2017 Rad Power Bikes RadMini Review

2017 Rad Power Bikes Radmini Electric Bike Review
2017 Rad Power Bikes Radmini
2017 Rad Power Bikes Radmini 750 Watt Geared Hub Motor And Bash Guard
2017 Rad Power Bikes Radmini Slide In 48 Volt Battery Pack
2017 Rad Power Bikes Radmini Lcd Console Ergonomic Grips
2017 Rad Power Bikes Radmini Front Rack Attached Led Light
2017 Rad Power Bikes Radmini Adjustable Length Rear Rack And Kickstand
2017 Rad Power Bikes Radmini 7 Speed Shimano Tourney
2017 Rad Power Bikes Radmini Folding Alloy Wellgo Pedals
2017 Rad Power Bikes Radmini Battery Charger
2017 Rad Power Bikes Radmini Electric Bike Review
2017 Rad Power Bikes Radmini
2017 Rad Power Bikes Radmini 750 Watt Geared Hub Motor And Bash Guard
2017 Rad Power Bikes Radmini Slide In 48 Volt Battery Pack
2017 Rad Power Bikes Radmini Lcd Console Ergonomic Grips
2017 Rad Power Bikes Radmini Front Rack Attached Led Light
2017 Rad Power Bikes Radmini Adjustable Length Rear Rack And Kickstand
2017 Rad Power Bikes Radmini 7 Speed Shimano Tourney
2017 Rad Power Bikes Radmini Folding Alloy Wellgo Pedals
2017 Rad Power Bikes Radmini Battery Charger

Summary

  • A funky miniaturized folding fat tire bike with two cargo racks! Truly capable of sand and snow riding, LED lights guide and keep you safe, the bike offers assist and throttle drive modes
  • Basic seven speed drivetrain from Shimano, plastic chain guide keeps things on track, metal derailleur guard protects the sensitive bits if the bike tips over to the right
  • Nice 180 mm mechanical disc brakes with e-bike specific brake levers that cut power to the system when pulled, I like the integrated bell on the left lever and rubberized front edges for comfort
  • The front rack turns as you steer the bike and if you aren't careful when parking, it can tip to the side and spill your gear out, no bungee or clasps to keep it from unfolding

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Rad Power Bikes

Model:

2017 RadMini

Price:

$1,499 ($175 Flat Rate Shipping)

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Sand and Snow, Trail, Travel

Electric Bike Class:

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

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive (Original Owner)

Availability:

United States, Canada

Model Year:

2016

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

62.1 lbs (28.16 kg)

Battery Weight:

7.8 lbs (3.53 kg)

Motor Weight:

12 lbs (5.44 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum

Frame Sizes:

16 in (40.64 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

560 mm Top Tube, 400 mm Seat Tube, 1092 mm Wheelbase, 673 mm Stand Over Height

Frame Types:

Step-Thru, Folding

Frame Colors:

Black, White

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid, 11 mm Quick Release Skewer

Frame Rear Details:

11 mm Axle

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Shimano Tourney, 11-28T

Shifter Details:

Shiman SIS Index Shifter on Right

Cranks:

48T Chainring with Plastic Guide

Pedals:

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Folding Platform, Black

Headset:

Neco

Stem:

Folding

Handlebar:

Low-Rise, 24" Length

Brake Details:

Tektro Aries Mechanical Disc with 180 mm Rotors, Tektro Levers with Motor Inhibitors, Rubberized Edge and Integrated Bell

Grips:

Stitched Ergonomic, Black

Saddle:

Velo Plush with Integrated Handle

Seat Post:

Promax, Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

320 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Double Walled Alloy, Black

Spokes:

13 Gauge, Stainless Steel, Black

Tire Brand:

Innova, 20" x 4"

Wheel Sizes:

20 in (50.8cm)

Tire Details:

5-30 PSI

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Spanninga Micro Integrated LED Headlight, Spanninga Duxo Independent LED Back Light, Neoprene Slap Guard

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, Hold Mode and Up to Activate Headlight,Hold Up and Down for Settings

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:

Panasonic

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, Fixed Backlit LCD

Readouts:

Battery Gauge (5 Bars), Speed, Avg. Speed, Top Speed, Odometer, Trip Odometer, Watts, PAS level (1-5)

Display Accessories:

