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RadRunner review: The first test of Rad Power Bikes’ new $1,299 mini-bike style electric commuter

Rad Power Bikes has just released its newest electric bicycle, the RadRunner. And of course Electrek made sure to get one early so we could already have a review for you with all of the details.

Check it out below to see what makes the RadRunner the most fun (and most affordable) urban commuter in Rad Power Bikes’ lineup.

At just $1,299, the RadRunner is making the already budget-friendly lineup of electric bicycles from Rad Power Bikes even more affordable.

It felt like Rad Power Bikes already had a model for every niche. I’ve reviewed their fun little RadMini Step-Thru folding e-bike, their off-road-loving RadRover fat tire e-bike, and their ultra useful RadWagon cargo e-bike. And that’s not even including their city commuter models, and even an industrial-level electric cargo tricycle!

So when Rad Power Bikes reached out and told me they had something entirely new coming out, I initially scratched my head wondering what was left. But I was not disappointed when just a few weeks ago, a shiny new RadRunner showed up at my door.

The RadRunner takes the best of all of Rad Power Bikes’ different models and combines them. It’s got the fat tires of the RadRover, the comfortable step-through frame and smaller wheel maneuverability of the RadMini, the cargo capabilities of the RadWagon, and the spirit of something totally new: an electric moped.

Check out my video below to see the RadRunner in action. Words can only do so much, you really need to see this one. Then read on for my full review after the video below.

RadRunner video review

RadRunner tech specs

  • Motor: 750W rear geared hub motor
  • Top speed: 32 km/h (20 mph)
  • Range: 45-72 km (25-45 mi) depending on user input
  • Battery: 48V 14Ah (672 Wh)
  • Charge time: 6 hours
  • Weight: 29.5 kg (65 lb)
  • Max load: 140 kg (300 lb)
  • Rear rack max load: 55 kg (120 lb)
  • Brakes: Tektro mechanical disc brakes
  • Extras: sturdy center kickstand, LED display, integrated head/tail/brake LED lights, bell, 4 pedal assist settings, half-twist throttle, mounting for front and rear racks/accessories

How did they do it?

I’ve already mentioned the price: $1,299. At least that’s what the RadRunner starts at before adding accessories.

So how did they do it? To be fair, Rad Power Bikes did make a number of concessions in order to bring the price down to such an affordable level. However, in my opinion, they were all wise decisions.

First of all, there’s no shifting on this bike. The single-speed drivetrain has become popular on mini-bike style e-bikes that take on a moped-ish functionality.

RadRunner Rad Power Bikes
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Removing the shifter and gear set reduces cost, complexity, and maintenance concerns (though note that you do get a derailleur, which I assume is just to maintain proper chain tension). Sure, a single gear ratio makes the bike less optimal for pedaling, but this is a throttle e-bike, meaning pedaling is optional. If you enjoy pedaling but find yourself at the bottom of a major hill, just add some throttle and you’ll power right up.

Or as Rad Power Bikes puts it, the RadRunner is “a cruising style of e-bike; gearing is obsolete with a twist-grip throttle that gives 750W of power on-demand to quickly get up to speed.” And I agree. There are other great bikes out there for those that really want exercise. The RadRunner is all about getting around, not getting in shape.

RadRunner Rad Power Bikes

Next, check out the handlebars. Ahem… 2012 called, and it wants its e-bike display back.

Just kidding, it’s not that bad. But it is simple. Gone is the standard LCD display with fancy numerical readouts. In its place is a simplified, LED display that indicates your battery capacity, pedal assist level, and head/tail light status. If you are the kind of person that needs to know whether you’re currently traveling at 17.6 mph versus 18.3 mph, then you’re out of luck on this one.

RadRunner Rad Power Bikes

Me? I personally think this display gives me enough info. Sure, it’s always nice to have an odometer, though for me that’s mostly for bragging rights so I can show everyone how far I’ve ridden. By giving up a few features like a fancy display and a suspension fork, Rad Power Bikes has ensured that the RadRunner is even more affordable. That makes it even better for new riders and more likely to get people out of cars and onto e-bikes.

OK, now let’s talk about how the RadRunner rides

Oh man, I love this e-bike.

Be warned, I’m going to gush a bit over the RadRunner. Keep in mind that these are all of my honest thoughts. Unlike most others, Electrek has never done paid reviews, and so these are my own opinions. And in my opinion, the RadRunner is an awesome e-bike for the price.

First of all, it’s got all the power you need. The 750W motor pulls effortlessly and the 20-inch wheels translate into higher torque that 26-inch wheels just can’t match.

RadRunner Rad Power Bikes

And those tires? They’re actually semi fat tires at 3.3 inches. Without suspension, the RadRunner needs fairly fat tires to keep the ride feeling cushy. And these tires feel like a great compromise. They’re fat enough to give a good ride and even let you head off-road, but not so giant that you can’t still comfortably pedal the bike in the city. These tires were actually custom made for Rad Power Bikes by Kenda — and so far, it’s the only time Kenda has ever done a custom model of tire for an individual brand.

The coolest part of the RadRunner, though? It’s the moped-like performance and utility. Rad Power Bikes pitches this model as “part moped, part cargo bike.” And that’s pretty darn accurate. The bike is small enough and has a short enough wheelbase to handle nimbly and remain maneuverable like a moped. But it also features that big rear rack and forward mounts for a large front basket or rack. And with the step-through frame style, it gives the fun feel of a Super73-style mini bike with the easy mounting of a Dutch-style step-through frame.

RadRunner Rad Power Bikes
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If you’d rather haul people than cargo, then I recommend picking up the bench seat option. The RadRunner I’ve been riding is equipped with the bench seat, rear folding foot pegs, and the rear wheel skirt, which is a clear plastic guard that keeps things (and children’s feet) out of the spokes. With those accessories, the RadRunner is an awesome passenger vehicle.

You’re probably only supposed to carry one person at a time, but I had both of my nephews on there (while their mom/my sister wasn’t around to worry, of course!) and we had a blast riding around like that. There’s only one set of foot pegs though, so like I said, probably best to only ride two-up.

radRunner passengers

You might notice that the seat looks a bit funny. It’s got that flat back so that it can be dropped down flush with the rear bench and turn into one long continuous bench. While that’s a cool feature, I found that the seat was a bit short for me to be comfortable in that position, so I left the seat at normal height and used it like a standard bicycle seat. And for anyone that wants a real (i.e., not funny looking) bicycle saddle, you can either swap on your own or upgrade to a plusher saddle directly from Rad Power Bikes.

It’s hard for me to find anything to complain about on the RadRunner. But of course no bike is perfect, and the RadRunner isn’t an exception. While I like the sturdy double kickstand over conventional side stands, this one is so short and comes with such a strong spring that it can be difficult to engage sometimes. And then when you rock the bike forward to get moving, it closes like the world’s most aggressive mouse trap. They probably could have gone with a spring made of normal steel instead of vibranium.

And sure, I’d love the bike to go faster than 20 mph (32 km/h). But higher speeds require higher power, which requires a higher level of components, which cost more money… and so on.

The RadRunner seems to have struck a nice compromise with just enough of everything you need and nothing you don’t.

RadRunner summarized

To sum it all up, the RadRunner is a great bike for those on a budget, but that still want powerful performance and ultimate utility. It is specifically designed to get more people out of cars and onto e-bikes, and I think it will do just that.

The bike is a fast, fun, and easy-to-ride commuter. It’s a perfect people mover. It’s fun to take off-road, and it’s nimble enough for city use.

RadRunner Rad Power Bikes

The RadRunner is simply a well-thought-out and executed e-bike that makes compromises in the right places to ensure that the only thing getting cut is the price, not the features.

If you want to make one yours, head on over to Rad Power Bikes to check it out and all of its accessories..

What do you think of the RadRunner? Let us know in the comments below!

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Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Plus eBike Spec Review – 2021

In-Depth Review


Plus Frame
The RadRunner Plus features a high quality 6061 aluminum frame, the same frame material used by other Rad Power Bikes and eBike manufacturers throughout the industry. 6061 aluminum is popular because it is resilient without being excessively heavy or expensive, and for the most part that holds true for the RadRunner Plus. However, combined with all of its accessories, the motor, the battery, and other electrical components, the RadRunner Plus does weigh 74.4 lbs fully assembled. Two people lifting together isn’t much of an issue, but if you are lifting the eBike yourself be especially careful in the rear section, as the motor and many of the heavy electronic components are located in the back wheel.

One of the few major strikes we have against the RadRunner Plus is that, at the time of our review, it is only available in one size. Thanks to the suspension, seat adjustment, handlebar customization and a few other features, the RadRunner Plus is one of the most versatile eBikes made by Rad Power Bikes. If you fit within the 4’11’’ to 6’2’’ range, you should find a setup that will make riding the RadRunner Plus a very comfortable and enjoyable experience. If you are outside of the recommended size range, be sure to contact Rad Power Bikes for assistance, as they may have a solution or are occasionally willing to make custom modifications to help suit your riding needs.

Motor & Battery

Plus Motor
The Rad Power RadRunner Plus is a class 2 eBike with throttle and pedal motor assistance up to 20 MPH.

