2022 Rad Power Bikes RadExpand 5 Review


Technical Specs & Ratings



RadExpand 5


Class 2




Mechanical Disc



672 Wh

672 Wh

62.5 lbs / 28.38 kgs


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

Aluminum Alloy, Folding Steer Post, 170 mm Base Height with 7 mm Spacer, 45 mm Stem Length, 3º Rise, 31.8 mm Clamp

Aluminum Alloy, High-Rise, 176 mm Rise, 690 mm Length, 20º Backsweep

Ergonomic, Rubber, Non-Locking

HL, Aluminum Alloy, Single Bolt Clamp


Rad Power Bikes Branded with Lifting Handle, Brown

Wellgo Plastic Platform with Reflectors, CrMo Axle, Standard 9/16 x 20 TPI

Mechanical Disc

Radius Brand Mechanical Disc with 180 mm Rotors, Four-Finger Levers with Rubberized Edges and Motor Inhibitors with Brake Light Activation

More Details

Neighborhood, Urban, Commuting, Travel, Sand and Snow

United States, Canada, Europe

1 Year Comprehensive

7.7 lbs (3.49 kg)

9.6 lbs (4.35 kg)

14.25 in (36.19 cm)

14.25" Seat Tube Length, 22.5" Simulated Top Tube Length, 18" Reach, 16" Stand Over Height, 29" Minimum Saddle Height, 36" Maximum Saddle Height, 27.5" Width, 69.5" Length, 44.5" Wheelbase, Folded: 28" x 22" x 41"

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

175mm Hub Spacing, 12mm Threaded Slotted Axle with 10mm Flats and 1.25mm Thread Pitch, Steel Torque Arm, 18mm Nuts

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

Rear-Mount Kickstand, Steel Derailleur Guard, Rad Power Bikes Integrated LED Headlight (50 LUX, Focused Beam), Integrated LED Rear Light (Solid, Bright Brake Activation), Clear Plastic Sticker Slap Guard, Plastic Fenders (110mm Width), Bolt-On Rear Rack (27kg 59.5lb Max Load, 19mm Tubing Diameter, Bungee Loops, Yepp! Child Seat Window), Velcro Cinch Strap to Secure When Folded, Optional Front Rack, Optional Small Basket, Optional Large Basket, Optional Platform, Optional Small Pannier, Optional SR Suntour NCX Suspension Seat Post, Optional Phone Mount, 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 Folding Lock, Optional Wellgo Colored Pedals, Optional LCD Display Panel with USB Port

Locking Removable Seat Tube-Mounted Battery Pack, 1.1lb 2 Amp Charger, Stainless Steel Torque Arm, 275lb Maximum Weight Rating, KMC Z7 Chain with 124 Links

Throttle On Off Switch for Canadian Market

Battery Charge Level Indicator (5 Dots), Assist Level (0-4), Lights Indicator (On/Off)

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle (14 Pulse Low-Profile Cadence Sensor)

20 mph (32 kph) (25km/h in European Markets)

Video Reviews

Written Reviews

This review was provided for free using a temporary demo bike provided by Rad Power Bikes Canada. 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.


  • The RadExpand 5 is basically the fifth generation of the original RadMini folding electric fat bike. They changed the name in 2022 from RadMini and made some adjustments that enabled a lower price point. Those include a rigid fork vs. a suspension fork, basic LED display vs. LCD with USB charge port, and a single frame style (step-thru). The bike is 6.5lbs lighter, still offers a 7-speed drivetrain, and still comes in two frame colors (white or black). The first time I covered this model was in 2016, and it has been refined masterfully since then.
  • This is a Class 2 electric bike with cadence sensing pedal assist and a variable speed half-grip twist throttle. The motor power rating will vary depending on your geography with 750 watts for the US, 500 watts for Canada, and 250 watts for Europe based on the corresponding legal limits. Top speed may also vary with 20mph in North America and 25km/h in Europe.
  • Rad Power Bikes appears to have good inventory, and has been expanding their storefronts to cities such as Austin TX, Seattle WA, Sacramento and San Diego CA, Vancouver Canada and Utrecht Netherlands. They’ve got mobile delivery service vans, have partnered with Velofix, and offer Pro Assembly with partner shops. These are all great options in my opinion, and really separate the company from other online direct to consumer brands that target low prices.
  • This model uses the standard slide-mount battery pack, and is compatible with most rack, bag, child seat, and suspension post accessories sold on the site. The maximum weight is listed at 275lbs, the rear rack can support up to 59.5lbs and the optional front rack can support up to 30lbs of capacity… which subtracts from the total carrying capacity of the bike.


