Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Electric Bike Review Part 2: Ride & Range Test [VIDEO]
The RadRunner at its core is a fun and playful eBike to ride but it doesn’t stop there.
It also has a bunch of versatile passenger/cargo options, impressive performance, and a price of $1,299!
This eUtility is a mashup of a moped and cargo bike with some BMX styling thrown in to create an eBike that has an agile yet stable ride feel that is easy to get on and go.
The 750 watt motor is well sized for a sporty ride along with the ability to carry a passenger and cargo.
And the high capacity 48V 14ah battery really goes the distance as you will see in the range test results.
Rad Power Bikes offers a bunch of accessory options to make the RadRunner fit your specific daily riding needs.
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 RadRunner:
To get acquainted with the Rad Power Bikes RadRunner, checkout this video:
Rad Power Bikes also offers the RadRunner in the black color shown below.
You can also see just some of the accessory options that are available.
The RadRunner is designed to fit a range of rider sizes from 4’11” to 6’2″.
Riding the RadRunner:
Overall there are some characteristics of the RadRunner that really stand out when riding this electric utility bike. To summarize they are:
- Comfortable and stable fat tire ride feel with sporty handling
- Powerful 750 watt motor with pedal assist & throttle
- Impressive range with high capacity Samsung cells battery
- Versatile platform for passenger & cargo options
The Look & Feel of the RadRunner
The RadRunner is a head turning eBike with its retro styling, wide off-road tires, and numerous accessory options.
Rad Power Bikes describes it as a cross between a moped and a cargo bike.
In addition it has some hints of a fun and carefree BMX style with its upright handlebars, 20″ wheels, and single speed drivetrain.
The blend of moped, cargo, and BMX are all accented with the attributes of modern day eBike conveniences and accessories.
The main platform of the RadRunner is the 6061 aluminum frame that has been shaped to build in a lot of useful design elements like the 300 pound total capacity, low step-thru area, 3.3″ wide tires, versatile rear rack, and front rack options.
The frame is impressive with its swooping downtube, reinforcement gussets, and large aluminum tubing creating the sturdy rear rack structure.
The resulting ride feel is very solid with minimal flex even when carrying a passenger or cargo. My wife rode on the back of the RadRunner and the bike felt very stable.
And speaking of cargo, the 6061 aluminum frame has been designed to make the RadRunner fun and easy to ride while creating a versatile platform for many, many accessory options!
Rad Power Bikes has created a good selection of accessories over the years and many of those work with the RadRunner.
There are front and rear racks, baskets, kid seat, bags, fenders, etc.
In addition they have developed the Passenger Package and the Center Console cargo box specifically for the RadRunner.
The base bike provides the platform that you can build off of to create the eUtility bike that fits your riding needs and wants.
You can set up the RadRunner for carrying a passenger and some cargo or you can set it up to be a serious cargo hauler with its total payload capacity of 300 pounds.
Another big highlight of this eUtility bike are the compact and wide Kenda K-Rad 20″ x 3.3″ off-road tires that create the foundation for this fun and playful eBike.
Rad Power Bikes has partnered with Kenda to create specific tires for their eBikes and the K-Rad tires are a good example of how they have created a unique tire to fit the RadRunner style and ride characteristics well.
The large tread patch that contacts the ground provides the stable ride feel while the relatively compact size of the wheels gives the RadRunner a nimble ride feel.
With the large air volume design these tires can provide a bit of a built in suspension effect when run at the lower tire pressure range that Rad Power Bikes says is 10 psi.
They can roll over bumps and cracks in the road and absorb some of the shock within the volume of the inner tube without transferring it to the rider.
While the tires do a good job of absorbing some of the rough road shock, it may be worth upgrading to the Rad Power Bikes plush seat and Suntour suspension seatpost for riding on rough roads.
The off-road tread pattern is good for exploring dirt roads while still being efficient for daily riding on pavement.
There is a K-Shield puncture-resistant liner in the tires to minimize flats and reflective stripes on both sides for help with being seen.
The compact 20″ wheels and low 16.5″ step-thru area make the RadRunner a very approachable and easy to ride eBike.
Now let’s take a look at the ride position on the RadRunner.
The BMX style handlebars have an upright position with a fairly wide stance for a comfortable and stable ride feel. And they look cool!
The grips have an ergonomic shape that adds some wrist support with wings on the ends to further the bikes stable ride feel.
During rides the grips rotated slightly which could be helped by possibly glueing the grips to the handlebar or you could upgrade to grips that have lock on collars.
The rider seat is relatively short and it is designed to blend with the passenger seat on the rear rack for the moped ride style. It can also be set higher for more efficient pedaling.
It is a pretty comfortable seat but it is different than a typical bicycle seat with its short length. It took me a few rides to get used to it but after that it felt pretty normal.
