai

Active Member
Now that's a fine looking pair of bikes!
I know you are really going to enjoy riding them.
Thanks for posting.