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Rad Power Bikes RadRover Review

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  • 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 nicely with the mid-rise handlebar for upright or forward body position and taller or shorter riders, sturdy oversized pedals
  • Spring suspension fork with compression clicker, lockout, and preload adjust, custom Kenda tires with K-Shield puncture protection, the fat tires offer a good PSI range for improved comfort and managing soft terrain like sand and snow, optional suspension seat post
  • Integrated headlight and back light but could get blocked by your coat or a rear rack bag, nice adjustable kickstand, great price with optional Velofix assembly and delivery pack with locked-off mode, great price with optional Velofix assembly and delivery

Make:

Rad Power Bikes

Model:

RadRover

Price:

$1,499

Body Position:

Forward, Upright

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Sand and Snow, Trail

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States, Canada

Model Year:

2019

Total Weight:

68 lbs (30.84 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, 30.5″ Stand Over Height, 22.5″ Reach, 30.5″ Standover Height, 33″ Minimum Saddle Height, 28.5″ Width, 75″ Length

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Satin Black with Gray and Orange Accents, Gloss White with Orange Accents

Frame Fork Details:

RST Spring Suspension, 100mm Travel, Compression Adjust with Lockout, Preload Adjust, 32mm Stanchions, 135mm Hub Spacing, 9mm Axle with Quick Release Skewer

Frame Rear Details:

170mm Hub Spacing, 12mm Threaded Axle with 10mm Flats, 18mm Nuts

Attachment Points:

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

Gearing Details:

7
Speed 1×7 Shimano Acera Derailleur, DNP Nickel Plated 11-34 Tooth Freewheel

Shifter Details:

Shimano SIS Index Thumb Shifter on Right

Cranks:

Aluminum Alloy, 170mm Length, 42 Tooth Chainring with Prowheel Ounce Alloy Guide

Pedals:

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform with Reflectors, CrMo Axle, Black

Headset:

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

Stem:

Aluminum Alloy, Promax, 50mm Length, 30º Angle, 15mm Rise, Two 10mm Spacers, One 20mm Spacer, 31.8mm Clamp

Handlebar:

Aluminum Alloy, Mid-Rise, Aluminum Alloy, 720mm Length, 80mm Rise

Brake Details:

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

Grips:

Ergonomic, Stitched Imitation Leather

Saddle:

Velo Plush with Lifting Handle

Seat Post:

Promax, Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 80mm Width, 36 Hole

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 12 Gauge, Black with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Kenda x Rad Power Bikes Juggernaut, 26″ x 4″ (98-559)

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

5 to 30 PSI, 0.4 to 2.1 BAR, 30 TPI, Reflective Sidewall Stripe, K-Shield Puncture Protection

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Rear-Mount Adjustable Kickstand, Steel Derailleur Guard, Integrated Spanninga Axendo 60 LED Headlight, Integrated Spanninga Solo LED Backlight (Solid, Flashing, Braking), Neoprene Slap Guard, Optional Bolt-On Rear Rack with Yepp! Window ($80), Optional Plastic Fenders (105mm Width, $89), Optional Front Rack ($69), Optional Small Basket ($59), Optional Large Basket ($79), Optional Platform ($39), Optional Small Pannier (Fremont Bag $89), Optional RAD Backlight ($25), 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)

Other:

Locking Removable Downtube-Mounted Battery Pack, 1.1lb 2 Amp Charger, Fully Potted Motor Controller, Stainless Steel Torque Arm, 275lb Maximum Weight Rating

Motor Brand:

Bafang, RadRover Specific

Motor Nominal Output:

750 watts

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 SWLCD, Fixed, Adjustable-Angle, Backlit, Grayscale LCD, Integrated 5 Volt 1 Amp USB Type-A Port Below Display

Readouts:

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

Display Accessories:

Independent Control Pad on Left, Buttons: Up, Mode, Down, (Lights: Hold Up and Mode, Cycle Readouts: Press Mode or Hold Up, Settings: Hold Up and Down, Walk Mode: Hold Down), Throttle On/Off Button on Right

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle
(12-Magnet 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 in-depth review was sponsored by Rad Power Bikes. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased, this video and written review are not meant to be an endorsement of RAD products.

