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?

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 :)

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.

Sharon
1 year 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.

Sharon
1 year ago

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

Court Rye
1 year ago

Cool, thanks Sharon!

Mohcine Chaouki
1 year 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.

Mike
1 year 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

George
11 months 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.

Rad Power Bikes
10 months 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

N. KANTH
10 months ago

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

Court Rye
10 months 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 :)

TenBlinkers
10 months 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’…

Court Rye
10 months 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!

Lyn
9 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?

George J
8 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.

Court Rye
8 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

bill
5 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

Court Rye
5 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 :)

Antia
2 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.

Court Rye
2 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 :)

John
2 months ago

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

Court Rye
2 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 :)

Robert W Green
4 weeks 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?

Court Rye
4 weeks 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?

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diomark
12 hours ago

In the end, the main thing that helped me make the decision was the fact that the radrover's are out of stock right now ;)

yes, the exchangable batteries (between my wife's radwagon + the radcity I just purchased) was a big factor in staying with the same brand..

While I love the idea of riding on MTB tracks, I never did on my hybrid.. so not that big an issue.. My only real concern is the gearing though; coming from a nicer ~24-geared hybrid bike to this will be an adjustment..

(ps - already found the lcd screen and unlocked to 40km/h on my wife's radwagon.. atlhoguh to be honest, dragging two kids, didn't see any improvements.. still felt like I was peddling like mad just to get it to stay around 20mph.) - BUT - looking forward to the radcity w/o kids:)

Antia
16 hours ago

Hi there,
I can't completely answer your question but I can give you some input. I live in a hilly area, have two kids that need hauling to daycare and about a year ago I was looking also at the spicy curry and the radwagon. I eventually decided to take a bet on the radwagon because of the significant price difference. I have been using it for a year on a semi-regular commute that is 7ish miles each way.

Pros:
1. Price obviously!
2. The frame is high quality and works well for the intended purpose of carrying the kids, groceries, etc.
3. It just about fits on a very sturdy rack for transportation in a car (might not be relevant to you).
4. The availability of a throttle is a big deal when carrying cargo in my opinion. I use it to get past busy intersections and get started on hills.
5. Decent set of accessories and getting better. I use the caboose to carry the kids in the back.
6. A direct drive motor is very robust. They are hard to damage.
7. High quality battery.
8. For carrying an adult in the back the radwagon might be more comfortable than a low decked spicy curry, but this is just speculation.

Cons:
1. Some assembly required.
2. Brakes are only adequate (it is on my upgrade list).
3. It uses a direct drive motor (more on this below).
4. Very tail heavy with the standard motor.

Overall, I am extremely happy with the radwagon but I also have learned a lot in this year and have actually modified the bike to fit my purposes better. My main issue was that I live on a hill that is *extremely* steep and direct drive motors are limited in their ability to provide low speed torque. This meant that it was a challenge for me to get up the hill when fully loaded. After some agonizing, I decided to try to change the motor and switch to a BBSHD mid drive motor. This essentially makes the bike into something similar to the spicy curry, but significantly more powerful and still significantly cheaper, but it requires a little work on the bike itself. With the mid-drive, the Radwagon is to me an ideal kid/grocery hauler and commuting machine. I have to say the conversion was straightforward for me and I am not an experienced bike mechanic.

I have not tried the spicy curry, and can't comment on the smoothness of operation. I liked the specs at the time, but was doubtful it could handle my local topography and was put of by the price and the need to add a lot of accessories to get it ready. If I was in your situation I would consider getting the radwagon with the kid carrying accessories and trying it in your topography. If you find it not quite powerful enough, you can upgrade to a BBSHD or BB02 for around $500-$700 (you can use the same battery) and you are still well ahead of the price of the spicy curry. In fact for the price of the discounted spicy curry you can get the radwagon with the upgraded motor and another radwagon for you wife to go on weekend adventures with :)

Cheers - Antia

diomark
1 day ago

My wife recently purchased a radwagon. I didn't think I wanted an e-bike, but now I do. badly.

I can't decide on getting the rad rover vs. getting the rad city. other bike that I had considered is the Juiced CrossCurrent..

I like the idea of the juiced crosscurrent having a torque sensor in addition to the cadence sensor, but the motor seems to be underpowered compared to the Rad Power bikes(?) at least on paper it's 350w vs. 750w..

I've been biking for years now and love the 'it's me just faster' aspect of getting an e-bike. i.e. a smoother pedal vs. motor curve would be nice.. Also planning on dragging our existing child trailer (weehoo igo 2) from time to time (although, with the wife having the radwagon, probably not as often as before..)

