When a company with the name “Rad Power Bikes” comes to you with an electric bicycle (e-bike), you can’t help but smile and hold back from saying: “Rad? Really? Hope you have something to show for it.” And the company did in a way we’d never expect with its RadRover e-bike.
The SUV Of E-Bikes
The RadRover is the SUV of the e-bike world. And that’s not a bad thing at all. Yes, that might sound strange for an electric bicycle, and the RadRover proves it by showing it is no sloth by any stretch of the imagination. A generous 750W motor matched to 5 e-assist power delivery modes makes this e-bike a very versatile one. And yes, SUV might sound strange because it is more often than not associated with these plush behemoths that can burn more gasoline a year than a third world country, but we call it the e-bike SUV of this world because it does have a nice sporty spacious feel to it.
The RadRover is heavy, of course, but that 750W electric motor more than makes up for the weight. The clever 5 e-assist modes restrict the electric motor. The first three modes restrict the motor up to 500 W, while the last two open the final 250 W for a flat out 20 MPH. And those big generous tires slash into the road with a rubbery yet sure foot forward. And that is one of the best reasons to go for fat tires, coupled to the right battery pack and electric motor, as they can be a lot of fun anywhere. Hit the hard harsh road and let off some pressure from those fat tires. See some sand, gravel or even snow, pump it back up and take a spin on a different ground.
Mostly the RadRover e-bike is so easygoing that you’d almost point it in a direction and it gets you there. It’s such an accommodating bike that can be ridden using electricity, by pedaling, or both.
Sure, pedaling won’t win any speed races. But the sure-footed fat tires can push the turned off e-bike to around 14 to 16 MPH, depending on terrain, condition, and physical shape. We’ve kept the bike at that pace for miles without any help from the battery pack and electric motor until we felt we had worked out a bit. We then switched to electricity and went to our meeting. This little passage exemplifies the daily life of an e-bike. They are far more versatile than what most people imagine at first.
140 Miles of RadRover In Two Weeks
The RadRover feels more like a Rolls Royce that sets itself in a direction and whiffs off at a leisurely 20 MPH. It’s the ultimate fast paced cruiser, the sort of Maserati or Mercedes of fast-paced cruising. Its comfort makes for fairly easy miles every day. In our case, we managed about roughly 10 miles a day on it, although that average was probably twice as much but off every other day.
Ultimately, we wouldn’t have thought of wanting to drive, own, or even design such an e-bike. The fat tires make sense with that torquey Bafang motor and the 48V, 14Ah, 672 Wh lithium-ion Samsung battery pack. In fact, the setup is so well balanced the RadRover can haul up to 275 lbs of cargo.
We don’t expect anything out of the usual for maintenance at some point. The RadRover uses a 7-speed Shimano Acera drivetrain set. The brakes are handled by 180 mm Tektro disk brakes stopping the mighty 26″ x 4″ Kenda Juggernaut fat bike tires for a total weight of 66.5 lbs.
Normally, we’d expect this kind of quality on e-bikes that cost at a minimum $1,800, such as the light and fun Jetson Adventure as seems to be the current “entry-level” trend. But, for many, $1,500 is entry level. Don’t get us started, as many also see the $1,000 as the true entry-level market, which thankfully we have all covered and picked a winners so far in that category — the Propella e-bike. The RadRover is $1,499 and that was a welcome surprise.
In case you do want the hauler version, you will be looking for the RadWagon cargo bike. Also, at $1,599, the cargo version offers a beefier cargo section, perfect for kids or groceries. It uses a 48V, 14Ah, 672Wh lithium-ion Samsung battery pack for a payload of 350 lbs using a 750W Shengyi direct drive hub motor. The RadWagon cargo bike comes with regen braking, which will help squeeze more range out of it.
Again, we’d never thought we would have had so much fun with a fat tire electric bicycle but the RadRover and RadWagon e-bikes from Rad Power Bikes are very solid additions to the market at fairly affordable prices.