Rad Power Bikes RadWagon Review

2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Electric Bike Review
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Shengyi Gearless Hub Motor With Skirt Guard
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon New 48 Volt 14 Amp Hour Battery Pack
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon King Meter Display Ergonomic Grips
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Zoom Adjustable Angle Stem Swept Back Handlebar
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Spanninga Axendo 60 Headlight
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Wellgo Aluminum Platform Pedals Triple Chainring
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon 21 Gears Shimano Altus Derailleur
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Optional Deck Pad And Deck Hand Handle
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Tektro Aries Mechanical Disc Brakes 180 Mm Rotors
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Two Yepp Seats Caboose Bars
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Optional Large Front Basket
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Sturdy Double Leg Kickstand Wooden Deck Running Boards
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Fits Two Yepp Child Seats Optional Suntour Seat Post Suspension
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Black Plastic Fenders With Mud Flaps
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Quick Release Front Wheel Large 12 Gauge Spokes
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon 2 Amp Ebike Charger
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Electric Bike Review
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Shengyi Gearless Hub Motor With Skirt Guard
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon New 48 Volt 14 Amp Hour Battery Pack
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon King Meter Display Ergonomic Grips
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Zoom Adjustable Angle Stem Swept Back Handlebar
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Spanninga Axendo 60 Headlight
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Wellgo Aluminum Platform Pedals Triple Chainring
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon 21 Gears Shimano Altus Derailleur
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Optional Deck Pad And Deck Hand Handle
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Tektro Aries Mechanical Disc Brakes 180 Mm Rotors
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Two Yepp Seats Caboose Bars
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Optional Large Front Basket
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Sturdy Double Leg Kickstand Wooden Deck Running Boards
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Fits Two Yepp Child Seats Optional Suntour Seat Post Suspension
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Black Plastic Fenders With Mud Flaps
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Quick Release Front Wheel Large 12 Gauge Spokes
2018 Rad Power Bikes Radwagon 2 Amp Ebike Charger


  • 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 to recapture energy and reduce brake pad wear, power cables are well protected
  • Integrated headlight, AAA powered back light, fenders, skirt guard, chainring protector, and a 21-speed drivetrain so you can pedal up steep hills, lots of great accessories, Yepp! seat compatible
  • Optional Velofix assembly and delivery, more basic shifters and derailleur components, gearless hub motors aren't as strong as geared or mid-drives, basic battery charger, mechanical disc brakes vs. hydraulic

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Video Review

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Rad Power Bikes




$1,599 (Optional $100 Upcharge for Velofix Assembly and Delivery)

Body Position:

Upright, Upright Relaxed

Suggested Use:

Urban, Commuting, Cargo

Electric Bike Class:

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


1 Year Comprehensive


United States, Europe, Canada

Model Year:


Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

72 lbs (32.65 kg) (275 lbs With Flat Bed)

Battery Weight:

7.7 lbs (3.49 kg)

Motor Weight:

15 lbs (6.8 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

17 in (43.18 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

17.25" Seat Tube, 26" Stand Over Height, 22" Reach, 27" Width, 79" Length

Frame Types:


Frame Colors:

Orange, Pearl White

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid Steel, 100 mm Hub Spacing, 9 mm Quick Release Skewer

Frame Rear Details:

135 mm Hub Spacing, 12 mm Threaded Axle with 10 mm Flats, Nuts

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses, Front Rack Bosses, Rear Rack Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses, Custom Accessory Attachment Points, Two Yepp! Mounting Windows

Gearing Details:

21 Speed 3x7 Shimano Altus Derailleur, Shimano MF-TZ21 Freewheel 14-28T Cassette

Shifter Details:

Shimano SIS Index Thumb Shifters on Left and Right


Aluminum Alloy, 170 mm Length, 28-38-48T Chainrings, Plastic Chainring Protector


Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform with Reflectors, CrMo Axle, Black


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


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


Promax, Aluminum Alloy, Swept back 25" Width

Brake Details:

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


Velo Comfort, Ergonomic, Rubber, Black and Grey


Velo Plush with Lifting Handle

Seat Post:

Promax, Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

390 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm


Weinmann, Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 30 mm Width, 36 Hole


Stainless Steel, 12 Gauge, Silver with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Kenda K-Rad, 26" x 2.3" (58-559)

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

30 to 80 PSI, 2.1 to 5.6 BAR, 210 to 560 Kpa

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve


Wooden Deck and Running Boards, Clear Plastic Skirt Guards on Rear Wheel, Plastic Fenders with Mud Flaps (67 mm Width), Integrated Spanninga Axendo 60 LED Headlight, Independent Spanninga Solo LED Backlight (Two AAA Batteries), Neoprene Slap Guard, Heavy-Duty Aluminum Alloy Center Kickstand, Optional Front Rack, Optional Small Basket, Optional Large Basket, Optional Platform, Optional Deck Pad, Optional Deck Hand (Handle), Optional Caboose (Child Surround), Optional Small Pannier (Fremont Bag), Optional Large Pannier (Ballard Bag), Optional RAD Backlight, Optional SR Suntour NCX Seat Post Suspension, Optional RAM Torque Handlebar Phone Mount X


Locking Removable Downtube-Mounted Battery Pack, 1.1 lb 2 Amp Charger, Fully Potted Motor Controller, Stainless Steel Torque Arm, 350 lb Maximum Total Weight Rating (275 lb Rider, 120 lb Rear Rack, 40 lbs Per Running Board)

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:


Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

750 watts (500 Watts in Canada)

Motor Torque:

40 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung 18650 35E

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

14 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

672 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium NCA (LiNiCoAlO2)

Charge Time:

6 hours

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

45 miles (72 km)

Display Type:

Rad Power Bikes Branded King Meter SWLCD, Fixed, Adjustable-Angle, Backlit, Color LCD


Battery Indicator (5 Bars), Trip Meter, Odometer, Current Speed, Average Speed, Max Speed, Pedal Assist Level (0-5 as Eco, Std, Power, Speed), Light Icon, Motor Power Watts

