Rad Power Bikes RadMini Step-Thru Review

Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru Electric Bike Review
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru Fat Bike 750 Watt Motor
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru Mid Frame Battery Reinforced Folding Hinge
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru Large Lcd Display Panel
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru Stitched Ergonomic Grips
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru Adjustable Kickstand Comfort Velo Saddle
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru Suspension Fork With Lockout Headlight
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru 7 Speed 11 34 Freewheel
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru 180mm Disc Brakes
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru Chainring Guard Folding Alloy Pedals
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru Road Fat Tires With Puncture Protection
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru Portable 2 Amp Charger
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru Electric Bike Review
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru Fat Bike 750 Watt Motor
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru Mid Frame Battery Reinforced Folding Hinge
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru Large Lcd Display Panel
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru Stitched Ergonomic Grips
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru Adjustable Kickstand Comfort Velo Saddle
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru Suspension Fork With Lockout Headlight
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru 7 Speed 11 34 Freewheel
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru 180mm Disc Brakes
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru Chainring Guard Folding Alloy Pedals
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru Road Fat Tires With Puncture Protection
Rad Power Bikes Radmini Step Thru Portable 2 Amp Charger

Summary

  • An approachable, folding, fat tire electric bike that's stable and off-road capable, complete with integrated lights, custom reflective tires, an adjustable suspension fork with lockout, and comfortable Velo saddle
  • Only available in one frame size and one color, but the handlebar and seat height are adjustable so it can accommodate a wide range of body types, the stand-over height is very low and the folding joint is narrow so you won't bump your knee
  • Large 180mm disc brake rotors provide excellent stopping power and control, both brake levers activate the backlight for safety and cut power to the motor, RAD optimized 750 watt geared hub motor feels powerful but smooth
  • Wide 11 to 34 tooth gearing makes it easy to pedal up steep hills and comfortable to maintain ~20mph top assisted speeds without feeling outpaced, large thumb shifter is intuitive, trigger throttle overrides pedal assist at all times for easy starts and extra power when needed, durable alloy folding pedals and chainring guide, fast USB charging port on display

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Rad Power Bikes

Model:

RadMini Step-Thru

Price:

$1,499

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Trail, Travel

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:

68 lbs (30.84 kg)

Battery Weight:

7.7 lbs (3.49 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.7 lbs (3.94 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

14.5 in (36.83 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

14.5" Seat Tube Length, 18.5" Reach, 16" Stand Over Height, 29" Minimum Saddle Height, 27.5" Width, 68" Length, 45" Wheelbase, Folded: 29" x 24" x 42"

Frame Types:

Step-Thru, Folding

Frame Colors:

Satin White with Gray and Orange Accents

Frame Fork Details:

RST Spring Suspension, 60mm Travel, Compression Adjust with Lockout, Preload Adjust, 32mm Stanchions, 135mm Hub Spacing, 9mm Axle with Release Skewer Skewer

Frame Rear Details:

175mm 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 Altus Derailleur, DNP Nickel Plated 11-34 Tooth Freewheel

Shifter Details:

Shimano SIS Index Thumb Shifter on Right

Cranks:

Aluminum Alloy, 170mm Length, 48 Tooth Chainring with Prowheel Ounce Alloy Guide

Pedals:

Wellgo P256 Aluminum Alloy Folding Platform with Reflectors, CrMo Axle, Black

Headset:

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

Stem:

Aluminum Alloy, Folding Telescoping Height Base 9" to 12", 50mm Length, 30º Angle, 15mm Rise, 31.8mm Clamp

Handlebar:

Low-Rise, Aluminum Alloy, 660mm Length

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, Stitched Imitation Leather, Brown

Saddle:

Velo Plush with Lifting Handle, Brown

Seat Post:

Promax, Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 80mm Width, 36 Hole

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 12 Gauge, Black with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Kenda x Rad Power Bikes Kraze Sport, 20" x 4.25" (98-406)

Wheel Sizes:

20 in (50.8cm)

Tire Details:

5 to 30 PSI, 0.4 to 2.1 BAR, 30 TPI, Reflective Sidewall Stripe, K-Shield Puncture Protection

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Rear-Mount Adjustable Kickstand, 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 Seat Tube-Mounted Battery Pack, 1.1lb 2 Amp Charger, Fully Potted Motor Controller, Stainless Steel Torque Arm, 275lb Maximum Weight Rating

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bafang, RadMini Specific

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

750 watts

Motor Torque:

80 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 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.