  • Custom fenders, rear rack, reflective tires, and integrated lights make this folding electric fat bike commute ready. All of the add-ons fit well and don’t rattle or seem cheap. The bike is lighter and stiffer than previous generations, but still offers good comfort due to the higher volume 4″ knobby tires.
  • Safety is an important topic for me, but even more so when traveling because the environment may be unfamiliar, and when riding smaller bikes because you’re lower to the ground. For these reasons, I love that the RadExpand comes with puncture resistant reflective tires, a cheerful bell, bright integrated lights, and has a bright mode on the rear light when braking. The rear light housing is protected by the rack tubing, but not blocked. The front light has side cutouts to be visible from more angles. The frame comes in black or white, and the white would probably be safer when riding in low light conditions.
  • Rad Power Bikes custom engineers their frames and puts a lot of attention into the details of which components are used. Note the internally routed cables, gusset plates and welds to improve stiffness, large folding hinges and buckles with locks. They custom spec their batteries with high quality cells and custom designed the hub motor for power and efficiency.
  • Note the geometry corrected steel fork with arch mounting point that supports the front fender and headlight. Down near the dropouts, there are additional threaded eyelets that provide a sturdy mounting position for the fender stays. It’s thoughtfully done, very sturdy, and offers some vibration dampening qualities over aluminum alloy. Just keep an eye on scratches and consider using black nail polish or automotive touch up paint to prevent rust.
  • I’ve always appreciated the high power of Rad Power Bikes motors, as well as their pedal assist plus throttle. The throttle can override any level of pedal assist to help you get started, climb easier, or catch up with a friend… all without having to click up or down on the pedal assist menu! Since the motors do exert high torque, and the frame is primarily aluminum alloy, it’s wonderful that they designed a small steel torque arm that’s mounted at the left rear dropout. This keeps the slotted motor axle from chewing into the frame over time.
  • Most Rad Power Bikes now use hub motors with left side cables that are tucked between the disc brake rotor and chain stay. This is a less vulnerable part of the bike, and it reduces clutter on the drivetrain side, near the derailleur. Even so, they still spec a steel derailleur guard! It came in handy for me during this review when the bike tipped over.
  • The steer post and handlebar were refined a bit for this model. Whereas before, the stem offered telescoping height and the handlebar was more flat, now the stem is fixed and the handlebar is a high rise. The result is that the bike feels sturdier and steering is more responsive, but you can still adjust the handlebar position and actually get more freedom for reach adjust. Note the extra long 390mm seat post that offers a range of fit options for small and medium sized riders. As with most folding ebikes, this one could feel a little cramped for super tall riders.
  • Rubberized ergonomic grips and saddle look great, don’t fill up with water, and provide good comfort. I’ve tested a bunch of seats, and this one is soft but not so wide that it will chaff your inner thighs when pedaling. It also has a handle built into the back that helps when lifting and folding the bike!
  • The brake levers are fairly long, to provide good leverage when pulling with either hand. They have rubberized front edges that dampen vibration and don’t feel as cold as raw metal! The larger 180mm rotors offer an excellent mechanical advantage over the 20″ wheels and provide good cooling properties due to increased surface area.
  • Some folding bikes do not provide a rubber band, magnets, or straps to help keep them from unfolding during transport, but the RadExpand does not! It comes with a very thick Velcro cinch strap! You could still use your own bungee cords or get an adjustable one like this to keep the bike extra secure when transporting in a car, boat, plane, RV, etc. but the Velcro strap is already above average in my opinion. I often place a towel or t-shirt between the frame components when folding and transporting to further reduce scratches, chips, and rattling noise. Some owners have purchased large plastic tubs to store the bikes that help to keep their cars clean and make lifting easier, and they posted about it in the forums here.
  • I appreciate that Rad Power Bikes is using the same battery pack for many of their ebike models because it allows you to loan them or find replacements more easily. Sure, the battery isn’t paint matched and isn’t hidden inside the frame like fancier bikes… but it’s also a lot less expensive, and it offers some cool locking features. You can turn the bike off while the battery is still locked to the frame if you wish.
  • You can charge the battery pack on or off the bike frame, and it is separate from the motor controller (which is bolted behind the seat tube). This reduces overheating and further reduces the cost of replacement batteries, since they are simpler. For best results, I have heard that you should 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.
  • I like how the frame design actually surrounds the battery pack. This tubing reduces frame flex, makes it harder to drop the battery when mounting it, and also protects the pack casing from getting kicked or bumped. Note that the battery is positioned low and center on the frame, which improves balance and handling.
