Rad Power Bikes RadCity Review

2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Electric Bike Review
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Shengyi Gearless Hub Motor With Regen
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity 48 Volt 14 Amp Hour Samsung Ebike Battery
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Adjustable Handlebar Lcd Display Console
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Basic Ergonomic Rubber Grips Button Pad
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Integrated 2 Led Spanninga Axendo 60 Ebike Headlight
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Wellgo Alloy Pedals 12 Magnet Pedelec Sensor
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity 7 Speed Shimano Acera Drievetrain With Derailleur Guard
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Aaa Powered Spanninga Solo Rear Light
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Velo Plush Saddle With Handle Adjustable Kickstand
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity 2 Amp Electric Bicycle Charger
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Electric Bike Review
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Shengyi Gearless Hub Motor With Regen
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity 48 Volt 14 Amp Hour Samsung Ebike Battery
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Adjustable Handlebar Lcd Display Console
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Basic Ergonomic Rubber Grips Button Pad
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Integrated 2 Led Spanninga Axendo 60 Ebike Headlight
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Wellgo Alloy Pedals 12 Magnet Pedelec Sensor
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity 7 Speed Shimano Acera Drievetrain With Derailleur Guard
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Aaa Powered Spanninga Solo Rear Light
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Velo Plush Saddle With Handle Adjustable Kickstand
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radcity 2 Amp Electric Bicycle Charger

Summary

  • An affordable, feature-rich, city style electric bike that comes in two sizes, two colors, and offers great adjustment in the stem and handlebar position for comfortable upright body position
  • Responsive 12-magnet cadence sensor provides faster starts and stops, both brake levers have motor inhibitors, there's also a twist throttle for instant power and you can turn it off if you want to
  • Fatter hybrid tires compliment the spring suspension fork to reduce vibration and discomfort on varied terrain, the fork has lockout adjust as well as preload, large mechanical disc brakes stop well
  • Gearless hub motors are durable but also weigh more, produce some magnetic drag, and aren't as zippy or powerful at low speeds, great attention to detail with a derailleur guard and torque arm at the rear dropout

Video Review

Introduction

Make:

Rad Power Bikes

Model:

RadCity

Price:

$1,499 (Optional $100 Upcharge for Velofix Assembly and Delivery)

Body Position:

Forward, Upright

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban, Commuting

Electric Bike Class:

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

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States, Europe, Canada

Model Year:

2018

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

61 lbs (27.66 kg) (275 lbs With Flat Bed)

Battery Weight:

7.7 lbs (3.49 kg)

Motor Weight:

15 lbs (6.8 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

16 in (40.64 cm)19 in (48.26 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Small Measurements: 16" Seat Tube, 29" Stand Over Height, 22" Reach, 28" Width, 72" Length, Large Measurements: 19" Seat Tube, 31" Stand Over Height, 22" Reach, 28" Width, 72"

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Gray, Pearl White

Frame Fork Details:

RST Spring Suspension, 100 mm Travel, Compression Adjust with Lockout, Preload Adjust, 100 mm Hub Spacing, 9 mm Quick Release Skewer

Frame Rear Details:

135 mm Hub Spacing, 12 mm Threaded Axle with 10 mm Flats, Nuts

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses, Front Rack Bosses, Rear Rack Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses, Yepp! Mounting Window

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Shimano Acera Derailleur, MF-TZ31 MegaRange Freewheel 14-34T Cassette

Shifter Details:

Shimano SIS Index Thumb Shifter on Right

Cranks:

Aluminum Alloy, 170 mm Length, 46T Chainring, Alloy Chain Guide

Pedals:

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform with Reflectors, CrMo Axle, Black

Headset:

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

Stem:

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

Handlebar:

Mid-Rise, Aluminum Alloy, 700 mm Width

Brake Details:

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

Grips:

Velo Comfort, Ergonomic, Rubber, Black and Grey

Saddle:

Velo Plush with Lifting Handle, Black

Seat Post:

Promax, Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Weinmann, Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 30 mm Width, 36 Hole

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 12 Gauge, Silver with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Kenda K-Rad, 26" x 2.3" (58-559)