Display Accessories:

Independent Control Pad and Throttle On/Off Button on Right (Buttons: Up, Mode, Down), Hold Up for Speed Display Mode, Hold Down for Walk Mode, Hold Mode and Up for Lights, Hold Up and Down for Settings Menu, 5-Volt 1 Amp USB Type A Port at Base of Display

Drive Mode:

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

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The RadWagon electric cargo bike has been completely overhauled for 2018 and features an Aluminum alloy frame vs. Steel that looks nicer, offers a lower stand-over height, and has been reinforced for rigidity. It’s actually three pounds lighter than the first generation model despite using the same powerful 750 watt motor and now offering a 672 watt hour battery vs. 556.8 watt hours before. It still offers 21 speeds to pedal with, great for climbing or riding unassisted, and has moved one step up to Shimano Altus vs. the entry level Tourney derailleur from before. It’s one of the most affordable electric cargo bikes in the market, still priced at $1,599 with free shipping, and Rad Power Bikes has become a Velofix premiere partner, meaning that for $100 the bike can be assembled and delivered to you, and then tuned up after 30 days! It’s an exciting product, but not as zippy, efficient, or capable at climbing compared to some of the more expensive mid-drive offerings now hitting the market. A few compromises that allow the bike to stay affordable are it’s mechanical disc brakes vs. hydraulic, basic tires that don’t have reflective sidewalls or puncture protective lining, and a stand-alone rear LED light that runs on AAA batteries and has to be switched on and off manually with each ride. Still, the rear light offers a blinking mode that many integrated lights do not, and I noticed that the headlight was designed with a disconnect point so you can move it up and onto the optional rear rack. RPB has refined their offering of accessories over the years and the list includes small and large baskets that can be front or rear mounted, a deck pad and bar, Yepp! child seat windows for easy installation, a “Caboose” surround to protect small riders, and a seat post suspension and phone mount accessory. Available in two colors, this is a fun, feature-complete ebike that can be outfitted and accessorized pretty well and still cost under $2k total. It’s also very quiet.

Driving the Rad Wagon is a 750 watt (or 500 watt if you’re in Canada) gearless, direct drive, hub motor. Made by Shengyi, a company I was not familiar with before covering the earlier RadWagon and RadCity models, this thing is larger and heavier than a geared equivalent, but it’s smooth and extremely durable. Gearless motors have to be wider in order to gain a mechanical advantage and they weigh more (15 lbs vs. ~13 lbs for the geared motors on the RadMini and RadRover) because they have more magnets and more copper winding to produce power. Coasting with this motor is slightly less efficient than many geared motors or mid-drives due to magnetic drag. There isn’t a freewheel here, but that means you can actually recapture a bit of energy when braking, and Rad Power Bikes has designed both brake levers with inhibitor switches to activate regen every time you pull. It’s not the most efficient system, estimates of 5% to 10% recoup are what I hear, but it does reduce wear on the brake pads and help to make up for the heavier motor weight. I noticed that the RadWagon uses a stainless Steel torque arm washer on the left rear dropout to provide extra strength. This is especially important with a heavier, higher powered, regen capable motor because it will “rock” and push one direction for power and then the opposite direction for regen. One of the unique features of this ebike, and all of the Rad Power Bikes actually, is that they offer pedal assistance as well as throttle operation. And, the throttle delivers full power from assist level 0 all the way through 5 so you can override assist. This is nice for starting out or getting instant help climbing. As shown in the video, this bike performs best once you have a bit of speed, starting from rest is a bit slow and less torquey feeling which could mean extra balance and pedal power when the bike is fully loaded. Again, you have all of those gears at your disposal and shifting will not be impacted by the completely separate motor systems, but you might need to plan ahead and shift down before stops to really be effective.

Powering the Wagon is a 48 volt 14 amp hour Lithium-ion pack using Samsung 35E high-density cells. It, along with the rest of the bike, are covered by a one-year comprehensive warranty… and you can help to extend the life of the pack by keeping it in a cool, dry location and maintaining a ~50% charge for long periods of disuse. The older battery design had a circular on/off button which had to be pressed before each ride. It was a nice feature in that you could cut power draw and sort of isolate the pack when not in use, but it could also be left on and it just took more energy and thought each time you wanted to go for a ride (sort of like the rear light, it was an extra step). The new battery is shorter, sleeker looking, and still has this cutoff switch feature but it’s built into the keyed ignition. So, if you want to leave the battery mounted to the bike but don’t want the cells slowly draining or anyone to be able to turn your bike on and mess with the throttle, you can turn to the off position and then pull the key out! What a cool idea… yes, if you do this you will have to re-insert the key and switch to “on” before the display can be active, but it’s much more secure than the old button design that anyone could press and you con’t have to turn it to “off” if you feel fine just leaving the bike that way. Since the battery case is shorter, the top tube no longer has to curve and thus, provides a lower stand-over height. To take it off, you unlock with the key and then slide forward along the track. This battery can be charged on or off the bike, and the 1.1 lb charger is compact and pretty standard in terms of fill rate. Offering 2 Amps, it should fill the battery in about six hours from completely empty. If you’re charging the pack while still mounted to the frame, the charging port is high up and away from the crank arms and pedals which will reduce the potential for snags and broken tips. It’s a minor thing, but something that a lot of other companies either don’t think about or aren’t able to customize with their own pack designs. My understanding is that all of the Rad Power Bikes are still built in China, like most bicycles and electronics systems these days, but they are now shipped and delivered in Europe, Canada, and the United States. Their designs are customized because of the volume being sold, and this battery pack is a great example of how a custom design can be better. It even has two exposed fuses along the bottom (for safety and repairability if a fuse blows) and I love how the charge port cover and fuses have rubber covers that are easy to work with and seem to stay in place. Note that the motor controller is physically separate from the battery, which doesn’t look as nice but does make it easier to repair and allows for higher amp flow. It is fully sealed and like most of the electronics here, rain and dust resistant. Just don’t spray the bike with high pressure water or fully submerge it ;)