The ease of getting on and off the RadRunner with the wide and low step-thru area is a big highlight. This is also very helpful when getting on/off the bike with heavy cargo because it is easier to stabilize the bike.
This test bike with the optional Passenger Package and fenders weighs in at 69.6 pounds and the stated weight without accessories is 65 pounds.
That is on the heavier side for an electric bike and it is not the easiest bike to pick up and move around.
Now let’s take a closer look at the drive system.
Like some of the other Rad Power Bikes the motor of choice is the 750 watt Bafang geared rear hub motor that has a max torque of 80Nm.
This powerful Bafang motor provides assist up to 20 mph with pedal assist or throttle which makes this a Class 2 electric bike.
In the higher assist levels (3 & 4) the RadRunner can really get up and go!
It accelerates quickly from a stop and this motor can maintain impressive speed on steeper hills.
Pedal assist levels 1 & 2 are relatively mellow pedal assist levels for cruising around the neighborhood and maneuvering through crowded areas.
The pedal assist system is based on a cadence sensor that provides assist after about a 1/4 revolution of the cranks and the assist stops when you stop pedaling.
There are sensors in both brake levers that will stop the assist as soon as either lever is engaged.
In addition to pedal assist there is the twist grip throttle that can be used when pedaling or not.
The throttle is especially helpful on the RadRunner because this bike has a single speed mechanical drivetrain to keep things simple.
The throttle is a good way to initially get started from a stop and then transition into using the pedal assist mode.
It is also a good option if you are riding the RadRunner in the moped style with the seat lowered all the way.
The throttle is also helpful for getting a quick boost in the lower pedal assist levels for getting over a hill or through an intersection quickly.
Rounding out the assist modes is the walk mode that moves the bike at a few mph which is helpful when walking with the bike uphill or up stairs. It is activated by holding the down – button on the display/control pad.
Similar to other geared hub motors, the Bafang does create some noise that is mostly noticeable at the lower speeds. At the higher speeds the noise dissipates due to wind noise.
The RadRunner’s power pack is a high capacity 48V 14ah 672Wh lithium battery with Samsung Cells. This battery powers the motor in addition to the front and rear LED lights.
As you will see in the range results below this high capacity battery provided some impressive range!
The location of the battery behind the seat tube is pretty good because it keeps the weight fairly centered and low on the bike.
The battery can be charged on or off the bike with full charging from empty in about 7 hours.
The RadRunner mechanical drivetrain is simple and straightforward with a single speed 52 tooth chainring to 16 tooth rear cog.
For most riding conditions this gear ratio works pretty well while using the throttle to accelerate from a stop.
The pedaling cadence is a little fast around the 20 mph range but the throttle can also be used if you don’t want to pedal in that speed range.
Double chainring guards help to keep the chain on the chainring and they offer a little pant leg protection.
There is a chain tensioner that routes the chain properly around the frame and allows for a vertical dropout frame design.
Okay, now let’s take a look at the control center on the RadRunner.
Along the lines of keeping things simple there is a combined display and control pad on the left side of the handlebar.
It has all the basics you need for riding while keeping its presence minimalistic and out of the way.
The easy to reach + and – buttons cycle through the 4 levels of pedal assist and the walk mode is engaged by holding the – button down for a few seconds.
At a quick glance you can see the battery level and pedal assist level at the top of the display area.
The light button turns on/off both the front and rear LED lights.
On the right side of the handlebars is the twist grip throttle that has a wide spectrum of assist from just a little all the way up to wide open full throttle power!
It is much like the volume dial on a radio, you can easily dial in how much throttle assist you want and that can be varied quickly if needed.
The only other controls on the handlebars are the front and rear Tektro brake levers that activate the Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes with 180mm rotors.
These mechanical disc brakes have a solid and powerful feel with a broad spectrum of braking power.
They do a good job of quickly slowing down the RadRunner when needed!
There is a rubber grip surface on each brake lever that makes grabbing the brake lever easier in wet or dry conditions.
It would be nice to have brake lever reach adjustments to fit smaller hands.
There is a bell built into the front brake lever and it is easy to ring with the lever positioned just in front of the grip.
Each brake lever has a sensor that will stop the motor assist when either brake lever is engaged.
Additionally there is a rear brake light feature that lights up when either brake lever is engaged.
The rear light also has a solid and flashing mode for being seen while riding, while the front light casts a good beam of light for seeing the road and for help with being seen on the road.
Both the front and rear lights run off the eBike battery so you don’t have to worry about charging separate batteries for the lights.
Rounding out the stock accessories is the double legged kickstand mounted to the frame just in front of the rear wheel. It provides a stable platform when the bike is parked.
Rad Power Bikes offers many more accessories for the RadRunner that includes fenders, racks, baskets, bags, the Passenger Package, the Center Console, and more.
