The Rad Power BikesRadRunner Plus is a modern and intuitive Class 2 electric utility bike from Rad Power Bikes that combines a well thought out frame design with a powerful 750W motor and 48V, 14Ah battery.
If you’re looking for a clean and efficient alternative to your car, a good small cargo bike or you’re simply looking for an electric bike that will seat another person on the rear, the RadRunner Plus is a great choice.
During our RadRunner Plus review we put the bike through our hill climb test, brake test, circuit test and range test to give us a good idea of what the RadRunner Plus is made of. The Runner is a great bang for your buck e-bike with a lot of included quality parts and features, all while keeping the Runner around the $1,700 price point.
By the end of this review you should have a good idea of if the RadRunner Plus is the right Class 2 utility e-bike for you.
Bike Category: Cargo & Utility The RadRunner Plus has several optional accessories to customize the bike to the rider.
Bike Class: Class 2Class 2: PAS/Throttle assist, up to 20 mph
Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Plus Video Review
The RadRunner Plus is a well rounded e-bike. It has a very well thought out frame design that works great for hauling cargo and commuting to work.
There are lots of modular parts and accessories that allow you to customize the RadRunner Plus relative to your lifestyle.
The RadRunner Plus is plenty strong to take over for the rider. The 750W motor is great for scaling hills and riding at a high average speeds while keeping the rider fresh.
The low center of gravity gives the RadRunner good traction.
The RadRunner Plus has a solid battery life regardless of the assist level you decide to ride in.
The shape of the seat fits the aesthetic, but feels a bit odd to sit on, especially when pedaling. A little more conventional or ergonomic saddle design would help the pedaling experience.
The RadRunner Plus comes with the same brakes as the RadRunner 1, we would like to see some higher end brakes for the premium version of the RadRunner.
ELECTRICAL SPECS & FEATURES
Battery: 48V, 14Ah (672Wh)
Display: Standard LCD display
Motor: 750W brushless geared hub motor, 80 Nm of torque
Headlight: Large LED headlight
Taillights: Integrated taillight
Peal Assist: Levels 1-5
Range: 25-45 miles
Throttle: Twist throttle
Weight & Dimensions
Battery weight: 10 lbs
Claimed weight: 74.3 lbs
Real weight: 74.3 lbs
Maximum rider weight: 300lbs
Dimensions: 71.5” x 47.25” x 26” (length x handlebar height x seat height)
Components & Accessories
Brakes: Tektro Aries, 180mm rotors
Fenderss: Plastic fenders, full coverage front and rear
Fork: RST spring fork, 80mm, lockout and preload adjustment
Frame: 6061 aluminium
Gearing: 7-speed Shimano Altus, 11-34T
Grips: imitation leather grips, ergonomic
Saddle: Rad Power Bikes moped-style seat
Handlebar: Aluminum high rise handlebars, 10” rise, 660mm wide
Kickstand: Side-mounted, adjustable lean angle
Pedals: Wellgo alloy platform, 9/16”
Tires: 20” x 3.3” Rad Power Bike by Kenda “K-Rad”
Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Plus Performance Review
Acceleration / Speed
Rad Power Bikes ships their bikes as Class 2 e-bikes, they design their bikes as Class 2 e-bikes but you have the option to adjust the maximum pedal assisted speed to 28 mph, or Class 3.
The RadRunner Plus has enough power in its 750W motor that it only takes a couple of seconds to reach the bike’s top motor-assisted speed of 20 mph when engaging the throttle or pedaling in the highest assistance level.
The acceleration characteristics seem to be good for riding around downtown where I was constantly stopping at intersections and weaving through alleyways. With a touch of the throttle I was able to get back up to a high speed from a standstill.
You aren’t going to break any land speed records when riding around on the RadRunner Plus, but you are going to be able to hover around 20 mph most anywhere that isn’t a steep hill.
The RadRunner Plus did a good job of moderating power usage during our battery range tests. We conducted two separate tests, one on the lowest pedal assist level and the other on the highest. This gives our team a good idea of the true real world range the bike is capable of.
When I conducted the range test in the highest pedal assist level (PAS 5) it took 26.22 miles for the 48V, 14Ah battery to die. I rode at an average speed of 17.2 mph which is pretty quick considering the RadRunner Plus is limited to the maximum Class 2 speed of 20 mph.
The 750W motor had no issue hanging onto the speed I acquired during the ride, and my average speed is proof. Twenty miles-per-hour feels like a good limiter to keep the bike moving quickly without losing charge too fast.
When our team member Bryce Smith tested the RadRunner Plus in the lowest pedal assist level (PAS 1) we were shocked at how long the battery lasted. In fact, it lasted so long that we decided to stop trying to kill the battery because it simply would not die.