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

30 to 80 PSI, 2.1 to 5.6 BAR, 210 to 560 Kpa

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Rear-Mount Adjustable Kickstand, Plastic Fenders with Mud Flaps (67 mm Width), Steel Derailleur Guard, Integrated Spanninga Axendo 60 LED Headlight, Independent Spanninga Solo LED Backlight (Two AAA Batteries), Neoprene Slap Guard, Optional Front Rack, Optional Small Basket, Optional Large Basket, Optional Platform, Optional Small Pannier (Fremont Bag), Optional RAD Backlight, Optional SR Suntour NCX Seat Post Suspension, Optional RAM Torque Handlebar Phone Mount X

Other:

Locking Removable Downtube-Mounted Battery Pack, 1.1 lb 2 Amp Charger, Fully Potted Motor Controller, Stainless Steel Torque Arm, 275 lb Maximum Weight Rating

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Shengyi

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

750 watts (500 Watts in Canada)

Motor Torque:

40 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung 18650 35E

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

14 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

672 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium NCA (LiNiCoAlO2)

Charge Time:

6 hours

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

45 miles (72 km)

Display Type:

Rad Power Bikes Branded King Meter SWLCD, Fixed, Adjustable-Angle, Backlit, Color LCD

Readouts:

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

Display Accessories:

Independent Control Pad and Throttle On/Off Button on Right (Buttons: Up, Mode, Down), Hold Up for Speed Display Mode, Hold Down for Walk Mode, Hold Mode and Up for Lights, Hold Up and Down for Settings Menu, 5-Volt 1 Amp USB Type A Port at Base of Display

Drive Mode:

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

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)


Written Review

EBR charges a service fee to manufacturers to produce ebike reviews and videos. It’s the same flat fee for each bike, and it helps us to keep the site going while limiting ad clutter. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you with our opinions and data but respect your right to know that we receive compensation :)

Rad Power Bikes has updated all of their electric bike models for 2018 which kicks off the second generation of hardware. In many ways, the RadCity has changed the least because it was one of the later bikes to be created and launched. The major differences that I noticed were a taller handlebar, more sensitive 12-magnet cadence sensor to activate pedal assist, a brighter upgraded headlight, the addition of sturdy mounting points for a front tray and racks, a refined hydroformed frame with step-in battery area, and of course, the battery pack itself. For the same great $1,499 price point, you get a 20% higher capacity, the ability to keep the pack locked to the frame but in an off position that cannot be tampered with, and the overall weight of the bike is just 0.5 to 1 lb heavier. It’s a feature-complete electric bike with a Yepp! compatible rear rack that has pannier hangers and bungee loops, wide plastic fenders, and lights to keep you safe. I love the chainring guide which doubles as a pant protector, and the display has a USB port that allows you to tap into the battery pack to charge your phone or other portable electronic device. This is a near-silent electric bike because it uses a gearless hub motor. Know for being heavier, more durable, but less zippy and powerful than geared hub motors, this one is setup with regenerative braking action. Both brake levers immediately cut power and tell the motor to recoup what it can, and this reduces wear on the brake pads while helping to offset the added weight and magnetic drag of the motor. Two size options mean that this e-bike will fit both medium and tall sized riders, and the diamond high-step frame will be stiff and easy to hang on most car and bus racks. For those with knee and hip sensitivity, Rad Power Bikes has introduced a step-thru frame that’s only available in white, but is much easier to mount and stand over. All things considered, I think it’s a great ebike for urban riding, and if you don’t mind pedaling along to help start with heavier loads and steep hills, it can be very capable. RPB is a direct to consumer company and I believe their products are manufactured in China, but now sold in Europe and Canada as well as the USA. Shipping is free, or you can pay $100 for a company called Velofix to assemble and deliver the product… then return in a month for a tune-up. That’s pretty awesome, especially since the mechanical disc brake wires and shifter cables will start to stretch and need adjustment with riding.

Driving this ebike is a a Shengyi gearless hub motor that weighs ~15 lbs and is spoked into a sturdy double-wall Weinmann rim with extra-thick 12 gauge spokes. I hadn’t heard of this brand before reviewing some of the earlier first-generation Rad Power Bikes but it seems to be working well in the field. Gearless motors need to be larger, and are usually heavier, because they produce power through electromagnetic staters and rare earth magnets pushing against each other. The further out those magnets are, the more leverage the staters can get when pushing them. The advantages are that you don’t have plastic gears rubbing against each other to produce power through reduction gearing and this keeps it quiet and more durable over the long run. When the motor pushes, it propels the bike forward through the axle mounted to the rear dropouts, and in this case it’s a thicker 12 mm axle with 10 mm flat spacing. Rad Power Bikes has reinforced the rear dropouts by adding a stainless steel torque arm on the left droput so that the Aluminum alloy frame won’t get bent and widen as the motor pushes against it. The motor pushes one way when you apply power and then the other way when you activate regenerative braking. One drawback to this type of motor is a bit of magnetic drag that is produced because there is no freewheel, a feature that geared motors offer (but they don’t have regen). In short, this motor is quiet, tough, and very capable as long as you have some speed going. It can take a moment to get up to speed, but it feels smooth and is fairly responsive thanks to the upgraded 12-magnet cadence sensor.

