Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Review

Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Electric Bike Review
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Bafang 750 Watt Geared Hub Motor Wide
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Removable 48 Volt 14 Amp Hour Battery Samsung Cells
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner High Rise Handlebar Ergo Grips Control Pad
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Led Display Console
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Custom Kenda Tires 20 3 3 Sizing Reflective
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner 180mm Mechanical Disc Brakes Tektro Aries
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Custom Saddle 27 2 Steel Seat Post
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Alloy Chainring Guide Plastic Wellgo Pedals
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Custom Double Leg Kickstand Metal Motor Controller Box
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Optional Passenger Seat Pegs Wheel Guard
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Single Speed Sturmey Archer Chain Tensioner With Derailleur Guard
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Optional Console Cargo Box
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Drains In Optional Console Cargo Box
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Optional Rear Basket And Panniers
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Black
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner 2 Amp Ebike Charger
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Lightweight Battery Charger
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Stock Satin Forest Green
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Stock Satin Black
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Electric Bike Review
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Bafang 750 Watt Geared Hub Motor Wide
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Removable 48 Volt 14 Amp Hour Battery Samsung Cells
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner High Rise Handlebar Ergo Grips Control Pad
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Led Display Console
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Custom Kenda Tires 20 3 3 Sizing Reflective
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner 180mm Mechanical Disc Brakes Tektro Aries
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Custom Saddle 27 2 Steel Seat Post
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Alloy Chainring Guide Plastic Wellgo Pedals
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Custom Double Leg Kickstand Metal Motor Controller Box
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Optional Passenger Seat Pegs Wheel Guard
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Single Speed Sturmey Archer Chain Tensioner With Derailleur Guard
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Optional Console Cargo Box
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Drains In Optional Console Cargo Box
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Optional Rear Basket And Panniers
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Black
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner 2 Amp Ebike Charger
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Lightweight Battery Charger
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Stock Satin Forest Green
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner Stock Satin Black

Summary

  • 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, the single-speed drivetrain is reliable and quiet with a chain tensioner and alloy chainring guide to protect your pants or skirt clean while reducing drops
  • 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 is very capable... especially with the smaller wheel diameter
  • Twist throttle overrides pedal assist at all times for easy starts and extra power when needed, plastic pedals offer good traction but aren't as sturdy as tough as aluminum alloy, frame only comes in one size but the adjustable seat post and tall handlebar provides good fit for a range of riders, simple display and no USB charging option, optional console box does not lock, no suspension fork

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Rad Power Bikes

Model:

RadRunner

Price:

$1,299 (Free Shipping in Contiguous US and Canada)

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban, Commuting, Trail

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:

64 lbs (29.02 kg)

Battery Weight:

7.7 lbs (3.49 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.7 lbs (3.94 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

18 in (45.72 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

18" Seat Tube Length, 20" Reach, 16.5" Stand Over Height, 30.5" Minimum Saddle Height, 27" Width, 67" Length, 44" Wheelbase, Minimum Seat Height from Pedal 25.25" Maximum Seat Height from Pedal 36.5"

Frame Types:

Step-Thru

Frame Colors:

Satin Black with Gray and Orange Accents, Satin Forest Green with Black and Orange Accents

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid Steel, 135mm Hub Spacing, 9mm Axle with Release Skewer

Frame Rear Details:

175mm Hub Spacing, 12mm Threaded Axle with 10mm Flats, 18mm Nuts, Steel Torque Arm Washer

Attachment Points:

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

Gearing Details:

1 Single Speed, DNP Nickel Plated 16 Tooth Sprocket, Freewheel, Sturmey Archer Chain Tensioner

Cranks:

Prowheel Aluminum Alloy, 170mm Length, 52 Tooth Chainring with Prowheel Alloy Guide

Pedals:

Wellgo V205 Composite Plastic Platform with Reflectors, CrMo Axle, Black

Headset:

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

Stem:

Aluminum Alloy, 50mm Length, 30º Angle, 15mm Rise, 31.8mm Clamp, Custom 52mm Spacer (Tapered)

Handlebar:

Custom, High-Rise, Aluminum Alloy, 254mm Height, 700mm Width

Brake Details:

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

Grips:

Velo, Ergonomic, Rubber, Black

Saddle:

Custom Velo, Moped Style with Integrated Seat Post Plate

Seat Post:

Custom, Steel (Non-Adjustable Platform/Clamp)

Seat Post Length:

390 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 65mm Outer Width, 36 Hole

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 12 Gauge, Black with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Rad Power Bikes by Kenda Custom K-Rad, 20" x 3.3" (84-406)

Wheel Sizes:

20 in (50.8cm)

Tire Details:

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

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Custom Steel Center-Mounted Double Leg Kickstand, Steel Chain Tensioner Guard, Integrated LED Headlight, Integrated Spanninga Solo LED Backlight (Solid, Flashing, Braking), Neoprene Velcro Cable Wrap for Front Wires, Rear Rack Accepts Yepp! and Standard Basket Platform and Pannier Accessories from Rad Power Bikes, Optional Plastic Fenders (95mm Width, $89), Optional Front Rack ($69), Optional Small Basket ($59), Optional Large Basket ($79), Optional Platform ($39), Optional Small Pannier (Fremont Bag $89), 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), Optional Replacement or Additional Battery Pack ($499)

Other:

Locking Removable Seat Tube-Mounted Battery Pack (4 LED Charge Level Indicator), 1.1lb 2 Amp Charger, Fully Potted Motor Controller, Stainless Steel Torque Arm, 300lb Maximum Weight Rating (120lb Passenger Weight Rating on Rear Rack)

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bafang, Rad Power Bikes Specific

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

750 watts (500 Watt in Canada)

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 LED, Fixed, Adjustable-Angle, 11 Orange LED Lights, Buttons: +, -/Walk Mode, Lights, On/Off, (Hold - for Walk Mode)

Readouts:

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

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle (14 Pulse Sealed 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 with you, this video and written review are not meant to be an endorsement of Rad Power Bikes.

The RadRunner is a brand new ebike model, introduced in Fall of 2019, that combines value with versatility. I’ve followed Rad Power Bikes since 2015, when the RadRover and RadWagon were the only bikes on offer. And, since that time, the company has expanded with a folding RadMini, commuter ready RadCity, and commercial grade RadBurro. They’ve opened offices in Canada and Europe to serve international markets. They now provide customer support 7-days per week, and they moved to a new headquarters and showroom in Seattle, Washington, where I filmed this review. I’m sharing this context because it signals longevity and builds trust for me… This is a company that has been around, and will probably continue to be around for the foreseeable future! That hasn’t been the case for many other low-priced electric bicycles. Furthermore, their updated battery designs are cross-compatible between the different models. That means you could purchase a cargo bike, folding bike, and this compact model, and share battery packs or double up for increased range. Rad Power Bikes sells a complete line of accessories that can carry additional batteries, the charger, and other gear, which are also mostly cross-compatible. The RadRunner can accept a front and rear basket, pannier bags, and fenders. There’s also an optional plastic console box with cover that really looks good and keeps weight low and center for improved balance and control while riding. The bike comes with integrated lights, and the rear light goes bright anytime you pull the brake levers. It even has a blinking mode, which is very unique and desirable for safety, at least to me. While it’s difficult to pin down exactly what type of bike the RadRunner is, you could use it for all sorts of riding. The compact size makes it easier to fit into elevators and apartments, the mid-fat tires make it stable and provide comfort as well as off-road capability, the optional passenger kit places a pad on the rear rack, a pair of pegs, and skirt guard so you can carry a passenger up to 120lbs! These are all great features, and yet this is also the most affordable e-bike model in the Rad Power Bikes lineup. It’s inspiring to see that the company not only went for something value-priced but managed to create something special and really useful and fun. I’m super impressed with the RadRunner, and while it does come with some trade-offs like no suspension, plastic pedals, a more basic LED console with limited readouts, and a single speed drivetrain, it’s still a very capable product, and feels like a real contender alongside the more expensive models. You might end up choosing this electric bicycle because you prefer its features or style, not just because it’s the cheapest.

Driving the RadRunner is a custom tuned fat bike specific planetary geared hub motor from Bafang. The wide casing provides a sturdy bracing angle for the thick 12-gauge spokes while permitting a wider stator 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 180mm disc brake rotor on the left side? It’s a bit exposed from the right because of the single-speed drivetrain, but it blends in beautifully because the casing, spokes, and rims are all black. The motor is rated at 750 watts continuous output (in the United States) which is the upper legal limit. For Canada, the motor is tuned to 500 watts and in Europe it’s set at 250 watts to comply with the legal framework. It’s fairly lightweight at ~8.7lbs compared to the ~10.5 pound gearless hub motors on the RadWagon and RadCity models, and it freewheels without any magnetic drag. It does not offer regenerative braking, but that’s not a big loss in my opinion because of the reduced weight and drag. Being spoked into a relatively small 20″ wheel, the hub motor gets a mechanical advantage for starting, climbing, and transporting heavy loads. In order to make pedaling feel comfortable for the rider, given the smaller wheels and single speed configuration, a large 52 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 20″ wheeled ebikes. The real trade-offs are increased weight and some additional friction and buzzing compared to a narrower, smoother tire. Thankfully, the ~7.7lb battery pack and quick-release front wheel are easily removable, so transporting the bike doesn’t have to be super difficult if you find yourself struggling with the 64+ pound base weight. You shouldn’t have a problem with chain derailments while riding or transporting the RadRunner because it utilizes an alloy chain guide and chain tensioner system in the rear. I asked about this design during our review prep conversations and discovered that the Sturmey Archer chain tensioner allows for a vertical mounting rear wheel vs. a horizontal sliding dropout, which can be tricky to align and keep straight under high torque pressure on electric bikes. There’s no slap guard on the chainstay, but this is less important with a single speed because the chain length is a lot shorter and the chain tensioner puts adequate tension to reduce bouncing… though you may hear a few tinking noises during some of our ride segments because the chain was touching the kickstand… which was a prototype and should be addressed in the final bikes.

