There’s few things the readers of Electric Bike Report have asked for more than a comparison of the Himiway Cruiser vs. Rad Power Bikes RadRover 5 vs. the Aventon Aventure — three of the most popular and affordable fat-tire electric bikes.
Ask, and you shall receive.
We’ve thoroughly reviewed each of these three heavyweights on their own, but now it’s time to see how they stack up in a head-to-head comparison. They’re all relatively similar on paper — with powerful 750W rear hub motors, 4-inch wide tires and competitive componentry for less than $2,000 — but despite their similarities, each has gained a loyal fanbase that claims their favorite is the best.
The Himiway Cruiser, for example, is known among its cult-like followers as the most powerful 750W e-bike money can buy; the RadRover 5 has a reputation of dependability, refinement and well-done tuning; and the Aventure, the disruptive new kid on the block, is seemingly too new to be known for something yet, but some who’ve ridden it claim it’s the best of both the Himiway and the Rad packed into one bike.
So which is best? That’s a tough question with a very subjective answer, but we’ll do our best here to help you decide.
For this comparison we’ve assembled three of EBR’s bike reviewers, each with a different fitness level, weight and experience on bicycles. The goal, since an e-bike’s performance is so dependent on the rider, is to capture as broad of a perspective as possible on each bike. Our three reviewers — Griffin Hales, Pierce Kettering and myself — spent time on each bike during a host of tests aimed at sussing out which climbed best, stopped quickest and had the best range, among a few other things.
Bike Category:All three are fat-tire/hybrid path e-bikes most at home on pavement, gravel paths, and light-duty mountain bike trails.
E-Bike Class: 2All three e-bikes ship with a top pedal and throttle-assisted speed of 20 mph.
*NOTE: All 3 bikes can be configured to a Class 3 setting, raising the top assisted speed to 28 MPH. Be sure to consult your local e-bike laws before making any changes to the factory settings.
Who’s got what? The Himiway, Rad and Aventon Electrical Specs & Features
Components & Accessories: RadRover 5 vs. Himiway vs. Aventure
Aventon Aventure: 73 lbs
Himiway Cruiser: 72 lbs
Rad Power Bikes RadRover 5: 69 lbs
Maximum rider weight:
Aventon Aventure: 250 lbs
Himiway Cruiser: 350 lbs
Rad Power Bikes RadRover 5: 275 lbs
Performance Review: Himiway vs. Rad vs. Aventon
Acceleration / Speed
Though all sporting similar 750W rear hub motors, how the bikes deliver power during real-world use is distinctly different.
To put it short: The Aventon carries the highest average speed of the bunch — a result backed up by multiple rounds of testing under multiple different riders on the EBR circuit — while the Himiway is the quickest off the line and the Rover has the smoothest, most manageable powerband.
We haven’t found a great way to quantitatively measure how quickly a bike accelerates, but our team of test riders agreed the Himiway has the most unbridled power of the three. While the Rover and Aventure tap into the motor’s power gradually as the bike accelerates, the Himiway seems to give access to the full brunt as soon as you hit the gas. This can be a fun feature for the speed demons out there, but is something to keep in mind if you’re a new rider or want a tamer bike. Once rolling, all three bikes accelerate nicely and carry speed well.
For our tests at EBR, we adjusted all three of these bikes up to a Class 3 speed setting as that’s what we expect most consumers to do. While all three reach that 28 mph motor-assisted top speed with relative ease, the Aventon and Himiway hold that speed best and get there quickest. The Rover doesn’t necessarily struggle with high speeds, it just gets there in a slightly mellower fashion.
With three different battery sizes, it was pretty easy to predict how the Aventon, Himiway and Rad would handle our real-world range tests.
We wanted to know how long each bike would last on its highest motor assistance level — data we’d already collected in our in-depth review of each bike — and how long you could ride them using only the throttle. With a mondo 840Wh battery, it was no surprise the Himiway Cruiser put up the biggest numbers in both tests. The Aventon Aventure and RadRover 5 were extremely close, with the Aventure claiming second place in the throttle-only test and the Rover taking the No. 2 spot in the PAS 5 range test.
One note about these tests: Keep in mind that a bike’s range is dependent on a number of difficult to control factors including a rider’s weight, fitness level and even the weather conditions during your ride — so your real-world results will likely differ from ours.
Speed is arguably the most hotly debated aspect of these three bikes.
In nearly every forum or comments section, the conversation around the Rover, Cruiser and Aventure always boils down to one key question: With 750W of power apice, which goes fastest? We took all three to the Electric Bike Report test circuit to try and find an answer.
