Rad Power Bikes RadCity Review

2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Electric Bike Review
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Freewheel With Gearless Hub Drive
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity 48v 14ah Battery Pack On Bike
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Display Controls With Handlebar View
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Tektro Brakes With Ergonomic Handlebars
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Front Suspension Fork Withintergraded Headlight And Fenders
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Rear Rack Rear Fenders Rear Hub Drive System
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Velo Plush Saddle With Rear Rack
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity With Attached Pannier Bags
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Usb Charging Port
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity 2 Amp Charging Power Brick
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Stock Medium 16 Frame
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Stock Large 19 Frame
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Electric Bike Review
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Freewheel With Gearless Hub Drive
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity 48v 14ah Battery Pack On Bike
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Display Controls With Handlebar View
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Tektro Brakes With Ergonomic Handlebars
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Front Suspension Fork Withintergraded Headlight And Fenders
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Rear Rack Rear Fenders Rear Hub Drive System
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Velo Plush Saddle With Rear Rack
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity With Attached Pannier Bags
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Usb Charging Port
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity 2 Amp Charging Power Brick
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Stock Medium 16 Frame
2019 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Stock Large 19 Frame

Summary

  • A sturdy, fairly comfortable, and relatively affordable, city style electric bicycle that comes in one color and two frame sizes, riser handlebars and adjustable stem improve fit range
  • Ready for all sorts of conditions and applications with full-coverage plastic fenders, LED lights, custom Kenda tires with K-Shield puncture protection, complimented by a 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
  • Twist throttle provides instant power but can also be disabled, pedal assist relies on a higher resolution 12-magnet sensor, both brake levers have motor inhibitors for safety as well as activates the integrated brake lights, large 180 mm brake rotors
  • 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

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Introduction

Make:

Rad Power Bikes

Model:

RadCity

Price:

$1,499

Body Position:

Upright, Upright Relaxed

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, Canada

Model Year:

2019

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

63 lbs (28.57 kg)

Battery Weight:

7.7 lbs (3.49 kg)

Motor Weight:

10.2 lbs (4.62 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

16 in (40.64 cm)19 in (48.26 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Medium: 16" Seat Tube, 22" Reach, 27.5" Stand Over Height, 31.5" Minimum Saddle Height, 28" Width, 73.5" Length, Large: 19" Seat Tube, 22" Reach, 31" Stand Over Height, 34" Minimum Saddle Height, 28" Width, 73.5" Length

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Satin Dark Silver with Gray and Orange Accents

Frame Fork Details:

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

Frame Rear Details:

135mm Hub Spacing, 12mm Threaded Axle with 10mm Flats, 18mm Nuts

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses, Front Rack Bosses, Rear Rack Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Shimano Acera Derailleur, DNP Nickel Plated 11-34 Tooth Freewheel

Shifter Details:

Shimano SIS Index Thumb Shifter on Right

Cranks:

Aluminum Alloy, 170mm Length, 46 Tooth Chainring with Prowheel Ounce Alloy 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, 100mm Length, One 10mm Spacer, One 20mm Spacer, 31.8mm Clamp Diameter

Handlebar:

Aluminum Alloy, Mid-Rise, 710mm Width

Brake Details:

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

Grips:

Ergonomic, Rubber, Black and Gray

Saddle:

Velo Plush with Lifting Handle

Seat Post:

Promax, Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

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

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 12 Gauge, Silver with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Kenda x Rad Power Bikes 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, 30 TPI, Reflective Sidewall Stripe, K-Shield Punture Protection

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Rear-Mount Adjustable Kickstand, Plastic Fenders with Mud Flaps (67mm Width), Steel Derailleur Guard, Integrated Spanninga Axendo 60 LED Headlight, Integrated Spanninga Solo LED Backlight (Solid, Flashing, Braking), Neoprene Slap Guard, Optional Bolt-On Rear Rack with Yepp! Window ($80), Optional Plastic Fenders (105mm Width, $89), Optional Front Rack ($69), Optional Small Basket ($59), Optional Large Basket ($79), Optional Platform ($39), Optional Small Pannier (Fremont Bag $89), Optional RAD Backlight ($25), Optional SR Suntour NCX Seat Post Suspension ($109), Optional RAM Torque Handlebar Phone Mount X ($59), Optional Small Basket Bag ($44), Optional Large Basket Bag ($59), Optional Small Insulated Delivery Bag ($59), Optional Large Insulated Delivery Bag ($69), Optional Yepp! Maxi Child Seat ($199)

Other:

Locking Removable Downtube-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)

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Shengyi, RadCity/RadWagon Specific

Motor Type:

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

Motor Nominal Output:

750 watts

Motor Torque:

40 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung 18650 35E 3500mAH 13S4P Configuration

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, Grayscale LCD, Integrated 5 Volt 1 Amp USB Type-A Port Below Display

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 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), Throttle On/Off Button on Right

Drive Mode:

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

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

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, this video and written review are not meant to be an endorsement of RAD products.

