Rad Power Bikes RadMini Step-Thru 2 Review – $1.3k

(bike bell ringing) – Hey guys, we are a place
called McKinney falls just South of Austin, Texas. Beautiful park, wonderful
place to test out some of the Rad Power bikes. These are all the fat tire models. We've got the RadMini Step-Thru. This was introduced just
a year and a half ago, and it's one of my favorites. It's very approachable. We've got this kind of
deep Step-Thru design. You can easily straddle
the frame like this and control it up here
with the handlebars. The smaller wheel size that brings the whole
frame lower to the ground. And it actually gives that 750 watt planetary
geared Bafang hub motor a mechanical advantage. So rather than moving these
big tall 26 inch wheels, it just has to move that little wheel.

These are fat bike specific motors put out 80 Newton meters of torque. And again, having one that's
approachable like this is just wonderful. I love the colors. You got this white right here
with some orange accents, optional front and rear racks, 80 bucks for each of those. But it does come with these
plastic fenders, extra wide. It's gonna keep you dry. I do wanna point out though that because the front rack is
installed on this bike, the headlight is mounted to that rack and it's not gonna turn when I steer.

So that's one of the trade offs, if you do upgrade to one of these racks. But I like that they mount
to the frame like this, a weight capacity of 10 kilograms. You can really load these things up and they have these trays
and different bag options. And by having it mount to the frame, it's gonna feel more stable. It's not gonna impact your steering. It's not gonna dump over when you park it.

I love that these have an
adjustable length kickstand and that it's free and clear
there of the left crank arm. So you don't get heel strikes
as you're peddling along, or maybe you're backing
this out of your garage. That's something that
some of the other bikes have like a mid mounted kickstand. I feel like Rad, the theme of these bikes for me is that they're affordable, 1,499.

They come with a year long
comprehensive warranty, and they've really thought through them. They've worked out the
kinks over the years, and they've even added some
really special features to them. So I mentioned that headlight before, we also have a rear light that has like brake light integration. Both of those run off this
battery pack right here. 48 volts, 14 Amp-hour, 672 Watt-hours, which I would consider
above average especially in this price point. And it's compatible with the other models. So you could have the Step-Thru RadRover, maybe you've got two RadMinis.

This is the high step version, maybe a little more masculine looking. On the Step-Thru RadMini, it's positioned a little bit more forward. It's in front of that C-tube. And I like that they've
got this surround tube that connects to that
big gusset right there. And this nice little folding joint with extra locking
points, it's really nice. This is the gusset that I'm
talking about by the way. See how there's extra metal aluminum alloy that connects this tube so you
don't get as much frame flex, another gusset right there. So we've got a little four
LED charge level indicator right there that's nice. Kind of semi-aerodynamic shape. It slides on like this, it mounts and then slides down. And depending on which
frame we're talking about. Like if it's the RadMinis, you might have to raise the
seat and turn it or take it off. So getting the battery
on and off on some models is a little easier like the RadRover, on others it takes a little bit more time.

Here's the charging port
on the right hand side. It's got a little rubber cover
that's fairly easy to use. Sometimes those aren't so
easy to use on other bikes, they don't seat very well. Oh yeah, 48 volt, 14
Amp-hour, 672 Watt-hours. These weigh about 7.6, 7.7 pounds. They do have two fuses
right there, which is nice. I don't have an IP rating,
Ingress Protection rating. but they say they're
highly water resistant, just like the motor and the display.

So they say you can
ride these bikes around in rain and in wet conditions. You're definitely not supposed
to submerge them or anything, but it's nice that they
warranty them for that when you're comprehensive. And that the battery pack replacements are a little more affordable because the controller unit is separate. And then another unique
quality about these batteries is that the locking mechanism
has three different slots. So right now you could
slide it onto the bike because that pin is not protruding. And then once it's on, you can kind of push and turn
and it'll lock to the frame, and you can remove the key.

And in this mode it's off. So no one can tamper with your display, which is kind of cool. No one's gonna be able to
use the throttle or anything. And then you take it to
that next step, right. Still locked and now take the key out, and the bike will work. So it's really cool for people who don't wanna take this off their bike, but don't want people tampering. You kind of lock it and turn the bike off. I think that's really nice. And there are a lot of other
bikes that don't do that, so good job Rad. Step-Thru bikes, especially when you load up the rear rack, they can feel a little flexy but that's not so much the case here. I think they've done a great job. And they offer a lot of just stability, is what I wanna call it because of those larger tires, right.

And again, that lower profile, the whole thing is set up that way. I wanna point out that they've got an aluminum alloy chain guide right here that doubles as a bash guard. So if you take any hits right here, they've got this folding
support stand arm. But the chain guard itself, it's also like a bash guard. And it's also almost
like a chain protector without needing a plastic kind of an extra support piece right here. So I've been riding with my longer pants, these are fairly loose all day actually. And because of the tubing
and these chain guards, I'm not having a problem. They're not getting dirtied
up or snagged or anything. And then back there, can
you see that black disc and it's got these silver dots on it? That is a cadence sensor. It detects when you're peddling
and it's very responsive. I'm very impressed with that. They do have some newer designs that would fit on the other
side of the bottom bracket that are a little smaller and more sealed, but this is tried and
true, it's kinda proven.

So maybe in the future they'll update it. It's not huge deal unless
you're really getting dirty. And these fenders have worked so well that I'm really not getting
too much mud and dirt up here. So I feel like it's kinda good
enough getting the job done. Pretty solid pedals here. This is another area
that impressed me a lot.

