2016 Rad Power Bikes RadMini Review

Rad Power Bikes Radmini Electric Bike Review
Rad Power Bikes Radmini
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Bafang Fat Electric Bike Motor
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Optional Water Resistant Panniers
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Ergonomic Grips Display Button Pad
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Integrated Headlight On
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Back View 20x4 Inch Tires
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Folding Stem
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Front Cargo Rack With Led Light
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Prowheel Chainring With Plastic Guide
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Rear Carry Rack With Led Light
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Removable 48 Volt Battery Pack
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Shimano Tourney Tx 7 Speed
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Folding Fat Ebike
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Electric Bike Review
Rad Power Bikes Radmini
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Bafang Fat Electric Bike Motor
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Optional Water Resistant Panniers
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Ergonomic Grips Display Button Pad
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Integrated Headlight On
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Back View 20x4 Inch Tires
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Folding Stem
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Front Cargo Rack With Led Light
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Prowheel Chainring With Plastic Guide
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Rear Carry Rack With Led Light
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Removable 48 Volt Battery Pack
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Shimano Tourney Tx 7 Speed
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Folding Fat Ebike

Summary

  • A folding fat tire electric bike with front and rear cargo racks and double-tube frame for improved strength (good option for larger riders)
  • Powerful 750 watt internally geared fat-bike specific motor paired with a large 48 volt 11.6 amp hour battery capable of hauling more weight and going off-road on packed dirt trails
  • Heavier build at ~61 lbs but the front wheel has quick release, the battery is removable and even the racks can be taken off
  • Quality LED lights (the front is integrated to run off the main battery), decent mechanical disc brakes, average drivetrain but you get seven speeds to pedal slow or fast comfortably

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Rad Power Bikes

Model:

2016 RadMini

Price:

$1,499 USD

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Urban, Trail, Sand and Snow

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States, Worldwide

Model Year:

2016

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

61 lbs (27.66 kg)

Battery Weight:

6.7 lbs (3.03 kg)

Motor Weight:

8 lbs (3.62 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

16 in (40.64 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

22" Top Tube, 16" Seat Tube, 43.25" Wheelbase, 26.5" Stand Over Height

Frame Types:

Mid-Step, Folding

Frame Colors:

Matte Black, Gloss White

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Front RackBosses

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Shimano Tourney TX

Shifter Details:

Shimano Tourney SIS Thumb Shifter

Cranks:

Prowheel 170 mm Aluminum Alloy

Pedals:

Wellgo Folding Plastic Platform

Headset:

Neco

Stem:

Telescoping Adjustable Height, 34 mm Forward Piece

Handlebar:

Aluminum Aloy, Low Rise

Brake Details:

Tektro Mechanical Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Tektro Levers with Motor Inhibitor

Grips:

Rubber Ergonomic

Saddle:

Velo Plush with Handle

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

266 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

WEINMANN ROHL80 Double Wall

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 12 Gauge

Tire Brand:

INNOVA All Terrain, 20" x 4"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Integrated 200 Lumen LED Headlight, Independent Rear LED Light by Spanninga, Flick Bell Near Right Grip, Plastic Chainring Guide, Metal Bottom Bracket Prop Stand, Metal Derailleur Guard, Adjustable Length Kickstand, Optional Nori Wheel Lights $60, Optional Water Resistant Panniers ($70 for one or $120 for Two)

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, 48 Volt 15 Amp Controller (22 Amps Peak), KMC Z7 Rustbuster Chain, Female USB Charging Port and Fuse on Battery, Torque Arms for Motor, Quick Release on Front Wheel, Total Payload Weight Limit: 275 lbs, Rear Rack Weight Limit: 40 lbs, Front Rack Weight Limit: 30 lbs

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bafang

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

750 watts

Motor Torque:

80 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

11.6 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

556.8 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

40 miles (64 km)

Display Type:

King-Meter SW-LCD, Fixed Backlit Monochrome LCD

Readouts:

Speedometer, Wattmeter, Odometer, Assist Level (1-5), Battery Charge Level (5 Bars)

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad Near Left Grip, Throttle On/Off