All three of these bikes have previously gone through a full circuit test where we do a lap of the 1-mile loop on each pedal assist setting plus a lap with no motor assistance. But to definitively answer the top speed question, we decided to revisit the circuit for some head-to-head top speed testing. Each EBR tester (myself, Pierce Kettering and Griffin Hales) did one full-power lap around the circuit on each bike to see how the top speeds changed for riders of different fitness levels, weight and experience.
Despite their similar motors, the numbers we recorded don’t lie: The new Aventure takes the top spot as the quickest bike in our comparison, followed by the Himiway and then the Rad.
Frankly, this is how we expected this test to shake out. There was a moment during the very first lap (we started each lap together, starting line-style) where the Himiway leapt off the line and appeared to out-accelerate the Aventure, but the Bafang-powered Aventon quickly clawed back the gap and passed the Cruiser. This happened almost every lap for every rider: The Himiway got the holeshot thanks to its motor’s unbridled power at low speeds, only to be caught later by the Aventon. The Rad laid down the slowest lap for each rider, but what it lacks in sheer speed it makes up for in smoothness. The Rover feels like it rides with a little more dignity and a little more poise than its speed-demon competitors. It’s got plenty of torque and power to flatten hills and clip along at a quick pace, but it delivers its power in a very measured and predictable way.
We’ve got good test data on how the Himiway, Aventon and Rad performed up our test hill, lovingly dubbed “Hell Hole” by locals in southern Utah. But for the purpose of this head-to-head comparison we took the three bikes to a new incline we’ve found near Hell Hole that’s even steeper. This hill, dubbed “Mount Everest” (we’re not kidding, it’s even written on a sign at the bottom) pitches to nearly 26 percent in some places and has two speed-sucking switchbacks. It’s also slightly longer than our typical test hill.
During our normal hill testing on Hell Hole, the Aventon laid down the quickest time of the three bikes on both its throttle only run and the PAS 5 run. In a close second was the Himiway followed by the RadRover.
On the maximum assistance test up Hell Hole, all three bikes finished within six seconds of one another. The Aventon crested the hill in 1:10 followed by the Cruiser with almost exactly the same time and the Rover came across in 1:16. All three are very impressive times. On throttle only, the margin between the three bikes grew to 44 seconds but the finishing order remained the same. The Aventon crossed the line in 1:22, followed by the Himiway in 1:24 and last was the Rover in 2:06.
If you’re paying close attention to our data, you’ll likely notice in the above charts that there was a bit of a shuffling of results between the first and second rounds of hill testing. The Aventon, which laid down the quickest time on Hell Hole, put up the slowest time on the steeper Mount Everest hill. That’s not because the steeper, longer hill got the best of it. Rather, we swapped out the riders.
We drew straws for which of our three testers would pilot which bike in the second round of hill testing. Griffin, our cycling newbie, got the Aventon while Pierce pulled the Himiway and I got the Rad. Pierce and I (who did all the initial testing for these bikes) are pretty evenly matched on hills, but Griffin, who has been riding for far less time, doesn’t pedal uphill as quickly as we do.
To Griffin and the Aventon’s credit, their result is impressively close to what Pierce and I did on the Himiway and Rad. If you watch the video of the hill tests, there’s a clip of Griffin on one of the steeper sections exclaiming that he’d “probably already be walking on a different bike” — a testament to the Aventure’s climbing abilities. For Pierce and I, the Himiway and Rad produced more than enough torque to get us up and over the hill. Despite our best efforts to find a hill steep enough to strain these 750W e-bikes, Mount Everest proved no match.
Handling (cornering, slow speeds, safety on bike, etc.)
It’s tough to point at any of these three e-bikes and say one of them handles worse or better than the next. The fact of the matter is they all ride very well and have similar handling characteristics.
Fat bikes are popular nowadays because the 4-inch tires give riders the sensation of stability and off-road capability, and each one of these bikes captures that idea. They handle their weight well, feel very stable and planted in corners and do a good job of handling some light off-road use.
Since these are fat bikes, and fat bikes were invented to handle deep sand and snow, we did take all three of them to a sandy riverbank near the EBR offices to see how well they handled unstable ground. This wasn’t a formal test, and I’d suggest watching the video version of this comparison to see how well they performed, but in short: They were a blast to ride in sand.
Specs/Features : Electrical Components
A 750W geared hub motor is laced into the rear wheel of each of these bikes, the largest motor allowed on an electric bicycle in most U.S. states.