Any suggestions? Really can't decide of a fat bike (radrover) is right for me or not.. I ride in San Francisco - lots of hills, but mostly pavement (some trails..).

Radrover has a geared hub motor.. I guess this is better for hills vs. the direct drive? but wears down faster?

Can't choose:(

-mark
ps - the radwagon topping out at ~23/24mph was one of the negatives for me.. I guess based on my own pedal power the crosscurrent advertises ~28mph..

citizendelta
1 day ago

Hi there -

New to e-biking with a 5 mile one way commute with some decent elevation and hills (400/450 feet), through some pretty busy roads with heavy traffic. Area has four seasons, with a relatively short number of snow days.

We don't own a car. I currently commute to work on a motorcycle, which would normally suit me fine but we had a baby a few months ago and since I can't carry the kid on a motorcycle to day care and then leave for work, I'm starting to look into cargo bikes, which I'm hoping I can incorporate into a daily routine.

Things I'm looking for:
- Being able to bring a infant/toddler.
- Even better if I can bring the wife on the back as a passenger as well for weekend jaunts
- Pedal assist, throttle boost is a bonus: specifically I don't want to arrive to work sweaty and tired if I end up adopting this as my primary commute method.
- Errand running (hauling groceries in addition to the kid is great).
- Reliable, quality operation (i.e. it doesn't feel like a cheap chinese bike, doesn't feel like it's going to fall apart, doesn't need to be sent abroad for repairs)

It's been years since I've commuted regularly by bike - previously rode a tricross bike to school several years ago but never really loved the experience as I didn't have a lot of endurance and I also found the seat to be hard on the butt. Did it for a year, then sold it to get a motorcycle.

The ebike thing is different however - I recently test rode a Yuba Spicy Curry and found it to be really pleasant and fun - I could see myself commuting to work on it with the pedal assist, and maybe even gradually building up endurance to enjoy biking again. CONS: I didn't find the pedal assist to be particularly smooth when kicking in, and the shifting to be a little clunky, but I can't tell if that's simply because I hadn't ridden a bike in a long time and wasn't shifting well. The fact that the bike came naked at the price point and would require additional accessory purchase is also offputting.

My question focuses on whether there are notable differences between the Yuba Spicy Curry, the Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch, and the Radwagon that would make it worth selecting one over the other.

A local dealer is selling his last units of the Spicy Curry at $3500 to make room for the Spicy Curry Bosch which will come in within two weeks and be sold at $4500. I intend to test ride the Spicy Curry Bosch when it comes it; the EBR review seemed to show that it had some nice upgrades and features, but I risk losing out on the opportunity to purchase the Spicy Curry at $3500.

Past that, there's also the Radwagon, which seems to have similar if not better specs that the Spicy Curry Bosch in some contexts, but is significantly cheaper. I don't know if the cheaper price translates to worse build and ride quality, or that I need to spend a lot of extra money tinkering with it to get the Radwagon "nicer" with upgrades. I also don't know if what I perceive as better specs actually are better specs.

I'm willing to purchase the Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch if it really stands out compared to the remaining two, but without a Radwagon to see in person and test ride I can't say if it's worth the nearly $3k difference in price. Anyone able to offer any thoughts as to whether these bikes will suit my need, and whether the differences in price between the Radwagon, Spicy Curry, and Spicy Curry Bosch are genuinely worth the price differences? Will these bikes accomplish what I'm seeking to do as a kid hauler/commuter? Any recommendations for other bikes that can fulfill the things I'm looking for?

Thanks, happy to answer any questions.

mrgold35
2 days ago

I upgraded the brakes on my Radwagon to TRP HY/RD cable actuated hydraulic brakes. It's basically no more involved than swapping calipers as one may retain the OE levers and cables.

I checked out these brakes and they have them for 140mm or 160mm size rotors. Didn't dig deeper about 180mm-200mm rotors. It seems it wouldn't make that much of a difference at 180mm?

How do the new brakes feel compared to before with the hybrid setup? Did you keep the original rotors? How easy/hard was the set up? They look almost plug-n-play out the box?

MysticalFists
2 days ago

I upgraded the brakes on my Radwagon to TRP HY/RD cable actuated hydraulic brakes. It's basically no more involved than swapping calipers as one may retain the OE levers and cables.

