Rad Power Bikes RadCity 4 Review

2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Electric Bike Review
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity 750 Watt Shengyi Gearless Hub Motor With Regen Braking
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Downtube Battery Pack Flat Tubing Three Bolt Mount
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity King Meter Lcd Display Backlit
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Swept Back Handlebar Shifter Twist Throttle
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Sr Suntour Suspension Fork Custom Kenda K Rad Reflective Tires
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Gen 4 Electric Bicycle
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity 180mm Mechanical Disc Brakes
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Bottom Bracket Crank Arms Wire Port
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Plastic Fenders With Mud Flaps
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Rear Mounted Kickstand
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Integrated Carry Rack With Pannier Hanger And Yepp Window
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Shimano Acera Derailleur 7 Speed Freewheel
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Wellgo Alloy Platform Pedals Metal Chain Guide
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Kenda K Rad 26 2 3 Tires
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity 48 Volt 14 Ah Ebike Battery And Bottle Bosses Below Downtube
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity 80 Lumen Headlight With Heat Sink Blades
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Motor Controller Box
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Spanninga Solo Rear Led Light With Flashing And Brake Activation
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Tektro Aries Brake Levers With Rubberized Edge And Bell
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Tektro Aries Mechanical Disc Brake Rotors
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Velo Plush Saddle With Handle
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Zoom Adjustable Angle Bicycle Stem 0 To 60 Degrees
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Instruction Manual Took Kit Battery Charger
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Battery Pack With Key
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Ebike Battery
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Battery Pack
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity 48v 14ah Lithium Ion Samsung Cells
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Rad Mobile Service Van
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Shipping Box
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Stock High Step Black
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Electric Bike Review
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity 750 Watt Shengyi Gearless Hub Motor With Regen Braking
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Downtube Battery Pack Flat Tubing Three Bolt Mount
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity King Meter Lcd Display Backlit
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Swept Back Handlebar Shifter Twist Throttle
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Sr Suntour Suspension Fork Custom Kenda K Rad Reflective Tires
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Gen 4 Electric Bicycle
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity 180mm Mechanical Disc Brakes
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Bottom Bracket Crank Arms Wire Port
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Plastic Fenders With Mud Flaps
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Rear Mounted Kickstand
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Integrated Carry Rack With Pannier Hanger And Yepp Window
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Shimano Acera Derailleur 7 Speed Freewheel
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Wellgo Alloy Platform Pedals Metal Chain Guide
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Kenda K Rad 26 2 3 Tires
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity 48 Volt 14 Ah Ebike Battery And Bottle Bosses Below Downtube
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity 80 Lumen Headlight With Heat Sink Blades
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Motor Controller Box
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Spanninga Solo Rear Led Light With Flashing And Brake Activation
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Tektro Aries Brake Levers With Rubberized Edge And Bell
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Tektro Aries Mechanical Disc Brake Rotors
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Velo Plush Saddle With Handle
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Zoom Adjustable Angle Bicycle Stem 0 To 60 Degrees
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Instruction Manual Took Kit Battery Charger
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Battery Pack With Key
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Ebike Battery
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Battery Pack
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity 48v 14ah Lithium Ion Samsung Cells
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Rad Mobile Service Van
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Shipping Box
2020 Rad Power Bikes Radcity Stock High Step Black