Operating the RadWagon is very easy, once the battery is charged, mounted, and locked in with the ignition towards on. You do not have to leave the keys in while riding and really should not attempt to do this for they could get snagged and bent. Up at the control pad, just hold the center “Mode” button and the display will blink on. Rad Power Bikes is using a branded King Meter SWLCD that has been refined a bit from before. It’s the same grayscale, backlit, fairly large screen, but it now tilts up and down slightly and has an integrated USB Type A port, full sized for use with portable electronics. Being able to angle the display means you can switch riders who might be different heights, and still have a great view or reduced glare without needing any tools. Having the display in the center, separate from the rubberized control pad, makes it natural to view but still easy to interact with. The up and down buttons on the control pad allow you to navigate from zero to five level of assist which increases power and speed up to 20 mph. However, with the display, button pad, brake lines and motor inhibitors, throttle on/off button, and two sets of thumb shifters, the RadWagon has the most crowded cockpit and the most wires of any of their models (aside from the RadBurro commercial ebike). I am glad for all of these features, and I feel that RPB has done a good job managing the wires, but this e-bike isn’t quite as stealthy as some of the alternatives. The bike powers on at assist level 1 and the throttle is hot, so be careful when mounting and dismounting. I usually try to turn the bike off once I am seated and then off when I stop. One extra nice feature that is included, to help you manage how riding is done and to make the bike safer, is a throttle cutoff switch. It’s located near the right grip and can be pressed in to kill the throttle, which might be nice if you feel uncomfortable with it or are maneuvering the bike. Note that Rad Power Bikes has upgraded to more responsive 12-magnet cadence sensors vs. the older 6-magnet design, and that you don’t actually need to push hard to get pedal assist working, just move the cranks steadily. The benefit is that you can relax and stretch with pedal assist but the trade-off is that it’s more of an on/off response and won’t activate until the bike gets moving a bit first and you can actually turn the cranks. Compared to the new multi-sensor designs from Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano, Brose and other high-end centerdrive bikes it feels less natural and takes more time, but none of those products offer a throttle.

All things considered, the second generation Rad Power Bikes RadWagon is an attractive, approachable, and well-done electric cargo bike. From the strengthened adjustable stem and swept back bars with ergo grips, to the oversized double-leg kickstand, affordable accessories that fit perfectly and work well, and the comparably low price point, there is a lot to appreciate. I have emphasized that this gearless motor is smoother and quieter but also weaker and slower to start than most of the competing hardware now, but it can still climb very well if you pedal along a bit, especially if you have some speed going in. To me, regeneration is sort of a wash and the magnetic drag situation is minimal and really unnoticeable. I could see myself being very happy to be able to afford such a good looking bike with so many features, I love the white color for increased side visibility, but might wish that the brakes were easier to pull and that the left shifter mechanism was more refined and indexed (it’s more of a slide feeling that doesn’t click into gear as quickly or easily). It’s great that the team designed water bottle bosses into the bottom of the downtube and that the saddle has a lift handle built in (which works great in tandem with the little triangle section of top tube just in front of the seat tube). The bike is fairly well balanced, stable and secure because of the wider tires and deflopilator spring, but if you are riding with empty Yepp! seats and some other rear loads, there can be some frame flex and speed wobble, so keep your hands on the grips in those cases especially. I experienced this a bit when climbing at low speed. Big thanks to the Rad Power Bikes team for partnering with me on this review and outfitting two bikes so I could show the different accessories and colors back to back. I hope you enjoyed the video and that this in-depth review helps you to answer any questions and do a good comparison to other e-cargo bikes :)


  • This is the only Rad Power Bike model for 2018 to offer an expanded gearing system with 21 speeds, the others have a 1×7 drivetrain while the RadWagon has 3 chainrings, and this allows the rider to deal with heavier loads or pedal home unpowered if the battery runs out… that’s great considering it’s also the heaviest RPB model at 72 lbs
  • All of the new Rad Power Bikes share a mounting interface on the head tube for adding a rack, it’s sturdy and won’t tip when you steer or park the bike, note that the optional rack accessory comes with a cable extension and mounting bracket for the headlight so it can be positioned optimally
  • Low price is one of the biggest differentiating features of the RadWagon and I love that it comes standard with a wooden deck and sideboards, fenders, and an integrated headlight
  • I like that the large chainring has a plastic guard to keep your pants clear and clean, the plastic fenders on the bike are extra wide and have rubber flaps, there’s a clear plastic skirt guard to keep straps and clothes away from the drivetrain and rear wheel, and the pedals are large and grippy so you can ride in different types of weather securely and stay relatively dry
  • The frame has been redesigned from Aluminum alloy vs. Steel which allowed them to make it look nicer (like where the battery is stepped in) and they added more cross members at the rear and a lower stand over height, it still suffers from frame flex a bit (as do most cargo bikes) but performs well enough, the steel fork provides some vibration dampening
  • I was told that the adjustable angle stem has been custom made to stay tight and uses hardened materials that won’t dull as easily as some competing parts, the swept back handlebars and optional suspension seat post go a long way to improve fit, body position, and comfort
  • The deflopilator spring keeps your front wheel straight and stable when loading the cargo area and may also assist in steering heavy loads, I love that Rad Power Bikes managed to squeeze in some bottle cage bosses, even though they are mounted below the downtube… this attachment point could also work for folding locks, mini pumps, or other accessories
  • Even though this bike is only available in one frame size, it’s fairly adjustable to accommodate different sizes of riders, and I like that they offer both orange and white frame colors with nicer paint and accents
  • The kickstand is super stable and overbuilt, I like that it and the fork are paint-matched and designed with durability in mind since this is a cargo bike
  • One of the coolest aspects of cargo bikes is their accessories! And the RadWagon is setup to accept a nice front rack with two basket options, the basket can work on the back area too or you can mount Yepp! child seats like this by default because they have the appropriately sized “window” openings and there’s even a surround bar to keep their fingers safe, or you can get a pad and passenger bar to take a large child or even an adult… or you could use this space for extra large Ballard pannier bags, and many of these optional accessories can be added while still keeping the bike priced under $2k
  • Rad Power Bikes offers free shipping or partners with Velofix for assembly, delivery, and a post-purchase tuneup, it’s a neat service for those who don’t want to deal with a big box and the weight and complexity of an e-bike
  • The new battery design is sleek, offers higher capacity than 2017, and does not have an integrated on/off button that you have to press before each ride, it slides forward and fits nicely into the compact frame spot here enabling the lower stand-over height
  • Gearless hub motors tend to be very durable and quiet, you don’t get as much torque and raw power at low speeds and there is some magnetic drag when coasting but RPB recaptures a bit of energy when braking which reduces wear on the brake pads and might extend your range just a bit vs. if they did not
  • Both wheels are built with thicker 12 gauge spokes and sturdy Weinmann rims to handle the additional weight of cargo or a second passenger, this design does end up feeling more stiff than 13 or 14 gauge spokes used on many of the competing models I have reviewed
  • I love that the battery pack is mounted to the frame with three bolts vs. just two and that the power cable running to the hub motor is really tucked in and well protected at the back, especially since feet and bags could be moving a lot nearby and could result in kicking and bending the wire if it were not so well protected


