Rad Power Bikes RadWagon Review

Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Electric Bike Review 1
Rad Power Bikes Radwagon
Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Shengye 500 Watt Motor
Rad Power Bikes Radwagon 48 Volt 11 6 Ah Battery
Rad Power Bikes Radwagon King Meter Lcd Console
Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Independent Rear Light And Fender
Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Integrated Headlight And Deflopilator
Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Shimano Alivio Crankset
Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Shimano Tourney Derailleur
Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Tektro Novella Disc Brakes Qr Wheel
Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Electric Bike Review 1
Rad Power Bikes Radwagon
Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Shengye 500 Watt Motor
Rad Power Bikes Radwagon 48 Volt 11 6 Ah Battery
Rad Power Bikes Radwagon King Meter Lcd Console
Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Independent Rear Light And Fender
Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Integrated Headlight And Deflopilator
Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Shimano Alivio Crankset
Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Shimano Tourney Derailleur
Rad Power Bikes Radwagon Tektro Novella Disc Brakes Qr Wheel

Summary

  • Affordable, feature rich cargo style electric bike with a stiffer and lighter frame because it's not quite as long as some others
  • Offers five levels of pedal assist, throttle mode and throttle override as well as regenerative braking to recoup power and reduce wear on brake pads
  • Standardized rear rack and runners should work with traditional cargo bike accessories, several nice extras are already included such as wood decks, plastic wheel guards, full length fenders, lights, adjustable stem, oversized kickstand, deflopilator, adjustable stem and ergonomic grips
  • Only available in one size and color, no quick release on the rear wheel, some cheaper components, solid one year warranty

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Rad Power Bikes

Model:

RadWagon

Price:

$1,599 USD

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Urban, Commuting, Cargo

Electric Bike Class:

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

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

20152016

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

75 lbs (34.01 kg)

Battery Weight:

7 lbs (3.17 kg)

Motor Weight:

9 lbs (4.08 kg)

Frame Material:

Steel

Frame Sizes:

17 in (43.18 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Reach: 22

Frame Types:

Cargo, Mid-Step

Frame Colors:

Orange

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses, Rack Bosses

Gearing Details:

21 Speed 3x7 Shimano Tourney TX (Rear Derailleur) and Shimano Alivio (Front Derailleur), 28-33-48 Tooth

Shifter Details:

Shimano Tourney SIS Thumb Shifters Left and Right

Cranks:

Aluminum Alloy

Pedals:

Wellgo M111 Aluminum Alloy Platform

Headset:

Neco

Stem:

Zoom, Adjustable Angle, Aluminum

Handlebar:

Zoom, Aluminum Aloy, Low Rise

Brake Details:

Tektro Novella Mechanical Disc with 180 mm Rotors, Tektro Levers with Motor Inhibitor

Grips:

Velo, Semi-Ergonomic (Black and Gray)

Saddle:

Velo Plush With Integrated Lifting Handle

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Double Wall Aluminum Alloy, 30 mm Width, 36 Hole, CNC Side Wall

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 12 Gauge

Tire Brand:

Kenda K-Rad All Purpos, 26" x 2.3"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

28" Cargo Rack With Wood Pannels, Integrated 200 Lumen LED Headlight, Battery Powered LED Rear Light, Deflopilator Spring (Keeps Front Wheel Straight for Loading), Sturdy Spring-Loaded Double Leg Kickstand, Full Length Plastic Fenders with Mud Flaps, Neoprene Slap Guard, Basic Flick Bell

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, 48 Volt 15 Amp Sine Wave Controller (20 Amps Peak), Regenerative Braking, KMC Z7 Rustbuster Chain, Female USB Charging Port and Fuse on Battery, USB Port on Display

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Shengyi

Motor Type:

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

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Motor Peak Output:

750 watts

Battery Brand:

Samsung, 29E Cells

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

11.6 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

556.8 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

15 miles (24 km)

Estimated Max Range:

40 miles (64 km)

Display Type:

Fixed Backlit Monochrome LCD, SW-LCD by-King Meter

Readouts:

Speedometer, Wattmeter, Odometer, Assist Level (0-5), Battery Charge Level (5 Bars)

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad near Left Grip, Throttle on/ off Near Right Grip

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle (12 Magnet Pedelec Disc)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The RadWagon is the second electric bicycle from Rad Power Bikes which started out with a fat ebike called the RadRover (crowdfunded through Indiegogo in early 2015) and has been working in the space since 2007. The Wagon emphasizes value and is one of the most affordable electric cargo bikes I’ve ever seen… To keep the price low a few components have been stepped down including the Shimano Tourney TX drivetrain, basic adjustable stem, independent rear light and cheap grips. But where it counts, things are done right and there’s a lot to appreciate including wood platforms on the rack and running boards, full length fenders, front and rear lights, oversized 180 mm disc brakes and a sturdy double legged kickstand. Compared with similar electric offerings from Yuba and Xtracycle the Rad Wagon is shorter in length and quite a bit heavier at ~75 lbs. It’s built on a steel frame that helps to dampen vibration and features large Kenda tires and a Velo Plush saddle to smooth things out further. The most impressive aspect to me is the price… which is enabled through the “online only” sales model that Rad Power Bikes uses. You will have to assemble parts of the bike on your own (or with the help of a shop) and cannot try it in person first which means the ~17″ frame may or may not fit your body perfectly (I’m ~5’9″ and it felt comfortable). You do get a one year warranty here and even though the company is relatively new I feel like they are well funded and operating in a professional manner.

