Rad Power RadRunner Review (Updated 2020)

May 24, 2020

Unbiased RadRunner E-bike Review (Updated 2020)
Our Rating - 4/5
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 The Rad Rover RadRunner is a powerful and affordable utility battery-powered bike that is part cargo and part mountain bike. The manufacturers included a number of features to deliver a versatile bike that is suitable for various terrains. It will also surprise you with the amount of cargo it can carry!

RadRunner - In-Depth Review

There are various ways to get around the city, but the majority of them are not really enjoyable! The subway is always crowded with weirdos, the cabs are expensive and mindless polluters, while walking can only get you so far. The only way to get around quickly without a fuss is on two wheels. 

You need a capable bike that will get you to your early morning meetings on time without being a sweaty mess; something like the RadRunner from Rad Power Bikes. This is a single-speed electric cargo bike that doubles up as a moped. 

In this review, we lift the veil on the RadRunner to examine its various specs to evaluate how it fares in the e-biking circles. 


Key Specs

Weight

21.09kg / 46.5lbs

Frame 

6061 Aluminum Alloy Step-Through Frame

Tire Size

20″

Motor

750W Geared Hub Motor Rated For 80 Nm Of Torque

Battery

48V, 14Ah Samsung Battery (672 Wh)

Range

32.9 miles

Max Speed

20 miles per hour

Brakes

Tektro 180mm Mechanical Disc Brakes

Frame

The RadRunner features a sturdy 6061 aluminum alloy, step-through frame with a riser handlebar design. Its low 16.5” standover height makes for effortless mounting or dismounting and is suited for rider heights between 4’11” and 6’2”. The bike’s geometry is also built to offer you a comfortable riding experience.

The riser handlebar can be angled forward or backward to fit the reach of the rider’s arms while ergonomic rubber grips make for good handling. Meanwhile, the strong frame is coupled with a vibration dampening steel fork that enhances comfort. 

With its step-through design, the frame leaves a ton of real estate on the downtube and mini-top tube for you to mount accessories such as a bottle cage, mini pump, folding lock, etc. You’ll also appreciate the multiple racks and mounting baskets on the RadRunner, which take its carrying capacity to the next level. Also, the front rack affixes to the head tube and won’t interfere with steering or tilt to the side when parked. 

The versatility of the RadRunner is evident in its huge 300-pound carrying capacity, which includes 120 pounds on the rear deck. This allows you to install a child’s seat and take your kid on an adventure or even carry an adult. The seat post is also adjustable and with its quick-release lever, allows you to raise it so that your bum is not sticking into your passenger’s chest.

Another important inclusion on the bike is a strong double-leg kickstand that simplifies your work during loading if you decide to install a rear rack or panniers. Unfortunately, the RadRunner only comes in one frame design; not much variety for you! Nonetheless, I like the Satin black and forest green color combo on the bike.

Bicycle gear of a green bike

Riding this bike felt nimble, I did not quite expect that. It was not my most comfortable experience on an electric bike, especially with the 65lbs weight, but it certainly gets the job done!

Engine

The bike is powered by a 750W Bafang geared hub motor that supplies 80Nm of torque via 4 pedal assist levels. It uses a half-twist throttle that can propel you to a top speed of 20mph, which classifies the RadRunner a Class 2 e-bike. The pedal assist responds pretty quickly thanks to the 14-pulse cadence sensor that is smaller and protected from dust and water.

The motor will cut out when you surpass the 20mph limit and the same is true when you pull the brake levers since both have a built-in motor inhibitor switch. There’s also an LED display that comes with the bike’s on/off and light switch, as well as shows ride information such as pedal-assist level and battery charge. 

I really liked how powerful the geared hub motor felt, especially during acceleration but I have to acknowledge the advantage it gets from the smaller 20-inch wheels. 

Battery

This e-bike is fitted with a high-capacity battery made of Samsung 35E lithium-ion cells, which pack a lot of energy without increasing the battery’s weight. The battery pack is also positioned against the seat post, which helps to balance the weight of the bike, considering the position of the motor and rear rack.

I managed to squeeze around 43 miles from the RadRunner on relatively flat terrain while carrying a fair share of luggage. This conforms with the manufacturer’s claim that the battery provides a range of between 25 and 45 miles on a single charge cycle, which is quite impressive by any e-bike standards.

