- A compact semi-portable electric bike with unique folding options on the stem and pedals, the frame itself stays rigid and provides a sturdier ride as a result, reinforced rims also provide strength
- The Yamaha PWseries mid-motor provides excellent torque for starting and climbing, up to 70 Nm, and offers near-instant power delivery, it's fairly quiet and efficient but tops out at 100 RPM (pedal strokes)
- The all-aluminum frame and rigid fork feel stiff, but fatter tires provide some comfort and the adjustable angle stem can offer an upright body position, integrated lights and reflective tires help keep you safe
- Excellent weight distribution, awesome warranty and dealer support, super-clean drivetrain with minimalist chain cover and tough internally geared hub, removable display and functional 5 volt Micro-USB port
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Haibike is the worlds largest electric mountain bike manufacturer, but they also make some interesting and impressive commuter and trekking models. The Radius Tour marries these categories in a sense, allowing you to enjoy urban environments on the go. It’s a compact semi-folding ebike designed to fit into elevators and closets or slide easily under an RV or boat deck for fun on the go. While this e-bike it does break down quite as small as a true folding-frame model, the swiveling handle bars, telescoping steering tube, and flip-foldig pedals allow it to become very flat. And, because the frame remains unbroken and there are no hinges, it can probably support heavier riders. I definitely noticed and appreciated how stiff and responsive the bike felt. Stiffness is not always a bad thing, the larger 2.15″ Schwalbe Balloon tires provide a bit of comfort and stability, but when you do pedal, the larger alloy pedals and traditionally sized 170 mm crank arms don’t bend or feel sloppy in any way. With the seat post extended (it’s an extra-long 450 mm post), and the handlebars raised up, the bike almost feels like a “normal” city bike. You get lots of utility from the wide plastic fenders, Carrymore rear rack, and integrated LED lights. Wherever your adventures take you, this product should be up to the challenge and offer more enjoyment, reliability, and range, than a lot of competing cheaper products. Yes, you do pay a bit of a premium here at $3k, but the 2 year comprehensive warranty, wide network of Haibike dealers (worldwide), and reliable Yamaha mid-drive motor won’t let you down. I sincerely believe that, based on all of the reviews I’ve done of other full sized Haibikes over the years. Not everything is perfect here, there’s only one “adjustable” frame size, the smaller diameter 20″ wheels aren’t as comfortable as full sized 26″ or 28″ when rolling over cracks, there’s no suspension, the kickstand is positioned directly below the left crank and can get in the way, and the charger is bulky, heavy, and uses a sensitive narrow plastic plug design that’s also in the direct path of the left crank arm. You could improve the ride quality with a long suspension seat post, like the 31.6 mm diameter 420 mm long Kinekt, but the seat tube was very tight on the demo model and used a hex bolt vs. quick release… which isn’t very convenient for a folding portable product.
