2020 Rad Power Bikes RadCity Step-Thru 3 Review


Technical Specs & Ratings



RadCity Step-Thru 3


Class 2


Front Suspension



Mechanical Disc



672 Wh

672 Wh

65.2 lbs / 29.60 kgs



Frame Details

6061 Aluminum Alloy



Front Suspension


SR Suntour Spring Suspension, 80 mm Travel, Compression Adjust with Lockout, Preload Adjust, 28 mm Stanchions, 100 mm Hub Spacing, 9 mm Axle with Quick Release Skewer

Weinmann, Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 30 mm Outer Width, Machined Sidewalls, 36 Hole | Spokes: Stainless Steel, 12 Gauge, Silver with Nipples

Kenda x Rad Power Bikes K-Rad, 26" x 2.3" (58-559), 30 to 80 PSI, 2.1 to 5.6 BAR, 30 TPI, Reflective Sidewall Stripe, K-Shield Puncture Resistant Casing


Semi-Integrated, Sealed Cartridge, 1-1/8" Straight

Zoom, Adjustable Angle 0º to 60º, 100 mm Length, Two 2 mm Spacer, One 10 mm Spacer, One 15 mm Spacer, One 20 mm Spacer, 31.8 mm Clamp Diameter

Aluminum Alloy, Swept Back, 630 mm Width

Ergonomic, Stitched Imitation Leather

Promax, Aluminum Alloy, Single Bolt Clamp


Velo Plush with Lifting Handle

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform with Reflectors, CrMo Axle, Black

Mechanical Disc

Tektro Aries Mechanical Disc with 180 mm Rotors, Four-Finger Tektro Levers with Rubberized Edges and Bell on Left and Motor Inhibitors and Brake Light Activation

More Details

Neighborhood, Urban, Commuting

United States, Canada

1 Year Comprehensive

7.7 lbs (3.49 kg)

10.2 lbs (4.62 kg)

14.75 in (37.46 cm)

14.75" Seat Tube, 23.5" Reach, 17.5" Stand Over Height, 28.75" Minimum Saddle Height, 26" Width, 72" Length

Satin White with Gray and Orange Accents, Satin Black with Gray and Orange Accents

135mm Hub Spacing, 12mm Threaded Slotted Axle, 18mm Nuts

Fender Mounts, Front Rack Mounts, Rear Rack Mounts, Bottle Mount

Rear-Mount Adjustable Kickstand, Steel Derailleur Guard, Rad Power Bikes Integrated LED Front Light (Outer Light Ring, Focused Beam, Aluminum Alloy Heat Sink, 80 Lumens), Integrated Spanninga Solo LED Rear Light (Solid, Flashing, Brake Activation, 1 LED), Neoprene Slap Guard, Plastic Fenders with Rubber Mud Flaps (60mm Width), Optional Bolt-On Rear Rack with Yepp! Window, Optional Front Rack, Optional Small Basket, Optional Large Basket, Optional Platform, Optional Small Pannier, Optional SR Suntour NCX Seat Post Suspension, Optional RAM Torque Handlebar Phone Mount X, Optional Small Basket Bag, Optional Large Basket Bag, Optional Small Insulated Delivery Bag, Optional Large Insulated Delivery Bag, Optional Yepp! Maxi Child Seat, Optional ABUS Bordo 6100/90 Folding Lock

Locking Removable Seat Tube-Mounted Battery Pack, 1.1lb 2 Amp Charger, Fully Potted Motor Controller, Stainless Steel Torque Arm, 275lb Maximum Weight Rating, 275 Watt Regenerative Braking (Automatic When Braking), Adjustable Top Speed (12km/h - 32km/h), Adjustable LCD Brightness, Adjustable Wheel Size

Independent Control Pad on Left, Buttons: Up, Mode, Down, (Lights: Hold Up and Mode, Cycle Readouts: Press Mode or Hold Up, Settings: Hold Up and Down, Walk Mode: Hold Down)

Battery Indicator (5 Bars), Trip Meter, Odometer, Current Speed, Average Speed, Max Speed, Pedal Assist Level (0-5 as Eco, Std, Power, Speed), Light Icon, Motor Power Watts

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle (12-Magnet Cadence Sensor)

20 mph (32 kph)

Video Reviews

Written Reviews

To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This in-depth review was sponsored by Rad Power Bikes. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of RPB products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below and the Rad Power Bikes electric bike forums.


