Last Updated: Dec 30, 2020
Review and photos: Pierce Kettering
Tested By: Pierce Kettering, Kristen Nelson, Griffin Hales, Justin Taylor
Summary Review: RadMission 1
The RadMission 1 is a smooth-riding, great-priced commuter-oriented ebike equipped with 500 watts of power and is ideal for those who want to commute to work or cruise around town efficiently while still getting exercise.
We discovered the RadMission 1 is extremely efficient with its battery usage during our testing and provides the rider with enough power to get up steep hills despite only having one gear. You’re going to notice how lightweight this bike is and how fast it rolls compared to other budget level ebikes. The pedal assist on this bike engages smoothly and feels quite natural below you, which is great because some ebikes take over with the assist they give.
Rad Power Bikes has developed the RadMission 1 in two different frame styles, a Mid-Step, and a High-Step frame. A wide range of riders can fit on the RadMission 1 comfortably because of the two frame sizes. The Mid-Step fits those who are 5’2″ – 6’2″, and the High-Step fits those who are 5’10” to 6 ‘4″ With plenty of color options and optional accessories, we are confident that there’s a RadMission 1 setup perfect for you.
Our bottom line RadMission 1 review: Great customer service from Rad Power Bikes, a killer price point just above $1,000, and stable performance make the RadMission 1 a great option if you’re looking for a commuter ebike on a budget.
eBike Category: Commuter
- eBike Class: The Rad Power Bikes RadMission 1 commuter ebike is a Class 2 ebike with both pedal assist and a twist grip throttle that supports speeds up to 20mph.
- Assistance feels very smooth when engaged.
- One gear keeps you at a higher average speed when using assistance and still gives you enough power to flatten hills.
- Brakes have good stopping power.
- Assistance display is easy to understand and easy to see where you are at charge wise.
- The battery range exceeded expectations.
- Tire width and tread pattern are fast-rolling and smooth.
- The saddle is a tad harder and stiffer than we like
- We’d like to see an upgrade option for hydraulic disk brakes (but not sure that’s possible for around $1k)
- Single gear gets you up hills better than we expected, but realize that you only have 1 gear, so that it won’t be as easy as an ebike with 7-9 gears.
RadMission 1 Electrical Specs & Features
- Battery: 48V, 10.5 Ah (504 Wh), with Lithium NMC 18650
- Display: Rad Power Bikes custom LED display
- Motor: 500w Geared Hub Motor with 5:1 Planetary Reduction
- Lights: Auto-on feature – Headlight: 40 Lux Tail Lights: Integrated taillight with brake light indicator functionality
- Pedal Assist: 12-magnet, cadence sensing, crank mounted up to 20mph
- Range: 25-45 mile range
- Throttle: Half-Grip Twist Throttle – Right side
RadMission 1 Components & Accessories
- Brakes: Tektro Aries caliper / Aluminum alloy comfort grip levers with motor cutoff switch and integrated bell
- Fenders: Front and Rear, Optional accessory sold separately
- Fork: Rigid steel fork
- Frame: 6061 aluminum
- Freewheel: 16 tooth freewheel
- Gearing: Single speed, 16-50
- Grips and Saddle: Grips: Ergonomic Durable rubber, round. Saddle: Velo Active
- Handlebar: swept-back, aluminum alloy, 660mm
- Pedals: Wellgo composite platform pedals with reflectors, CrMo axle, standard 9/16″ x 20 TPI threading
- Tires: Kenda Kontact, 27.5 x 1.95″ (650B) 4-ply with K-Shield puncture-resistant liner, reflective sidewall, standard tubed tire
RadMission 1 Weight and Dimensions
- Battery weight: 7 lbs
- Total bike weight: 47.8 lbs
- Recommended Rider Height: Midstep: 5’2” to 6’2” / Highstep: 5’10” to 6’4”
- Maximum rider weight: 275 pounds
- Maximum Load on Rear Rack: 120 lbs
- Total Length: Mid-Step: 70.7″, High-Step: 71″ / Wheelbase: 44″
The speed and acceleration of the RadMission 1 are better than expected. Whether you’re pedaling or using the throttle, the 500w motor provides more than enough power to get you up to speed.
Because the bike is single speed, we often found ourselves using the throttle to get the cycle going. The tires Rad Power Bikes uses are perfect for keeping your momentum. Plus, they’re wide enough to have decent traction on corners yet thin enough to roll quickly on straightaways.
Despite the single-speed gearing, we found ourselves holding speed up hills much better on the RadMission 1 than other budget commuter ebikes we’ve tested. All our team members averaged from 16 -18 miles per hour on the RadMission, which is proof this bike is quick!