  • The battery slide mount uses three bolts to attach to the frame, and the mounting position is purpose built to be flat vs. curved. I have found that the battery pack does not rattle much and just feels very secure, especially with the frame tubing surround.
  • I love that Rad Power Bikes includes threaded eyelets on the steer tube for their optional front rack, on the downtube for a bottle cage or other accessory, and on their rear rack for mounting trays and baskets. There’s so much utility here, and the weight rating of the bike is pretty good at 275lbs with 59.6lbs on the rear rack and 30lbs on the optional front rack (which would subtract from the 275lbs).
  • I love that the optional front rack is frame-mounted so it won’t interfere as much with steering or tip the bike sideways when parked, like fork mounted racks often do. If you add this rack however, it does change how the headlight is mounted, and fixes it straight inline with the bike frame vs. turning as the bike turns.
  • The company has so many great accessories, including a large LCD display panel with built-in USB charging port. I love their colored pedals, baskets, pannier bags, child seat, and suspension seat post. All of these parts are identified on the website and list which bikes are compatible (most), and the customer support is generally very quick if you need clarification or confirmation.
  • I appreciate how approachable and stable the frame is. With such a low standover height, I didn’t have to tip the bike to one side in order to step over the frame. Once situated, the fat tires allowed me to kick off and begin pedaling without feeling too tippy, and I was able to ride no-handed very easily without any speed wobble.
  • Both of the frame folding points (at the center of the frame and on the base of the steer post) have a locking mechanism for extra safety. The main joint consists of two very large flat plates and an extra large stainless steel clasp for strength, durability, and ease of use. Some competing folding products are also large and sturdy, but sometimes they are positioned too high and can bump your legs… was not the case here for me.
  • The LED display panel is simple, but easy to understand and use. There are only four buttons, and the minus key doubles as walk mode activation, but they are well labeled. I appreciate that there’s a stand-alone lights button for de-activating the lights, because sometimes that’s nice when riding with friends or if you don’t want to ruin your night vision.
  • The RadMini models use a high-resolution 14 pulse cadence sensors, which makes starting and stopping more predictable. It’s a low profile design, that is less likely to get kicked or bumped when riding off-road. I love that they also included motor inhibitors on both brake levers, which immediately cut power to the motor for safety and reduced brake pad wear. It seems like they really dialed in the controller settings too, because the motor is smooth and predictable when starting vs. delayed or jerky.
  • While motor power differs depending on geography, Rad Power Bikes targeted the highest legal output. They also designed the half-grip twist throttle to perform as a twist-assist power increase mechanism for European customers. This means that although you need to continue pedaling for it to work, you basically get full power instantly vs. having to click the plus button repeatedly on the display panel. I think it’s actually safer, less distracting, and more intuitive than pedal assist without twist assist… and it’s useful to catch up to friends or cross a street easily before dropping back to a more efficient use of power.
  • The kickstand well positioned, clear of the left crank arm so you won’t get pedal lock when backing up the bike if it’s deployed. It has a wide plastic 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.
  • Both wheels are built with 36 spokes using thicker 13 gauge wire for increased durability and weight capacity. I like that Rad chose to paint the motor casing, front hub, spokes, and rims black to match. In fact, all of the posts, bars, brake lines, fenders, and other little hardware pieces are black! Finally, they paint match the steel fork to match whichever color of bike you choose so it looks cohesive.
  • Above-average drivetrain for the price. You get a standard steel chainring with 48 teeth, but it has a plastic guide to prevent drops (especially when folded). The freewheel is 14 to 32 tooth vs. 14 to 28 tooth. Rad Power Bikes used to offer well-known Shimano parts on prior generations of this electric bicycle, but I actually liked the microSHIFT triggers they moved to because they require less reaching and finger pressure. I’m not sure if this move had to do with supply chain constraints, but the result is very acceptable.
  • I think the standard free shipping is a great option, and Rad Power Bikes has updated their box to include some fun artistic graphics that look fun and could be colored in by the artistic types, or their kids.
  • The company is growing its shop locations where you can test ride bikes, buy refurbished ones, get help with assembly, maintenance, and accessories. For most major cities, they partner with Velofix mobile delivery or have their own Rad Mobile Services vans that can drop your bike off for a bit of extra money. It’s nice to have that in person service considering how low the price point is for this and some of their other ebike models.