The RadRunner’s PAS 1 setting didn’t seem to be helping much at all, the wattmeter showed us the bike was only producing 30-70 watts in the lowest pedal assist level.
At 70 miles, Bryce had only dropped two of the five bars on the battery charge indicator. Not only was the PAS 1 setting not draining much power, 70 miles far exceeds the claimed maximum range of the RadRunner Plus. We reached out to Rad and confirmed this is an anomolously far range test result, one that probably was caused by human error or Bryce’s ability to pedal ridiculously hard for long periods of time. The RadRunner Plus comes with a similar battery to the RadRover 5 we tested earlier this year so we were expecting around 50-60 miles out of the battery.
We’re redoing this range test, so stay tuned for those updated results.
But while the test was flawed, it did illustrate the Runner’s extremely conservative low pedal assist setting. It’s not a setting I’d recommend using it if you need any sort of assistance at all, but it will really extend the bike’s battery life. If you’re looking to conserve the battery while still receiving some assistance I would recommend PAS 2, which Rad calls their “eco” setting.
Here at Electric Bike Report we conduct what we call the Circuit Test. We ride around a one mile loop or “circuit” in each assistance level to get a good idea of how each pedal assist level performs. After the test is complete we have a good idea of how fast each level is and how big of a gap there is between each level.
Despite the Escape coming in at 93 lbs, it pedaled pretty good and I think a lot of that is the sheer amount of inertia it has when rolling.
The RadRunner Plus had pretty conservative jumps from level to level, with the exception of the jump from PAS 2 up to 3, which was 3.1 mph. Each pedal assist level has its own benefits, PAS 1 is going to conserve the battery for a very long period of time while PAS 5 is going to try its hardest to keep you riding around the Class 2 top speed of 20 mph.
The 5 assist levels give the RadRunner Plus the ability to be the conservative e-bike that’s in it for the long haul, or the speedy e-bike that helps you get to work on time. The Runner also can be somewhere between these two examples, just as we would hope for in a utility-oriented electric bike.
Testing out all the different pedal assist settings on the RadRunner Plus
The RadRunners 10-inch high rise handlebar
Twist grip throttle, shifter, and ergonomic grip
Because the RadRunner Plus is limited to 20 mph we seldom saw the motor’s true speed capabilities on flat ground. The hill test is where we really saw the 750W motor come alive. Our test hill is a quarter-mile long and has an average grade of over 12 percent. We scale our test hill twice — once using only the throttle and once on the highest pedal assist setting. This tells us how strong the bike is on its own, and with rider assistance.
When I climbed our test hill using throttle only I clocked a time of 1:53.00, with an average speed of 9.6 mph. When I climbed our test hill in the highest pedal assist setting it took me 1:27.00, with an average speed of 12.5 mph to reach the top.
While the RadRunner Plus definitely didn’t clock the fastest times up our test hill it never seemed to be phased by it either; the motor was quiet, and its power output was consistently around 600-700 watts.
Between the two results I think the RadRunner Plus is a solid hill climber. It’s never going to “boost” you uphill, but it can definitely take over when things get tough. If you have cargo or are on your way to work the motor can definitely ensure you’ll get to your destination without having to over exert yourself.
The RadRunner Plus’s 20” wheels paired with the 3.3” wide tires and 80mm suspension fork made for a plush and agile ride experience. The Runner also has an upright riding position that makes it easy to stay comfortable.
The sharp turn radius of the Runner reminded me a lot of the RadMini 4 that I reviewed earlier this year. Both bikes have the ability to turn on a dime and accelerate back up to speed within a matter of seconds. While I would definitely say the RadMini 4 has an advantage in maneuverability, the RadRunner Plus’s low center of gravity makes it easier to balance and its knobbier tires help keep the tires stuck to the ground, even on short off-road sections.
The RadRunner puts the rider in a very upright position, mainly because of the 10-inch high rise handlebar setup. The positioning allowed me to stay comfortable during the range test, which had me pedaling the Runner for over an hour and a half. The Runner also has a low step frame that makes it easy to hop on and off the bike without the worry of getting hung up on the top tube.
The wedge shaped moped-style RadRunner saddle could use some improvement. While the design of this saddle makes sense for the moped oriented design of this bike, the shape of it doesn’t really work well for pedaling. When pedaling the back of my legs would rub the saddle and a more conventional saddle shape would definitely improve the pedaling experience. If you don’t plan on pedaling much then this seat will be just fine.
The RadRunner Plus fits a wide range of rider heights, riders with a leg length of 23” to 34” should be able to stand over and ride the bike comfortably. As a whole this bike is definitely comfortable.
Feeling out the contact points and geometry of the RadRunner Plus
Adjustable moped-style seat
The padded bench and moped-style seat
Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Plus Specs/Features Review: Electric Components
The RadRunner Plus comes with a 750W rear hub motor that’s capable of producing 80 Nm of torque. This motor is strong enough to manage the weight of the bike and whoever’s riding it without much issue at all.
