Rad Power Bikes RadRover 6 Plus Step-Thru Review

Rad Power Bikes Radrover Plus 6 Step Thru Electric Bike Review
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru 750 Watt Geared Hub Motor
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Downtube Battery Pack 10 Led Charge Level Indicator
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Handlebar Ergonomic Grips Shifter
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Grayscale Lcd Closeup Speed Readout
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Lcd Display Closeups Button Pad
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Front View Custom 80 Lumen Headlight
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Rear Fender And Light
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Rst Suspension Fork 60mm Travel With Lockout 26x4 Fat Tires
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Frame Reinforcement Tubing For Stiffness
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru 180mm Disc Brake Rotor Dual Piston Hydraulic Caliper
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Rear Fender Adjustable Kickstand
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru 7 Speed Shimano Altus Drivetrain
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru 42 Tooth Chainring With Alloy Guide
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Sealed Cadence Sensor And Downtube Shield
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Ebike
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Optional Pannier Bags
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Optional Battery Transport Case Plug Cover And Usb Dongle
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Electric Bike Charger
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru 2 Amp Ebike Charger
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Step Thru Stock Step Thru White
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Step Thru Stock Step Thru Black
Rad Power Bikes Radrover Plus 6 Step Thru Electric Bike Review
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru 750 Watt Geared Hub Motor
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Downtube Battery Pack 10 Led Charge Level Indicator
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Handlebar Ergonomic Grips Shifter
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Grayscale Lcd Closeup Speed Readout
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Lcd Display Closeups Button Pad
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Front View Custom 80 Lumen Headlight
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Rear Fender And Light
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Rst Suspension Fork 60mm Travel With Lockout 26x4 Fat Tires
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Frame Reinforcement Tubing For Stiffness
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru 180mm Disc Brake Rotor Dual Piston Hydraulic Caliper
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Rear Fender Adjustable Kickstand
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru 7 Speed Shimano Altus Drivetrain
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru 42 Tooth Chainring With Alloy Guide
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Sealed Cadence Sensor And Downtube Shield
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Ebike
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Optional Pannier Bags
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Optional Battery Transport Case Plug Cover And Usb Dongle
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru Electric Bike Charger
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Plus Step Thru 2 Amp Ebike Charger
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Step Thru Stock Step Thru White
Rad Power Bikes Radrover 6 Step Thru Stock Step Thru Black

Summary

  • An approachable step-thru version of the proven RadRover fat tire electric bike featuring frame, brake, and battery upgrades for its 6th generation. Available in black or white color schemes, the step-thru offers lower standover and minimum saddle height but introduces some frame flex. Wide 4" tires provide stability, traction, and float for navigating soft terrain like gravel, sand, and snow. Shorter stem, 5 removable spacers, mid-rise handlebar, ergonomic grips, and adjustable suspension fork provide comfort fit options.
  • Network of mobile service vans and multiple storefronts in the US, Canada, and Europe make trying, buying, and maintaining this ebike easy. Redesigned wire routing, especially the motor power cable, and a new removable downtube cover improve reliability and repairability. Great attention to detail and safety with puncture resistant reflective tires, motor inhibiting brakes, two display panels with more precise battery level indicators, and a brake activated rear light.
  • New hydraulic disc brakes require less hand effort, offer fit adjustability, and perform more consistently over time. Multiple rack attachment points and a wide range of quality accessories, that are cross compatible with other Rad models, set this ebike apart. Wide 11-34 tooth gearing makes starting and climbing easy; durable chainring guide reduces chain drops and bottom bracket damage while keeping your clothing clean.
  • Custom 750 watt geared hub motor offers 15% more torque than the prior generation. Redesigned motor controller is now internally mounted for durability and improved aesthetic. The bike costs 17% more and weighs 1lb more. Shorter suspension travel than before, but frame geometry is greatly improved, it handles better at speed.

