After many miles of testing the latest version of the Rad Power Bikes RadCity Step-Thru it has proven to be a fun and comfortable eBike with some kick!
The low step-thru frame makes it easy to get on and ride and the upright position with swept back handlebars gives it an easy going ride style.
The powerful 750 watt direct drive motor is very smooth and quiet which is a big highlight for the RadCity Step-Thru. Adding to that is impressive range.
A full accessory package makes the RadCity a ready to ride eCommuter and adventure bike.
In this second part of the full review you will get an idea of the ride characteristics, range test results, pros, cons, and overall thoughts on this electric bike.
Make sure you check out part 1 of this review with large pictures and specifications to get a detailed look at this e-bike.
What you can expect from the RadCity Step-Thru:
To get acquainted with the Rad Power Bikes RadCity Step-Thru, checkout this video:
Riding the RadCity Step-Thru:
Overall there are some characteristics of the Rad Power Bikes RadCity Step-Thru that really stand out when riding this eCommuter bike. To summarize they are:
- Easy get on and ride step-thru frame design
- Smooth & quiet 750 watt motor with regenerative braking
- Impressive range with the high capacity (672 Wh) Samsung cells battery
The Look & Feel of the RadCity Step-Thru
A big highlight of the RadCity Step-Thru is the easy get on and ride frame style.
Its low 17″ step-thru area makes it easy to lift your leg through the frame for getting on and off the bike without having to swing your leg over a top tube.
Rad Power Bikes states that the RadCity Step-Thru will fit riders in height from 4’10” to 6.
The bike can be dialed in to fit your size and riding preferences with adjustments in the seat height and the handlebar location with the adjustable stem.
There is also a triangle frame RadCity model in an 18.5″ frame size which fits riders in height from 5’11” – 6’5″.
The frame is constructed with 6061 aluminum tubing that has been shaped and reinforced to create the low step-thru area.
A reinforcing gusset at the headtube to downtube connection is a good example of how the frame has been designed for the low step-thru while still being strong.
The headtube area has also been designed for the attachment of a front rack that supports up to 22 pounds of cargo.
Another reinforced area is the step-thru location with the connection from the downtube to seat tube while wrapping around the battery.
This reinforcement does its job as there wasn’t any significant flex from the frame, even when cornering quickly from side to side.
Rad Power Bikes states that the RadCity can handle a total payload of 275 pounds (rider + cargo) and that does seem reasonable based on how sturdy the frame feels.
Another cargo carrying option is the rear rack that is welded directly to the aluminum frame.
The rear rack can support up to 45 pounds of cargo that can be carried via bags (panniers), a basket, a large platform, or a kids seat.
There are many cargo carrying options with the front and rear racks making the RadCity a versatile eCommuter and eTouring bike.
A new feature for the Gen 3 RadCity is the wheel lock attachment.
The ABUS wheel lock is an optional accessory that slides a bar through the rear wheel to prevent it from moving.
It’s a good lock for quick stops like errands for a few items in the store.
For longer periods away from the bike you will probably want a tougher lock for attaching to a bike parking structure.
Another frame detail is internal cable routing through the large downtube.
This provides for some cable protection and a cleaner overall look.
Now let’s take a closer look at the ride position of the RadCity Step-Thru.
With its easy get on and ride design, the ride position is also comfortable and easy going.
The handlebars are swept back similar to a beach cruiser to create a comfortable wrist position which also reduces the overall reach required.
In addition the ergonomic grips have “wings” on the ends to provide a comfortable, stable, and supportive feel.
The handlebar position can be dialed in to your preferred reach and height with the adjustable stem.
Adjusting the stem angle can go from a comfortable very upright and short reach position to a lower and longer reach position that is more of a performance style. And then there are all of the positions in between.
In addition, the stem location on the steer tube can be changed by moving it relative to the spacers on the steer tube.
A Suntour suspension fork with 80mm (3.15″) of travel does a good job of smoothing out the road.
It has an active feel that takes the edge off of bumps and cracks in the road.
The fork can be adjusted to fit your weight and riding style by adjusting the preload dial on the upper left side.
Additionally there is a lockout dial on the upper right side of the fork for a more efficient ride on smoother roads.
The Velo Plush saddle has a mid-width profile with a center section relief for an all around comfortable ride.
There is a handle on the back of the saddle for maneuvering the bike or when lifting it up.
The RadCity is comfortable for a lot of riding conditions but if you ride on rougher roads a suspension seatpost is an economical way to add rear suspension.
Where the rubber meets the road are the 26″ x 2.3″ Kenda K-Rad tires that are nice on and off-road capable tires.