Powering the RadCity is the same 48 volt 14 amp hour Lithium-ion battery pack used on all of the consumer level Gen 2 bikes from Rad. This new pack is shorter, sleeker, and more powerful than Gen 1, and it uses Samsung 35E cells which are more energy dense (and thus space saving) than more generic or cheaper cells. The pack mounts onto the downtube in a sturdy plastic slide with three bolts that really keep it secure. I like that the downtube has been flattened out where the battery mount is positioned because this probably offers a larger contact point and will reduce rattling over time. You can charge the battery when it’s mounted or take it off, which is handy for commuting, but the charger is pretty basic. It’s lightweight at ~1.1 lbs, and very compact, but only delivers 2 Amps which makes for a ~6 hour charge time if the battery is completely emptied. The charging port for this pack is up high, out of the way of the right crank arm, and has an easy-to-use rubber cap to protect it. The underside of the battery has two fuses which are designed to prevent damage and fires, and they are replaceable so you can try to diagnose and maintain the battery for years to come. Since most of the new models all use this custom battery pack, it should be very easy to get replacement or additional packs and I believe the price is just $499 (which is great compared to many other mainstream ebike batteries I see for $800 to $900). On the left side of the battery, there’s a metal key slot that allows you to lock it to the frame in an off or on position. It’s great that you cannot ride the bike until the battery is fully secured and locked! I have heard of people riding off without locking their packs and having a very sad, expensive day when it falls off and breaks. So, locking it in the off position is great because nobody can tamper with your display and throttle fi you are parked outside at a public rack.

The display panel is largely unchanged from Gen 1 and that’s a good thing. The major drawback for me has always been that it is not removable and will thus be exposed to more weather and scratches over time, but that’s not at all uncommon. I love how large and easy to read it is. The LCD panel is greyscale with good contrast and has a backlighting feature that comes on when you activate the headlight (by holding up and Mode together for a moment). The display tips forward and back to reduce glare, and is well sealed against water along with all of the accessories and external controller box. I asked about this box, why they didn’t integrated it with the battery pack, and was told that this allows batteries to be less expensive to replace and that the controller can be more powerful and less prone to heat issues when packed within the battery or mount. That makes a lot of sense to me and I think they positioned the controller well, just behind the seat tube and protected by the back fender. Eventually, when you need to clean the bike off or if it gets salty or is muddy, you should be able to hose it down lightly and use a rag. Rain, shallow puddles, and light rinsing is all okay according to RPB but you don’t want to spray it hard or submerge anything but the tires and lower portion of the rims. So anyway, once the battery pack has been charged, mounted, and the ignition has been turned to on, you just hold the Mode button and the display activates. At this time, you’ll be in assist level 1 and can start pedaling for a small amount of assist or use the throttle for up to full assist if you twist all the way. I love that the throttle is completely open, because some ebikes limit throttle output based on the chosen level of assist, and for me this sort of defeats the purpose. The throttle even works in level zero, if you arrow down to it, and that turns this into more of a scooter where pedaling won’t accidentally switch the motor on. You can also completely de-activate the throttle and use this for pedal assist only. I should say that Rad Power Bikes is obeying European and Canadian laws, offering different motor powers (500 watt in Canada specifically) and has a licensing class in the UK for legal use.

