RadWagon - In-Depth Review
Owning a vehicle has its perks but this is not always the case. From the constant struggle to find a parking spot to time wasted in the inevitable city traffic. Not to mention the thought that every gallon of gas you pump into your tank leads to further shrinking of the ozone layer.
It can all be overwhelming!
If you’ve ever thought of replacing your vehicle, an electric bike would be a worthwhile alternative. The RadWagon electric cargo bike from Rad Power Bikes is a great option that you might want to test. In this review, we examine the specs the RadWagon brings to the table to see if it’s worth abandoning your car!
The RadWagon is made of a 6061-aluminum frame, with the front half featuring a low-slung top tube that simplifies getting on and off the bike. This is especially convenient when the bike is fully loaded with cargo, more on this to come.
The bars sit high and out in front, making for a cozy forward-looking position when sitting on the bike.
The stem is very adjustable, and considering that the RadWagon comes in one frame design, it should enable various rider sizes to fit easily on the bike. The Velo Plush saddle is a bulky unit that feels comfortable to sit on and is very functional on quick trips around town.
The other half of the frame features unusually long chainstays at 673mm, which is an extra 25cm on traditional cargo bikes. This results in ample real estate for the posterior cargo rack. There are various racks and running boards on the frame to suit your needs. The standard construction features a regular width wooden board that runs along the upper side of the frame rack.
There’s also a pair of running boards situated towards the rear. According to the manufacturer, the rear rack can hold up to 54kg with each running board holding 18kg. Meanwhile, a kickstand behind the bottom bracket can support 45kg. Overall, you get more than enough carrying capacity for whenever you need to move cargo around.
The cables on the RadWagon are routed externally. You should take care not to get your cargo entangled.
Rad Power fitted a Shenyi direct-drive hub motor on this electric cargo bike, which boats a 750W power output. The motor will propel you to a top speed of 20mph and produces 40Nm of torque, which will come in handy when you need to deal with sloping terrain.
At the center of the handlebar is an LCD that displays a variety of information and is backlit whenever the front and rear lights are on. Note that the front always remains on while the rear can be turned on. The controller provides you with information about the ride, including distance, speed, wattage, etc.
There are five different pedal-assist modes that you can choose from. Near the left-hand grip, you’ll find several control buttons, including the on/off button. The whole electric system of the bike can also be secured using a key on the battery. It will shut down the moment you lock it.
The RadWagon uses a twist-grip throttle located on the right-hand side of the handlebar. Twisting the throttle feeds power to the rear wheel and its level is determined by the mode you’ve selected on the controller. Furthermore, there is a supplementary control button next to the throttle that turns the throttle on or off.
Overall, the hub motor used on the RadWagon won’t offer you the slick reactivity you get on a Shimano or Bosch unit; there’s a notable delay in power delivery when you start. This means you’ll have to toil with the first few pedal strokes before the pedal-assist finally kicks in.
The 672Wh battery on the bike is built using Samsung E35 cells, which pack a lot of energy and are among the most reliable lithium-ion batteries you can find in the market. These cells also help to keep the battery's weight low, and at 7.7 pounds, the RadWagons battery is among the lightest on an electric cargo bike.
You get to ride as long as 45 miles on a single charge cycle, which should be enough to see you complete all your errands for the day. But once you use all the battery’s power, it will need around 6 hours to fully recharge. This is quite a long time and may spell the end of your adventure for the day.
The main reason for the slow charging is the 2 Amp charger; the time to recharge would probably have been shortened if it was a 3 or 4 Amp charger.
The RadWagon is equipped with Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes with 180mm rotors at the front and back. The mechanical disc brakes do a decent job of stopping the hefty bike when you want to, but they are not as sleek as a hydraulic disc set.
However, you should remember that pulling the brake connected directly to the motor will instantly cut off the motor. This can, therefore, lead to an error when you twist the throttle while pulling the brake lever simultaneously.
This bike rolls on 26” alloy wheels that feature an alloy construction and a double-wall design for extra strength. These do a great job of holding the rider and cargo weight on the trail, ensuring that you get a stable ride on various terrains. The 36 spoked wheels also pair well with the Kenda K-Rad tires.
The 26” by 2.3” Kenda K-Rad tires were specifically designed for the RadWagon and come with a grid-like tread that serves to provide you with great traction on the road surface for stability. They also come with a puncture-resistant liner that protects against sharp debris like broken glass, thorns, and other sharp debris on the trail.
A reflective strip has been included along the circumference of the tires to enhance your visibility on the road and reduce the possibility of collisions.
What Do We Like About RadWagon?
The RadWagon offers so much carrying capacity living up to the expectation that it is the ultimate cargo bike. The frame features plenty of tubes and struts onto which you can attach straps and bungees to carry as much load as possible.
Multiple safety features have been integrated into the bike to ensure that you’re always safe on the road. Included are bright front and rear lights to keep you visible in the dark and this is supported by the reflective strip on the Kenda tires.
The display on the handlebar is not only easy to access but also quite simple to operate. It is huge, clear, and shows valuable information regarding the ride that should help you manage the battery and motor more efficiently.
The sturdy build of the aluminum frame results in minimal flex when carrying a load and makes for a stable riding experience.
You’ll find a variety of practical features on the bike that will come in handy when you’re running errands in town. The double kickstand helps to hold the bike in position as you load and secure cargo while the fenders on both wheels ensure that you don’t get dirty in wet conditions.
What Don’t We Like About RadWagon?
We feel that the orange color the manufacturer chose for the bike looks hideous. It is not as flattering, and it doesn’t help that that’s the only design available.
The external cable routing can be inconvenient when you carry a lot of cargo. It’s easy for some things to get entangled with the hanging wires.
The bike is generally quite heavy and riding it without motor assistance can be a nightmare!
Advice to Buyers
This is the right bike to replace your car! It comes with a wealth of features that are quite practical and suited for running all kinds of errands. The amount of cargo you’ll be able to carry on this bike is more than expected. Getting your hands on the RadWagon will cost you less than $1500, which is a great bargain if you asked us!
In a nutshell, the RadWagon is a feature-rich, powerful, and affordable electric cargo bike that will get the job done. It has all the carrying capacity you’ll ever require on a bike, durable battery performance, as well as a slew of useful features that you’ll find convenient during your ride.
It is exactly the kind of bike you go for when you are tired of using your car and looking for a more environmentally-friendly alternative!