Independent 3 Button Pad

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle (6 Magnet Pedelec Disc)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The RadMini combines two bicycle concepts that at first seem a bit opposite but ultimately pair well… Namely, a “go anywhere” fat tire bike and the “take anywhere” folding bike. What you end up with is an electric bicycle that shorter riders can enjoy more comfortably, a fat bike that’s truly sand and snow capable (as demonstrated in the video review) and a bike that will fit inside the trunk space of most SUV’s and station wagons… and even some sedans. At roughly 62 lbs this is not a light bike but you can remove the battery and front wheel easily, shaving 10+ lbs. While not as smooth riding as a full sized 26″ fat tire bike, it worked surprisingly well and I appreciated the larger chainring used in combination with the basic seven speed drivetrain. Pedaling felt natural and I loved the larger metal folding pedals by Wellgo. This is one area a lot of folding ebike skimp on, opting for flimsy less-grippy plastic. The RadMini is off-road capable but still shines on road if you’re in need of a fun commuter, perhaps a road + trail bike to get you from the city into the woods?

Powering the bike is an impressive fat-bike specific 750 watt internally geared hub motor. I say fat-bike specific because it’s wider than most planetary geared hubs I see and this allows for wider spoke mounting and thus, stronger wheels. It really does pack a punch at 750 watts, which is the maximum allowable rating for electric bicycles in the USA. But I was impressed with just how quiet it operated. Having tested this back to back with some other fat bikes using different motors, I found it to be a leader sound wise. I absolutely love that the bike can be ridden with one of five levels of pedal assist AND overridden with full power using the twist throttle at any moment. This is especially useful for getting started in soft terrain like sand. You can even use the throttle from rest in level zero and furthermore, can switch the throttle completely off. This is useful for bumpy sections where you might bear down on the grips and accidentally activate. Considering some electric bikes have trigger throttles while others have half-twist like this, it’s just nice to have that extra off switch.

The drive system, large backlit display and front headlight are all powered by a large 48 volt 11.6 amp hour battery pack. Inside are name brand, extra durable Panasonic cells that should age well if cared for properly. That is, kept in a cool dry location and topped off every month or so if not in use. This is easy to do given the removability of the battery… though it’s not as easy as some competing models. In order to get the pack off you need to insert the key, twist to the left then either remove the seat post or twist so the saddle doesn’t block the path of the up-sliding battery pack. I don’t love the battery design, especially since the keys must remain in to activate it. I noticed that it must be firmly pressed down in order to lock and once powered on, you cannot remove the keys which may jingle. Ultimately, I can appreciate that it’s mounted low and relatively center on the frame. You may leave it here and charge it this way as long as you can get the bike reasonably close to a power outlet.

Charging the bike takes around five hours from completely empty while powering it up takes just a few seconds. Twist the key, hold the power button then watch as the fixed display blinks to life. It is backlit by holding the mode and up button (which also activates the headlight). I appreciate how large and easy to read it is. Press mode again for different menu readouts or arrow up and down to navigate the five levels of assist. It would be nice to have a removable display, especially given the off-road nature of the bike. I found that even on rough terrain the frame felt solid and became curious about the rack systems. The rear rack slides out horizontally for maximum storage space (though I’m not sure what I’d put there? Perhaps a large pizza?!) and the front rack is about the size of a six pack of beverages. Note however, that if the front cargo is not secured, it may dump out as the fork turns when you park and lean the bike. Unlike some sturdier racks, it is not mounted to the head tube.

I had a blast testing this bike and came to appreciate all of the little nuances that Rad Power Bikes dialed in. You get a saddle that has an integrated handle at the back for easier positioning and folding. You get a derailleur cage to protect the sensitive bits near the rear wheel which keeps things in shape once folded. You get nice brake levers with rubberized edges and an integrated bell. The grips are a bit larger and fairly comfortable (though they may spin if you bear down since they are not locking). Keep an eye on the rear light, remember to turn it off when you stop or the batteries will run out quicker. The disc brakes are solid, fairly large and work well considering the price point. This is an electric bike that can handle rough terrain but won’t break your heart when it ultimately gets beat up and rusty if you really do go to the beach. That’s one of the trade-offs with fat ebikes specifically. Do you get the premium one that you’re afraid to ride in hazardous terrain or maybe two of the cheaper ones that you can afford to lose? Regardless of use, this one will fit those petite riders which means more people can come along for the good times. Big thanks to Rad Power Bikes for partnering with me for this review.