Okay, let’s see how the Rad Power Bikes RadRunner did out on the open road!
RadRunner Range Test Results:
Here is the real world information on how the RadRunner 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 RadRunner in the highest pedal assist level (Level 4) with average pedaling on paved roads.
Range: As you can see from the GPS info that I recorded, the RadRunner traveled 32.9 miles and did a total elevation gain of around 2,700 ft. Considering that I weigh 190 lbs and I pedaled with average pedaling this is good range for a eUtility 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 RadRunner will assist up to 20 mph with pedal assist and/or throttle.
Weight: This RadRunner with the optional Passenger Package and fenders tips the scales at 69.6 lbs which is on the heavier side for an electric bike. Removing the battery brings it down to around 61.9 pounds.
The weight distribution of the RadRunner is somewhat back heavy because the motor is in the rear wheel while the battery is just behind the seat tube of the bike.
Fun & Compact: The RadRunner is a just a lot fun! It is an easy to ride eBike with an agile yet stable ride feel with its compact wide wheels, comfortable ride position, and easy get on/off step-thru frame. The combination of BMX, cargo, and moped attributes makes this a fun eBike that is also very useful for daily riding.
Versatile eUtility: Rad Power Bikes has done a good job of offering so many accessory options for carrying passengers and cargo. The RadRunner is a good platform for building an eBike that can fit your specific riding needs.
Impressive Performance: The 750 watt Bafang motor provides a lot of kick in the higher assist levels and it also well sized for when carrying a passenger and cargo. Additionally, the RadRunner provided 32.9 miles of range in the tough range test (highest assist level) with elevation gain of 2,700+ ft of climbing. You can expect to get more range in more moderate riding conditions.
Good Value: $1,299 with free shipping is a great price for this fun, versatile, and high performance eUtility bike. That is for the base bike without the optional Passenger Package and fenders shown in this test.
Heavier: This is a heavy electric bike at 69.6 pounds (with optional Passenger Package & fenders) which can limit the ability to pick it up and move it around. Removing the battery brings it down to 61.9 pounds which helps a little.
Motor Noise: Similar to other geared hub motors, the Bafang does create some noise that is mostly noticeable at the lower speeds. At the higher speeds the noise dissipates due to wind noise.
Overall the RadRunner is a fun and playful eBike that also has a practical side with its passenger and cargo carrying options.
The wide compact tires and comfortable ride feel give it a carefree ride style that also helps when carrying cargo.
It is spec’ed out well with a powerful 750 watt motor and high capacity 48V 14ah lithium battery that provides impressive range.
At $1,299 with free shipping, the RadRunner offers a lot of value and fun at an impressive price point.
And with all the accessory options that Rad Power Bikes offers you can really dial in the RadRunner to fit your daily riding needs.
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 RadRunner? Do you own a RadRunner? 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.
P.S. Don’t forget to join the Electric Bike Report community for updates from the electric bike world, plus ebike riding and maintenance tips!
[…] Part 2 of the Rad Power Bikes RadRunner review will give you info on the ride characteristics, results from the range test, pros, cons, and overall thoughts on this eBike. […]
Les Watkins says
But will they ship to Australia
Does this bike allow for future chasing gear ratio changes?
Douglas Tooley says
I’m skeptical about the single speed gear set, especially without being able to test drive. Does the gearing on the hub motor also apply to the pedal assist?
I’m a bigger guy and wonder about the weight limit. Is this a drive issue or limit on the physical bike? Will overweight use effect drive life or just performance? The rad cargo has a higher weight limit but uses a single speed hub motor.
I’ve had my Rad Runner for about a week now. and have ridden it almost every day. I live in Philly and the streets are filled with potholes, bumps and plenty of debris. I’ve ridden it on some short steep hills and while I did not push the limits of the battery for distance, I did take a couple of longer (15-20 mile) stop and start trips.
I love the bike so far. The weight doesn’t concern me because I don’t plan on lifting it too often. I have a skinny Trek if I want to go light. The single drive-train works for me because I find the peddle assist offers enough options and the throttle gives me a great jump-start when a light turns green.
Cons: The fat tires don’t absorb enough shock for Philly Streets. I’d love a front suspension. I feel too close to the handlebars (and I’m only 5′ 3″) – I may get rid of the rider seat and use the passenger bench. I wish the passenger bench came in a shorter model so I could also add a basket to the back – and not either/or. I don’t like baskets in the front interfering with my steering.
Overall, I’m really happy with my purchase!!!
Hi Andrea, thanks for your review of the RadRunner, great to hear about your experience. Regarding the suspension fork, there is now the RadRunner Plus with suspension fork: https://www.radpowerbikes.com/products/radrunner-plus
Yes, but it’s not available yet and doesn’t come in the cool green color. If I can convince my husband to take my current bike, I might consider getting the RR Plus for myself.