  • I talked about how the extra gears can be a good thing considering the added weight and hauling capacity of the RadWagon but this also means more drivetrain complexity, a second derailleur that can get bumped and go out of true as the cable stretches, an extra shifter mechanism that clutters the handlebar area, and the derailleur components are more basic here (Shimano Altus is one step up from the entry Tourney component)
  • If you decide to add the front rack, it’s great that the headlight can be repositioned on the bottom (for maximum exposure) but it will no longer point where you steer because the rack is frame mounted
  • This electric cargo bike isn’t as capable at climbing steep hills as the mid-drive options from Yuba, Riese & Müller, Felt, Butchers & Bicycles and some others… but none of them offer throttles or wider gearing options, just know that the gearless motor on the RadWagon is more smooth and quiet but offers a lot less torque from standstill and for climbing
  • I’m mixed on the brakes for this bike, the 180 mm rotors provide good leverage but you cannot adjust the brake lever reach and have to use more effort than with hydraulic disc brakes, for smaller riders and those without as much hand strength, that could be a point of fatigue or difficulty, but at least they have motor inhibitors built in for safety and the rubber edges and the bell are nice, this part is one of the cost savings measures and also might be easier to adjust by hand by the owner vs. needing a shop
  • The display panel is not removable and could take some weather-wear or get scratched at bike racks… but now it can be locked (by turning the key to off on the battery pack) and it has a USB type A port for charging your phone or other portable electronics on the go
  • Minor complaint here but the slap guard doesn’t quite extend all the way across the right chainstay and you could get some chips and marks there because of how long the chain is and how wide the gear spread is
  • I prefer the little trigger shifters vs. these large SIS Index thumb shifters because they don’t take up as much space and are easier to reach when holding the grips… but Rad Power Bikes told me that they chose these shifters to make room for the throttle cutoff switch on the right side and that makes sense, also, the big shifters can be easier to use with gloves… I just find that I have to take my hand off of the grip to shift sometimes and that’s slow and less safe feeling
  • I was bummed that the rear light isn’t integrated, it runs on two AAA batteries and must be turned on and off each time you go to use the bike… it’s easier to forget and leave on, but at least it provides two modes of operation (solid and blinking) whereas most integrated lights only go solid
  • I like the tire dimensions but they don’t have reflective sidewalls or puncture protection liners like some of the fancier bike tires (like Schwalbe offers), and changing a flat isn’t fun on such a big heavy bike… though the kickstand would help with that since it’s so big and stable


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2 months ago

So I bought one of these a year ago and have been having a great time both carrying two kiddos (3&4) around and just getting around town with it. I’m not a real biker (i.e. I’m lazy) so the combination of electric assist and flexible cargo space has been a total game-changer when the crucial decision is made on whether to grab the car keys or the bike keys.

When comparing feature sets, I really don’t understand how this thing is priced at $1.6K when the closest comparisons (Yuba, R&M, etc.) seem to be $4K and up? Are they just selling these at cost? It’s such a huge difference…

Looks like it’s gotten even better with the 2018 updates. The headlight on mine is pretty underwhelming, and it looks like they upgraded it from 200 lumens to 300. They added battery capacity, although I think I might’ve preferred a smaller/lighter one. The only other thing I’m not that fond of is the 21 speeds, which is way more complication than I personally need. Maybe other people need that fine of control though. The disc brakes, mentioned here as a negative, work great for me. I don’t have super-powerful hands (that I’m aware of) but it’s still reasonably easy to skid the tires.

One thing I wish I understood more is whether it’s OK on this bike to carry an adult on the back. I did a few times before we put the cage on the back for the kids, and I had a motor problem. Their support was great and they sent out replacement parts promptly, but I could never get a clear answer on whether we somehow overloaded it and caused it to go out.

2 months ago

HI Aron! I agree that 21 speeds is a lot… and am seeing more and more ebike companies move to one-by drivetrains with just one shifter and 7 to 11 gears in a cassette. I think in terms of price, Rad is able to stay affordable because they don’t sell through dealers, are using simpler parts like hub motors vs. mid-drives, and they offer the hydraulic disc brakes etc. Some of those little hardware updates, like the derailleur, brake brand, even the tires, can add a lot to the bottom line. As for your question about carrying a second adult, my impression is that it depends on their weight, the terrain you’re on (flat or hills) and how hard you are willing to pedal along. You may strain some of the components if you load the bike up over the 350 lb maximum total weight (275 lb Rider, 120 lb Rear Rack, 40 lbs Per Running Board). Many parts will require tuning or replacement down the line even when you don’t stress them… so really pushing the bike could result in bent or broken spokes, a hot motor controller, maybe even some bearing issues etc. though I haven’t heard a lot about this sort of thing. You could always post about it in the Rad Power Bikes Forums and get feedback from other owners :)

2 months ago

Thanks Court. Meant to say great job on what you’ve built here, it’s pretty inspiring. Hopefully you get that a lot and are sick of hearing it :). Besides being really well done, it’s clearly a passion project and that shines through.