Video Review

Introduction

Make:

Rad Power Bikes

Model:

RadRover 6 Plus Step-Thru

Price:

$1,999 (Free Shipping in Contiguous US and Canada)

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Trail, Sand and Snow

Electric Bike Class:

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

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States, Canada

Model Year:

20212022

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

72.2 lbs (32.74 kg)

Battery Weight:

7.7 lbs (3.49 kg)

Motor Weight:

9.6 lbs (4.35 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

14.8 in (37.59 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

14.8" Seat Tube, 23.5" Simulated Top Tube Length, 15.6" Reach, 16.5" Stand Over Height, 29.5" Minimum Saddle Height, 28" Width, 48.75" Wheelbase, 78.5" Length

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Gloss White with Gloss Metallic Silver and Orange Accents, Gloss Metallic Gray with Gloss Black and Orange Accents

Frame Fork Details:

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

Frame Rear Details:

175mm Hub Spacing, 12mm Threaded Slotted Axle, 18mm Nuts

Attachment Points:

Fender Mounts, Front Rack Mounts, Rear Rack Mounts

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:

Prowheel Aluminum Alloy, 170mm Length, 42 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:

Aluminum Alloy, 50mm Length, 30º Angle, 15mm Rise, One 15mm Tapered Spacer, Three 10mm Spacers, Two 5mm Spacers, 31.8mm Clamp

Handlebar:

Aluminum Alloy, 4" Rise, 15-Degree Backsweep, 700mm Width

Brake Details:

Nutt Hydraulic Disc with 180mm Rotors, Dual Piston Calipers, Three-Finger Levers with Adjustable Reach, Motor Inhibitors, and Brake Light Activation

Grips:

Velo, Ergonomic, Stitched, Faux Leather

Saddle:

Velo Custom with Integrated Lifting Handle

Seat Post:

Promax, Aluminum Alloy, Single Bolt Clamp

Seat Post Length:

390 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Star Circle, Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, ETRTO 73x559, 80mm Width, 36 Hole

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, Straight Gauge, 12 Gauge, Black with Silver Brass Nipples

Tire Brand:

Kenda x Rad Power Bikes Juggernaut, 26" x 4" (98-559 100/90-22 24B)

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

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

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Compact Flick Bell on Left, Rear-Mount Adjustable Length Kickstand, Steel Derailleur Guard, Rad Power Bikes Integrated LED Front Light (Outer Light Ring, Focused Beam, Aluminum Alloy Heat Sink, 80 Lumens), Integrated Rear Light (Solid, Brake Activation, 1 LED), Neoprene Slap Guard, Plastic Fenders (110mm Width), Optional Proprietary Rear Rack (Removable, Yepp! Window, Pannier Hangers, Mounting Interface, 27kg 59.5lb Max Weight), Optional Charging Dongle (Full Sized USB Type A, 5 Volt, 1 Amp Output, Can Chain Two, Four Total on System), Optional Front Tray Rack, Optional Small Basket, Optional Large Basket, Optional Platform, Optional Small Pannier, Optional SR Suntour NCX Suspension Seat Post, 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, Optional Rear Wheel Lock, Optional Water Bottle Holder for Handlebar, Optional Handlebar Bag

Other:

Locking Removable Semi-Integrated Downtube Battery Pack, 1.3lb 2 Amp Charger, Fully Potted Motor Controller, 18 Amp Draw 75 Amp Peak Output, Stainless Steel Torque Arm, 275lb Maximum Weight Rating, Adjustable LCD Brightness, Adjustable Clock, Adjustable Units

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Rad Power Bikes Custom Manufactured

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

750 watts

Motor Torque:

68 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung or LG 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:

Primary: Rad Power Bikes Custom Manufactured LCD, Fixed, Adjustable-Angle, Backlit, Grayscale 2.5" Screen, Secondary: Rad Power Bikes Custom Manufactured LCD, 1.5" Screen

Readouts:

Center Screen: Clock, Odometer, Current Speed (MPH or KMH), Motor Watt Output, Trip Time, Trip Distance, Left Screen: Assist Level (0-5), Battery Charge Level (10 Bars), Lights Indicator

Display Accessories:

Independent Control Pad on Left, Buttons: Up, Down, Power, Lights, (Cycle Readouts: Hold Up and Down, Walk Mode: Hold Down, Clear Trip Distance and Time: Hold Lights Button, Settings Menu: Hold Down and Lights Button), Independent Charge Level Indicator on Battery Pack (10 Bars)

Drive Mode:

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

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)


Written Review

This review was provided for free, but Rad Power Bikes and I split the cost of flights, food, and hotel so I could visit their headquarters in Ballard, Washington to spend some time with the new models. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of Rad products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below, and the Rad Power Bikes electric bike forums.