Rad Power Bikes has updated their RadCity high step bike for 2019 and they were kind enough to invite us up to Seattle this year to review their offerings. This commuter bike is one of Rad Power’s most popular products, as it can be configured to fit a wide range of needs coming in both a 16” and 19” frame. If you have seen this bike before, then the first thing you notice is some of the recent features. New for 2019 is an adjustable angle stem with mid-rise handlebar, unlike the step through which features cruiser style swept-back handlebar. The high step version looses its color options (now only comes in a dark silver with gray and orange accents), and gains a little weight (2lbs to be exact) at 63lbs. The drivetrain received an update with a 7 speed 11-34 tooth freewheel which is a lot better than 14-28, giving you a wider range of gears to pedal through. A good upgrade to the bike is the nickel plated DNP freewheel which not only shifts smoothly, but will hold up better over time. You also get a 46 tooth chain ring up front. I am excited to see a fully battery integrated front and rear lights. The front light is a Spanninga Axendo and features an active daylight sensor. On the rear light, you have a flashing mode and the ability to function as an active break light, getting brighter as you press on the brakes. Other changes include reflective sidewall tire striping, and custom Kenda K-Shield puncture resistant tires. The front suspension is a SR Suntour spring fork both with hydraulic lockout and preload adjustment settings. Plastic fenders are included along with rubber mud flaps which helps alleviate toe strikes. For stopping power, the RadCity comes with 180mm mechanical Tektro Aries disc brakes. That is a bit of a tradeoff there, it would have been nice to see some hydraulic disc brakes since you have to squeeze a little harder to get the mechanical brakes to stop effectively, however, Rad Power points out that mechanical brakes keep maintenance costs down and are easier to adjust which is true. One thing they did add to the brakes though are these conical washers on the mounting points which make it even easier to adjust and also bring down some of that bake squeaking that we all have to deal with from time to time. Some other nice features include non locking ergonomic grips, an integrated bell, Wellgo aluminum alloy platform pedals, prxowheel crank arm, slap guard on the right chain stay, and some cool badges and logos. A lot of configurability is built into the RadCity. The rear rack is well designed for Rad Power Bikes official accessories, or your own via bungie loops, hangers for panniers, window for Yepp! Child seat, or even threaded eyelets for mounting bigger racks. On the down tube, there are bottle cage bosses mounted out of the way at the bottom that you could even use for a mini pump or a folding lock. In the front there is an option for a frame bolted front rack so it wont tip or shift as you are steering the bike. Maximum loading capacity on the bike is a generous 275, making it versatile for a number of uses. Supporting the load is 12 gage thick spokes which add strength if you load up the rack with weight.

Driving this ebike is a a Shengyi gearless hub motor that weighs ~15lbs and is spoked into a sturdy double-wall Weinmann rim with extra-thick 12 gauge spokes. 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 12mm axle with 10mm 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. This pack 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 ~1.1lbs, 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 previous generations 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.

I love the changes across the Rad Power lineup this year, and one of the things that makes this changes so cool is that so many of the modules are cross compatible. For example, let’s say you have a RadCity and a RadWagon with a suspension seat and you want to take out the RadCity for a long weekend ride. You can take the battery and the suspension seat from the RadWagon and use them for your weekend trip on the RadCity! I should also mention the seat post clamp here, it is nice and big so if it is cold or you got gloves on, you’re not going to hurt your fingers raising or lowering your seat. Also having interchangeable parts between bikes keeps cost down, both for the purchase of the bike and for replacing parts. It was great to ride this around and see so many other RadCity bikes in action from real people and companies in the streets of Seattle. Clearly many are proving the practicality of this bike with the many accessories offered through Rad Power Bikes. Basket bags work great, and we even got to see some insulated delivery bags in action. And it is hard to talk about any Rad Power bike without mentioning its great value price point ($1,499 for the RadCity) and its 1 year warranty and fantastic support team. The notable tradeoffs for this commuter would be the absence of hydraulic brakes, and the magnetic drag from the gearless motor. The motor is also not as zippy as a geared motor, but it definitely provides a quiet smoothness. Another tradeoff is the non-removable display. It is water resistant which is great, but still there are other worries for an exposed display other than just rain. Also, the RadCity Step-Thru gets a color option, but this high step version does not. At the end of the day, there is so much practicality packed into one package its hard not to see the RadCity working for your urban needs. It is no small wonder there are so many of these running around for both commuters and companies alike. I would like to personally thank Rad Power Bikes for inviting me to Seattle to put these bikes through their paces. If you have a RadCity, or if you have questions, comments, or stories you would like to share, please visit our forums and tell us all about it, we would love to hear from you.