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2 days ago

Hello Banzai,

Thanks for the helpful review of the RPB Stepthru. I also come from a motorcycling background, but haven't ridden for several years. I'm 68 years old, over weight and out of shape at 265 pounds. I have a Voltbike Yukon 750 Limited with a 500 watt geared hub motor and it is great at hill climbing, but I need a bike that I can fit into my 2016 Hyundai Tucson. I think that Radcity or a Radcity Stepthru with the front wheel removed should fit. Now, I like the looks of both bikes, but I would prefer to get the high step, because I think that there would be less frame flexing; however, I just wonder how accurate the stand over height of the high step frame is on the Radcity website. My inseam is 29 inches and I wonder if I would be able to stand over the frame without touching it. With my Yukon, the top tube is right in my crotch and I shudder to think what would happen if I had to stop hard and come off the seat onto the top tube (OUCH!!!) I like the idea of a stepthru because of what I just mentioned, but worry about it flexing under hard pedaling because of my weight. Also, I wonder if the motor on either version of the bike with the gearless direct drive motor would have enough power to carry me (while pedaling) up hills (on road).

The temperature up here in Port Perry, Ontario (NE of Toronto) is still a bit too cold for riding, but hopefully, I will be able to get out on the Yukon in another week or so.

So, if anyone who has the direct drive motor on their bike could comment, I would appreciate it.


2 days ago

SoCal has some excellent trails to ride on the sands of the Mojave Desert. Fortunately a lot of it is hard packed but there are soft spots the equivalent of soft beach sand. The typical trail ride here will have you running thru portions of each, but it is not impossible for any bike to traverse as shown by the road bikes and their narrow tires that travel on some of them. The two RAD Power Bikes I have do exceptionally well, each performing a little differently, but certainly able to tackle any terrain the desert has to offer. I rode thru the desert for years on motorcycles tricked out for desert racing. Can't do that anymore because the desert has been closed off to offroading except for designated areas and occasional sanctioned events. But I can still have fun riding on secluded back roads and trails on a 2017 RAD Rover and my new 2018 Rad City Step Thru. That's fine because the potential to bonzai down these trails needs to be reined in somewhat because afterall, they are not mountain bikes and won't hold up to the harsh treatment those bikes normally get. The two bikes that are quite different structurally, but since the Step Thru is new I'll be talking about it most and will mention first that there is no need to be timid about riding trails just because your new Step Thru is a city commuter bike, it is also equipped for trail rides and holds its own with its power and its 26'x2.3" dual purpose tires.

The RAD City Step Thru is powered by a Shengyi rear hub motor and although not having the low end thrust of the Rover, when in throttle mode it gradually gains power as speed increases, but gains full power quickly when pedaling in power assist mode. The rider never has to be concerned about a sudden thrust forward on the Step Thru. It behaves very well and can still be ridden everywhere the Rover can travel, and while getting accustomed to riding it, ran it thru different areas of difficulty just to see how well it performs. It blasts thru patches of soft sand that would stop a road bike in it's tracks. This is because the tires are the same tread and width found on many mountain bikes, and they are built for traction on all sorts of surfaces. They are not intended for all-day riding in soft sand, but regardless the Step Thru will still develop power quickly from a dead stop in first gear in power assist mode. Getting started in soft sand just using the throttle takes a little coaxing for it to finally develop sufficient power. This is when shifting down before needing the low end boost helps to keep from getting bogged down unnecessarily in a difficult situation. Each push of the gear shift button raises the gear to the next higher gear, and pushing the lever switches gears down to the next lower gear. Button Up, Lever Down.

Riding offroad in pedal only mode with no help from the motor entirely blew away my original thinking. It is quite easy, and it's nice knowing that if somehow all the power gets used up, the bike can still be pedaled just like a real bicycle. 90% of the trails I ride can be ridden easily and without any real effort using pedal power only. That is unless it is pushing against the wind, in which case when climbing steep sandy hills its best to be in at least step 3 of power assisted mode or risk stalling out halfway up the hill. Afterall, that is why we buy e-bikes - for the POWER! Otherwise on an excellent day for riding with no wind, I can take either bike and never use any power at all to ride the 15 miles into town on a trail that runs up and down hills and through washouts. The ride back is even easier with some fast downhills.

In addition to the introduction of a new style of city bike, 2018 at RPB also saw some changes in bike design and new power components. The 5 power assist modes on the new City limit the bike's speed while pedaling so I always put it on step 5 as I start up the hill to my residence. I would guess the mile long hill to be about a 10% grade, and I have no problem topping it in 7th gear and PAS 5 at 20 MPH. Topping the hill just using the throttle is slower, but the bike wants to FLY UP THAT HILL when pedaling using power assist! The watts indicator shows about 550 watts whereas powering the bike without pedaling jumps immediately up to 750 watts while sadly bogged down at around 15 MPH.

The new City bike requires keeping the key close by and must be used to allow it to power up. To turn the battery power off now also requires using the key. That's probably a new safety feature that works for many riders, but I prefer the older push button on/off instead. Ah well, such is progress.

Overall I am really impressed with the design and performance of the new RAD City Step Thru and that it is even suitable for some youngsters to ride. It's an excellent bike for running errands, and for even taking a trip out on a secluded trail to get away from the noisy city and its traffic.