One of the components that is shared across almost every Rad Power Bikes model is the custom brushless Bafang 750 Wh / 80 Nm rear gear hub motor. Considering the quality, strength, and reliability of the motor, we can see why Rad Power Bikes consistently reuses it for their eBikes. You’ll have plenty of motor power to help you keep up with traffic while you’re in town, or the strength you need to climb your typical mountain biking trail with the RadRunner Plus. When it comes to the motor, the Bafang 80 Nm motor is top notch, though since it is a rear hub motor it can feel a bit jerky when you first start to ride.

We aren’t as thrilled by the battery as we are by the motor. The lithium Samsung 675 Wh battery can only travel 45 to 50 miles on a single charge, and that is with optimal riding conditions and the proper settings. Usually, you’ll find yourself travelling just 30 to 35 miles before your battery is fully out of a charge. The battery is mounted just beneath the saddle, but due to the frame design it can be tricky to remove, since you have to angle the saddle clamp a certain way in order to slide the battery out. Lastly, while it is the standard charger within the eBike industry currently, a full recharge from 0% to 100% can take 5 to 6 hours, if not longer. While we think the RadRunner Plus is an excellent eBike, the battery and charger configuration is one of the areas we would like to see improved.

Display/Assist Modes

Plus Display
The RadRunner Plus has a center mounted LCD display, and is a backit 2.75’’ grayscale remote. The backlit screen can be used during the day or at night, and outside of controlling your motor pedal assist settings it also provides a number of useful readouts and riding metrics as well. While you can’t remove the LCD remote from the eBike, the display does have some angle adjustment, which will help you find a good position to read the screen without taking your eyes completely off the road.

The LCD display readouts, riding metrics, and other motor settings are as follows:

RadRunner Plus King Meter LCD Display Readouts and Settings:

  • Current Speed
  • Average Speed
  • Max speed
  • Pedal Assist Level (5 modes, including walk mode)
  • Motor Power/Watt Output
  • Trip Meter
  • Odometer
  • Battery Indicator (5 Levels)
  • Light Settings

Because this is a class 2 eBike, you can activate the motor by using the throttle or by pedaling. The motor will help you accelerate to 20 MPH, the speed cap for Class 2 eBikes. The cap is in place so that you can ride and operate the eBike almost anywhere in the world without needing additional licensing or registration. If you want to go faster than 20 MPH, you can still do so with manual pedaling, with the motor turning on again if you fall below 20 MPH.

There are four power assist levels, and a walk mode, with the RadRunner Plus electric bike. The lower power assist settings don’t provide as much power, but they drain your battery more slowly for a greater riding range. Alternatively, you can accelerate more quickly and climb steeper hills with the higher pedal assist levels, but because of their larger power drain you won’t travel as far before your battery is empty. Try out each of the power assist levels and switch them on the fly with a press of a button to have an optimal experience wherever you’re riding. Just be aware that the power assistance is just for the pedals, as your throttle will offer the same level of power when you twist it no matter what your current pedal assist level is set to.


  • On Streets- While it might not be the fastest eBike in the world, the fat and short tires does mean that the RadRunner Plus will be a more stable eBike in the city. Whereas some commuter eBikes struggle with cobblestone, gravel, potholes, and other uneven terrain, you’ll hardly notice the road changing with the RadRunner Plus. With a 5 PSI to 30 PSI range, you can further configure your riding experience as well, which will help you have even better handling while riding in the city.
  • Turn Radius- What it lacks in speed the RadRunner Plus makes up for with a very tight turning radius, the 20’’ tires are great for those who need something that is easy to navigate with. Whether you need to cross through a narrow alleyway or have a difficult switchback on your favorite trail, you won’t have a problem making a tight turn. However, since this is a 74.4 lbs eBike, do be careful if you need to lift or angle the eBike, as it isn’t something you can move around easily once it’s off the ground.
  • Low Speed Handling- Heavy eBikes like the RadRunner Plus aren’t the easiest to handle at low speeds, but the RadRunner Plus does at least have a couple of motor options that will make it easier. By holding the down button on the remote display, you will turn on walk mode, which will provide you with a small motor push while you’re off the bike and on the ground. Alternatively, if you just want a bit of motor power while you’re riding, turn on Eco mode and just pedal very slowly. In Eco mode, you’ll be able to pedal along more easily without traveling too fast, or feeling like you’re losing control of your eBike.


Plus Drivetrain
Another great reason to go with the RadRunner Plus over the other, less advanced models from Rad Power Bikes is the drivetrain. Whereas several of the other eBikes from Rad Power Bikes are all single speed bikes, the RadRunner Plus is a 7-speed eBike, featuring a Shimano 11-34 T freewheel connected to the 48 T chainring with a Z7 chain. Shimano makes some of the most dependable drivetrains on the market for eBikes, and the RadRunner Plus is further bolstered by the full fender coverage and steel guard protecting and assisting the derailleur system. If you stick to urban and light to moderate trail riding, you’ll very rarely have to worry about a dropped chain or other issues with your eBike drivetrain. Since it is a 7-speed eBike, we wouldn’t try to ride anything tougher than a moderate trail either, because while the motor may be built tough this was not built with the same support as a full suspension dedicated mountain bike.


While they might not last as long or be as high quality as hydraulic disc brakes, there are still several reasons why we particularly like the RadRunner Plus eBike braking system. The Tektro Aries MD-M300 mechanical disc brakes feature 180 mm rotors in the front and rear of the eBike, which provides plenty of stopping power to help you quickly come to a full stop even when riding over 30 MPH downhill. That’s more than enough power for city riding, and should still continue to be enough if you stick to light and moderate trails. The other important detail about the motors we want to mention is that they are integrated with the motor system, shutting off the motor automatically the second you apply the brakes. By having an integrated system, the motor and brakes won’t compete against each other, ensuring that you slow down more quickly while also extending the functional lifespans of both components.


Plus Suspension
The RadRunner Plus is also one of our favorite eBikes from Rad Power Bikes due to its RST spring suspension system. The 80 mm travel is better suited for rough city patches and light trails than true mountaineering, but with compression, lockout, and preload adjustment you do have plenty of suspension configuration options depending on how you like to ride. The suspension fork is one of the major reasons why the RadRunner Plus is so expensive to bikes like the RadRunner 1, though a few other accessories make up the difference as well. For our part, we think having a bit of extra suspension makes city riding more stable, so we’re definitely glad for the inclusion of great suspension support on the RadRunner Plus!


Another feature that helps the RadRunner Plus stand out, aluminum platform pedals are included instead of the typical plastic pedals you find on many entry-level eBikes. Aluminum pedals provide better traction support, besides also being more durable and less likely to shatter if you crash compared to your typical plastic pedal. Rad Power Bikes also made sure to properly adjust and position the crank arms with the kickstand, so that you won’t be in any danger of the two hitting each other while you pedal. With reflective sidewalls for improved visibility, these are pedals you’ll want to stick with as you ride the RadRunner Plus.

Grips and Saddle

Plus Throttle
Rad Power Bikes always stand out for having eBikes that look as good as they are as comfortable to use. To explain why, we start with the grips, made out of stitched imitation leather with an ergonomic design, allowing you to grasp the grips for hours without worrying about irritating your hands or developing blisters. The grips pair well with the custom Velo moped style saddle, with a matching extended passenger seat behind it being just as cushy while maintaining the same espresso color. While your passenger will want to hold onto you, the rider themselves will make use of the 680mm width handlebars, with a high rise design so it isn’t as tiring on your arms. Combined with the wheels and suspension support, you have one very steady eBike to enjoy, though configure the stem and handlebars a bit in order to maximize how comfortable you feel while riding.
Plus Saddle

Wheels and Tires

Plus Tires
Another familiar component for those who have ridden Rad Power Bikes before is the Kenda Custom K-Rad tires. The 20’’ by 3.3’’ tires are mounted on a double wall, 36 hole rims made out of the same high quality aluminum as the frame itself. Regarding the spokes though, they are made out of even tougher stainless steel, with 12 gauge spokes in the front and rear tire. As mentioned earlier in our review, you can adjust the PSI from 5 to 30, with 5 PSI great if you’re riding on very loose dirt, gravel, or sand while 30 PSI is better suited for more traditional road riding. The tires do feature K-shield puncture protection, with reflective sidewall taping further improving the overall visibility of the eBike. While the shortness of the tires does mean you’ll have to get used to riding lower to the ground, we are otherwise impressed by the Kenda tires included with the RadRunner Plus.


