eBikes seem to be taking the world by storm lately. We just recently reviewed a budget-focused eBike, and now it’s time to take a look at one that’s a little higher up on the price and feature scale. We covered the launch of Rad Power Bikes’ 2018 lineup, and have since had a chance to go hands-on with the 2018 RadCity.
Nomad Base Station
Before the RadCity arrived, I had never used an eBike. To me, it always seemed like an expensive bike that had no real benefits, but that’s far from the case. I’ve had this bike for the past few months, and I have to say, giving up an eBike is something that I never want to do.
RadCity is a great eBike to take on longer trips but easy enough to take just down the street. Twice a month, I work for a local car show that spans a massive parking lot. The RadCity is a must-have for easily getting across the lot and is always a talking point of those in attendance.
I’ve also taken RadCity down to our local golf course, and when people see the bike moving without me pedaling (silently thanks to being electric over gas-powered), people are always asking me questions about what it is and how it works.
Most of Rad Power Bikes’ lineup is right around $1,500. Though this might seem pricey for a bike, these are far from your average bicycles. With a top speed of approximately 20mph under its own power, and even faster when in assist mode, these bikes are great for extending the range of a bike ride and avoiding using a car.
Rad Power Bikes offers a few different options when it comes to eBikes. The one I received is the RadCity, which is their more popular offering. Rad offers two sizes here, either a 16-inch or 19-inch. I went with the 19-inch due to my height (I’m right at 6-feet), but if you’re any shorter than the smaller size is best. Rad has a handy guide on its website to help you choose.
The battery on Rad Power Bikes is 48V/14Ah (672Wh), much higher than standard 400-500Wh commonly seen on ebikes and can go an estimated 25-45 miles on a single charge, depending on how much assistance you’re using providing. When I received the RadCity, it had about a 75% charge and I got approximately 20 miles before I recharged the battery (going almost exclusively under its own power, and I still had 1 bar of juice left before it fully died.)
The bike features a half-twist throttle for self-powered driving and 5 levels of pedal assist. On the handlebars, there is an LCD display in the center which gives you a tripometer, odometer, speedometer, wattmeter, and also has a USB port on the bottom to charge your phone while riding. This is great to easily track rides and not have to worry about your phone dying.
On the front of the bike, there is an integrated headlight that turns on when you enable the LCD backlight by holding the mode + up button on the pedal assist selector. The rear of the bike has a red reflector and light that works independently from the front LED, and can be set to off, on, or flashing to be sure you’re seen from behind.
Weight wise, the RadCity can hold up to 275 pounds and the rear rack can hold up to 60 pounds. The rear rack is perfect for making runs to the grocery store if you have a basket on it or even a backpack or small luggage.
All of the external components used on Rad Power Bikes’s 2018 lineup are also waterproof. Though Rad doesn’t recommend leaving the bike out in the rain or other inclement weather for prolonged periods of time, riding in the heavy rain (or transporting as I did just a few days ago) is no issue for these bikes.
The suspension and gearing of this bike are phenomenal. With a 7-speed Shimano Acera drivetrain, this bike is easy to pedal on any terrain. The front suspension has rebound adjustment and lockout depending where you’re riding. The RadCity also features dual disc brakes so you’ll be sure to stop on a dime.
At $1,500, the RadCity may be more expensive than what you’re used to, but when it comes to eBikes, it’s one of the more affordable options on the market compared to other high-end offerings. Rad Power Bikes also offers a payment plan partnered with Affirm if you’d rather pay for your new purchase over a longer period of time rather than all at once. They also include shipping on all eBikes to the lower 48 states, and generally, shipments leave their facility in 1-2 business days.