4 days ago


4 days ago

Some nice cargo ebikes there, a friend just ordered a Riese & Muller Packster 60 and from what I've read it can be a true car replacement. I'd be wary of getting a Bionx converted cargo bike because they have gone into receivership and used a proprietary system so batteries and parts may be hard to get in future. To be fair the 2018 Rad Power bikes use a custom battery case which can't be swapped out for a generic replacement but at least those can be https://ebikemarketplace.com/collections/rebuilt-batteries with new cells unlike a Bionx battery.

5 days ago

Yes, I love the way they structure that. I really don't know what a normal delivery day will be like for Caviar, but if i go with a Rad i will most def gets the rack.

5 days ago

Also worth noting the 2018 Rad Power bikes have a cargo tray that fits onto the rear or front racks.

7 days ago

The reason I picked Rad Power Bikes was because they were regular standard bikes with ebike components added. Almost any part that fits a regular bike will fit on a Rad Power Bike (makes upgrades/mods easy). I took my Radrover to a regular bike shop to put the ebike together and tune bike stuff up (adj. brakes, TQ spokes, adj. derailleur, pedal cranks, etc...) . I just needed to charge the battery to balance out the cells before the first ride was the only thing I had to do to the ebike component. The Rad ebike components require zero maintenance or software/firmware upgrades. Any issues with the hub motor, wiring harness, battery, controller, or LCD can just be replaced and new parts are plug-n-play.

Angela M
2 weeks ago

I'm really liking my 2018 RadRover after making a few modification for a more forward, less upright ride. Using it for a work out on road, trail & mountain-ish rides -- it's pretty heavy for full-on mountain biking, in my opinion, but you can definitely use it for trail & pavement. Changed out the stock tires due the the pesky thorns in my area, which really helped. Overall, the bike seems like a very well made machine and Rad Power Bikes offers excellent customer service & support, which is a big deal to me. I'm getting great distance with the battery, and it's faasssst when you crank it up! Went for a 30 mile ride the other day and used up only 2 of 5 bars on the battery, but I do like to peddle a lot. If you like a more upright, plush ride then you probably won't feel the need to make any modifications. I'm just used to riding road & mountain bikes so I wanted a more aggressive feel. Happy shopping!

2 weeks ago

I'm not an expert on this stuff, but I have noticed a few things about our RadMini that seem a little different than most bikes I have ridden.

First, the bottom bracket seems to be higher off the ground than "normal". Because of this, I had to raise the seat up higher to keep the distance between the seat and the pedals right. This higher seat position has me sitting where I can just barely touch the ground with my toes when I am stopped. I am 5'8" tall, with a 29" inseam, so I don't consider myself abnormally short. But if I was any shorter, I don't think I could ride the RadMini comfortably. The Rad Power Bikes page says this bike fits riders from 5'2" to 6'2". I would really like to see a 5'2" person ride it - I think that would be very entertaining!

The second thing is, you sit pretty far back on the bike. Plus, most of the bike's weight is centered toward the rear. This makes the bike feel kinda "wheelie prone" to me. Since the motor makes so much torque, I have to be careful not to apply too much throttle when first starting out. Same with the PAS - if it is set too high (above step 1 or 2), then when you start pedaling it really wants to take off. If you aren't accustomed to this motor torque and performance and it catches you off guard, it could easily dump you on your rear end.

I don't know if either of these things had anything to do with your problems. I have found that once I adjusted to the higher seating position and instant motor response, I have really enjoyed riding the bike. It is very zippy feeling, and steers very lightly considering its weight and the big fat tires. I hope you are soon able to get back on your bike and finally have some fun with it.

Good Luck!

2 weeks ago

I think you should get the features that support your riding style and environment. I really like having a throttle because it does support the way I like to ride:
- getting across intersections in a hurry,
- short boost up short inclines to maintain my speed,
- helps me get going if I need to start riding on an incline
- use the throttle for max speed if I need to make a green light
- use throttle for turns or over/between obstacles where my pedals might hit
- assist in getting up to cruising speed a lot faster when work commuting
- really use the throttle for less shifting during winter because I have heavy gloves and Bar Mitts on. Pretty much can stay in top gear my entire work commute with minimal drop in travel time

I also had a few emergency situations where the throttle came in handy:
- left pedal crank fell off the first week I purchased my Radrover (recovered the crank; but, lost the crank bolt). Use the throttle to ride the 3 miles back home
- wrecked on my bike trail riding and broke 3 bolts in half on my handlebar stem and banged by body up pretty good. Able to get back on the road just using the throttle to ride the 4 miles back home. Would have been too painful to PAS pedal and awkward with the floppy handlebar.
- store/charge my ebike in the unused office space next to my office on the 2nd floor. Elevator was out; but, I used my throttle to walk my 70lbs ebike up the stairs with ease
- used the throttle when I had to walk my bike up steep inclines or over obstacles I couldn't ride over
- use the throttle when trail riding when I hit really deep sandy areas. Pretty much need full power when the sand starts to get +2" deep
- several times during single track trail riding in the summer I had to sit on the downtube and duck my head down to the handlebar level to make through the trail because of so many low branches and overgrowth. Bumping the throttle came in handy instead of having to walk the bike (6'3" and I sit a little under 7" on Radrover with helmet with Niterider Pro 2200 light on).

I think you see so many different answers to the the questions is because of several things based on the individual ebiker's riding style, ebike type, and environment. Not all throttles are created the same:

- My Radrover has an on/off throttle button and provides up to full 750w/80 Nm tq power at any PAS level (even PAS 0). I can get to my cruising speed of 17-20 mph pretty quick with that much tq while keeping my Radrover in PAS 3 (375 max watts @ PAS 3). I can keep my eyes on the road at all times bumping the throttle since I don't have to glance down to double-check the gears or PAS levels.

- Other ebikes sometimes reduce the throttle power levels in relationship to the current PAS levels. It would way too hard to use my throttle if power was limited to current PAS power levels. Too much button pushing if I had to adjust the PAS level, change gears, and reset PAS level after the intersections/hazards compared to just bumping the full power throttle only.