Driving the bike is a quiet and smooth 500 watt gearless hub motor. Not having gears, this motor is able to offer regeneration as well as power but it also weighs more and isn’t as strong at low speeds. Many people ask “can you pedal an electric bike to charge it” but that’s not really the point here given the 10% to 15% efficiency. Basically, with a larger and heavier bike like this the regen feature just lets you save wear on your brake pads and extend range slightly if you’re coasting down hills for part of your ride. The top speed of the bike is ~20 mph and you can operate in either pedal assist or throttle mode. I love that there’s a throttle only setting (level zero) and that you can override assist at any time with full power using the twist throttle. You can also completely disable the throttle using the red on/off button near the right grip. I noticed a quick disconnect point in the wire running to the hub motor which will make tuneups and fixes easier but there’s no quick release back here… just in the front. The bike uses a sine wave controller that puts out up to 20 Amps and controls power in a smooth way.

Powering the motor and front light on the RadWagon is a high quality 48 volt 11.6 amp hour battery. Inside are Samsung 29E cells that use a Lithium-ion chemistry aimed at being light weight and long lasting. To extend their life, store the pack in a cool dry location (avoid extreme heat and cold) and if you’re not going to be riding for a while leave the pack at ~50% instead of plugging it in. Check in on the battery every few months and fill it back up if power has been draining. I like the mounting location of the battery here because it’s out of the way and somewhat protected by the frame. The pack weighs about seven pounds and that weight is kept low and center for improved handling and balance. I did notice that when braking the rear tire can skid more frequently than on shorter non-cargo bikes because there’s less weight over the rear wheel. Getting back to the battery, one of the downsides I noticed is that you have to turn the pack on independent from the display console (so that’s two on/off steps). It’s not a huge deal but there is more potential for accidentally leaving the battery on which could drain its power. Same deal for the rear light, it’s independent from the main battery and runs on separate cells… if you turn it on but forget to turn it off while parking overnight you may come back to a non-functioning light in the morning. I would prefer that all systems run off of one main battery and that there be only one on/off switch to make it fast and easy but this design still gets the job done and saves money. The battery casing is a generic “dolphin” style and the rear light doesn’t require extra wires as it would if it were integrated.

Operating the bike requires a couple of extra steps but also includes some nice extras. Once the battery is charged and locked to the downtube you press on and then on again at the button pad near the left grip. The LCD display comes to life and shows your power, assist level, speed and distance stats. At this point, you can hold mode to activate the headlight and then reach back to click the on/off switch for the tail light. At any point if you want to go, make sure the red button on the twist throttle is in and then twist! For improved range and a bit of exercise you can arrow up through five levels of assist and the 12 magnet cadence sensor (near the right crank arm) will sense movement and activate the motor. It’s great that they used a higher end cadence sensor because it’s very responsive but the brake levers are wired in to cut power to the motor so if you ever feel out of control just squeeze. Another benefit to cadence sensing vs. torque on an e-bike like this is that you don’t have to push hard to get the motor going, it just listens for movement and then puts out the specified power and speed (low for level 1 and higher for level 5). I tend to ride in level two or three and then use the twist throttle for a boost of power when passing fellow cyclists or topping hills.

In recent years, established electric bike companies have been investing more and more money into designs. Some bikes like the EdgeRunner have a smaller rear wheel for lower center of gravity when hauling and use a mid-drive motor for increased torque and efficiency. This is awesome but it also costs 2x to 3x as much money. The RadWago is a competent electric cargo bike that could empower you to haul groceries, bring kids along or completely eliminate your car or motorcycle. It’s a solid platform with thoughtful accessories, a good warranty and a lot of potential. It might not go as far as a mid-drive bike but the charger is small and light weight… in ~1 hour you could refill to ~70% and easily get home. If you’ve been considering a utility oriented bicycle but weren’t sure about the added weight and size, this bike addresses those concerns by adding electric power and being a bit shorter. It feels sturdy and stiff and also comfortable but you could add something like a Thudbuster to smooth things out even more. Just remember to turn that battery and light off when you’ve reached your destination ;)

Pros:

  • Compatible with many of the leading cargo bike accessories from companies like Yuba and ExtraCycle, add a child seat, sidecar, extra set of handlebars and many other utility-oriented extras
  • Shorter wheelbase than traditional cargo bikes, makes it stiffer to ride and somewhat easier to store if you have limited space
  • Durable gearless motor operates quietly and offers regeneration to help recoup energy when coasting down large hills (and save wear on your brake pads)
  • Quick release on the front wheel and removable battery pack (makes bike lighter for transport) there’s also a quick disconnect in the power cable going to the motor but taking it off requires a wrench because it uses standard nuts
  • Very stable when parked thanks to the oversized double legged kickstand, there’s also a deflopilator spring running from the fork to the downtube to keep it straight when loading gear
  • Protective clear plastic guards are mounted to both sides of the rear wheel, this should keep strapping from packs away from spokes and the tire (reduced rubbing and snagging potential)
  • Useful accessories including full length plastic fenders with mudguards, front and rear lights (though the rear light runs off of independent batteries and not the main pack) and reflectors
  • Comfortable saddle with integrated handle for easy lifting when repositioning the bike, larger tires smooth out bumps, ergonomic grips relax hands a bit and the adjustable stem helps to optimize body position when riding
  • Offers throttle only mode as well as throttle override offering full power that overrides assist, five levels of pedal assist help to conserve power and extend range
  • Responsive pedal assist uses 12 magnets vs. 5 or 6 on more basic ebikes, this helps it get going quicker and stop when you discontinue pedaling, I like that the brake levers have motor inhibitors and also activate regeneration mode
  • The steel frame helps to reduce vibration but you could add even more comfort by adding a seat post suspension like the Thudbuster (just make sure you get the 27.2 mm diameter to fit or use a shim if you buy a smaller post)
  • Two integrated USB charging ports! One is located on the right side of the battery pack but can get in the way if you’re pedaling so the second one is right up on the display (right side) so you can charge your phone or other portable electronic devices