The first time I saw and reviewed a RadMini was in 2016; it was neat to see fat tires on a folding electric bike! So many times, folding ebikes feel uncomfortable and jarring because 20″ wheels have lower air volume and a higher attack angle, falling into cracks and ramming small bumps vs. spanning them smoothly. Fat tires also provide stability and float, if you lower the air pressure. I got the chance to test this out on the sandy beaches of Cabo San Lucas Mexico in 2016, and my advice would be to lower the air pressure between 5-7 PSI for it to really work… but it did work! Since those early years, Rad Power Bikes has updated their battery design, added a suspension fork, introduced new accessories, and launched a brand new Step-Thru frame that is even more approachable than the original mid-step design (which is now just called the RadMini). When you compare the two models back to back, the RadMini Step-Thru weighs about four pounds more due to frame reinforcements, has a slightly longer reach, and is only available in white while the other is only comes in black. The price for both models is $1,499 with free shipping to most locations in the US and Canada. The bike no longer comes stock with a rear rack, but the drivetrain, tires, brakes, and lights have all been upgraded. I’ve listed pricing for all of the different accessories in the accessories section above, and was very impressed with the build quality of the fenders and how quiet they were, the attachment design of the front rack, and how the rear rack was made to interface with Yepp! child seats. Both racks include cable extenders so the lights can be repositioned easily. For a step-thru frame, I found the ride quality to be stiff and was impressed with the 275lb max weight rating. Unlike the high-step, cables and wires are mostly internally routed through the frame here. The steering tube telescopes up to accommodate taller riders and the seat post is long enough that I was able to raise the saddle pedal fairly comfortably. RAD has chosen a larger seat clamp for all of their 2019 models that’s easier to loosen. It’s a minor thing, but it saved my fingers from straining and getting pinched. Considering the cold, wet weather of Seattle (where we reviewed the bikes), it made adjustments much easier as we swapped bikes during all of the test rides.

Driving both RadMini models is a custom tuned fat bike specific geared hub motor from Bafang. The wide casing provides a sturdy bracing angle for the thick 12-gauge spokes while permitting a wider stater and magnet configuration inside. This allows the motor to deliver consistently high power without producing a lot of noise or being physically large (having a wider diameter). Notice how the motor basically hides behind the largest 34 tooth cog on the right side and the 180mm disc brake rotor on the left side. Rad Power Bikes upgraded the drivetrain on all of their e-bikes with an 11-34 tooth DNP freehwheel for 2019 that allows for easier climbing and a more comfortable cadence at the maximum supported 20mph top speed. It’s a big improvement over 2018, which had a 14-28 tooth cassette that was not nickel coated and used a cheaper Shimano Tourney derailleur vs. the Altus here (which is one step higher). Getting back to the motor, it’s rated at 750 watts continuous output which is the upper legal limit for the United States, and I believe it’s specced down slightly for Canada to comply with different regulations. It’s fairly lightweight at ~8.7lbs compared to the ~10.5 pound gearless motors on the RadWagon and RadCity models, and it freewheels without any magnetic drag… thought it does not offer regenerative braking. Because the RadMini uses smaller 20″ wheels, the hub motor gets a mechanical advantage. In order to make pedaling feel right for the rider, given the smaller wheels, a large 48 tooth chainring was chosen. I think RAD did an excellent job creating a comfortable ride feel with this product, and was able to spec traditional 170mm crank arms because the fat tires elevate the bike more than comparable non-fat folding ebikes. The big trade-off is weight… with the RadMini Step-Thru coming in at ~68lbs. Thankfully, the ~7.7lb battery pack and front wheel are easily removable. You shouldn’t have a problem with chain derailments while riding, folding, or transporting, because the RadMini comes with an alloy chain guide. Furthermore, the chain stay is well protected from chips by a neoprene slap guard, and the derailleur and motor power cable are protected by a steel guard. This guard is relevant in the initial post-purchase shipping process and anytime the bike is folded and loaded for personal transport. RAD even provides a strap to keep the bike from coming unfolded, which is something a lot of other brands overlook or struggle to accomplish with magnets. A few have rubber band straps, which I like because they stay with the bike… but you could always keep the strap with your RadMini too. All things considered, this motor feels smooth and natural when riding with pedal assist, and offers excellent power for starts and climbs when activating the twist throttle.

Compared to the first generation of Rad Power Bikes, the current generation battery pack offers ~20% higher capacity and only weighs 0.5 lbs more. It allows you to go further, use the throttle or higher levels of assist without as much range anxiety, and is cross compatible between all RAD models dating back to 2018. It mounts securely to a plastic track that’s attached to the frame with three bolts and secures with a keyed locking core. Notice how the battery is positioned at the center of the frame at a low point for improved balance and bike handling. It’s protected on both sides by additional aluminum tubing, which doubles as a frame support – reducing frame flex. The battery pack has two fuses built in for safety, and is physically separate from the motor controller. Notice the little black box behind the seat tube, that’s the controller unit. I was told that separating it out reduces heat exposure and makes replacement batteries less expensive. At $550 per pack, you get a lot of bang for your buck here compared with $800+ for many competing offerings from leaders like Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano, and Brose, and others. I also like the physical design of this battery, being smooth and rounded, though it does not include a handle or loop for secure carrying. Since the batter is more of a short thick design, it’s likely easier to stuff into trunk bags, panniers, and backpacks for extended rides. This is not the case with many of the new internally mounted ebike batteries. The big trade-off is aesthetics, with two black boxes tacked onto the frame here vs. completely hidden power systems. Rated at 48 volts and 14 amp hours, this pack offers a total of 672 watt hours, which is above average for this generation of ebike batteries. And, I’m told that it contains high quality Samsung 35E high capacity lithium-ion cells. The battery casing has an LED charge level indicator built into the top edge, allowing you to determine roughly how full it is whether it’s on the bike or not, and you can charge the pack while mounted or separated from the RadMini frame. This battery powers the backlit LCD display panel and both lights, which is another upgrade from previous models. The rear light used to run off of two AA batteries, which was easier to forget and leave on after rides while also producing more waste. To maximize the lifespan of this and other lithium-ion battery packs, I’ve been taught to store them in a cool dry location and avoid complete discharge. In fact, it’s best to stay between 20% and 80% and aim for 50% if you know you won’t be riding for an extended period of time.

