Rad Power Bikes RadRover Step-Thru 1 Review – $1.5k

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Rad Power Bikes RadRover Step-Thru 1 Review – $1.5k

(bell chiming) – Hey guys, we’re hanging out at the beautiful McKinney Falls, just south of Austin, Texas One of my favorite places, used to live here, but, we didn’t have this kind of e-bike back then, this is the brand new, step through, RadRover, and we’ve got the original RadRover over here, high step, in black These both come in black and white This is kind of a matte finish, so it looks pretty cool, but it does show smudges just a little bit That’s one of the things I was noticing about it These two bikes share a lot in common, but I noticed that the steering tube up here, little bit longer, on the step through, versus the high step they’re using some spacers So the geometry is actually fairly similar, similar reach, very low, standover height, relatively low, minimum saddle height But you’ll notice that they got this riser here for the rear light, and that’s so it can clear the fender So if you’re perfectly in line with the bike, it just peaks out, and most time it’s gonna be like a car, maybe looking from the side, or from the rear, really like the headlight upgrade too, they’ve got this heat fan, it’s actually aluminum alloy up there to dissipate heat because they’ve got a light ring and have really focused lens, 80 lumens on this thing Very cool to see Rad doing all these custom like partnerships, you can actually see their logos right here Check out these tyres These are the juggernauts from Kenda, but they’re Rad branded They have puncture protected casing, and a reflective sidewall stripe 12 gauge spokes, front and rear, extra sturdy, and they’re black They match the rims, they match the hubs It’s just a really nice setup They’ve been refining these bikes for years now And for me, a bike like this is fun, it’s comfortable, and it is capable You can go off road and take it over some bumps and stuff, and you’re gonna feel stable, you’re not gonna get quite as much like jitter going on It’s really neat to see a custom, fat tire specific, fork here This is a sprung fork, it does have this like progressive lockout So if you’re not on bumpy train and you don’t want that, like, you know, kind of up and down sag feeling, you can lock it out For me personally, like the comfort, so I leave it unlocked And then over here we have preload adjust, so you can preload that spring So if you’re, someone who’s a little heavier, you’re not gonna use up a lot of that, that distance here, 100 millimeters of travel, just getting on the bike, so you preload Nice to see those extra adjustments, quick release on the front wheel there, not on the rear They’re using a 12 millimeter axle and the reason they have to do that and use standard nuts, is because it’s got a motor, connected to it So they really wanna tighten that down, make sure everything’s really, stable and secure 750 Watts, 80 newton-meters of torque on that thing Very impressive, it’s Rad branded as well I think it’s a ball fork motor though, just so you know This is a planetary geared motor So, that means when you coast, there’s no friction, there’s no drag, and it’s able to be a little bit smaller, more compact, which is nice It sorta hides behind this fairly large, 180 millimeter disc brake rotor Mechanical disc brakes here, that’s one of the few trade-offs with the Rad bikes So, before I get to that, I wanna point out that they are using a steel torque arm right here And that helps to brace the motor You can imagine all that power, enough to like, spin this wheel and give you throttle activation and climb, it actually does pretty well, but that’s a lot of force and this is an aluminum alloy frame, so they use these little torque arms, which is really nice to see And then there’s a bunch of threaded eyelets here So you could add a rear rack, even more right here There’s a lot of options actually for accessories and stuff I’m gonna to get to in a second But, it does come with fenders now, which is really cool That’s gonna keep you extra dry, they seem pretty well built They aren’t the adjustable ones that can kind of go out of true You know, they might have a little bit noise, but being plastic, they’re not gonna get scratched up and rust the way that steel fenders might And they also don’t weigh as much So this bike right here, only comes in one frame size, 71.4 pounds Which is kind of a lot, for an electric bike, really any bike, but that’s partially because it is using such a powerful motor, and they had to reinforce the frame here It’s got a fairly high capacity battery pack I wanna call out how they reinforce the frame So you can see this big gusset right here, extra plating, and that’s gonna keep it from flexing when you ride Another one right here, this is almost like a mini top tube Normally