Powering the RadRunner motor, display, and lights is a high-capacity Lithium-ion battery pack. Providing over 670 watt hours of capacity, this pack allows you to go further, use the throttle and high levels of assist more frequently, and climb more capably than a lot of competing products. Batteries tend to be one of the most expensive parts of electric bicycles, so it’s really impressive that such a nice one was chosen for the value-priced offering from Rad Power Bikes. Furthermore, this pack is cross compatible between all Rad Power Bikes models dating back to 2018! It mounts securely to a plastic track that’s attached to the back of the seat tube with three bolts, and is secures with a keyed locking core. Notice how the battery is positioned towards the center of the frame at a relatively low point for improved balance and bike handling. It’s protected on the top and both sides by aluminum frame tubing, and blends in with the other black hardware. The battery pack has two fuses built in for safety, and is physically separate from the motor controller, which makes replacement and additional packs less expensive to purchase. Notice the little black box below the downtube (almost hidden behind the chainring), that’s the controller unit. At $550 per battery pack, you get a lot of bang for your buck here compared with $800+ for many competing offerings from leaders like Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano, 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, and can be difficult to unlock and remove on this particular bike because of the tubing near the top. Transporting the battery (or additional batteries) is also important to consider, and this pack is fairly short and thick vs. long and skinny which makes it easier to stuff into trunk bags, panniers, and backpacks for extended rides. The only trade-off I noticed was aesthetics, with two black boxes tacked onto the frame here vs. an internally mounted battery or combined battery + controller. 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 mounted to the bike or not, and you can charge the pack while mounted or separated from the RadRunner frame. 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. Extreme heat can also prematurely wear the cells and extreme cold will limit your range but not be as hard on the actual battery chemistry as prolonged heat.

