Upgraded Radrover 5. So happy!!!

bluetick

New Member
Region
USA
I live in the Seattle area. I bought an ebike because I love to ride but health issues + hills make a regular bike impractical. I bought a Radrover because I was able to try it, it was available, and I really liked it. But it's very hilly here and I weigh 210 pounds, so I found up hill riding to be underwhelming. The bike could do it. But only with a lot of help from me and at a fairly slow pace. But one of the great things about the Radrover is the support for upgrades. So, after putting a mere 300 miles on the stock bike, I got started.

My first upgrade was the one everyone talks about. I swapped out the controller for the 35 amp KT controller and head unit. This makes a huge difference to hill climbing ability. I highly recommend this upgrade.

While researching the upgrade I read and watched a lot about how the motor in the Radrover isn't a true 750 watt motor. From what I can tell, this is true. It appears to be the Bafang G060.500 which is rated at 500 watts. Of course, you can run more watts through it which is what Rad is doing and what the 35 amp controller is doing as well. In both cases, you get more torque. But I couldn't leave it alone. I needed to know if the Bafang G060.750 would make any difference. It weighs about a pound more. That's all I really knew for sure.

So, I did the upgrade and this is what I found. My top speed on level ground, throttle only was about 22 mph with the stock controller and motor. With the upgraded controller it was 25. With the upgraded controller and motor it is now 31.

Up the same hill, the stock setup could go about 10 mph with my help. The upgraded controller could go about 18 with my help. The fully upgraded bike could goes about 25 with help.

Also, I've noticed that the bike is faster while pulling the same watts from the battery. I have no idea why.

The controller upgrade had no impact on range as long as I keep my power consumption the same as with the stock controller. That is, I could easily bike 30 miles with one big hill climb at the end with 3 quarters of the batter left at the end. But for most of that ride I was going 15 mph in PAS 1 or 2. I haven't gone on a long ride with the new motor yet.

The motor will happily pull 1600 watts now. The new controller plus stock motor would only pull about 1300 with the same settings. I'm now limiting the motor to 1200 watts because that is plenty.

I also upgraded the brakes to mechanically actuated hydraulic calipers. They work and don't need a lot of adjustment.

One last thing. I just put Origin8 road tires on the bike as the stock Kendas are stupidly loud. The bike is stealthier and grippier now. Not sure about faster.

Of course, on the greenways the limit is 15 mph and I stick to that. I wouldn't want to give ebikes a bad name. On the road though, it's great to keep up with traffic in town.
 

Bigal1463

Well-Known Member
Welcome and nice to have you aboard bluetick, I’m happy to hear that the upgrade works for you. Just remember to ride responsibly and safe. Good luck.
 

Gordon71

Active Member
I get that your set up allows you to travel faster and climb hills easier. What I don't get is that it didn't decrease your range. I know when I travel slower it increases my range. Could it be the new tires?
 

bluetick

New Member
Region
USA
I get that your set up allows you to travel faster and climb hills easier. What I don't get is that it didn't decrease your range. I know when I travel slower it increases my range. Could it be the new tires?
I should be clearer. When I say it didn’t reduce my range, I mean I can still use the bike in PAS 1 or 2 for long rides and go just as far. The controller and motor had no noticeable impact on that.

I think people worry that the higher amp controller and larger motor reduce the range regardless of how they ride. That hasn’t been my experience.

But if I’m using the throttle a lot and pulling 1200 watts up a lot of hills, the battery absolutely drains faster. Although, to its credit, it still lasts a long time. Maybe I should do a throttle only range test.
 