  • Starting in 2020, customers in some major cities including Austin, Seattle, Sacramento, and Vancouver Canada can pay $149 to have Rad Mobile Service van deliver and assemble their bike. The company is also offering demo rides and post-purchase service, including warranty work. I got to see the van and interact with some of the Austin team members and was impressed with this unique service that blends the predominantly online presence of Rad with a local shop feel
  • This is the third generation of the RadCity Step-Thru. You get the same motor, battery pack, and drivetrain hardware as the second generation, and the battery is cross compatible with all other current-gen Rad Power Bikes models. This bike also comes in high-step, which is offered in a larger frame but only comes in black… it’s a great option for taller riders, or those who want a stiffer frame and don’t mind the higher stand-over height.
  • Rad Power Bikes has a new metallic head tube badge, an updated headlight with LED light ring and focused beam, and smoother twist throttle that foregoes an on/off toggle switch. The reps I spoke with explained that this throttle is more reliable and tends to be less confusing for riders who would occasionally turn off the throttle by accident and then become concerned in past generations


  • This is a feature-complete electric bike, meaning that it has a rack, fenders, and integrated lights… it’s basically ready for any sort of weather and offers a lot of utility. Rad Power Bikes custom engineers their frames and puts a lot of attention into the details of which components are used… even going so far as to co-brand them with parter companies like King-Meter for the LCD display, Bafang for the hub motor, and Kenda for the tires
  • Note the longer seat post binder lever that Rad uses, it’s much easier to unlock and then tighten without straining fingers vs. a traditional shorter binder… though it does ad a little extra weight, this is a great example of how Rad scrutinizes the little details of their products to make them more enjoyable, and that’s easy to skip or miss!
  • Safety is a big deal for me, especially if you choose the black model! So, the big reflective stripes on the tires and integrated lights make a big difference in keeping you visible
  • Rad Power Bikes really nails it with the integrated lights because they run off of the main battery, have quick disconnect points for easy replacement if damaged, and the rear light has a blinking mode as well as a bright braking mode! They’re far ahead of other similar priced products… even some higher priced ebikes!
  • Excellent headlight upgrade here, you get a bright 80 lumen beam that is focused for spotting the path, and a secondary LED ring that keeps you visible as a rider. There’s even an aluminum alloy heat sink built into the top of the headlight housing to dissipate heat! At first, I thought that it was just for show, but it’s actually metal and actually connects to the internal LED housing. Compared to older Rad Power Bikes headlights, this new one is more visible from the sides and has a flatter beam that won’t shine up into the eyes of oncoming riders or traffic. Note that the rear light is visible from the sides because of the way the rack was designed… nice work there
  • By default, the RadCity models come with durable plastic fenders. They’re wide enough to keep you dry (as I tested in the video review above), and they are lightweight and durable… without producing a lot of noise. Note that the fenders both have flexible mud flaps on the ends, so they won’t get damaged as easily if kicked while pedaling or when parking and storing
  • The seat tube has been custom designed to interface with a battery pack, notice the raised flattened portion where the slide mounts. This secures the pack and improves frame strength. Notice how there’s extra tubing coming across from the seat tube to the downtube that fully surrounds the pack and reduces frame flex. This is very custom and extremely well done. Finally, Rad uses three bolts for their battery mount vs. just two on many cheaper ebike products I’ve seen over the years
  • I was told that the adjustable angle stem has been custom made to stay tight and uses hardened materials that won’t dull as easily as some competing parts, another small detail is the gnarled mounting point for the front headlight mount that keeps it from slipping side to side
  • Overall, this ebike is fairly comfortable. The medium-width 2.3″ tires with checkerboard tread pair nicely with the spring suspension fork. It’s not as smooth, quiet, or lightweight as some higher-end products, but it’s very practical and reliable. Note that the suspension fork offers compression adjustment with lockout, preload (for heavier riders or lots of cargo), and Rad sells an optional suspension seat post to further cushion the ride
  • Rad Power Bikes worked closely with Kenda to offer reflective stripes and puncture protection on all of their tires. That’s really nice because changing a flat on an ebike can be a lot of work… especially if it uses a hub motor without quick release (as all Rad models currently do). The front wheel does have quick release, but usually flats occur on the rear tire. Keep the tire pressure within the recommended range to reduce the potential for flats
  • Matching ergonomic grips and the Velo Plush saddle look great and provide good comfort. I’ve tested a bunch of seats, and this one is soft enough, but not so wide that it will chaff your inner thighs when pedaling. It also has a handle built into the back for easier lifting of the bike
  • I appreciate that Rad Power Bikes is using the same battery pack for all of their models now. This means you can purchase a few bikes and easily swap the pack around, or take two packs along for an extended adventure. The battery itself uses high-quality lithium-ion cells from Samsung, is warrantied for a year, and is cheaper to replace because it doesn’t contain the ebike controller (that’s built into a little box, mounted behind the seat tube on this bike)