On the Himiway and Rad are two unbranded rear hub motors that appear very similar and on the Aventon is a hub motor from popular manufacturer Bafang. Though similar on paper, these three motors put power to the ground in very different ways thanks to careful tuning. The Rover rolls out power very mellow at first and gradually increases torque as the speed increases,the Himiway has a very abrupt initial power output and the Aventure is somewhere between those two. Which is better is entirely up to the rider and what they want from their bike.
We talk alot about how similar these bikes are, but the batteries are where we see some very clear differences between the three brands.
The Himiway Cruiser has an impressively large 48V, 17.5Ah (840Wh) battery that gives it a class-leading range. The Aventure’s 48V, 15Ah is much closer to the typical battery size we see on these 750W bikes, but still larger than average. And finally the Rover’s 48V, 14Ah (672Wh) is right in line with what we’d expect on a sub-$2,000 750W e-bike.
We do have to give some kudos to Himiway and Aventon here for their larger-than-average batteries, with a special nod to the mondo battery strapped to the Himiway. The battery is the most expensive component on an e-bike and it’s very impressive that both those brands were able to put such large batteries on their bikes without driving the cost way, way up.
Pedal Assist / Throttle (when applicable)
The Himiway, Rad and Aventon all have the typical five pedal assistance levels, which adjust power and the maximum motor assisted speed to give a rider added control over the bike’s motor.
But how each brand tuned these settings is distinctly different. The RadRover, for example, has an extremely refined power delivery that feels very safe, controlled and predictable. On the polar opposite end of that spectrum sits the Himiway, which seemingly gives you access to all 750W as soon as you tap the throttle or start pedaling. And somewhere in between is the Aventure, which has a gentle initial power delivery, similar to the Rover, but then rolls on the power as the bike gets up to speed.
Which tuning is better is entirely up to you and what you’re hoping to get out of the bike. While the Rover may be great for a new or less experienced rider looking for manageable power, the Himiway is likely the right bike for a person unafraid of a little white-knuckle acceleration.
The full-color and feature rich display found on the Aventon Aventure is the hands-down standout of this comparison.
While the backlit LCD displays found on the Himiway and Rad are very typical and work really, really well, the display on the Aventon is a leap ahead in quality and functionality. All three displays give you the typical metrics of speed, trip time, distance covered, etc. the Aventon gives some fun additional details like how many trees you’ve saved and how many kilograms of Co2 you’ve reduced by going by bike. Maybe the most important thing the Aventon’s display does that the others don’t, is it gives a percentage-based battery readout instead of an icon-based readout. This is hugely helpful, and makes it much easier to gauge how far you can ride on a single charge.
It’s important to remember that the Aventon may be loaded with goodies like the full-color LCD display we’re raving about there, but it is the most expensive of the three. Features like the display are likely accounted for by the price jump over the Rad and Himiway.
Components and Accessories
This is another category in which the newer Aventon runs away with the best performance thanks to some slightly higher quality parts.
While the RadRover 5 and Cruiser have mechanical disk brakes, the Aventure has more powerful hydraulic brakes. For this test, each of our testers took turns doing three full-power stops on each bike. We then took that average of all those stopping distances to get a bike’s result.
On average, the Aventon came to a stop in 10 feet 2 inches, almost four feet quicker than the Himiway and Rad. That’s not to say the brakes on the Himiway and Rad are poor performing — we consider anything under a 15-foot stopping distance to be good, and the Himiway came to a stop at an average of 13 feet and 11 inches and the Rad stopped at 14 feet 10 inches.
All three bikes are made of the same material — 6061 aluminum alloy — but how the manufacturers chose to shape that metal make them distinctly different.
They all come in a step-thru variation that look very different from brand to brand, but the non step-thru versions of the bikes look similar in many ways. This particularly applies to the high-step variation of the Himiway and Rad, which share many of the same design features. The Aventure is the most unique of the bunch, with a fully-integrated battery and swooping lines that make it an aesthetic standout among its competitors.
All three of these bikes have forks that do a good job of taking the edge off rough roads and bumps on gravel paths. The RadRover 5 and Himiway Cruiser come with unbranded forks and the Aventon has a Zoom Forgo fork.
It’s important to keep in mind with all these bikes that the forks they come with are not built for high-impact mountain biking. These are forks built to make riding over rough surfaces a little more comfortable. All three handle the bikes’ hefty weights very well, though it’s easy to run through their travel on bigger bumps or even under hard braking.
Drivetrain / Shifting
All three bikes have similar but slightly different drivetrains.
