Rad Power Bikes RadRover Step-Thru Electric Fat Bike Review Part 2: Ride & Range Test [VIDEO]
Would you like to check out the latest review of the RadRover? Click this link to see the Rad Power Bikes RadRover 5 Review for 2021
Rad Power Bikes has rolled out the new RadRover Step-Thru that combines eFat bike performance with a comfortable upright and step-thru design.
The 4″ wide fat tires are built for almost any terrain while the 750 watt motor and 48V 14ah lithium battery can give you some long range assist!
Rad Power Bikes focused in on making the RadRover Step-Thru a comfortable bike to ride with its upright and shorter reach ride position.
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 RadRover Step-Thru:
To get acquainted with the Rad Power Bikes RadRover Step-Thru, checkout this video:
Riding the RadRover Step-Thru:
Overall there are some characteristics of the Rad Power Bikes RadRover Step-Thru that really stand out when riding this electric fat bike. To summarize they are:
- Comfortable upright position and step-thru design
- 4″ wide tires for all terrain riding + comfortable and stable ride feel
- Powerful 750 watt motor with pedal assist & throttle
The Look & Feel of the RadRover Step-Thru
One of the big highlights is the low step-thru area with the upright ride position which makes the RadRover Step-Thru a very easy going and comfortable bike to ride.
This is fairly unique in the world of electric fat bikes and it is nice that the RadRover Step-Thru can fit riders in height from 5′-0″ to 6′-2″.
Like all eFat bikes the RadRover Step-Thru has the bold look from the large 4″ wide off-road tires but it also adds in the unique step-thru to make it stand out.
The frame has been shaped with hydroformed 6061 aluminium to create the 20″ step-thru area while also providing enough clearance around the large 4″ wide rear tire.
An interesting design feature is step-thru reinforcing that ties the downtube to the seat tube while wrapping around the battery that is mounted on the seat tube.
This low and centered battery location is good for the balance of the bike and overall bike handling.
There is some internal cable routing through the large downtube that is good for cable protection and a clean look.
On the front of the headtube is a 4 bolt front rack attachment point. Rad Power Bikes offers a variety of racks, baskets, and bags as optional accessories.
These optional cargo accessories are a good way to make the RadRover Step-Thru a versatile eBike for commuting, running around town errands, and carrying extra gear on longer rides.
There is also the original RadRover that has the triangle main frame with very similar features and components for the same price.
One of the ride characteristic highlights is the feeling of stability that the 4″ wide tires provide from the large tread patch that contacts the ground.
The RadRover Step-Thru has a confident and comfortable ride feel that also translates well to riding in all types of terrain; roads, hard pack trails, sand, mud, and snow.
4″ wide fat tires can “float” above loose terrain instead of cutting in and bogging down that is typical of narrower tires.
Fat bike tires can run lower air pressure than traditional mountain bike tires because of their large volume and with that they can mold over rough terrain well.
When the tires are run in the lower air pressure range they also have a bit of built in suspension affect which is noticeable on a hardtail (no rear suspension) like the RadRover Step-Thru.
Here are some tire pressure recommendations for different terrain:
Sand and Snow: + or – 8 psi
Hard pack to muddy roads/trails: 12-15 psi
Urban riding: 20-30 psi
With the correct tire pressure you can ride over a lot of rough terrain and they have incredible traction because of the large tire patch on the ground.
In the lower pressure range Fat bike tires do have a sluggish feel when compared to traditional (2″ to 2.5″) or Plus size (2.6″ to 3″) mountain bike tires.
The sluggish characteristic is most noticeable when carving into a turn; you can really feel the larger mass of these big wheels as you are cornering.
The following video is a good comparison of the attributes of a Fat bike vs. Plus bike and it will give some ideas on how these larger tires perform.
Another interesting ride characteristic of fat tires is that the outside diameter is close to a 29er tire so they have some of the big wheel ability to roll over obstacles well.
Additionally, pinch flatting the tube is less of a concern at the lower tire pressures because there is so much air volume for the tires to absorb impacts from rocks, roots, etc.