  • You can charge the battery pack on or off the frame, and it has three key positions for unlocked, locked to frame powered off, and locked to frame powered-on. This helps you to deter tampering with the bike without having to take the battery pack off at every stop. For best results, store the battery in a cool, dry location. Extreme heat can damage the cells and extreme cold will stunt them and limit your range temporarily
  • Even though the battery and controller box are mounted externally, this is still a purpose-built electric bike with a sturdier frame design and internally routed cables and wires. Note the stainless steel torque arm on the left rear dropout that adds frame strength! This will keep the motor axle from chewing into the softer aluminum alloy frame over time
  • The gearless direct drive motor used on the RadCity and RadWagon models produces less noise and offers regenerative braking anytime you pull either brake lever. It’s very reliable, but does weigh about 1.5lbs more than the geared hubs on the mountain models (RadRovers and RadMinis)
  • I think the standard free shipping is a great option, and Rad Power Bikes has updated their box to include some fun artistic graphics. Note the plastic handles built into the sides of the cardboard box for easy lifting and dragging (I suggest asking a friend to help you move the box safely, because these are heavy machines)
  • It’s cool that Rad Power Bikes has expanded to Canada in recent years. In that geography, they specced their motor down from 750 watts to 500 watts in order to comply with Canadian law. Rad has offices in both locations and offers free shipping, including physical shops and a mobile delivery service that offers assembly and test ride options for some large cities
  • I like the sturdy Wellgo platform pedals, alloy chain guide, neoprene slap guard, and steel derailleur guard on this electric bike because it means you won’t slip off as easily, won’t have the chain bouncing off, won’t chip the frame, and can keep the sensitive shifter parts and motor power cable from getting bent or snagged if the bike tips, is parked at a crowded rack, or gets tossed around in shipping
  • In addition to the standard bottle cage mount, this bike has tons of mounting points for adding front and rear racks and even a frame lock. These mounting points are very sturdy, especially the front mount, and Rad sells a bunch of accessories that all work well together on this and other models. There are racks and trays that can go from the front to the rear, insulated bags, waterproof panniers, a child seat from Yepp!, and a phone mount
  • I love that the LCD display panel is fairly large, has adjustable backlight brightness, and a full size USB port built into the bottom. This is very convenient if you are using the optional phone mount for GPS and need a bit of extra juice for your phone on long rides
  • For me, the three-button control pad, that’s mounted near the left grip, is easy to reach and simple to use. You press up or down to raise and lower assist, you press mode to cycle the odometer and trip meter, you hold up to cycle current speed, average speed, and max speed, and you can hold up and mode simultaneously to activate the lights or hold down to activate walk mode. Walk mode is especially useful if you’ve got the bike loaded up with gear or a child seat and just want to play it safe without over-exerting yourself up a hill or through a technical section of terrain. Hold up and down simultaneously to get into the settings menu and adjust wheel size, top speed, and backlight brightness
  • The RadCity models use a high-resolution 12-magnet cadence sensor, which makes starting and stopping more predictable. I love that they also included motor inhibitors on both brake levers (which also activates bright mode on the rear light!) It seems like they really dialed in the controller settings too, because the motor is smooth and predictable when starting vs. delayed or jerky
  • The throttle setup on all of the Rad Power Bikes is perfect, in my opinion. It provides you with full power, anytime the bike is turned on. This means that you can zip around without pedaling in assist level zero, without worrying that you might activate assist by moving the cranks accidentally. It also means that you can override assist levels 1-4 with full power to climb a hill or catch up with friends… all without clicking buttons or looking down, just twist and it goes! For people who don’t want a throttle, there’s a quick disconnect cable right near the handlebar that’s easy to access
  • The kickstand is adjustable, has a wide platform at the bottom to keep it from sinking into soft terrain, and it works well if you’re loading the bike with gear because it’s directly below the rear rack. I love that the front rack is frame-mounted so it won’t interfere with steering or tip the bike sideways when parked like fork mounted racks… but it does change how the headlight is mounted, and fixes it straight vs. turning as the bike turns
  • Both wheels are built with thicker 12 gauge spokes for increased durability and weight capacity support. Note that the official max weight rating on both RadCity models is 275 pounds (~125 kilograms)
  • Great drivetrain on this ebike, Rad has chosen an 11 to 34 tooth freewheel over the conventional 14 to 28 tooth design. This provides a wider range of pedal options for easier climbing and more comfortable high-speed riding. The cogs are nickel coated, which makes them rust resistant and a lot smoother to shift. The Shimano Acera derailleur is lighter and more reliable than Tourney or Altus (the two lower levels)
  • I was amazed by how low the saddle could go, it fits between the rear rack stays and allows riders who want to maximize stability and safety to put their feet down at all times, note that the optional seat post suspension will raise this minimum saddle height but two or three inches