Pros:

  • Uses a fat-bike specific hub motor which spaces the spokes out wider for improved strength, I found that it was quieter than similarly specced geared hub motors
  • I like that the bike offers both pedal assist and twist throttle mode, it’s useful to have immediate access to full power when you’re riding in sand or snow even if you don’t have assist enabled or are in a lower level… but they also included an on/off switch for the throttle so you can avoid accidentally activating it
  • The bike seems pretty tough overall, designed to handle bumpy terrain with a plastic chain guide and there’s a metal guard around the derailleur on the right in case it tips, simple black or white paint choices are easy to touch up or cover if it gets scratched
  • Neat rack system, plenty of extra space for hauling food on a picnic or tents and other gear on an adventure, the rear rack extends horizontally for increased cargo space
  • The folding design of the bike works well enough but I appreciate the extra locking clips that reduce any potential for loosening or opening while riding
  • Despite being a mid-step folding frame design, I found it to be fairly stiff and solid feeling… the double tube design definitely improves strength
  • My girlfriend isn’t especially tall but she was still able to use this bike and ride on the beach with the rest of us, stand over height is ~26.5″ but there is a wide point where the frame folds so even if you can stand over it be careful with your knees and inner legs to avoid scrapes and little bruises from this
  • If the tires are run a bit low, they add some cushion along with the ergonomic grips and comfort saddle… no suspension fork or seat post suspension on this bike but the price is pretty competitive at ~$1,500 and you could add your own basic 27.2 mm seat post suspension after market for as little as $30
  • I like the disc brakes because they don’t get as wet or dirty as rim brakes (being mounted higher) and found the brake levers to be comfortable with rubberized edges, I like that they chose the models with a bell integrated into the left grip and appreciate the integrated motor inhibitors
  • I love that the bike comes with LED lights, it’s handy that the front one is designed to run straight off the main battery… they didn’t wire in the rear because it’s further back at the end of the rack and I’m told that in flashing mode it can last quite a long time
  • Normally I dislike folding pedals because they’re shorter and less rigid than traditional platforms (being made of plastic), in this case however, the pedals are a bit larger and made from Aluminum allow so they work pretty well
  • I like that they included a slap guard on the right chainstay (to protect it from the chain bouncing and chipping it on rough terrain) and that they used a torque arm washer for the rear wheel AND that the front wheel is quick release so you can reduce weight and size further when folding if you wish
  • I love that it comes with an adjustable kickstand and that it’s mounted towards the back, out of the way of your cranks and pedals because that makes it easier to maneuver when parking

Cons:

  • The front rack turns as you turn the handle bars and steer the bike, I noticed that if it’s loaded and you park the bike without stabilizing the front wheel it will tip to the side and sometimes dump your gear out
  • The RadMini uses a cadence sensor to activate pedal assist and the part only uses six magnets while some other bikes use 12, in practice it worked fine (perhaps their software is really dialed in?) but this is an area that gave me pause
  • I like how the twist throttle feels but sometimes people with smaller hands or those worried about bumpy terrain don’t like them as much as trigger throttles
  • Some folding electric bicycles have magnetic clasps or rubber bungee loops that keep the bike from coming unfolded or rattling around and scratching but this one does not, consider using your own bungee cords or an adjustable cord like this
  • While the battery is removable, you basically have to slide the seat tube out or twist the saddle sideways in order to get it off, I do like that the saddle has an integrated handle for moving the bike or working with the battery in this case
  • There are labels on the side of the tires that say “inflate to 35 PSI” but in my experience you want to hit between 5 to 30 PSI depending on terrain, go much lower towards the ~5 for soft sand or snow
  • Two step on/off process wit this bike… first you insert and twist the key (which has to be left in the battery while riding) then hold the power button on the control pad near the left grip, this takes longer and the key can jingle if you have anything connected to it
  • For a folding bike, this thing is definitely on the heavy side… as you might expect with the fat tires and racks, still worth considering (remove the battery and front wheel to reduce weight somewhat)

Resources:

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Comments (24) YouTube Comments

Nirmala
2 years ago

How does the bike fit a taller rider? I noticed in some of the video, you have the seat set very low…..were you able to dial it in for a taller rider?