I would add to the '"throttle -vs- no throttle" debate is how the throttle works with the different ebikes. I wouldn't have much of a need for a throttle if the operation was more complicated or had restricted power levels per PAS compared to the Rad Power Bikes set-up.

Mr. Coffee
3 weeks ago

Rad Power bikes is in Seattle and has a store/showroom in Ballard. They don't sell kits but their bikes retail from $1500-$1600.

I'd suggest paying them a visit, talking to them about what your needs are, and perhaps try out their bikes.

4 weeks ago

I had a similar issue when I ordered my his/her Radrovers back in Sept/2016. Both Rads were delivered the same day; but, one box looked like it took a detour in a war zone. That same bike had issues with:
- replaced pedal crank bolt, couldn't get the bolt tight even with loctite and pedal crank would become loose after 5 miles
- had to bend the front disk brakes true. Helped to tighten the spokes to help true the rim also.
- replaced the controller because of 30 maintain error
- replaced the battery that wouldn't charge (turned out to be just a bad internal .50 cent fuse)
- bent the rear derailleur back into place to keep the chain from rubbing the rear tire in lower gears

Rad Power Bikes was very helpful and extremely responsive in resolving all the issues I've had. It was nice I had a second Radrover as a back-up and to double-check "normal" operation of both bikes.

I figured Rad Power Bikes would improve its shipping boxes by now? I guess it is cheaper to fix the damaged ebikes compared to improving all the shipping boxes for every bike.:(

michael mitchell
5 hours ago

I would vote RadWagon. It's cheap enough that it would pay for itself in about 1 year (compared to car + insurance). You can fit another person or child on the back. It has a throttle and decent sized battery. Commuting everyday, you may feel beat or sick, so you can just ride it like a scooter on those rough days. After a year, you could decide it wasn't for you, throw it in the dumpster, and break even. Only downside would be getting a flat on that rear wheel. I'd suggest carrying a can of bike fix-a-flat in additional to normal repair stuff.

5 days ago

yes: what kind of a rider will i be. SEDATE is a great word, it may be an option with my new 52 year old body. thank you for this invite. i would love that TERN, ugh, the price...

5 days ago

Try riding with a loaded trailer before you commit to buying one. I bought a Burleigh Travoy trailer and used it to haul my photo equipment. Unfortunately, my riding style is not suited to pulling a trailer. I tend to take turns too fast and too tight. A couple of times the trailer overturned. Fortunately, my equipment was well-padded and well-protected. I sold the Travoy and bought an axle-mounted rack from Old Man Mountain, the only rack that would fit my full-suspension, plus-sized-tire mountain bike. Together with Ortlieb panniers, I can carry all the equipment I want, plus heavy-duty lock and other necessities.

But if you ride sedately, or have the discipline to do so, a trailer might be just right.

The other models in the Rad lineup would probably be better suited to your needs than the RadMini, such as the RadWagon and the RadCity. Folding bikes suffer from frame flex, and the RadMini is no exception, as Court noted in his review of the first version of the RadMini. Frame flex affects handling and safety adversely.

The Tern GSD, touted by @ver50 above, looks like it would be a great bike for your needs, but it's much more expensive than any of the Rad models, and you mentioned "budget" as a criterion.

Tuffy's Dad
1 week ago

Thanks so much for this very valuable information. I did see the Radwagon and your input is appreciated. I will definitely look at a geared hub setup and I like the recommendation about getting a finished bike rather than kit. Again, I so appreciate this response!

Barkme Wolf
1 week ago

My FB group is having a ride on April 21st in Seattle WA
Celebrating 10,000 miles on my RadWagon


1 week ago

I have a RadWagon with a 750w rear direct drive. They are nice once you get going, but they don't do too well on hills. I have to downshift to help with the climb especially with all my gear. I now have a 350 watt geared hub on the front and that has helped a lot with the climbs. If you like to shift, then I would go with a geared hub.

As someone new to electric bikes, it may be safer to get a finished bike unless you like working on your bike. There are kits (like the BBSHD) that will handle towing with no problems but that requires someone to install it.

Between Rad and Juiced bikes, I would probably recommended Juice's geared hub over Rad bikes especially for towing.

3 weeks ago

Hi all,

I received my RadWagon yesterday and am ready to haul all the things! Has anyone successfully connected a Burley trailer to their RadWagon? I found this thread: https://electricbikereview.com/forum/threads/mounting-a-hitch-to-the-radrover-for-pet-trailer-or-kids-trailer.7653/ but was hoping for advice more specific to Burley trailers. The trailer I'm interested in specifically is the Burley flatbed (https://burley.com/product/flatbed/) for hauling lumber from the hardware store.


3 weeks ago

I just had this "Error 30 Maintain" show up, this morning, for the first time, on my two month old, <200mi ridden, RadWagon, and I'm pretty sure I just fixed it, too. The problem, for me, arose after having mounted the bike on a car rack, returning from a weekend trip. I'd placed one of the rack's clamps, unwisely, directly across the cable connector that's strapped to the underside of the top tube. When I removed the bike from the rack, the connector came open. When I tried to reconnect it, it didn't seem to fit flush, the way it had before, and riding it again, for the first time, this morning, the error message showed up, a few seconds after activating the display. Without interrupting my relatively short, flat, no-electric-strictly-necessary ride, I could tell that, by turning the battery off and on again, I could get a few seconds of power, then the error message would flash, and power would stop. With time to address it, this afternoon, I could see that 2 or 3 of the pins in the connector had been splayed out of their pattern. I delicately pushed them straight, with a thin tool, and the connector fit together, flush, once again. When I turned the battery and display back on, I briefly got the "error 25" message, Prophet mentions above. But then it returned to normal, and it appears that I have both pedal assist and throttle power operational. I'll bring it up here again, if problems return, but it seems that aligned pins, and a flush connector fit has solved the issue.

1 month ago

The hillier the better for the ebike in my opinion, that's when the ebike really has an edge. On flats if you can maintain 20mph on your road bike, then there is no much difference.