Shifting / Gear Range
We told you the RadMission 1 only has one speed. Rad Power Bikes nailed the difficulty of the one gear you have, though. The gearing is hard enough to push the bike faster on flat ground, yet easy enough to pedal up steep hills.
A single-speed bike this versatile is excellent to see from Rad Power Bikes. We think the single-speed setup suits the RadMission 1 quite well and is the right choice for this ebike (plus it saves some weight).
Handling (cornering, slow speeds, etc.)
The RadMission 1 is one of the best handling budget commuter ebikes we’ve tested this year. We noticed how the rigid fork combined with the 27.5 wheelbase feels very precise and easy to handle, even at lower speeds, during our testing.
Another thing that helped us stay in control was the Kenda Kontact tires. Our team felt these tires do a great job keeping traction on corners and assisting the rider to maintain speed. Because of snappy handling and good acceleration, the RadMission 1 will be an excellent setup for riders who need to navigate busy streets and those who need a quick, simple commuter ebike.
Our team felt the comfort of the RadMission 1 to be about what we expected. The shape of the grips are perfect for the human hand, and they work fine unless you’re riding on bumpy surfaces. It’s then that you’ll notice how hard the grips are. We recommend wearing gloves if you plan on riding over 10 miles.
The Velo Active saddle is standard and provides only a small amount of cushion. If you’re used to riding this saddle, it shouldn’t be an issue. But for those just getting into riding, the hard saddle may be something you’ll have to get used to. Our team found the saddle to be similar to the grips in comfort, right for about ten miles. But any more time on the bike, and you may want to consider wearing a chamois or replacing the saddle with something softer.
We understand that comfort isn’t the main priority on the RadMission 1, so we weren’t shocked when we found the saddle and grips to be slightly stiff on longer rides.
To start the RadMission 1, insert the key into the battery and twist the key to “ON.” After you turn the battery on, Rad Power Bikes recommends removing the key from the battery for safety. Then, go to the display on the handlebars and hold down the power button for about two seconds: At this point, the LED’s on the display will turn on, which is a sign you’re ready to ride!
Starting up the RadMission 1 is quick and easy. You can also turn the key to the “Off, locked” position to ensure nobody will turn on your bike when you’re not around. It’s easy to get up and running within a matter of seconds on this ebike– another excellent feature for those in a time crunch.
Stopping on the RadMission 1 wasn’t a problem at all. We had plenty of confidence slowing down even at higher speeds due to the grabby Tektro mechanical disk brakes and large rotors. Rad Power Bikes also developed this bike to temporarily turn off the motor when braking to increase stopping capabilities.
If you feel the brakes aren’t working correctly or aren’t grabbing as hard as you would like, Rad Power Bikes provides a mobile help service where a certified mechanic can help. If you choose not to use the mobile service, your local bike shop should help you with your brakes since they are standard Tektro Aries brakes.
Parking and Locking
We highly recommend buying the optional side-mounted kickstand with your RadMission 1 to make parking the bike quick and easy. If you plan on leaving the bike outside, the frame provides plenty of areas to loop a lock around.
Rad Power Bikes has a couple of different locks on their website that all work great for locking your bike. Our team also appreciated that the RadMission 1 is light enough to carry around. This is great for those who need to get up or down a flight of stairs with their RadMission 1. This also allowed us to store the bike places we couldn’t store other, heavier ebikes.
RadMission 1 Range Test
Before we tested the life of the RadMission 1, we had a general idea of how far it would make it before it died. Our predictions ranged from 18 to 25 miles, which is a pretty safe assumption for a 10.5 amp hour battery when riding with full power assist.
When we tested the range of the RadMission 1, we tested it on max assistance (Level 4) and were shocked at how long the battery lasted before finally giving out. Our 170lb test rider made it over 37 miles on one charge, at max assistance!
This is incredibly phenomenal for a couple of reasons. The bike is single speed and doesn’t have any gears to relieve the motor’s stress on steeper grades. This test was done on max power, so it’s safe to assume you can get 50+ miles on assistance levels 1 or 2.
Our rider had an average speed of 17.3 miles per hour, just under the 20mph max speed of the RadMission 1. For a single gear class 2 ebike that was great, and the battery life is definitely confidence-inspiring, especially for those who are commuting.
The RadMission 1 comes equipped with a powerful 500w geared hub motor that produces 50nm of torque. We noticed how powerful the engine was right away. It helped get us to top speed quickly and took over on the steep hills that were hard to pedal.
Our team agreed the motor feels great overall. It stayed cool even with heavy use. And it didn’t feel too heavy for the bike. We also noticed the cadence sensor that engages the motor was relatively smooth and consistent – not as good as a torque sensor would be– but much better than other budget level cadence sensors we’ve tested. Overall it seems to be a great motor setup for the RadMission 1.
