Rad Power Bikes RadRover 5 Review, 2021
Summary Review: Rad Power Bikes RadRover 5
We were eager to get our hands on the RadRover 5, as we have had great experiences with Rad Power Bikes in the past. With that being said, the Rad Power Bikes RadRover 5 review process was an absolute blast and lived up to our expectations here at Electric Bike Report.
There’s just something about a rugged, giant-wheeled bike that seems so inviting for fun, isn’t there? The RadRover 5 is largely just that – a fun time to be had on two massive wheels. You can charge hard on any terrain thanks to its 4” fat tires. And between the tires and the suspension fork you’ll be able to focus more on enjoying your ride, and less on feeling any bumps in the road.
Backing up the RadRover is a reputable company we’ve reviewed often in Rad Power Bikes. So when it comes to questions, customer service, and accessories Rad Power Bikes has your back. And, at least in our experience, Rad takes care of their riders.
One thing worth noting before you dive into our RadRover 5 review: you’re going to see the word “smooth” a lot, and that’s simply because the RadRover 5 is noticeably smoother than many of the other fat tire competitors out there. I’m not by any means saying this is a perfect bike, but it’s certainly been a fun, controlled ride.
We’ve reviewed plenty of fat tire e-bikes with similar specs, and price points, very few of them ride as smoothly (see, “smooth”!) as the RadRover does.
- We noticed right away that the Rad Power Bikes RadRover 5 has good power distribution. Some bikes with large 750 motors seem to try to blow you off the starting line, but the power is controlled here to keep it powerful, yet safe.
- The RadRover 5 has predictable motor engagement thanks to a finely-tuned cadence sensor. Not all cadence sensors are created equally. The RadRover finds itself on the right end of the cadence sensor quality spectrum.
- All the RadRover’s parts mesh together nicely, and it all adds up to feel like one solid bike. This is largely thanks to points 1 and 2 above, but it’s worth pointing out how well they bring the bike together. While many fat tire competitors have similar componentry choices, they don’t all come together as seamlessly as they do on the RadRover 5.
- The Saddle and Grips are comfortable for a long period of time. They also match the theme of the bike nicely.
- We really appreciate the wattage readout. Not many affordable bikes include that on their LCD displays, but being able to see it helps you better gauge how much you’re using up the battery in a given level of assist.
- We would have preferred the shifter to be underneath the handlebar, as the location feels more natural. The over the bar shift lever is harder to click on the fly, and less likely to give you a smooth shift.
- The imitation leather grips are a great shape, but they’re a bit slick with sweaty hands. These grips add to the looks of the bike and we don’t by any means think they’re terrible, just slick in some scenarios.
- Battery: 48V, 14 Ah (672 Wh) with Lithium NMC Samsung 35E cells, rated for 800 charge cycles
- Display: Backlit LCD with charge indicator, speedometer, odometer, trip odometer, pedal assist level, wattmeter, and more
- Motor: 750W brushless geared hub motor with 80 Nm of torque, 5:1 planetary gear reduction
- Headlight: Standard Rad Power Bikes LED headlight
- Taillights: Integrated tail light with brake light
- Pedal Assist: Levels 1-5
- Range: 20-45 miles
- Throttle: Grip Twist Throttle
- Battery weight: 9lbs
- Claimed bike weight: 69lbs
- Actual Weight: 72.6 (with rack and fenders)
- Maximum rider weight: 275lbs
- Unfolded Dimensions: 33.25″ (Minimum Saddle Height), 28.5″ (Width), 75.25″ (Length)
- Brakes: Tektro Aries (MD-M300) Mechanical Disc Brakes w 180mm Rotors
- Fenders: Full coverage front and rear
- Fork: Spring fork, 80 mm travel, with lockout and preload adjustment; 240mm steerer tube
- Frame: 6061 Aluminium
- Freewheel: 7-speed freewheel, 11-34T
- Gearing: 7-Speed Shimano Acera, Shimano SL-TX50-7R thumb shifter
- Grips: Durable imitation leather ergo
- Saddle: Velo Plush With Handle
- Handlebar: Custom formed aluminum, 700 mm wide, 4″ rise
- Kickstand: Heavy-duty aluminum with wide plastic foot
- Pedals: Wellgo CrMo axle, forged aluminum platform with reflectors, standard 9/16″ x 20 TPI threading
- Tires: Rad Power Bikes by Kenda Juggernaut 26″ x 4″, K-Shield puncture-resistant liner
Performance Review: Rad Power Bikes RadRover 5
The RadRover 5 seems to specialize in accelerating quickly and smoothly. Rad Power Bikes has tuned the motor engagement nicely in the sense that you get going quickly, but it never feels like you are going to fall off the back of the bike as you get up to top speed. The mixture of 750 Watts of power and distinguishable pedal assist levels add up into a very powerful, smooth sailing e-bike.