Pros:

  • Regenerative braking is cool, and the display can even update you as to how much power you are putting back into the battery at any given time, this also saves on brake pad use and replacement
  • The cadence sensor has 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 custom Kenda 26″ x 2.3″ tires with K-Shield puncture protection 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
  • 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
  • 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 275lbs 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 180mm 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 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 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
  • 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”
  • There are some advantages to the new rear brake caliper position (wires aren’t in the path of the optional rear rack) but the way it’s tipped back, it seems like water and dust could collect on the wire and get pulled down into the cable housing over time, creating some friction and drag in the brake system and more work for your right hand pulling the rear brake lever, this would not be an issue if it used a hydraulic brake line vs. mechanical

Resources:

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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…...

2017 Rad Power Bikes RadCity Review

  • MSRP: $1,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016, 2017

A value priced but featured packed urban commuter style electric bike with everything from fenders, to LED lights, rear carry rack and regenerative braking. Solid driving and braking performance with a 750 watt gearless hub motor and 180 mm…...

2016 Rad Power Bikes RadRover Review

  • MSRP: $1,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016

Strikes an excellent balance delivering high power with mid-level components for a reasonable price, you get throttle and pedal assist with an on/off on the throttle! solid one year warranty for the original owner, flat rate $175 shipping in the US. Even though the battery and controller box are bolted on vs. integrated into the frame,…...

2016 Rad Power Bikes RadMini Review

  • MSRP: $1,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016

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…...

2015 Rad Power Bikes RadWagon Review

  • MSRP: $1,599
  • MODEL YEAR: 2015, 2016

Affordable, feature rich cargo style electric bike with a stiffer and lighter frame because it's not quite as long as some others. Offers five levels of pedal assist, throttle mode and throttle override as well as regenerative…...

2015 Rad Power Bikes RadRover Review

  • MSRP: $1,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2015, 2016

An Indiegogo funded electric fatbike with a powerful 500 watt motor, ample 48 volt battery and seven speed drivetrain. Comfortable saddle, ergonomic grips and suspension fork with lockout, two color choices but only one…...


Comments (16) YouTube Comments

Robert W Kalkman
9 months ago

I am the owner of three Rads. All 2017 models. A City, a Rover and a Mini.

I would rate them as at least four stars out of five. That’s a bit low, as a matter of fact. Let’s call it nine stars out of ten.

Maybe I don’t need to write a whole lot about their virtues. In sum, they’re well made and they have all the strength I need. I have a long history as a manual bicycle rider. So I’m fairly strong on my own. But I can also tell that these bikes have the strength needed for those who’ve not been riding a regular bicycle all these years.

Between the three bikes I have now had two minor component failures. One LCD display and one wiring harness. The one that runs from the handlebars to the drive-train. In both cases diagnosis of the actual trouble needed only a bit of thought and experimentation.

One item of note; Rad Powerbikes online manuals and instructions are excellent and they will help other owners diagnose and fix those ailments that do occur in the real world. Once when corresponding with Rad I suggested that maybe a few components could be upgraded. Yet I might have been mistaken with that. It could well be that no electronics will stand against the elements as well as steel does.

Rad Powerbikes was excellent about helpful advice and getting me replacement parts very quickly.

I’ll bet there are other good e-bikes out there. But I’m confident that getting a Rad will not be a mistake.

  Reply
Court
9 months ago

Thanks for the feedback, Robert! I enjoyed your testimonial :)

  Reply
Rory
7 months ago

Will this ever be available in Europe ?

  Reply
Court
7 months ago

Hi Rory! My guess is that eventually they will bring RadCity models in to Europe, but for now it seems like just the RadRhino and Euro RadWagon. I got to film those during my last RAD visit, but have been holding them for a while, not sure when they will go live?

  Reply
Ron
5 months ago

Hi there. Most of the reviews I find on the Rad Power bike lines use the 750W engine and I live in Canada which restricts the engine to 500W to be considered a bicycle. I’d love to hear the differences on what to expect between the 2 setups (750W vs 500W). I’d love to also see video reviews of the Rad bikes using the 500W engines. How would the 500W handle a 200 lbs guy?