Cons:

  • Adjustable angle stems like the one used here can come loose over time if you go off-road or ride off of curbs… consider checking it regularly
  • Only available in one medium ~17″ frame size, the mid-step frame and low seat post makes it accessible to shorter riders but some larger people could feel cramped
  • Currently only available online so it may be difficult to test out in person, the warranty is solid and Rad Power Bikes has been in business for many years
  • In order to start the Rad Wagon you first have to activate the battery pack and then press power again on the button pad, this adds time and makes it easier to forget to de-activate the battery after a ride
  • The battery pack takes up most of the space where a bottle cage might mount and the controller box is already fastened to the seat tube so no bottle cages… consider a saddle rail adapter or something like a Camelbak

Resources:

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Kelley
2 years ago

Thanks for your review. You mention the bike should be compatible with some Yuba and ExtraCycle components. Do you know if specific components are compatible or if there is a resource for this information?

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Hi Kelley, I got the impression that all or most accessories would be compatible (at least with the rear rack tubing portion of the bike) but I’ve reached out to Rad Power Bikes to get more info and will chime in again once they respond :)

Reply
Mandy
2 years ago

Thanks for all the great review on your site, they are extremely helpful! I am interested to hear the reply about the accessories, in particular the Hooptie and/or Monkey Bars. I will purchase this bike if one of those options work. With a three year old I’ve been very interested in the “family style” options of cargo bikes with the rear decks, but have been put off by the price point of the assisted Xtracycle and Yuba. The RadWagon seems like it may be a great choice, but would love the added piece of mind the inner and outer rails of the Hooptie and Monkey Bars provide for kids on the back.

Reply
Sharon
2 years ago

http://cambriabike.com

I ordered my Rad Wagon accessories on line from the link above. I ordered the handlebars, breadbasket and padded seat. Hope this helps.

Reply
Sharon
2 years ago

I just googled accessories for Yuba Mundo and several sites appeared….Merry Christmas!!!!

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Cool, thanks Sharon!

Reply
Mohcine Chaouki
2 years ago

Do you know if anyone was able to retrofit the Monkey bars on this bike? ~Thanks!
I bought the bars from the cambria site, but they are a bit longer than the back seat dimensions.

Reply
Mike
2 years ago

Hi Mohcine,

We will have a great solution for this listed on our website for sale within the next 30 days. The length and mounting hole locations of the other accessories on the market make it challenging to install on the RadWagon, but we expect that you will really like what we will be offering, stay tuned, and thanks for the support!

-Mike from Rad Power Bikes

Reply
George
1 year ago

Radwagon owners, how is the bike holding up? Also, to the company–how long have you been in business? Are parts readily available? Tech support offered? Thanks.

Reply
Rad Power Bikes
1 year ago

Hi George,

We have been in business since 2007 and replacement parts are readily available and stocked in our Seattle warehouse. We have an experienced tech support team ready to help as needed and we strive to provide same day responses as well as same day replacement part shipments if anything is needed on your end!

– Mike from Rad Power Bikes

Reply
N. KANTH
1 year ago

How to buy please send the details, about price and buying

Reply
Court Rye
1 year ago

This bike is sold through their website here. You can buy it and other models and they will ship them directly to your house :)

Reply
TenBlinkers
1 year ago

My RadWagon experience so far. I have 1,500 miles on it since February, and I like it a lot.

Pros:

  • Motor has a lot of power. Me+bike+a bunch of gear = 400lbs, and I’ve yet to meet a hill I can’t climb.
  • Speed is rated at 20mph, but you’ll get assist for a bit more than that. I can maintain 21mph+ for 10+ miles.
  • You really can carry just about anything/everything you can think of.
  • I love that RadPower doesn’t have proprietary batteries! This means if you need another battery (my commute is long – one won’t get me there), you can get the most up-to-date cells at market prices, not 2-year old tech at a stiff markup, like most other ebike companies.
  • RadPower’s light they sell separately is good, and I recommend it.
  • Great price. Can’t be beat for the money.

Cons:

  • Beware the spokes. They use 12g spokes for durability. That’s good. Very few shops can cut or thread 12g spokes. That’s bad. And the ones that can, don’t stock them. When I broke mine, RadPower was out of spokes with no ETA, and the shop didn’t have any, so I had to order a box of them myself from Amazon. That’s fine I guess, but it sets you back a week waiting on them (2-day delivery wasn’t available). Also, the spokes get loose about every 300 miles. Finally after 1200 miles and 4 trips to the shop to have them tighten them (which I could have done myself, but was afraid to knock the wheel out of true), the shop recommended a full rear wheel rebuild. They rebuilt it with 13/14g spokes instead. Again, not the end of the world, but the bike was out of commission for an extended period.
  • Invest in some kevlar tires. Non-kevlar tires + ebikes = nonsensical.
  • My LBS isn’t all that happy when they see me coming. They don’t appreciate the 75lb weight, nor how difficult it is to get the rear wheel on/off. This is no fault of RadPower, just the nature of cargo bikes with hub motors.
  • Their Ballard Bags are just ok. Don’t try using them without the runners, and don’t expect them to be waterproof. Decent enough for the price.
  • Caveat Emptor on the cargo bike. If you’re picking the Wagon, you no doubt understand the pros/cons of cargo bikes, but sometimes it’s a hassle. They’re hard to fit in cars, hard to buy racks for with the extended wheelbase, they don’t fit on bus bike racks.