At the end of the day, this is still one of the more affordable electric bike options to consider out there and I feel that Rad Power Bikes has grown responsibly and really cares about their customers. They have a full phone support team, are a Velofix premiere partner, provide a comprehensive one year warranty, and now have a shop in Seattle Washington (the Ballard neighborhood) where you can go and take a test ride. I have seen many RadRovers and other models out in the wild, and owners seem to be happy. It’s nice that they have expanded the frame offering to include a step-thru for 2018 and I feel that even with the mostly-unchanged high-step models, the sturdier adjustable angle stem and mid-rise bars can make this a very comfortable ride, especially if you opt for the suspension seat post upgrade! Yes, this ebike only has seven gears, the mechanical disc brakes are going to require more hand strength to pull and don’t have adjustable-reach levers, the non-locking rubber grips are cheaper and might spin over time if you really pull on them, and the rear LED light runs on disposable AAA batteries vs. being wired-in to the main pack like the headlight (which makes it easy to forget and leave on). However, I like that the back light has a blink mode and I love the larger Wellgo platform pedals that they chose. Note that the stand over height between the medium and large frames is about two inches. I think it would be cool if they angled the top tube even more to get the medium towards a mid-step vs. still being relatively high. Big thanks to Rad Power Bikes for partnering with me on this post and providing all of their models and accessories back to back. We had a blast riding around the city and I enjoyed seeing and riding with the big rack options and their panniers (which look great and are water resistant). I welcome feedback from people who have owned first generation RPB products and will do my best to answer questions etc. but you can also check out the EBR Rad Power Bikes forums.

Pros:

  • For the second generation of Rad Power Bikes, the cadence sensor has been upgraded from 6 magnets to 12 which improves response time and makes starting easier, they still offer brake lever motor inhibitors to cut power instantly when you want to stop
  • All of the new Rad Power Bikes share a mounting interface on the head tube for adding a rack, it’s sturdy and won’t tip when you steer or park the bike, note that the optional rack accessory comes with a cable extension for the headlight so it can be positioned optimally
  • Low price is one of the biggest differentiating features of the RadCity and I love that it comes standard with wide fenders, an integrated rack with pannier hangers, and lights
  • You shouldn’t have any issues with the chain falling off thanks to the durable Aluminum alloy chain guide, it doubles as a bash guard and pant/dress protector as you pedal, I also like the large grippy pedals that they chose vs. flexy plastic or narrow cage style
  • The high-step frame comes in two sizes and features an adjustable-angle stem to bring the handlebar up and back, note that the bar is also cured (what I consider a mid-rise) so there’s better comfort and more versatility here than a lot of bikes, RPB also makes a step-thru RadCity model which is smaller and even easier to mount and stand over but less stiff and only available in white at the time of this review
  • 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, for those with back and neck sensitivity RPB sells an optional suspension seat post
  • I love that Rad Power Bikes managed to squeeze in some bottle cage bosses, even though they are mounted below the downtube… this attachment point could also work for folding locks, mini pumps, or other accessories
  • The RadCity comes with 26″ x 2.3″ tires that feel comfortable and offer all-terrain traction with a checkerboard pattern, the suspension fork up front further improves comfort and stability on bumpy terrain but can be locked out for pure efficiency
  • Available in two color schemes, dark grey or pearl white, the quality of paint and overall design looks much nicer than the first generation of Rad Power Bikes in my opinion, I especially like the semi-metallic white because it would be more visible from the side at night
  • It’s a little thing, but the kickstand is positioned well and has a wider foot so it won’t get in the way and won’t sink into soft ground, I also like the little handle that is built into the saddle which makes lifting and maneuvering the bike easy
  • Rad Power Bikes sells a great range of optional accessories that are guaranteed to fit their bikes and look great, for the RadCity you can get a small or large basket (which can be mounted to the front of the bike with a platform bracket or on the rear rack), small panniers, an extra-bright RAD rear light that attaches to the seat post, the SR Suntour NCX suspension seat post, and a handlebar phone mount
  • If you do get that phone mount, or use one of your own, you can charge all sorts of portable electronics directly from the display panel thanks to a USB Type A port integrated near the bottom which puts out 5 Volts at 1 Amp directly from the battery pack
  • I love that the battery pack is mounted to the frame with three bolts vs. just two and that the power cable running to the hub motor is really tucked in and well protected at the back
  • The new battery design is sleek, offers 20% higher capacity than the first generation while only weighing 0.7 pounds more, and does not have an integrated on/off button that you have to press before each ride, it can still be set to off and is more tamper-resistant
  • Rad Power Bikes offers free shipping if you want to build yourself and has also partnered with Velofix which offers assembly, delivery, and a post-purchase tuneups for just $100 extra, it’s a neat service for those who don’t want to deal with a big box or the weight and complexity of setting up an e-bike
  • Gearless hub motors tend to be very durable and quiet, you don’t get as much torque and raw power at low speeds and there is some magnetic drag when coasting, but the RadCity recaptures a bit of energy when braking which reduces wear on the brake pads and might extend your range just a bit, I like that they mounted the motor with a stainless steel torque arm to keep the dropouts from getting bent over time given the weight and power in use here
  • Both wheels are built with thicker 12 gauge spokes and sturdy Weinmann rims to handle the additional weight of cargo or heavy riders, it’s rated to carry up to 275 lbs by the company