Summary

  • A feature-complete, comfort oriented, hybrid electric bike with regenerative braking, built-in USB charging port below the display, modular battery pack that works with all other Rad models, and integrated lights. The headlight offers a bright 80 lumen center beam and a unique LED circle to keep you seen, while the rear light offers solid, flashing, and bright mode when the brakes are activated
  • Sturdy adjustable angle stem and long 350mm seat post improves fit for a wide range of rider sizes. The saddle drops down quite far without colliding with the rear rack, the high-step frame is lighter and stiffer than the step-thru, and it offers better weight distribution. An alloy chain guide protects your right pant leg while pedaling and reduces the chance of chain drops
  • High-resolution cadence sensor responds very quickly to pedal movement but the motor ramps up very smoothly, it doesn't feel jerky or unexpected. The bike is extremely quiet and the motor is known for being durable and offering some regeneration as you coast and brake, which saves brake pads and slightly extends range. New twist-throttle hardware looks good, still overrides any level of assist with full power, and is said to be less confusing and more reliable than before. Great fenders, kickstand, pedals, and suspension fork with lockout and preload adjust
  • Only available in one size and one color (consider the RadCity Step-Thru for two colors). The bottle cage bosses are positioned below the downtube, which isn't as easy to reach while riding. The gearless direct drive motor is heavier than the geared motors that Rad uses on their off-road models and doesn't freewheel as efficiently, it suffers from a bit of magnetic drag when pedaling unassisted or past the 20mph top speed

Video Review

Introduction

Make:

Rad Power Bikes

Model:

RadCity 4

Price:

$1,499 (Free Shipping in Contiguous US and Canada)

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:

2020

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

63.6 lbs (28.84 kg)

Battery Weight:

7.7 lbs (3.49 kg)

Motor Weight:

10.2 lbs (4.62 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

18.75 in (47.62 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

18.75" Seat Tube, 23.5" Reach, 29.5" Stand Over Height, 33" Minimum Saddle Height, 27.75" Width, 70.5" Length

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Satin Black with Gray and Orange Accents

Frame Fork Details:

SR Suntour Spring Suspension, 80mm 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 Slotted Axle, 18mm Nuts

Attachment Points:

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

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:

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

Stem:

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

Handlebar:

Aluminum Alloy, Swept Back, 690mm Width

Brake Details:

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

Grips:

Velo, Ergonomic, Rubber

Saddle:

Velo Plush with Lifting Handle

Seat Post:

Promax, Aluminum Alloy, Single Bolt Clamp

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Weinmann, Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 30mm Outer Width, Machined Sidewalls, 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 Puncture Resistant Casing

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

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 Front Tray 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

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), Adjustable Top Speed (12km/h - 32km/h), Adjustable LCD Brightness, Adjustable Wheel Size

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:

41 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:

30 miles (48 km)

Estimated Max Range:

50 miles (80 km)

Display Type:

Rad Power Bikes Branded King Meter SWLCD, Fixed, Adjustable-Angle, Backlit, Grayscale 2.75" 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)

Drive Mode:

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

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)


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 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.

Observations:

  • 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 fourth generation RadCity. You get the same motor, battery pack, and drivetrain hardware as the third generation, but the frame size has been simplified to 18.5″ only vs. 16″ and 19″ choices previously, and it only comes in black. This bike also comes in step-thru, which is offered in black and white. The high-step frame offers improved weight distribution and stiffness, but the bottle cage mount is below the downtube… making it much less convenient to reach
  • 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

Pros:

  • 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
  • Safety is a big deal for me, especially when a bike only comes in black! 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
  • 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 bike
  • The downtube has been custom designed to interface with a battery pack, notice the flattened top portion where the slide mounts. This keeps battery weight slightly lower and provides a more solid consistent surface vs. a traditional round tube… I like that Rad Power Bikes uses three bolts for their battery rack vs. two on some kits and very basic electric bikes I’ve seen elsewhere. The high-step RadCity is two pounds lighter than the step-thru, and uses slightly wider handlebars to match the larger frame geometry
  • 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, another small detail is the gnarled hardware used 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)
  • Rubberized ergonomic grips and black 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 but 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 a purpose-built electric bike with internally routed cables and wires. Note the flattened portion of the downtube and three-bolt battery slide that’s going to be stronger than some competing setups. Also 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. They specced their motor down from 750 watts to 500 watts in order to comply with local rules. Both countries offer free shipping and Rad has offices in both locations, including shops and mobile delivery service vehicles that provide assembly and test ride options
  • 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 in to soft terrain, and it works well if you’re loading the bike with gear. 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