On balance though, for my first ebike it’s been a lot of fun and I don’t regret the choice. Now to convince the wife I need a speed pedelec for ‘backup’…

Reply
Court Rye
1 year ago

Excellent points, I enjoyed reading your cons and can relate to some of the difficulty working with shops (either for parts or just outside of their specialty). Most of the bikes I test are new so spokes aren’t loose but I have asked about this sort of thing before and heard that Loctite Blue can help to keep them secure. I hope the 13 and 14 gauge spokes hold up for you!

Reply
Lyn
11 months ago

I’m seriously considering the rad wagon as my first e-bike. Tested the spicy curry and a couple front boxes and loved them, big am balking at their price tag. On the other hand, I’m reading a few reviews that indicate that quality may be list due to the lower price. Given that I’m not an experienced bike person, how much maintenance will I be doing in this bike? How much more did you spend on the upgrades? I currently commute to work by bike and will now be adding a stop to drop off my son at preschool. It’s a total commute of four miles one way. In a perfect world, I don’t drive at all when in town. Thanks for any guidance you can provide. I’m really trying to make the right choice here. Oh yes, and finally, do you find it easy to keep the bike safe from theft?

Reply
George J
11 months ago

Purchased my bike 3 months ago and already logged in over 700 miles. Runs well and no issues yet. I was worried about the non standard spokes so purchased a few –just in case. Last week I was caught in a very heavy down pour 10 miles from home, soaked when I got home but bike ran without difficulty. I would buy it again. No regrets.

Reply
Court Rye
11 months ago

That’s awesome feedback George! Ride safe in the rain, glad the spokes are holding up and the bike hasn’t had any issues even with the weather :D

Reply
bill
8 months ago

Eventually, the electronics will fail. The company Rad may not exist by then. Will I end up having a non functional e-Bike? Are there any third party electronic controllers?

-bill

Reply
Court Rye
8 months ago

Hey Bill, sure! There are companies that repack batteries and others that sell controllers. Rad Power Bikes uses less proprietary stuff and the controller box is separate. Given their success and the thousands of people that own the product I’m guessing a third party after market solution would pop up. There might already be options you could find on Ebay. I’m not much of a hacker when it comes to ebikes but you can check out Endless Sphere forums and ask for tips in the event that you need technical help… also the forums here to some extent :)

Reply
Antia
5 months ago

I have now had my Radwagon for over a year. Overall I am pretty happy with the bike but as a learned more about e-bikes and about my own use, I have modified the bike to better fit my needs.

I use the bike for commuting and for taking my kids (2 and 4) to daycare, a total distance of 7 miles each way. I also live on a very steep hill. I bought the aluminium accessory deck and the caboose to transport the kiddos. The bike works great as stock but it is limited in the amount of torque it can provide at low speeds, which meant that I could not get up the hill I live on with the two kids on board and I could just about manage with one and pedaling furiously. I have to say that the hill is beyond the specified capabilities of the bike, so this is not a ding on rad but rather a reality of where I live. Once on the not so hilly areas, the bike worked great and my kids absolutely loved riding in the back. This issue with the hill made me look into possible modifications and I ended up mounting a mid drive motor (BBSHD) onto the frame, which was straightforward. I took out the rear wheel with motor and associated electronics and moved them only another bike. With the mid-drive motor, the radwagon frame is fantastic and works perfectly for my application. I like that it is just slightly longer than a normal bike and behaves in a very natural way. I use the motor as an assist and pedal all the time, so I appreciate that the bike behaves “normally”. The battery was plenty for my commute and back with either the original motor or the middrive, I never had any issue. As someone mentioned in one of the other comments, rad uses non-proprietary batteries so I was able to use my original battery with the new motor without any issues. Recently I also upgraded the stock handlebar to a Jones loop handlebar. Again, there was nothing fundamentally wrong with the original, I just find that I don’t particularly like straight handlebars and prefer a different geometry. I originally bought the Ballard cargo bags and I have to say they are just ok. One of them had 2 of the holding straps break off within the first few months. The way to mount them to the bike is also not very convenient if the deck is installed (which typically would be). I would not buy the bags again if given the opportunity. The caboose is very nice for carrying the kids. I just changed the nuts they provided with butterfly nuts so that it is easier to take on and off.

Overall, I really like the frame of the bike and the fact that it is fundamentally a non-proprietary design, just a very sensible selection of parts that work well together. This meant that I started with a reasonably priced bike that works great and was able to slowly upgrade bits and pieces to customize it to my use case. It is a shame rad does not offer this bike as a pure frameset as it makes for a great platform for a custom ebike.

Reply
Court Rye
5 months ago

Hey Antia, great overview… thanks for checking in after a year of use with this bike. I’m glad the frame is holding up for you and that you took a risk and tried modifying it to fit your needs better. Sounds like you and your kids are enjoying it :)

Reply
John
4 months ago

I’m 6’2″ — will the Radwagon be too small to ride comfortably?