They have an efficient tread pattern for turning over the miles on the road and they can also handle moderate dirt roads when you want to do a little exploring.
The 2.3″ wide tires have a good amount of air volume for a comfortable ride when they are run in the lower pressure range.
They do a good job of absorbing average bumps and cracks in the road.
Now let’s take a closer look at the drive system.
Another big highlight of the RadCity Step-Thru is the smooth, quiet, and powerful 750 watt Shengyi direct drive rear hub motor.
With no internal gears direct drive motors are generally much quieter motors when compared to a geared hub motor.
In addition, this Shengyi motor also has a very smooth feeling in the way that it adds assist.
The smooth assist of power fits the easy going ride characteristics of the RadCity Step-Thru well.
With it being so smooth and quiet, it is surprising how quickly you can get up to speed in the higher assist levels and/or throttle.
The RadCity climbs moderate to steeper hills while maintaining speed pretty well.
The RadCity Step-Thru is a Class 2 electric bike which is pedal assist and/or throttle up to 20 mph with assist and 750 watts max.
As the bike gets to the max assist speed of 20 mph there is a feeling that going much above this is going to take some serious pedal power.
This is because most direct drive motors have some drag from their internal magnets when there is no assist and you can feel this once the assist stops at 20 mph.
Regenerative braking is another characteristic that is included in the Shengyi direct drive motor.
When either brake lever is engaged, the motor turns into a generator to recapture some of the bikes momentum to put some charge back into the battery.
Now let’s take a look at the pedal assist and throttle.
There are 5 levels of pedal assist that are activated by a cadence sensor system that provides assist when the cranks are turning.
The pedal assist levels are adjusted with the up and down arrows on the handlebar control pad.
Levels 1, 2 ,and 3 are a pretty easy going ride style and they are nice for casual rides around the neighborhood or when riding in crowded areas.
At these levels the pedal assist blends in well when you start and stop pedaling.
Levels 4 and 5 are noticeably more powerful and they quickly get you up to speed. They offer a very sporty ride feel with a lot of acceleration and speed but that also comes with draining the battery quicker. In these levels of assist there is more of noticeable addition/reduction of the power as you start and stop pedaling.
In addition to the pedal assist there is the twist grip throttle that can be used to give you a boost of power in the lower assist levels.
For instance this is nice for quickly getting through a busy intersection.
The throttle can be used without pedaling but this will drain the battery the quickest!
The throttle has a lot of adjustability from just a little power up to full power and it operates much like the volume dial on a radio.
Another big highlight of the drive system is the high capacity 48V 14Ah (672Wh) lithium battery pack that uses Samsung 35E cells. The battery pack is rated for 800 charge cycles.
The battery location in the center of the bike helps to balance the weight of the bike, although the RadCity Step-Thru is somewhat back heavy with the direct drive rear hub motor and rear rack.
The battery weighs 8 pounds and it can be charged to 100% in 5 to 6 hours. It can be charged on or off the bike.
Now let’s take a look at the display on the RadCity.
The large LCD display is located in the center of the handlebar and provides information on:
- Battery level
- Odometer & trip distance
- Current speed, average speed, max speed
- Pedal assist level. There are 5 levels of pedal assist. The RadCity uses a cadence sensor for the pedal assist system.
- Watts (power) that the motor is providing
There is a backlight on the display that is turned on when the lights are activated. It is easy to see the display in low light to dark conditions.
An interesting stat on the display is the watts that the motor is providing. You can see the power differences in the various pedal assist levels in addition to seeing how your pedal power affects it.
Slowing the RadCity Step-Thru down is handled by regenerative braking and the Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes.
You can feel regenerative braking engage as soon as either brake lever is slightly pulled and this can be a way to scrub off a little speed on a long descent.
On the display you can also see the watts being generated by the regen braking.
For full stopping power the Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes provide the majority of the work.
They use 180mm rotors on the front and back of the bike.
The Aries disc brakes provide a lot of stopping power that adjusts well from just a little power to full stop.
Each brake lever has a rubber grip surface that helps when riding in wet or dry conditions and adds a comfortable feel.
It would be nice to have the ability to adjust the brake lever reach for riders with smaller hands.
The RadCity Step-Thru comes with a well rounded accessory set that is good for the daily commute and a weekend fun ride.
The integrated rear rack is built well to carry cargo and kids with the optional bags, baskets, and kid seat accessories.
Adding the optional front rack and basket offers additional cargo capacity.
Full coverage plastic fenders with mud flaps are great for riding rain or shine.
The new Rad Power Bikes headlight projects a nice beam of light for seeing the road as well as being seen.
It is nice that both the front and rear light run off of the eBike battery so that you don’t have to worry about charging separate batteries for the lights.