Cons:

  • The drivetrain on this electric bike offers seven gears, which is on the lower side, but the Shimano Acera derailleur is two steps up from base level and should perform well, I feel that the addition of throttle mode kind of makes up for the seven gears whereas most other city bikes offer nine or ten gears but only pedal assist
  • If you decide to add the front rack, it’s great that the headlight can be repositioned on the bottom (for maximum exposure) but it will no longer point where you steer because the rack is frame mounted
  • The RadWagon and RadCity models aren’t as capable at climbing steep hills as some of the new mid-drive ebikes and the motor doesn’t operate as efficiently and provide the same range potential because it’s not being run through your gears… but very few mid-drives offer throttle operation, just know that the gearless motor on the RadCity is more smooth and quiet but offers a lot less torque from standstill and for climbing
  • I’m mixed on the brakes for this bike, the 180 mm rotors provide good leverage but you cannot adjust the brake lever reach and have to use more effort pulling them than with hydraulic disc brakes, for smaller riders and those without as much hand strength, that could be a point of fatigue or difficulty, but at least they have motor inhibitors built in for safety and the rubber edges and integrated bell on the left lever are nice, this part is one of the cost savings measures but might be easier to adjust by hand by the owner vs. needing a shop
  • The display panel is not removable and could take some weather-wear or get scratched at bike racks… but now it can be locked (by turning the key to off on the battery pack) and it has a USB type A port for charging your phone or other portable electronics on the go
  • I’m not sure if this bike comes with a slap guard? I didn’t see it in the stock photos or on the sample bike that I filmed for the review… for the grey frame especially, this could reduce chips and keep it quieter when riding over bumpy terrain, you can get a cheap one like these on Amazon and add it yourself or use a strip of clear masking tap
  • I prefer little trigger shifters vs. the large SIS Index thumb shifters used here because they don’t take up as much space and are easier to reach when holding the grip… but an engineer from Rad Power Bikes told me that they chose these larger shifters to make room for the throttle cutoff switch on the right side, also, the big shifters can be easier to use with gloves
  • I was disappointed to discover that the rear light isn’t powered by the main battery pack, it runs on two disposable AAA batteries and must be turned on and off each time you go to use the bike… this makes it easier to forget and leave on, but at least it provides two modes of operation (solid and blinking) whereas most integrated lights only go solid
  • I like the tire dimensions but they don’t have reflective sidewalls or puncture protection lining like some of the fancier products out there, Schwalbe offers the Marathon Plus model that would probably fit the RadCity rims, changing a flat isn’t fun but perhaps Velofix could help with this or a local bike shop
  • Minor gripe here, the headlight is mounted to the suspension arch vs. the head tube or stem and that means it could bounce around on rough terrain vs. being suspended and smoother, if you get the optional front rack, it can be relocated to the bottom and then it becomes “sprung”

Resources:

More Rad Power Bikes Reviews

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Comments (26) YouTube Comments

007vsMagua
9 months ago

As for the Cons Concerning the RadCity; I like that this bike only has seven gears. As far as I’m concerned the less complicated the better. I once owned a twenty-one speed Peugeot fatter tire city bike back in the Eighties when I lived in Anchorage. Too many gears drove me crazy with all the chain maintenance needed. When I was in Junior High in the early Sixties [Class of ’70] my parents got me a “Hercules” three-speed for Christmas. I loved that bike. One day when parked and locked outside the school someone stole the small chain coming out of the rear hub that controlled the gears. That was it for that bike… broken heart:(

It should be simple to add a short extension bar to the front of the handlebar to relocate the head light…and maybe even provide a space or two for a phone or GPS. Smooth and quiet is what I want. If it comes down to needing torque, getting “some” exercise is one of the reasons I’m looking to buy an Ebike. Being a large man of strong stature and holding the easy end of a hammer for most of my working adult life, I’m very pleased this bike has mechanical brakes. Learning how to bleed hydraulic systems can be tricky and I want a bike that I can work on.