a top tube is way up here, and they just, they kind of surround the battery to protect it, but it also gives the frame additional strength So I mentioned the battery earlier This is a 48 Volt 14 Amp hour, 672 one hour capacity It’s good to have that extra juice when you’re using the throttle a lot And that’s one of the things I do like about these bikes, is they’re class two, they can go up to 20 miles per hour You can use that throttle even in zero assist level So you can scoot around without pedaling If you need to take a break, or maybe you’re just kind of working into it and you wanna lower that saddle, you’re not getting full leg extension It’s nice to have the twist throttle as an option And then of course it has pedal assist So you can see there’s this high resolution, 12 magnet disc right in there And then there’s a reader, you can see on the other side So, this is really nice, it’s gonna start and stop fairly quickly It’s not quite as dynamic as like a torque sensor, or a multi-sensor But, on the other hand, you have to work a little bit more

with those kinds of sensors And given that this has a throttle, you can take off, and then you can just start pedaling smoothly, not over exerting yourself And then the motor will kick in based on pedaling, so that’s nice 170 millimeter crank arms, Wellgo platform pedals, I really like these, they’ve got those nice tread pattern, fairly grippy This is a, its kind of a semi-off road bike So having higher end equipment, not a plastic panel, that’s gonna get cracked and stuff, that’s nice to see Got a neoprene slap guard back here, and this nice nickel plated freewheel in the back This is DNP That’s a really nice spread on this, a lot of times, these are like 14 to 28 So what they’ve done here, with that larger sprocket, can see it here, that really big one This is, gonna make it easier to start, and to climb, again, this is a heavy bike so, it’s nice that they went with this A lot of times they have to upgrade to like a cassette So having a freewheel, with that kind of range is nice Seven speeds, they’re using Shimano Acera versus Tourney something that would be a little more entry level, that means it’s a lighter weight to rail your, it might hold that better over time It does have a barrel adjuster, so as you get some, some cable stretch over time, or as things just settle, you can adjust this by hand, you don’t need extra tools and stuff, and, they’ve got this nice steel derailleur guard, which is wonderful to see, especially cause they do ship these bikes, and you know, if the bike ever tipped over, or if it gets kicked or something in the garage, it’s nice to have the sensitive bits, extra protected One of the other really cool things Rad is doing now, is they’ve got this Rad mobile service, where they deliver the bike If you buy it in one of these major cities, it’s starting out in Austin, Seattle, Vancouver, and Sacramento And I think that’s pretty cool, cause you know, as nice as these new boxes are, and everything, and they’re pretty wide, there’s still a lot of kinda mess around If you don’t have a bike rack, and you wanna get this thing set up right It’s so cool that they’re doing it, it’s $149 Having this kind of service at your disposal really sets them apart from some of the other, like online direct e-bike brands They also do warranty service with this too So it’s not just your first purchase I think that’s awesome Here is the shifter, kind of a paddle shifter or thumb shifter design, fairly large I kind of like the trigger shifters, but a lot of times they don’t fit when you have a twist throttle like this, cause there’s an extra housing going on So, I understand why they do this, this is kind of what they use on all the bikes You’ve got these really clear readouts for numeric, like what gear you’re in And it works really well if you have like gloves on So maybe it’s a cold day and you’re riding this in the snow or something or an early morning at the beach These fat tyres really are capable I’ve tested them in Mexico, on Sandy beaches That’s not the case here, but sometimes in the woods, you know, if it gets soft and loamy or there’s just a little section or maybe you’re crossing a river or something, it’s nice to have that extra width and then, a little bit of float So there is a decent, a PSI range on these These are 26 by four inches, traditional fat tyres And this is one of the most popular bikes from Rad power bikes Again, starting out with the high step that we see over here I mentioned the racks earlier, you can see this, one’s got a rear rack as well as that front tray, and then a basket option They have even larger basket, they have panniers that fit over the rack, you can see those right here These are highly water resistant, and then they have another insulated bag So there’s just a lot on offer here Check out that rear rack, I