Gordon71

Active Member
I am curious about your new tires. I looked them up on Amazon and will consider them when the Kendas on my 2020 Rover wear out. Some of the reviews talked about "self steer" problems. I'm not even 100% sure exactly what that means and,since this is my only experience with a Ebike maybe it's already occurring and I'm just not aware. What is your experience and are these the same tires you bought? Thanks.
 

bluetick

New Member
Region
USA
Those are the tires. And the self steer is evident. What happens is when you lean into a turn, the tires pull in that direction. I’ve only put about 25 miles on the tires and it has already subsided. Other than that, the tires have been great on asphalt, gravel, and hard dirt. My goal was quiet and grippier in turns. I achieved that goal.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Bluetick's findings match mine exactly. Big motors with lot's of available amperage do not automatically equate to increased battery consumption. They equate to POTENTIAL. It's there if/when you need it, and sure, they are ABLE to use more power. The surprise is how efficiently all that works out when just riding casually. There is NO hidden downside -

And the self steering issue while on pavement Origin 8's? I learned that lesson the hard way too. What I can share regarding that issue is that I found that messing with the tire pressures helped quite a bit. Too much pressure and the tires have a stiff ride, too little, and there's a LOT of drag. I found a compromise in the mid to high teens. A switch to 26x3" Kenda Flames works better in my experience. Self steering issue not as pronounced, good flotation is sand, and decent ride, mostly due to the soft sidewalls in my opinion.

Regarding tires and my own 'druthers, at this point I'm moving to "mid size" 27.5" wheels/tires. Rims that will allow me to run something in the range of 2.4"-2.8" width. Probably Schwalbe Super Moto-X. -Al
 
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Gordon71

Active Member
Bluetick's findings match mine exactly. Big motors with lot's of available amperage do not automatically equate to increased battery consumption. They equate to POTENTIAL. It's there if/when you need it, and sure, they are ABLE to use more power. The surprise is how efficiently all that works out when just riding casually. There is NO hidden downside -

And the self steering issue while on pavement Origin 8's? I learned that lesson the hard way too. What I can share regarding that issue is that I found that messing with the tire pressures helped quite a bit. Too much pressure and the tires have a stiff ride, too little, and there's a LOT of drag. I found a compromise in the mid to high teens. A switch to 26x3" Kenda Flames works better in my experience. Self steering issue not as pronounced, good flotation is sand, and decent ride, mostly due to the soft sidewalls in my opinion.

Regarding tires and my own 'druthers, at this point I'm moving to "mid size" 27.5" wheels/tires. Rims that will allow me to run something in the range of 2.4"-2.8" width. Probably Schwalbe Super Moto-X. -Al
You can use 26X3 Kenda Flames on a Rad Rover?
 

Gordon71

Active Member
Another dumb question. If I switch to a 3" tire for my Rover some day do I need to use 3" tubes or can I use the 4" I have?
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Another dumb question. If I switch to a 3" tire for my Rover some day do I need to use 3" tubes or can I use the 4" I have?
With the idea of a folded tube in mind, and the relatively small cost involved, I bought new tubes. The 3" Kenda's look great on an 80mm rim.
 

BTfl

Active Member
With the idea of a folded tube in mind, and the relatively small cost involved, I bought new tubes. The 3" Kenda's look great on an 80mm rim.
Does this drop the height of the rover? If you could post some pictures that would be great thank you
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
I am curious about your new tires. I looked them up on Amazon and will consider them when the Kendas on my 2020 Rover wear out. Some of the reviews talked about "self steer" problems. I'm not even 100% sure exactly what that means and,since this is my only experience with a Ebike maybe it's already occurring and I'm just not aware. What is your experience and are these the same tires you bought? Thanks.
Also check out Chaoyang Sand Storm

www.chaoyangtire.com/index.php/pro/pro-details/7/148?type=FAT&name=SANDSTORM
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
I live in the Seattle area. I bought an ebike because I love to ride but health issues + hills make a regular bike impractical. I bought a Radrover because I was able to try it, it was available, and I really liked it. But it's very hilly here and I weigh 210 pounds, so I found up hill riding to be underwhelming. The bike could do it. But only with a lot of help from me and at a fairly slow pace. But one of the great things about the Radrover is the support for upgrades. So, after putting a mere 300 miles on the stock bike, I got started.