Once the battery pack is mounted and locked, simply hold the mode button located at the center of the control pad, which is mounted within reach of the left grip. The large grayscale LCD unit blinks to life showing your battery level, odometer, current speed, assist level (starting in 1 by default), and watts being used. You can cycle from odometer to trip distance by tapping the mode button, cycle from current speed to average and max speed by holding the up arrow, activate the lights by holding up and mode simultaneously, and initiate walk mode by holding the down arrow. Walk mode is especially useful if the bike is loaded with gear, or maybe you’re in a park where it’s not appropriate to ride, maybe the terrain is too steep and unstable for the slick tires, or you’ve got a flat. With the upgraded Kenda puncture resistant tires, hopefully you won’t end up in that situation too often. For those who want to adjust more settings, hold the up and down arrows simultaneously. This allows you to change the wheel size, backlit brightness (1-3), and units (mph or km/h). Press mode to navigate through the settings menus and hold mode to exit settings. Finally, the most common interaction with the display is to press up or down to navigate from 0-5 assist levels. The higher the level, the more power and speed you’ll get, but you can always override the current level by activating the twist throttle on the right. And I love that RAD has included an on/off button for the throttle! This, combined with the brake lever motor inhibitors, provides maximum control over all modes of operation. With a responsive 12-magnet cadence sensor and the variable speed twisth throttle, this ebike is setup very well, though not as immediately responsive as the high end multi-sensors now seen on many mid-drive ebikes. Even though the display panel is now branded as Rad Power Bikes, it is actually a very common SW-LCD from King Meter; the same display used on many prior models (in case you wish to look it up). Rad Power Bikes has a great video overview of their display here but it doesn’t go quite as deep as I’ve described above. I love that the company has included a full sized USB Type-A port built into the base of the display, and increased the power output to 5 volt 1 amp for 2019 while prior versions were 5 volt 500 milliamp and wouldn’t maintain or charge electronic accessories as consistently or quickly. The display can be swiveled forward and back to reduce glare if you don’t over-tighten the clamp, but it is not removable. Given the positioning, above the stem at the cent of the handlebar, this display should be fairly protected from scratches at bike racks and tips, but will still take sun and weather damage over time. Just like the rest of the electronics here, this display is water resistant, and I noticed that RAD opted for a nicer threaded connector point for the display while other connections are plastic press fit. I was told that the this and other parts can be replaced through the company, and are warrantied for one year as a part of the comprehensive warranty. I’ve noticed that some owners will secure their helmets over the display and others will use plastic bags to protect from rain. Anyway, I really like being able to activate the the lights through the display, being able to adjust backlighting, and even being able to change the rear light from off or solid to blinking mode. To do this however, you must reach down and press a little rubber button on the lower left edge of the rear light. This step cannot be completed through the display. Most ebikes I see only offer lights off or solid on, but a blinking rear light can generate more awareness and is a unique upgrade. Note that both brake levers have motor inhibitor switches built in to safely disabling the motor when you want to stop but now they also activate the rear light! This works even when lights are disabled. Finally, the headlight has a light sensor built into the back so it goes extra bright when riding during the daytime and dims slightly when it’s very dark out. Both lights are designed to be re-mounted to racks if you purchase them aftermarket, and Rad Power Bikes includes extender cables to make it easy. Note that if you do get a front rack and reposition the light, it will no longer point where you steer, because the rack is frame mounted for extra strength.

All things considered, this is an awesome folding electric fat bike. It’s rated as Class 2 because of the throttle, but I believe you could remove that for Class 1 riding on restricted off-road trails. In that case, you may also wish to swap out the slick tires for some knobby ones, and the folks at RAD told me they do sell them separately for that purpose. Rad Power Bikes is well known for their full sized fat tire electric bike called the RadRover. It’s comfortable, off-road capable, and priced well… but not as versatile or approachable as the RadMini. The stand over height is ~30.5″ vs. 16″ here, and even with the quick release wheels, it’s just a big bike to move and store. By contrast, the compact RadMini is easier to store, transport, and just as capable with a rear rack and front rack. I love the custom plastic fenders that RAD sells because they are sturdy and quiet. You could get a suspension seat post for added comfot, a small or large platform with all sorts of panniers and box bags which of course have reflective material built in. They sell a phone mount for those who wish to navigate with GPS and the Yepp! Maxi child seat, guaranteed to fit, for all of those great Moms out there. It’s really nice that Rad Power Bikes opted for a sturdier suspension fork with wider stanchions to handle the heavy wheel. The fork can be completely locked out for efficiency but also has preload adjust on the left side, to pre-load the spring inside for heavier riders. I like how RAD has refined their paint job and logos here, not being as small or busy, and how they used gray on the top tube to hide scuff marks from dirty shoes. Even though it’s only available in white, the colors felt gender neutral and you get the benefit of higher visibility when riding in low light conditions. Big thanks to Mike, Corey, Ty, and the others at Rad Power Bikes for inviting me out and spending time on this review to answer questions. My goal is always to go deep, be impartial, and have fun… and they made this possible. I sincerely think these guys are doing a great job and have heard great things about their customer support (operated M-F 9am-5pm PST out of Ballard Washington). As always, I welcome your feedback in the comments below and invite you to discuss and share pictures in the Rad Power Bikes forums.