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle (12 Magnet Pedelec Disc)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The RadMini is an impressive electric bike… because it folds, is super powerful and rides a lot smoother than other small-wheeled ebikes I’ve tried. While the rims are ~20 inches in diameter the tires are four inches thick so you end up with improved attack angle and a soft cushiony feel. This is important if you actually plan to go offroad but also comes in handy for bumpy pothole-filled streets like some of those in San Francisco where I got to test this bike out. The motor powering this mini-beast is a custom configured 750 watt fat bike specific geared hub from Bafang. In the video I mentioned 500 watts but it sounds like the company has been working on a refined “final version” for production with custom firmware and even more power. You can activate it immediately with the twist throttle in any of the 0-5 pedal assist levels or if you want to avoid accidentally zipping away you can disable it completely with a red on/off switch built right into the throttle mount. In my opinion, it’s the perfect offering because you are in complete control. If you want to pedal along, the bike offers seven speeds and the lower levels of pedal assist are quieter and slower but still extremely responsive. This bike uses a 12 magnet pedelec system that truly impressed me (see the bits in the video where I demonstrate how it switches on and off). And because it’s a cadence sensor vs. a torque sensor you don’t really have to push super hard once it’s moving and the throttle can help you get going from standstill so even with a loaded rack it shouldn’t stress your knees.

Rad Power Bikes started on Indiegogo in 2015 with their RadRover model and has since launched a cargo bike as well. They are known for delivering more affordable bikes with higher power and have a decent one year warranty for the original owner. I got to meet the founder last year and spent time with two reps for this review so it appears the company is expanding and healthy. One downside here is that they mostly sell online (unless you can make it to Seattle to their showroom). This means there is some assembly and tuning required and that you can’t test ride before you buy usually. The RadMini is less of a mini sized folder compared to other bikes I’ve tried and that’s great if your’e a taller or larger rider. For me it felt comfortable to pedal and less squished and I’m about 5’9″. The front wheel, battery pack and even the racks can be removed if you really want to reduce weight for lifting and I love that the battery can be charged on or off the frame… but not that the key has to remain in during operation.

The fact that this is one of only two fat tire folding bikes I’ve ever seen in person makes it very unique but the racks also add something special. The rear rack is sturdy and wide for use with a trunk bag but also extends horizontally for longer loads… I’ve rarely seen that sort of design before. Rad Power Bikes sells water resistant nylon panniers that I got to look at for the video review and they attach using velcro straps vs. clips. This is an important point, many of the clip-on panniers won’t work with the thicker tubing on this bike. There was enough tubing down the sides of the rack that the pannier mostly stayed clear of the tires, spokes, brakes and derailleur but it’s not perfect and the fat knobby tires may rub from time to time. The front rack is neat but because it’s attached to the fork you may notice some impact on steering and could dump your cargo when parking as the bar swings from side to side if you don’t hold it steady.

The big takeaway for this bike for me is that it’s powerful, easily hitting 20 mph, and offers solid components like 160 mm mechanical disc brakes… even front and rear lights (though only the front is integrated). As a folder, you do get some downgrades like the plastic folding pedals which aren’t especially wide or stiff but they do stay compact and pedals are relatively affordable to replace, I’d get some Wellgo magnesium platforms myself. The frame is sturdy… but heavy, and despite the double tubing there can still be some lateral flex (especially with panniers or a cargo bag adding weight) but I love the safety locking features on both fold points. It’s not going to come unfolded easily even if you bump it during the ride or don’t tighten it down enough. Note that the display panel, while large and easy to interact with, is not removable so take care not to bump it while folding and transporting… and also note that the frame may clink itself when folded (due to the larger racks protruding from the sides). Consider some black duct tape or rubber bumpers to reduce scratches and chips if you plan to transport this thing regularly. Even as just a more compact fat bike I had a lot of fun on the RadMini, the center of gravity is lower making it easy to mount and the bouncy tires reduced the need for suspension along with the cush saddle and basic ergonomic grips.

Pros:

  • One of the largest folding electric bikes I’ve tested, I felt less squished on this thing and the double-tube frame style stayed pretty stiff when riding (adding panniers and weight did cause some frame flex)
  • It’s large and relatively heavy but the front wheel has quick release, the battery is removable and even the racks can come off if you really want to reduce size and weight
  • The folding mechanisms feature secondary sliding-pin style locks so they won’t come undone if the primary latch gets bumped and comes undone
  • More comfortable than a lot of the folding e-bikes I test that have 20″ wheels because the tires are 4″ in diameter and provide a lot of cushion, it’s also more stable to ride
  • The racks are fun and add a lot of utility, I appreciate the rear rack the most because it doesn’t impact steering and is capable of carrying more and heavier loads (it extends for more length and is compatible with their official water-resistant panniers), the front rack is connected to the fork and turns when you do so it’s easier to dump
  • The saddle is mid-level and fairly comfortable but also features a built in handle at the back to make the Rad Mini easier to fold and lift
  • Great protective accessories including a derailleur guard so the bike doesn’t go out of tune if it tips or is bumped when folded, a bash guard + chain guide on the front sprocket to keep your pants clean and the chain on track and a bottom bracket rest to prop the bike up and protect the chainring when folded
  • I like the clean matte black frame, fork and cargo racks that the black cranks, pedals, motor, saddle, handle bar, grips and wires… black spokes would be nice someday, the gloss white option is probably more visible if you’re riding around cars and could make for a great second bike if you’re getting two
  • You get front and rear LED lights for improved safety and use in dark environments, the front light is integrated and runs off the main battery while the rear is a more basic independent light (don’t forget to turn it off!)
  • Super powerful 750 watt planetary geared hub motor from Bafang (a well known brand), it’s extra wide for use with fat tire rims, you get even more torque since the wheelset is ~20 inch verses 26″+ due to improved leverage
  • Solid one year warranty (for the original owner) and the company has a good reputation for delivering products even though they are still relatively new in the space
  • You get immediate power with the twist throttle (which can override pedal assist) which is great for when you’re actually hauling gear, the cadence sensor offers 12 magnets for responsive assist and you get five modes for hands-free riding and improved range as you pedal, there’s also a throttle only mode by arrowing down to zero