Similar situation here... avid cyclist, 160lbs, commute 13mi with 1600ft (one way).
On my 15lbs road bike I was able to do one way in about 1:10hr. On the 70lbs RadWagon I could do the same on 45mins! (on both bikes I was hauling ass, and on the e-bike I was on Assist 5 - If you want you can still sweat on the ebike)

So I was able to shave 30% time on my commute by going with the e-bike. In 6-8% grade segments where I normally do 6-8mph, I was able to do 12-14mph.

I'd get the RadCity if I were you (In my case, I also take my small kids in the bike sometimes, so I got the RadWagon)

1 month ago

The 2018 is a better buy than the 2017 because the battery is larger. 14 ah vs the 11.6 ah is definitely worth it considering the price hasn't changed.

If you want almost hydraulic level braking performance, take a look at getting compressionless cables (I use the Jagwire Mountain Pro kit). I put those on my Radwagon and now I can stop the bike with just 2 fingers with half the effort. Its compatible with all mechanical systems and you can get them on Amazon for $30.

I also have a hybrid hydraulic system that uses a cable setup that operates on the master cylinder piston. The master/slave piston control the oil that presses on the pads. My current cable setup is good enough that my hybrid system is still sitting on the shelf.

The 2018 battery looks very similar to the Shark battery case sold at Luna


2 months ago

That's the thing. That thread is what made me sign up because that was between the RadRover and RadWagon. I don't want the Wagon so that wasn't a choice for me. I am looking between the RadRover and RadCity.

Some multi-use trails like the C&O Canal is a small rock gravel trail with some paved spots. Isn't the RadCity tires similar to a standard Mountain bike tire or is it more hybrid/city bike tire?

2 months ago

I have a Radwagon and love it! 26 miles a day and getting stronger! 340 miles so far. Ok, my issue. I accidentally pulled the battery out without turning it off first. After work I noticed that the miles are no longer counting and my speed shows zero. Any ideas?

Wayne Rhea
1 day ago

I think they should have upgrades available for things like the brakes shifter tires grips seats and more even though it will be more I would pay around 2k for a really nice one of these

2 weeks ago


Patricia DelMercado
2 weeks ago

I'm sold, I want one! Too bad they are out of stock.

Chance Bergreen
4 weeks ago

You can tell that this reviewer has a high IQ and a very in-dept understanding of the engineering that takes place

Califa G
1 month ago

This is an ugly bike! The 2017 frame model was better designed. The 2018 model is TRULY ugly!

Seth Clayborne
1 month ago

Im just curious if anyone has toured with one of these? seems like it could be a perfect set up for long distance trips.. thinking about purchasing one to ride the Pacific Coast Route

Dave Fyffe
1 month ago

could someone tell me how hard it is to ride a eletric bike without the power on?? say the battery went dead?! I'm 65, serioous answer please

Dave Fyffe
1 month ago

thank you very very much.... so many choices as i'm looking at the rad city and rad city step -thru also, but it won't be ready until march...thanks again Larry Gardner david

Larry Gardner
1 month ago

I don't take the bike anywhere on a rack, I only use it for local runs, so I can't answer to that. It is a heavy bike and I imagine that assistance would be required even if you removed the battery pack. I got a pretty standard chain and lock right away and am looking to find the right motion sensor alarm as well. I'm also planning to register it with the local police station (just in case). Always turn off and remove the key. Look at radpowers policy for buying and selling the bike and part(s) you will see that it is in place to make it difficult for a thief to get any replacement part(s). Regards, LG.

Dave Fyffe
1 month ago

thanks for the come back.. I'm really thinking of getting the wagon too. could you tell me how you transport your bike on a rack and how you get it up there. (is it hard to get up on the rack)? and very inportant is what kind of theft control do you have, say you want to go inside a store?? thank you david

Larry Gardner
1 month ago

Hi Dave, I just got my radwagon and took it for a short spin today. I'm 63. My last electric was a monstrous Chinese build (72 volts sla!) that I liked a lot, but it was definitely way too heavy to really pedal without power, so I was losing some of the tone I used to have in my legs and was missing that. This radwagon has 21 speeds, so I figured I could get some of that back. From my short trip today, I will say that, yes, I will be able to peddle this without power. One of the smaller bikes might be even better, but I use my bike for commuting and running errands, so I really wanted this cargo style. For the last several years, I've only driven a car or truck when I need to. I've been using electric bikes for about ten years now. I encourage you to get one. You won't regret it.

2 months ago

When will they be available? (Canada)

Andrew Mullen
2 months ago

Bought one for myself and now my wife wants one.

Kevin M
3 months ago

Why review a cargo bike without any cargo?

Ticky Tocky
3 months ago

Needs a Honda four stroke on it.

Andrew Butler
3 months ago

Great video! With such a competitive price, is there any reason to pay an extra $3.5k or so for a Yuba Spicy Curry?

Rex Garrett
3 months ago

Great review... Thx!

Miracle Matthew
3 months ago

If the aluminum frame was flexing without a load on the back....  seems not to be strong enough.

Genecop Coppola
3 months ago

Well done Cort, as usual..

3 months ago

Are they planning to sell in Australia ?

Ryan Lichtenwald
3 months ago

Thanks for all of your reviews. What are your thoughts on using this for two adults, about 140 lbs each for around the town trips? The website lists 120 lbs as max payload for the rear rack, but then they also list a total payload capacity of 350 lbs. I've also seen several videos including their old model promo video where it's obvious they have an adult on the back. Thanks!

Ben Adriance
3 months ago

If I didn't get a new bike last year I would buy this one.

Isaias Vasquez
3 months ago

Yeah so my question is how would one transport the bike. Say you need to go somewhere where the bike can't go and you need to put it in your car. Can you put the bike in the open back of a truck or in a van? And if you could would it damage the bike in any way?

3 months ago

Which one of the tested 2018 Rad offerings have the most gitty-up? Unfortunately this one wasn't the one. Squirmy frame and apparently struggling a bit up the hills.