Pros:

  • Beautiful aesthetic here, cables and wires are internally routed through the frame, support hardware is all black (including spokes), and the gray chevrons on the downtube hide shoe marks from mounting
  • Lots of great accessory options including a suspension seat post, wide plastic fenders, a heavy duty rear rack, and frame-mounted front basket with extender for the headlight
  • I found this ebike to be very comfortable, the wide tires offer a 5-20 PSI pressure rating, the suspension fork offers preload adjustment and full lockout, the saddle is soft, and the ergonomic grips reduce hand fatigue
  • Kenda and Rad Power Bikes worked together to create a series of tires with reflective stripes and K-Shield puncture protection, this slick fat tire rolls efficiently, is quieter than the knobby ones on the high-step model, but still provide excellent traction in wet conditions (as shown in the video review above), it’s 4.5″ wide vs. 4.0″ wide on the high-step RadMini which delivers more stability and air volume for comfort
  • In my experience, there are many wave style step-thru bike frames that feel flexy, but Rad Power Bikes designed the RadMini Step-Thru with a taller joint and support tubing to eliminate this feeling, I like how the tubing also surrounds the battery pack for additional protection
  • Excellent weight distribution here, notice how low and centered the battery is on the bike frame, this improves stability and frees up the rear for adding a rack and cargo, I’m very impressed that they also included bottle cage bosses on the downtube
  • Both of the frame folding points (at the center of the frame and on the stem) have a locking mechanism for safety when riding, the main joint uses an extra large stainless steel clasp for durability
  • Both wheels are built with thicker 12 gauge spokes for increased durability and weight capacity on the bike, the official max weight rating is 275 pounds (~125 kilograms) which is outstanding for a folding model
  • Safety is a bit deal for me, so I appreciate the custom reflective tires, white paint, and integrated lights, RAD went the extra distance with their rear light allowing you to toggle from solid to flashing by pressing a rubberized button on the bottom
  • The kickstand is mounted perfectly, far enough back that it won’t cause pedal lock when left down, tucked in so it won’t cause heal strikes as you pedal, and it’s adjustable length so you can maximize stability based on your parking environment
  • Large display panel is easy to read, can be swiveled to reduce glare if you don’t over-tighten the mounting bracket, and has a fast one amp USB Type-A charging port built into the base so you can maintain a smartphone or other portable electronic accessory
  • The battery pack can be charged on or off the bike frame, locks securely into place, contains two fuses for safety, the mounting bracket is sturdy and attaches with three bolts vs. two on some competing products, they used high quality Samsung 35E Lithium-ion cells, and the pack is fairly affordable to replace at $550 because the controller is separate
  • I really appreciate that the battery pack is cross-compatible with all other 2018/2019 Rad Power Bike models, this allows you to buy a couple of different ebikes and share packs to extend rides
  • Pedal assist responds quickly because of a 12-magnet cadence sensor, the motor cuts out instantly whenever you brake because both levers have motor inhibitor switches built in, the twist throttle includes an on/off switch for additional riding options and safety
  • Great folding design with smart hardware choices including a support bar to protect the chainring, a saddle that has a handle built into the back for lifting, and a physical stop point in the steering tube so you won’t over-extend the cables in the front
  • The geared hub motor is zippy and powerful, it gets a big mechanical advantage because of the smaller 20″ wheels, I’ve tested an older version of this ebike in soft sand riding on a beach in Mexico and it worked great (just bring the tire PSI down to 5-7 or the tire will sink in)
  • Nice drivetrain, the wide 11-34 tooth cog set offers easy starts and climbing as well as comfortable higher speed pedaling, the cogs are nickel plated for durability (and I was told that it’s environmentally friendly), there’s a slap guard to protect the chain stay paint, and a tough alloy guide to protect the chainring and reduce chain drops
  • Rad Power Bikes opted for high-quality Wellgo folding pedals that are made out of aluminum alloy verses plastic, they offer a larger platform area to reduce slips and don’t flex or break as easily, great choice
  • Some folding bikes skip the bungee cord, magnet, or a Velcro strap to keep them from coming unfolded but the RadMini does not, it comes with a Velcro strap! You could still use your own bungee cords or get an adjustable one like this to keep the frame extra secure when transporting in a car, boat, plane, RV, etc.
  • I really like the bell that’s built into the left brake lever, it’s compact and keeps the handlebars clean but works reliably and produces a friendly chime, I also like the rubberized brake levers
  • This is a very minor upgrade, but Rad Power Bikes moved the rear disc brake caliper down onto the left chain stay to shorten the cable length and reduce clutter for the rack, they are also using conical washers now that are easier to adjust to reduce brake noise
  • Another small improvement here is the larger seat tube clamp that is easier to use (especially if your fingers are cold), it’s handy if you’ve got multiple people sharing, are running a fleet or rental program, and especially for the folding model when you want to make it compact for transporting and storage
  • The rear portion of the bike has extra threaded holes for adding off-brand racks and accessories (so you can run fenders and racks without running out of mounting points), I also noticed that they’re still using a torque arm on the left for durability and a steel guard on the right to protect the motor cable and derailleur
  • It’s cool that Rad Power Bikes has expanded to Canada with this model and now have a flagship store in Vancouver, they offer free shipping and in many cases and partner with mobile bike repair services to deliver assembled for an additional $100
  • Minor consideration, the 2018 RadMini used a different controller that was built into an alloy box located just behind the bottom bracket. The 2019 version appears to use the same controller as the full sized RAD models and on the step-thru version it is positioned in a less exposed spot behind the seat tube. This part may be easier to service now, more standardized across the line, but stands out visually on the white frame

