The Rad Power Bikes RadWagon e-cargo bike that has the potential to replace your car without reducing you to a pile of misery, lactic acid, and sweat. It’s the best and most capable e-cargo bike out there.
I literally hate cars.
I feel bad about driving because I know my carbon footprint goes through the roof every time I stomp the gas pedal. There’s also the issue with finding a parking spot and servicing the old gas-guzzler.
However, I still own one and drive it on the regular because there isn’t a more logical and practical solution for running everyday errands. At least that’s what I thought until I learned about Rad Power’s RadWagon.
Let’s find out why this $1,500 electric cargo bicycle stands out from the bunch and why it’s the best deal out there!
About Rad Power Bikes
But first, let’s say a thing or two about Rad Power Bikes, the company that builds the RadWagon, as many are perhaps not familiar with it. This is a Seattle-based bike manufacturer that specializes in making ebikes of all shapes and kinds.
The company was founded in 2015 by Mike Radenbaugh and Ty Collins and has been improving their lineup ever since. At the moment, they have 10 e-bikes on offer, including cargo, folding, hybrid, fat, and MTB models.
This company is unique because it has a direct-to-consumer approach to the market, which allows it to sell its bikes at a much lower price than the competition.
It also has some interesting and practical technical and technological solutions, as you will see from our RadWagon review below.
RadWagon 4 Main Specs
RadWagon has a mighty rear hub motor and a massive battery placed on the downtube. At 73 lbs (33.11 kg) it’s definitely not the lightest out there. However, a few extra pounds do not make much of a difference when you’ve already packed it to the brim.
Here’s a full list of specs it comes with:
- Motor: 750W geared hub motor with regenerative braking, 80 Nm of torque
- Battery: 48V, 14 Ah (672 Wh) with Lithium NMC Samsung 35E cells, rated for 800 charge cycles
- Frame: 6061 aluminum
- Fork: Rigid steel
- Headset: Semi-integrated, 1-1/8″ straight steerer tube
- Rims/Wheels: Shinning DB-X50, alloy, double wall, 36H
- Spokes: 12-gauge stainless steel
- Tires: Rad Power Bikes custom 22″ x 2.3″
- Crankset: 46T, 170 mm ProWheel Pioneer forged alloy, dual-sided aluminum bashguard
- Chain: KMC Z7
- Rear Derailleur: 7-Speed Shimano Altus
- Cassette: DNP 7-speed freewheel, 11-34T
- Shifters: Shimano thumb shifter, 7-speed
- Handlebar: Custom formed aluminum
- Grips: Velo comfort rubber ergo
- Stem: Satori EZ3 AHS, toolless adjustable
- Brakes: Tektro Aries (MD-M300)
- Brake Levers: Aluminum alloy comfort grip levers with motor cutoff switch and integrated bell
- Pedals: Wellgo B087 CrMo axle
- Saddle: Velo Plush with lifting handle
- Seat Post: Satori telescoping seat post
- Accessories & Extras: Integrated rear rack, fenders, lights, LCD control display, kickstand
Rad Power Bikes’ RadWagon is an e-cargo bike built on a sturdy aluminum frame and intended for hauling stuff up and down hills, along city streets, on cycle paths, and even on some off-road patches.
RadWagon Main Features
As I have mentioned above, Rad Power Bikes RadWagon is an e-cargo bicycle that comes with numerous clever technological and practical solutions. When it was first introduced, it sold for $1,800. The company managed to lower its price in the meantime by making it simpler and more efficient. It now costs just $1,700 and offers amazing value for your money.
Here are all of the most important features you should know about before buying it.
The Sturdy Build
First and foremost, let’s begin this RadWagon review with the first thing everyone notices — the sturdy and awe-inspiring oversized aluminum frame.
It has a step-through design and an integrated rear rack that can be fitted with numerous accessories. The rack also includes bag holders that double up as footrests when you’re riding your kids or friends around.
The new RadWagon 4 is now available in three colors: white, orange, and black. Personally, we love the orange version the best, but the other two are quite attractive as well.
Due to its oversized build, the entire bike weighs 76.7 lbs, which sounds heavy, but remember that this is a cargo bike after all. It has a total payload capacity of 350 lbs, whereas the integrated rear rack has a 120 lbs carrying capacity. That’s enough for the rider, two kids or one adult passenger, and some cargo. Or only the rider and loads of cargo, it’s up to you.
The fork is made from steel which is necessary to make the construction stronger. Steel also has some vibration dampening properties, so it will make your rides smoother and more comfortable as a result. The fork does not have any mounting points, but you can attach a specially designed front rack to the headtube and improve RadWagon’s carrying ability.