Once the battery pack is charged, mounted, and locked, the bike is easy to power on and operate using a simple LED control pad, mounted near the left grip. The RadRunner is the only current generation electric bike product from Rad Power Bikes that I have seen with this more basic display, all of the others use an LCD readout with feedback about current speed, trip distance, time, and a other details. This is probably one area where Rad Power Bikes cut back to keep the price lower, and it’s not that much of an issue for me. The big thing I do wish they had included however, is a USB charging port, so I could use my smartphone to track speed, use my GPS, play music, and perform other actions while cycling. Sure, my smartphone has a battery of its own, but on long trips it would be nice to maintain that smaller battery by hooking up to the big ebike battery! There’s no USB on the display or the battery pack itself. What the display does show is a five bar charge level indicator (each light representing a 20% step), a 0-4 pedal assist level selector, and a lights indicator. Once you press the power button on the control pad, you can navigate using + and – to increase or decrease pedal assist power and top speed, but the twist throttle is always active and always capable of supporting the bike up to a top speed of 20mph (32km/h) in the US. The European version has a slightly lower top speed of 15.5mph (25km/h) based on the Class 1 framework for pedelecs. And, you might notice that the – button has a little bike icon as well, and this denotes the walk mode feature. Simply hold the – key down and the bike will slowly move forward to assist with “walking” if you’ve got the rack loaded or are pushing up a hill or out of a basement ramp (mostly a European thing I’m told). Walk mode can be useful if you get a flat tire, but that shouldn’t happen very often because the Kenda tires have K-Shield puncture protection built in. If you keep the tire pressure around 30 PSI, you’ll get efficient riding and avoid pinch flats, but I tend to reduce tire pressure for comfort, being a lightweight 135lb rider. Note that the RadRunner does not have a throttle on/off button like many of the other Rad Power bikes. I wasn’t sure why they removed this, perhaps cost savings, and when I asked one of the co-founders, the response felt a bit unclear and mixed with marketing excuses. Part of me feels like, why not have that button? But the other part realizes it may clutter up the cockpit, add a point of failure, and add cost, so I didn’t press him. I do appreciate the highly sensitive 14 pulse sealed cadence sensor, mounted to the left side of the bottom bracket. This sensor is compact and probably very durable compared to some of the older exposed sensors. It’s not quite as responsive as a torque sensor, but the trade-off is that it doesn’t make you work as hard… you can simply turn the cranks gently and the motor will help out as much or as little as you prescribe using the 1-4 levels of pedal assist on the display. One final little complaint is that the orange LED lights built into the display panel don’t have a brightness setting, and could become too bright and annoying in dark settings. I’ve used masking tape to reduce the harshness of LED lights on other electric bikes because they felt distracting. While this display is not designed for removal, it did seem durable and could be swiveled to be readable or less bright depending on your reach preferences from the left grip. I noticed that Rad Power Bikes opted for a nicer threaded connector points for the display and other electronics while some competing value offerings go for basic 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 really like being able to activate the the lights through the display, and having two modes for the rear light (solid or blinking). Though, you do have to physically press a button below that light to change modes vs. using the display. Note that both brake levers have motor inhibitor switches built-in that cut power to the motor whenever you pull them and also activate bright mode on the rear light, whether the lights are on or not! The headlight is 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 incredible electric bike for the money. It’s rated as Class 2 because of the throttle, but I believe you could remove or unplug it for Class 1 use in the US, riding on restricted off-road trails. In Europe, because the throttle only goes up to 4mph (6km/h) without pedaling, it’s already classified as Class 1. Rad Power Bikes is well known for their full sized fat tire electric bike called the RadRover and RadRhino in Europe. This model is larger, more comfortable (due to increased air volume, lower attack angle, and suspension fork), more off-road capable, and priced well… but not as versatile or affordable as the RadRunner. They also sell two folding models with suspension forks and wider fat tires called the RadMini and RadMini Step-Thru. The RadRunner can be very approachable if you leave the step-thru frame open, much like the RadMini Step-Thru, and it has a shorter wheelbase and overall length than the full sized RadRover and RadRhino. I love the custom plastic fenders that RAD sells because they are sturdy and quiet, and it’s just so cool to see how their racks, bags, and batteries are cross compatible. One downside of the default seat post and saddle design of this bike are that a suspension seatpost cannot be used without replacing the saddle, because of the unique metal plate design. The default saddle will not tilt or slide forward and back because it’s just bolted down onto a plate. This means more money and possibly a saddle that doesn’t match the optional passenger kit setup… but it is possible! Just look for any 27.2mm suspension seat post and any normal bike saddle. This upgradeability is probably not as easy to do with the stock steel fork, you cannot swap it to a suspension fork as affordably or easily because of the fat tire hub spacing width. Rad Power Bikes sells 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 on the rear rack here, for all of those great Moms out there. Big thanks to Mike, Cory, Ty, Tessa 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 (operating seven days a week now 9am-5pm PST out of Ballard Washington). If you live nearby (or in Vancouver Canada) you can check out their bikes in person at one of the flagship stores. 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:

  • This is one of, if not the best low-priced electric bike I’ve ever reviewed… I knew Rad Power Bikes was working on something designed to be affordable, but they also created something really unique and functional, the RadRunner is super fun and capable in a wide variety of terrains and applications, even with a passenger aboard
  • Safety is a big deal to me, especially when riding near traffic, so the integrated lights, blinking mode for the rear light, brake light activation, and reflective tires are great to see, especially since the bike sits lower to the ground
  • This ebike uses the same high-capacity battery pack as all of the other current-generation Rad Power Bikes, so you can swap it out, borrow from a friend, or take an extra one along for big rides if you own multiple models
  • 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
  • Adjustable high-rise handlebar and tall 390mm seat post make this one-size frame adaptable for taller riders
  • High-volume tires, ergonomic grips, brake levers with rubberized edges, and a vibration dampening steel fork all contribute to comfort; I lowered the tire pressure a bit to make the ride feel even smoother
  • Large 180mm mechanical disc brake rotors provide ample stopping power given the relatively small 20″ wheel diameter, they definitely come in handy if you’re riding with a passenger
  • The chain tensioner was added to make servicing the rear wheel easier, it improves reliability in the drivetrain compared to a horizontal dropout (which can be tricky to setup and get pulled out of place by a powerful hub motor over time), Rad Power Bikes also installed a mini torque-arm to spread forces into the frame and keep the dropouts from getting bent up over time
  • I love that the RadRunner has a derailleur guard to protect the chain tensioner and motor power cable on the drivetrain side of the bike, especially since they ship direct and the box could get tossed around a bit on the way
  • Sturdy double-leg kickstand makes the bike easy to load if you opt for a rear rack, panniers, or the passenger kit, I love how you can pedal backwards even with the kickstand deployed (in case you’re doing drivetrain maintenance)
  • Extra-thick 12 gauge spokes for improved wheel strength raise the max weight of this ebike to 300lbs vs. 275lbs on many other Rad Power Bikes
  • Bottle cage bosses on the downtube and mini top-tube let you add accessories like a water bottle cage, folding lock, or mini pump… or you can get the optional plastic console bucket thing, which is made from high quality plastic that’s designed to not fade or crack
  • There are tons of options for mounting baskets and racks on this thing, I like how the front rack attaches to the head tube and won’t influence steering or dump to the side when parking
  • Satin black and forest green look great on this electric bicycle, and I feel that Rad Power Bikes has done a great job with the branding and accents, notice how the fork matches the frame and how all of the hardware is black… even the front wheel hub, motor casing, spokes, kickstand, crank arms, and stem
  • The folks at Rad Power Bikes were excited about the custom tapered spacer (which is the tubular section going from the steering tube to the stem where the handlebar mounts… and while it does look good, it’s not something I would have noticed or cared about, so to me that’s great attention to detail and style, same with the wrapped power cables and shifters lines up front, which are internally routed through the frame
  • 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
  • Kenda and Rad Power Bikes worked together to create a series of tires with reflective stripes and K-Shield puncture protection including these unique 20″ x 3.3″ models, they are the only tires I have ever seen in this size and they fit the bike perfectly… not too big and bulky, or too small and stiff feeling, they are stable and capable all around
  • In my experience, there are many wave style step-thru bike frames that feel flexy, but Rad Power Bikes designed the RadRunner with a section of top tube and big metal gusset to nearly eliminate frame flex, I like how the tubing also surrounds the battery pack to some degree, 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 fenders and rear racks
  • Pedal assist responds quickly because of the 14 pulse cadence sensor, which is smaller and better sealed against water and dust than some older designs, the motor cuts out instantly whenever you brake because both levers have motor inhibitor switches built in
  • The geared hub motor is zippy and powerful, it gets a big mechanical advantage because of the smaller 20″ wheels, and I’ve tested similar but slightly larger tires 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), I think this ebike would be great for Burning Man
  • I really like that they chose brake levers with a bell that’s built into the left brake lever housing, it’s compact and keeps the handlebars clean but works reliably and produces a friendly chime
  • The motor controller box is positioned below the main tube of the bike and feel safe because of the large metal chainring guide, I was told that this box is aluminum alloy vs. plastic and that makes me feel like it’s extra tough, having this box separate helps to keep the battery prices lower and reduces heat
  • I noticed that the optional pegs didn’t rattle or twist during use, they fold up nicely and while small, just seemed to be of high quality
  • It’s cool that Rad Power Bikes has expanded to Canada and Europe with this model, they offer free shipping in most cases and partner with mobile bike repair services to deliver assembled for an additional $100

Cons:

  • The smaller wheel diameter positions the bike closer to the ground, which makes it approachable, but also isn’t as visible to cars… that’s definitely true for the rear light which might get covered by the optional passenger seat or the back of a long jacket hanging down, so as with any folding or compact bike, be extra careful
  • No suspension fork on this model, that probably helps to reduce cost and keep the frame nimble feeling, at least the mid-fat tires provide some cushion, smaller wheels have a higher attack angle and can sometimes feel bumpier as well, so the wide tires and thick optional passenger seat really help to make up for that
  • The RadRunner only comes in one frame size and the reach is pretty short, it might feel small to taller riders… even with the seat raised all the way up
  • The plastic pedals offer good traction, and are wider than average, but might not be as tough over the long haul compared to aluminum alloy pedals offered on all of the other Rad Power Bikes
  • Basic LED display only shows your approximate charge level, assist level, and lights indicator, so you won’t be able to track trip distance or measure your current speed, I also feel like the orange LED lights could be too bright and even annoying at night… but that’s just a minor complaint and a layer or two of masking tape could dim them if you ever feel distracted or bothered
  • Mechanical disc brakes require more hand effort than hydraulic, especially the rear which has a longer line of cable, the cable can stretch over time and I heard a bit of squeaking during our test rides (avoid touching the disc brake rotors to keep them clean and squeak-free)
  • The saddle felt decently comfortable to me, but you cannot change the angle or slide it forward/back like almost all other electric bicycles
  • Single-speed drivetrain makes starting a bit slow and can make pedaling feel too fast at higher speeds, this is the trade-off for simplicity, reduced price, and some reliability over a multi-speed
  • Compared to some of the other Rad Power Bike models, I feel that this battery pack is more difficult to reach and remove, it’s not terrible but does require a bit of extra maneuvering
  • Perhaps this was only based on the sample model shown, but the chain would bounce into the kickstand leg and create some tinking noises as we rode over bumpy terrain… just a minor complaint and consideration
  • 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 here
  • Despite its compact size, this ebike is fairly heavy at 64lbs (with the battery pack attached but no optional accessories like the passenger seat, fenders, or console)
  • 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, I haven’t received and unboxed one myself yet… but I get the impression that this particular model is VERY easy to get going, especially with the quick release front wheel
  • Minor consideration, many of the other Rad Power Bikes models have a button that can disable the twist throttle, this could be useful if you are concerned about bumping the throttle, consider one of the RadMini folding models if so, however I think you can simply unplug the throttle if you want it disabled
  • Reaching in to open and adjust the seat post clamp can be tricky if you’ve got the passenger kit installed, it’s just tucked in there between the rack support tubing and took extra time for me to do… it could be very tricky if over tightened
  • The optional console box looks really cool to me, but it does make the area where you pedal more cramped because it’s wider than bike tubing, I like that it has drains at the bottom but wish the lid locked and felt more secure, I bumped and squished it while pedaling and the lid kind of got pushed out of place a couple of times, also securing the rubber band anchors took more time than a single latch
  • Many car and bus racks have a hanging style rack for bikes, and to use that with the RadRunner you might need to buy a crossbar adapter… which is compatible, as long as you aren’t using the optional cargo box