Plus Headlight
The RadRunner Plus has a very attractive entry-level price on its own, but it is an even more amazing value once you realize how many accessories come with the eBike. A headlight, tail light, aluminum pedals, integrated bell, kickstand, and an extra passenger seat are just a few of the great accessories included with the eBike as part of its stock model. Given the reflective lighting options, we don’t think there is anything that is a must have upgrade for your eBike! If you are looking to make it even more special though, here are a few eBike accessories we think are worth considering:

  • SR Suntour SP12 NCX Suspension Seatpost
  • Rad Power Bikes Front Rack
  • RadRunner Center Console
  • RadRunner Bike Adapter Bar
  • RadRunner Passenger Package
  • ABUS Bordo Granit X-Plus 6500 Bike Lock
  • Rad Power Bikes Rad Mirror
  • Fremont Pannier Bag
  • Rad Power Bikes Basket Bag
  • Rad Power Bikes Delivery Bag


Plus End
*For up-to-date pricing on the RadRunner Plus click here

The Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Plus is a true hybrid utility eBike that all types of riders can enjoy using. The 74.4 lbs is definitely heavy, but with the heavy weight comes performance and support so that up to two adults can enjoy riding the eBike together. The rear gear hub 80 Nm motor is strong enough to tackle almost any road, and if you pick the right settings you can still travel up to 50 miles on a single charge. Comfort matters as much as motor power, and you’ll have plenty of the former with the moped style saddle, cushy faux leather grips, and RST spring coil suspension support. The Tektro Aries brakes provide more than enough stopping power, whether you’re riding with stop and go traffic or blazing down a hill, with the custom Kenda tires well suited for riding wherever you hope to travel. There aren’t many eBikes we feel are totally complete out of the box, but with the RadRunner Plus you also get a huge assortment of key accessories like fenders, a headlight, a tail light, aluminum pedals, a kickstand, and more! Though it may have an entry-level price tag, the RadRunner Plus is a more premium oriented experience from Rad Power Bikes, and a eBike well worth your consideration if you want something that all types of riders can share and enjoy.

Would you like to see a video or full performance review of the Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Plus? Then make sure to leave a comment below with any other questions you may have after reading our review!

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This one e-bike is likely the most capable electric bicycle I’ve ever reviewed

The RadRunner Plus from Rad Power Bikes is perhaps one of my favorite all-time, do-anything electric bicycles – and that’s coming from someone with hundreds of electric bike reviews under his belt. I may have ridden some e-bikes that go faster or carry more passengers or fulfill any number of specific niches. But if I had to choose one single e-bike that could handle as many different daily tasks and types of riding as possible, I think it would be the RadRunner Plus.

One of my favorite aspects of electric bicycles is that they have helped usher in a new age of revolutionary design.

With the assistance of an efficient electric motor, e-bikes don’t suffer from the same design constraints as pedal bikes.

That has opened to door to interesting designs that specialize in all aspects of transportation and recreation. And the RadRunner Plus is one of the best examples of that design freedom we’ve seen yet in the industry.

To watch this awesome e-bike in action, check out my video review below. Then keep reading for all of the details on this fun little e-bike that can do just about anything.

RadRunner Plus video review

Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Plus tech specs

  • Motor: 750W rear geared hub motor
  • Top speed: 32 km/h (20 mph)
  • Range: 45-72 km (25-45 mi) depending on user input
  • Battery: 48V 14Ah (672 Wh)
  • Weight: 33.7 kg (74.3 lb)
  • Max load: 140 kg (300 lb)
  • Rear rack max load: 55 kg (120 lb)
  • Brakes: Tektro mechanical disc brakes
  • Extras: sturdy center kickstand, LCD display with complete data readout, included head/tail/brake LED lights, bell, 5 pedal assist settings, half-twist throttle, passenger package, fenders, suspension fork, 7-speed Shimano drivetrain, wide range of accessory add-ons
 rad power bikes radrunner plus

Built on good bones

The RadRunner Plus e-bike builds upon the classic RadRunner design that first debuted in 2019, yet adds a number of upgraded features for even more utility than ever before.

When Rad Power Bikes first rolled out the original RadRunner e-bike, I was in love. The awesome little moped-style utility bike took the cargo and passenger features of the RadWagon e-bike and combined them with the smaller format of Rad’s folding e-bikes. There were only a few small areas where I saw room for improvement in the original RadRunner design, and apparently Rad Power Bikes had the exact same train of thought as I did, because they hit the nail on the head with each of the upgrades on the RadRunner Plus.

So in addition to everything you get with a base model RadRunner, you also get an upgraded LCD display, larger headlight, front suspension, fenders, 7-speed Shimano drivetrain and the rear passenger kit including the padded seat, foot pegs, and wheel cover (that clear plastic shield to protect passengers from touching the rear wheel).

Each of these is a huge upgrade that makes the RadRunner Plus such a potent e-bike for nearly every use case. To put it simply: If there’s something that needs doing, the RadRunner can probably do it.

Built for everyone. Designed to do everything

First of all, consider that just about anyone can fit on this bike. It’s got a nice low frame and is easy to mount with its step-through design, meaning short riders and anyone with mobility concerns in their legs/hips will feel comfortable on it.

But with an adjustable seat, it does what almost no other moped-style e-bike can do by adjusting to fit the rider.

Taller riders can either lift the seat or scooch back onto the long bench portion of the seat.

It’s pretty cool how short riders and tall riders can feel comfortable on the same bike, and that most people will be able to flatfoot it at stops.

  • rad power bikes radrunner plus

Next, let’s talk practicality. The bike is a 20 mph (32 km/h) Class 2 e-bike with a throttle, so you can either zip around with the throttle to make quick work of a commute, or you can use the five different levels of pedal assist to get in a good workout. And with the upgraded 7-speed Shimano transmission, even steep hills are manageable on the RadRunner Plus.

That 750 watt motor offers plenty of torque, plus the smaller diameter 20″ wheels help the torque equation even further, so between the powerful assist and your own added sweat equity, you’d be hard-pressed to find a hill you couldn’t climb on this e-bike.

And with that 672 Wh battery, you’ve got more range than most cities would require. Even if you want to take it easy and hammer on the throttle, 25 miles (40 km) of range is easily doable.

But once you start adding your own pedal power to the motor assist, you can easily tack on another 50-100% more range from the battery.

But it’s not just a practical bike with plenty of speed, power and range – the real magic here is the utility. Or should I say, extreme utility. You can do just about anything with this e-bike.

With the passenger kit on back, I’ve carried my nephews along with me for a three-up trifecta of e-bike fun!

Up front there are accessory mounts to add any number of racks, baskets, and other accessories. And you can even add the Center Console accessory to the middle of the frame, which gives you a giant covered storage area that even has a molded phone holder and cup holder on the top.

My brother-in-law uses that accessory on his RadRunner, and he is constantly filling it up with his family’s stuff when they all go on e-bike rides together. Sports balls for the kids and plenty of water bottles make their way into that thing practically every Sunday afternoon.

With all of the features and different customization options, the RadRunner Plus is a true do-anything e-bike. The passenger kit makes it easy to cruise around with your partner on back or drop your kid(s) off at school. The large volume tires and front suspension fork mean you can easily ride off-road and hit the trails. The small size means you can fit it in an apartment without the bulk of a big bike like a RadWagon or RadRover. The 7-speed drivetrain means you can dial in your gear ratio for the perfect fitness ride or hill climb. The upgraded lightning keeps you visible at night, even from afar. The extremely wide range of accessories means you can turn the e-bike into any type of dedicated e-bike you want. The list goes on and on.

It’s really quite impressive just how much you can do with a single e-bike here.

And while you can obviously tell how jazzed I am about the RadRunner Plus, it has one thing in common with all other bikes: It isn’t perfect. I can always find a downside or two to even the coolest of e-bikes, and the RadRunner Plus is no different in that regard.

When I go looking for anything to complain about, the two things that jump out at me are the weight and the uncommon tire size.

The 74 lb (33 kg) bike is heavy, but that’s more or less to be expected. Any bike with a powerful motor and big battery will be heavy. Then add a novel frame with integrated rack, added passenger accessories, suspension, etc. The weight is going to increase. There’s nothing you can really do about that. If you want high utility, you’re going to get higher weight.

The other issue is the tire size. On the one hand, it’s a super comfortable size because it’s got the advantages of a fatter tire without the extreme bulk or weight of fat tires. At 3.3 inches wide, it’s a bit more nimble than a typical fat tire. But it also means you can’t just pick up a spare tire at any bike shop. Rad has you set with all the spare tires and tubes you could need (and Rad probably won’t say this but I imagine you can fit a 4″ tube in a 3.3″ tire without much of an issue if you were in a bind). But not everyone wants to be locked into one company for their consumable parts – I totally get that (even if tires are a once a year replacement). So for some people, that’s going to be a disadvantage.

I really had to search long and hard to find anything to complain about here. The RadRunner Plus is simply the ultimate e-bike to combine the fun and recreational feeling of a weekend e-bike cruise with the utility and practicality of a true car-replacing e-bike. For a price of $1,799, you’re getting a heck of a lot of e-bike, not to mention the nationwide support coverage of Rad Power Bikes.

It’s rare to find this kind of innovation in an e-bike, a true ground-up redesign of an e-bike frame to create a totally new type of ride. But Rad Power Bikes absolutely nailed it, and I’m sure it was worth all of that investment to build something truly new and unique.

Okay, that’s enough writing about it. All I want to do now is go back outside and ride some more!