The RadRover 5, like with nearly all fat tire bikes, isn’t going to be easy to pedal once dead, and we wanted to see how long that would take us on the highest pedal assist level (PAS 5), and the lowest assistance level (PAS 1). When we railed the RadRover 5 on PAS 5, we reached 25.7 miles before it finally died. We had a speedy average speed of 21.4mph.
When we tested the RadRover 5 in PAS 1, we got 53.11 miles before it finally gave out. It took us 4:15:35 before it finally died, and we had an average speed of 12.6 miles per hour. The output felt well controlled, and how far we got is proof of the controller being able to moderate battery output quite well.
As you’ll see in our graphic, both PAS 1 & PAS 5 exceeded expectations, it’s always great to see bikes living up to their claimed performance standards like the RadRover 5 has. You can go extremely far, or extremely fast on one charge if you choose to. With that being said, our findings from the range test show the RadRover 5 is capable of long commutes, and high speeds, just as we hoped it would be.
EBR recently added a circuit test to our review and we’ve loved seeing the data it gives us. We discovered that the RadRover 5 really comes alive between assistance levels 2, and 3. Prior to PAS 3 you can definitely tell the bike is trying to be conservative with the battery, as we feel it should when in those assistance levels.
After discussing our findings the biggest takeaways is that the RadRover 5 can move, and that Rad Power Bikes did a good job fine tuning the pedal assist levels and making them clearly distinguishable from one another. If you want to have a mellow pedal, use PAS 1 & 2. If you want to flat out fly, use PAS 4 & 5.
With the apparent power the RadRover 5 possess, we wanted to see how that would translate to the hill climb test. Our hill of choice is known as “Hell Hole”, a hill that does a good job showing us what these e-bikes are capable of as it pushed bikes beyond what you typically encounter with a 12% grade hill. The RadRover 5 does quite well on steep hills if you’re pedaling in a higher assist levels, however the weight of the RadRover 5 makes it struggle when only using the throttle up an intense hill. Key takeaway here: it survived the gauntlet and made it to the end, but it was slow going on some parts of the hill.
Handling (cornering, slow speeds, safety on bike, etc.)
Handling is a big variable when it comes to fat tire e-bikes, some models feel like they do what they want, when they want as opposed to letting the rider make the choices. With the RadRover 5, that wasn’t the case at all.
Despite being nearly 70 pounds, and being capable of speeds well above 20 mph all of our test riders always felt in control of the bike, and like we could dictate how fast we stopped, or cornered it. After some discussion, we believe that the RadRover 5 handles well due to an even weight distribution, and proper geometry for its intended use. The tires also provide a wide range of feeling, traction, and overall performance. More on that later in our tires section.
The RadRover 5 definitely excels when it comes to comfort, Rad Power Bikes has added a few key components and characteristics that add up to make the bike comfortable for just about anyone.
The Saddle is plush, and did not seem to lose its form when sitting on it for long periods of time. The Handlebar has a 4” high sweep, that kept our test riders upright which helped loads on longer rides. Lastly, the grips are soft, and shaped in an ergonomic way that improves the feeling and experience overall.
We would definitely consider the RadRover 5 a comfortable ride.
RadRover 5 Spec Review: Electrical Components
The RadRover 5’s motor is a Bafang 750W brushless geared hub motor capable of up to 80 Nm of torque. From our testing, the motor is more than powerful enough to keep the RadRover cruising at top speed with ease.
One of the main factors that makes this motor nicer than other similar motors is how it’s tuned, and designed specifically for the RadRover 5 and we could tell immediately. The 80nm of torque is extremely apparent in assistance level 4 and 5, and helped loads on steep hills and going into headwinds.
You’re also able to view how many watts the motor is producing via the LCD display, which comes in handy for preserving the motors power and seeing how many watts each assistance level uses.
With such a powerful motor, a quality battery is essential if you want to get more than ten miles per charge, with that being said Rad Power Bikes has decided to use 48V, 14 Ah Samsung Battery rated for 800 total charges.
Combine 800 charges with at least 25 miles per charge, and you’ve got yourself a RadRover 5 ready for at least 20,000 miles of smiles. We’ve had a great experience with the provided battery so far – it charges quickly, stays cool, and holds onto its charge life for a long time.
Pedal Assist / Throttle
While nearly every e-bike has different pedal assist levels, not all of them are clearly distinguishable from one another – In simpler terms, you can’t always tell what PAS level you’re in based on feeling, but with the RadRover 5 you can.