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hi Nirmala, yeah the seat can go higher… it was set low in this video for my girlfriend Mony. We were all riding around the beach swapping bikes and I should have raised the seat but knew I was going to hop back onto one of the larger models so I did not. You can indeed raise the seat and there are even some extra-tall seat posts that you could buy to replace the included 320 mm post if needed. Hope this helps :)

  Reply
Mehdi
2 years ago

Hi Court, I’m thinking about getting this bike for my commute to work which includes taking the T. How does the dimensions (folded) and weight of this bike compare to regular folding bikes like Dahon? The weight is almost twice as a regular folding bike but, I’m not sure about the dimensions. Do you think it would be a good option if a part of your commute is to get on a train with this folding bike?

Also, recently I came across a folding ebike from Genesis. Seems like a nice affordable ebike but, I couldn’t find any reviews on YouTube or other website. It would be nice if you can review it. Thanks, Mehdi

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hi Mehdi! I’d say there is a hug difference in both size and weight of the RadMini fat folding ebike vs. a more traditional sized folder… As a smaller, not super strong guy myself I’d probably opt for something else if I was going to take it on the train. There are lots of folding options that I have reviewed here but not the Genesis model yet. Thanks for the heads up, I’ll keep an eye out for them in the future :)

  Reply
brian brown
2 years ago

yery good bike can it be bought in the u.k and does the warranty included also in the u.k

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

I have no idea! Will ask the Rad Power Bikes team to chime in about international orders :)

  Reply
James Scherber
2 years ago

Curious. I’m 5 feet 10 inches. 200 pounds. How does this thing handle San Francisco hills?

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hey James, I didn’t climb the steepest hills in SF when I reviewed the older version but for me (a 135 lb guy) it worked fine there and surprisingly well on the sand. One advantage it has for climbing and soft terrain is the smaller diameter wheels… when used with a hub motor there’s a mechanical advantage because it’s easier to turn. The bike isn’t especially light and there is more drag from the fat tires but again, it worked fine even with the larger guys in our group on the beach :)

  Reply
brian brown
2 years ago

good e-bike i would love one, are they comeing to the u.k.?

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hi Brian, I’m not sure but their support and customer service is pretty good so maybe reach out? I’d love to hear back if you find out about the cost of shipping overseas :)

  Reply
JP
2 years ago

Love the look of this one. I live on top of a hill that’s about a 15 to 23 degree incline for about a block and a half. Based on your experience with it, how well do you think rad mini would handle that?

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hey JP! Without knowing your weight and intended cargo it’s difficult to say for sure bit I was VERY impressed with the power this little thing had, being able to ride through the sand on the beach. If you approach your hill with a bit of momentum I bet it would do fine, especially if you pedal along a little bit on the steepest part. Shouldn’t be too much work and I find that it helps the motor a lot (I often pedal along when starting from zero in sand).

  Reply
Bruce Bechtel
2 years ago

This looks like something I could use for RVing. I like the idea of durability for trails and trips to market. What do you think? Also does a folding design like this lend itself to use of a small trailer, for groceries and such?

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hi Bruce! Despite the smaller wheel size, this is still a very powerful electric bike. If you could figure out how to attach a trailer (possibly using a custom mounting plate) I’m sure it would pull fine. The fat tires make it a bit more comfortable and trail-capable so it sounds like a good fit for what you’re thinking. I also like that the battery comes off (to reduce weight) because even though it folds, this is still a heavy machine ;)

  Reply
Vincethesoundguy
2 years ago

Court. Keep up the good work. I’ve watched a few of your reviews, and like how comprehensive they’ve all been. I am full time RV’er and was contemplating buying a gas powered scooter or dirt bike for fun and for short hops. I’m touring the SW right now, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and Montana, and I think this is a good fit for my situation. A RV park neighbor had two of these hanging off the back of motor home, so I decided to check them out on-line, and found your review. I do think the folding version makes sense for me, as I may want to store it inside the motor home at times, or put it in the back of my Kia Soul.