In some ways the display panel is like your dashboard. I like the idea of it being integrated… connections can be a weak point. If the display is using the latest version of Corning’s Gorilla Glass it should hold up for a long time… unless some idiot comes along with a hammer. If I see a need for a slap guard in the future I’ll pick one up. I do have large hands so I suspect the thumb shifter will work well for me. I always carry spare batteries as I can be forgetful. Tires are meant to be eventually upgraded. This bike is built for long term durable use. The upgrade options are unlimited and one only needs imagination. Happy Holidays, from The Land of 10,000 Lakes

Reply
Court
9 months ago

Great feedback! It sounds like the RadCity would be a great fit for you… I realize that many times my “cons” aren’t applicable, I try to record them as “considerations” that might apply to some riders and might be irrelevant to others. I do like the simplicity of this bike and agree that having a lower price to begin means you can afford more fixes or upgrades ongoing! I like ebikes with a single chainring for simplicity and weight savings but many are now offering a 9-speed cassette vs. 7, it’s a minor difference that doesn’t come into play much with the zero to 20 mph assisted speed here. The display is pretty great, but the clear cover is plastic, not gorilla glass, so it could get scratched up pretty easily. Maybe using a cell phone cover on top of the display could be a way to protect it?

Reply
007vsMagua
9 months ago

Thanks Court for the tip on display covers…kind of like NASCAR’s rip-off windshield covers. When I watch your reviews I always take it into consideration that you almost weigh a hundred pounds less than me. You remind me of one of Santa’s elves.

gregorb
9 months ago

Thanks Court for your always informative reviews. They have to help so many of us in making an educated decision on what electric bike to purchase. Just wondering if you’re still as big a fan of gearless hub motors after reading this Rad City review. Curious if you still think they provide enough throttle only power for most flatland standing starts? Looked capable in last years video. Same torque this year? This seems like a great bike at a great price point, but I have a bad hip and wondering if the Rad City still has acceptable throttle only torque, if needed. I’m 170 lbs. Just don’t want to be doing the dancing bike routine off the line. Thanks!

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Court
9 months ago

Hi Greg! I am a fan of gearless motors for specific applications and the RadCity is a great example of when it makes sense. I was mixed on the RadWagon because that bike is heavier and made to haul a big load. If it’s just one person riding, even with a bit of gear, the gearless motors should perform well enough. It’s not as zippy but I like how durable and quiet they are. You get a bit of regen braking but to me that’s a wash given the added weight and potential for cogging. There may be some steep starts where a bit of pedaling is required or ideal but this motor is definitely good enough for mostly flats and moderate climbs in my experience :)

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Sanford Shultz
9 months ago

Hi Court,

Love the in depth reviews, even though the site has changed somewhat from the beginning. Im trying to decide between the Cross Current S and the new Rad City. My take is that the CCS is more of a performance, aggressive posture, speed oriented machine, whereas the Rad City is like a city cruiser. Ive never owed an E-Bike but am a 15 mile a day 64 y/o guy, riding a flat bar road bike. For my first venture into this space Id like to be at the mid teens price point, and I think that these two companies are offering lots of value and thoughtful engineering. I view Juiced as an athletic approach to E-biking and Rad as a very savy, calculating organization, who in my opinion has their finger on the pulse of the industry. I wish the Rad City had a higher max speed and hydraulics. Im aware of some of the issues Juiced has faced, and am not sure if they will address the dysfunctional USB port on their Feb 2018 delivery. Additionally RAD is using the 35E Samsungs, and Juiced seems to be committed to LG. Would you consider the Juiced battery old technology? Any insight and feedback would be greatly apppreciated.

Respectfully,
Sanford Shultz

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Court
9 months ago

Hi Sanford! I think you got it right, the Crosscurrent S is more speedy and aggressive compared to the RadCity. It’s an awesome bike with those hydraulic brakes and the dual bottle cages etc. but I’m 34 years old and have a sensitive back and neck so the higher speed isn’t necessarily good for me that way and I love the new mid-rise bar and suspension fork on the Rad Power Bikes models. I wish that both bikes had an integrated rear light, but Juiced probably wins on their headlight being brighter (though a bit funky looking), I think the Rad 48 volt 14 amp hour battery is GREAT and beats Juiced on capacity… same with their functional USB port, and I expect their shipping times and support to be better overall than Juiced because their team is bigger and they have the Velofix thing. I like both companies and am trying to be objective here, I would be awfully tempted by the Juiced, it’s great that they offer many frame sizes, but might end up with Rad simply because of comfort and price, I like that they also have a step-thru RadCity because my knee and hip are sensitive (that one also has more swept-back handlebars). It’s a really close call, I wish you luck and hope these thoughts help :)

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Matthew
8 months ago

Hi Court, Would you recommend the 2018 version of the Rad Power, 2017 version or the Voltbike Elegant?