Reply
Court Rye
4 months ago

High John, you might be at the upper end but with a raised saddle slid back on the rails and maybe a longer solid stem it could work well. There aren’t many cargo ebikes that come in multiple sizes, especially at this price. You’d be well served to look at different bars, different stems and even a longer seat post to make this work. I like suspension seat posts and Thudbuster makes longer ones. Hope this helps… you didn’t mention your weight but there are a number of mid-drive cargo bikes now from Xtracycle and Yuba that would climb better if your budget permits. I’m about to review the Bosch powered Yuba today so it’s kind of top of mind :)

Reply
Robert W Green
4 months ago

Court, I love this bike, it’s like a two wheel pickup truck! Those mtb handlebars have to go though. I’d rather have cruiser handlebars so I can ride sitting up straight. Next year when I get my tax refund I’m going to get one of these and cruiserize it. Only kink in the plan is I don’t see any slack in the wires and that will make populating the extra real estate on the longer bars very difficult. Can they add extra long wires and cables to accommodate different handle bars?

Reply
Court Rye
4 months ago

That’s a great question, Robert… Now that Rad Power Bikes has a retail outlet in Seattle Washington, I bet you could call and ask for some feedback and maybe even a customized version. I can’t say for sure, but maybe they would be able to adjust yours before shipping it out?

Reply
Aaron G
3 weeks ago

The caboose on the radpower site has been out of stock for a while. Does anyone know if the Yuba Mini Monkey Bars would mount on the radwagon?

Reply
Court Rye
3 weeks ago

Great question Aaron, maybe this is something the folks at Yuba could help answer for you? They sell an ebike too, called the Spicy Curry, and might be familiar with the RadWagon. I’m just going to go out on a limb here and say that I think they would be interchangeable, and you could probably return them if not… if you try it, please let us know!

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John49
4 days ago

I mounted a front basket on the Radwagon for Sweet Pea to ride in. I used the same mounting holes that a Yuba would use however designed the brackets a bit forward and up to keep the headlight in the same location. It is a smaller basket than the Yuba but fits Sweet Pea fine. She is strapped in for safety sake but never tries to stand. She loves to ride.

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Ann M.
4 days ago

@Sami Joseph, you might benefit from a heavier duty cargo bike like the RadWagon. Court has a comprehensive review of the RadWagon. It's been around for several years now and is sold primarily online. Just be sure to purchase some spare spokes and check the spoke tension in the rear wheel where the hub motor is. The motor is stout and you can carry a bunch o' stuff on the longer back end. Price is around $1600, so with shipping you should be within budget.

Another option would be the Juiced Bikes ODK U500; this ebike has several options for battery size and offers one of the largest batteries available. It's a little more compact cargo bike but has lots of capacity to haul stuff. Price starts at $1995; maybe a bit more with a larger battery but worth it for the extra range. Check out Court's review of the ODK U500 for a bit more perspective. Juiced sells both online and through dealers.

Both of these bikes come with pretty beefy, wider tires; however, you will probably want to add some extra protection like a Tire Liner to prevent flats on those unpaved roads. Good luck on your enterprise!

Barkme Wolf
6 days ago

Love these on my Radwagon. I have since switched out my shift levers and it was difficult getting all the electronics back on but manageable.

Antia
1 week ago

I have a radwagon, live half way up a very steep hill (20%) and regularly carry my two kids in the back of the bike and up that hill. The bike in its stock configuration was fine for most purposes, but I found it was not quite strong enough for me to get us all up the hill. I could make it with one kid but not with both. For context, I am not a super strong cyclist and averagely fit. The great thing about the radwagon however is that it has a great frame and its ebike components are pretty standard and thus can be exchanged quite easily. What I did is I installed a mid drive motor (bbshd) which is ideal for hills and situations where a high torque is desired. I substituted the hub motor wheel by a normal wheel and moved the original wheel to a different bike. With the bbshd the bike is just perfect as a cargo bike and has no problem getting us up the hill. Another a nice thing is that the drag is greatly reduced compared to the original direct drive motor. The conversion is straightforward and you can use the original battery from the radwagon. A bbshd is $670 at Luna and a bbs2 is $400, so the total cost is still in the $2000 range. So, one possibility for you would be to get the radwagon, see if the stock motor is enough and if not, proceed to a conversion. Of course not everyone wants to tinker quite that much :)

WilliamT
2 weeks ago

I am hoping to buy an e-bike soon, and am somewhat surprised at the weight of many of them (>45 pounds). How hard is it to ride a bike that heavy without the motor giving assistance? What factors make it easier to pedal a bike that weight: should I focus on finding a sub-45 pound bike or focus more on getting one that has 7+ gears? Are there any other factors that play a role? Do any of you ever deliberately shut off power, or choose to ride a long enough distance that you know you'll be peddling "on your own" for more than a few miles?

As a side note, are there any issues with putting a 50 pound e-bike on a rear-mounted bike rack? I assume you remove the battery first. Any other concerns to know about?

I have a Radwagon that with my gear (2 sets of clothes, dress shoes, 17 in laptop, etc.), is a little over 100 lbs. There have been a few times where I turned off the battery and just biked home (11-12 miles) on flat and some hills. It adds about 30 minutes more and I have to ride back on a very low gear. It's definitely a tough ride and I get home drenched in sweat. There are times where I'm climbing a steep hill and was tempted to turn it on but I held back and eventually cleared it. (I'm 5'6 145 lbs). I definitely wouldn't recommend it though.