Cons:

  • The RadWagon and RadCity 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 because it’s not being run through your gears… but very few mid-drives offer throttle operation, this gearless hub motor is more 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
  • They used to sell the high-step RadCity in two frame sizes (16″ and 19″) but have moved to a single 18.5″ frame size for this fourth generation. It’s probably not a huge deal for most riders, especially with the adjustable stem, but it is a reduction in choice and could impact shorter riders who prefer the high-step frame style… or especially tall riders who want an extra inch of leg clearance when pedaling etc.
  • 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’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
  • In recent years, Rad Power Bikes updated the rear brake caliper position to be tipped down, so dust and water won’t get into the cable housing as easily… which creates friction over time, making it difficult to actuate the rear brake. This would not be an issue if the brakes were hydraulic ;)
  • The high-step frame positions battery weight more forward on the bike, which improves balance and handling, but that takes up the space where a water bottle cage might otherwise fit. Instead, Rad has put bottle cage bosses below the downtube… it’s nice to have them, but that’s not really a convenient spot to reach while riding
  • 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 and it no longer points where you steer because the front rack is frame mounted
  • 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

Useful Resources:

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Comments (39) YouTube Comments

Larry Warren
10 months ago

Did you remember to test pedal effort without electric assist?

  Reply
Court
10 months ago

Hey Larry! Yeah, I pedaled around a bit without assist… but didn’t show that on video, sorry. Instead, I showed the magnetic drag that the motor introduces by spinning the back wheel. So, in addition to being fairly heavy, this ebike also has some regeneration drag, so it’s not the best if you’re considering an electric bicycle that will be super light, efficient, and easy to pedal without the motor power. That said, it was still satisfying and fairly comparable to a traditional bicycle… just imagine loading a regular bike up with 30lbs and then having older axles that rub a bit. It’s much easier than walking, but much slower to start and not coasting as efficiently as a brand new lightweight road bike ;)

  Reply
Arjan
10 months ago

Hi Court

After your review, do you find this model better than the Ride 1Up 700 or the Rad Runner? Whats your opinion? And, which one is better for city commute? Thanks, and great review.

Arjan

Arjan
10 months ago

Thank you Court, big big help

G C
10 months ago

Thanks for the review. Interesting to hear about the difference between geared and direct drive motors. I think I would prefer the latter, since it’s quieter, even at the expense of less torque and the magnetic drag when powered off.

RAD certainly seems to be putting out one great bike after another. I wish they’d offer some more colors. Black is hard to see.

  Reply
Court
10 months ago

Yeah! I’m impressed, and I agree with your take. For most applications, the gearless hub motor is going to perform just fine. The quieter operation, durability, and unique regenerative braking features make it a great choice for city and neighborhood riding :)

  Reply
Jack
10 months ago

Hey Court! How did you find the size of the bike (or what’s your height/inseam)? I’m about 5’10 and right on the edge of what the Rad website suggests for this bike’s height range. I believe you rode the size 16 last year but you seemed to get along well with the 18.5 in this year’s model. I love the bike but obviously want to make sure it will be a good fit before purchasing.

  Reply
Court
10 months ago

Hey Jack! Great question there. I’m 5’9″ and weigh about 135lbs, fairly long inseam around 30.5″ and I did just fine on the bike, it fit perfectly. Given the choice between the high-step and step-thru options, I’d go high-step all the way… because it’s stiffer, offers slightly better balance, and even with the bottle cages below the downtube and only black color, I still enjoy it and feel like the integrated rack could work great with a trunk bag/bottle holder type thing. I hope this helps! It’s a great bike :)

  Reply
Sheri
3 months ago

How would you say that this bike would ‘fit’ a female, height 5’11’ with a 34″ inseam?