Observations:

  • Starting in 2020, Rad Power Bikes began offering Rad Mobile Service (delivery, assembly, and maintenance) using a fleet of vans in some major cities across North America and Europe. They charge $150+ for this premium service and still offer free shipping in the continuous 48 states, Canada and Europe/UK if you are willing to handle unboxing and some minor assemble yourself. Additionally, the company now has traditional retail stores in Vancouver Canada, Seattle Washington, San Diego California, and Utrecht Netherlands
  • This is labeled as a 6th generation RadRover product, but is actually the second generation of the Step-Thru version. It features a complete frame redesign with semi-integrated downtube battery pack, hydraulic disc brakes, and cable routing improvements. Some of the hardware components are decidedly mid-tier to keep the price down, including the non-locking grips, square tapered spindle, spring suspension fork with 9mm quick release vs. thru-axle, Shimano Altus derailleur, and freewheel vs. cassette. This bike comes in a high-step version as well, which weighs slightly more and only comes in black. That model has 0.25″ longer reach, a higher standover height and minimum saddle height, and the frame is stiffer due to the top tube. The “Plus” added to the name here denotes a more feature rich product from Rad vs. the affordable RadRunner and RadMission. It’s the same naming convention used for the RadRunner Plus, which has fenders, lights, and a suspension fork :)
  • This is a Class 2 electric bike with cadence sensing pedal assist and variable speed twist throttle. The motor power rating will vary depending on geography with 750 watts for the US, 500 watts for Canada, and 250 watts for Europe based on the corresponding legal limits.

Pros:

  • Rad Power Bikes really pioneered fat tire ebikes and was one of the first to custom engineers their frames and introduce proprietary components. For the 6th generation RadRover Step-Thru this includes a proprietary display, motor, motor controller, headlight, and co-branded puncture resistant reflective tires. Little things like the enlarged seat tube clamp lever that’s easier to use, having a derailleur guard, removable downtube wiring cover, and a saddle with integrated handle makes the bike more durable and user friendly.
  • Compared to the high-step RadRover 6 Plus, this model is actually 2lbs lighter! I think it has to do with less frame tubing (no top-tube here). This is great for petite riders who are also seeking the lower standover, saddle height, and shorter reach.
  • By reducing the suspension fork travel to 60mm vs. 100mm, Rad was able to lower the front end and shorten the steer tube which provides more options for stem and handlebar height positioning. The geometry change also includes a slacker head tube angle which improves stability at speed. With the battery moved down and forward, semi-integrated into the downtube, the bike now has a 4″ lower standover height making it more approachable. One side effect of the geometry change is that the frame is now 3″ longer… I believe that the seat tube is also more slack, and Rad has provided a longer 390mm vs. 350mm seat post so the reach changes faster as the saddle is raised, fitting larger riders better. They better accommodate riders at the bottom end of the height recommendation range (Step-Thru: 5’2″-6’2″, High-Step: 5’4″-6’2″)
  • I appreciate that Rad is offering the step-thru model in white and black because I think it will be popular for families with multiple riders, and the color choice can help to keep them separate and unique. Overall, the new paint design and branding feels more premium to me. I think it’s fun and neat that they sprinkled some orange accents around and that the display says “R A D” when booting up! The boxier tubing compliments the four-inch fat tires nicely.
  • Older generations of the bike had a black controller box bolted to the back of the seat tube. This didn’t look great, but I was told that it made servicing easier, and I suspect it allowed them to use a simpler frame. The new frame allows the controller to be hidden in the downtube (below the battery bay, I believe). It’s probably less vulnerable there, is still very accessible with the integrated wiring, and it definitely looks nicer. Note the tiny black electronic splitter joint that is positioned behind the seat tube where the controller box used to be. This sends electricity to the rear light and has an open connector wire for adding the optional USB dongles.
  • While the last generation of Rad Power Bikes used the King Meter display, which had one integrated USB charging port, the new system has two open connector wires to add optional USB charging dongles… and two can be daisy-chained together to support up to four 5 volt 1 amp USB type A charging ports! That’s an awesome upgrade for riders who like to use portable speakers, smartphones, lights, and other electronics on the go. One plug is near the mounting point for a rear rack and the other is near the handlebar or mounting point for a front rack.
  • I was told that all of the electronics (displays, battery, controller, motor, optional USB dongles) are IP65 rated against water and dust ingress, that’s pretty great for people who ride year-round in the dust, rain, and snow. Also, the headset and bottom bracket use sealed cartridge bearings that resist rust and won’t creak as much as cheaper parts.
  • A channel below the downtube allows the brake lines, shifter cable, and electrical wires to be hidden but still very accessible for repairs and replacement. They developed a plastic channel cover that bolts onto the downtube, to cover the channel and protect the wires. In my opinion, it’s a good compromise of appearance, durability, and utility because the wires are easy to reach and the plastic seemed much more sturdy than some press-fit covers I’ve seen from some other companies using a similar strategy. Furthermore, I love that they moved the motor power cable to the non-drivetrain (left) side of the bike and tucked it between the disc brake rotor and frame tubing, they reduced clutter near the derailleur and added protection for the motor cable!
  • Excellent drivetrain configuration. The chainring has a sturdy aluminum alloy guide that reduces chain drops, keeps clothing clean, and provides “bash guard” protection for the bottom bracket where some wires are exposed. A neoprene slap guard protects the paint on the chain stay while reducing noise, and a steel derailleur guard adds protection if the bike tips over.
  • The integrated lights are great because they run off of the main battery, are visible from multiple angles, and have quick disconnect points for easy replacement or relocation if you buy a front rack. The rear light has a bright braking mode that works even if the lights are turned off and it has been relocated to the end of the fender where it can be seen from more angles. I love their custom headlight with focused 80 lumen beam, secondary light ring, and aluminum alloy heat sink on top.
  • By default, the RadRover models come with durable plastic fenders. They’re wide enough to keep you dry (as I tested during part of our ride), and they’re fairly lightweight and quiet. These new fenders support the rear light whereas the last generation sort of blocked it (when the light was mounted on the seat stays).
  • Even though I consider this ebike to be more of an SUV than mountain bike due to the relaxed stem, mid-rise handlebars, and shorter spring suspension fork… it’s still very capable. The 4″ wide fat tires offer a 5 to 30 PSI range and have a puncture resistant casing. I’ve actually tested them in soft dry sand during a trip to Mexico, after lowering the pressure to ~5 PSI, and they worked great! Consider tightening or loosening the suspension preload based on your weight and cargo load to “pre-load” the spring properly. You can also lock it out completely to reduce bobbing if you’re mostly riding on paved surfaces.
  • Matching faux-leather ergonomic grips and 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. Rad is still using 27.2mm seat posts that are cross compatible for all of their ebikes, and they sell the SR Suntour NCX suspension post for people who want to reduce back, shoulder, and neck strain.
  • The new battery pack design positions weight lower on the frame (actually sunk down into it), adds protection with a metal housing, weighs 0.4lbs less, and is easier to take off!. The cells inside are either Samsung or LG, which are high quality and warrantied for a year. Since the packs don’t contain the controller, they tend to be less expensive to replace. You can charge this pack on or off the frame, and I love that the locking core and charging port are high up on the left side of the frame vs. low down by the cranks and pedals. For best results, store the battery in a cool, dry location. Extreme heat can damage the cells and extreme cold will stunt them and temporarily limit your range.
  • Rad has a new battery terminal cover option that protects the electronic interface if you decide to store the bike outside or transport it on a car rack. I have family members who RV and always take the battery packs off to reduce weight, and this accessory would be great for people like them, because the bikes can get pretty dusty. It’s a unique feature I haven’t seen from any other companies before, though it does cost extra.
  • Rad Power Bikes is still using a stainless steel torque arm on the left rear dropout for the motor axle that adds strength and protects the frame! This part will keep the motor axle from chewing into the softer aluminum alloy over time, and it’s super relevant with the new custom motor that has 15% more torque than before.
  • Considering the high 750 watt 68 newton meter power rating of the planetary geared hub motor that Rad is using here, the casing is very compact and it doesn’t produce excess noise. I appreciate that it’s painted black, along with the spokes and rims. The spokes are thick 12 gauge front and rear, to handle extra weight and force. Note that the motor rating changed from last generation based on what was reported to Rad by the manufacturer (Bafang) vs. what they measured with their own dyno equipment for the new in-house motor. Geared hub motors like this freewheels efficiently, so there’s no extra drag if you’re pedaling unassisted or coasting.
  • I think the standard free shipping is a great option, and Rad Power Bikes has updated their box to include some fun artistic graphics and produce less waste. 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, Europe, and the UK in recent years. They have to spec the motors differently, down from 750 watts to 500 watts or 250 watts, in order to comply with local regulations… but they still offer a lot of torque. Many geographies offer free shipping and Rad has the mobile service vans and several physical offices (two in the US, one in Canada, and one in Utrecht Netherlands) where you can test ride and get ongoing support. It really sets them apart from other value priced online products.
  • I like the sturdy Wellgo platform pedals they chose… but I did see some off brand alternatives as well. I was told that this is another supply chain choice and that they have approximated the hardware to offer good stability, stiffness, and easy rotation. I’m just glad they didn’t go with smaller cage style pedals or plastic.
  • For me, the four-button control pad that’s mounted near the left grip is easy to reach and simple to use. The up and down buttons have plastic ridges that almost feel like braille so you can operate based on feel without looking down as you ride. The dedicated light button is very nice, and I love the 10 bar battery indicator vs. 5 bars before! It’s much more precise, helping you to manage your range. I’m told that it uses a new algorithm that’s more accurate too, so riders can plan trips better and feel more confident on long rides. Hold the down arrow to activate walk mode, hold the lights button to clear trip distance and trip time readouts, hold up and down to switch between clock + odometer and trip time + trip distance, and hold the down and light button to enter the settings menu.
  • The RadRover models still use a high-resolution sealed 12-magnet cadence sensor that is durable and predictable. I love that they also included motor inhibitors on both brake levers (which also activate bright mode on the rear light!), Pedal assist operation 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 variable speed output based on how far you twist, and it overrides pedal assist with full power at any level… even zero. You can ride the bike like a scooter and not even pedal, or get a quick boost when riding in lower levels of assist.
  • The kickstand has an adjustable lower portion that can be extended or retracted for maximum stability. The foot of the stand is wide enough to keep from sinking into soft terrain. On a related note, the front rack accessories all mount to the steer tube vs. the handlebar and fork, which them more stable when you steer and park, so the bike won’t tip over or dump your cargo as easily as alternative solutions.
  • 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. I was also told that it’s more environmentally friendly. The Shimano Altus derailleur is pretty basic, but worked well during my rides.