Cons:

  • As an overbuilt fat tire folding bike the RadMini is heavier than most other folders I test and review but there is a walk mode to help you push it at least (hold down on the button pad arrow) and the front wheel has a quick release, you can also remove the racks fairly easily for smaller transport size and reduced weight
  • Low-end Shimano Tourney TX derailleur and SIS shifter, it should hold up if you perform occasional maintenance and the thumb shifter is easier to use with gloves since it’s fairly large
  • The plastic folding pedals aren’t especially large or stiff… you can get aluminum folding pedals but they will still be smaller in size so if you’ve got large feet consider aftermarket platforms
  • The front rack definitely impacts steering when loaded because it’s connected directly to the fork vs. the head tube and frame, careful not to dump your cargo when parking as it will easily turn to one side or the other when loaded
  • The display panel isn’t removable and might be easier to scuff or bump given that this is a folding electric bike but it looks good during use, has an independent button pad for easy reach while riding… even the throttle has an on/off switch and I like that they included a USB charging port on the display for use with portable electronics
  • No bottle cage mounts or other bosses for adding a lock or mini-pump but you get two large racks so teh addition of a trunk bag or panniers would solve this and add a lot of utility
  • You have to turn the battery on first and then activate the LCD display so it takes longer and requires more effort, once on you have to leave the key in the battery pack which makes it easier to forget and might jingle if you’ve got a keychain with other keys
  • The bike will come with a strap to help keep it folded but I noticed some clinking of the racks and frame so you could end up with scratches and chips over time, adding your own rubber bumpers or some black duct tape could help

Resources:

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Comments (35) YouTube Comments

James Ledesma
4 years ago

Like this one just wish it had more battery then it comes with cuz if your a heavy person that’s going to go over short distance other than that it’s a little bit too much money but should be about a $700 bike

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

In my experience this is a large battery, especially for a folding ebike. You get over half a kilowatt hour here and should be able to go 20+ miles per charge. The price is also very low given the power of the motor, unique design and warranty compared with similar offerings on the market right now.

  Reply
VB Ebikes
4 years ago

I’m digging it. Great price point for that motor and battery size. Court, what’s your opinion on a Lithium nickel cobalt aluminum battery?

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Yeah, it’s a solid and fun little bike (barely little…) can’t say much about that specific battery chemistry you’ve described but most Lithium based derivatives I have tested perform well and offer good energy density plus lifespan. The Aluminum component is what’s unique here, I’m used to Lithium Magnesium Cobalt I think? What sets the battery you’ve described apart?

  Reply
Vlad from MI
3 years ago

I ordered one from the batch of 20 available for pre-order yesterday. Hope to get it in mid-May. It seems like a perfect bike for me, but time will tell. I have a Prodecotech Phantom X, and it’s OK, but has some serious design flaws, which this bike appears to solve:

  1. Battery is unlikely to fly off the bike after a few potholes (of which there is abundance here)
  2. Easier to mount and dismount. May even be used by my petite wife, or so I hope.
  3. I hope it will fit into a trunk of mid-size sedan. (Phantom does not, although it is folding as well)
  4. With smaller and fatter wheels there may be fewer broken spokes (fingers crossed)

A couple of things on my wish list for this bike:

  1. 61 lbs is darn heavy. I’m getting old and lifting 60 lbs into a trunk is no longer trivial, especially if weight is unevenly distributed (as it is in the Phantom)
  2. What fenders would fit that bike? There is mud here.
  3. What container would fit the rear rack? I know one can improvise with a milk crate and such, but I hope there is a more elegant solution. Court mentions something at Amazon, but I did not catch what that was.