Wow, I'd never even thought to look for something like that. Just to make sure I've got it straight, these are hydraulic disc brakes, but they use standard brake cables, right? That's awesome, wouldn't even need to worry about re-running the integrated cables. Awesome find!~

windmill
2 days ago

I upgraded the brakes on my Radwagon to TRP HY/RD cable actuated hydraulic brakes. It's basically no more involved than swapping calipers as one may retain the OE levers and cables.

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WilliamT
4 days ago

Wanted to provide an update. So far the kit has been holding up well. I was able to change the assist level settings from 0-9 to 0-5 similar to my RadWagon.

With my weight + 30 lbs of gear (180 lbs), I have been able to go 45 miles before the bars go from 5 down to 3. Most likely hit 50 miles on a single charge. This is at level setting 3 assist (0-5 scale)

This geared hub climbs very well. On hills where I can only get about 10-12 mph on the RadWagon, I'm doing 14-16 mph. In both cases I do pedal but the effort is light. I suspected a geared hub would climb much better that the direct hub on the wagon.

The wheel nuts remain tight. That loctite is the best.

windmill
1 week ago

For the price you are paying for this ebike, you can't expect a better derailleur to come on it from the factory. Try the SRAM X5. Faster shifting, and better over all design for a reasonable price. Be sure to change to the SRAM shifters as well.
I Understand that, and went with Rad Power Bikes because they offer the best balance of price, and quality for my needs. With the upgrades and modifications I've made, I feel my Radwagon is now just as good as a Yuba, or Extracycle, yet still less than half the price.

I replaced it with a Shimano Deore. I actually like the shifter because it allows one to drop to first in one shift.

Antia
2 weeks ago

Hey SurfHawk! You just found yourself a real world example of the usage you describe. I've had my radwagon for 1 year and I use to haul my 3 and 4.5 year old to and from daycare with a caboose mounted on the rear rack. They fit fine and I expect they will fit for quite a while. The only issue we have is that on rides beyond around 25 minutes they often start fighting... But that might just be my kids and not specific to the radwagon :) Let me know if you have other questions.

SurfHawk
2 weeks ago

Hi, new here, been contemplating a cargo bike for about a year to haul my two kids (3 and 5) to school on. Gone back and forth on a RadWagon, a Madsen, or a no-name Chinese bakfiets.

In my research I haven't seen a whole lot of real world experience with people putting the caboose on and throwing a couple kids on the back. I'm wondering if any owners here do that. The rear rack is shorter than a full on longtail like Xtracycle or Yuba so I'm wondering if they'd fit, and if so until what age. The Madsen has a lower CG and can haul a lot, but isn't electric w/o an aftermarket setup.

Thanks

John49
3 weeks ago

I went with a BikeSmart DoubleWide Bicycle Bag. The extra wide width is perfect for the Radwagon and so far no issues. The bags are not all that large however and the straps could be a tad longer but it does work.

http://www.bikesmart.com/products/doublewide

John49
3 weeks ago

I switched out to a Sunlite cloud 9 cruiser seat. Much better than the stock seat. I am 68 and 270 lbs so a better seat is a must. For the price it is worth a try. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000H87PUI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I also added the The Suntour seatpost with the heavier spring. The Radwagon is rigid and has no suspension.

skypup
3 weeks ago

I am running these bags and really like them. They fold up flat when not in use! You need to open the attachment clips a bit to engage the frame of the radwagon and I used an eye bolt placed on the floorboards and bungee to apply downward pressure and heavy duty zip ties wrapped around the clips and frame for a really secure mounting.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B4ZKZK0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I also use this to carry my cell phone and incidentals as well as my small thermos of water.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00O4HYMGS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

1/3
WilliamT
3 weeks ago

I have 2 Dillenger 36v 13.6aH kits from them. The first street legal kit is version 4.0 and the second kit is version 5.0 with the new C965 Display. I prefer the older KT3 display on the version 4.0 kit because its larger and provides more information.

My experiences with the kit has been pretty good overall.

Well the second kit, the battery has a LED meter that doesn't work but the overall battery works. The first battery has a meter but that isn't that accurate either.

I've also be able to use v4.0 extension cables with my v5.0 kit so they seem compatible.

With the version 5.0 kit, the battery life is good but I don't think the readout is accurate. It has 5 bars and by the time you reach 3 bars, the battery seems to drain a lot faster. Now when we reach 3 bars, we just assume it down to about 20%. Would be nice to have actual numbers instead of just bars.

We haven't tried it in the rain so I'm not sure how weather proof it is. The PAS sensor picks up very quickly on both kits. I see 12 magnets on it.
It should be fine in the rain. The KT3 display is the same as the one on my RadWagon and that has gone through very heavy rains.