The new rear light has solid or flashing modes and a brake light feature that lights up when either brake lever is engaged, similar to car brake lights.
Finally there is the bell built into the front brake lever and the kickstand that is bolted to the frame. Its length is adjustable so that you can adjust the tilt of the bike when it is parked.
Okay, let’s see how the RadCity Step-Thru did out on the open road!
RadCity Step-Thru Range Test Results:
Here is the real world information on how the RadCity Step-Thru electric bike performed on a riding circuit that includes hills, flats, traffic, wind (when available) etc.
While testing these bikes I like to put them through the toughest conditions to see where their bottom line is in regards to range and speed. I tested the RadCity Step-Thru in the highest pedal assist level (Level 5) with average pedaling on paved roads.
Range: As you can see from the GPS info that I recorded, the RadCity traveled 33.8 miles and did a total elevation gain of around 2,800 ft. Considering that I weigh 190 lbs and I pedaled at an average pace this is very good range for an eCommuter bike with a 48 Volt 14 ah battery pack (672 Watt Hours) with a 750 watt motor assisting up to 20 mph.
Watt hours are the total energy in a battery pack and it is based on the volts x amp hours of a pack. This is a way to compare the size of the “gas tank” of electric bikes.
Please keep in mind that if you pedal more, weigh less than me, ride slower and/or you use the bike in terrain that is not as hilly you will get more range. These results are from tough testing.
Speed: The RadCity Step-Thru will assist up to 20 mph with pedal assist and/or throttle.
Weight: The RadCity Step-Thru tips the scales at 66 lbs which is on the heavier side for an electric bike. Removing the 8 pound battery brings it down to around 58 pounds.
The weight distribution of the RadCity Step-Thru is somewhat back heavy because of the rear hub motor and rear rack structure while the battery is low and centered on the bike.
Easy Going Ride: The RadCity Step-Thru is easy to get on and ride and its upright position is very comfortable. It’s relaxed and easy going style makes it fun to ride and explore.
Smooth, Quiet & Powerful: The smooth and quiet direct drive motor is a real highlight of the RadCity. It is so smooth and quiet that at the higher assist levels you will be surprised how quickly you are up to speed! It’s also nice to have the regenerative braking to recapture some energy on longer descents.
Impressive Range: At nearly 34 miles in the tough range test (highest assist level) with elevation gain of 2,800+ ft of total climbing the RadCity can go the distance. You can expect to get even more range with more moderate riding conditions.
Price: Rad Power Bikes consistently offers you ‘bang for your buck’ value.
Heavier: At 66 pounds the RadCity Step-Thru is on the heavier side of electric bikes. Removing the battery helps a little for lifting the bike up but it still is 58 pounds.
Motor Drag: As the bike gets to the max assist speed of 20 mph there is a feeling that going much above this is going to take some serious pedal power. This is because most direct drive motors have some drag from their internal magnets when there is no assist and you can feel this once the assist stops at 20 mph.
Brake Lever Reach: It would be nice to have the ability to adjust the brake lever reach for riders with smaller hands.
Overall the Rad Power Bikes RadCity is a fun and easy going step-thru eBike that is well equipped for the daily commute and weekend rides.
It’s smooth and quiet yet powerful 750 watt motor adds to the fun while the high capacity 48V 14ah battery gives the RadCity Step-Thru a lot of range.
The bike feels very durable with its sturdy frame and quality component selection from Shimano, Tektro, Kenda, etc.
The stock accessory package is a good set up for being a ready to go eCommuter and adventure bike. Adding baskets and/or bags can make the RadCity a very capable cargo hauling eBike.
Like all Rad Power Bikes the RadCity Step-Thru offers impressive value at $1,499 with free shipping and monthly payment options.
Please keep in mind that this is a relatively short term test. This testing can’t really give you the long term review of durability and reliability. My thoughts on the quality of this bike are from previous experiences with similar bikes. If you own this bike and have some input on the long term durability, please share your comments with the Electric Bike Report community below.
Where to buy a Rad Power Bikes RadCity Step-Thru? Check with the Rad Power Bikes website.
Do you have any questions about the RadCity Step-Thru? Do you own a RadCity Step-Thru? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Review Note: Each company pays a fee for a review on Electric Bike Report because of the considerable amount of time that it takes to provide an in-depth review of each eBike. A lot of time is spent on the full range test with distance & elevation profile, the wide variety of detailed pictures, in-depth video, and the write up with the specifications, ride characteristics, pros, cons, and overall thoughts. The reviews on Electric Bike Report are focused on providing you with a detailed “virtual” look at each eBike to help you determine if it is the eBike for you.
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