The combination of the 750 watt motor, all terrain 4″ wide tires, and the high capacity 48V 14ah battery makes the RadRover Step-Thru good for all around adventure riding.
Now let’s take a closer look at the ride position of the RadRover Step-Thru.
A highlight for the RadRover Step-Thru is the upright and short reach riding position that is comfortable and helps with seeing everything around you.
The headtube of the frame is pretty high to begin with and then the handlebars have a significant rise to be even more upright.
The handlebars have a wide stance for stable control of the large front wheel. The ergonomic faux leather grips have wings at the ends to provide wrist support.
As part of the design Rad Power Bikes focused on creating a short reach from the seat to handlebars for a more upright position which does translate well into a comfortable ride.
While the 4″ wide fat tires do a good job of smoothing out the ride, the RadRover Step-Thru comes equipped with the RST 80mm (3.2″) travel suspension fork.
It has an active feel that definitely helps with absorbing some of the larger bumps along the ride.
The spring rate on the fork can be adjusted to fit your weight and riding style and there is a lockout dial.
Locking out the fork provides a more efficient ride on smooth roads by preventing the fork from moving up and down when you are pedaling hard.
The Velo Plush seat has a medium width profile with a center relief area for a comfortable ride.
On the back of the seat is a handle that is very helpful for lifting and maneuvering the bike.
If you ride on rough roads you may want to consider adding a suspension seatpost that Rad Power Bikes offers in their optional accessories. And here is a guide to suspension seatposts.
Fat tire bikes are fun because of their all terrain tires and stable and comfortable ride feel but they usually take a bit of work to get the larger wheels and tires up to speed.
Adding electric assist really makes fat bikes a lot of fun and Rad Power Bikes did a good job of spec’ing the RadRover Step-Thru with a 750 watt geared rear hub motor from Bafang.
This motor provides up to 80 Nm of torque which is helpful for getting the RadRover Step-Thru up to speed.
In the higher pedal assist levels and/or throttle, the RadRover Step-Thru can get up to 20 mph pretty quick!
It can also power through loose terrain like sand with large tires “floating” above the sand and the 750 watt motor really giving you a boost.
The RadRover Step-Thru also does well maintaining a good clip on moderate to steeper hills.
There are 5 levels of pedal assist that are activated by your pedaling cadence. The assist starts once you have pedaled 1/2 a revolution of the cranks.
Adjusting the pedal assist levels is done with the up and down arrows on the control pad on the left side of the handlebars.
Levels 1 and 2 provides an easy going ride style and they are good for casual rides or when riding technical terrain. These pedal assist levels blends in pretty well when you start and stop pedaling.
Pedal assist levels 3 through 5 are the high performance levels that quickly get you up to speed. These are good levels for accelerating quickly and climbing steeper hills but they will drain the battery quicker. The transitions in and out of power is more noticeable in these pedal assist levels.
There is also the twist grip throttle that can be used as a boost to the pedal assist or you can use the throttle without pedaling if you prefer.
The throttle has a lot of variability in how much power it provides; it is a lot like a volume dial on a radio.
There is also a walk mode that will move the bike at a few mph to help with walking it up a hill or stairs.
The Bafang geared hub motor does create a whirring noise that is most noticeable at the lower speeds. At the higher speeds the tire and wind noise dissipates the motor noise a bit.
The high capacity 48V 14Ah (672Wh) lithium battery pack uses Samsung 35E cells and it powers the motor, lights, and a USB charging port (for phones, etc.) located under the display.
The battery pack is rated for 800 charge cycles and it can be charged on or off the bike in 5 to 6 hours.
With the battery located centered and relatively low on the bike it provides for good overall balance and handling.
Removing the 7.9 pound battery brings the bike weight down to 63.8 pounds which makes it just slightly easier to load onto a car rack.
Okay, now let’s take a look at the display on the Rad Power Bikes RadRover Step-Thru.
The center mounted LCD display provides information on:
- Battery level
- Odometer & trip distance
- Current speed, average speed, max speed
- Pedal assist level. There are 5 levels of pedal assist.
- Watts that the motor is providing
When the lights are turned on the display has a backlight that makes it easy to see in low light conditions.