For Rad Power Bikes, the RadRover is the bike that launched the company into the brand name it is today. I was fortunate enough to be invited to Seattle by RPB to get some hands on experience with this bike which they consider their flagship model. Right as the fat tire bike craze began, Rad Power was one the first to offer an electric version. As the years have gone by, many fat tire bikes have come and gone, but the RadRover has remained as a bike the company is very proud of. Each year the bike receives new upgrades and that brings us to the 2019 we have in front of us today. Just glancing at the bike and you can instantly assess there is an improved look and feel. As mentioned before, this is their flagship model, so we get some upgraded decals and graphics as well as two color options. Also new for 2019 is a set of custom set of Kenda tires. These thick knobby tires are 26″x4″ and feature not only K-Shield puncture protection, but also a reflective sidewall stripping which I really appreciate. Another good upgrade to the bike is the nickel plated DNP freewheel which not only shifts smoothly, but will hold up better over time. The lighting has been refined as the bike now features both a rear and front battery integrated lights. The front light is a Spanninga Axendo and features an active daylight sensor. On the rear light, you have a flashing mode and the ability to function as an active break light, getting brighter as you press on the brakes. Again we find a USB charging plug under the display, but this year it has been upgraded to put out 1 amp which should help maintain a charge on your device better than the previous 500 mA. The brake caliper has been moved and is no longer in the way. The 180mm mechanical disc brakes have received a newer style disc rotors which I am told improves braking power and reduces noise. The front fork is an RST spring suspension with 100mm Travel. It has compression adjust with lockout, preload adjust, 32mm stanchions, and an axle with a quick release skewer. The whole bike really provides a stable and comfortable ride. The sloped top tube, the relatively low standover height, the riser style handlebar, and the Velo Plush saddle just come together with the fat tire ride to give you a feeling that the bike is hugging you. If you drive it on the pavement, it’s a fun experience, but it really excels in sand, snow, or even loamy territory if you really drop the tire pressure.

Rad Power Bikes uses a higher resolution 12-magnet sensor that will start and stop faster. It’s just not as dynamic as a torque sensor and can produce an on/off experience along with delays that aren’t ideal for technical off-road riding. Starting might not be as fast, but you can always override and stop the motor by pulling either brake lever, because they both have motor inhibitor switches. Given that the motor used here is a fat-bike specific 750 watt part from Bafang, it’s great to have an override. The motor is compact and slightly lighter than the gearless direct drive hub motor used on the RadWagon and RadCity models, but it’s also louder because it uses three planetary reduction gears to generate power. I really like this motor because it’s extra wide, providing better spoke bracing support, and I like that Rad Power Bikes has opted for thicker 12 gauge spokes and even made them black to blend in with the motor casing and rims. The rims themselves seem alright, but don’t feature punched out holes to reduce weight and provide some liner flex like the fancier fat e-bikes I’ve seen lately. Also, the motor power cable is a bit exposed, protruding from the right axle. You really don’t want to bend or cut this cable because it could create inconsistent response or even stop working… so it’s nice to see that Rad Power Bikes has added a derailleur guard that also surrounds the power cable. On other bikes I have filmed, you can see where this guard had been scraped up when a bike tipped or got pushed against another bike or wall. The chain is also well-protected on this bike because there’s a pair of aluminum alloy plates on the chainring which reduce drops and keep your pant leg from getting greasy or snagged. I really like this sort of attention to detail and appreciate that even though you get a more limited number of gears, the lowest gear is extra low for easier climbing (which could come in handy if your battery runs out) and that the derailleur is two steps up from base level in the Shimano line, the Acera part should hold true longer between tuneups.

The battery pack is slim and mounts to the frame on a track that bolts down in three places for added strength, and can still be charged on or off the frame (making it convenient for commuting and easier to care for in extreme heat or cold weather). Considering just how large and heavy the RadRover is, I could see myself storing the bike outside or in a shed and then bringing the battery into a neutral, dry location for safe keeping. If you know it’s very cold out, keep the battery warm before taking a ride because otherwise the cells won’t last as long. If you plan to store the pack for more than a month without using it, I have heard that keeping it around 50% full can be easier on the Lithium-ion cells. The actual cells inside are Samsung 18650 size 35E high energy density. It impressed me to discover that this 48 volt 14 amp hour pack can be replaced for just $499, and I think that’s partially because the controller unit is made separate. This reduces complexity, heat exposure, and makes fixes easier… but it doesn’t look quite as good. Even though the RadRover is a purpose-built electric bicycle, the battery and controller box are still external… and it’s not as efficient or effective at climbing as some of the new mid-drives, or as balanced. All things considered, I feel that weight is still distributed well, and I love that little things like a neoprene slap guard, larger wider pedals, and bottle cage bosses have all been added to make the experience as good as it can be.