The team at Rad Power Bikes decided to use a 48v, 10.5ah battery on the RadMission 1. This battery seems to outperform the specs in which it has. As stated on our range test, we were shocked at this battery’s longevity for only 10.5ah. The RadMission 1’s battery never overheated and always worked as it should. You can expect high performance, long-lasting battery on the RadMission 1.
The RadMission 1’s throttle shows that Rad Power Bikes cares about small details. They’ve developed a small gap between the throttle and the rest of the grip on the twist grip throttle. This may not seem like much, but this makes the RadMission 1 much safer as this reduces the chance of accidentally engaging the throttle when holding the grip.
The throttle gets the bike up to 20mph and provided enough power to reach high speeds quickly. It was also super useful getting back up to speed on tight corners where we lost a lot of momentum.
The RadMission 1 display is low profile and provides a straightforward user interface. This display turns the bike on and off, controls pedal assist levels, and has a button to turn the lights on and off.
The LED light within the display makes it easy to read even in low light conditions. We had no problems understanding and using the display, and our team liked how low profile the display was on the RadMission 1. It made using it simple and easy!
The RadMission 1 comes with four total assistance levels, labeled 0-4 on display. All the assistance levels are quite distinguishable from each other in feeling too. The single-speed drivetrain made us appreciate having multiple pedal-assist levels. That being said, we found level 3 to be the happy median between human and bike power.
We feel Rad Power Bikes did a good job creating distinguishable power that comes with each assistance level. When testing the RadMission 1, we were able to choose a setting and stick to it without the fuss of combining lots of gears and assist settings.
We had no worries about being seen in low light conditions on the RadMission 1. This bike comes with an adjustable 40lux headlight and an adjustable tail light with a brake light indicator and strobe setting.
It’s good to see Rad Power Bikes take time to create a well-focused light beam on the headlight, which helped tons when riding in dark conditions.
These lights help you be seen from over 2 miles away. When it comes to night riding, the headlight provides 230 feet of seeing distance–which is plenty to feel safe and in control. You’re able to turn these lights on and off quickly from the display on the handlebars.
RadMission 1 Components and Accessories
The RadMission 1 comes stock with Tektro mechanical disk brakes. We liked the choice to equip this bike with 180mm rotors instead of 160mm rotors because you’re able to stop quickly, even at higher speeds. Our test riders had no issues with the brakes on the RadMission 1. They provided plenty of modulation and were very responsive.
Because they are mechanical disk brakes, adjustments and maintenance are quite easy, even from home. Plus, replacement parts for this brake set up will be easy to find.
Another nice touch is Rad Power Bikes included a motor cutoff switch on the brake lever. When you pull a brake lever, the motor will temporarily turn off, resulting in even faster stopping. These brakes come with metal brake pads, which will help you stop quickly too.
The RadMission 1 doesn’t come stock with fenders. However, you can order fenders for the RadMission 1 on Rad Power Bikes website for $59. These fenders are made of PVC and come with stainless steel brackets and hardware.
If you live somewhere with fair amounts of rain, snow, or sand, we recommend purchasing these fenders. The fenders will help reduce water, mud, and other debris that comes off the tires and hits the rider.
Installing fenders requires some mechanical skill. If you don’t feel comfortable installing the fenders yourself, your local bike shop mechanic can help with the installation.
We liked the steel fork on the RadMission 1. It provides you with a precise steer path and comes with vertical dropouts for easy wheel removal.
We found the steel fork is not only visually appealing but is also quite stiff and durable. This fork also comes with mounting ports for a fender or another light.
The RadMission’s frame is built out of durable 6061 alloy, which felt sturdy and stiff to us during our testing. We’re happy to see the frame was made of 6061 alloy. From our experience, it seems to be the optimum material for strength while keeping the ebike lightweight and budget-friendly.
Rad Power Bikes also seems to take plenty of time, making the welding marks low profile, which looks great. Alloy is also cheaper to replace and more comfortable to work with than other materials like carbon and titanium.
The single-speed drivetrain on the RadMission 1 was a great idea from Rad Power Bikes. It felt extremely smooth, and it was refreshing to not worry about gear selection when riding. Rad Power Bikes got the difficulty of the gear perfect for the RadMission 1.
We were able to pedal up every hill we attempted and had plenty of power from the motor when things got tough. This simple design makes replacing chains or making modifications a lot easier than on multi-speed ebikes.
Grips and Saddle
The Ergonomic Rubber Grips and the Velo Active saddle seem to be durable and long-lasting. However, they’re a tad stiffer than we’d like, especially for a fully rigid bike.