It’s easy to see the important info on the display at a quick glance while riding.
Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes slow down the RadRover Step-Thru with 180mm rotors front and rear.
The Aries disc brakes do a good job of slowing down the large fat bike wheels. There is a nice range of power from just a little braking all the way up to full stop.
There are sensors in each brake lever that will stop the motor assist when the either brake lever is engaged.
Each brake lever has a rubber grip surface that helps in wet or dry riding conditions.
One thing missing from the brake levers is a reach adjustment to fit smaller hand sizes.
Rounding out the RadRover Step-Thru is a well equipped accessory package for the daily ride.
The LED lights are powered by the eBike battery and they do a good job of lighting up the road and for being seen.
The headlight has a good beam and the taillight also has a brake light function when the brakes are engaged.
Full coverage plastic fenders have a solid attachment to the bike and they don’t rattle when riding.
There is the bell built into the brake lever and kickstand attached to the back left side of the frame.
Rad Power Bikes also offers a lot of other accessories like front and rear racks, baskets, bags, and more to make the RadRover Step-Thru a very capable cargo hauler.
Okay, let’s see how the RadPower RadRover Step-Thru did out on the open road!
RadPower RadRover Step-Thru Range Test Results:
Here is the real world information on how the RadRover 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 RadRover 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 RadRover Step-Thru traveled 28.5 miles and did a total elevation gain of around 2,300 ft. Considering that I weigh 190 lbs and I pedaled very lightly this is good range for an eFat 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 RadRover Step-Thru will assist up to 20 mph with pedal assist only and/or throttle.
Weight: The RadRover Step-Thru tips the scales at 71.7 lbs which is on the heavier side for an electric bike. Removing the 7.9 pound battery brings it down to around 63.8 pounds which makes it a little easier to load onto a car rack.
The weight distribution of the RadRover Step-Thru is slightly back heavy because the motor is in the rear wheel while the battery is low and centered on the bike.
Step-Thru: The low step-thru area with the upright ride position makes the RadRover Step-Thru a very easy going and comfortable bike to ride.
Powerful eFat Bike: 750 watts is a good fit for the RadRover Step-Thru to help with riding on all kinds of terrain. That power also helps with cruising comfortably at 20 mph on the road, even up some moderately steep hills.
Impressive Range: The high capacity battery (672 Wh) provided 28.5 miles of range in the tough range test. In more moderate riding conditions you can expect to get even more range. This is impressive for an eBike with 4″ wide off road tires and an upright riding position.
Price: Rad Power Bikes makes a great bike at a competitive price point.
Heavier: At 71.7 pounds this is on the heavier side for most electric bikes. Removing the battery helps a little for lifting the bike up but it still is 63.8 pounds.
Motor Noise: Like most geared hub motors, the Bafang does create some noise at the lower speeds. That motor noise dissipates a little as you get to the higher speeds due to wind and tire noise.
Brake Lever Reach Adjustment: One thing missing from the brake levers is a reach adjustment to fit smaller hand sizes.
Overall the Rad Power Bikes RadRover Step-Thru is a very easy going and comfortable eBike with a lot of on and off road capabilities.
The easy get on and off step-thru design and upright position make it an eBike built to fit many riders and the stable 4″ wide tires add to the comfortable ride.
Like the original RadRover, this eFat bike also comes with an impressive spec of the 750 watt motor, high capacity 48V 14ah lithium battery, and components from Shimano, Tektro, RST, Kenda, etc.
And like most other Rad Power Bikes the RadRover Step-Thru offers a lot of value at this price point 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.
Do you have any questions about the RadRover Step-Thru? Do you own a RadRover Step-Thru? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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[…] Electric Bike Report did a 100% to 0% battery range test and found the battery was able to support 28.5 miles (45.8 km) of range with light pedaling, the highest assist setting, 2,300′ elevation gain, and a 190 pound rider. The weight of the bike and its cargo also impact range and at 71.4 pounds (32 kilograms), it is easy to see that the bulky build of the RadRover Step-Thru and its beefy tires come at a cost. […]