Using the RadRover electronically is simple. To activate the display, just hold the Mode button in the middle of the rubberized control pad (near the left grip) and it blinks to life. This display is not removable, but it does swivel forward and back just enough to reduce glare. It’s large, which makes it easy to read from a distance, and it shows your battery level, trip stats, speed, and assist level 0-5. If you press the mode button, it cycles from trip distance to total distance (odometer), and if you hold the up arrow it will cycle from current speed to average speed and max speed. For those who want to mess around with settings, hold the up and down arrow keys simultaneously, and for those dark riding moments (or to be extra safe during the daytime) just hold up and mode simultaneously to activate the headlight. The final tip I have is that you can hold the down arrow while the bike is in assist levels 1-5 to activate walk mode, which can be very handy if you have to walk a difficult section of trail, cross a non-bikeable area with a loaded rack, or get a flat tire. I love that in addition to the range of power levels that you can ride with, the throttle offers full power at all times. This is nice for saving energy but still having access to quick bursts of power for climbing or catching up to friends. And, the throttle can be completely shut off if you want, just press the black toggle button near the right grip. This is very useful when mounting the bike, walking it, or picking it up. Of course, I recommend always disabling the bike completely by turning it off to be extra safe when handling. I should also mention that the charger for all Rad Power Bikes is just 1.1 lbs and offers a standard 2 Amps output for ~6 hour charging from empty. It’s not the fanciest thing in the world but it gets the job done without being too bulky and I like that the charging port on the battery is positioned out of the way of the crank arms so it won’t get snagged or bent as easily.

All in all the RadRover is a great way to get around varied terrain and delivers the fun on and off road. There are a ton of available accessories for all of RPB’s bikes. For the RadRover, I definitely recommend the fenders as they really help keep things clean when you are roving about. Rad Power is a featured online retailer so not only do you get top notch tech support and a 1 year warranty, but they also have also partnered with Velofix. Velofix is a mobile bike repair company with many service vans in towns and cities across the states. Velofix can even assemble your RPB eBike once you have purchased it for $100. As with their other offerings, the RadRover is a great value proposition eBike. Rad Power also prefers mechanical brakes for the low maintenance cost and ease of adjustment. But still, it would have been nice to see a flagship bike with a proper set of hydraulic brakes. So many of Rad’s bikes come with different accessories like a rear rack, or fenders. Unfortunately, the RadRover comes with none, so if you want some of those benefits, make sure to set aside some extra money. Tradeoffs aside, the RadRover is hard to beat. The words“comfort” and “fun” rarely go hand in hand, much like “inexpensive” and “quality”. The RadRover manages to check off all those boxes which is no small feat, a deserves its title as a flagship. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rad Power Bikes for welcoming me to their headquarters and letting me get to know these bikes. I really appreciate feedback and questions, make sure to make them known in the comments below or in the forums, I’ll do my best to answer.

Pros:

  • Fat 4″ tires, a 100 mm spring suspension fork, adjustable-angle stem, and a mid-rise handlebar with shorter stem work together to provide more comfort, you can achieve an upright body position and the Velo Plush saddle and ergonomic grips further this experience
  • Great aesthetics, the hydroformed aluminum alloy frame is smooth, thicker near the head tube for strength, and stepped in and flattened out where the battery mounts which provides a sturdier surface
  • Even though the battery and control box are mounted externally, this is a purpose-built electric bike with internally routed cables and wires, note the stainless steel torque arm on the rear left dropout for added frame strength
  • Available in two refined colors with nicer accents, some of the older RadRovers looked a lot simpler but it has always been nice to choose from a dark and light color because the white is going to be more visible at night and that could make it safer
  • Safety is a big consideration for me as a cyclist who rides in the city occasionally, so I love that Rad Power Bikes has been including new battery integrated lights and that the headlight is extra bright and aimable while the rear light can function as an active brake light
  • It’s cool that Rad Power Bikes has expanded to Europe and Canada, and specced their motor down from 750 watts to 500 watts in order to comply, they offer free shipping and in the US are partnering with Velofix for assembly and delivery for an additional $100
  • I like the sturdy Wellgo platform pedals, alloy chain guide, and steel derailleur guard on this bike because it means you won’t slip off as easily, won’t have the chain dropping, and can keep the sensitive shifter parts and motor power cable from getting bent or snagged if the bike tips or is parked in a crowded rack
  • The battery design is awesome, it’s slim, can be locked to the frame in an off position to prevent tampering with the display, can be charged on or off the bike, is using energy dense Samsung 35E cells that take up less space and weigh less, and it’s only $499 to replace because the controller unit is separate
  • In addition to the bottle cage bosses along the downtube, this bike has tons of optional accessories that look great and provide massive utility such as wide plastic fenders, a rear rack with reflective pannier bags, a front platform rack and basket, a phone mount, and a suspension seat post upgrade
  • The display is large and easy to read, it angles slightly to help you reduce glare, and I love that it has a standard sized USB port on the bottom so you can maintain a phone or other portable electronics as you ride, interacting with the display is easy and safe because the button pad is mounted within reach of the left grip
  • The RadRover has a high-resolution 12-magnet cadence sensors and this makes starting and stopping more predictable, I love that they also included motor inhibitors on both brake levers and that you can disable the throttle with the on/off toggle button near the right grip
  • The kickstand is adjustable, has a wide platform at the bottom to keep it from sinking in to soft terrain, and it works well if you’re loading the bike with gear, I love that the front rack is frame-mounted so it won’t interfere with steering or tip the bike sideways when parked like fork mounted racks
  • Both wheels are built with thicker 12 gauge spokes for increased durability and weight capacity on the bike, the official max weight rating is 275 pounds (~125 kilograms)
  • The geared hub motor is quite zippy and powerful, more so than the RadWagon and RadCity models which use a gearless hub motor… so the geared motor doesn’t offer regeneration and it does produce some more noise, but it’s torquey enough to power through snow and soft sand if you lower the tire PSI to the 5-10 range

Cons:

  • Only one frame size for the RadRover but that’s part of what keeps the price down, the top tube is sloped to lower stand-over height and the adjustable seat post and stem provide a range of fit options
  • I’m not a huge fan of the big thumb shifter design because it seems like I have to stretch my right hand to reach it and the gears don’t shift as quickly or crisply, but the team at RPB told me this part was chosen to make room for their throttle on/off switch which is a great safety feature… so I’m okay with it
  • The 180 mm mechanical disc brakes worked well during my ride test but I definitely prefer hydraulic because the levers are easier to pull and can be reach-adjusted for small and large hands, this is one part on the bike that seems to be a compromise in order to keep the price lower, it would be nice to se hydraulic brakes in a flagship model
  • One consideration with the spring fork is that it’s heavier than an air fork and uses a straight steering post vs. tapered along with a 9 mm skewer vs. 15 mm thru-axle which means it’s not as stiff and sturdy or upgradeable as many of the more expensive products out there, at least it has compression lockout and preload adjust though
  • The optional rear rack is great for hauling gear but if you add a trunk bag on top, it could block the seat post mounted light (so consider moving it or getting another light for the back of the rack) and it seems like this rack would limit how low you could position the saddle before it collides, this is not the case with the RadCity and RadWagon models which have integrated racks that are wider so the saddle can go low even with gear
  • The way that the rear light is setup, the large rear tire basically blocks it from view, it would be better if the light was somehow mounted higher or off to the side… but if you get the optional rack and move the light, this is solved
  • The display is large and easy to read but not removable, so it could take extra weather wear and possibly get scratched at a bike rack or if the bike gets crashed but it seems well protected in the lower section of the mid-rise handlebars
  • There are some advantages to the new rear brake caliper position (wires aren’t in the path of the optional rear rack) but the way it’s tipped back, it seems like water and dust could collect on the wire and get pulled down into the cable housing over time, creating some friction and drag in the brake system and more work for your right hand pulling the rear brake lever, this would not be an issue if it used a hydraulic brake line vs. mechanical

Resources:

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

For Rad Power Bikes, the RadRover is the bike that launched the company into the brand name it is today. I was fortunate enough to be invited to Seattle by RPB to get some hands on experience with this bike which they consider their flagship model. Right as the fat tire bike craze began, Rad Power was one the first to offer an electric version. As the years have gone by, many fat tire bikes have come and gone, but the RadRover has remained as a bike the company is very proud of. Each year the bike receives new upgrades and that brings us to the 2019 we have in front of us today. Just glancing at the bike and you can instantly assess there is an improved look and feel. As mentioned before, this is their flagship model, so we get some upgraded decals and graphics as well as two color options. Also new for 2019 is a set of custom set of Kenda tires. These thick knobby tires are 26″x4″ and feature not only K-Shield puncture protection, but also a reflective sidewall stripping which I really appreciate. Another good upgrade to the bike is the nickel plated DNP freewheel which not only shifts smoothly, but will hold up better over time. The lighting has been refined as the bike now features both a rear and front battery integrated lights. The front light is a Spanninga Axendo and features an active daylight sensor. On the rear light, you have a flashing mode and the ability to function as an active break light, getting brighter as you press on the brakes. Again we find a USB charging plug under the display, but this year it has been upgraded to put out 1 amp which should help maintain a charge on your device better than the previous 500 mA. The brake caliper has been moved and is no longer in the way. The 180mm mechanical disc brakes have received a newer style disc rotors which I am told improves braking power and reduces noise. The front fork is an RST spring suspension with 100mm Travel. It has compression adjust with lockout, preload adjust, 32mm stanchions, and an axle with a quick release skewer. The whole bike really provides a stable and comfortable ride. The sloped top tube, the relatively low standover height, the riser style handlebar, and the Velo Plush saddle just come together with the fat tire ride to give you a feeling that the bike is hugging you. If you drive it on the pavement, it’s a fun experience, but it really excels in sand, snow, or even loamy territory if you really drop the tire pressure.

Rad Power Bikes uses a higher resolution 12-magnet sensor that will start and stop faster. It’s just not as dynamic as a torque sensor and can produce an on/off experience along with delays that aren’t ideal for technical off-road riding. Starting might not be as fast, but you can always override and stop the motor by pulling either brake lever, because they both have motor inhibitor switches. Given that the motor used here is a fat-bike specific 750 watt part from Bafang, it’s great to have an override. The motor is compact and slightly lighter than the gearless direct drive hub motor used on the RadWagon and RadCity models, but it’s also louder because it uses three planetary reduction gears to generate power. I really like this motor because it’s extra wide, providing better spoke bracing support, and I like that Rad Power Bikes has opted for thicker 12 gauge spokes and even made them black to blend in with the motor casing and rims. The rims themselves seem alright, but don’t feature punched out holes to reduce weight and provide some liner flex like the fancier fat e-bikes I’ve seen lately. Also, the motor power cable is a bit exposed, protruding from the right axle. You really don’t want to bend or cut this cable because it could create inconsistent response or even stop working… so it’s nice to see that Rad Power Bikes has added a derailleur guard that also surrounds the power cable. On other bikes I have filmed, you can see where this guard had been scraped up when a bike tipped or got pushed against another bike or wall. The chain is also well-protected on this bike because there’s a pair of aluminum alloy plates on the chainring which reduce drops and keep your pant leg from getting greasy or snagged. I really like this sort of attention to detail and appreciate that even though you get a more limited number of gears, the lowest gear is extra low for easier climbing (which could come in handy if your battery runs out) and that the derailleur is two steps up from base level in the Shimano line, the Acera part should hold true longer between tuneups.

The battery pack is slim and mounts to the frame on a track that bolts down in three places for added strength, and can still be charged on or off the frame (making it convenient for commuting and easier to care for in extreme heat or cold weather). Considering just how large and heavy the RadRover is, I could see myself storing the bike outside or in a shed and then bringing the battery into a neutral, dry location for safe keeping. If you know it’s very cold out, keep the battery warm before taking a ride because otherwise the cells won’t last as long. If you plan to store the pack for more than a month without using it, I have heard that keeping it around 50% full can be easier on the Lithium-ion cells. The actual cells inside are Samsung 18650 size 35E high energy density. It impressed me to discover that this 48 volt 14 amp hour pack can be replaced for just $499, and I think that’s partially because the controller unit is made separate. This reduces complexity, heat exposure, and makes fixes easier… but it doesn’t look quite as good. Even though the RadRover is a purpose-built electric bicycle, the battery and controller box are still external… and it’s not as efficient or effective at climbing as some of the new mid-drives, or as balanced. All things considered, I feel that weight is still distributed well, and I love that little things like a neoprene slap guard, larger wider pedals, and bottle cage bosses have all been added to make the experience as good as it can be.

