06 Apr Rad Power RadWagon Review
The RadWagon developed by the Seattle-based Rad Bikes is an electric cargo bike (cargo e-bike) all set to replace your car. Below is our comprehensive review of the RadWagon, one of the best cargo e-bikes available in the market, starting with the key specs. Continue reading for our Rad Power RadWagon review!
|Max Speed||20 mph|
|Motor||750 W Brushless Shengyi Direct Drive Hub Motor With 40Nm Of Torque|
|Battery||48V, 14 Ah (672 Wh) With Lithium NMC Samsung 35E Cells|
|Frame||6061 Aluminum alloy|
|Tire Size||26 inches|
|Brakes||Tektro Aries, 180mm Rotors|
As a start, the 6061-aluminum frame which assembles The RadWagon is combined with a low-slung top tube at the front half. This is designed in order to make it simple to get on and off the e-bike and is especially handy when you’re trying to load more to an already loaded e-bike. The chainstays at the rear half are almost 25 cm more than the chainstays on traditional cargo e-bikes with a length of 673mm, in order to give room for the posterior cargo rack.
The RadWagon has a forward-leaning position as the handlebars are located high and out in front.
As it is available in only one frame design, it is a good thing that you can adjust the stem for various rider sizes easily. The bulky Velo Plush saddle provides both comfort and functionality.
With the RadWagon you can choose from various racks and running boards to adapt on the frame, although by default it comes with a wooden board of regular width. A couple of running boards are also located towards the rear. The manufacturer states that the carrying capacity of the rear rack is up to 120lbs as each of the running boards can hold up to 40lbs. Adding the 100lbs carrying capacity of the kickstand located behind the bottom bracket, you have the idea that the RadWagon won’t disappoint you even at times you have a LOT to carry.
One downside until now is that you should keep an eye on your e-bike to not get entangled as the cables are routed externally. But so far so good!
Tires and Rims
The 26” alloy wheels the RadWagon rolls on adapts the double-wall design that provides extra sturdiness, ideal to achieve stability on all kinds of terrains with all the load carried. The 36 spoked wheels are combined with the 26” x 2.3” Kenda K-Rad tires, which were custom-developed for the RadWagon. In order to serve great traction, the grid-like tread is applied to the tires, which also have a puncture-resistant liner. The liner is useful in passing surfaces with broken glass or thorns without any damage. The tires also adapt reflective strips to enhance visibility and therefore safety.
The RadWagon adapts a Shenyi direct-drive hub motor with 750W of power to propel you to a top speed of 20mph. The 40Nm of torque the motor generates is also useful in sloppy uphill climbs.
The LCD display located at the center of the handlebar keeps you updated about your ride with information including distance, speed and power. It is also backlit everytime the front and rear lights are on -whilst the front light is always on, you can switch the rear one on and off.
You can also choose from five different pedal-assist modes. The control buttons located in the near of the left-hand grip, including the on/off button, allow you to control the allover electric system of the e-bike. You can also secure the system by making use of a key on the battery, which turns off at the moment it is locked.
The throttles of the RadWagon are twist-grip ones, located on the right side of the handlebar.
The RadWagon uses a twist-grip throttle located on the right-hand side of the handlebar. Twisting the throttle supports the rear wheel at the level you determine by selecting the assist mode by the controller. There is also one more control button to turn the throttle on and off, just next to the throttle.
The minus here is that the hub motor of the RadWagon lacks in quickly reacting, compared to a Bosch or Shimano unit. This translates into a perceivable delay in power delivery, which will require you to start pedaling yourself to get your e-bike moving.
The Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes with 180mm rotors adapted by the RadWagon at the front and back do a good job. However, experienced riders would know that mechanical disc brakes are not that good in terms of smoothness, when compared to a hydraulic disc set.
The thing you should know here is the motor power will immediately shut down at the moment you pull the brake. Be sure that you don’t twist the throttle and pull the brake lever at the same time.
The RadWagon is equipped with a 672Wh battery using Samsung E35 cells, the most reliable lithium-ion batteries. Keeping the battery’s weight as low as 7.7lbs, they also provide more than enough energy. Plus, you’ll be able to go as far as 45 miles per charge.
Now, the problem with almost all e-bikes with powerful batteries with long ranges applies to the RadWagon. The battery requires 6 hours to fully recharge. In this case you can invest in a fast charger or carry a spare one with you. This is a cargo e-bike, right?
The frame of the RadWagon is capable of adapting a variety of accessories with its tubes and struts.
This e-bike considers safety. The bright front and rear lights and reflective strips on the sides of the tires are adapted in order to enhance the rider’s visibility.
The LCD display is both clear-to-use and accessible. Now we know that the color orange doesn’t flatter everyone, but the strength of the frame results in high stability even when carrying a lot of load. And the double kickstand will prevent your e-bike falling to the sides when parked as the fenders adapted on both the front and back protects you from the mud and dirt.
As we mentioned, the external cable routing is something you should watch as it can entangle with the hanging wires. It can be stressful at times when you carry a high amount of cargo.
Advantages: Rad Power RadWagon Review
- The ride at its most stable
- Sturdy frame
- Puncture-resistant tires
- Easy-to-use and accessible display
- Front and rear lights
Disadvantages: Rad Power RadWagon Review
- External cable routing
- Mechanical disc brakes
- Weighing 73lbs
The most distinguishing factor about the RadWagon is its amazing carrying capacity, which is very above average. Being a powerful and affordable cargo e-bike, the RadWagon outperforms with its battery and various functional features.
If you’re looking for a cargo e-bike, you should definitely consider the RadWagon.