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Rad Power Bikes faces wrongful-death suit

Bicycles

RadRunner Is The Most Discussed E-Bike On reddit, But Why?

There’s something about the little RadRunner e-bikes from Rad Power that makes almost everyone who ride them smile, so it’s probably not a huge surprise to find that they’re a popular e-bike on the popular ebikes subreddit — but that might not be the only reason they’re such a hot topic.

Take the Bad With the Good

12-year-old Molly Steinsapir was riding on the back of her friend’s RadRunner down the steep hill of Enchanted Way in Pacific Palisades, CA, with a friend on Jan. 31st of last year. As the bike built speed, Steinsapir’s friend (at the controls) pulled the bike’s brake levers, but (according to a lawsuit filed by Molly’s parents) the bike did not stop. Instead, the girl riding lost control of the bike, and Molly was thrown to the concrete, where she lay facedown, unresponsive.

It’s every parent’s nightmare — heck, it’s my particular nightmare, surrounded as my kids are by e-bikes, hover boards, kick scooters, go karts, and the occasional motorcycle here and there, so I can understand why the Steinsapir family is crushed, hurt, angry, and out for blood with a lawsuit that alleges Rad Power did everything from market itss products to young kids and willfully ignore known safety defects to “burying” warnings about underage use deep in the owner’s manual that, the lawsuit seems to indicate, “nobody reads.”

I get it. I’m sure you get it. But, while nearly 1000 cyclists die every year, more than 130,000 sustain injuries serious enough to merit records-keeping (and who knows how many more that never go to hospitals or file claims, and the total cost to the US economy (according to the CDC) is something in the neighborhood of $23 billion. Few of the lawsuits that do emerge from those incidents make it into the New York Times (a publication that I, for one, have found to be very pro-oil and pro-ICE in the way it chooses to presents facts).

I’ll also add that Rad Power has more than $150 million in assets, and that Steinsapir’ parents (who are attorneys) are also suing Giro Sport Design, the manufacturer of the helmet Molly was wearing, but not the girl’s friend, who was actually in control of the bike, or the friend’s parents.

The Good News for Rad Power

The good news for Rad Power, though, is that the most commented on “RadRunner” posts in r/ebikes don’t seem to be about the Team Molly horror crash, and focus instead — rightly, in my opinion — on the relative merits of the bike itself. And there are many!

The graph, put together by review aggregator Looria, shows a number of different e-bikes in the mix. Most telling, however, is that it’s the “bang for the buck” brands, and not established players like Specialized or Giant (or ultra high-tech brands like Greyp), which seem to be getting the people talking. “I think it goes to show the demand is there especially at lower price points,” wrote user KatsHubz87. “I wonder if these premium brands are missing their opportunity to introduce more riders to their bikes by not having a value option.”

You can check out Looria’s chart below, or visit the original post to get more details. Once you’re done, we invite you to scroll down to the bottom of the page and let us know your take on the results — and the Rad Power lawsuit — in the comments.

Most Discussed Products on r/ebikes

Source: Looria, via reddit.

 
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I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and have been a part of the Important Media Network since 2008. You can find me here, working on my Volvo fansite, riding a motorcycle around Chicago, or chasing my kids around Oak Park.

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