  • The RadExpand only comes in one frame size, but the high-rise handlebar can be swiveled to increase or decrease reach and the extra long 390mm seat post provides a good amount of height adjustability. The bike feels compact, and is a good choice for small to medium sized people, but they no longer offer a high-step folding model.
  • The internally routed cables look great and stay out of the way, but they can be pinched more easily when going from folded to unfolded. Just keep an eye on the main joint at the center of the bike, and try to keep the cables from getting bent or pinched.
  • The LED display panel is quite basic. It does not provide any information about your current speed, max speed, average speed, does not include a USB charging port, and the battery readout isn’t very precise (just five LED lights, each representing 20%). The LEDs can also be a little bright at night, and there’s no way to adjust them besides putting some masking tape over or swiveling the display up so they don’t shine directly at your face. Thankfully, Rad Power Bikes does sell the fancier LCD display separately on their website, and it’s easy to plug in.
  • Because the battery pack slides down and mounts in front of the seat tube, you may have to loosen and raise the seat post and saddle anytime you want to take it off of the bike (depending on how low you mount your saddle). I also noticed that the seat post clamp blocked the battery from sliding up, so I twisted it a bit as shown in the video review above.
  • The battery charger is fairly compact and lightweight, RAD says it’s reliable and works between all models, but it would be nice to have a faster charger given the high capacity 672 watt hour battery pack here. Rad told me that they wanted to keep the charger reliable, lightweight, and compact. Apparently, slower chargers are also easier on Lithium-ion battery cells and may allow them to last for more charge cycles. Around 2021, Rad improved the shielding in their chargers and now include a wall mount that is really well designed. I like that it has a little clip for holding the wire up off of the ground.
  • Despite its compact size, the RadExpand is a fairly heavy folding electric bike. Most fat-tire ebikes are! Weighing in at 62.5lbs, it’s 6.5lbs lighter than the old RadMini… but still heavy in my opinion. This is due to the fenders, rear rack, steel fork, reinforced frame, and heavier tires. Consider removing the 7.7lb battery pack before lifting the bike. Perhaps someday that they could reduce the weight a bit by using punched-out rims vs. the solid ones we see here.
  • The 180mm mechanical disc brakes worked very well during my ride test, even in the rain! However, I definitely prefer hydraulic disc brakes, because the levers are easier to pull and can be reach-adjusted for small or large hands. Mechanical disc brakes are easier to adjust, but the rear brake cable endures more friction and the orientation of the cable entering the housing could allow water and dust to drip in, gumming things up over time.
  • Perhaps this change was made due to supply chain limitations, but the brake brand changed from Tektro to Radius, which I’m less familiar with. The levers still have motor inhibitors and rubberized grips to reduce vibration and feel less cold… but they do not have a bell built-in like Tektro. Thankfully, Rad included a basic flick bell mounted to the left portion of the handlebar. It doesn’t sound as good and isn’t as easy to reach, but at least it’s there.
  • The RadExpand uses microSHIFT derailleur and trigger shifters, which I prefer to the large Shimano SIS Index thumb shifter on prior generations, but I think it’s a cheaper brand. The freewheel also changed from DNP nickel plated to a more basic part with a slightly lower gear spread of 14 to 32 tooth. I’d say these are still above average parts that perform well.
  • The chainring has a guide, which helps to keep the chain from bouncing off track if you ride off road or fold the bike and lay it on one side. This part used to be aluminum alloy and is now plastic. The pedals are also plastic, and they don’t fold. I think that they work very well, but you might consider folding pedals or the optional aluminum alloy pedals that Rad Power Bikes sells if you are concerned about durability.
  • Rad Power Bikes sells mostly online, which means that many consumers will have some unboxing to do. The assembly would be very minimal, and at least shipping is free in most cases. You have to pay extra for the mobile delivery service or shop assembly.
  • The bike does not include a suspension fork, and I thought the suspension on the RadMini was quite good (having lockout and preload adjust). Going from 3.3″ wide to larger 4.0″ wide tires helps to absorb vibration and shock, and Rad Power Bikes does sell an SR Suntour NCX suspension seat post for those who want the smoothest ride feel. You could also consider the RadRunner Plus, which looks similar to the RadExpand but does not fold.

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