Two questions:

  • Is the full size Rad bike quicker, or does it travel farther because of the larger tires?
  • Is the folding version easier to handle in soft sand, gravel, or snow because of the smaller tires and lower center of gravity?
  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Cool! So glad you found my work here useful. Sounds like your friend is having a blast with their ebike and I’d be happy to help answer your questions. In my experience, the larger wheels smooth out the ride a little and might coast easier but they shouldn’t change your range much. Both the full sized RadRove and RadMini should go similar distances if they have the same motor and battery size. To extend range, it’s best to pedal along and help the bike get started vs. just juicing it from standstill. As far as soft sand goes, both the standard 26″ and smaller 20″ wheels worked well for me in the recent beach reviews. The larger wheels had a slight edge in terms of “float” because more surface area made contact with the sand due to a larger diameter (more forward and backwards contact). I’ve got footage here of both bikes in the sand and large and small riders tried both with success… just be sure to lower the air pressure to 5 to 10 PSI and note that this will reduce range due to increased drag. We still went a LONG way per charge with low PSI but it’s not as far as full tires. I think the bigger consideration is how tall you are, how comfortable the larger frame might be (as it’s higher and maybe difficult to mount if your legs aren’t super long) and also whether you want to get that thing and put it on a rack vs. packing your bike in the back of your car with the folding version. I bet the RadMini would fit in your Kia Soul. Hope this helps :D

  Reply
Pete
2 years ago

Thanks for all the comprehensive reviews. Quick question, I’ve had problems with mechanical breaks in the past, are the breaks on radmini ok and is it possible o upgrade from mechanical to hydraulic disc brakes?

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Great question Pete… my guess is that yes, you could convert to hydraulic disc brakes yourself (or with help from a shop) but I don’t think this is an upgrade that Rad Power Bikes offers themselves. Their customer service email and phone number are pretty responsive, I’d suggest reaching out directly to see what they say, and I’d love to hear back what you decide on and what the options are :D

  Reply
Went Lef
2 years ago

so I absolutely love my RADMINI, coolest kid in school, was the coolest kid in school. **Now im pedelin this damn thing all over my dad will kill me if he finds out someone stole the battery pack. can i take three of his lithium milwaukee 18 volt batteries and wire em together to replace it….please help??

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hi Went, I remember being in middle school and high school and seeing friends get into tough situation and make them worse by trying to fix it themselves or hide it… not saying you aren’t capable, but there have been fires resulting from Lithium-ion batteries that even shops have worked on. It’s not at all worth the risk in my opinion. Maybe call Rad Power Bikes and ask them for a discount on the battery or something? Get your parents to help. It’s not your fault that someone else stole the battery but it will be your fault if you wreck his other power tools or start a fire… or get yourself hurt. Welcome to being an adult, do the right thing here man ;)

  Reply
Martin
2 years ago

Not relevant to the bike, but where was this filmed? That beach looks beautiful!

  Reply
Court
1 year ago

Hi Martin! This review was filmed at a private beach near Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with the help of Cabo Adventures which does ebike tours there now. You can contact them for more information through their website here :)

  Reply
jon
1 year ago

Watching this video got me thinking about a Radmini, or maybe another fat tires ebike. I’m soon to be 64, and started riding motorcyles off road when I was eight. I’ve owned over 25 motorcycles and scooters in the last 56 years of riding, and I bet half of my motorcycles have been dual sports. I even raced in “scrables” races during high school, I had considered that I might like another dual sport motorcycle. Also, I have been thinking about getting an ebike. Maybe I should combine both lines of thinking, and get a fat tired ebike like the Radmini, or the SSR similiar bike. We have a lot of dirt and gravel roads on Hawaii Island in the Puna District, many are pretty rough. I also have a bad right knee, hence I’ve been considering folding ebikes, as swinging my right leg over the seat doesn’t work real well. Riding a 62, or 55 pound fat tired ebike would be a whole lot easier than fighting many of the relatively heavy dual sport motorcycles I’ve owned and loved to ride for so many years. Rad bikes are made in, or head quartered in Seattle, where I was born, and lived in that area for 58 years. I think I need to watch, and read, your review of the SSR model again.

  Reply
Court
1 year ago

Hi Jon, it sounds like you’re on the right track. I also used to jump gas powered dirt bikes and had a lot of fun off-roading in my younger years. These days, I enjoy the bike paths and some packed mountain trails in Colorado, California, and Texas. The Rad Power Bikes and SSR ebikes offer the fun and comfort of big tires and a lot of control with the little throttle. They aren’t as powerful as a gas motobike but they weigh a lot less and are easy to work on. Hawaii sounds great, I believe their is a dealer out there, maybe on the Big Island? In the mean time, I hope my reviews help you out, the beach rides were a blast :)

  Reply

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