  • The RadCity Step-Thru is about two pounds heavier than the larger high-step RadCity, and I think this has to do with thicker frame tubing and reinforcements to reduce frame flex and achieve that 275lb max weight rating. Notice the large metal gusset connecting the main tube to the steer tube
  • The RadCity and RadWagon models aren’t as capable at climbing steep hills as some of the new mid-drive ebikes. The motor doesn’t operate as efficiently or provide the same range potential as a mid-drive because it’s not being run through your gears… but very few mid-drives offer throttle operation like the RadCity. Furthermore, this gearless hub motor is smooth and quiet but offers a lot less torque from standstill and for climbing than even the RadMini and RadRover because they use geared hubs. There are always trade-offs when choosing a motor type, and the benefits here are durability, quietness, and regeneration at the cost of weight and some efficiency when pedaling without assist
  • The step-thru RadCity only comes in one frame size, which could be disappointing for taller riders who prefer the step-thru frame style. Consider the RadCity high-step, but note the higher stand-over height there and limited black color only vs. black and white with the step-thru
  • Rad Power Bikes has been using the large Shimano SIS index shifters since the beginning, and they aren’t my favorite. You have to reach up with your thumb to press the main paddle to get to lower gears, and that can require a bit of hand flexibility and even looking down for a moment. I much prefer trigger shifters, but I don’t think those will fit with the twist throttle housing, and they might not be as simple and intuitive for some riders… so I see why they stick with the thumb shifter. One positive of this shifter is that it’s easy to click if you’re wearing gloves since the paddles are so large
  • The Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes get the job done, and I appreciate the large 180mm rotors and rubberized levers (that aren’t as cold or uncomfortable to pull as pure metal), but these brakes are definitely a price compromise. Hydraulic disc brakes would be easier to actuate and more consistent (front vs. rear brake, which has a longer cable housing and more friction). Nice hydraulic disc brake levers usually offer adjustable reach as well, which can be easier to use for individuals with especially large or small hands. It is possible to install hydraulic levers and calipers aftermarket, but requires additional hardware, an experienced mechanic, and some time to do… which might be better spent choosing another hybrid ebike with factory installed hydraulic brakes
  • It’s great to have suspension, and I feel that Rad Power Bikes chose the best option they could for the price here, offering lockout and preload adjust. Ultimately, it’s still a pretty basic spring fork that adds a lot of weight to the frame vs. an air fork
  • The display is large and easy to read but not removable, so it could take extra weather wear and possibly get scratched at a bike rack. I appreciate that it’s well protected at the center of the handlebar, and that the electronics on the bike can be completely disabled by turning the key to the locked-off position (between locked-on and unlocked), so nobody can turn your bike on and mess with the throttle while it’s parked
  • It would be nice to have more than five bars to indicate the battery charge level, on the LCD readout. As it stands, each bar represents a 20% drop vs. 10 bars representing 10% drops, or even a written percentage such as 42%. This could really help riders to make it home without completely depleting the battery
  • The step-thru frame positions battery weight further back on the bike frame, which contributes to the rear weight of the gearless motor… so it’s just not as well balanced as the high-step model, especially if you load up that rear rack with a trunk bag or panniers
  • If you opt for a front tray rack, the headlight will have to be moved onto the base of the tray because otherwise it would collide. The thing is, the light isn’t as adjustable in this position (it tends to point more down than forward) and it no longer aims where you steer because the front rack is frame mounted – fixed inline with the frame itself
  • While the motor used here is quiet, smooth, and reliable… it does introduce some magnetic drag if you’re pedaling with the bike turned off or trying to go faster than ~20mph. It doesn’t freewheel like the geared motors on the RadRover and RadCity models, and it also weighs a bit more… but it does offer some regeneration capability when you brake. Technically, you could pedal and charge the battery up… but it would take way, way more energy than simply plugging it in. This is because you have to eat, digest, and convert chemical energy into kinetic, then back into chemical to store in the Rad battery pack. There’s some energy loss in the form of heat, and most people eat food that is grown very far off and shipped on location, then prepared etc. vs. simple coal, wind, or solar that gets turned into electricity efficiently and then sent to your house efficiently
  • All of the Rad Power Bikes use the same charger (just like the interchangeable battery packs), and it’s fairly lightweight, but it only puts out 2 amps, so charging can take up to six hours if the battery is completely drained. This would be faster if they used a 3 or 4 amp charger like some other companies have started doing, but it might raise the price and probably increase weight as well

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