really liked that It looks nice, especially in orange, kind of pops And then they’ve relocated that light, pretty well protected right there Threaded islets on top We’ve also got the Yepp compatible windows, so they have a Yepp child seat This would totally be a good, good setup, if you have a kid or something, and you wanna be a, like kind of a one bike family, where maybe you’re trading off between spouses or friends, or something like that, you can raise and lower the seat, 27.2 millimeter seatpost diameter, which is pretty standard Okay, and they do sell, I think it’s the Suntour NCX suspension seatpost, as an aftermarket accessory So when you pair that up with the front suspension fork, it actually feels pretty comfortable You know, all around, it’s a capable bike You got that headlight pointing wherever you’re steering, that’s nice We’ve got the safety, whole lot of extra wires up here Some of that is because of the light, but it’s also because there are motor inhibitors, built into both brake levers Remember I mentioned mechanical brake levers, a little bit more effort required to activate these, especially the rear, because it has to run so far along the frame But, it keeps them a little bit more affordable, they’re a little bit easier to adjust, aftermarket yourself You can just come down here with the toolkit, that they give you, and just loosen this, and kind of pull the cable and adjust it Again, Rad does have, in some cities, their like mobile delivery service, that could help you out And a lot of bike shops I mean, this is pretty standard equipment So a lot of it’s a little bit more, you know, it’s a little more basic That’s why it’s a lighter weight bike And they’re trying to keep that 1499 price point, which I think they’re doing a good job Especially with those lights integrated A lot of e-bikes don’t have integrated lights, or aftermarket kind of battery operated, or the ones where you have to, you know, kind of clamp it on, to the handlebars, and then take it off every time you park So, I guess what I was trying to say is, it’s nice that both of these brake levers override the motor systems, because, with the throttle, with a cadence sensor like this,

you don’t wanna feel out of control with this much power and with a heavier bike So it feels like they’re doing a great job, including all those extra accessories and stuff And you can see they’re all quick disconnects, even a threaded one here with a little rubber gasket So it’s going to be highly water resistant, which is awesome Another area that I feel like they’ve done a good job with is this chain guide And for me, especially, I’m, you know, I’m out here with pants, this morning, and I don’t want those pants to touch that chain, especially if it’s been lubed and maybe it’s got some dirt and grime on it So this is gonna protect my pant leg a little bit And it’s also gonna keep that chain from jumping off, especially if I’m bumpy terrain So, that’s a really nice upgrade metal So it’s not gonna crack, it acts as like a bash guard here If you run into a log or something, pretty high end stuff where you want it, or at least thoughtful stuff, this is, this is like extra thought that goes into these bikes I really feel like they’re, they’re paying attention to all the details There are some visual compromises You can see the controller box right here, but it is fully padded It’s a nicer controller, that provides a little bit more amperage flow, so you’re going to get a, zippier feel on this bike Check out this plush saddle, fairly comfortable It’s got a handle Cause a lot of times you’re kind of picking the bike up and moving it around, and that gives you a way to do that pretty easily I also appreciate the kickstand that they’ve chosen So it’s an adjustable length stand and they position it pretty far back on the bike, which is great if you have the rack loaded and it stays clear of that left crank arm So, I think that’s a pretty good overview I just wanna also show you guys that they have, a step through Rad mini, so if you’re someone who’s debating, you know, hey, I want the lower entry point on a bike, well, this is another option for you And these smaller tyres here, you know, these are 20 inch versus 26 They have a higher attack angle, which means they kind of run into things and fall into bumps and different terrain more than spanning it See how that has a lower attack angle So that’s one of the reasons you might wanna upgrade to the RadRover step through, but it’s nice to see this And again, it’s a little, even more approachable, a lower minimum saddle point and keeps the gear and stuff lower, but maybe there’s not as much room, for those big bags to hang down on the sides So that’s kind of what I think about And any, of course the fold ability of this is nice If you don’t have a whole lot of space or if you’re an RVR or someone who