The first bike got it's KT3 display destroyed from an accident. I was able to order one quickly and replace it without any problems so parts are easy to order.

On the second kit, assist levels go from 1-9. I would say around level 4 with the bike on the highest gears, I get around 18 mph pretty easily with little effort. The cap is 24.5 mph.

One thing to watch out for is that the main cables connecting the motor need to be pushed in securely to the point that both arrows from each cable end almost touch. If you don't do this, you'll get an error code.

Would be nice if they threw in a torque arm in the package since its a front hub kit.

windmill
3 weeks ago

Those are great links @J.R. thanks for sharing!
Just spoke with our technical support and service managers, and the only common questions they receive regarding the rear axle hardware on the RadWagon is how to re-install/arrange/what order the washers go on after being removed to change flats. I believe the round axle, versus double D shaped axles (two flats) results in more friction grip because of more thread engagement and the thick steel frame + locking washers prevent self-loosening normally caused by side sliding or rocking of the hub motor axle under accel and decel. Vibrations and twisting torque also contribute to loosening, and I would suspect sin wave controllers paired with direct drive hub motors smooth these factors out.

My guess is the bike which Ann M.’s shop had in for service either 1) Had improperly torqued axle nuts or 2) Had the washers in an incorrect orientation which resulted in poor clamp force, then self-loosening. This is a good tip for owners and service providers for our bikes: Check with us (support@radpowerbikes.com) whenever performing service if there are questions on the correct orientation of hardware, getting replacement hardware or torque specifications. Properly setup and checked as part of normal service intervals and folks won’t have any trouble.

The RadRover, RadMini and RadCity all have a different style of axle, by design, compared to the RadWagon since they are outfitted with an aluminum frame. These models use a combination of Nyloc and serrated flange lock nuts, torque washers, flat washers (to keep the nut from scraping the aluminum frame) and torque arms for additional security in light of these being aluminum.

The feedback is definitely appreciated, and thanks again for sharing those links, your posts are some of the most value loaded on this forum.

My daily 16 mile RT commute includes a mile long 15% to 18% hill (James st in Kent) and a couple of short hills close to 20% , I was having trouble keeping the OE axle nuts tight with those climbs and descents, and the nut threads were degrading. I've had the same issue on other bikes with IGH hubs, and my go to solution has been axle nuts with captive serrated washers from Problem Solvers http://problemsolversbike.com/products/hubs/axle_nuts_-_25017. They do not loosen from the torque reaction of climbing and braking.

I didn't see any torque specifications in the manual so I defaulted to the standard torque specification for grade 2, 3/8 X 24 tpi @ 26 ft-lb. This also falls withing the torque range recommended by Shimano and Park tool.

1/1
Mike Radenbaugh
3 weeks ago

@BVC Great question! We were able to go without the little "mud flap" that is on the RadWagon and RadCity fenders since the RadRover full fenders main body are made of TPO, and can go lower to the ground without worrying as much about them being cracked by scraping up against stuff. The TPO plastic used on the rover fenders is TOUGH, so it can handle some flexing and scraping up on stuff, unlike the rover and city fenders which are made of a more standard poly-carbonate material with the rubberized mudflaps to accomplish the full coverage in the abuse zone near the ground (disclaimer that is a made up term haha).

I agree the bud flap does add some styling however.

Mike Radenbaugh
3 weeks ago

Those are great links @J.R. thanks for sharing!
Just spoke with our technical support and service managers, and the only common questions they receive regarding the rear axle hardware on the RadWagon is how to re-install/arrange/what order the washers go on after being removed to change flats. I believe the round axle, versus double D shaped axles (two flats) results in more friction grip because of more thread engagement and the thick steel frame + locking washers prevent self-loosening normally caused by side sliding or rocking of the hub motor axle under accel and decel. Vibrations and twisting torque also contribute to loosening, and I would suspect sin wave controllers paired with direct drive hub motors smooth these factors out.

My guess is the bike which Ann M.’s shop had in for service either 1) Had improperly torqued axle nuts or 2) Had the washers in an incorrect orientation which resulted in poor clamp force, then self-loosening. This is a good tip for owners and service providers for our bikes: Check with us (support@radpowerbikes.com) whenever performing service if there are questions on the correct orientation of hardware, getting replacement hardware or torque specifications. Properly setup and checked as part of normal service intervals and folks won’t have any trouble.

The RadRover, RadMini and RadCity all have a different style of axle, by design, compared to the RadWagon since they are outfitted with an aluminum frame. These models use a combination of Nyloc and serrated flange lock nuts, torque washers, flat washers (to keep the nut from scraping the aluminum frame) and torque arms for additional security in light of these being aluminum.