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  • An extremely versatile and affordable mid-fat tire bike, unique 20" x 3.3" tires provide comfort and good traction on any terrain, optional passenger kit turns the rear rack into a seat with foot rest pegs and skirt guard
  • Integrated lights and reflective tires keep you visible, two frame color options keep it fun, the single-speed drivetrain is reliable and quiet with a chain tensioner and alloy chainring guide to protect your pants or skirt clean while reducing drops
  • Large 180mm disc brake rotors provide excellent stopping power and control, both brake levers activate the backlight for safety and cut power to the motor, RAD optimized 750 watt geared hub motor is very capable... especially with the smaller wheel diameter
  • Twist throttle overrides pedal assist at all times for easy starts and extra power when needed, plastic pedals offer good traction but aren't as sturdy as tough as aluminum alloy, frame only comes in one size but the adjustable seat post and tall handlebar provides good fit for a range of riders, simple display and no USB charging option, optional console box does not lock, no suspension fork


Rad Power Bikes




$1,199 (Free Shipping in Contiguous US and Canada)

Body Position:


Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban, Commuting, Trail

Electric Bike Class:

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


1 Year Comprehensive


United States, Canada

Model Year:


Total Weight:

64 lbs (29.02 kg)

Battery Weight:

7.7 lbs (3.49 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.7 lbs (3.94 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

18 in (45.72 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

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

Frame Types:


Frame Colors:

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

Frame Fork Details:

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

Frame Rear Details:

167mm Hub Spacing, 12mm Threaded Axle with 10mm Flats, 18mm Nuts, Steel Torque Arm Washer

Attachment Points:

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

Gearing Details:

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


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


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


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


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


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

Brake Details:

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


Velo, Ergonomic, Rubber, Black


Custom Velo, Moped Style with Integrated Seat Post Plate

Seat Post:

Custom, Steel (Non-Adjustable Platform/Clamp)

Seat Post Length:

390 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm


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


Stainless Steel, 12 Gauge, Black with Nipples

Tire Brand:

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

Wheel Sizes:

20 in (50.8cm)

Tire Details:

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

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve


Custom Steel Center-Mounted Double Leg Kickstand, Steel Chain Tensioner Guard, Integrated LED Headlight, Integrated Spanninga Solo LED Backlight (Solid, Flashing, Braking), Neoprene Velcro Cable Wrap for Front Wires, Rear Rack Accepts Yepp! and Standard Basket Platform and Pannier Accessories from Rad Power Bikes, Optional Plastic Fenders (95mm Width, $89), Optional Front Rack ($69), Optional Small Basket ($59), Optional Large Basket ($79), Optional Platform ($39), Optional Small Pannier (Fremont Bag $89), Optional SR Suntour NCX Seat Post Suspension ($109), Optional RAM Torque Handlebar Phone Mount X ($59), Optional Small Basket Bag ($44), Optional Large Basket Bag ($59), Optional Small Insulated Delivery Bag ($59), Optional Large Insulated Delivery Bag ($69), Optional Yepp! Maxi Child Seat ($199), Optional Replacement or Additional Battery Pack ($499)


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

Motor Brand:

Bafang, Rad Power Bikes Specific

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

750 watts (500 Watt in Canada)

Motor Torque:

80 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung 18650 35E 3500mAH 13S4P Configuration

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

14 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

672 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium NCA (LiNiCoAlO2)

Charge Time:

6 hours

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

45 miles (72 km)

Display Type:

Rad Power Bikes Branded King Meter LED, Fixed, Adjustable-Angle, 11 Orange LED Lights, Buttons: +, -/Walk Mode, Lights, On/Off, (Hold - for Walk Mode)


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

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle (14 Pulse Sealed Cadence Sensor)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This review was sponsored by Rad Power Bikes. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and written review are not meant to be an endorsement of Rad Power Bikes.

[UPDATE: Rad Power Bikes lowered the price of the RadRunner from $1,299 to $1,199 USD on April 15th 2020] The RadRunner is a brand new ebike model, introduced in Fall of 2019, that combines value with versatility. I’ve followed Rad Power Bikes since 2015, when the RadRover and RadWagon were the only bikes on offer. And, since that time, the company has expanded with a folding RadMini, commuter ready RadCity, and commercial grade RadBurro. They’ve opened offices in Canada and Europe to serve international markets. They now provide customer support 7-days per week, and they moved to a new headquarters and showroom in Seattle, Washington, where I filmed this review. I’m sharing this context because it signals longevity and builds trust for me… This is a company that has been around, and will probably continue to be around for the foreseeable future! That hasn’t been the case for many other low-priced electric bicycles. Furthermore, their updated battery designs are cross-compatible between the different models. That means you could purchase a cargo bike, folding bike, and this compact model, and share battery packs or double up for increased range. Rad Power Bikes sells a complete line of accessories that can carry additional batteries, the charger, and other gear, which are also mostly cross-compatible. The RadRunner can accept a front and rear basket, pannier bags, and fenders. There’s also an optional plastic console box with cover that really looks good and keeps weight low and center for improved balance and control while riding. The bike comes with integrated lights, and the rear light goes bright anytime you pull the brake levers. It even has a blinking mode, which is very unique and desirable for safety, at least to me. While it’s difficult to pin down exactly what type of bike the RadRunner is, you could use it for all sorts of riding. The compact size makes it easier to fit into elevators and apartments, the mid-fat tires make it stable and provide comfort as well as off-road capability, the optional passenger kit places a pad on the rear rack, a pair of pegs, and skirt guard so you can carry a passenger up to 120lbs! These are all great features, and yet this is also the most affordable e-bike model in the Rad Power Bikes lineup. It’s inspiring to see that the company not only went for something value-priced but managed to create something special and really useful and fun. I’m super impressed with the RadRunner, and while it does come with some trade-offs like no suspension, plastic pedals, a more basic LED console with limited readouts, and a single speed drivetrain, it’s still a very capable product, and feels like a real contender alongside the more expensive models. You might end up choosing this electric bicycle because you prefer its features or style, not just because it’s the cheapest.

Driving the RadRunner is a custom tuned fat bike specific planetary geared hub motor from Bafang. The wide casing provides a sturdy bracing angle for the thick 12-gauge spokes while permitting a wider stator and magnet configuration inside. This allows the motor to deliver consistently high power without producing a lot of noise or being physically large (having a wider diameter). Notice how the motor basically hides behind the 180mm disc brake rotor on the left side? It’s a bit exposed from the right because of the single-speed drivetrain, but it blends in beautifully because the casing, spokes, and rims are all black. The motor is rated at 750 watts continuous output (in the United States) which is the upper legal limit. For Canada, the motor is tuned to 500 watts and in Europe it’s set at 250 watts to comply with the legal framework. It’s fairly lightweight at ~8.7lbs compared to the ~10.5 pound gearless hub motors on the RadWagon and RadCity models, and it freewheels without any magnetic drag. It does not offer regenerative braking, but that’s not a big loss in my opinion because of the reduced weight and drag. Being spoked into a relatively small 20″ wheel, the hub motor gets a mechanical advantage for starting, climbing, and transporting heavy loads. In order to make pedaling feel comfortable for the rider, given the smaller wheels and single speed configuration, a large 52 tooth chainring was chosen. I think RAD did an excellent job creating a comfortable ride feel with this product, and was able to spec traditional 170mm crank arms because the fat tires elevate the bike more than comparable non-fat 20″ wheeled ebikes. The real trade-offs are increased weight and some additional friction and buzzing compared to a narrower, smoother tire. Thankfully, the ~7.7lb battery pack and quick-release front wheel are easily removable, so transporting the bike doesn’t have to be super difficult if you find yourself struggling with the 64+ pound base weight. You shouldn’t have a problem with chain derailments while riding or transporting the RadRunner because it utilizes an alloy chain guide and chain tensioner system in the rear. I asked about this design during our review prep conversations and discovered that the Sturmey Archer chain tensioner allows for a vertical mounting rear wheel vs. a horizontal sliding dropout, which can be tricky to align and keep straight under high torque pressure on electric bikes. There’s no slap guard on the chainstay, but this is less important with a single speed because the chain length is a lot shorter and the chain tensioner puts adequate tension to reduce bouncing… though you may hear a few tinking noises during some of our ride segments because the chain was touching the kickstand… which was a prototype and should be addressed in the final bikes.

Powering the RadRunner motor, display, and lights is a high-capacity Lithium-ion battery pack. Providing over 670 watt hours of capacity, this pack allows you to go further, use the throttle and high levels of assist more frequently, and climb more capably than a lot of competing products. Batteries tend to be one of the most expensive parts of electric bicycles, so it’s really impressive that such a nice one was chosen for the value-priced offering from Rad Power Bikes. Furthermore, this pack is cross compatible between all Rad Power Bikes models dating back to 2018! It mounts securely to a plastic track that’s attached to the back of the seat tube with three bolts, and is secures with a keyed locking core. Notice how the battery is positioned towards the center of the frame at a relatively low point for improved balance and bike handling. It’s protected on the top and both sides by aluminum frame tubing, and blends in with the other black hardware. The battery pack has two fuses built in for safety, and is physically separate from the motor controller, which makes replacement and additional packs less expensive to purchase. Notice the little black box below the downtube (almost hidden behind the chainring), that’s the controller unit. At $550 per battery pack, you get a lot of bang for your buck here compared with $800+ for many competing offerings from leaders like Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano, Brose, and others. I also like the physical design of this battery, being smooth and rounded, though it does not include a handle or loop for secure carrying, and can be difficult to unlock and remove on this particular bike because of the tubing near the top. Transporting the battery (or additional batteries) is also important to consider, and this pack is fairly short and thick vs. long and skinny which makes it easier to stuff into trunk bags, panniers, and backpacks for extended rides. The only trade-off I noticed was aesthetics, with two black boxes tacked onto the frame here vs. an internally mounted battery or combined battery + controller. Rated at 48 volts and 14 amp hours, this pack offers a total of 672 watt hours, which is above average for this generation of ebike batteries. And, I’m told that it contains high quality Samsung 35E high capacity lithium-ion cells. The battery casing has an LED charge level indicator built into the top edge, allowing you to determine roughly how full it is whether it’s mounted to the bike or not, and you can charge the pack while mounted or separated from the RadRunner frame. To maximize the lifespan of this and other lithium-ion battery packs, I’ve been taught to store them in a cool dry location and avoid complete discharge. In fact, it’s best to stay between 20% and 80% and aim for 50% if you know you won’t be riding for an extended period of time. Extreme heat can also prematurely wear the cells and extreme cold will limit your range but not be as hard on the actual battery chemistry as prolonged heat.