Driving the Radius Tour is a proven Yamaha PWseries mid-motor. It offers 250 watts nominal, up to probably 500+ watts peak. The website didn’t list the exact specification, but you definitely get up to 70 Newton meters of torque, which is quite a lot. This motor is very efficient, relatively quite, and fairly compact. It blends in with the all-black frame and battery casing, and has a plastic skid plate below for added protection. Given the smaller 20-inch wheel diameter, this e-bike is fairly easy to approach and step over. Almost everyone will be able to easily hop off without struggling to straddle the top tube… but the motor is also a bit lower to the ground, and could take impacts from high curbs if you’re not keeping an eye out and decide to take a shortcut. Yamaha has this Zero Cadence marketing message that’s meant to reassure people that they won’t have to push very hard to get the bike going… and that’s mostly true. It starts and stops very quickly, measuring your rear wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal torque. If you’re pedaling with a low gear, the motor feels very zippy and powerful at starts and low speeds, but high gears can seem sluggish. For that reason, it’s really convenient that you can shift gears at standstill with the eight speed internally geared hub. The drivetrain is built around a single large 52-tooth chainring (to offset the smaller wheel size and create a normal cadence) and a single 18 tooth rear sprocket, so the chain remains very tight and probably won’t fall off or bounce into the frame as you ride over bumpy sections. It’s a great setup because it’s tough, reliable, and clean… made even more-so because of a flexible plastic tube that covers the chain and acts as a simplified guard or cover. This tube concept is minimalist and won’t get cracked or begin to rattle the way a full chain cover might, but it did seem to rub on the internally geared hub just a bit during my test ride (possibly because the bike was brand new). Note that the Yamaha PW Series motor is the entry point in their ebike drive systems right now and does not offer shift detection (not so relevant with an internally geared hub drivetrain) or higher cadence support. Basically, the motor maxes out on support around 100 RPM while their newere PWseries SE will reach 110 and has a Bluetooth app, and the PW-X motor can reach 120 RPM for sporty and mountain type riding. What that means for the Radius Tour is that you need to shift gears more frequently to get the bike to go faster if you want support, you can’t just pedal faster or you’ll end up doing all the work, outpacing the motor. In my opinion, the standard PWseries motor here is a great fit for the Radius tour because it maximizes your range and keeps the bike quiet and less expensive than it might be with a high performance drive unit.
Powering the bike is an awesome 36 volt 13.6 amp hour side-mounting battery pack that docks to the downtube, just below the top tube. I love this battery because the mounting design allows for lower top tubes and some really unique configurations on ebikes just like the Radius Tour. You couldn’t have the frame tubing so tight and compact if the battery mounted from the top down, like Bosch, Shimano, and many others. The locking core that secures the battery to the mount and frame is made by AXA, one of the higher quality lock producers. The battery can be clicked into place even if the key has been removed but I was a little surprised that the cylinder wasn’t spring loaded. I had to manually twist the lock back into place which creates more opportunities to accidentally drop the pack while fiddling around. Fancy Lithium-ion ebike batteries are not cheap, and dropping them could lead to permanent damage. I tend to leave mine mounted to the bike (where it is protected by the frame) but occasionally remove for charging at work or to avoid extreme temperatures. The battery has a little 4-LED readout on the top that can be used to check-in on the charge level if you haven’t been riding for a while. It’s recommended that you charge the pack every month or so if you haven’t been riding, and I have heard that discharging below 20% capacity can change the chemistry of the cells inside and cause premature wear. As much as I like this pack, and feel that it’s easy to get off the bike and safe to carry around with the plastic loop on top, I do not love the charger. It’s just big, heavy, and doesn’t have a detachable wall-side cord. This makes it longer than a lot of other packs, which could make it difficult to pack when traveling or toting along on a ride. Size is one thing, but the little circular plug that inserts into the left side of the battery feels delicate, and that could also be an issue when traveling. Bosch offers my favorite 4 amp ebike charger, and even sells a compact 2 amp charger for traveling occasions (it takes longer, but sometimes space is the issue). I feel that Yamaha has a lot of room for improvement here and that these charger size/weight considerations are particularly relevant for the Radius Tour.
Thankfully, operating this electric bicycle is a snap. Once the battery has been charged, mounted, and locked into position, just press the power button on top of the control pad. I love how compact and waterproof this button pad is, and how easy it is to reach while riding. It allows you to navigate through four levels of assist, activate the lights, and change the display menu readouts, all without having to memorize any press combinations or holds like some other products. The button pad even has a 5 volt 500 milliamp Micro-USB port built into the base, so you can maintain a smartphone or GPS unit that might be mounted to your handlebars. Again, great feature if you’re traveling to a new location and needing directions on the go. Now, the LCD display panel that lists your level of assist, current speed, battery level, and other stats, is mounted front and center. It’s very large, has a pleasant backlight for use at night or early mornings, and is completely removable! That’s a big deal when parking at a public rack or swiveling the handlebars and sliding the bike into a possibly rough and jarring cargo hold. Yes, this display rocks, you can press the S button to see estimated range (based on battery capacity and chosen assist level) and get a battery percentage readout (in addition to the already precise 10-bar battery infographic). Knowing how far you’ve got before the motor quits could be a very useful thing when traveling and riding unfamiliar routes. This is, after all, still a fairly heavy 49.2 lb bicycle. It pedals efficiently, especially with higher air pressure in the tires, and the eight gears are enough to climb alright without support if necessary. The cockpit is fairly clean and I appreciate the addition of a basic flick bell on the right (also black, to blend in with the paint and accents). The grip shifter is intuitive, even for new cyclists, and the ergonomic rubber grips themselves are very secure because they lock to the bar. With the adjustable angle stem, you can achieve a relaxed or sporty body position… to an extent. And, the hydraulic disc brake levers let you easily dial in reach, so you won’t be struggling to stop if you have smaller hands or wear gloves.