Cons:

  • Most wave style step-thru frames introduce some frame flex, compared to high-step models. While Rad has reinforced the frame and made the tubing boxier to add as much stiffness as possible, it did flex a bit. I did not notice speed wobble and was able to ride no-handed fairly easily.
  • In order to mount the step-thru frame on some bike racks, you may need to spend extra money for a frame adapter or “crossbar adapter” that links the steer post to the seat post. Rad sells their own compatible adapters and racks, and should be able to provide some insights here.
  • The new display system provides larger readouts and the grayscale LCDs are easy to read in light and dark conditions, but you can only adjust the backlight brightness for the main center screen… not the left button pad screen. That display has a smoked plastic cover that somewhat reduces brightness, so this is only a minor complaint for people who ride at night and might find it distracting. Furthermore, you can no longer reduce the top speed of the bike in the display panel settings.
  • I was really surprised to find that the 6th generation RadRover models weighs a bit more than the last generation. I guess the new integrated battery design and wire routing updates required more frame material? I believe that the shorter travel suspension fork is lighter, and the battery pack is definitely lighter, despite being made with an aluminum alloy shell vs. all plastic like before. Perhaps the hydraulic disc brake system adds some weight? I think they could used punched out rims in the future to help reduce weight, as some competing products have done.
  • There are no longer bottle cage bosses on the frame due to the wire routing redesign. The last generation had them mounted below the downtube, which was not ideal for bottle placement but did add an attachment point for folding locks and skid plat accessories. As a solution, Rad Power Bikes sells two optional handlebar mounted drink holders that seem to work well. I’m a big fan of the insulated fabric holster, which has three velcro straps so it doesn’t tip forward.
  • The old LCD display had a USB charging port built into the bottom, so you could maintain a phone, charge a wireless speaker, or run additional lights. The new system has two open connectors for adding USB charging dongles (up to 2 inline, 4 total for the bike), but they cost $29 each. That seems like a high price for what used to be free, especially since the bike price also increased.
  • The bike has gone from affordable to value-priced in just a year and a half. I was told that Rad had to raise their prices due to supply chain issues and tariffs (most ebike companies have had to raise prices, and I suspect inflation plays a role here as well). The new RadRover is $2k USD, which reflects the motor, brake, display, and service network upgrades.
  • Both the step-thru and high-step RadRover electric bikes are only offered in one frame size… and they’re fairly similar. If you’re especially tall, consider using a longer stem and raising the seat post height, but if you’re especially short, consider one of the RadMini products, or the RadCity Step-Thru which is actually built around a smaller frame. Note that the mid-rise handlebar on the RadRovers can be swiveled forward or back to extend and shorten reach without changing any hardware on the bike and they advertise that the Step-Thru RadRover can accommodate riders starting at 5’2″ or 5’4″ for the High-Step which is pretty great ;)
  • 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 or even glancing 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. I see why Rad has stuck with the thumb shifter, and one positive is that it’s easy to use if you’re wearing gloves since the paddles are so large and independent.
  • 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. However, it’s still a fairly basic spring fork that adds a lot of weight to the frame and limited dampening vs. an air fork. The front axle is a standard 9mm vs. a heavy-duty 15mm thru-axle, so it’s not really designed for heavy off-road use and true mountain biking. Finally, it would be difficult to upgrade the fork aftermarket to something lighter or tougher because most upgrade alternatives use tapered steer tubes and thru-axles to support the weight of fat-tires.
  • The displays are large and easy to read but not removable, so they could take extra weather wear and possibly get scratched at a bike rack (especially the left display). The battery no longer offers a locked-off setting, so if you leave it connected to the bike at a rack, people could activate and mess with the twist throttle.
  • 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 get squished between the suspension fork arch and the bottom of the rack tray. The thing is, the light no longer aims where you steer because the front rack is frame mounted; fixed inline with the frame itself. Be sure to mount the headlight correctly, because if you don’t completely remove the bracket and flip it before re-mounting the light, it will hang down and rub against the tire when the suspension actuates.
  • All of the Rad Power Bikes use the same charger, and it’s fairly lightweight and compact. However, 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 that might cause the price to increase further. The new charger is actually 0.2lbs heavier than the older one, though it is said to have better shielding. Both chargers still work on all Rad batteries from what I understand.
  • This is a fairly minor point, but the derailleur dropped one level according to Shimano’s groupset ranking. It used to be Shimano Acera and is now Shimano Altus. I asked the founder about this downgrade and he expressed that they had tested the parts and felt that the hardware was roughly equivalent. Supply chain constraints have limited access to some parts (including derailleurs, pedals, and saddles), so this could also be part of the decision.
  • The RadRover used to have a Spanninga SOLO rear light with blinking option, but they changed the part and relocated it to the back of the fender (to improve visibility and reduce complexity when adding a rear rack). No more blinking, but I think the new light is probably still an improvement in terms of safety.
  • This is a minor consideration, but Rad has switched to a new battery standard here that is not backwards compatible with all of the other models. This is a bummer if you own an older RadRover… but I was told they will be supporting the other standards for many years to come, and I have seen this with their prior generation of batteries too. Perhaps we will see other Rad models adopting the new battery pack in the coming years.