When I conducted our hill climb test I was impressed with how the bike managed our steep test hill. While it didn’t clock the fastest time up the hill, the motor was always quiet and it never seemed to be phased or challenged.
The motor also allowed me to stay around the Class 2 top speed of 20 mph most of the time. While the speed definitely dipped on hills it was never as much as I was anticipating. It feels like the RadRunner always keeps a little power in the reserve for those “just in case” moments.
The RadRunners 48V, 14Ah battery performed right on target with what we expected, if not a little more.
When I rode in the highest pedal assist level I reached just under 30 miles on a single charge, which was about what I was expecting based on the size of the battery. The battery is tucked away nicely behind the seat post and is removable with the key that is included with the bike.
Pedal Assist / Throttle
The 5 pedal assist levels span from the extremely conservative PAS 1 up to the quick and powerful PAS 5. Levels 2,3, and 4 fall somewhere between these two extremes and all provide their own benefits. We discovered PAS 1 is about as conservative as it gets when it comes to pedal assist. Our test rider only received 30-70 watts when riding in it.
The highest pedal assist setting kept me riding around the maximum Class 2 speed of 20 mph. Because the RadRunner Plus has a 750W motor it had no issues maintaining a high average speed. I still received a good amount of charge life from the battery in the highest pedal assist setting.
The throttle has very similar characteristics to PAS 4, where the bike is able to reach 20 mph but at a slightly slower rate than in PAS 5. There is a wide range of acceleration when engaging the throttle and it all comes down to how much you twist it.
The RadRunner Plus has a solid LCD display; it doesn’t have any special features or gadgets but it does its job very well. This display shows me all the information that I want to see when riding around including speed, average speed, mileage, trip mileage, battery life, pedal assist level, and watt usage. The display also comes with a USB charging port to charge your devices on the go.
My favorite aspect of the display is the watt meter, it’s extremely useful in the sense that it allows me to moderate battery usage in a way where I can maximize the battery life. Being able to see the watts produced is an easy way to know if you need to back off your pedal assist level to maximize the battery life.
The RadRunner Plus has a center mounted LCD display
The RadRunner Plus’s full cockpit
Back side of the handlebars on the RadRunner Plus
Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Plus logo
Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Plus Review: Components and Accessories
Rad Power Bikes makes the most out of the components on their bikes. While they may use the same components as other competing brands, the way they are able to add them up into one bike makes a big difference. The Rad Power Bike fleet feels like a family of well put together, refined electric bikes that continue to get better year after year.
The Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes are paired up with 180mm rotors front and rear. These brakes do their job, but hydraulic disc brakes make a lot of sense for this bike. Reason being is this is the “upgraded” version of the RadRunner, so components like the brakes should be a no brainer to upgrade.
The RadRunner Plus comes with metallic brake pads, which tend to have a little more stopping power and “bite” than the organic brake pads which come on the RadRunner 1. I still think hydraulic brakes are the way to go on future “Plus” models.
When we conducted our brake test it took me an average of 17-feet 2-inches to stop from the top speed of 20 mph. The distance was a little farther than I was hoping for, however I would still deem these brakes as safe. As I mentioned before, I think hydraulic brakes are the way to go on the RadRunner Plus for future models.
The 6061 alloy frame comes with mounting points for a lot of modular parts like the RadRunner Center Console and front mounted basket. The frame also has more conventional features like its water bottle cage mount.
I am a big fan of how Rad Power Bikes designed this frame to work very well with its available accessories. While there are plenty of bikes that have available accessories, not many are as easy to use and install as the ones available for the Runner.
The silver metallic paint job of the RadRunner Plus is also well, a plus. It gives the bike the gleam and shine of a fancy clean car. The paint job is definitely appropriate for the upgraded version of the RadRunner that this bike is.
The frame comes with a 1 year warranty that covers manufacturing defects.
The RadRunner Plus comes with an RST 80mm spring suspension fork which has a lockout and and preload adjustment. The suspension fork is one of the main upgrades you receive on the RadRunner Plus over the standard RadRunner, and it does a great job absorbing chatter and vibrations from the trail or path.
The fork adds additional off-road capability and performance over the fully rigid fork that comes on the RadRunner 1. The fork also improves traction, especially off-road.
Regardless of if you’re riding on-road or off-road the suspension fork is going to add comfort and control to the bike. For those who will be doing some offroad miles on the RadRunner Plus keep in mind that this is no mountain bike, just a bike that’s capable on unpaved roads.
Drivetrain / Shifting
The 7-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain gives riders a wide range of gearing that makes the RadRunner Plus that much more capable than its standard counterpart, which uses a single speed drivetrain. I really appreciated having multiple gears to choose from during hill climbs.