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Court
8 months ago

Hi Matthew! I’d probably go with the RadCity because it offers high-step and step-thru frame styles, has a nicer drivetrain, and a higher capacity battery pack. Yes, it also weighs about 5 lbs more and costs a couple hundred dollars more. Both of these ebikes offer incredible value. Part of the reason the RadCity weighs more is that it uses a gearless hub motor which isn’t as zippy but also runs quieter. This is a mixed point for me, the VoltBike Elegant is certainly very good and I do often prefer lighter bikes that won’t have cogging drag. It’s a toss up, I hope this helps you consider the two and make the best decision for your lifestyle and budget :)

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Alex
1 month ago

Hey Court. Great review. Planning to head to Ballard tomorrow and purchase a RadCity after having a blast test riding it today. One thing though is that in answering Matthew here you seem to suggest you’d pick the RadCity over the Voltbike. However, you have the Voltbike as the best affordable eBike in your Top Rateds. Why didn’t you give the honors to the RadCity? Just curious.

Kevin
8 months ago

Hey there Court, Looking at getting the ’18 RadCity, my locality allows ebikes up to 1kw, but does not designate a top speed. I was wondering if you knew if I could increase the speed to closer to 30 mph? I know Rad Power limits them to 20 mph from the factory.

Thanks for the great information!

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Court
8 months ago

Hi Kevin! I have heard that some users were able to adjust their max speed to somewhere around 24 mph by going into the display settings, but this is not something I have experimented with. Perhaps you can find some examples or ask for feedback in the Rad Power Bikes Forums. Feel free to share your own experiences if you test it out or figure out something on your own.

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Tom
7 months ago

Hi Court, Great reviews. I really like the RadCity but not sure which size would be best for me. I’m 5’10” and prefer something with a lower standover height so I don’t have to swing my leg over the seat or if I have some cargo strapped on the rack. Do you think the 16″ is too small for someone 5’10”? So I can get a sense of size from the videos, can you tell me how tall are you and how tall are they guys from Rad Bicycles? Thanks

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Court
7 months ago

Hi Tom! I’m about your size, 5’9″ tall, and I believe they provided the medium sized frame. It felt good to me, but they also sell a step-thru if you really want to make it easier to approach. Smaller frames aren’t usually an issue in terms of leg extension (just raise the saddle) but you might have a shorter reach and more upright body position. Depending on how you approach the bike (like if you swing your leg over the rack and saddle) a lower frame might not matter if the seat is way up high. It becomes more important when hopping off and straddling the top tube in urgent moments.

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Keith Riley
4 months ago

Struggling between the Rad City Commuter or the Pedago Black Edition City Commuter. Great reviews for both. We live in a hilly area of SW Portland and I will commute to and from work. I weigh #215 and am 5’11”. Will there be enough power to throttle it from a stop, and to get up hills on the Rad City (gearless vs geared)? Is there a significant disadvantage of the mechanical brakes vs hydrolic brakes for my size and weight? Between the two choices, what do think?

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Court
4 months ago

Hi Keith! Glad the site has been helping with your decision. I’d say that Pedego is definitely more powerful than the RadCity because of the motor choice and battery setup. Pedego is well known for being fast and powerful, both founders are bigger guys and their cruisers also weigh more to begin with. The RadCity is great, an excellent value, but the Pedego will pack more of a punch for sure, and I really do like the hydraulic disc brakes (for stopping fast and handling additional weight). If price were not an issue, I’d definitely go for the Pedego in your situation, especially if you’re in a hilly area… you might still have to take hills at an angle and pedal along, but the Pedego will be your best bet (in terms of an ebike with a throttle that is legal and not using a mid-drive and shifting frequently).

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Mak
4 months ago

Hi Court, thanks you for such a informative site! I live in Seattle and am thinking about an electric bike for my 15 miles each way commute. My commute is mostly on trails (just about a mile on road). I am considering RAD City (mainly because they have a shop in Seattle) and Giant Quick E+. Which one would you choose? Any other bikes that I should consider?