Once the battery pack is charged, mounted, and locked, the bike is easy to power on and operate using a simple LED control pad, mounted near the left grip. The RadRunner is the only current generation electric bike product from Rad Power Bikes that I have seen with this more basic display, all of the others use an LCD readout with feedback about current speed, trip distance, time, and a other details. This is probably one area where Rad Power Bikes cut back to keep the price lower, and it’s not that much of an issue for me. The big thing I do wish they had included however, is a USB charging port, so I could use my smartphone to track speed, use my GPS, play music, and perform other actions while cycling. Sure, my smartphone has a battery of its own, but on long trips it would be nice to maintain that smaller battery by hooking up to the big ebike battery! There’s no USB on the display or the battery pack itself. What the display does show is a five bar charge level indicator (each light representing a 20% step), a 0-4 pedal assist level selector, and a lights indicator. Once you press the power button on the control pad, you can navigate using + and – to increase or decrease pedal assist power and top speed, but the twist throttle is always active and always capable of supporting the bike up to a top speed of 20mph (32km/h) in the US. The European version has a slightly lower top speed of 15.5mph (25km/h) based on the Class 1 framework for pedelecs. And, you might notice that the – button has a little bike icon as well, and this denotes the walk mode feature. Simply hold the – key down and the bike will slowly move forward to assist with “walking” if you’ve got the rack loaded or are pushing up a hill or out of a basement ramp (mostly a European thing I’m told). Walk mode can be useful if you get a flat tire, but that shouldn’t happen very often because the Kenda tires have K-Shield puncture protection built in. If you keep the tire pressure around 30 PSI, you’ll get efficient riding and avoid pinch flats, but I tend to reduce tire pressure for comfort, being a lightweight 135lb rider. Note that the RadRunner does not have a throttle on/off button like many of the other Rad Power bikes. I wasn’t sure why they removed this, perhaps cost savings, and when I asked one of the co-founders, the response felt a bit unclear and mixed with marketing excuses. Part of me feels like, why not have that button? But the other part realizes it may clutter up the cockpit, add a point of failure, and add cost, so I didn’t press him. I do appreciate the highly sensitive 14 pulse sealed cadence sensor, mounted to the left side of the bottom bracket. This sensor is compact and probably very durable compared to some of the older exposed sensors. It’s not quite as responsive as a torque sensor, but the trade-off is that it doesn’t make you work as hard… you can simply turn the cranks gently and the motor will help out as much or as little as you prescribe using the 1-4 levels of pedal assist on the display. One final little complaint is that the orange LED lights built into the display panel don’t have a brightness setting, and could become too bright and annoying in dark settings. I’ve used masking tape to reduce the harshness of LED lights on other electric bikes because they felt distracting. While this display is not designed for removal, it did seem durable and could be swiveled to be readable or less bright depending on your reach preferences from the left grip. I noticed that Rad Power Bikes opted for a nicer threaded connector points for the display and other electronics while some competing value offerings go for basic press fit. I was told that the this and other parts can be replaced through the company, and are warrantied for one year as a part of the comprehensive warranty. I really like being able to activate the the lights through the display, and having two modes for the rear light (solid or blinking). Though, you do have to physically press a button below that light to change modes vs. using the display. Note that both brake levers have motor inhibitor switches built-in that cut power to the motor whenever you pull them and also activate bright mode on the rear light, whether the lights are on or not! The headlight is designed to be re-mounted to racks if you purchase them aftermarket, and Rad Power Bikes includes extender cables to make it easy. Note that if you do get a front rack and reposition the light, it will no longer point where you steer, because the rack is frame mounted for extra strength.

All things considered, this is an incredible electric bike for the money. It’s rated as Class 2 because of the throttle, but I believe you could remove or unplug it for Class 1 use in the US, riding on restricted off-road trails. In Europe, because the throttle only goes up to 4mph (6km/h) without pedaling, it’s already classified as Class 1. Rad Power Bikes is well known for their full sized fat tire electric bike called the RadRover and RadRhino in Europe. This model is larger, more comfortable (due to increased air volume, lower attack angle, and suspension fork), more off-road capable, and priced well… but not as versatile or affordable as the RadRunner. They also sell two folding models with suspension forks and wider fat tires called the RadMini and RadMini Step-Thru. The RadRunner can be very approachable if you leave the step-thru frame open, much like the RadMini Step-Thru, and it has a shorter wheelbase and overall length than the full sized RadRover and RadRhino. I love the custom plastic fenders that RAD sells because they are sturdy and quiet, and it’s just so cool to see how their racks, bags, and batteries are cross compatible. One downside of the default seat post and saddle design of this bike are that a suspension seatpost cannot be used without replacing the saddle, because of the unique metal plate design. The default saddle will not tilt or slide forward and back because it’s just bolted down onto a plate. This means more money and possibly a saddle that doesn’t match the optional passenger kit setup… but it is possible! Just look for any 27.2mm suspension seat post and any normal bike saddle. This upgradeability is probably not as easy to do with the stock steel fork, you cannot swap it to a suspension fork as affordably or easily because of the fat tire hub spacing width. Rad Power Bikes sells all sorts of panniers and box bags, which of course have reflective material built in. They sell a phone mount for those who wish to navigate with GPS and the Yepp! Maxi child seat, guaranteed to fit on the rear rack here, for all of those great Moms out there. Big thanks to Mike, Cory, Ty, Tessa and the others at Rad Power Bikes for inviting me out and spending time on this review to answer questions. My goal is always to go deep, be impartial, and have fun… and they made this possible. I sincerely think these guys are doing a great job and have heard great things about their customer support (operating seven days a week now 9am-5pm PST out of Ballard Washington). If you live nearby (or in Vancouver Canada) you can check out their bikes in person at one of the flagship stores. As always, I welcome your feedback in the comments below and invite you to discuss and share pictures in the Rad Power Bikes forums.