For me, its the gears (2 up front, 7 in the back) that allowed me to do this. Weight really didn't matter once the bike is moving.

I have a rear bike carrier (Thule T2 Pro XT) that holds up to 65 lbs per bike. The radwagon won't fit, but my other e bikes (< 50 lbs each) have been fine.

John49
2 weeks ago

I believe that after 500 miles it time to tighten the spokes on the Radwagon. Can anyone recommend a quality tool to tighten the spokes? I purchased an all-in-one tool that will not fit the spokes at all. I think the front wheel has some loose spokes from the odd sounds I am hearing.

mc chatt
2 weeks ago

I was hoping to get some opinions on cargo bikes I'm considering. We have a really good bike shop in town and a passionate shop owner who really believes in his products, but I'm wanting some other opinions. I bought 3 ebikes from him and my wife and I enjoy a biking life, but we live up a very steep hill and she was just diagnosed with MS. Thus, she often doesn't feel like biking, so I want an option where I can put her on the back of a bike with me and we can still enjoy biking together on the days she doesn't feel like expending that energy.

So, I'm really looking at the cargo bikes and my main important features are:
- comfortable seating options for passenger
- really strong electric motor so that I can receive some considerable assistance getting close to 400 lbs worth of human flesh up some fairly steep hills (between my wife and I). I bike a lot and go up and down these hills with relative ease, even as a big guy, but throwing my wife on the back is another topic.

Thinking about the Felt Bruhaul, the Radwagon, the Pedego stretch, the Yuba Spicy Curry....

Since I understand more than the basics about electric bikes and bikes in general, I'm really posting this because I don't understand how the Radwagon can be so much cheaper than the other options, based on the incredible reviews. Yeah, it's heavy, but so am I. What else am I missing? Longevity? Ease of operation? Any professional opinions out there?

E-Wheels
3 weeks ago

I just passed 6000 miles on the Radwagon (maybe 6200 or so) but today it says 4 miles. What gives?
A regenerative odometer?

Barkme Wolf
3 weeks ago

I just passed 6000 miles on the Radwagon (maybe 6200 or so) but today it says 4 miles. What gives?

Barkme Wolf
3 weeks ago

Radwagon Owner
Do I understand this correctly -
Regenerative breaking is initiated when the break lever is triggered but the "breaks" are not generating any of the energy (unlike in regen cars where the breaks are essentially the generators- with the back up of disc breaks for stopping).

The wheel spin is creating the energy and while the breaks are triggered, the energy is directed back to the battery- not the resistance from the breaking process.

In other words, the breaking is an independent process (in my case I have disk breaks) and the regen is done by harvesting the energy from the spin of the wheel, not the resistance of the breaking.

I would suppose hypothetically- If one were to remove the disc on the breaking system, engage the lever and coast down a hill, the regen process would still work regardless.

figo
3 weeks ago

An update for my flat handlebar mention in last post. Have it installed. Took about an hour, together with flipping the handlebar stem total. Based on my own maybe not that accurate measurement, with bike leaning against the wall which may vary a little depending on amount of lean, it took a little over 4 inches from the height of the hand position. That the total from both the flat handlebar & the flip stem.

Note that the 2 "before pictures," I had already flipped the stem. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the amount it reduced in the height and my new riding position. Like the way it looks too.

Great work, thanks for sharing.
i feel the exact same pain as you, just finished the first 300miles with radwagon, want the handlebar much much lower.

are you able to lower it even more?

John49
3 weeks ago

I finally solved the handle bar issue on the Radwagon. The bars were too far away causing neck pain. A stem riser and new stem did the trick.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007WEQIT4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M1EOOBM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The cables are long enough to take the full height. To install you need a 4mm, 5 mm and 6 mm allen wrench. The 5mm allen needs to be 5" long to get down into the riser.

I would suggest using a locking strap or a long zip tie to hold the steering tube from falling before you remove the original stem riser.

1/1
WilliamT
4 weeks ago

After getting some new mid drive kits for my other bikes, I had a Dillenger 36v geared hub kit lying around so I decided to install it on my Radwagon. The battery easily fits on the back rack. You could have a row of batteries setting back there.

Hill climbing is a lot easier now. Most of the time I leave the front assist a Level 3/5 and the rear assist in Level 1/5. This give me a range of over 40 miles with an average speed of 16-17 mph on flat surfaces. The only time I really notice the front hub assist is starting from a stop. Once the PAS catches, the bike takes off.

Level 4 up front and Level 2 in the back pushes it up to around 20 mph average cruising speed.

The steel forks makes it ideal for a small front hub motor. The 27.5 in wheel the kit was on happen to fit on my Radwagon which initially used a 26 in wheel. I got a narrower tire 27.5 x 2.0 and that kept it under the fender.

1/4
OrangeWagon
1 month ago

I'm not sure if ebikes are any more dangerous than a regular bike. But I think an speed limit for assist (or throttle) makes a significant difference on that area.

I have a RadWagon with assist limited to 20mph.
And while I see significant help on climbs (12-15mph on the RadWagon vs 5-8mph on my road bike), on downhills I go way faster on my road bike. Then on flats I can sustain 22mph average on the Wagon (with help of my own power), but on my road bike I can also do 22mph too (granted... not for a very long time).