Useful Resources:

More Rad Power Bikes Reviews

Rad Power Bikes RadCity 5 Plus Review

  • MSRP: $1,799
  • MODEL YEAR: 2021, 2022

The classic high-step version of the proven RadCity hybrid electric bike featuring frame, wheel, brake, and battery upgrades for its 5th generation. Available in black only, this model comes in one frame size but offers an adjustable angle stem and extra long 390mm seat post. Ergonomic grips, hybrid tires, locking suspension fork, and optional suspension seat post provide comfort. The rear rack is now removable, and positioned so the saddle won't collide in low positions.. A growing fleet of mobile service vans and storefronts in the US, Canada, and Europe…...

Rad Power Bikes RadCity 5 Plus Step-Thru Review

  • MSRP: $1,799
  • MODEL YEAR: 2021, 2022

An approachable step-thru version of the proven RadCity hybrid electric bike featuring frame, wheel, brake, and battery upgrades for its 5th generation. Available in black or white color schemes, the step-thru offers lower standover and minimum saddle height, but introduces some frame flex. Adjustable angle stem, ergonomic grips, hybrid tires, and locking suspension fork provide fit and comfort. The rear rack is now removable, and positioned so the saddle won't collide in low positions.. A growing fleet of mobile service vans and storefronts in the US, Canada, and Europe…...

Rad Power Bikes RadRover 6 Plus Review

  • MSRP: $1,999
  • MODEL YEAR: 2021, 2022

A proven fat tire electric bike with frame, brake, and battery upgrades for its 6th generation. The high-step version is slightly larger and stiffer than the step-thru, but only comes in a black color scheme. Wide 4" tires provide stability, traction, and float for navigating soft terrain like gravel, sand, and snow. Shorter stem, mid-rise handlebar, ergonomic grips, and adjustable suspension fork delivery comfort.. Network of mobile service vans and multiple storefronts in the US, Canada, and Europe make…...

Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Plus Review

  • MSRP: $1,699
  • MODEL YEAR: 2020, 2021

The fully accessorized version of the RadRunner electric bike. This is a compact utility ebike with unique 20" x 3.3" fat tires and adjustable suspension fork (compression, lockout, rebound). Comes stock with extended seat and flip-down pegs for a passenger, as well as extra wide fenders and an upgraded 500 lumen headlight. Also compatible with the standard racks, bags, and Yepp! child seat.. Integrated lights, including a blinking rear light that goes bright when the brakes are pulled,…...