Cons:

  • The RadMini Step-Thru only comes in one frame size, but the steering tube and seat post can telescope up for taller riders, the frame only comes in one color for now, note that the high-step version of the RadMini is about the same size and also has the adjustable steering tube, I measured reach to be about one inch less on the high-step which surprised me
  • The display panel is not removable, which could result in more sun, weather, and physical wear over time depending on where you park it, some people cover their displays with their helmets or put a plast over at racks to reduce scratches and water
  • I love that you can enter into the display settings area and adjust units by holding the up and down buttons, but I wish there was more feedback about range and remaining battery capacity, it only shows five bars which relay 20% steps vs. 10 bars or a full 100% readout
  • 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 higher capacity 672 watt hour battery pack
  • Despite its compact size, this ebike is fairly heavy at 68lbs (with the battery pack attached), that’s about four pounds heavier than the high-step RadMini model because of the reinforced tubing and redesigned joint
  • Minor complaint here, the thumb shifter requires more effort to use and a bit of reaching for me compared to under-bar trigger shifters, but RAD explained that they chose it to make room for the twist throttle
  • The 180 mm mechanical disc brakes worked well during my ride test, especially with the smaller 20″ wheels, but I definitely prefer hydraulic because the levers are easier to pull and can be reach-adjusted for small or large hands, this is one part on the bike that seems to be a compromise in order to keep the price lower and the folks at Rad told me that mechanical brakes are easier for people to work on themselves vs. needing help from a shop
  • One consideration with the spring fork is that it’s heavier than an air fork, I love that it has a lockout adjust and that they included it compared to the 2016 and 2017 first-generation RadMinis which used a rigid fork
  • Earlier RadMini products shipped with the rear rack included and it was paint matched (black or white) but starting in 2019 you have to pay $80 extra for it and it only comes in black (but the same rack works for both high-step and step-thru models)
  • Minor considerations here, the headlight is mounted to the lower portion of the suspension fork and will bounce up and as a result, will bounce up and down when riding over bumpy terrain vs. if it was up on the stem, also, if you get the front rack and move the light onto it, it will no longer point where you steer since the rack is frame mounted
  • Rad Power Bikes sells mostly online, which means that there’s some extra hassle unboxing and preparing the bike for riding, however they have partnered with some mobile bike repair services offering a $100 setup, keep in mind that the folding models are the easiest ones to get going if you do it yourself
  • 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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Rad Power Bikes RadMini Review

  • MSRP: $1,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2019

The high-step version of a folding fat tire electric bike from Rad Power Bikes, reinforced frame with sturdy gussets, secure locking latches for both folding points, adjustable suspension fork with lockout. Powerful 750 watt Bafang rear hub motor with strong 48 volt battery allows for climbing…...

Rad Power Bikes RadCity Step-Thru Review

  • MSRP: $1,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2019

An approachable, comfortable, and relatively affordable, city style electric bicycle that comes in one frame size, two colors, has an adjustable stem, swept-back handlebar, and suspension fork with lockout adjust. Ready for all sorts of ride conditions and applications with full-coverage plastic fenders, integrated LED…...

Rad Power Bikes RadCity Review

  • MSRP: $1,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2019

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…...

Rad Power Bikes RadWagon Review

  • MSRP: $1,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2019

An affordable, feature-rich, electric cargo bike with cadence sensing pedal assist and throttle on demand operation, available in one frame size with adjustable bars and two color options. Gearless direct-drive hub motor is heavier but super quiet, durable, and capable of regenerative braking…...

Rad Power Bikes RadBurro Review

  • MSRP: $5,500
  • MODEL YEAR: 2018

An affordably priced, heavy-duty, utility style electric bike with four bed options including flat, truck bed with sides, hot/cold insulated box, and covered pedicab passenger seat. Borrows components and hardware from mopeds and motorcycles for added strength and durability, tough 17”…...

2018 Rad Power Bikes RadCity Step-Thru Review

  • MSRP: $1,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2018

An approachable, comfortable, and relatively affordable, city style electric bicycle that comes in one color and one frame size, swept-back handlebars and adjustable stem improve fit range. Ready for all sorts of ride conditions and applications with full-coverage plastic fenders, LED lights,…...

2018 Rad Power Bikes RadMini Review

  • MSRP: $1,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2018

A compact, fat tire electric bike that folds to save space, the suspension fork and larger 4-inch wide tires add comfort and allow it to ride on soft sand and snow if you lower the tire pressure, or you can lockout the fork and raise pressure for efficiency on pavement. Only available in one frame size for now, but the handlebar height is adjustable along…...

2018 Rad Power Bikes RadCity Review

  • MSRP: $1,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2018

An affordable, feature-rich, city style electric bike that comes in two sizes, two colors, and offers great adjustment in the stem and handlebar position for comfortable upright body position. Responsive 12-magnet cadence sensor provides faster starts and stops, both brake levers have motor inhibitors,…...

2018 Rad Power Bikes RadRover Review

  • MSRP: $1,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2018

An affordable, powerful, electric fat bike with responsive 12-magnet pedal assist and twist-throttle on demand, available in two colors with lots of accessory options including fenders and racks. Only one frame size but the top tube is sloped and the shorter stem pairs…...

2018 Rad Power Bikes RadWagon Review

  • MSRP: $1,599
  • MODEL YEAR: 2018

An affordable, feature-rich, electric cargo bike with cadence sensing pedal assist and throttle on demand operation, available in one frame size with adjustable bars and two color options. Gearless direct-drive hub motor is heavier but super quiet, durable, and capable of regenerative braking…...