So the real advantage is on the climbs, and still within bicycle-speeds so I don't think is much more dangerous than a CAT5 roadie on their 15lbs bike :D

Of course if you don't have controller-enforced speed limits (per se 20mph), and you zoom by at 50mph on the bike lane while still expected to be considered a bicycle, then I think it's a different story.

Barkme Wolf
1 month ago

I have been getting an intermittent hum when the motor kicks in. More when it is up near 500w. Sometimes for only a moment and sometimes longer. Just started a couple days ago. I have made no changes or had any trouble. Seems to work fine but the noise is troubling. I am at 5700 plus miles and this is the first time I have heard it.
Sounds like something is rubbing a little when the motor kicks in.
In between the noise there is no trouble and the motor is performing the same as always.
Getting my spokes switched out soon, will have the motor checked than.

Barkme Wolf
1 month ago

Years ago when I drove a car, I would often stop if it seemed I could be helpful. Unfortunately it was sometimes impossible due to traffic. Then when I started commuting by bus it was rare I could stop. Now that I ride a Radwagon, I do whatever pleases me at the time. My boss doesn't hassle me for being late. He knows me well enough to assume I have a good reason.

OrangeWagon
1 month ago

Hey Monica,
Que chevere que te anímes por un bici eléctrica!

I think shipping would be your most limiting factor.
In terms of price and value, I think the RadCity would be your best bet, but not sure about the shipping part.

Yo tengo una RadWagon, y me gusta muchisimo para llevar a mi hija al colegio, e ir al super mercado. Pero es bien grande y pesada - quizas la RadCity sea una mucha mejor opción para ti.

Another option is to get a kit (easier to ship), and you convert a bike there... check out https://lunacycle.com/

Saludos!
Tona

mrgold35
1 month ago

I would check out Cargo Bikes like the Radwagon, $1600+shipping+1 one warranty: https://www.radpowerbikes.com/products/radwagon-electric-cargo-bike?variant=23990617281

They have 350 lbs capacity, 5 levels of assist, 750 watt rear hub motor, throttle, rear rack, fenders, and 20 mph top speed. The only downsides are the Radwagon does not come with front suspension forks, might need to updated the standard light if you need to ride at night, and I find the standard seat still too small for me (I have Cloud-9 11.5X12.5 cruiser suspension seat, Amazon, $32).

Barkme Wolf
1 month ago

RadWagon- No trouble finding the right levels and gears. My equipment wasn't smooth but I upgraded the shift levers and some other stuff. Much better now.
I have many hills on my commute (40 miles daily) so I got used to shifting.

For the first 3000 miles I rode exclusively in level two. It got cold out so I raised it to assist 3 for the next 2000 miles just to speed things up a bit. That sucked too much juice so now I keep it in 2 mostly and just use 3 for the hills. Assist 3 keeps me just under the factory suggested limit of 500 watts for 15% grades or more.

The button for switching assist levels on my Radwagon is touchy and it was difficult to use. Now I have a lighter touch and can switch from 2 to 3 without having to fumble with it to much.

WilliamT
1 month ago

I prefer the RadCity over the CrossCurrent for the following reasons
- its a better value when you include the adjustable stem, fenders, rack, generic dolphin battery.
- the wider tires are much easier to ride on trails with gravel and sand.

For hub bikes, I have 2 with a 350w geared hub, a RadWagon (same direct drive hub as the RadCity).

I would say the 350w geared hub on the CrossCurrent will climb better than the 750w direct drive hub.

On flat roads, the direct drive is going to run more efficiently and will definitely be quieter (almost completely silent) vs the constant sound from geared hub.

I'm not a big fan of the CrossCurrent proprietary battery. Sure you can always replacing the wiring but I don't need to do that with the RadCity. At $60/ah, those CrossCurrent batteries are expensive. The RadCity battery I can get on other sites like Dillenger and Luna where the cost is around $30/ah to $38/ah

Barkme Wolf
1 month ago

Radwagon- Pulls hard the right. Have had everything fixed on it at least once, no change.

The Annoyed Man
1 month ago

PS: .45 ACP 1911 all the way :pI own and carry pistols in both platforms and calibers, so I don't really have a dog in the fight.:)

@Pa1adin, thanks for that video. I had previously seen one of his reviews after having owned the bikes for maybe a year, and it was positive; but this review above answered a lot more questions.

@mrgold35, thanks for the information on payload capacity. That was very helpful, and has completely alleviated my concerns about weight.

I'm pretty much settled on at least one of these RadRovers. I just showed the Barnacules video to my wife, and showed her how she could have either another RadRover, or a RadWagon. Both appeal to her. We are retired and take care of our grandbabies during the day while our son and daughter in law are at work - a 3 year old granddaughter and a 1 year old grandson - and the RadWagon would be cool for taking them both for a ride in the local parks here in Grapevine, of which there are a lot of them. I like the RadRover's configuration for its versatility on and off road, but just like Barnacules, I also own a really nice mountain bike, a Giant Trance, that I am not able to ride right now. My goal, like his, would be to get back into good enough shape to be able to realistically ride that bike again.

The part of Texas that I live in - the northwestern outskirts of the DFW metroplex - is mostly rolling prairie with lots of hardwood forest, and plenty of lakes and streams. There's nothing like the real technical mountain biking that I started off with in the mountains of Southern California, but there are lots and lots of trails, both paved and improved, and the occasional single track around those lakes and stream beds. The area where my home is located is hilly - not much compared to so-cal's mountainous areas, but hilly enough to get an old fat guy like me to breathing pretty hard in 1st gear, or even getting off and pushing, which is endlessly embarrassing.

