I present to you 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.
I literally hate cars.
I feel bad driving because I know my carbon footprint goes through the roof every time I stomp the gas pedal. There’s 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.
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 8 ebikes 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.
Specs of RadWagon
Rad Power Bikes’ RadWagon is an e-cargo bike built on a sturdy aluminum frame. It’s built for hauling stuff up and down hills, along city streets, on cycle paths, and even on some off-road patches.
RadWagon has a mighty rear hub mounted 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 brushless Shengyi direct drive hub motor with regenerative braking, 40 Nm of torque
- Battery: 48V, 14 Ah (672 Wh) with Lithium NCA 18650 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: Weinmann Goliath, alloy, double wall, 36H
- Spokes: 12-gauge stainless steel
- Tires: Rad Power Bikes by Kenda K-Rad 26″ x 2.3″, K-Shield puncture-resistant liner
- Crankset: 42T, 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 SL-TX50-7R thumb shifter, 7-speed
- Handlebar: Custom formed aluminum
- Grips: Velo comfort rubber ergo
- Stem: Zoom, 60º angle adjustment, 100 mm length, 88 mm height adjustment
- 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: Promax, 390 mm x 27.2 mm
- Accessories & Extras: Integrated rear rack, fenders, lights, LCD control display, kickstand
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.
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 of friends around.
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 ride smoother and more comfortable as a result.
When it comes to sizing, this is a one-size-fits-all frame. Actually, it’s a 17″ frame that fits riders between 5’2″ and 6’2″ tall. You can adjust it to your needs by tampering with the handlebar and the saddle.
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 develop speeds of up to 20 mph.
The 750W brushless Shengyi direct-drive hub motor develops 40 Nm of torque and has regenerative braking. That means that the battery will charge a bit whenever you engage the brakes.
This motor is placed in the rear hub and can be operated in two modes:
- Pedal Assist
That makes it a Class 2 motor as RadWagon can be ridden both as an ebike and as an electric scooter. The pedal assist mode has 5 levels, which gives you plenty of choices.
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.
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.
Integrated Lights & Reflective Stripes
The Rad Power Bikes’ RadWagon comes with integrated front and rear lights powered from the battery. The front light is continuously on when you’re riding, whereas the rear light blinks to improve visibility.
The rear light also works as a stoplight. 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.
Wide and Comfy Tires
The RadWagon bike rides on Kenda K-Rad tires that are actually a result of a collaboration between Rad Power Bikes and Kenda. They are 26″ 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.
They are extra-durable as well since they feature a K-Shield 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.
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 Altus rear derailleur. This groupset is the lowest you can go in Shimano’s hierarchy. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a racing bike, so Altus will get the job done, no doubt about that. However, for $1,500, 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.
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 includes different types of front and rear racks, baskets, panniers, kids seats, plushy passenger seats, handrails, and a lot more.
This 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.
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, ebikes were considered to be “the old men’s bike” or “the lazy cyclists’ bike.” However, we’ve realized the value electric motors and batteries bring to the community.
Nowadays, even pro riders have an electric bike in their garage.
The RadWagon ebike 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)?
Overall, RadWagon is a cool bike.
It is authentic in many ways and offers a lot more for the money than some other similar products.
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.
I don’t want to be too critical towards Rad Power and RadWagon. They’ve made an e-cargo bike that costs just $1,500. 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 73 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 Altus 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 670 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.
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 $1,500 (the lowest on the market), you can easily check it out for yourself!