just wants to pack this up in the back of your SUV And then of course here’s the original, RadRover looking really good You’ll notice that with the black, all the wires and stuff really blend in and they’re just a lot more hidden They’re fairly internally routed, but they do protrude a little bit here at the bottom bracket Again, that’s why it’s nice to see this, chain guard, this, double-sided guide keeps the chain on track, but also just prevents those wires from taking any contact as you cruise along So, I think that’s about it I’m gonna go ahead and jump into the display system, over here So we got the battery charged and mounted, I love that the battery is interchangeable by the way, between all these cause you could get a couple of Rad bikes and then swap the batteries, or someone’s going on a big adventure, you can toss it in your backpack and go a little bit further So anyway, battery is charged and mounted, locked to the frame So, you know, we got a little four LED charged level indicator right there, it’s nice, kind of, you know, semi aerodynamic shape It slides on like this, it mounts, and then slides down And depending on which frame we’re talking about, like, if it’s the Rad minis, you might have to raise the seat and turn it or take it off So getting the battery on and off on some models is a little easier, like the RadRover On others, it takes a little bit more time Here’s the charging port on the right hand side, it’s got a little rubber cover that’s fairly easy to use Sometimes those aren’t so easy to use on other bikes, they don’t seat very well Oh yeah, you know, 48 volt, 14 amp hour, 672 watt hours, these weigh about, you know, 7.6, 7.7 pounds They do you have two fuses right there, Which is nice I don’t have an IP rating, ingress protection rating, but they say they’re highly water resistant, just like the motor and the display So they say you can ride these bikes around in rain, and in wet conditions you’re definitely not supposed to submerge them or anything, but, it’s nice that they warranty them for that one year comprehensive And that the battery pack replacements are a little more affordable because the controller unit is separate And then another unique quality about these batteries, is that, the locking mechanism has, has three different slots So right now you can slide it onto the bike, because that pin is not protruding, and then once it’s on, you can kind of push, and turn, and it’ll lock to the frame and you can remove the key And in this mode it’s, it’s off, so no one can tamper with your display, which is kind of cool, no one’s gonna be able to use the throttle or anything And then you take it to that next step, right? Still locked And now, take the key out, and the bike will work So it’s really cool for people who don’t wanna take this off their bike, or don’t want people tampering, kind of lock it, and turn the bike off I think that’s, that’s really nice And, there are a lot of other bikes that don’t do that so, good job Rad

And having a removable battery, for all their bikes is really a nice feature cause it means you could commute with the bike, and park the bike outside, bring the battery inside, where there’s a charging port Also, you want to avoid extreme heat cause these lithium ion cells, while they are higher quality, I think they’re Samsung cells The heat just degrades them and you won’t get as many full charge cycles And then we’ve got this little button pad up here We hold the mode button, comes to life pretty quickly, I believe this is a King meter display, but again, Rad branded These guys have been doing a good job for quite a while I’ve reviewed their bikes, like four or five years now, and, every year they just, they tighten things up even more So, five ticks on the battery indicator, which is roughly 20% steps Be nice if they were like 10 ticks, would be, 10% or even a percentage, but, you know, it gets the job done We got our odometer up here, current speed, and then pedal assist level, starts out in one, but we can take that down to zero, and then it would just pedal like a heavy bicycle But that throttle still works, that’s kind of nice If we press the mode button here, it cycles from the odometer to the trip distance And if we hold the up button, it cycles from current speed, to average speed, and then max speed So, there’s really a lot of different options here To get the headlights to go, you hold up, and mode simultaneously And then this display actually, it’s really nice It’s backlit and there are three steps This is a headlight, I can see that circle, really visible, on their older lights, you couldn’t see them as much from the side So I feel like that’s a big upgrade, for these new ones And then there’s that, that rear light, there’s a button underneath And if you press that button, it turns to flashing mode, which is really nice, it’s gonna