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Are Rad Power Bikes Any Good? [E-Bikes Analysed]

Electric bicycles, or e-bikes, are proving to be an increasingly popular segment of the bicycle market. Their design and flexibility are extremely useful, attracting new users to the roads. Rad Power Bikes have found a niche in the market by not following the traditional conversion of standard design. 

It’s important that bicycles are flexible and not just designed for racing, or purely for leisure activities. When weight saving is of lower importance, ideas for elements of fun and exploration develop, like with the Fat Bike which we review here. Rad Power Bikes designs are complimented by a range of add-ons such as storage and battery boosters to personalise your ride. 

As this report shows, electric bicycle sales are supporting the overall total bicycle sales in the European Union, as more people turn to them as an essential mode of transport. 

Where Are Rad Power Bikes Made?

Rad Power Bikes are built in China. This is not unique in the bicycle manufacturing industry. Trek and Giant are also among the companies who build there. What Rad Power Bikes has in common with some of these titans is that the design originates from a base in North America.

Are Rad Power Bikes Available in the UK?

Rad Power Bikes can be purchased in the UK. Their business model is direct-to-consumer. No middleman has pros and cons – the pros are that this keeps the price down, the cons that a lack of presence can mean the inability to strike up a working relationship with a dealership. This might mean self-reliance when it comes to maintenance, repairs, and spares unless you can find a dealer who will work on them.

Are Rad Power Bikes Legal in the UK?

In accordance with UK government regulations, Rad Power Bikes has the power output on the LED screen. The battery’s voltage looks like it is shown on the hub. The electric motor has a maximum power output of 250 watts. The bicycle will not receive any motor assistance once the bicycle speed exceeds 25 kilometres per hour. You can read about the legalities of owning an electrically assisted pedal cycle here.

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Are Rad Power Bikes Any Good?

Bicycle ownership in the 21st century is extremely subjective and that’s a good thing. The more wide-ranging ownership becomes, the more choices and price points there are. E-bike sales are growing so quickly that companies like Rad Power Bikes are competing for your time and money.

It’s clear that thought has gone into creating a wide range. Design features like LED lighting, mudguards and fenders, options for child seats and an LCD display are impressive and well planned. Innovations like a Torque Sensor shows the company are keeping up with R&D. They’ve been given plenty of awards by recognised cycling websites.

IMAGE CREDIT: Radpowerbikes.eu

Can You Ride Rad Power Bikes in the Rain?

Along with most e-bikes, the Rad Power Bike can be ridden in the rain. The majority of the bicycles come fitted with mudguards and fenders as standard, or have eyelets on the frame for addition. Wet-weather accessories are also available. You can buy handlebar mitts, and rain-protection for passengers.

Front and back lights are included. Rad Power Bikes have plenty of self-help videos and blogs which also confirms how their components are designed to shed water safely. There are common sense requirements like not submerging electronic components in water too. Of course, you can always remove the battery pack should this be a concern, and still ride.

Do Rad Power Bikes Charge When You Pedal?

Rad Power Bikes charge by removal of the unit from a locked position on the bicycle, and attaching said unit to a charger which then slots into your usual power outlet. The charger confirms when the charge is full. Have a look here at our take on the notion of self-charging bicycles.

Why Are Rad Power Bikes So Heavy?

Rad Power Bikes are not made with weight-sacrificing components for racing cyclists. Their frames are aluminium so some saving is made here, versus steel. They are primarily for urban explorers, commuters and for transportation. Standard features like the mudguards, fenders and racks all contribute.

The RadMission 1 is described as the lightest bicycle at 21.5 kilograms. The heaviest is the RadWagon 4 at 34.8 kilograms but this is their cargo bicycle.

IMAGE CREDIT: Radpowerbikes.eu

Do Rad Power Bikes Have a Throttle?

Some of the Rad Power Bikes models come with a twist throttle which provides power up to a certain speed before pedalling is required (most say six kilometres per hour). Assisted power is cut off once the throttle is closed or the brakes are applied.

Are Rad Power Bikes Reliable?

Aluminium frames, some Shimano components, and exposure to hundreds of tests and reviews will provide comfort to those who are seeking reliability from their rides. Quality control and build strength do not seem to be a concern and novel ideas like puncture-resistant tyres provide assurance.

Are Rad Power Bikes Expensive?

Many e-bikes are being pitched as a serious alternative to other forms of motorised transportation and here we look at the overall value of e-bikes. With no middle-man, Rad Power Bikes should keep certain costs down, and consideration in the UK must be given to the cost of importation.

It’s important to understand that e-bikes require additional components to traditional bicycles, and that electric and electronic components are in short supply (according to experts, as noted here).

Are Rad Power Bikes Worth the Money?

There is no one formula for determining the relative expense of one mode of transport versus the other. If you live in a hilly area with poor public infrastructure, you will have more need for a Rad Power Bike than someone who lives in a flat area, or one where public transport is free.

Your consideration may take in longer-term views on the price of fuel, or environmentally conscious health decisions or fitness. Having alternative modes of transportation in cities and countries that are choking on fumes, and challenging lifestyles represents progress, and is worth the investment.

Best Rad Power Bikes [Top 3] 

RadCity 5 Plus

We’ve talked a lot about the Dutch style of riding here at Discerning Cyclist and the look and flexibility of this machine strikes a similar chord to the utilitarian freedoms found in bicycles used in the Netherlands. Urban travelling needs machines like this to support the swelling populations.

This bicycle is very well adapted to all of your on-road needs, with a Torque Sensor to provide an unconscious feeling when using the motor. The geared motor will sense when you need more power.

The battery is semi-integrated and pops in and out because you may not always need it, and when you do the LED feature is large and ergonomic.

Rear racks, fenders and a kick-stand top off this very good-looking and stylish machine. A step-through version is available.



RadRunner Plus

This bicycle just looks like it will be a lot of fun to own and ride. There are nods to the retros design of wheels you had as a kid, the step-through functionality and small tyres should make for easy manoeuvrability and acceleration, and it comes packed with standard features.

There’s plenty of charge range and a big payload capacity. This bicycle could easily manage a couple of large bags of groceries on its built-in rack.

A seven-speed drivetrain, wide tyres, suspension-dampened forks and full mudguards and fenders will make any journey smooth and hassle-free. 

This machine has the widest range of rider size compatibility. It’s a real head-turner in its natural home in the urban jungle, where it should be able to withstand kerbs and potholes.



RadRhino 5

Continuing with our theme that e-bikes are niche and help provide alternative methods of transportation, let’s take a look at this shire horse of a bicycle. It looks commanding and again, could prove to be a lot of fun.

It’s heavy at 32.5 kilograms so let’s ditch the Strava KOM and focus on where this bicycle could take us instead. With tyres at four inches wide our eyes are opened. Front suspension with 80 millimetres of travel will make light of gravel trails and small tree roots.

A seven-speed drivetrain allows for unassisted pedalling, but you can fall back on the standard 250 watt geared hub as and when you need it.

This is a daring, head-turning machine, which has an expected range of up to 72 kilometres on puncture-resistant tyres.



Useful Links

Kevin Glenton


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Kevin Glenton

Kevin is a NCTJ qualified sports journalist. He cycles on towpaths, defunct railway lines, national cycle routes and minor roads in order to explore. His home is Manchester, shoehorned in by the Peak District and Pennines. A love for their steep roads remains unrequited. You can read more from Kevin here

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IMPORTANT NOTE: Coffee funds may be converted into beers funds on Fridays.