Jerry
10 months ago

I have this bike in the 19 in frame size from last year. The more I ride it the more I like it. The motor is very smooth and very quiet. I normally just use assist level 1. About 50 watts. The riding position is very comfortable. I have not found any ebike superior to this one for the same money.

  Reply
Court
10 months ago

Hi Jerry! Thanks for sharing your experience with the RadCity, that’s great. I hope it continues working well for you, and I agree that it’s one of the best value, best performing bikes out there ;)

  Reply
Josh
10 months ago

The Stand Over Height posted here is 29.5″ and on the radpower bikes website its 31″. Why is there a discrepancy between the two?

  Reply
Court
9 months ago

Hi Josh! I measure all of my dimensions by hand and do it a certain way… In this case, I looked at the hight of the top tube just in front of the saddle nose (so not the super lowest point of the top tube). I measured closely and noted that the tires were inflated and then rounded to 0.25″ to get 29.5″ which is actually lower than Rad posted… so maybe they’re just being extra conservative? In any case, I would guess that somewhere around 30″ inseam is a good bet… and I’ll be posting the RadCity Step-Thru 3 very soon, which comes in black or white and has a much lower 17.5″ stand over height, if that helps you :)

  Reply
Mike
9 months ago

Thanks for the review! Very well put together. I’m buying this bike as a reward for dropping weight. I’m 6′ 1″ and currently 281 lbs. I anticipate being at the 275 mark within the week to 10 days and will continue to my first goal weight of 235 within 4 more months. Any tips on safety etc. until I’m down a few pounds?

Thanks!

  Reply
Court
9 months ago

Wow, that’s fantastic Mike! Congrats on choosing to spend some cash on a healthy hobby and pursuing health that way. I’d be happy to share some thoughts on this. In fact, I created a video where I taught my friend how to ride, and it might contain some interesting perspectives on stability. I’d recommend starting with the lowest three levels of assist, maybe start with 1 and 2, then use 3 as you feel stable and comfortable. Make sure the tire pressure is always at least to the minimum recommended PSI, but probably closer to the max since you weigh more. This will reduce the possibility of flats. Don’t ride off curbs or into large cracks or bumps, because this will bend and loosen spokes at your weight. Try to be smooth, always wear a helmet and maybe some clear glasses to keep bugs from getting into your eyes, carry the charger in case you run out of juice far from home. I always wear a little backpack with a water reservoir because it’s easier to drink from than reaching for a water bottle in a bottle cage. I avoid riding at dusk and dawn because it’s much easier to get hit by a car with the sun in their eyes. I ride with my lights on and I wear reflective gear. I also make sure to double knot my shoelaces to avoid having them catch in the chain or other parts of the bike, and I use a rubber band or pant leg velcro strap retainer type thing to keep the pants from snagging and getting dirty. I think that’s a good list to start. I hope this helps, and I welcome further comments or you can just call me to chat sometime, as my number is listed on the contact us page here ;) good luck, and good for you!

  Reply
Mike
9 months ago

Great review! Just got my Rad City and ready to roll out! So, what bike rack do you reccommend for the Rad City high step? Hitch is not a problem. I have a Ram 2500 diesel with heavy duty hitch but I need access to the tail gate. Looking at the Thule and the Kuat. What do you think? Thanks!

  Reply
Court
9 months ago

Oh yeah! Awesome… Both Thule and KÜAT make awesome racks. I’ve owned the NV 2.0, which can be extended to hold up to four bikes if you’ve got a 2″ hitch. It’s the heavy duty model and works very well… but it’s heavier than the Sherpa 2.0, which I own now! I drive a sedan with a 1.25″ hitch, so I couldn’t add the additional two trays even if I wanted to. You’ve seen me in the videos, I’m not a big guy, so having a lighter rack that’s easier to lift and less expensive has been great. That said, due to the lower max weight, I always take the battery packs off of ebikes when transporting them, and I place the heaviest bike closer to the trunk of the car vs. hanging way out. I did create a review of the KÜAT NV 2.0 here and a review of the Thule EasyFold XT 2 here. Both of these racks tip back/down and out of the way for your tailgate to open. I’m not sure if that’s the case for the Sherpa, so check a review first ;)

  Reply
Mark
9 months ago

Hi Court, I’m a bit over 6 feet and you mentioned that your 5’9″. Noticed that you had the seat post extended quite a bit. I’m used to riding a 22″ frame road bike, how comfortable do you feel the 18.5″ frame will be for the long haul. I don’t like riding with bent knees.