Using the RadRover electronically is simple. To activate the display, just hold the Mode button in the middle of the rubberized control pad (near the left grip) and it blinks to life. This display is not removable, but it does swivel forward and back just enough to reduce glare. It’s large, which makes it easy to read from a distance, and it shows your battery level, trip stats, speed, and assist level 0-5. If you press the mode button, it cycles from trip distance to total distance (odometer), and if you hold the up arrow it will cycle from current speed to average speed and max speed. For those who want to mess around with settings, hold the up and down arrow keys simultaneously, and for those dark riding moments (or to be extra safe during the daytime) just hold up and mode simultaneously to activate the headlight. The final tip I have is that you can hold the down arrow while the bike is in assist levels 1-5 to activate walk mode, which can be very handy if you have to walk a difficult section of trail, cross a non-bikeable area with a loaded rack, or get a flat tire. I love that in addition to the range of power levels that you can ride with, the throttle offers full power at all times. This is nice for saving energy but still having access to quick bursts of power for climbing or catching up to friends. And, the throttle can be completely shut off if you want, just press the black toggle button near the right grip. This is very useful when mounting the bike, walking it, or picking it up. Of course, I recommend always disabling the bike completely by turning it off to be extra safe when handling. I should also mention that the charger for all Rad Power Bikes is just 1.1 lbs and offers a standard 2 Amps output for ~6 hour charging from empty. It’s not the fanciest thing in the world but it gets the job done without being too bulky and I like that the charging port on the battery is positioned out of the way of the crank arms so it won’t get snagged or bent as easily.

All in all the RadRover is a great way to get around varied terrain and delivers the fun on and off road. There are a ton of available accessories for all of RPB’s bikes. For the RadRover, I definitely recommend the fenders as they really help keep things clean when you are roving about. Rad Power is a featured online retailer so not only do you get top notch tech support and a 1 year warranty, but they also have also partnered with Velofix. Velofix is a mobile bike repair company with many service vans in towns and cities across the states. Velofix can even assemble your RPB eBike once you have purchased it for $100. As with their other offerings, the RadRover is a great value proposition eBike. Rad Power also prefers mechanical brakes for the low maintenance cost and ease of adjustment. But still, it would have been nice to see a flagship bike with a proper set of hydraulic brakes. So many of Rad’s bikes come with different accessories like a rear rack, or fenders. Unfortunately, the RadRover comes with none, so if you want some of those benefits, make sure to set aside some extra money. Tradeoffs aside, the RadRover is hard to beat. The words“comfort” and “fun” rarely go hand in hand, much like “inexpensive” and “quality”. The RadRover manages to check off all those boxes which is no small feat, a deserves its title as a flagship. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rad Power Bikes for welcoming me to their headquarters and letting me get to know these bikes. I really appreciate feedback and questions, make sure to make them known in the comments below or in the forums, I’ll do my best to answer.

Pros:

  • Fat 4″ tires, a 100 mm spring suspension fork, adjustable-angle stem, and a mid-rise handlebar with shorter stem work together to provide more comfort, you can achieve an upright body position and the Velo Plush saddle and ergonomic grips further this experience
  • Great aesthetics, the hydroformed aluminum alloy frame is smooth, thicker near the head tube for strength, and stepped in and flattened out where the battery mounts which provides a sturdier surface
  • Even though the battery and control box are mounted externally, this is a purpose-built electric bike with internally routed cables and wires, note the stainless steel torque arm on the rear left dropout for added frame strength
  • Available in two refined colors with nicer accents, some of the older RadRovers looked a lot simpler but it has always been nice to choose from a dark and light color because the white is going to be more visible at night and that could make it safer
  • Safety is a big consideration for me as a cyclist who rides in the city occasionally, so I love that Rad Power Bikes has been including new battery integrated lights and that the headlight is extra bright and aimable while the rear light can function as an active brake light
  • It’s cool that Rad Power Bikes has expanded to Europe and Canada, and specced their motor down from 750 watts to 500 watts in order to comply, they offer free shipping and in the US are partnering with Velofix for assembly and delivery for an additional $100
  • I like the sturdy Wellgo platform pedals, alloy chain guide, and steel derailleur guard on this bike because it means you won’t slip off as easily, won’t have the chain dropping, and can keep the sensitive shifter parts and motor power cable from getting bent or snagged if the bike tips or is parked in a crowded rack
  • The battery design is awesome, it’s slim, can be locked to the frame in an off position to prevent tampering with the display, can be charged on or off the bike, is using energy dense Samsung 35E cells that take up less space and weigh less, and it’s only $499 to replace because the controller unit is separate
  • In addition to the bottle cage bosses along the downtube, this bike has tons of optional accessories that look great and provide massive utility such as wide plastic fenders, a rear rack with reflective pannier bags, a front platform rack and basket, a phone mount, and a suspension seat post upgrade
  • The display is large and easy to read, it angles slightly to help you reduce glare, and I love that it has a standard sized USB port on the bottom so you can maintain a phone or other portable electronics as you ride, interacting with the display is easy and safe because the button pad is mounted within reach of the left grip
  • The RadRover has a high-resolution 12-magnet cadence sensors and this makes starting and stopping more predictable, I love that they also included motor inhibitors on both brake levers and that you can disable the throttle with the on/off toggle button near the right grip
  • The kickstand is adjustable, has a wide platform at the bottom to keep it from sinking in to soft terrain, and it works well if you’re loading the bike with gear, I love that the front rack is frame-mounted so it won’t interfere with steering or tip the bike sideways when parked like fork mounted racks
  • Both wheels are built with thicker 12 gauge spokes for increased durability and weight capacity on the bike, the official max weight rating is 275 pounds (~125 kilograms)
  • The geared hub motor is quite zippy and powerful, more so than the RadWagon and RadCity models which use a gearless hub motor… so the geared motor doesn’t offer regeneration and it does produce some more noise, but it’s torquey enough to power through snow and soft sand if you lower the tire PSI to the 5-10 range

Cons:

  • Only one frame size for the RadRover but that’s part of what keeps the price down, the top tube is sloped to lower stand-over height and the adjustable seat post and stem provide a range of fit options
  • I’m not a huge fan of the big thumb shifter design because it seems like I have to stretch my right hand to reach it and the gears don’t shift as quickly or crisply, but the team at RPB told me this part was chosen to make room for their throttle on/off switch which is a great safety feature… so I’m okay with it
  • The 180 mm mechanical disc brakes worked well during my ride test but I definitely prefer hydraulic because the levers are easier to pull and can be reach-adjusted for small and large hands, this is one part on the bike that seems to be a compromise in order to keep the price lower, it would be nice to se hydraulic brakes in a flagship model
  • One consideration with the spring fork is that it’s heavier than an air fork and uses a straight steering post vs. tapered along with a 9 mm skewer vs. 15 mm thru-axle which means it’s not as stiff and sturdy or upgradeable as many of the more expensive products out there, at least it has compression lockout and preload adjust though
  • The optional rear rack is great for hauling gear but if you add a trunk bag on top, it could block the seat post mounted light (so consider moving it or getting another light for the back of the rack) and it seems like this rack would limit how low you could position the saddle before it collides, this is not the case with the RadCity and RadWagon models which have integrated racks that are wider so the saddle can go low even with gear
  • The way that the rear light is setup, the large rear tire basically blocks it from view, it would be better if the light was somehow mounted higher or off to the side… but if you get the optional rack and move the light, this is solved
  • The display is large and easy to read but not removable, so it could take extra weather wear and possibly get scratched at a bike rack or if the bike gets crashed but it seems well protected in the lower section of the mid-rise handlebars
  • There are some advantages to the new rear brake caliper position (wires aren’t in the path of the optional rear rack) but the way it’s tipped back, it seems like water and dust could collect on the wire and get pulled down into the cable housing over time, creating some friction and drag in the brake system and more work for your right hand pulling the rear brake lever, this would not be an issue if it used a hydraulic brake line vs. mechanical

Resources:

January 31, 2019 (7 months ago)

January 31, 2019 (7 months ago)

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