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Court
4 months ago

Hi Mak! The Giant Quick E+ is a beautiful ebike, but it’s less comfortable than the RadCity because it doesn’t have suspension and features a more aggressive (and aerodynamic) geometry. You’ll very likely have to top off your battery once at the office with the RadCity, but that’s easy to do with the removable battery. For the money, the RadCity is a great buy, but it does use cheaper components than the Giant and might require more service over its lifespan. I hope this helps and I welcome your feedback if you get that or something else :)

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Mak
4 months ago

Thanks for quick response Court. How about other similar bikes that I should consider? BTW Please consider this feature request – show “similar bikes” on every review!

ALF
2 months ago

I just did a test ride of the RadCity 19″ at Rad Power Bike’s shop, in Seattle. They directed me to the nearest hill (not hard to find in Seattle!) because I wanted to see what it would be like to push my 220 pounds uphill. As the above review points out, and as I confirmed, the bike does not have enough torque to climb a moderate hill from a standstill. However, even with just some moderate pedaling, the RadCity climbed with ease. I am 6′ tall, with somewhat short legs for my height (32″ inseam pants), so I was worried that the 19″ frame would be too tall for me. Turns out that is is just fine for someone my size. Given the price, I think that the RadCity is a great value, particularly given the generous battery and frame that includes a built-in rear rack and fenders. The biggest problem is that they can’t keep these bikes in stock, so you have to be poised and ready to place an online order as soon as they notify you that they are back in stock.

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Court
2 months ago

Hi ALF! Thanks for sharing so many details about your body and relaying the test ride experience so that others might get a better feel for the bike. That was amazing, I really appreciate the time you spent and I hope that you enjoy whichever bike you choose. The folks at Rad are great, it’s nice to hear that you had a good experience visiting their Seattle shop :D

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Anonymous
2 months ago

Hi Court, I’m a big fan of your videos. I appreciate that I’m acquiring an education on ebikes simply by watching your bike reviews and interviews with bikers and people in the industry.

I am 60 years old and live on the outskirts of Fredericton, New Brunswick, a small city in Atlantic Canada. I bought a 2018 RadCity high-step frame bike just three months ago and have been commuting to work on it, the round trip amounting to 25 miles. So far I’ve clocked about 1,200 miles with it.

My daily commute goes through hilly countyside up to a city bike path that leads to the city bridge and then to the downtown area where I work. The 12.5 mile morning trip takes me less than 40 minutes. Riding my bike to work is the best part if my day.

I chose the Radcity primarily for its price but also because I wanted a bike that would be sturdy, with simple proven technology. I considered choosing a Surface 604 bike with a geared hub motor for the higher torque, but opted for the Radcity’s direct drive motor as I consider direct drive motors to be more durable. What sold me as well was the high capacity battery.

The Radcity is a very sturdy bike, and the high capacity battery allows me to ride 25 miles at maximum power assist on a single charge. I consider this very good as I have to contend with hilly terrain and often windy conditions.

I have a very sizable hill to climb in the morning (about 15 to 20 percent grade and 1,000 feet long) but I do manage to make it up the hill at about 10 miles an hour. Before, when I would use my regular bike, I would have to walk up this hill, but I’m wondering now if the higher wattage allowed in the US (750 W compared to the 500 W limit in Canada) would give me a better boost up the hill. I have no regrets with choosing a direct drive motor though, as my first concern was choosing the most durable motor option.

I feel that a suspension seat post is a must for this bike, especially for heavier riders (I weigh about 205 lbs). I bought a Suntour suspension seat post and it makes a big difference for a comfortable ride. I did have a problem with my display failing, but Rad Power Bikes fixed me up right away with a new display – on warranty of course.

Overall though, I’m very happy with my bike. That’s all. Thanks for all your videos Court!

Jacques Daigle
Fredericton, New Brunswick

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Court
2 months ago

Wonderful update, Jacques! Thanks for sharing a bit about your environment, ride distance, that big hill, and your weight. This will certainly help other potential Rad Power Bikes customers and it made me smile. I’m guessing that sometimes it gets cold where you live? I hope that you’re able to take the battery off to store it inside during those moments. You’re correct about gearless direct drive hub motors being durable, and I’m glad that it has still been powerful enough to assist you… even if you have to pedal a bit to help. Perhaps the US version is a bit peppier, but I haven’t compared back to back. It would be fun to ride with you someday for fun, if I’m in the area. Right now, I’m based in Vancouver BC but travel in the US frequently to film reviews. I heard that Rad has opened a new Canada HQ in British Columbia, which is exciting :)

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