Thanks,
Mark

  Reply
Court
9 months ago

Hi Mark! You should be alright with the high-step frame. The seat post is fairly long at 350mm and the seat tube goes up pretty high. You could always swap the post out for an even longer 400mm post, but I’m not sure that will be necessary for you to get full leg extension. Furthermore, the adjustable angle stem and riser handlebar allows you to rotate the bar forward and angle the stem forward to extend your reach and body position. Long story short, you could get a more perfect geometry fit by spending more for a Trek, Specialized, Giant frame that comes in more sizes, but I think the RadCity would be acceptable and enjoyable :)

  Reply
Andrew
8 months ago

I’m 6’1″ and the factory seat post allows me to achieve full leg extension.

  Reply
Court
8 months ago

Sweet! Thank you so much for this comment, Andrew. I’m sure it will be valuable for other tall riders who are considering the bike. Enjoy the ride!!

scott t
4 months ago

I’m 6’3″ and 210lbs and can get the seat to a perfectly comfy height. I’ve done a few 15 mile round trips on this bike in comfort.

  Reply
Court
4 months ago

Sweet! Thanks for chiming in and sharing your details to help out, Scott! Awesome :D

Denis Dubour
7 months ago

Hi Folks! I’m 69 and want an ebike to ride to tennis courts and neighborhood cruising around. Is this Rad for me or is the Townie from Electra?? Rad seems to offer more for the money. Will be looking for my wife also who is 67. Don’t want to spend a lot on a bike at this point but also don’t want to regret a lower purchase price. Thanks for your help with this choice. Be well

  Reply
Court
7 months ago

Hi Denis! Great question, and my apologies for the slow reply. I think that both ebikes would serve you well, but Rad offers the best value… and has a throttle. Electra is known for style, reliability, efficiency, and their flat-foot body geometry. Rad Power Bikes is newer to the scene, but actually fairly established as an ebike manufacturer. They do offer good quality for the price point, and they do offer great support. They are the online “save money” type of brand while Electra and Trek (the parent company) are the in-person “test ride and great customer service” type of brand. I do like that the RadCity comes in two frame styles, step-thru and high-step, so perhaps you and your wife could each get one and ride together :D

  Reply
scott t
2 months ago

If the Electra’s still have metal fenders they will rattle more depending on what terrain you are on. I switched to a Rad City from a Townie and am glad I did.

  Reply
Court
2 months ago

Thanks for the feedback, Scott!

Gene Pozniakoff RN
6 months ago

Court, thank you for all of the great reviews you have done. While researching which ebikes Deb wanted, we came across your review of the Rad City ST and Regular on YouTube.

Now, we have one of each. We really liked that Rad has the ABUS Cafe Lock for the Rad City. We bought one for each and the ABUS chain too. I think this is a valuable point for your readers to consider. It’s compact, secure and unobtrusive. Maybe it’s best attribute.

We are looking forward to many years of riding fun. I did purchase a rack (Overdrive Sport 2) for our Ford Flex, and adjusted it so as to carry both Rads evenly. Once properly adjusted and strapped down, the bike don’t move. Thank’s again for all the good info, Best of Luck to you and your adventures.