  • This is one of, if not the best low-priced electric bike I’ve ever reviewed… I knew Rad Power Bikes was working on something designed to be affordable, but they also created something really unique and functional, the RadRunner is super fun and capable in a wide variety of terrains and applications, even with a passenger aboard
  • Safety is a big deal to me, especially when riding near traffic, so the integrated lights, blinking mode for the rear light, brake light activation, and reflective tires are great to see, especially since the bike sits lower to the ground
  • This ebike uses the same high-capacity battery pack as all of the other current-generation Rad Power Bikes, so you can swap it out, borrow from a friend, or take an extra one along for big rides if you own multiple models
  • The battery pack can be charged on or off the bike frame, locks securely into place, contains two fuses for safety, the mounting bracket is sturdy and attaches with three bolts vs. two on some competing products, they used high quality Samsung 35E Lithium-ion cells, and the pack is fairly affordable to replace at $550 because the controller is separate
  • Adjustable high-rise handlebar and tall 390mm seat post make this one-size frame adaptable for taller riders
  • High-volume tires, ergonomic grips, brake levers with rubberized edges, and a vibration dampening steel fork all contribute to comfort; I lowered the tire pressure a bit to make the ride feel even smoother
  • Large 180mm mechanical disc brake rotors provide ample stopping power given the relatively small 20″ wheel diameter, they definitely come in handy if you’re riding with a passenger
  • The chain tensioner was added to make servicing the rear wheel easier, it improves reliability in the drivetrain compared to a horizontal dropout (which can be tricky to setup and get pulled out of place by a powerful hub motor over time), Rad Power Bikes also installed a mini torque-arm to spread forces into the frame and keep the dropouts from getting bent up over time
  • I love that the RadRunner has a derailleur guard to protect the chain tensioner and motor power cable on the drivetrain side of the bike, especially since they ship direct and the box could get tossed around a bit on the way
  • Sturdy double-leg kickstand makes the bike easy to load if you opt for a rear rack, panniers, or the passenger kit, I love how you can pedal backwards even with the kickstand deployed (in case you’re doing drivetrain maintenance)
  • Extra-thick 12 gauge spokes for improved wheel strength raise the max weight of this ebike to 300lbs vs. 275lbs on many other Rad Power Bikes
  • Bottle cage bosses on the downtube and mini top-tube let you add accessories like a water bottle cage, folding lock, or mini pump… or you can get the optional plastic console bucket thing, which is made from high quality plastic that’s designed to not fade or crack
  • There are tons of options for mounting baskets and racks on this thing, I like how the front rack attaches to the head tube and won’t influence steering or dump to the side when parking
  • Satin black and forest green look great on this electric bicycle, and I feel that Rad Power Bikes has done a great job with the branding and accents, notice how the fork matches the frame and how all of the hardware is black… even the front wheel hub, motor casing, spokes, kickstand, crank arms, and stem
  • The folks at Rad Power Bikes were excited about the custom tapered spacer (which is the tubular section going from the steering tube to the stem where the handlebar mounts… and while it does look good, it’s not something I would have noticed or cared about, so to me that’s great attention to detail and style, same with the wrapped power cables and shifters lines up front, which are internally routed through the frame
  • Lots of great accessory options including a suspension seat post, wide plastic fenders, a heavy duty rear rack, and frame-mounted front basket with extender for the headlight
  • Kenda and Rad Power Bikes worked together to create a series of tires with reflective stripes and K-Shield puncture protection including these unique 20″ x 3.3″ models, they are the only tires I have ever seen in this size and they fit the bike perfectly… not too big and bulky, or too small and stiff feeling, they are stable and capable all around
  • In my experience, there are many wave style step-thru bike frames that feel flexy, but Rad Power Bikes designed the RadRunner with a section of top tube and big metal gusset to nearly eliminate frame flex, I like how the tubing also surrounds the battery pack to some degree, for additional protection
  • Excellent weight distribution here, notice how low and centered the battery is on the bike frame, this improves stability and frees up the rear for adding fenders and rear racks
  • Pedal assist responds quickly because of the 14 pulse cadence sensor, which is smaller and better sealed against water and dust than some older designs, the motor cuts out instantly whenever you brake because both levers have motor inhibitor switches built in
  • The geared hub motor is zippy and powerful, it gets a big mechanical advantage because of the smaller 20″ wheels, and I’ve tested similar but slightly larger tires in soft sand riding on a beach in Mexico and it worked great (just bring the tire PSI down to 5-7 or the tire will sink in), I think this ebike would be great for Burning Man
  • I really like that they chose brake levers with a bell that’s built into the left brake lever housing, it’s compact and keeps the handlebars clean but works reliably and produces a friendly chime
  • The motor controller box is positioned below the main tube of the bike and feel safe because of the large metal chainring guide, I was told that this box is aluminum alloy vs. plastic and that makes me feel like it’s extra tough, having this box separate helps to keep the battery prices lower and reduces heat
  • I noticed that the optional pegs didn’t rattle or twist during use, they fold up nicely and while small, just seemed to be of high quality
  • It’s cool that Rad Power Bikes has expanded to Canada and Europe with this model, they offer free shipping in most cases and partner with mobile bike repair services to deliver assembled for an additional $100


  • The smaller wheel diameter positions the bike closer to the ground, which makes it approachable, but also isn’t as visible to cars… that’s definitely true for the rear light which might get covered by the optional passenger seat or the back of a long jacket hanging down, so as with any folding or compact bike, be extra careful
  • No suspension fork on this model, that probably helps to reduce cost and keep the frame nimble feeling, at least the mid-fat tires provide some cushion, smaller wheels have a higher attack angle and can sometimes feel bumpier as well, so the wide tires and thick optional passenger seat really help to make up for that
  • The RadRunner only comes in one frame size and the reach is pretty short, it might feel small to taller riders… even with the seat raised all the way up
  • The plastic pedals offer good traction, and are wider than average, but might not be as tough over the long haul compared to aluminum alloy pedals offered on all of the other Rad Power Bikes
  • Basic LED display only shows your approximate charge level, assist level, and lights indicator, so you won’t be able to track trip distance or measure your current speed, I also feel like the orange LED lights could be too bright and even annoying at night… but that’s just a minor complaint and a layer or two of masking tape could dim them if you ever feel distracted or bothered
  • Mechanical disc brakes require more hand effort than hydraulic, especially the rear which has a longer line of cable, the cable can stretch over time and I heard a bit of squeaking during our test rides (avoid touching the disc brake rotors to keep them clean and squeak-free)
  • The saddle felt decently comfortable to me, but you cannot change the angle or slide it forward/back like almost all other electric bicycles
  • Single-speed drivetrain makes starting a bit slow and can make pedaling feel too fast at higher speeds, this is the trade-off for simplicity, reduced price, and some reliability over a multi-speed
  • Compared to some of the other Rad Power Bike models, I feel that this battery pack is more difficult to reach and remove, it’s not terrible but does require a bit of extra maneuvering
  • Perhaps this was only based on the sample model shown, but the chain would bounce into the kickstand leg and create some tinking noises as we rode over bumpy terrain… just a minor complaint and consideration
  • The battery charger is fairly compact and lightweight, RAD says it’s reliable and works between all models, but it would be nice to have a faster charger given the higher capacity 672 watt hour battery pack here
  • Despite its compact size, this ebike is fairly heavy at 64lbs (with the battery pack attached but no optional accessories like the passenger seat, fenders, or console)
  • Rad Power Bikes sells mostly online, which means that there’s some extra hassle unboxing and preparing the bike for riding, however they have partnered with some mobile bike repair services offering a $100 setup, I haven’t received and unboxed one myself yet… but I get the impression that this particular model is VERY easy to get going, especially with the quick release front wheel
  • Minor consideration, many of the other Rad Power Bikes models have a button that can disable the twist throttle, this could be useful if you are concerned about bumping the throttle, consider one of the RadMini folding models if so, however I think you can simply unplug the throttle if you want it disabled
  • Reaching in to open and adjust the seat post clamp can be tricky if you’ve got the passenger kit installed, it’s just tucked in there between the rack support tubing and took extra time for me to do… it could be very tricky if over tightened
  • The optional console box looks really cool to me, but it does make the area where you pedal more cramped because it’s wider than bike tubing, I like that it has drains at the bottom but wish the lid locked and felt more secure, I bumped and squished it while pedaling and the lid kind of got pushed out of place a couple of times, also securing the rubber band anchors took more time than a single latch
  • Many car and bus racks have a hanging style rack for bikes, and to use that with the RadRunner you might need to buy a crossbar adapter… which is compatible, as long as you aren’t using the optional cargo box


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

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Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 4 Review

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

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Rad Power Bikes RadCity Step-Thru 3 Review

A feature-complete, approachable step-thru, comfort oriented, hybrid electric bicycle with regenerative braking. It has a built-in USB charging port below the display, features a modular battery pack that works with all other Rad models of this generation, and comes with integrated lights! The headlight offers a bright 80 lumen center beam and a unique LED circle to keep you seen, while the rear light offers solid, flashing, and bright mode when the brakes are activated. Sturdy adjustable angle stem and long 350mm seat post improves fit for a wide range…...

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Rad Power Bikes RadMini Step-Thru 2 Review

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

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Rad Power Bikes RadRover 5 Review

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

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Rad Power Bikes RadCity 4 Review

A feature-complete, comfort oriented, hybrid electric bike with regenerative braking, built-in USB charging port below the display, modular battery pack that works with all other Rad models, and integrated lights. The headlight offers a bright 80 lumen center beam and a unique LED circle to keep you seen, while the rear light offers solid, flashing, and bright mode when the brakes are activated. Sturdy adjustable angle stem and long 350mm seat post improves fit for a wide range…...

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Rad Power Bikes RadRover Step-Thru 1 Review

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

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

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

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Rad Power Bikes RadMini 4 Review

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

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Rad Power Bikes RadMini 4 (EU Version) Review

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

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Rad Power Bikes RadBurro Review

A commercial grade, heavy-duty, utility style electric trike with four bed options including flat, truck bed with sides, hot/cold insulated box, and covered pedicab passenger seat. Borrows components and hardware from mopeds and motorcycles for added strength and durability, 6-ply 17”…...

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Rad Power Bikes RadRunner (EU Version) Review

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

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Rad Power Bikes RadWagon (EU Version) Review

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

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Rad Power Bikes RadRhino 750W (EU Version) Review

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

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2019 Rad Power Bikes RadRover Review

An affordable, powerful, electric fat bike with responsive 12-magnet pedal assist and twist-throttle on demand, available in two colors with lots of accessory options including fenders and racks. Only one frame size but the top tube is sloped and the shorter stem pairs…...

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2019 Rad Power Bikes RadMini Step-Thru Review

An approachable, folding, fat tire electric bike that's stable and off-road capable, complete with integrated lights, custom reflective tires, an adjustable suspension fork with lockout, and comfortable Velo saddle. Only available in one frame size and one color, but the handlebar and seat height…...

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2019 Rad Power Bikes RadMini Review

The high-step version of a folding fat tire electric bike from Rad Power Bikes, reinforced frame with sturdy gussets, secure locking latches for both folding points, adjustable suspension fork with lockout. Powerful 750 watt Bafang rear hub motor with strong 48 volt battery allows for climbing…...