keep you extra visible And then if you pull those brake levers, in addition to having motor inhibitors, there’s also like a bright mode on that rear light So, just very thoughtfully done, a metal bracket, I mean, this is what I’m talking about They spend a little bit of extra energy and really tighten things up around safety, especially, but also just functionality It’s nice to see, really nice to see that If we hold the down arrow for a second, we get walk mode (tyre spinning) There we go, and you do have to be in one of the five levels of assist for that to work If you’re in zero, it’s not gonna work So keep that in mind and, there we go You can see the branding on the motor, right there It’s pretty nice And if we hold the up and down arrow simultaneously, get into some secrets So here’s the kind of the menu system, and change some settings, wheel size 26 inches, that’s correct And then if I press the mode button, we get onto the 32 kilometers per hour, but we can actually lower that all the way down to 12 So you can lower the top speed for people who might feel uncomfortable at the higher speeds I think that’s kind of a nice feature And then the next thing is, brightness So, backlight brightness, I had it up at three, and then miles per hour, kilometers per hour And that’s kind of it, when you wanna get out, you hold the mode button for a couple seconds, there we go And this display is adjustable angle, so if you’re getting glare, you can, you can fix that It’s not removable, so I liked that it’s center mounted Cause if you’re at a bike crack, you don’t want this thing to get scratched, it is just plastic Down here, we have a full size USB type A charging port So you can plug your phone in, maybe you get a mount, they do sell that as an option as well, like a little phone mount, so you can use GPS, or maybe play some music or something like that while you’re riding It’s, it’s a pretty nice setup I wanna call out, ergonomically, see how short that stem is, and it’s actually a riser stem, so it positions the bar up higher And then we have these mid rise handlebars So you can swivel those backwards like this, and that’s gonna shorten your reach, and just having them up like this, this is a more upright ride Whereas a lot of mountain bikes, traditionally, they have this longer stem and flat bars, wide flat bars And that’s to give you a lot of steering control, which is really nice if you’re a technical rider, or you’re going really fast But for more of a neighborhood cruiser, occasional trail bike, which is what I think this is really designed for, this is perfect It’s a lot more comfortable, works well with these stitched full leather ergonomic grips, they tie into the saddle It’s just a good setup, you know, again, I’ve, I’ve reviewed this bike a bunch of times So each year I just look for what the big differences are And, I just feel like it’s so nice that they’ve got these racks that are interchangeable across all their bikes, that they’ve got all the right mounting points, that they got the integrated lights, nice fenders, nice tyres that are puncture resistant I mean, that’s all the stuff you want And again, the price really hasn’t changed for quite a while, 1499, I consider that to be pretty affordable, same price point for a lot of their other bikes By the way, here’s the charger, 1.1 pounds, super lightweight, two amps, so it might take you six hours to charge the thing if it’s completely empty This is a fairly high capacity battery, by comparison to some of the standard 500 watt hour packs, you know, 672, or I should say 7.7 pounds for that battery, 8.7 pounds for that motor So, a lot of the weight they’re trying to keep it low and center It’s still a little bit rear heavy on this bike, but it’s not too bad, the forks actually weigh a lot So that kind of, kind of balances things out I think that’s about it you guys, I’m gonna hop on this thing, and give us some ride footage Okay guys, I’m starting off in the lowest level

of assist and I’m really impressed because, it’s not overwhelming Like, especially with cadence sensors, they’re some of the older designs it really felt like (bike accelerating noise) you know, and it was like, oh go, now it eases in And it’s a lot more subtle, which is perfect, sometimes you just wanna cruise along Same thing with being able to lower that top speed, It’s nice to have a bike that feels, like it’s not out of control So I’m gonna start off pedal assist level one (motor running) And now I’m going up to two, three, four and five Oh boy! Really nice to have those big stable tyres on a gravelly section of trail like that We were, we were climbing and you know, a lot of times I’m filming with one hand, so it’s, it’s nice to have a bike that feels so stable Even the motor, it’s starting off a lot smoother (motor running) It was fairly smooth and stable in terms of the