Gene and Debbie Pozniakoff

  Reply
Court
6 months ago

Hi Gene! I’m so happy for you two, congrats on finding some perfect ebikes for you and your wife :D good tips about the ABUS cafe lock and the platform hitch rack for your car. I hope everything works out well, and I welcome further comments and input as the months and years go by. Sounds like lots of fun ahead ;)

  Reply
John W
5 months ago

Under the Accessories section, you say “Optional Bolt-On Rear Rack with Yepp! Window” … but the RadCity’s rear rack is integrated and accepts seats that use the Yepp! “EasyFit” window, without needing any additional accessories or add-on. That’s one of my favorite features about this bike!

  Reply
Court
5 months ago

Fixed! Thanks for the heads up, John. I had copied over some of the data from the RadRover and missed that detail, since the RadCity comes standard with an integrated rear rack. Thank you so much for pointing this out! Glad to hear you’re enjoying yours :D

  Reply
Tom
5 months ago

Hi Court, I had a knee operation 6 months ago and on a non-ebike I have some difficulty with hills. We live in a flat area (all paved surfaces no off road) but have a few hills. I like the RadCity 4. Do you think it will be OK on the occasional hill or two?

Thanks,
Tom

  Reply
Court
5 months ago

Hi Tom! I hope your knee heals smoothly and quickly. Yeah, any ebike is going to make it MUCH easier to climb hills. That’s especially true if it has a throttle to help you get going. I haven’t had knee surgery, but both of my knees are sensitive from sports injuries when I was younger. I now have to walk down stairs very carefully, and it’s part of what got me into ebikes. Yes, the RadCity will help you a lot. BUT! It won’t scale medium hills if you stop half way up and then rely 100% on the throttle to get going again. The motor on this ebike is very reliable and quiet, but not as high-torque from standstill. In those situations, just get off and walk it or try to start at an angle to gain some speed.

Keep in mind, I have no idea how much you weigh. I’m a very fit 135lb guy who knows how to downshift when approaching hills, how to preserve momentum, and how to stand up and use my body weight to pedal when necessary (to reduce knee fatigue). The key to enabling an ebike to perform well is to maintain some speed when approaching and going up a hill, then add a bit of light pedaling if necessary. It’s that simple, and I think you’ll be very impressed by the performance if you’ve never ridden an ebike before. Please let me know how it goes for you!!

  Reply
scott t
4 months ago

I have had one of these for about a week. I am coming to this bike from a electra townie go 2016 model. I much prefer this bike so far. Both are comfortable bikes but the radcity provides a nicer upright position to me by being able to adjust the stem. The electra had metal fenders and no suspension fork so bumpy bike paths could be loud and clangy and often jolting. This bike with the plastic fenders is much much more quiet and the suspension fork really dissipates bumps. The electra I had had an internal rear hub which was nice for shifting at stops but with the throttle on this bike and a bit of planning I can usually take off as quick from zero mph. My range seems a bit greater on this bike than my bosch powered electra (400) and this bike is about 400 dollars less than my bike from 4 years ago. Assembly from the box was quite easy and hopefully rad power will start to more more accessories back in stock. Everything about this bike seems rock solid so far… Shifting out of the box was crisp and trouble free. For the money I am very pleased.

  Reply
Court
4 months ago

Sweet! Great review, Scott. Thanks for sharing your perspective, especially since this is not your first electric bike. I’m a big fan of the upright geometry that an adjustable stem can provide, along with the suspension fork. The RadCity is an excellent all-around product at a great price. Hope it continues to work well for you!

  Reply
Paul
2 months ago

Hello! Does anyone know if this would be fit for a 5”3 140 female comfortably?

Thank you!

  Reply
Court
2 months ago

Hi Paul! I think it’s workable but might not be as approachable for her as the step-thru version of the RadCity. It could depend on her balance, because she may have to tip the bike to one side in order to balance on her foot during stops. Getting onto the high step might also require hanging one leg over the side of the top tube vs. having both feet on the ground. I’m only guessing here, lots of petite riders make it work, but the step-thru was designed specifically to be more approachable :)

  Reply

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