Rad Power Bikes has created very clear increments in between assistance levels to ensure appropriate performance for each assistance level. Thanks to this fine tuning we were able to choose our experience on the RadRover 5 without any question on how the bike was going to perform.
Based on our testing, the RadRover 5 increases an average of 2.8mph per increasing assistance level. Some jumps were bigger than others, like the jump from PAS 2 to PAS 3 (4.6mph) but as we stated, it is always clear which assistance level you’re in.
Rad Power Bikes has always been a user of the grip-twist throttle, and the RadRover 5 is no different, thankfully Rad Power Bikes has designed the throttle to have a space in between the grip, and the throttle. Because of the small gap, riders are less likely to accidentally twist the throttle, which can be a large safety concern with grip twist throttles.
To those who aren’t familiar with the feeling of a throttle, we would recommend practicing in a wide open area before taking it to the trail or city. It doesn’t take long to get used to, but it definitely has some power to it, so getting used to it is a crucial step to your safety.
With that being said, Rad Power Bikes has given the RadRover 5 a properly powerful throttle that engages steadily and won’t make you fall off the back of the bike as you twist the throttle.
We briefly mentioned the display in our motor section, and how you’re able to view the wattage. That’s not all the backlit LCD Display is good for, it’s also going to tell you your speed, mileage, trip mileage, pedal assist level, and more.
There is quite a bit of variance in displays, but Rad Power Bikes does a good job of giving you all the crucial information, without making the interface too complex. While we would like to see color offered on their displays, but the display is a solid one overall.
Components and Accessories
A common sight to see in the e-bike space is Tektro Components, as they’re reliable, and not a boutique brand that’s going to hurt your bank account when replacement time comes. Rad Power Bikes seems to understand this, and because of that the RadRover 5 is built with Tektro Aries (MD-M300) mechanical disc brakes, and 180mm Rotors.
With plenty of modulation, and stopping power these mechanical disc brakes performed just as we hoped they would. These MD-M300 Brakes also have a pad adjustment feature where you can adjust how far in, or out the brake pad is in relation to the rotor. Not only is this nice for centering the rotor, it also provides the rider with lots of range in feeling and performance with their brakes.
As you’ll see in our video review, the RadRover 5 took an average of 21 ½ feet to stop when going 20mph. Being nearly 70 pounds, the stopping distance was about what we expected. Keep in mind we set up the brakes in the middle ground of their stopping power, you can always set up the brakes to your preference whether it be super grabby, or soft.
Holding all together is a 6061 Aluminium frame, that we thought performed accordingly. Aluminum frames are not only strong, but also provide a slight bit of compliance to dampen things out. The best way we can describe this frame is as sturdy, and stout.
Rad Power Bikes did pretty good with the visuals of this frame too, the low profile welds mixed with the black, grey, and orange color scheme adds up nicely. Despite having an external battery, it tucks into the frame nicely and doesn’t feel like it’s protruding from the frame like some external batteries do.
We really liked the feeling and performance of the RadRover’s spring fork, it does a great job absorbing chatter in the trails, and keeping the front wheel rolling smoothly.
With 80mm travel and a lockout/preload adjustment, the suspension fork has plenty of travel and adjustment to keep every rider happy.
Even when we were riding on smooth surfaces, we kept the suspension fork open for the additional comfort and control it provides.
Drivetrain / Shifting
Rad Power Bikes uses the 7-Speed Shimano Acera drivetrain on the RadRover 5, with a Shimano SL-TX50-7R thumb shifter. From what we’ve gathered during our testing, the range on the drivetrain feels great, but having an over the bar shifter feels a tad bit awkward.
We all agreed that an under the bar shifter would feel a lot more natural, and be easier to use on the fly. This is a pretty minor issue overall, and it wouldn’t be too hard to install a 3rd party shifter for those who insist on it.
Aside from that, we were satisfied with the drivetrain choice on the RadRover 5, with plenty of range and decently smooth shifting we think most people would be happy with the stock drivetrain setup.
The RadRover 5’s handlebars are made of custom formed aluminum, are 700 mm wide, and have a 4″ of rise. We found the 700mm width to be nice for control, and stability especially in off-road scenarios where we were bouncing off rocks and roots.
It definitely feels more like a mountain bike handlebar as far as its width goes, and we like that because of the performance benefits that come with it. The 4” rise keeps the rider in a more upright position, but not to the extent that you’re forced to be upwards when riding. The 4 inches of rise seems to be a good median for comfort, while still offering respectable performance benefits.
In all, the handlebars are definitely set up appropriately for the RadRover 5’s intended use and we think most, if not all riders will like them.