no hand test A lot of times I’m wondering on these low step frames, if they’re, you know, there’s a lot of frame flex, but I think they’ve really, it really reinforced this So it feels solid, which is no small feat given how big and heavy those tyres are, I’m taking it down to assist level three, gonna head out on that dirt trail From here, you should be able to see that suspension going up and down a little bit as we ride along the trail And I’m also gonna shake the frame, just to try to demonstrate any frame flex (bike shaking) Yeah, it’s feeling really solid (motor running) I could hear a little bit of chain mounts going on, But, I’m in one of the higher gears so, you know the chain is a little bit longer here (motor running) And I hit the, the gears here (motor running) Now that we’re in the shady section, you can really see that headlight pop I mean, it’s, it’s fairly bright, and with that focus beam in the past, it felt like kind of a be seen headlight Now it actually feels like the ring helps you be seen, but the other one, it’s fairly focused and it gives you, it gives you enough visibility to spot the trail There’s the rear light, which, you know, it’s, it’s desent It’s only one LED, but when you pull that, that brake lever, it’s nice that it goes bright Okay guys, from here, you can see that 42 tooth steel chain ring and it’s sandwiched by these aluminum alloy guides or guards So it’s gonna keep the chain from bouncing off It’s gonna protect my pants, just a really nice set up down here It’s also a kind of a bash guard, if you encounter a big log or a rock or something, that way you won’t mess your chain up I love that there’s a slap guard, it’s gonna keep that frame looking good over time White frames, you know, there’s aluminum alloy underneath this So, they don’t show chips as much, but they would show kind of the black grease and other things that could get on there So it’s still a really nice thing to have Then back here, we have Shimano Acera, that’s a great derailleur, it’s kind of a, a value price point, but it’s not the lowest end, it’s three steps up in the Shimano group set And then this awesome DNP in nickel coated freewheel, 11 to 34 tooth, that’s great So many times, these freewheels, they’re only like 14 to 28 tooth, which means, you have a harder time getting started, or climbing, and you can’t really maintain those high speeds without spinning really quickly So this is really a great part Again, the value part, but one of the best out there I’m gonna start off, in the highest level of assist, just so you can hear that motor But then I’m gonna take it down to, level two, cause it’s, it’s really subtle, it’s really amazing how quiet it is And I just love how quickly the system responds (motor running) Okay, now we’re going to level two (motor running) Yeah, to me, level two and three, they’re just perfect You end up going around 10 miles per hour, but you hardly hear the motor at all And it’s just really subtle and smooth, it ramps up, a lot more smoothly than, than some of the other systems and maybe some of the older, Rad bikes or it was, just like offer on, now, yeah, it’s just, it’s nicer I’m gonna use a throttle this time so you can hear that

and I’m gonna twist it all the way, so full power, and I love that you can override assist at any time with full power to help you climb, or catch up with a friend or just to get out of a sticky situation So here’s the throttle (motor running) Very nice So you can actually see the light on the ground now, so it’s got that like blade in it It’s not really dark enough to see how big it is, but it’s clearly, it’s a lot more focused than in the past I wanted to do a little ride test, so I’m going to hand you guys off to Eric and, go for it (yells in excitement) (laughs cheerfully) It actually climbs pretty well, like going up the, up the rocks and stuff, it’s still pretty zippy (motor running) It ramps up really smoothly Oh, wow, that was cool So one of the new things about electric bikes is that, a lot of times you can see wildlife Like we just saw that deer, cause they’re a lot quieter than gas powered vehicles (motor running) I’m really liking level three, in terms of pedal assist It’s, fairly powerful, but, not quite as fast It doesn’t feel as overwhelming Well guys, I think that’s about it, it’s been a blast here at McKinney Falls Really cool to get to see these bikes back to back, and just, take them off road, and really test that For the full written review on the RadRover step through, and all the other models, I’ll see you back at @electricbikereview.com got a cool comparison tool, so you can, see the weights and, the prices are really similar, but, just get more details on these I really go deeply, I measure these by hand, wanna help you guys as much as I can, have fun out there, ride safe, love ya See you next time (birds chirping)