Resources:

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Comments (43) YouTube Comments

Margaret Chong
1 month ago

What is the length?

  Reply
Court
1 month ago

Hey Margaret! I always put that under the “geometry measurements” section of the stats. For the RadRunner, it’s 67″ Length with a 44″ Wheelbase :)

  Reply
Kenneth Maruska
1 month ago

PIM Bicycles / Cycles will be releasing a similar model soon as well. They are going with magnesium wheels, folding frame, dual cargo racks, fenders and lights std. It’s going to be a popular segment.

  Reply
Court
1 month ago

Very interesting! Thanks for the heads up, Kenneth! I’ll keep an eye out for the PIM model :D

  Reply
Wayne Harwood
1 month ago

Good Morning Court. It’s been awhile. Still enjoying my Rad Mini. This Rad Runner is a nice addition to their fleet of electric bikes. Very well thought out and designed! My only con is the colors. I like bright colors, but this green color is horrible. What on earth made them decide on this. Surely they could have have come up with a better shade of green this this, if green is on their radar. I showed my wife the green model, and she said it looks like puke green? Are these the sort of colors people prefer these days? I emailed them and suggested a nice candy apple red. Black and green, very drab, but hey, that’s me. Come on Rad, brighten these bikes up. Give it more curb appeal, more pazazz. HAHAHA!!

  Reply
Court
1 month ago

Hey Wayne! Glad your RadMini is working out :D not sure about their color choices but perhaps it was chosen as a more urban appeal? If you could choose any color for the RadRuner, what would you go for? And! Would it be gloss or satin/matte?

  Reply
Wayne Harwood
1 month ago

Court, since you asked, if I could chose a color? My favorite color for anything mobile would be candy apple red. You know, Court, for me I find it disturbing when I enter bike shops seeing many, if not most bikes either painted black or gray. What happened to nice bright colored bicycles? I’m sorry to say, but I really dislike the colors they chose for the Radrunner. My wife would love to purchase one as it really appeals to her, but won’t because of the colors they chose to paint these bikes. As she mentioned, a “puke green.” I don’t undertstand why they can’t paint this and other models they make with nice bright candy apple type colors. That wouldn’t add much to the overall cost considering they are mass produced. I’ve reached out to Rad Power Bikes in this regard. Bottom line, they do sell, and most guys, in particular, love drab colors today. The other day, I saw a guy driving a Corvette . . . a terrible shade of gray. I thought to myself, what got into this guy’s mind to buy a gray painted Corvette. Yuk!!

Court, the next time you review one of their bikes, tell them to get out of their morbid state of mind and paint their bikes with colorful colors. HAHAHAHA!!

Dennis
1 month ago

The review says that the same battery can be used across the entire line Not so. I own a 2017 Rad Rover Rover and none of today’s batteries are compatible. And, they have have not come out with a high capacity battery for my bike. I’ve asked when they will come out with one several times and by now I don’t believe they will so I had to buy a 2nd battery.

  Reply
Court
1 month ago

Hi Dennis! Their entire line switched over to this new battery in 2018, and that’s what I was communicating in the review, sorry if it was confusing. I understand that you could feel frustrated about their change, and I’ve seen this with other companies. RAD have tried their best to support the older packs and it sounds like getting a second one is a good option… or you could sell your bike and spend more for the new one. I’m not a fan of waste, but even the old battery packs can be re-filled with fresh battery cells by companies like FTH Power to make them higher capacity. I hope this information helps you out!

  Reply
Mike
1 month ago

Conceptually similar to CIVI’s Runabout, albeit the Runabout weighs a lot less, has more nimble 3″ tires, and nicer cargo options. This must be a growing target category, where utilitarian ebikes, that aren’t bulky and dont need to fold, but have smaller diameter tires that are thicker to handle pot holes, nasty roads, and carry lots of stuff with a heavier load. The Rad just weighs too dang much for most women to want to handle. people want to be able to lift these into their SUVs or Pick ups, and not get a hernia.