Stopping is indeed important, and the 160 mm Shimano hydraulic brake setup is just right for this e-bike. The rotors aren’t huge, but they offer a good mechanical advantage over the smaller wheelset. I want to call out the black rims, black spokes, black hubs, seat post, cranks, fenders, rack, stem… and then celebrate the bright reflective tire stripes. The all-black visuals of this bike are classy and professional, but safety is always in style, and the lights and reflective tires are a big win for me. The tires also have puncture protection, and that’s especially nice when the rear wheel is bolted on as it is here, because of the internally geared hub. I feel that Haibike has created something very special with the Radius Tour and appreciate and understand why some compromises were made around how it actually “folds”. To me, this electric bike looks pretty cool, and I have a lot of trust and appreciation around the dealer support and name-brand components that were carefully selected to build it. It’s kind of neat how the reinforced top tube has this little triangle opening that you can use to lift the bike. The plastic fenders felt pretty solid and didn’t rattle much, but will be more durable and look nicer over time than black metal fenders would (getting scratched up and bent). All of the wires and cables have been internally routed here, and you don’t need to worry about stretching or bending them the way that you do with a hinged folding ebike. It’s a cool product and I welcome your feedback as end-users in the comments and Haibike Forum as always. Big thanks to Haibike for partnering with me on this review and inviting me to their North America headquarters in Southern California for the test rides.
- Even though this ebike only comes in one frame size, there’s a lot of fit potential because the steering tube telescopes up 150 mm and has an adjustable angle stem portion at the top, the seat post is also much longer than average at 450 mm
- The hydroformed frame looks unique and is very sturdy thanks to a reinforcement section on the top tube, Haibike uses wide internal cable routing with a plastic grommet for easier servicing, the custom motor interface is very clean and the plastic skid plate offers good protection
- Even though it only comes in one color, the black is timeless and hides the motor, battery, and cabling across the bike, I really appreciate the integrated lights and reflective tires to help keep you seen at night
- Very clever chain cover tube here, I believe it’s called the FreeDrive, there’s no rattling and it won’t get bent out of place or cracked like a traditional cover, the chain should not fall off of this ebike because it stays tight with just one rear sprocket and no derailleur
- Internally geared hubs can be shifted at standstill and keep the drivetrain clean and tough, if you do fold this bike and slide it underneath an RV or something, you won’t have to worry about a delicate derailleur (just be careful not to bend the disc brake rotors)
- I love the flip folding pedals that Haibike chose for the Radius Tour, they offer a stiff and relatively large surface for pedaling that works well if you have small or large feet
- Very nice wheelset, the black rims match the black spokes and black hubs, there are reinforcement eyelets to spread out pressure and keep the rims from cracking or scratching when adjusted
- Great utility with wide plastic fenders and a full sized rack, you might not be able to hang the longest panniers off of it, but the spring latch and standard gauge tubing will work with most bags and accessories
- The headlight is very nice, I really appreciate how they mounted it up on the handlebar, to keep you visible, vs. down on the fender or fork arch
- Yamaha’s ebike battery design allows the pack to slide out from the left side vs. clicking up and down like Bosch, this means it can fit into tighter spaces and allows for a lower top tube design as seen here
- Haibike is a global brand, the world’s largest producer of electric mountain bikes, and they have dealers where you can test ride and get a fully built product with two years of full warranty support, the customer experience is very good