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2019 Rad Power Bikes RadCity Step-Thru Review

An approachable, comfortable, and relatively affordable, city style electric bicycle that comes in one frame size, two colors, has an adjustable stem, swept-back handlebar, and suspension fork with lockout adjust. Ready for all sorts of ride conditions and applications with full-coverage plastic fenders, integrated LED…...

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2019 Rad Power Bikes RadCity Review

A sturdy, fairly comfortable, and relatively affordable, city style electric bicycle that comes in one color and two frame sizes, riser handlebars and adjustable stem improve fit range. Ready for all sorts of conditions and applications with full-coverage plastic fenders, LED lights, custom…...

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2019 Rad Power Bikes RadWagon Review

An affordable, feature-rich, electric cargo bike with cadence sensing pedal assist and throttle on demand operation, available in one frame size with adjustable bars and two color options. Gearless direct-drive hub motor is heavier but super quiet, durable, and capable of regenerative braking…...

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2018 Rad Power Bikes RadBurro Review

An affordably priced, heavy-duty, utility style electric bike with four bed options including flat, truck bed with sides, hot/cold insulated box, and covered pedicab passenger seat. Borrows components and hardware from mopeds and motorcycles for added strength and durability, tough 17”…...

Read Review

2018 Rad Power Bikes RadCity Step-Thru Review

An approachable, comfortable, and relatively affordable, city style electric bicycle that comes in one color and one frame size, swept-back handlebars and adjustable stem improve fit range. Ready for all sorts of ride conditions and applications with full-coverage plastic fenders, LED lights,…...

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2018 Rad Power Bikes RadMini Review

A compact, fat tire electric bike that folds to save space, the suspension fork and larger 4-inch wide tires add comfort and allow it to ride on soft sand and snow if you lower the tire pressure, or you can lockout the fork and raise pressure for efficiency on pavement. Only available in one frame size for now, but the handlebar height is adjustable along…...

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2018 Rad Power Bikes RadCity Review

An affordable, feature-rich, city style electric bike that comes in two sizes, two colors, and offers great adjustment in the stem and handlebar position for comfortable upright body position. Responsive 12-magnet cadence sensor provides faster starts and stops, both brake levers have motor inhibitors,…...

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2018 Rad Power Bikes RadRover Review

An affordable, powerful, electric fat bike with responsive 12-magnet pedal assist and twist-throttle on demand, available in two colors with lots of accessory options including fenders and racks. Only one frame size but the top tube is sloped and the shorter stem pairs…...

Read Review

2018 Rad Power Bikes RadWagon Review

An affordable, feature-rich, electric cargo bike with cadence sensing pedal assist and throttle on demand operation, available in one frame size with adjustable bars and two color options. Gearless direct-drive hub motor is heavier but super quiet, durable, and capable of regenerative braking…...

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E bike roadrunner

The 8 Best E-Bikes of 2021

Final Verdict

Our top pick of E-bike is a staff favorite: The RoadRunner 1 Electric Utility Bike (view at Rad Power Bikes). But if you want a tricked-out cargo bike that can carry big loads, consider The Original Bunch (view on 

What to Look for in a E-Bike

The electric bike market is amping up, which means there are many options to choose from. Here are some things to consider to help you narrow down your choices.

Throttle or Pedal-Assist

These are the two categories thatelectric bikes tend to fall into. Pedal-assist bikes have motors that kick in when you’re actively pedaling, while the models with throttles move you along even when you’re not pedaling. Pedal-assist e-bikes tend to have longer battery life (and miles) per charge.

Some electric bikes offer both functions, and many let you set the level of pedal assistance if you want to get more of a workout or want to conserve your bike's battery. 

Motor Type

Some e-bikes have rear hub motors. Others have mid-drive motors located in the center pedal crankshaft. Mid-drive motors tend to cost more because they offer smoother shifting and other efficiencies.


Both motor types are consequential, so looking at a battery’s range on a single charge may be a more helpful measurement. How far is your commute? How far is the ride to your child’s school or the local farmer’s market?

However, keep in mind that mileage may vary based on wind, terrain, the weight of the load, the amount of e-assist you use, and your speed during the ride.

Most bike batteries can last about 40 miles before they need to be recharged. So, if you’re going long distances, an e-bike with a removable battery might fit your needs better than one with an integrated battery. That way, you can carry a recharged battery with you on your journey, so you can swap it out when you’ve drained the other one.

Check Local E-bike Ordinances

E-bikes come in three classes:

Class 1 E-bikes that assist you while you pedal and top out about 20 mph.

Class 2 E-bikes have a throttle that assists you regardless of whether you pedal and have a top speed of 20 mph.

Class 3 E-bikes assist you while you pedal and top out about 28 mph.

Some cities and towns have banned e-bikes from city bicycle paths, so if that’s where you want to ride, you’ll want to make sure your town allows your new e-bike there.

Why Trust Treehugger?

Author Heidi Wachter has been writing about travel and adventure for over a decade. When she’s not writing, you’ll likely find her riding one of her six bicycles — even in the winter.

The 5 Best Reusable Water Bottles of 2021


RadRunner electric utility bike review: my daily driver

When Rad Power Bikes first released its RadRunner electric utility bike last August, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I had just reviewed the company’s cargo bike and was eager to put this new model through its paces. Foolishly, I assumed I would ride it for a week or two, and then publish my impressions.

More than four months later, I’m still riding it. Every. Damn. Day. I’m writing these words on a day in December when temperatures in New York City have dropped to an icy 24 degrees. And yet, with a manic glint in my eyes, I still lugged the RadRunner out of the basement of my apartment building for my ride to work. This bike has turned me into a bit of an eccentric.

This is a review of an electric bike that I couldn’t stop riding long enough to actually write. The RadRunner has transformed the way I get around on a daily basis. It may do the same for you, or it may not. It’s completely dependent on your circumstances and the type of riding experience you’re seeking. But for me, the RadRunner’s uniquely sized fat tires, sturdy, aluminum frame, and simplified-but-not-underpowered drivetrain have made riding the rubble-strewn streets of New York City an unexpected delight. The RadRunner fits so perfectly in my life it’s almost embarrassing.

Good Stuff

  • Flexible design
  • Simple, but powerful drivetrain
  • Plenty of space for cargo or even another passenger
  • Rad Power Bikes’ most affordable model

Bad Stuff

  • Single speed
  • Not the most comfortable riding experience
  • Tires take some getting used to

Buy for $1,299.00 from Rad Power Bikes

It’s weird, too, because there’s nothing really remarkable about the RadRunner. It’s fine to look at, but it eschews a lot of high-tech bells and whistles that are found with newer e-bikes today. Many people have commented on the design, but I don’t see it as too revelatory. There are plenty of low-riding, drop-frame, moped-style e-bikes on the market today, with new ones coming out seemingly every day. It’s a hot look, and Rad Power Bikes is just the latest company to jump on the bandwagon.

But it gets the job done. And by that, I mean it got me out of the subway, off the bus, out of my car, and in the saddle, using it as that mythical “daily driver” we all are seeking.

That said, I did discover some things about the bike over my four months of riding that I probably would not have encountered with just a week’s worth of testing. For example, the bike needed some tuning in order to make it compatible with all types of weather. But more on that later. (This is me retroactively congratulating myself for stalling this review as long as I did.)

The RadRunner is the eighth design from Mike Radenbaugh and his crew at Rad Power Bikes. The Seattle-based company’s other bikes include the aforementioned RadWagon cargo bike; the fat-tired RadRover; and the folding RadMini and commuter RadCity, both also with step-thru models. In just a few short years, Rad Power Bikes has emerged as one of the most noteworthy US-based e-bike companies. And it’s already looking beyond direct-to-consumer sales: Domino’s recently announced a partnership in which Rad Power Bikes will provide the pizza chain’s franchise owners with e-bikes to replace vehicle deliveries.

The premise behind the RadRunner was simple: the company wanted to take the RadWagon and shrink it down to more manageable proportions. While I loved the RadWagon, its size and weight made it a relatively bad fit for anyone who lives in a city. On its own, the RadWagon weighs 73 lbs (33 kg), but this is by design. After all, it’s not meant to replace your regular bike, it’s meant to replace your car.

The RadRunner is also a decent car replacement, but unlike the RadWagon it’s more versatile and, dare I say, fun. The RadRunner has a load capacity of 300 pounds, including 120 pounds on the extended rear deck. That deck can accommodate a child’s seat, but also an adult passenger. All you have to do is lower the driver seat so it’s flush with the deck, and then add a padded rear passenger seat ($99) for a more moped-style configuration. There are also optional foot pegs and a skirt guard to help protect your passenger. I convinced my wife to test out this setup a couple times and judging by her excited squeals as we zig-zagged through Brooklyn, I think she liked it.

There are a number of other accessories that Rad Power Bikes sells — such as a cool, motorcycle-style center console ($99), a front rack ($69), and front and rear fenders ($89) — for added cargo capacity and protection. But I don’t want to detract from what I think is one of the central points about the RadRunner, which is its affordability. The bike is currently listed at $1,299, making it Rad Power Bikes’ least expensive model. Not the cheapest e-bike on the market, but a really great entry-level price nonetheless.