When it comes to sizing, this is a one-size-fits-all frame. Actually, it’s a 13.5″ frame that fits riders between 5’1″ and 6’4″ tall. You can adjust it to your needs by changing the position of the handlebar and the saddle.
Additionally, RadWagon 4 can be ridden comfortably by riders with a 28-34.5″ inseam. Riders with 25.5-27″ inseams can ride it as well, but they might struggle a bit to find the right position on the bike.
Related: Full Rad Power Bikes Review
Powerful Motor & Long Battery Life
The absolute highlights on the RadWagon bike are the motor and the battery. They’re extra strong and durable, which is to be expected on a bike that’s designed to haul 350 lbs (160 kg) and maintain pedal-assisted speeds of up to 20 mph.
The 750W geared hub motor develops 80 Nm of torque and has regenerative braking. That means that the battery will charge a bit whenever you engage the brakes. The old model came with a 40 Nm direct-drive motor, so this drive unit is a big improvement. You will feel the increase in power when you come in front of a hill or start from a dead-stop while fully loaded.
This motor is placed in the rear hub and can be operated in two modes:
- Pedal Assist
That makes RadWagon 4 a Class 2 motor as it can be ridden both as an e-bike and as an electric scooter. The pedal assist mode has 5 levels, which gives you plenty of choices.
RadWagon is one of the rare e-cargo bikes that can be ridden in both pedal-assist and throttle modes, which makes it especially interesting and desirable.
The throttle is located on the right side of the handlebar and can be turned on or off with a simple switch located next to it. Therefore, you can eliminate the risk that you will engage it by accident.
All RadWagon’s electronics are fully sealed and waterproof, so you can feel free to ride it while it’s raining without worrying about any components.
The battery is Samsung’s 48V, 14 Ah (672 Wh), rated for 800 charge cycles. That’s a lot in terms of durability and longevity. This capacity translates to a range of 25 to 45+ miles, depending on how much assistance you require. More than enough for a few days of riding.
RadWagon’s battery comes with a lock and a key, so you can easily remove it or lock it and leave it on the bike.
The lock has three positions: Locked ON, Locked OFF, and Unlocked. If you’re making a quick stop to the store, you can just put the battery in the Locked OFF position so that no one could turn the motor on by accident or on purpose.
Integrated Lights & Reflective Stripes
The Rad Power Bikes’ RadWagon comes with integrated front and rear lights powered by the battery. The front light is continuously on when you’re riding, whereas the rear light can operate in a blinking or continuous mode to improve visibility.
The rear light also works as a brake light. Whenever you press the brake levers, the rear light will turn on to let car drivers and other riders behind you that you will slow down.
In addition to these, there are also reflective stripes on the walls of the tires, so you will be easily seen from all sides at night.
The front light is also visible from the sides, thanks to a special design, so it serves multiple purposes at night.
Wide and Comfy Tires
The RadWagon bike rides on custom tires that are actually a result of a collaboration between Rad Power Bikes and VEE Tire Co. They are 22″ in diameter and 2.3″ wide, which is as wide as on many mountain bikes. However, these tires are not too knobby, which makes them ideal for paved surfaces.
RadWagon’s wide and puncture-resistant tires allow you to carry more weight than ever before, farther than you thought it was possible on a bike.
They are extra-durable as well since they feature a puncture-resistant liner. It will prevent the tire from getting a flat, so you don’t really need to carry a patch kit with you everywhere you go.
The previous RadWagon model came with 26″ wheels, but Rad Power opted for the 22″ diameter on this model. It lowers the bike’s center of gravity making it more stable and also makes it easier to load and unload the bike with heavy stuff.
Decent Shimano Components
In terms of components, RadWagon does not offer anything too flashy. This is actually one of the aspects where I think Rad Power could have done a bit better.
The bike comes with a 1×7 drivetrain with a Shimano Acera rear derailleur, which is an entry-level groupset. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a racing bike, so Altus will get the job done, no doubt about that. However, for $1,600, I feel this bike should come with at least Shimano Alivio.
Mechanical Disc Brakes
The Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes clench 180 mm rotors both on the front and on the back and are quite good at it. When fully loaded, the bike will not stop on a dime, but rather on a quarter. Still, there’s sufficient stopping power and precision when you adjust them properly.
As the cherry on the top of our RadWagon review, let’s talk about the accessories this bike comes with and the ones you can add later on.
Stock accessories include front and rear fenders and a double-legged kickstand. It will keep the bike centered when you park it even when it is fully loaded.