- I love the Yamaha PWseries LCD display unit that they chose for the Haibike Radius because it’s removable and won’t get scratched up or broken when you’re transporting the bike, I also appreciate the more precise 10-bar battery infographic and Micro-USB charging port on the button pad
- Excellent weight distribution, both the motor and battery are low and center vs. in the hub or out on a rack, I like how the top tube design doubles as a handle for lifting the bike :)
- The Yamaha mid-motor offers zero cadence assist (so it starts quickly and without a lot of leg power), and it measures your rear wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal torque so it’s very responsive and dynamic
- It’s nice to have a secure grip when mounting and dismounting batteries, since they can weigh a bit (this one is ~6.6 lbs) and tend to be very expensive, so I like the integrated loop handle here and 4-bar LED readout for charge level
- Hydraulic disc brake levers are easier to pull (especially the rear brake, because there’s no cable inside a plastic tube rubbing the whole way) and the levers offer adjustable reach, so they can fit smaller hands or gloved hands comfortably, Shimano makes good stuff and the average sized 160 mm rotors here are great for smaller 20″ wheels
- The Yamaha PW Series motor is relatively compact, quiet, and efficient, it offers great range but still provides impressive torque, up to 70 Newton meters
- The motor interfaces with a standard sized chainring and outputs 1 to 1 power, there’s no reduction gear causing friction if you pedal the bike unpowered or pedal beyond the supported 20 mph (25 km/h) top speed
- This ebike doesn’t get as small as a true folding model, where the frame actually folds or pivots, but the telescoping and twisting stem paired with the flip folding pedals does save space and the ride quality is better, it’s stiffer and probably more sturdy than a lot of competing models
- There’s really no suspension on this ebike and the saddle is a bit more firm and “active”, you do get some comfort from the fatter 2.15″ tires (which also provide stability) and you could upgrade the seat post to an extra long 36.1 mm diameter 420 mm long Kinekt suspension seat post… it’s not quite as long as the 450 mm stock post, but would work for most small and medium sized riders
- For some reason, it seems like most of the Haibike models I test rode during this review visit had very tight seat tubes, this makes them difficult to adjust and scratches up the seat post, I was also surprised that they didn’t use a quick release seat post clamp because the front wheel is quick release and this is a more portable bike with the semi-folding capability, having to carry around a tool to adjust or remove the seat seems incongruent with the philosophy of the bike
- It’s nice to have kickstand, but the mounting position at the middle of the frame here creates a potential for pedal lock if the cranks turn (and they do automatically when you back the bike up)
- It’s great to have a fast 4 amp battery charger (most are just 2 amps) but the Yamaha charger is just so big and relatively heavy at 2.1 lbs compared to the 4 amp Bosch charger at 1.7 lbs, I don’t love the plastic plug interface either, because it could get bent and cracked easier (especially since it’s so close to the left crank arm), and the wall-side cord cannot be pulled out to make the overall length shorter during transport
- Minor gripe here, the Yamaha PWseries motor is their base level offering and doesn’t provide as wide of range for pedal RPM as the nicer motors, this means you have to switch gears more frequently in order to hit the maximum supported speed of 20 mph (25 km/h in Europe)
- Minor thing, but I was surprised that the locking core (from AXA) was not spring loaded? usually, it snaps back into place and makes docking the battery and removing the keys easier
- Yamaha seems to have disabled walk mode in the US, which seems unnecessary to me given that Bosch and Brose offer it, I have found that it can be helpful if you get a flat tire, are walking across grass, or up a hill or ramp that is not ridable
- Official Site: https://www.haibike.com/en-US/US/bikes/646/2018-haibike-radius-tour
- More Pictures: https://photos.app.goo.gl/FO4jhEp0hVeqNWch1