For a bike like the RadRover 5 that’s designed for comfort oriented cruising and occasional off road, we were hoping for a quality saddle and set of grips. We got just that with the durable imitation leather ergo grips, and Velo Plush Saddle.
It’s apparent that both of these components are quality, but that doesn’t mean they’re perfect by any means. The grips could be a tad bit… well, grippier. The imitation leather is nice looking but isn’t very tacky, and can become slick with sweaty hands. Aside from the slick-ness of the grips, we have virtually no complaints about the performance and comfort of the saddle and grips.
Quality tires are a must, especially on such a robust, powerful e-bike. Thankfully for the consumer the chosen tires are designed specifically for the RadRover. The mentioned tires are called the “Rad Power Bikes” by Kenda which is a slight variant to the Kenda Juggernaut 26″ x 4″ that comes with Kenda’s K-Shield puncture-resistant liner.
These tires are the perfect tool for the job, with plenty of traction, tread, and puncture resistance you can worry less about flats and more about riding. The 4.0” Width also helped us glide over off road terrain with ease. With 5-30psi in pressure range, these tires have a wide range in feeling and performance based on the pressure alone.
The lower end of the pressure range will be great for surfaces such as sand, and gravel while the higher end of the range will be great for fast rolling speeds on road, and paved trails. There is no perfect universal tire pressure, it varies from rider to rider. But because of the wide range you shouldnt have any issues finding the right tire pressures for you.
Extras / Accessories
The RadRover5’s LED headlight has good looks, and enough lumens (80lu) to light your path in a pinch. The included tail light turns on when the brakes are engaged, and will increase your probability of being seen by others. Safety is key when riding near cars, and pedestrians, and thanks to these lights it’s more than likely they’ll see you coming (don’t test your luck though).
The included alloy kickstand does what it’s supposed to do, and comes with a wide “foot” to ensure the RadRover 5 doesnt tip over when resting on the kickstand. This kickstand feels well put together, and there isn’t really anything we would change about it.
Summary Review / Where to Buy Rad Power Bikes RadRover 5
We had a lot of fun reviewing the Rad Power Bikes RadRover 5, it gave us a new perspective on how the little details can add up to make a quality bike. While there are plenty of other fat tire bikes that are around the same price point and similarly spec’d, not many feel quite as smooth and well put together as the RadRover 5 does. This thing feels like a magic carpet – you can fly on it, but it keeps you in control for the whole ride.
Where we see the biggest distinction with the RadRover 5 is with the way the motor engages so smoothly (hopefully you aren’t too sick of that word yet), and how fine tuned the different assistance levels feel. As mentioned earlier these PAS levels are easily distinguishable from one another.
The RadRover 5 proved to be a powerful, quick fat tire cruiser. It will provide enough wattage to climb some steep hills. And it’ll keep the rider cruising above 20mph on straight aways with ease. The 48v 14ah battery lasted a long time and stayed cool even with heavy use, it was great to see how well the motor and battery combo fared for us, and we believe others can expect the same.
With Rad Power Bikes you’re getting more than just a bike with your purchase, you are getting quality customer support too. Rad Power Bikes do their best to back up their products by helping you with any questions, service, or accessories you may need. Their customer service has been an emphasis for them – from their mobile service options that provide assembly, delivery and maintenance, to their 1 year warranty, they stand by their bikes.
Rad Power is mainly a direct to consumer manufacturer and you can check the pricing on the RadRover 5 at the button below
All in all, we think that if you’re looking for an e-bike with power, comfort, versatility, and a good price point, then the RadRover 5 may be your next ride. You’re going to be able to take this bike most places that you please, and have the power and charge life to get there and back in plenty of time. Want speed, comfort, and smiles for miles? Check out the RadRover 5 by Rad Power Bikes, we think you’ll like what it has to offer.
I am 6’3” with a 34” inseam. Will I be able to be comfortable on this bike, or which will be more comfortable?
Griffin Hales says
It should fit you just fine. They say it accommodates riders up to 6’2″ and that it feels comfortable for 34″ inseams. Inseams are likely the bigger deal than overall height which is close enough to their estimates in your case.
Thanks for the prompt response. Is there a wait time for the bike, like back orders?
Griffin Hales says
Should be shipping out by June.
Brian Tgartley says
Peter, Hi thanks for all your reports! I enjoy reading and learning about electric Bikes. I was fourtunate to get my new E-Bike-at a knock out price and truth be told, Pete i love my E-Bike it came to me at the right time in my life, any how what can youtell me about a 750 Volt Bike 2020 ? to me this Rad Bike sounds alot like my 750 VoltBike