2017 Rad Power Bikes RadMini Review

  • MSRP: $1,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016

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 (31) YouTube Comments

Alex M
6 months ago

All good stuff. Such a great value. If only they could learn how to make bikes under 65 lbs :) …

  Reply
Court
6 months ago

Yeah, I think they wanted to build something that could hold up for heavier riders and support the big motor reliably. Rad sells more ebikes than most other companies and it seems like they have dialed it in for reliability and cost. Both of those factors tend to add weight… and all of the accessory attachment points (like the bigger head tube plate). It seems like the plastic battery casing design is pretty light for how much energy it offers, the motor is standard, but the bigger rims and tires (with puncture resistant lining) definitely add to the weight.

  Reply
Alex M
6 months ago

It’s fat tires to blame (and bigger everything else, to support this). In a folding bike many people are looking for low weight because they have to lift it on a bus rack or over a gap/doorstep on a train, or a few odd stairs here and there. With 2.2″ tires and 350W motor the weight could’ve been 52 lbs.

  Reply
Court
6 months ago

I’m glad that the battery is removable, that helps to reduce the weight a bit. Still pretty heavy… be careful lifting so fingers don’t get pinched :D

  Reply
Tom
6 months ago

Hi Court, I moved my comment about the lack of a standard rear rack on the 2019 Rad Minis to this review of the 2019 Rad Mini Step-Thru because I noticed here in the written review that you specifically call out the fact that the 2019 does not have the rear rack as a standard feature as opposed to previous models. The video review is still a bit unclear, though, because while you mention that the rear rack is an option, you don’t specifically mention that on the 2018 model featured in the video, the displayed rear rack was a **standard** feature. A viewer could come away with the impression that the 2018 version shown simply had the “optional rear rack” installed to show what it looked like. But kudos to you for calling this out in the written review.

I think I am just kicking myself because I was too slow on the trigger to get one of the 2018 models on closeout before they ran out of inventory. The rear rack as standard, plus the more secure location of the control box on the 2018 made it a little superior in design and value IMHO (not to mention the $1399 closeout price!). While the external control box is much easier to service or swap out (probably critical for an exclusively on-line company in terms of service), it’s more prone to damage. And many of the other folding bikes in Rad’s category (e-Joe, Enzo, Motiv, E-Lux) still have the rear rack as standard. But as you always say, it’s about the trade-offs! :-) Still a lot of value and quality in this bike, and the step-thru model is a terrific addition to the lineup.

  Reply
Court
6 months ago

I’m really glad that you’ve called all of this out, Tom. RAD has changed a few things and I could have been more specific with the rack battery and controller updates. I’m going to go back and add some of that in right now. It sounds like you’re very close to making a decision about the new RadMini, whatever way you go I hope it works out well and you can enjoy it! I welcome your feedback once you get a bike and use it for a while :)

  Reply
Tom
6 months ago

Thanks Court. I must say that you have a remarkable ability to take constructive comments well. You are never defensive or hostile, a remarkable achievement on the internet. It speaks well to your integrity and character. Your parents raised you well! If there was an award for Most Positive Personality on the internet I would nominate you without hesitation. And I don’t think you sleep, since you answer comments so quickly!

I am indeed close to making a decision on a folding fat tire e-bike, but it’s so difficult for me because I live in Western NY, where it is cold and snowy, and there are no local bicycle shops within 500 miles that stock any of the bikes you review. I’m not able to test ride any of these models, so trying to get the most bang for the buck is hard when you’re basically shooting blind. That’s why your work is so important to people like me who live in places where ebikes have not really caught on yet. I’m looking for a folding fat tire ebike both to do winter riding here as well as bring along on trips in my RV, and this Rad Mini is sitting at the top of my current list (I already own a Surface 604 Rook). But for me, fenders and a rear rack are required equipment. I was willing to pay for the fenders, but now having to pay additional for the rack is giving me second thoughts.

BTW, I realize you’re pretty much West Coast-based, but if you ever get out to St. Petersburg FL, you should check out a company called Ridescoozy. They have three models of 20″ fat tire bikes, and I think you’d really enjoy checking them out on their web site at ridescoozy.com. Because of all I’ve learned from you about bike components, I can pretty much compare them to what you’ve reviewed on specs alone. They look good, and if you get a chance when you have down time, some quick impressions would be welcome. Thanks again.

Eddie
6 months ago

Hope it’s great for dads, too… Can someone comment on how the child seat is mounted? Does it have a quick release? How much effort is it to get it mounted/unmounted for a short ride or even for folded transportation in a car. Thanks!

  Reply
Court
6 months ago

Hi Eddie, I think the child seat is very quick and easy to install/remove if you get the Thule Yepp! Maxi model. The seat has this interface that’s basically rectangular block that tips down into the window area on top of the rear rack. There’s a twist dial on the back that extends a rod backwards so the seat cannot be pulled up from either end or tip outwards to the side. I could see someone lifting the bike out of an SUV trunk, unfolding it, and adding the Yepp! seat in under five minutes. It might take a little longer if you take the battery off each time as well, but I’d probably still go that route to protect my back when lifting ;) I hope this helps, here’s the Yepp! seat I’m talking about, RAD sells it too and can help make sure you get the right model. The third and forth pictures show the back and the dial thing, there’s even a video on the Thule website.

