Trying to chose between a Rad City and Rad Rover


New Member
I like both the Rad City and the Rad Rover but I'm leaning towards getting the Rover for my first eBike - I like the fat tires on the Rover, although they will cost more to replace than the narrower ones on the Rad City. I'd like some feedback from folks who have ridden both bikes:

1. Does "regen" or motor resistance of direct drive hub motors cause a significant drag when 'free wheeling'? I think I would prefer an ebike that feels like a regular bike when coasting.

2. Has anyone figured how much regen energy, on average, goes back into the battery?

3. What is the life expectancy (in miles) of the Bafang geared hub motor on the Rad Rover? Court mentioned in his review of the Rad City that direct drive hub motors can be expected to last longer. If the gears wear out in a geared hub motor, can they be replaced or is it more practical to replace the motor at that point?

Thanks for your comments


Active Member
Most analysis of regenerative systems on ebikes suggest they recover a very small amount of energy. Estimates are that they recover only about 10-15% of the energy that is theoretically available from slowing the bike down. And of course they only work at all when the bike is slowing or stopping which may be a tiny fraction of the time you are riding. However, one advantage that is often mentioned is that it can save on wear and tear on your brakes, especially during long descents.

Personally, I would not let the presence or absence of regenerative braking affect my choice of an ebike. Other factors are much more important to me.


Well-Known Member
I would lean towards the Radrover if:
- plan to do any off road trail riding
- expect to encounter sandy and/or muddy conditions
- expect to ride in the snow
- you expect to encounter rough terrain like bumpy roads/trails, poorly maintained streets, debris, etc...
- if your work commute or weekend fun rides requires you to traverse different terrain from loose sand, hard trail, bike paths, sidewalks, and paved main roads on the same ride

I would lean toward the RadCity if:
- going to be 100% urban ebike
- need to load on city bus or train as part of your commute, not an option with 4" fat tires
- need a smaller footprint for storage
- Budget, RadCity comes with rear rack and fenders
- Size, comes in 16" and 20" frames

I use my Radrover as my weekday commuter of 40-60 miles per week and weekend trail rider. The fat tires do a good job smoothing out the ride on rough terrain (along with suspension seat post and Cloud-9 seat). I think the fat tires help in braking and handling since you have a larger contact patch with the tire. The downside to the Radrover is the tires are for the mostly off road and they will be noisy and wear down a lot faster compared to the RadCity set-up on paved roads. There are some; but, not a lot of 100% urban tires choices for 4" fat bikes.