The battery pack will require approximately 6 hours to fully recharge, which is long enough to bring an end to your adventure. I fancy that it can be charged on or off the bike, making for convenience when you have a spare battery. Given that it uses the same battery pack as the other new-generation Rad Power Bikes, you can always swap it out for a longer ride if you have multiple batteries.

The frame of the green e-bike with the battery

Another thing to note is the controller does not display odometer information, meaning I had to pay close attention to the battery charge indicator. Pedaling this 65-pound beast while carrying luggage with no pedal assist is a challenge I wasn’t keen to take on!

Brakes

The RadRunner comes with a single-speed drivetrain, as well as Tektro cable-actuated disc brakes that provide the bike with braking power. The brake levers have a built-in motor cutoff switch that will kill the motor the moment you engage the brakes. You should, therefore, watch out for the error when you twist the throttle and pull the brake levers at the same time. 

The rear LED light is also integrated with the brake and goes on every time you engage the brakes.

Rims

The aluminum alloy wheels come with a lot of ruggedness to support your weight as a rider, plus the cargo you’re going to heap onto the RadRunner. It also features a double-wall design that adds to the overall stability of the ride. 

Tires

The bike rolls on 20” by 3.3” Kenda tires that were specially designed for Rad Power Bikes. I enjoyed the chunky feel of the tires that make you forget the kind of weight it is carrying. A spaced tread pattern on the tires helps to enhance traction on the road, although they are not the most stable I’ve ridden on. 

Front wheel of the green RadRunner bike

The tires also feature a puncture-resistant lining that will protect against thorns and broken glass you run over on the trail. You won’t need to worry about flat tires to inconvenience you in the middle of running your errands. 


What Do We Like About RadRunner?

I like the numerous mounting options on the bike frame, which help to maximize the carrying capabilities of the bike. You’ll be able to take a lot of essential accessories on your bike adventures for a stress-free experience.

The RadRunner ensures that you remain safe on the road by incorporating plenty of safety features, including a front light that always remains on and a rear light that goes on whenever you brake. The reflective strip on the tires is another important aspect that keeps you visible from the sides.

Also, the 16.5” standover height leaves a lot of room that would be perfect for a small package that you can rest on the frame’s mini-top tube without compromising the functionality of the bike. 

The dual-leg kickstand enhances the practicality of the bike, especially when you need to park the bike or when loading cargo.

The 672Wh high-capacity battery offers extensive riding range for you to make the most of your adventure.

The LED control panel comes with convenient simplicity that makes it easy for the rider to operate. This gives you more time to focus on enjoying the ride rather than constantly fumbling with the settings.

Cons

  • High-capacity battery
  • Easy-to-mount frame design
  • Huge carrying capacity
  • User-friendly display
  • Quite cheap
  • Safety features

What Don’t We Like About RadRover?

The RadRover is a heavy machine that will be quite difficult to handle without the motor assistance; you don’t want the battery power running out on you in the middle of the trails!

Rad Power Bikes chose to go with plastic pedals on the RadRunner, which are wide and offer good traction but feel less solid than the aluminum alloy pedals on other models. This is especially true over the long haul.

The mechanical disc brakes used also require a lot more hand effort to pull the levers and they aren’t as efficient as hydraulic discs. 

Cons

  • Long recharge time
  • Mechanical disc brakes
  • Heavy build


Advice to Buyers

What you’ll like most about Rad Power Bikes is that the company allows you to access a quality product without going through middlemen. Thanks to the direct-to-customer model, the RadRunner will be delivered right at your doorstep if you decide to make an order.

Furthermore, the bike is quite a bargain considering the performance it offers. For less than $1300, it's my opinion that you have all the incentive to take advantage of this exciting deal.


Conclusion

Overall, the RadRunner e-bike is an affordable and capable machine that offers impressive range. It is user-friendly, decently comfortable, and rides stably despite the massive load it is carrying. 

The bike’s compact construction is best suited for people living in confined spaces with limited storage space and its wealth of affordable accessories allows the RadRunner to be a versatile car replacement alternative for the urban household.

About the author

Emma was born and raised in the UK, studied in Amsterdam (where she discovered her passion for biking), and is currently living in Ohio. Her main passion is cycling, that's why she is always looking for an amazing new e-bike to make her journey even more unforgettable!