It’s obvious where Rad Power Bikes is getting its cost savings. The display and the drivetrain are both extremely streamlined, to the point where some might call it oversimplified. You can get an e-bike with a high-tech experience, but you’ll have to pay for it. Gone is the digital display featured on Rad Power Bikes’ other models, replaced instead with a series of orange LED lights that indicate battery charge and power assist levels. There’s no odometer, no supplemental information about battery voltage or trip time, no Bluetooth pairing capability. Also, there are no seven-speed gear shifters; this bike is single speed only. The RadRunner is stripped down to the absolute basics.

Some may miss the option to shift into a higher gear, depending on the incline. But after about a day of riding, I couldn’t say I was one of them. Even with my wife on the back, or my daughter, the RadRunner was never difficult to get started, either with the pedals or (more easily) using the throttle. Rad Power Bikes says the RadRunner’s single-speed drivetrain is the “centerpiece” of the bike’s simplicity. And I found the rear-hub Bafang motor to be more than capable of picking up the slack.

The RadRunner is a Class 2 e-bike, meaning it has both pedal and throttle assist with a top speed of 20 mph. It retains a number of tried-and-true features from Rad Power Bikes’ other models, including a geared hub motor (750W in US, 500W in Canada, and 250W in Europe), and a long-range 48V / 14Ah lithium-ion battery (672Wh) for 25-45 miles of range per charge. The low-profile cadence sensors help deliver more power based on how fast you pedal, which is fine, but I would have preferred torque sensors that dole out power based on how hard you pedal. I understand, though, that it would have made the bike pricier, so c’est la vie.

Quick (and obvious) disclaimer about the range: the higher the power level, the less range you can expect. Also, the more you use the throttle, the less battery power you get. My commute from my apartment in Brooklyn to my office in Lower Manhattan is about six miles, and I would typically ride in the highest setting. The bike’s display would drop from five lights (fully charged) to just one after about two round-trip commutes (so about 24 miles total) of mostly pedaling and some minimal throttle use. When the last light starts blinking, you can’t help but feel a little anxious. This is not a bike you want to get stuck on without power. Rad Power Bikes sells extra chargers, so you can keep one at home and one at work in case you get nervous about range.

Why’s that? The RadRunner weighs 64 lbs (29.02 kg), which technically makes it the lightest bike that Rad Power Bikes sells. But that doesn’t mean it’s lightweight. The company admits it designs its bikes this way, with larger batteries, bigger hub motors, and thicker tires. Remember the whole “it’s not a bike replacement, it’s a car replacement” thing? That said, without the electric assist, the RadRunner becomes a very poor, very heavy single-speed bike.

There are some things about the RadRunner that took some getting used to. The Kenda K-Rad 20-inch x 3.3-inch semi-fat tires — puncture-resistant and “exclusive” to RadPower — provide good traction and comfort, but still left me a little nervous when making sharp turns. This is a bike I would recommend taking for a test ride first before committing to a purchase, especially if you’re used to more traditional road bike-sized tires.

Another important tip before buying this bike: ask the company to install a skid plate to protect the electric controller that sits below the battery on the down tube. It’s practically unnoticeable as its almost hidden by the chain ring, but it’s really important to the operation of the bike. Twice I had the electric assist die on me while riding the RadRunner through rainy weather.

It turned out that rain and other road muck were seeping into the little black box that houses the controller unit and frying the mechanism within. Fortunately, Velofix, a mobile bike repair company that has a partnership with Rad Power Bikes, was able to install the skid plate and I haven’t had a problem with it since. Had the bike simply come with the skid plate included, though, I wouldn’t have had this problem to begin with.

(Update January 2nd, 5:08PM ET: After the publication of this review, a spokesperson for Rad Power Bikes reached out to clarify that the skid plate now comes standard on the RadRunner. We’ve removed it from “negative” column of the scorecard to reflect this fact.)

Electric bikes are quickly becoming a huge business. Experts predict an astonishing 130 million e-bikes will be sold globally by 2023, which is just astonishing. But if e-bikes are going to transform how people get around, they need to be accessible — and price is a big factor in accessibility.

There will always be customers who want a premium, high-end e-bike with anti-theft trackers and Bluetooth connectivity so you can pair it to your smartphone, just like there will always be people who prefer a Mercedes E-class over a Toyota Camry. But dependable, mass-market e-bikes will be the canary in the coal mine if we want to shift more people to sustainable modes of transportation, especially in cities where a majority of the Earth’s population will live.

Rad Power Bikes is leading the pack for affordable e-bikes, as well as other companies like Lectric, Nakto, and e-Joe. Their bikes have always been relatively inexpensive, with no model priced above $1,499. The fact that the company still felt compelled to release a new bike that was even cheaper is a testament to Rad Power Bikes’ commitment to getting more people to take the plunge and go electric.

Now that this review is published, I guess I have to return the RadRunner to the manufacturer. That is, unless I just decide to buy it.


Similar news:

Whether you’re looking for a mountain bike, a car replacement, or a convenient commuter, there’s an electric bike out there for you. According to the market research firmNPD Group, ebike sales skyrocketed by almost 91 percent in 2017 over the previous year. That's a lot of bikes.

Ebikes are versatile, they burn less fossil fuel, and you can ride one and still get your exercise in! But they’re not cheap. Rad Power Bikes CEO Mike Radenbaugh wanted to make electric bikes more accessible, and he made choices that shave critical dollars off the price tag.

For example, Rad Power Bikes is a direct-to-consumer company, so there's no retail markup. And rather than relying on exclusive partnerships with trusted names in the ebike motor business, like Shimano, Yamaha, or Bosch, Radenbaugh has opted to work with multiple vendors to build Rad Power’s own custom drivetrains.

Last week, the company is debuted its latest, the RadRunner, which is a hefty, big-wheeled utility bike. It has the mind-bogglingly low (for an ebike) price of $1,299, which is even lower given that the new Chinese tariffs have forced many other small bike manufacturers to hike up their prices. It’s hard to comment on its longevity after only a few weeks, but as of now, it’s hard to find a better bargain.


Perhaps influenced by my last bike-building debacle with the RadWagon, Rad Power's electric cargo bike, the RadRunner arrived in the mail with many of the components already assembled and tuned. The building process was much, much easier this time. Rad Power Bikes assured me that, aside from a different box and fewer included accessories, customers will also experience this easier assembly process.

The RadRunner is a massive bike. It weighs 65 pounds, with a heavy aluminum step-through frame. The battery is mounted on the seat tube, with the 750-watt motor in the rear hub. Undoubtedly contributing to the weight are its fat wheels, slung with custom Kenda tires that have small, widely-spaced treads.

The seat has a quick-release clamp, so you can easily switch riders or lower your seat so your butt isn’t sticking into your passenger’s chest. It also has a single-speed drivetrain. Normally I like being able to switch gears, but gearing takes maintenance, and it doesn’t make much sense to include them when you also have four levels of intelligent pedal assist.

The rear rack is formidable. It has a 120-pound capacity, which puts my current rear rack’s 45-pound limit to shame. Rad Power also sent the plush seat, which fits on the rear rack for a child rider; the bike also has foot pegs for your young passenger to use.

The LED console is much simpler than the RadWagon’s LCD display, with just a few buttons to indicate battery life, to bump up the level of assistance, or to turn on Walk Assist. The battery’s range is also within the 25 to 45 miles promised by the RadWagon. Over the course of a week, I got three to four days of hour-long, aimless rides before I had to recharge it.

Nickels and Dimes

In Rad Power’s admirable attempt to create the most bike for the best value, the RadRunner is a mishmash of a few weird contradictions. It feels like a casual, upright cruiser but also has tremendous wheels, a high weight capacity, and a powerful 750-watt motor that can haul you and a lot of stuff up steep hills.

I easily got up to 20 mph with the pedal assistance set to high and was able to fly up 15- to 20-degree hills. Always keeping economy in mind, RadPower will also be offering a 250-watt model in Europe and a 500-watt one in Canada, where it may be less likely that riders will have to deal with steep hills.

You’d think these huge wheels would be great on gravel or broken roads, but the bike is heavy and was a little hard for me to maneuver with such wide handlebars. I also winced every time I bumped off a curb and felt the fenders rattling, and the bike doesn’t have any suspension. I don’t think I’d take it on serious off-roading.

Also, 120 pounds is a lot of cargo for a rear rack. That can account for several loads of laundry or bags of dog food, or even a few preschoolers. But a 120-pound adult person is still pretty dainty. I don’t know many people that small. I tried to persuade my spouse to let me tote him around, but he refused.

Most of the corners that Rad Power cut, like plastic pedals instead of aluminum ones or a flat seat instead of a curved one, were fine. The designers did keep a few important features, like mechanical disc brakes, an integrated headlight, tail light, brake light, and a twist throttle. That last one may be a mixed blessing, as some states have additional restrictions against bikes with throttles.

Overall, the RadRunner is a comfortable, easygoing ebike for people who might not otherwise get on a bike at all. It’s a little cheaper and can carry a bit more weight than the RadCity, and you do have the flexibility to switch out seats and add fenders or other accessories. So if you’ve been looking for a starter ebike but can’t bring yourself to spend a couple grand, give the RadRunner a shot.


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