Anyway, you guys have been very encouraging, for which I am very grateful. Thank you.

MysticalFists
1 month ago

I love the fat tires after just a month, I'd go with mrgold's review as he's got like two years experience on me, he's closer to your size, and his opinions have never steered me wrong ;)

My suggestions for the RadWagon are based purely on the listed size limits at Rad Power.

elected12
4 days ago

You inspired me to get one we like it a lot. however I'm concerned about drag on the back wheel. With the bike on the kickstand, battery off, rear brake removed, rear wheel off of the ground, peddling as fast as I could. the rear tire stops in 8 seconds. Is this typical? (I discovered this while in the process of using the reflectors to balance the wheels)

adjtogo
1 month ago

One of my neighbors not only bought one of these, but two, because he liked the first one so much!! I see him every day ride by my house on his RadWagon very quietly. He told me that he researched e-bikes, and the RadWagon was the best option out there. The price is mid-range compared to some e-bikes I've personally seen in name brand bicycle shops, where the average price is $2995 and up!! Maybe that's another reason why my neighbor bought two of them? Anyway, I'd love to buy one of these, but they are a little out of my budget for now, as I recently retired.

Brian Brooks
2 months ago

Thanks for a great review. I wish there were a shop here in the DC area that had these to test drive. It seems like an excellent solution to urban living.

Secret Number
3 months ago

This Bike is useless for UBER DRIVER and for other bike messenger jobs because it comes with a battery size of 48v by 11.6 ah, which equals to 556whr (48×11.6) . Moreover it doesn't have the type of pedal assist mode that prolongs the battery. A work delivery bike must have a minimum if 1200 whr battery and a battery saving type of pedal assist mode in order for you to do deliveries all day. In manahtanb they sell those types of Chinese electric bikes for $1500.

jerome grzelak
3 months ago

Life is so hard u have to push 2 buttons

Friar Talk
3 months ago

I love the reviews of my favorite bikes but WHY is it always these ultra-femmy guys doing the reviews? I am tired of effeminate men, stop taking vaccines and watching tv, you are all being made into jellyfish and jellyfish won't survive what it coming. Straighten up.

nbookie
4 months ago

break is over so I can't watch the whole video. can I ride on motor only? no pedaling?

Nikko A.
4 months ago

which one is better? the one from HPC or Radpower?

Andrew Mullen
4 months ago

I don't think I can resist much longer...just have to convince my wife to let me get one. Maybe I'll just buy her a rad rover 1st!

Eugene Hanc
5 months ago

How Obtrusive is the wiring? Looks very loose and hanging.

Daryl Parsons
6 months ago

I like your reviews but I sure wish you would quit waving your hand in front of the camera.

zbikenut
7 months ago

Great video on this bike. 27.2 suspension seat posts are very available and cheap on ebay.

Mary McGuirk
8 months ago

many years ago, i owned a package delivery service, and really appreciate your BEST PRACTICES and TIPS... Ours was auto, not bike, but there were similar things to remember to avoid major disasters. Great Review...Could you add some emphasis points your review to have some OVERLAYS to make bullet points of your ideas. Just an idea for increasing value of your future reviews...I used movie maker successfully, so it can't be too hard to add titles to make something great even better.

DocCanFixIt
9 months ago

Nice! I Think I Found My Next Bike!

djkenny
9 months ago

So cheap for what it is! I just paid over $1500 for a new Surly Big Dummy, last year's model. I imagine the quality of components is a little lower to compensate for adding electric.

Bob Linton
10 months ago

I wish it could carry the load of an extra adult.

Michael Taylor
10 months ago

You Can!

Sovereign Knight
11 months ago

This is great and all but what is the range if used without pedal assist? As with all electric stuff range tends to be really poor vs gas counterparts.

Peter Q
11 months ago

Whats better this or the Juiced u500?

Darren Million
1 year ago

What a joke I have a 2 Stroke gas bike and I get way more mileage on just a 3/4 gallon tank of gas and it does 50+ MPH LOL. and it did not cost me $1500+ more like $300 HAHAHAHA

djkenny
9 months ago

There is nothing legally saying an electric bike is not street legal. They are just like any other bike. A gas powered bike is a grey area. Your bike "could" handle carrying 2-3 kids with a $550 Xtracycle freeloader kit, absolutely. It would make it into a long tail style MTB. We know the pollution levels due ot it being simple knowledge of a 2 Stroke. If it even got 4-5 times better gas mileage than a Hummer (and it might) that does not make up for the fumes emitted. It is 10 folds higher. Just what you get for a $300 gas powered engine. They are also much louder than electric. I am glad it works for you, though.

Darren Million
9 months ago

Well that goes for your E Bike too you dumb ass kid

Some Body
9 months ago

None of them are street legal you dumb fuck

Darren Million
9 months ago

+djkenny I would like to know something how do you get my bike can't carry big things? How do you get that it Pollutes more than a Hummer.? How do you know it won't carry kids? How do you know its loud? How does any of you know it's not street legal? YOU DON'T

Darren Million
9 months ago

+djkenny Really? you all are just mad HAHAHAHAHA thats fucking funnny.

Marc Dupont
1 year ago

Just got mine yesterday. Thank you so much for your reviews. you were instrumental in my final choice. keep up the good work