  Reply
Court
1 month ago

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Mike! Yeah, it’s nice to see this category of compact urban commuter ebikes growing :)

  Reply
Alex M
1 month ago

Yes. Commuter-utilitatian, getting from A to B, often with some cargo. This makes me think that loading in SUV is not a priority, in this sector. But loading onto bus rack is. I view those as an evolution product of $800 moped-looking ebikes from 5-7 years ago, with lead acid battery and useless pedals. Those were heavier yet, could barely be paddled at all (due to both weight and geometry), pedals were merely added to conform to “bicycle” class and bypass the licensing. I think that common 20×3 tire size would be more practical here.

  Reply
bt
1 month ago

Wi, what helmet is Mike rockin? Thanks!

  Reply
Bubba Jank
1 month ago

Great review. I just bought a Radwagon and Stepthru, so I’m out of the market for now :)

Also, I don’t bother using the traditional right turn since 99% of drivers have no idea what it means (at least where bikes are concerned), so I just use my right arm to signal right.

  Reply
Court
1 month ago

Hey Bubba, yeah… it’s interesting to see the right turn hand signal. I tend to keep my hands on the bars when turning right. Hope you enjoy the Wagon and City Step-Thru :D

  Reply
Kenneth Maruska
1 month ago

Court, thanks for the follow-up on my earlier comment. Forgot to complement your review… thought it was your best ever – insightful comments about the product and the various riding conditions showed the performance of the ebike really well. I would not be surprised to see the top ebike brands come out with similar products in the near future – fun, comfortable and utility focused ebikes are undeniably a great use of the tech and Rad introduced some innovations.

  Reply
Carl
1 month ago

I like the simple LED display/control thing. I wish it were an option on more bikes. I think Juiced used to have something very similar on their ocean current. I like this bike a lot in general. Kind of has a Honda Super Cub vibe with the step through and passenger seat. I wish it were a little larger, frame and tire size, for us 6 foot and up types.

  Reply
DAVID CARLISLE
4 weeks ago

Is the passenger seat accessory compatable with the RadCity?

  Reply
Court
4 weeks ago

Hi David! I don’t think so, but I cannot say for sure. The rack is different and probably rated for 55lbs vs. 120lbs here. Even if it could hold more weight, I don’t think it’s as long and am not sure the pad and pegs would fit on that bike.

  Reply
nick
4 weeks ago

This being a single gear bike. I was wondering can the bike pedalable at around 20miles/hour? I do intend to use this bike as bike (with assist as opposed to throttle, except to start for hilly terrains). It would be great if you can comment on these lines. For example, what cadence need to be maintained at 20 miles/hr. Also once you reach 20miles/hr, is it bikeable with paddle only to go to higher speed? What is the maximum speed you think it can be paddled comfortably.
Where I live there are several uphills (and hence the need to ebike), but correspondingly, we also have plenty of downhills, I do not want to know that downhills I can pedal to take advatage of hill and go to speed more than 20 miles/hour.

  Reply
Court
4 weeks ago

Hi Nick, I felt comfortable pedaling at 20mph but the cadence was faster than a multi-speed ebike. Same goes for the low speeds, I was pedaling slower and harder than I would have chosen if there were multiple gears to choose from. I’d say that the sweet spot for pedaling is around 15mph, the cadence feels right and that’s also a very efficient speed for the motor… but with the US version, you can very easily go faster with the throttle and with higher levels of assist, you don’t even need to push hard, just cycle the pedals to activate the cadence sensor :)

  Reply
John George
4 weeks ago

Hello Court, do you know the absolute height of the RadRunner if you rotate the handlebars down and out of the way? I’m trying to determine if it would fit upright in the back of my SUV. Thanks!

  Reply
Court
4 weeks ago

Hi John, I’m going to hazard a guess of 33″ if you rotate the handlebar down and drop the saddle all the way. I cannot say for sure, but this is my guess based on the minimum saddle height of 30.5″ (which I did measure) and looking at the pictures and stock photos here in the review. I hope it helps!

  Reply
Kris
4 weeks ago

Hi Court, I’ve only started reading about ebikes a few months ago. As far as I know, this and the scrambler type ebikes are the only ones where an adult passenger can ride in the rear seat, or are there more that I’m not aware of?

I’m interested in this just for that feature, but I’m curious if there are more options out there, preferably multi-speed ones (that’s not a tandem).

  Reply
Court
4 weeks ago

Hi Kris, check out Joulvert. I think they have some ebikes that are similar to the RadRunner, Juiced Scrambler, and Spark Bikes Blade but also has the passenger seat. Perhaps there are others as well, and people can chime in to help identify them :D

  Reply
Kris
4 weeks ago

Thanks, I looked at their catalogue and that’s the sort of thing I was looking for. I’m in Canada though, so I’m out of luck. Hopefully more models similar to the RadRunner pops up in the near future.