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Court
5 months ago

Hi Ron! You’re correct, the Canadian Rad Power Bikes (and most Canadian-specific models) are specced down. In my experience, they actually feel the same and may even use the same hardware with a slight controller modification. It’s very difficult to measure and compare motors for me, even a 250 watt rated Bosch ebike motor can feel awesome when you’re pedaling in the appropriate gear. If I were in your position, I’d try to find an ambassador nearby to test one of the bikes or get into the Vancouver RAD shop. Their customer support is great and I genuinely like and trust their products. You’re not alone in weighing 200lbs, and their ebikes still perform great, the motor might even offer the same torque, so starting and climbing should be very comparable. I hope this helps :)

  Reply
Ron
2 months ago

Hi there. I’ve finally had the chance to try these bikes. A shop opened close to me so I’ve now test ridden the Rad Rover and the Rad Wagon. These were 2 year old bikes. The bikes were fun and I could see how they could be a good option for high-schoolers getting back and forth to summer work etc… I’m 205lbs and I had someone on the back with me who is about 70lbs and I was pleasantly surprised that the Rad Wagon could in fact get us around. It did have to work hard on the hills and slowed down – but it was quite fun. I thought I’d be annoyed by the wagon not having suspension in the front, but I did not miss it. I did find the steering harder on the wagon when I had a passenger. The Rad Rover performed much better (more like how you would suspect the feel of a fat bike with suspension)… but there was less ability to take a little passenger with you. After riding both the Rover and the Wagon, I’m most interested in trying the Rad Mini or Runner. I think the ability to fold a mini in a car would be helpful. I did notice the Rad Runner coming on the market. Curious if there are videos doing a compare of the mini vs the Runner. I like that the Runner can take a passenger but I think it would be more rare. Can you double on the mini as well?

I’m wondering if I would notice much a difference between those bikes I test drove that were 2 years old vs the new ones on the market. On the ones I tested I felt the gear shifting seemed a little clunky or cheap feeling… but they did shift.

KayNay
5 months ago

One of your Cons is that the Rad City isn’t good on steep hills. Can you recommend an electric bike that is? Also have you reviewed the Dutch Gazelle bikes?
Thanks

  Reply
Court
5 months ago

Hi KayNay! The RadCity can handle steeper hills as long as you maintain speed going in and pedal along. Gearless hub motors just don’t generate as much torque as geared or mid-drive. This is where Gazelle, or any other mid-motor ebike could be a winner for you. They leverage the rear cassette so the motor can be efficient for climbing or reaching higher top speeds :)

  Reply
kerry
4 weeks ago

Keep in mind, in an event where your chain breaks, mid-drives = you’re walking. With the Rad City, the throttle alone will probably get you home.

Mary Ann Conover
2 months ago

I Purchased a a 2019 mini step thru about 2 weeks ago. I Love everything about this bike with the exception of the charger getting alarmingly hot. So much so that I haven’t charged the battery to full because it gets that hot. Have you heard of anyone experiencing this? I’m at the point where I am considering trying to find a charger with a built in fan.

  Reply
Court
2 months ago

Hmm, I have noticed that some chargers get hot (especially so if your ambient temperature is hot… like if you’re in Arizona during the summer time). I like and trust Rad Power Bikes, but you might also want to reach out to them about this to get some official feedback. Better safe than sorry, maybe they’d send another one to test with your bike?

  Reply
Jerry Dawson
2 months ago

I have put over 100 miles on my RadCity. It seems to have plenty of power for hills. We have some pretty steep ones here and I just shift her down to the lowest gear and usually am fine even with the pedal assist set to only 1 or 2. I would not worry about hills unless you are not going to pedal at all….

  Reply
Court
2 months ago

Thanks for the input, Jerry! Sounds like the RadCity is working pretty well for you, here’s to another 100 miles :)

  Reply
Neil
3 weeks ago

The first company to combine the best features of the Juiced Bikes CrossCurrent X with the Rad Power RadCity will own the market for a serious commuter eBike. At this time no serious commuter eBike is manufactured commercially, the only way to have one is to build one yourself.

The RadCity is too slow and the battery capacity is marginal.The tail light is marginal and the headlight is marginal. The CrossCurrent X has the wrong stance and is a mail order fit risk because it lacks an adjustable neck, and the tail light is in the wrong place. Both bikes lack a mirror. A commuter bike without a super bright rear full time flasher, a super bright headlight, and a left bar end mirror is unsafe to drive day and night in all weather and traffic for long distances in the city.

A 20mph bike is unsuitable for commuting and will quickly become a tediously slow form of transportation. 28mph is a requirement for a serious commuter eBike. I sometimes wonder if these bike manufacturers have ever done actual daily commuting in traffic, day and night, all weather, long distances, every day of the week. It does not seem so.

I built my own eBike because there was nothing on the market with the necessary features and there still isn’t, but they are getting closer. At this time I cannot recommend any commercial eBike to my coworkers as a practical and safe alternative commuting option.

  Reply

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