During our hillclimb test I was able to maintain the same amount of effort despite the hill getting steeper, and that’s mainly due to the 7 gear range this bike has. The 7-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain paired with the 750W motor makes maintaining speed on flat ground and climbing hills a breeze.
The 7-speed Shimano shifter is an over-the-bar thumb shifter which does its job well. I would prefer an underbar shifter because it’s easier to shift on the fly without moving your thumb over the bar to shift. This is a pretty minor thing, but I see the shifter as one of the things that could definitely be upgraded on the RadRunner Plus.
Testing out the brakes on the RadRunner Plus
Tektro Aries caliper with 180mm rotor
Shimano Altus 7 speed drivetrain.
Contact Points / Comfortability
Overall I would consider the RadRunner Plus to be a comfortable bike. Its upright positioning and comfortable contact points are great for the most part. I think the moped-style seat needs some work. If this bike didn’t have pedals it would be just fine, however it does cause some discomfort when pedaling.
The backside of my legs began to get sore because of the saddle shape. With that being said I understand that this is a moped style e-bike, so it isn’t going to be designed around optimum pedaling positioning and performance.
The high rise handlebars and ergonomic grips proved to be a good combination for keeping my neck and lower back fresh. The grips aren’t the grippiest, but they are soft and a good shape for holding onto for long periods of time.
Other components such as the high-volume tires, and suspension fork add additional comfort and as a whole I was satisfied with the contact points and overall comfort of the RadRunner Plus.
The RadRunner Plus comes with exclusive “K-Rad” Kenda tires that are made specifically for Rad Power Bikes. The 3.3” wide tires are puncture resistant thanks to Kenda’s K-Shield technology and so far the tires have lived up to their claims. We’ve put 100-plus miles on the RadRunner Plus and not once have we had to deal with a flat.
The checkerboard tread pattern is eye-catching and surprisingly effective. The tread pattern felt like a good median of rolling speed and traction. While the RadRunner Plus is definitely more of an on-pavement bike these tires also seemed to perform decently during the occasional off-road stretches.
The high volume of the K-Rad tires makes for a wide range of performance. Lower pressures will yield more grip, while higher pressures will yield faster rolling speeds.
Extras / Accessories
The RadRunner Plus has a lot of modular accessories and extras that are available for purchase on their website. Between the amount of accessories and the versatility of the RadRunner Plus you should be able to set it up just the way you want.
The RadRunner Center Console is one of the best accessories you can buy for the RadRunner. It has 12 liters of capacity, and fits like a glove in the low step part of the frame. Regardless of how you intend to use your RadRunner, I think the console is a good thing to pick up at checkout.
Mounting point for cargo carrier and water bottle cage
Flipping down the pegs for the passenger
Downtown cruise on the RadRunner Plus
Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Plus Review: Summary / Where to Buy
The RadRunner Plus review process really allowed our team to see what the Runner brings to the table in the way of utility, ride experience, and overall quality. The 750W motor paired nicely with the rest of the bike and allowed me to scale steep hills without breaking a sweat and ride at high average speeds throughout town.
When you receive the RadRunner Plus it will be set up as a Class 2 e-bike, limited to 20 mph. Because of this, we conducted all of our tests with the RadRunner set up as a Class 2. Throughout all of the tests we conducted we really learned the ins and outs of how the RadRunner Plus performs in the real world.
I was very satisfied with the 26.22 miles I was able to get out of the battery on maximum assistance, and I was also happy with our hill climb test results. While the RadRunner Plus may have not been the fastest bike we’ve had scale our test hill, it did feel like one of the smoother ones. I came to like the smooth engagement of the motor, and its consistent power output it provided me with.
There are some components that I would like to see upgraded or modified on future models. I firmly believe that the RadRunner Plus should come with higher end brakes than the standard RadRunner 1. The shape of the seat works well for the moped style riding this bike is intended for, but when I decided to pedal it was very hard for me to get along with the seat. I had to readjust quite a bit, and the back of my legs were always rubbing against the seat.
Aside from that I think Rad Power Bikes has done a really good job with this bike. The upright geometry kept me comfortable and looking ahead, and the 80mm suspension fork kept me from getting bucked around on rougher surfaces.
The RadRunner Plus can be used for a lot of different things, its design, features, and available accessories makes it a great option for those looking for an affordable cargo & utility e-bike. The RadRunner was one of our choices for the Best Electric Cargo Bikes for 2021 because of its compact design and ability to hold a lot of cargo. This bike is ready for most cargo and commuting related tasks, and if you’re looking for a bike that can do both then I would recommend looking into the RadRunner Plus.
‘Happy Riding, make sure to let us know if you have any questions down in our comments section or if you think we left anything out in this review of the Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Plus.