Rad Power Bikes RadMission 1 Review

  • MSRP: $999
  • MODEL YEAR: 2020

The lightest, most affordable electric bike from Rad Power Bikes. Available in two frame sizes and styles including a sturdy high-step diamond and approachable mid-step mixte. Six color schemes let you personalize the bike and stand out, which is rare for cheaper electric bikes. Lots of attachment points for optional fenders, racks, baskets, bottles, and frame locks.. Surprisingly powerful geared hub motor offers 50nm of torque. Single speed drivetrain is quiet, durable,…...

Rad Power Bikes RadRhino 5 250W (EU Version) Review

  • MSRP: $1,699
  • MODEL YEAR: 2020

An updated 5th generation full sized, high-step, fat tire electric bike from one of the originators in this category; Rad Power Bikes. Features comfortable 4" wide knobby tires with puncture protection and reflective sidewalls. Stable and capable in soft terrain like mulch or sand if the tire air pressure is lowered. Features a sloped top-tube, short sturdy stem, and mid-rise handlebar for approachable upright comfort. Adjustable suspension fork offers preload adjust for heavy loads and lockout for smooth terrain. Upgraded…...

Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 4 Review

  • MSRP: $1,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2020

An affordable but refined electric cargo bike with custom 22" x 3.0" tires that improve stability and comfort while still keeping the cargo holds low and easy to load. Approachable but stiff mid-step frame comes in three beautiful colors. Reflective tires and quality integrated lights help keep you visible and safe. Powerful fat-bike rated 80nm geared hub motor provides excellent power for starting, hauling gear or…...

Rad Power Bikes RadCity Step-Thru 3 Review

  • MSRP: $1,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2020

A feature-complete, approachable step-thru, comfort oriented, hybrid electric bicycle with regenerative braking. It has a built-in USB charging port below the display, features a modular battery pack that works with all other Rad models of this generation, and comes with 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…...

Rad Power Bikes RadMini Step-Thru 2 Review

  • MSRP: $1,299
  • MODEL YEAR: 2020

A folding, fat tire electric bike that's approachable, stable, and off-road capable. The custom 3.3" wide tires have reflective sidewalls, puncture protection, and all-terrain tread. This is the second generation RadMini Step-Thru, and it comes standard with wide plastic fenders, integrated lights, and an adjustable suspension fork with preload and lockout. Only available in one frame size and one color, but the handlebar and seat height…...

Rad Power Bikes RadRover 5 Review

  • MSRP: $1,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2020

An updated 5th generation full sized, high-step, fat tire electric bike from one of the originators in this category; Rad Power Bikes. Features comfortable 4" wide knobby tires with puncture protection and reflective sidewalls. It's stable and capable in soft terrain like mulch and sand if the tire air pressure is lowered. Features a curved top-tube, short sturdy stem, and mid-rise handlebar for approachability and comfort.. Adjustable suspension fork offers preload adjust for heavy loads and lockout for smooth terrain. Upgraded…...

Rad Power Bikes RadCity 4 Review

  • MSRP: $1,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2020

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…...

Rad Power Bikes RadRover Step-Thru 1 Review

  • MSRP: $1,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2020

An approachable step-thru version of the renowned RadRover full sized fat tire electric bike. Features comfortable 4" wide tires, an adjustable suspension fork, short sturdy stem, and mid-rise handlebar. Available in matte white or satin black with matching faux-leather grips and saddle. Excellent puncture resistant tires with reflective sidewall stripes for safety, great headlight with outer "be…...

Rad Power Bikes RadRhino Step-Thru 1 250W (EU Version) Review

  • MSRP: $1,699
  • MODEL YEAR: 2020

An approachable step-thru version of the RadRhino full sized fat tire electric bike. Features comfortable 4" wide knobby tires with puncture protection and reflective sidewalls. Stable and capable in soft terrain like mulch or sand if the tire air pressure is lowered. Available in matte white or satin black with matching faux-leather grips and saddle. Excellent puncture resistant tires with reflective sidewall stripes for safety, great headlight with outer "be…...

Rad Power Bikes RadMini 4 Review

  • MSRP: $1,299
  • MODEL YEAR: 2020

The high-step version of Rad's folding, fat tire, off-road capable, compact electric bike. Custom 3.3" wide tires have reflective sidewalls, puncture resistant lining, and all-terrain checkerboard tread. This is the fourth generation RadMini, and it comes standard with wide plastic fenders, integrated lights, and a spring suspension fork with preload adjust and lockout. Only available in one frame size and one color, but the handlebar and seat height…...