Geogre K.
3 weeks ago

Regarding the RADRUNNER and tires / tubes. The RadRunner Kenda tire (Kenda Custom K-Rad, 20″ x 3.3″) is NOT listed on the Kenda online site or the Rad site, as well as a couple of the more popular bicycle tire online sites. I wonder if it will be difficult to get replacement tires and tubes this year???

  Reply
Court
3 weeks ago

Hi George, I suspect that Rad Power Bikes will be supplying those directly and having seen their past work and growth, I feel confident that the support for this tire size and this product will endure. They have never dropped a bike or stopped supporting necessary components for their past models as far as I know.

  Reply
Jessica
2 weeks ago

Hi, I am wondering how long the battery can be expected to last on this bike.

  Reply
Court
2 days ago

Hi Jessica! It really depends on the tire pressure, terrain, wind, and rider weight… but I’d say that you could expect at least 20 miles when riding in the highest assist level or with pure throttle. On each review here, I list a min and max range and that is meant to help guide people. Like, if you use a low or medium assist level and pedal along, you’ll get much better range than only using the throttle. Do keep the tire pressure set between the recommended range and do help the bike get started, those two things will make a big difference and extend your range ;)

  Reply
Dan Zig
1 week ago

I’m looking for a hunting bike. How well will this bike handle trails and versatility to get to the woods? Can it handle pulling a deer cart loaded with a deer?

  Reply
Court
2 days ago

Hmm, I’m not an expert at hunting and am a pretty lightweight guy (135lbs) but my guess is that it would perform fairly well. There are other brands that try to really emphasize hunting, like Rambo bikes. Perhaps you could ask in the EBR forums about hunting and ask if others have done it and which accessories they used!

  Reply
Andy M
1 week ago

First few rides with the Radrunner have been fun and low stress. It’s definitely more an electric moped with pedals than a bike, but pedaling does add some power for hills, where the motor starts to work hard. My round-trip commute has a couple of hills and is about 8 miles. Probably could get at least 2-3 round trips from the battery but I’ll be charging it nightly i think..

The bars may be too tall for a ‘standard’ bicycle locker – so commuters who use bike lockers should check locker height clearance before ordering. Slightly frustrating to have the fenders and seat out of stock at launch. Both will add a lot to the overall utility of this bike! Wet morning really needed fenders.

Unboxing and assembly was super-simple.

  Reply
Court
2 days ago

Thanks for the updates Andy! I hope the accessories come soon, sounds like you live somewhere with seasons. It has been rainy here in Vancouver for the past couple of weeks, but there are dry moments too, just using my waterproof jacket in the meantime :P

  Reply
Andy M
1 day ago

The jacket helped but spray from the tires will also reach your pants until fenders are in place. I installed fenders and seat over the weekend. Front fender and seat super-simple. Rear fender requires removing the rear wheel, which is a bigger effort. I tried getting enough clearance by letting air out of the rear tire but still had to pull the wheel off. Happy to have fenders and passenger kit in place now!

Andy M
1 week ago

Bike locker compatibility: If you use a bike locker for commuting, note that the Radrunner bars are 45″ tall. Many ‘standard’ bike lockers have door openings 44″ tall. Worth checking ahead of time! Surprised me.

  Reply
Court
2 days ago

Oh man! That’s an AWESOME tip, thank you so much, Andy! I hope this shows up for other people and helps guide them to bring a tool or adjust the bars to fit (or even swap them out if necessary). Hope you’re managing alright, thanks for all of the great comments!

  Reply
Jean-Paul Molgat
4 days ago

Thanks for the great review. Just one quibble. Why do you say: ” Maxi child seat, guaranteed to fit on the rear rack here, for all of those great Moms out there”. Dads take care of their kids too. It’s 2019 – time to end gender stereotyping.

  Reply
Court
2 days ago

Great point! Sometimes I forget that I’m even doing it. Lots of times I’ll say “his or her” but I guess I was just thinking back to my parents riding a tandem with me in a child seat and my Mom was at the back and would turn around and interact with me because my Dad was steering. In any case, I agree about great Dads too and it sounds like you’re one of them! thanks Jean-Paul :D

  Reply
Stephan C.
2 days ago

Am wondering if anyone has figured out how to safely eek a few miles an hour more (24-25 mph?) out of the bike? I’ve been able to easily do so on the RadRover by increasing the motor cutoff speed on the LCD Controller but unsure how to do so on the RadRunner. Would welcome any suggestions the EBR community may have 🙏🏼!

  Reply
Court
2 days ago

Hey Stephan, I don’t know how but perhaps other people will chime in or you can ask in the Rad Power Bikes forums :D

  Reply

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