There’s also a wide and clear LCD display mounted on the handlebar which will show you all the important stats such as speed, distance, battery level, time, level of assist, and so on.
RadWagon also comes with a wheel skirt on the rear wheel, which will protect the passengers from the moving wheel. It will also prevent any loose cargo from hitting the spokes and damaging them.
This bike also features a telescoping seat post with a 375mm maximum length, as well as an adjustable stem with an 80-degree angle. The package also includes a wooden deck on the integrated rear rack which can be equipped further with more accessories.
If you want to boost the practicality of your RadWagon, you can fit it with a plethora of additional accessories that you can buy on the official website.
This bike can be fitted with different types of front and rear racks, baskets, panniers, kids seats, plushy passenger seats, handrails, and a lot more.
That allows you to customize the bike to fit your specific needs, which is something I really like. I’m sure future owners will appreciate it as well.
With all the available accessories, you can specialize your RadWagon 4 to perform different tasks. You can make it as comfortable and as practical for riding your kids to school. You can optimize it for running errands around the city and carrying incredible amounts of cargo. Or, you can equip it to go on long family rides and picnics while carrying one or two children and all the necessary food, toys, and equipment.
Electric Bikes — What’s the Big Deal?
I feel that it would be an understatement to say that electric bikes are skyrocketing in popularity worldwide at the moment. They went from being an expensive trend to becoming a standard in the cycling industry. The sky is the limit when it comes to their uses, which we can see from the RadWagon electric cargo bike.
At first, e-bikes were considered to be “the old men’s bike” or “the lazy cyclists’ bike.” However, we’ve realized the value that electric motors and batteries bring to the community.
Nowadays, even many pro riders have an electric bike in their garage.
The RadWagon e-bike is an example of the types of bikes that popularized and revolutionized the electric bicycle market. Who can argue that an e-cargo bike is a bad idea and that a motor is unnecessary on a bicycle like that?
Ebikes have also come a long way in terms of performance, technology, durability, and the quality of the build. Therefore, if you still hold any prejudices towards them, I think it’s time to make a change.
Related: Best Electric Bikes
Why Is This Bike Cool (and Not So Cool)?
First of all, the Rad Power company has a direct-to-consumer business model which means they eliminate all retailers and middlemen that increase the price without a good reason. That’s why this bike offers incredible money to value ratio.
Looks, simplicity, and practicality certainly add to the positive impression. Depending on the owner of the bike, every RadWagon can be a unique bicycle. It has a variety of uses, which can be emphasized with different accessories that you fit on it.
Overall, RadWagon is a cool bike that is authentic in many ways and offers a lot more for the money than some other similar products.
I don’t want to be too critical towards Rad Power and RadWagon. They’ve made an e-cargo bike that costs just $1,600. You can buy 3 or 4 RadWagon’s for the average price of an e-cargo bicycle on the market.
However, there are still a few hiccups that need to be mentioned. The 76.7 lbs weight is a bit steep. Though you will not feel it when you’re riding, you will definitely feel it if you carry the bike. Older people or women might struggle with this part.
The Shimano Acera rear derailleur is also an eyesore. Personally, I don’t think it will give anyone too much trouble in terms of shifting performance. But, if it does bother you, you can easily upgrade it for less than $100.
What Makes RadWagon So Popular?
RadWagon is a unique e-cargo bicycle in many regards. It has features that you cannot find on bikes made by its competition, which is why this is the most popular choice in this price range.
Some of the main contributors to its popularity include:
- A powerful 750W motor with 80 Nm of torque.
- A long-lasting battery with a capacity of 672 Wh.
- A highly-customizable design.
- Throttle-operated and pedal-assist electric motor modes.
- Front and rear lights. With the function of brake lights.
- Large and informative LCD display.
- A dual-leg kickstand.
- A 350 lbs max load capacity.
- Wide tires that make it the ultimate urban workhorse.
When you put all of these features together, you get a bicycle that is guaranteed to become popular. Simply, it’s hard to get all of these amenities elsewhere without breaking the bank.
Our Rad Power Model Reviews
Should You Get a RadWagon?
So the ultimate question is whether or not you should get a RadWagon. But I think a better-suited question would be, “Why you should get a RadWagon?”
You should get it because you won’t lose much in terms of practicality compared to owning a car. Unless you plan to haul an entire couch, this bike will have no problems dragging a bunch of your belongings along, all day long.
The RadWagon is ridiculously fun as well. What’s more important, it’s fun for the entire family. Two adults, or an adult and two kids can easily fit on it and go for a ride.
For $1,600 (the lowest on the market), you can easily check it out for yourself!