  Reply
Eddie
6 months ago

That sounds tempting, thanks for clarifying. A follow-up question: Do you think a 4-year old could be seated by a single person, in other words, is the kickstand sturdy enough for this scenario?

Sharon McCartney
5 months ago

Just got my RadMini Step-Through today! We opted to put it together ourselves. The manual that comes with it was of minimal help. We found a pretty decent video on YouTube that showed more. We had quite a few questions that took time to figure out, like why the front wheel wouldn’t seat properly, and the video showed how to adjust the brake to open up the spacing enough for the wheel to attach correctly. The charging unit is pretty self-explanatory, but there are some lights on the battery itself that are really not well explained anywhere. There is a lot to learn about how to change the gearing and using the pedal assist while trying not to crash and kill myself!

  Reply
Court
5 months ago

Hi Sharon, it sounds like your unboxing/assembly process was a bit more work than expected. Thanks for sharing here so others might consider the Velofix or local shop help. Ebikes tend to be heavy and if you don’t have a background in regular bicycles, the gearing and brakes can indeed be tricky. I believe that the LED indicator on the battery packs is meant to communicate approximately how full it is (five lights, 20% steps for charge level). Feel free to post more here as you get the hang of riding, or if you have any other questions ;)

  Reply
Andrew
5 months ago

I bought one for my daughter in Los Angeles who is a freshman in college. She and a friend put it together in a couple hours time. She said she will end up taking it to a bike shop for fine tuning even though it seems to ride fine. She seems very happy with it. It easily climbs pretty steep hills she says. My only complaint is that it should come with a rear rack included that matches the paint color.

  Reply
Court
5 months ago

Cool! I’m glad your daughter is enjoying the bike so far. Hope it holds up well for you. Indeed, the older version of this bike only came in high-step but did have the rack included in the price. It’s a nice optional upgrade, I think they worked hard to hit and maintain the $1.5k price point given some of the China tariff situation and overall, the bike seems pretty solid. Feel free to chime in with more updates as she uses it :D

  Reply
Wayne
5 months ago

Hi Court. I loved your review of the mini step-thru. I’m seriously thinking of purchasing it, as both my wife and I can enjoy it, for sure. For her, being able to plant her feet flat on the ground is a blessing. She is relatively new to cycling, and even with the bike she has now, she gets nervous when she stops and can’t get her feet on the ground the way she wants. For me, well, at 6′ 1″ tall, I hope to be able to ride it ok. Watching your YouTube review of the bike, I noticed Mike, from Rad Power Bikes, who is between 6′ 1″ and 6′ 2″ tall seemed ok with it, but appeared a bit cramped. If I do get one, I will get another seat post for myself, one that is set back. Plus, I will change out the 31.8 mm stem (headstock?) for a longer one in order to get more reach.

I’m wondering why they didn’t design the seat tube angle slightly back a little more. This will still allow shorter riders to use the bike, as it was intended, but it will open it up for taller riders to feel more comfortable on the bike. As the specs point out, the max recommended rider height is 5′ 10″. If the seat tube angle was designed as mentioned, perhaps the recommended rider height might be comparable to the regular mini for us tall guys. One big reason for me wanting the step thru as opposed to the other mini model, I have bad knee and back problems, and the step-thru would be a blessing for me. I tried out the other mini model at one of the rental locations near where I live, but I found it a bit of a bother to climb aboard. Well, perhaps with the mods I’m hoping to do, the mini will work out for me.

May I ask a suggestion, Court. Would it be possible to point out rider height recommendations along with your view on that. I think that would help potential buyers who may be wondering if the are either too short or too tall fro the bike.

Thanks Court

  Reply
Court
5 months ago

Nice! I like your idea of getting a longer or set back seat post and the different longer or taller stem. There are some great stem options out there that include riser or extension bases along with a 45-degree angle that can be 100mm+ long. Another idea would be to replace the handlebar with a riser handle bar to bring them up and just use the default stem… lots of options.

I also have a sensitive knee, back, neck, and shoulders! So I get it… the step-thru is much easier to mount and the big tires on this ebike are nice for comfort, along with the suspension fork. A steeper angle on the seat tube could make the bike approachable for small to big riders, but might require a stronger seat tube to support weight that is hung out over the rear wheel. This is what the Gocycle does, and how they are able to market it to a broad range of heights. Note the fatter lower tube and telescoping upper tube… That probably increases strength. Anyway, I can’t really speak for RAD’s design decisions, but I think they do a really good job of looking at all aspects and actually customizing and optimizing beyond other competing “affordable” brands. I’ll keep your “recommended rider height” request in mind and see if it can be worked in somehow. I think accessories really open up the possibilities and I’m reluctant to add more qualitative “guess” sort of stats on ebikes. Range estimate feels this way to me sometimes and could leave a reader feeling like one ebike is much better than another, when that may not be the case. I do my best to reply to comments like yours. My tip is to look at handlebars, seat post options (like the Thudbuster ST with XL longer base and 27.2mm diameter) and slide the saddle all the way back. This could do a lot for body position and leg extension and it would cost under $200.

  Reply
Wayne
4 months ago

Hi Court. Thank you very much for getting back to me. The riser bar and that Thudbuster seat post you recommended are great options, for sure, and as a matter of fact, I have been looking at that very seat post.