Thanks for your excellent reviews. including this bike!
Vlad

  Reply
Vlad from MI
3 years ago

For fairness sake: folded Phantom does fit (mostly) into the trunk of my Hyundai Sonata, but you can’t close the lid, and my back yells at me every time I do that.

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Ouch, be carful loading… maybe get a second hand from a friend or stranger ;)

subwayaz
3 years ago

The Fender issue I’ve seen cured with Plastic purchased from Amazon cut to fit with home made brackets, and fairly cheap if I recall correctly. Saw it on you tube. The Back Rack can be fitted with a Large Bike Bag (Pannier) if I’m calling it right; they have rigid form and usually velcro enclosures. Should be a fun utilitarian vehicle for you

Court
3 years ago

I hope you enjoy the bike Vlad! Great suggestions, hopefully the Rad Power Bikes team will see them here :) I’m on the go right now and can’t point out any racks and don’t remember what I was thinking at the time, I do like their pannier bags but they are sold out right now. Maybe something like these? Good call on the fenders too, it can be difficult finding ones that work after market so this would be cool to see from Rad.

  Reply
Mike Radenbaugh
3 years ago

Hi Court and Vlad, This basket fits nicely in the space available in the front rack of the RadMini. Note that this does not come with mounting hardware so adapting it to safely attach may require some additional brackets, clamps, etc.

Regarding weight, the front and rear racks are optional, and removal can take a nice bite out of the total weight if they are not needed. Removing the battery prior to loading also cuts down on this. RadMini specific fenders are in the works, but some customers have been adapting Dave’s mud shovels in the meantime.

Mike Radenbaugh
3 years ago

The basket I linked to on my last comment does not actually fit, as my personal sample bike used a steel front rack, but the wider OD aluminum tubing on the production RadMini does not accommodate the Wald 585 basket. That basket is a great fit on the rear rack but required us to get some extra mounting hardware because what is supplied from Wald is not a match for the RadMini.

Vlad from MI
3 years ago

Court, thank you for the suggestion of cargo bags. I usually only take my lunch to work, but sometimes need to do some shopping on my way home. This seems perfect for this kind of usage.

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Looks nice! Hope it works out great for you, feel free to chime in down the road if you’ve had a good or bad experience, I try to recommend decent accessories or upgrades in my reviews but haven’t tested that particular trunk bag :)

  Reply
MikeB
3 years ago

Court, you always note quick releases for the wheels as a plus and when they don’t have them it’s kind of a ‘ding’ on the bike. But the “normal” bicycle quick releases (skewer type) aren’t beefy (strong) enough for the weight and speed of an Ebike. (Seems to be the general consensus) So a solid nut arrangement would still be preferable to a cheap quick release. Beefy through axles being the only way they should come. JMO

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Fair enough… but many companies have figured out how to offer quick release systems with 12 mm and 15 mm thru-axles. Check out this Haibike, this IZIP and this Specialized model for example. I realize that each of these models is more expensive than the RadMini and I don’t mean to be overly critical. My goal is to celebrate strengths and identify opportunities and trade offs. Some ebikes are really polished and seem to have no major “cons” besides price and I usually point that out as well :)

  Reply
Eric
3 years ago

Thanks for the great review! When the mini bike is in folded position, is it possible to wheel the bike around instead of lifting it up? My fiancé probably won’t be able to lift 60 pounds. Thanks!

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Great question Eric, I’ll try to address that more directly in future reviews. My experience wheeling the RadMini around was limited but most ebikes that fold can be wheeled at least a bit. You might want a bungee cord or some kind of strap to keep it tight while rolling and possibly remove the battery to lighten the load. So I think it’s possible but maybe not super easy/efficient, would be good to check with Rad Power Bikes directly, I’d love to hear what they say and also your experiences if you pull the trigger :)

  Reply
Todd
3 years ago

The design is getting closer to my nirvana bike: fat tire, folding, electric, light-ish (Al/Ti?) but most importantly ( few seem to have designed for this yet ), a “Pibal style” bike/scooter hybrid. ( just google “Pibal bike” for images). I like in NYC which is awash in electric bikes as food delivery vehicles… Many have bolted on boards or plates to allow quick hop on/hop off capabilities, and they are often ridden more like scooters. Ever see an “electric scooter/bike hybrid” like Pibal’s design? Ever see one that folds?

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Cool! I’ve never heard of Pibal style before Todd but just did an image search on Google and see what you mean. One ebike I have covered in the past that looks a bit like the images I found is the Pedego Boomerang, have you seen or heard of this one before?