Rad Power Bikes RadMini 4 (EU Version) Review

  • MSRP: $1,699
  • MODEL YEAR: 2020

The first folding fat tire model from Rad Power Bikes to become available in Europe! Custom 3.3" wide tires have reflective sidewalls, puncture resistant lining, and all-terrain checkerboard tread making them off-road capable. Fourth generation RadMini hardware has all of the kinks worked out, and it comes standard with wide plastic fenders, integrated lights, and an adjustable spring suspension fork with preload and lockout clickers. Only available in one frame size and one color, but the handlebar and seat height…...

Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Review

  • MSRP: $1,199
  • MODEL YEAR: 2019

An extremely versatile and affordable mid-fat tire bike, unique 20" x 3.3" tires provide comfort and good traction on any terrain, optional passenger kit turns the rear rack into a seat with foot rest pegs and skirt guard. Integrated lights and reflective tires keep you visible, two frame color options keep it fun,…...

Rad Power Bikes RadBurro Review

  • MSRP: $5,799
  • MODEL YEAR: 2019

A commercial grade, heavy-duty, utility style electric trike 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, 6-ply 17”…...

Rad Power Bikes RadRunner (EU Version) Review

  • MSRP: $1,299
  • MODEL YEAR: 2019

An extremely versatile and affordable mid-fat tire bike, unique 20" x 3.3" tires provide comfort and good traction on any terrain, optional passenger kit turns the rear rack into a seat with foot rest pegs and skirt guard. Integrated lights and reflective tires keep you visible, two frame color options keep it fun,…...

Rad Power Bikes RadWagon (EU Version) Review

  • MSRP: $1,799
  • MODEL YEAR: 2019

A European-specific cargo electric bike with twist throttle mode and pedal assist, classified as L1e-A, available in 2 colors with lots of accessory options including bags and child seats. Maintains the powerful 750watt gearless direct-drive hub motor, it is heavier but super quiet, durable,…...

Rad Power Bikes RadRhino 750W (EU Version) Review

  • MSRP: $1,799
  • MODEL YEAR: 2019

A European-specific fat tire electric bike with twist throttle mode and pedal assist, classified as L1e-A, modeled after the RadRover, available in two colors with lots of accessory options including bags and child seats. Sloped top tube makes it approachable, shorter stem and mid-rise handlebars create a comfortable upright…...

2019 Rad Power Bikes RadRover Review

  • MSRP: $1,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2019

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…...

2019 Rad Power Bikes RadMini Step-Thru Review

  • MSRP: $1,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2019

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…...

2019 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…...

2019 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…...

2019 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…...

2019 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…...

2018 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 (4) YouTube Comments

Mike
4 months ago

Great reviews! Super knowledgeable and enthusiastic about your work! We are new to the e-bike experience and just ordered one of each of the 6 Plus bikes. You mentioned that the Shimano derailleur was more of an entry level item. What would you suggest to replace it with? And if we could get the model number, cost is not so much of an issue to us on this type of necessary bike component. We are going to strictly use them in the mountains of Washington state.

  Reply
Court
4 months ago

Hi Mike! I prefer Shimano Deore derailleur and shifter, but the Altus parts that come with the bike should work fine initially. Rather than swap them out, I’d try riding “as is” and then replace over time if they begin to fail. Altus is the entry level groupset from Shimano, and they are heavier, but tend to be pretty reliable if you keep the chain clean, derailleur aligned (using the barrel adjuster, just unscrew counter-clockwise as the cable sets into the housing over time). I would highly recommend working with a shop to upgrade or replace any parts over time and do this for both bikes at the same time.

  Reply
Dave
3 months ago

I’m concerned about how weatherproof the new battery tray is. Once you have removed the battery to store the bike on a bike rack, you could accumulate rain water over the battery terminal, even with the little rubber plug accessory. I guess you could slap a piece of duct tape over the entire battery channel, or buy a cover for the bikes. It might also collect a small amount of water when riding in the rain.

  Reply
Court
3 months ago

Hi Dave, I see your concern and am curious to see how things turn out for owners. The tray is concave and I didn’t look closely enough at the base to see if there are drain holes. I suppose that dust and other debris could accumulate in there, and it could be tricky to reach in and remove it over time. I feel like Rad generally makes great decisions, and the alternative of a bottom-mount battery is even less appealing to me because it makes drops much easier. Sometimes there is no perfect decision, the companies just have to pick the best combination of durability, ease of use, aesthetic, and pricing. Many other companies have top or side mounting packs that function in a similar way, like the popular Reention Dorado battery, so this seems to be a proven concept.

  Reply

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.