The Aventure has full 8-speed Shimano Acera, including a below-bar shifter pod which we really like. The Rover has a 7-speed variation of Acera, though it has a Shimano Tourney overbar thumb shifter we see on many bikes at this price point. The Himiway comes with a 7-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain, which sits one step below Acera in the Shimano hierarchy. Like the Rad, it too comes with the Tourney overbar shifter.
For a few hundred bucks more than the Rad and Himiway, the Aventure’s all Acera drivetrain stands out from the pack. We like seeing uniform groupsets and the Acera underbar shifter is far more comfortable and easy to use than the Tourney shifters on the other bikes.
Where your body touches the bike — what we call the “contact points” — across these three bikes are all pretty similar with some minor exceptions. They all come with decently wide mountain bike-style handlebars, alloy pedals and wide, comfortable seats. The main difference is in the grips found on the Aventon. The grips on the Himiway and Rad are an ergonomic faux leather popular on many bikes right now, while the Aventon comes with some standard lock-on rubber grips.
I speak for all our testers when I say we prefer the rubber grips on the Aventon. The faux leather looks great and adds a nice touch of style to an otherwise metal and rubber e-bike, but they sacrifice functionality to achieve that look. The faux leather just isn’t very grippy, especially if your palms get wet or sweaty.
The 4-inch fat tires on all three of these bikes are nearly identical, aside from a slight tread pattern variation on the Aventon. Both the Rad and the Himiway use the same Kenda Juggernaut tires while the Aventon uses the more aggressive Kenda Krusade tires.
Extras / Accessories
All three bikes come with front and rear fenders, though the metal fenders on the Aventon are a slight step up from the plastic fenders on the Himiway and Rad. The Himiway also ships with a rear rack, which is a nice bonus feature.
There’s no shortage of add-ons and extras you can buy for all these bikes, ranging from racks to bags and even child seats for taking a kid along for the ride.
Which fat e-bike is best?
So of the Himiway Cruiser, Rad Power Bikes RadRover 5 and Aventon Aventure, which bike is best?
As I said earlier, that’s a tough question with a very subjective answer. But it’s hard to deny that there’s a noticeable trend in the results of our tests and the bikes’ spec sheets: The Aventure performed best in most of our assessments and it comes stock with several higher quality parts like hydraulic brakes, a nicer drivetrain and several other upgrades like a full color LCD display.
But, it’s important to note that those upgrades do come at a cost. At a starting retail price of about $1,900, the Aventure is right at the upper limits of this category’s $2,000 price ceiling and is several hundred more than both the Rad and Himiway. Among value priced e-bikes, that cost difference matters.
So, if you’ve got a $2,000 budget for a fat-tire e-bike and you don’t mind eating up all your funds, my personal opinion is the Aventure is your best choice. Aventon built it to be the disruptive new kid on the block, and disrupt it has: It’s set a new high bar for quality and thoughtful detail, and I’m excited to see how other e-bike builders rise to the challenge of matching or beating it.
As I said in our previous in-depth review of the Aventure, its strengths are in the little details. It’s chock-full of seemingly small features like the color LCD display, integrated battery and metal fenders that, added together, make one formidable fat-tire e-bike. Not to mention that it looks great and has loads of power.
But if you’re on a budget closer to the $1,500 mark, or want to make sure you’ve got a little cash left over for accessories like bags, racks or riding gear (because let’s be real, you’re probably going to want some extras to go with your new bike), the Rad and Himiway are both great choices. But which do you pick? That depends on what type of rider you are.
The fans of the Himiway who claim it’s an ultra-powerful fat bike sure are on to something, because that thing’s a beast. Off the line it produces so much torque you’ve gotta be careful not to let the bike get away from you — and it’ll carry that power all the way to its top speed. It’s also got a class leading range thanks to its huge 840Wh battery, which is a very cool feature considering it’s the cheapest bike in this comparison.
But the raw power of the Himiway is not for everyone. It’s important to remember that at the end of the day, these are bicycles designed for people who want stability, predictability and usable power. The RadRover 5 has all those things in spades. The Rover’s power delivery is measured and poised, giving the rider solid control over its 750W motor. It’s also a tried, true, and often-copied fat e-bike. This is Rad’s fifth iteration of the Rover and that refinement shows in the bike’s dependability, comfortable fit and really solid overall ride feel.
All three of these e-bikes are built by direct-to-consumer companies, so you can order any of them online and have them shipped to your door. Aventon does have a sizable network of in-person dealerships, so you can walk into a brick-and-mortar store to pick one up if buying online isn’t your thing. We’ve referenced prices a few times in this comparison, but all three of these manufacturers are known for frequent sales, so use one of the buttons below to find the best price for the one you like.