My first upgrade was the one everyone talks about. I swapped out the controller for the 35 amp KT controller and head unit. This makes a huge difference to hill climbing ability. I highly recommend this upgrade.

While researching the upgrade I read and watched a lot about how the motor in the Radrover isn't a true 750 watt motor. From what I can tell, this is true. It appears to be the Bafang G060.500 which is rated at 500 watts. Of course, you can run more watts through it which is what Rad is doing and what the 35 amp controller is doing as well. In both cases, you get more torque. But I couldn't leave it alone. I needed to know if the Bafang G060.750 would make any difference. It weighs about a pound more. That's all I really knew for sure.

So, I did the upgrade and this is what I found. My top speed on level ground, throttle only was about 22 mph with the stock controller and motor. With the upgraded controller it was 25. With the upgraded controller and motor it is now 31.

Up the same hill, the stock setup could go about 10 mph with my help. The upgraded controller could go about 18 with my help. The fully upgraded bike could goes about 25 with help.

Also, I've noticed that the bike is faster while pulling the same watts from the battery. I have no idea why.

The controller upgrade had no impact on range as long as I keep my power consumption the same as with the stock controller. That is, I could easily bike 30 miles with one big hill climb at the end with 3 quarters of the batter left at the end. But for most of that ride I was going 15 mph in PAS 1 or 2. I haven't gone on a long ride with the new motor yet.

The motor will happily pull 1600 watts now. The new controller plus stock motor would only pull about 1300 with the same settings. I'm now limiting the motor to 1200 watts because that is plenty.

I also upgraded the brakes to mechanically actuated hydraulic calipers. They work and don't need a lot of adjustment.

One last thing. I just put Origin8 road tires on the bike as the stock Kendas are stupidly loud. The bike is stealthier and grippier now. Not sure about faster.

Of course, on the greenways the limit is 15 mph and I stick to that. I wouldn't want to give ebikes a bad name. On the road though, it's great to keep up with traffic in town.
Awesome!
Are you still on your stock battery?
 

bluetick

New Member
Region
USA
I am on the stock battery. It’s a solid battery and my longest ride has been about 35 miles which I finished with about half the battery left. I really only use the extra power up hills and in traffic. On trails I only draw 100 - 300 watts.

I suspect that I’ll buy a new bike next year with a bigger battery, a torque sensor, and maybe mid drive. But I ride the upgraded Rad every chance I get and it’s never let me down.

Would I do it again? Probably not. But as a first ebike experience it’s been great to learn how things work and what I value.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
I am on the stock battery. It’s a solid battery and my longest ride has been about 35 miles which I finished with about half the battery left. I really only use the extra power up hills and in traffic. On trails I only draw 100 - 300 watts.

I suspect that I’ll buy a new bike next year with a bigger battery, a torque sensor, and maybe mid drive. But I ride the upgraded Rad every chance I get and it’s never let me down.

Would I do it again? Probably not. But as a first ebike experience it’s been great to learn how things work and what I value.
I'm assuming you have seen this video, but Bolton RadRover without 52V can match BBSHD.


Also if you need more power or range, there's EM3EV 52V battery.
(Although you already said you're happy with power)

52V 17Ah
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I'm assuming you have seen this video, but Bolton RadRover without 52V can match BBSHD.
IMHO, that's a bit of a stretch. BBSHD is usually rated in excess of 1000w (up to 1600w by some) and are generally set up with a 30a shut off internally. Even a cranked up 750 geared hub, though they are considered pretty peppy by anyone that's ridden one, will not hold up against a BBSHD. Not in my opinion anyway. BBS02 maybe....

Couple that with the fact that the BBSxx has the advantage of applying their power through multiple gear ratios, and I don't think the 750w geared hub has much of a chance.
 
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