  Reply
Todd
3 years ago

I have seen the Pedego Boomerang (chased one a block in NYC to get the name on it!). Still tough to fit in a Manhattan apt or a car trunk (non folding). Hoping a bike designer gets a majority of these attributes at some point. Rad could do it all with a different/inverted frame design.

Separate question: Heard anything further on the electric bromptons (made by brompton, not aftermarket)?

Nick
3 years ago

Just ordered mine when they came back for a short time on the 10th. Hoping to turn it into a fun ride for me and 2 small dogs! I am kind of wishing I went full size at the moment but I think this design is top notch and will be worth upgrading in the future.

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Hope it works out well for you Nick! I like the folding design and got a near “full” bike experience on it compared with regular sized tire folding ebikes. The fat tires are a blast and you get extra power with the smaller wheel diameter too. Chime in again once you’ve broken it in some ;)

  Reply
Nick
3 years ago

Well Court, I think you helped me successfully love my first E-Bike. Thanks to your site and awesome reviews, I got to be one of the first owners of the Radmini! Please keep up the great work!

Steve
3 years ago

I saw your video review of the Radmini (Thanks!) and ordered one when a batch of 50 was released recently. It’s supposed to arrive in a few days and I can’t wait. This will be my first electric bike. I was avid rider in my my teens and twenties and now that I am in my forties I’m hoping this bike will be a gateway bike to get back into riding and back into shape.

I only went for the folder hoping it will be able to fit in the trunk of the car for easy transport so I’m not overly concerned that its heavy. My thinking is that I’ll be able to use this bike with with low or no pedal assist for exercise but if (when?) I run out of steam or my knees get sore I’ll be able to boost the assist to make the return trip in relative comfort.

Based on your review I imagine I’ll probably leave the front rack off and look for a rear bag that can hold a water bottle. I too, am wondering about adding fenders. It’d be nice if Rad Power Bikes added the option to delete the front rack add fenders at the time of order in the future.

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Court
3 years ago

Hey Steve! I bet you’re going to love this thing… It’s really kind of unique but still cool looking and very zippy. The pedal assist and throttle both work well and if you add a rear trunk bag like this water-resistant one and maybe zip tie a piece of plastic under it you’ll basically have a rear fender (especially with the battery blocking part of the spray-path too). I’ll make sure the folks at Rad Power Bikes see your comment and think about fenders in the future. Also, it may not be wide enough but you could try something like this for the front to block water from spraying up into your eyes… your shins and feet will probably still get wet though. Appreciate the comment ;)

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Johnjksn
3 years ago

Bought a bundle, black and white, my wife and I love them here in SoCal. White one has some sort of microprocessor issue that makes peddle assist and throttle malfunction … Kind of a bummer. RAD is sending a loner controller… Oh well the only other complaint is the front stearing hinge makes a continuous cranky squeaky sound on both. Besides those two things I love them I get stopped all the time, people take pictures of it ? and ask about them.

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Court
3 years ago

Hey! I’m glad you’re making the best of it, sorry to hear about the controller issue… that’s no fun. Electric bikes aren’t as sophisticated as most automobiles but they are more complex than normal bikes and sometimes it amazes me how much variation there can be between one unit and the next, even the same model! I hope the issues with the white one smooth out, thanks for sharing :)

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Monika
3 years ago

Thank you for the review. Were you able to test the bike on hills? I am in San Francisco as well, would be good to know your experience before buying one.

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David
3 years ago

Hey there, I am just under 6’2″ tall. Will I have difficulty with this bike?

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Court
3 years ago

Hi David! My opinion is that as with most mini and folding ebikes, there will be some compromise in terms of fit and comfort… but given your size it shouldn’t be too extreme. The RadMini has an adjustable stem so you can raise it and the seat can also go fairly high. Even if you’re not getting full leg extension, the throttle helps a lot and it could still be a blast to ride. Hope this helps, you might fair better with a full sized RadRover but then it won’t be foldable and I’m assuming there are other reasons you zoomed in on the Mini? Perhaps the ability to share it with your friends who aren’t as tall? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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John David ALLEN
3 years ago

Do you think I should invest in a new longer seat stand? Like maybe 400 millimeters?

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Court
3 years ago

Hey John, I measured the most recent 2016/2017 RadMini post length at ~320 mm so getting a 400 or longer might be worth it. Many times folding bikes already come with longer posts but since this one is a bit larger to begin with and the collar is higher up I guess they didn’t feel it was necessary? Also checked that the latest version is still 27.2 mm diameter, here’s a post that might work at 450 mm length but is a little expensive. I saw some more affordable carbon ones when searching but wasn’t sure about durability.

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