Court, last Saturday I was very fortunate to be able to see an assembled Mini Step-Thru at the rental location I visited before. I got a call from the owner telling me that they just finished assembling one bike for a customer who won’t be picking it up for a week or two. She suggested I come out to have a look. I fell in love with it as soon as I laid my eyes on it. What a beautiful looking bike it is. You know, even at 6′ 1″ I didn’t feel the slightest cramped sitting on it. It was just fine. Although, perhaps, many riders might prefer to lean slightly forward, I feel that for me, the upright sitting position of this bike suits me rather well considering my lower back problem, and having that nice low step-thru is a real blessing. My knees will thank me, LOL. So not long after getting home I went online and ordered one with the rear rack and small basket. The lady at the store was kind enough to give me a code for a $50 discount. Lovely jubbly, as the East End of London cockneys would say.

Rad Power Bikes have an arrangement with a company called Velofix, and as soon as I get the tracking number, I will make arrangements for them to set it up for me when it arrives. I think having this service done is a good investment, Court. For one thing, if there are any parts that are broken or defective, they can, not only point them out, but will come back and replace the part when it arrives. Also, they can properly torque down all the necessary bolts to recommended specs. Something, of which, many new owners might miss.

Court, I have always enjoyed watching your reviews. You do such an excellent job, and without them, I wouldn’t have been able to make a proper choice. You speak very highly of Rad Power Bikes, and I have to concur so far. I have spoken a few times with the reps there, and they are very helpful and friendly. There are a number of reasons why one would chose a certain bike, and one very good reason is the after sale. I feel comfortable in knowing that I will be looked after down the road, and that is worth a great deal.

Thank you again, Court for your guidance and help.

Regards
Wayne

Oh, before I forget, I have to ask. I would like to be able to mount a cam on the bike, or even use one in a similar way that you do. What cam and equipment do you use? The videos come out so clear and vibration free. Well done on that.

Wayne
4 months ago

Hi Court. I purchased the mini step-thru and love it. I still can’t get over the quality of this bike for the money. The whole process from ordering, receiving and set up by Velofix was great. I will say this, getting Velofix to do the assemble and set up was a great idea. Everything was spot on, so to speak, but the gears and the disc breaks needed a slight tweaking. I know very little about such things, so Velofix saved me stress time LOL.

Court, you had a huge part in my decision making. The video review along with your thorough write up on the bike. You really perform a great and valuable service for anyone thinking of purchasing an e-bike. I thank you!

Regards
Wayne

  Reply
Court
4 months ago

Awesome! My goal is to help, and it’s validating and rewarding to receive comments like your, Wayne. Thank you! I hope the RadMini holds up great for you in the coming seasons and welcome any further updates. Great to hear that Velofix worked for you and was worth the money. I agree… even as someone with some bike skills myself, I don’t always have tools accessible. It’s nice to have a professional help, even with just cleaning up the mess and hauling off the packaging.

  Reply
Wayne
4 months ago

Hi Court. Everything going well. Enjoying the bike very much. I’m finding that riding an e-bike is so worth it. With my knee, lower back and hip issues, I can now ride and enjoy the experience. Before, riding a regular push bike, I would get a lot of discomfort and be forced to ride back with great difficulty. Now, if I do experience some problems, I simple throttle my way home.

Thanks again for everything, Court. Now when people asks me about the bike, I send them to your website.

Claude Duquette
3 months ago

Thank you for the good review do you know a way to travel with the battery on a plane maybe a bike cie have a batery who pass the test 160 wh.

Thank you, Claude

  Reply
Court
3 months ago

Good question Claude, I am not sure how to do it with a Rad Power Bike, but perhaps you could send the battery by ground transportation or plan to rent or borrow a battery on location? I have heard that some other companies sell smaller packs that are just low enough to get on airplanes and then you plug them together to make a full sized battery once you arrive. Check out Grin Technologies for more on this.

  Reply
Peter Teichroeb
2 months ago

I like everything about your Rad Mini Step-through bike except it’s weight, but I think I could live with that. But I have a problem that I hope you can help me with. I live in Mexico and it’s a long 2-day drive up to the border from here in Colima. I would be quite willing to pay the shipping (DHL or UPS). Could we do it that way?

  Reply
Court
2 months ago

Hi Peter! I wish I was in a position to help you. My website, EBR, is designed to provide video, pictures, and an unbiased review or overview of as many ebikes as possible. there’s also a forum section so you can make friends and get second opinions. In order to reach Rad Power Bikes, to request special shipping to Mexico, I think you’ll need to use their official website which has a contact page and phone number listed at the top. Espero que esto te ayude y te deseo suerte!

  Reply
Penny
3 weeks ago

I’m curious how those “slick” tires handle light gravel, sand, etc. I don’t really go “off road” but some trails I travel on are packed gravel with some loose sand, rocky/rutted roads.

  Reply
Court
3 weeks ago

Hi Penny! My experience with tread is that it adds some comfort and traction, but increases noise and drag. I’ve been able to ride with relatively smooth tires, even narrower 2.25″ tires, on gravel trails without issue… they might not allow for quick braking and could slide out easier, but with fat tires, you’re going to get even more traction and I think they would hold up well enough. I wouldn’t feel too bad about going with the slicks, you’re still getting lots of surface area, even if it’s smooth… but I wouldn’t go too much more than flat gravel trails and just a bit of sand because that will increases of sliding, I’d also check my speed on those types of terrain :)

  Reply
Penny
2 weeks ago

Thanks so much! I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of my mini :) Your review video was perfect for helping me make my decision!

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