As mentioned earlier, we feel the grips and saddle are fine for shorter rides. But anything above 15 miles, and you’re likely to feel some soreness. We recommend using riding gloves (and maybe a chamois) if you’re planning more than 15 miles a day on the RadMission 1.
Thankfully both of these components are easy to swap out–and it won’t break the bank if you decide to. If you’re one who values comfort during your ride, Rad Power Bikes sells more comfort-oriented saddles on their website.
The RadMission 1’s Handlebar is made of aluminum alloy and is 660mm in length. Because of the alloy build, the bar provides enough compliance to dampen some road bumps while remaining stiff. We felt the handlebar could be a little wider, especially for the high-step model of the RadMission 1.
Our test riders above 6’1” felt a bit squirrely when navigating the RadMission 1 through tight turns and corners. This would improve with a little bit wider bar. We believe it would be good to stock the mid-step frame with the 660mm bar width while increasing the high-step bar width to at least 700mm for the taller riders.
The Pedals that come stock on the RadMission 1 come with reflectors and plastic pins for grip. We felt that the pedals could use some improvement. When pedaling with more force, we noticed the pedals seemed to flex a little.
Not only does this absorb some of your pedal stroke power, but it also shows the pedals aren’t very durable. We would like to see some metal pedals on the RadMission. Thankfully pedals are easy to replace and relatively cheap, so this isn’t a deal-breaker by any means.
The RadMission 1 doesn’t come stocked with a kickstand. However, you can order one from the Rad Power Bikes website for $15. We highly recommend purchasing the kickstand with the bike since it makes it much easier to park the bike quickly. The kickstand was very easy for us to kick up when getting on the bike and is strong enough to stay in place when hitting bumps while riding.
The Kenda Kontact 1.95in tires were one of our favorite components on the RadMission 1. The combination of fast-rolling speeds, good cornering, and a reflective sidewall makes the Kontact the perfect tire for the RadMission 1.
We noticed these tires do a great job being resistant to punctures. With over 100 miles of riding, our team never ran into a flat tire! The RadMission 1 comes with 27.5” wheels, so finding replacement tubes and tires shouldn’t ever be a problem due to the standard size.
The RadMission 1 is available in a Mid-Step (5’2” – 6’2”) and a High Step frame (5’10”-6’4”). Most riders aren’t going to have any complaints regarding the sizing options of the RadMission 1.
Rad Power Bikes does a great job developing frames that fit a wide variety of riders while still making it feel like a frame size-specific to them. Our test rider’s heights ranged from 5’4” up to 6’5,” and the bike was a comfortable fit for all of them.
Summary Review / Where to Buy
In conclusion, the RadMission 1 is one of the better feeling, smoother riding commuter ebikes we’ve tested in the $1,000 (+/-) price range. The simplicity of the fully rigid frame, single-speed drivetrain merged with a high-performance motor and battery gives the rider a unique and enjoyable riding experience.
Rad Power Bikes nailed the engineering of this bike. Ebikes in this price range rarely feel as well put together and smooth as the RadMission 1.
We believe Rad Power Bikes made the right choice on the wheel size for the RadMission 1. The 27.5 wheelbase gave us the happy median of good rolling speeds and good handling in the corners.
When testing the RadMission 1, we noticed how lightweight and quick it felt compared to other similar bikes, and we found ourselves holding much more momentum climbing up hills and while riding in general.
The RadMission 1 is a direct to consumer bike and only available on RadPowerBikes.com. Rad Power Bikes gives the consumer the option to pay in full or make smaller monthly payments. The convenience of the excellent price point mixed with direct shipping and payment plans makes this bike the perfect choice for campus shredding college students and commuters who don’t feel like driving to work.
Assembling the RadMission 1 is very easy and will be no problem for most consumers. Rad Power Bikes entirely builds each bike and tests it before partially disassembling it to 85% completion before shipping it to the customer. Our team thinks this is an excellent way to make sure everything is working before receiving the bike.
The RadMission 1 has the option of a mid-step or high-step frame and comes in Steel Blue, Black, Gray, White, and Red frame colors.
Additional accessories include front and rear fenders, a kickstand, a rear rack, and a front-mounted basket. With plenty of color choices, two frame options, and multiple accessories, there is a RadMission 1 setup perfect for you and your lifestyle.
Not many ebikes at this price point feel so smooth and so well engineered. On top of that, Rad Power Bikes backs up their product with friendly, knowledgeable staff and excellent customer service. With such a great team to back up such a fun ebike we thoroughly recommend looking into the RadMisson 1. It’s a solid ride!
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