The feedback is definitely appreciated, and thanks again for sharing those links, your posts are some of the most value loaded on this forum.

Mike Radenbaugh
3 weeks ago

@Ann M. The RadWagon does not employ a lock nut on the rear axle. Instead we use a long thread acorn nut (for maximum thread engagement) and a lock washer. On the inside of the frame there is also a Torque washer. I would advise against using a Grin tech torque arm on this bike, but not for the reasons you have brought up. The axle on the RadWagon is circular, rather than having two flats required for a Grin Tech arm, so it would not perform any torque capturing functions on the RadWagon. Otherwise they are awesome torque arms and Grin Tech makes my favorite DIY components :)

All of our bikes use torque arms except for the RadWagon which employs a steel frame and the washer/nut arrangement shown in the attached photo, which is more than sufficient as long as the axle nut tightness is properly set.

Also, when you have a moment, please adjust our company name from "Rad Power" to "Rad Power Bikes" in the OP, for accuracy. You rock, thanks for all that you do for this community!

1/1
finerbiner
3 weeks ago

This is the only picture I have right now. I'll try and get one of the mounting.
The Radwagon has wider spacing between the top and down tubes. The Breadbasket is spaced perfectly for the wagon but would not fit on a rover.

1/1
Barkme Wolf
4 weeks ago

Radwagon, Seattle.
40 miles daily, 3500 miles total.
I ride in full on rain showers and have had no issue with the electronics.
The water tight plug on my battery is a joke. This too has not been a problem.
I have rain pants, boots and jacket. Stay surprisingly dry.

Kingsinger
4 weeks ago

Radwagon- Flat, full throttle no pedal, about 20 miles.
With hills (see pic)- Assist level 2 max 30 miles. Assist level 3 max 19 miles.
I have a 20 mile commute. Last summer I rode with assist 2 for about 6 months and had a full bar left.
Now I use assist 3 and have to change to my spare battery at about 18 miles depending on head wind and atmospheric temperature.
It seems to lose a mile or two depending on temp.
Assist level 3 makes some of the hills manageable.

Not sure this information is applicable because they have updated the firmware on the controller and the assist levels are managed in a different format. For mine the assist levels manage the power output but I think the new ones get you to a certain speed and then power down when you exceed that speed. As long as I am pedaling and traveling under 20 mph, the motor is always running. In power assist 3 my power output maxes out at about 530 watts and that is on steep hills.

How long does it typically take you to ride that 20 miles? I'm assuming that slope is from Google Maps and that it assumes a slower average speed that you achieve on the Wagon. Or is that assumption wrong? I suspect you've told us that info in a different thread, but I've forgotten. Sorry.

Crier Tuck
1 week 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
3 weeks ago

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

Nikko A.
4 weeks ago

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

Andrew Mullen
1 month 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
3 months ago

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

Daryl Parsons
3 months ago

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

zbikenut
5 months ago

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

Mary McGuirk
5 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
6 months ago

Nice! I Think I Found My Next Bike!

djkenny
6 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
7 months ago

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

Michael Taylor
7 months ago

You Can!

Sovereign Knight
8 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
9 months ago

Whats better this or the Juiced u500?

Darren Million
9 months 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
6 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
6 months ago

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

Some Body
6 months ago

None of them are street legal you dumb fuck

Darren Million
6 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
6 months ago

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

Marc Dupont
10 months ago

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

Alex Paulsen
11 months ago

Drop by my shop here in New Zealand and I'll find a bike or two you can review :P

alaskanhybrid
11 months ago

This looks cool. Its almost like a BMX with a rack to carry stuff and a hub mounted electric motor.

Co Mo
11 months ago

great review..thank you for posting...just began researching electric cargo bikes for my company and personal use and the reviews from electric bike review has been so very helpful...will absolutely make my research and decision easier...thank you all so much

Co Mo
1 month ago

actually, I have not as some of my requirements are changing..hoping to buy one in June...

Piercerson
1 month ago

Did you eventually buy an electric cargo bike? I'm currently searching.

ElectricBikeReview.com
11 months ago

Awesome! So glad it helped, hope you enjoy whatever bike you end up choosing :D

Ona Luna
1 year ago

Do these batteries get hot?

Recreational Voodoo
1 year ago

I have been looking at the Radwagon but just saw a Yuba Mundo 750watt for sale $1500 (have to find out why first). I assume the Yuba has better components because of the manufacture original price being so much higher.