I've always liked the
Wellgo platform pedals, but a lot of times on folding e-bikes they'll give you like plastic ones, that just bend and flex
and they're not as big. These are aluminum alloy
and they're fairly large. You can see how this bike
is actually fairly capable. I got the opportunity to
take some of these bikes to Mexico years ago and test
them out on the Sandy beach. And you lower the tire
pressure down to like five PSI, and it actually works.

You can go through the sand, you can control them. And with that twist throttle activation, you can go anywhere. I mean it's amazing. You just really gotta
watch that tire pressure, that's the big takeaway. So speaking of tires, these are custom designed by
Kenda with Rad Power Bikes. And you can see their
K-RAD label right here, Rad Power Bikes branding,
that's kinda neat.

Some of the things they've done that's unique with these tires is they've got this puncture
protectant tire casing. So you really don't wanna get a flat tire when you're on a bike. But a lot of times when you're
lowering the tire pressure, or you going off road, that makes it more of a possibility. So there's this unique
checkerboard pattern that's fairly quiet on road, but still gives you enough
traction when off-road. And we've got these
reflective sidewall stripes. So with the Step-Thru, I like that it comes in
this white frame color that gives you a little bit of visibility. You're gonna stand out, more of a larger visual footprint. Then you've got this headlight
that has some side visibility and reflective tire stripes. It's like kind of the best of everything. That's important when you're
lower to the ground, right. With cars and stuff you
really wanna be seen, especially when you're zipping around going probably a little faster
than a traditional cyclist just on peddle power. So good job Rad. I like that they're
paying attention to that.

Nice decals here the orange that ties in. This silver stripe on top, I think it's strategically positioned. So if you kick the frame, it won't make the paint look dirty. And they've got this nice satin finish that doesn't show marks quite as much. And we got a bottle cage mount right here, which is really nice. The rack mounts that we talked about. And then back here,
there's a Yepp seat window. So you can put the child seat back here. They have another one that
clamps on from the side. There's a tray option. There's pannier bags, a bungee loop. So you can kind of
strap stuff down quickly and easily if you want to. Again, this is an optional accessory. We just had it fitted on the bike 'cause it looks kinda nice.

And it's really solid, see how it protects this rear light. Normally that light would be
mounted, kind of like this. See on this frame it's mounted to. These are called the seat stays, and there's this little
bracket that raises it up, so it gets clearance over the fender. But when you get the rack, you have to bring it back here. And they have a little extension cable and it works just right. So good job on that. And again, nice that
they've been thoughtful about visibility. If they mounted that too low, it wouldn't clear the fender. So those are extra things
that Rad's doing really well. Check this out. This is a seat binder, quick release. And it's an extra large
lever so it's a lot easier. It doesn't hurt your fingers
when you pull on that. This is more of a standard size, but that's for height
adjustment on the stem. So it telescopes up and
down along with the seat, and you can make this thing fit quite a wide range of people.

It's very impressive. It's a nice approachable bike, not super aggressive. You'll notice that the
stem is fairly short. We've got this mid-rise handlebar. So it's not this flat low one where you have to lean forward. This is more of a comfortable, upright, but go anywhere platform, which I have a lot of
fun with these things. Comfort's a big deal for me. So we've got a suspension fork. This is a spring fork
with progressive lockout. You can and take it all
the way forward like that. And when you do lock it out, it reduces that like
kind of squishy feeling, which can impact steering and it wastes a little bit of energy.

So if you wanna maximize your range and you're not on bumpy terrain, you can go ahead and lock that out. There's even a preload
setting on this side. You preload that spring, which is good if you're
someone who weighs a bit more or you got the rack loaded up. You're not gonna waste that
range just on your weight, your starting point weight. You wanna preload that spring, very cool. And then of course the drive train. So we've got this larger
seven speed thumb shifter or paddle shifter. They use these a lot the times when there's a twist throttle, because trigger shifters just won't fit under the handlebar there. It's just not enough room. So pretty nice. It's got some readouts here, so you can see what gear you're in as long as it's positioned up high enough. Maybe you swivel the handlebars back, and that's gonna change
your reach if you want to.

So there's a lot you can do even though this only
comes in one frame size. So that runs down back
to the end of the bike and we've got ourselves
a seven speed freewheel. So not a cassette, a cassette's maybe a little bit nicer. Freewheel is a bit cheaper, but Rad has really optimized this thing. This is 11 to 34 tooth nickel plated, see how shiny it is. So it's easier for the chain. There's a lot less friction, and it just slips between the
gears a little bit easier.

And then the range of
gears, 11 to 34 means. 34, you're gonna get started very easily. you're gonna climb more effectively. But 11 you're gonna be able to hit and maintain that 20 mile
per hour top speed supported, maybe even faster than
that if you want to. But with these tires there's
a little bit of friction. So going above the maximum
motor supported speed it takes a little bit more effort. I like that they've got
this Derailleur guard, especially since it is a folding bike. So if it tipped over or you
put it in the back of your RV, or a truck or something. It's gonna protect the sensitive bits. Shimano Altus Derailleur, two
steps up from the base level in the Shimano group set.

And it does have a barrel adjuster. It's kinda good enough. This is a value part right
here, the Derailleur, but it's not the lowest, right. So Rad's always like kinda stepping it up at least one notch which I like to see. And then as far as folding, they come with a Velcro strap that helps you keep it folded together. So it won't rattle around
and get scratched up. And they also suggest you can
get these big rubber made tubs and you can put the folded
bike in one of those tubs.

pexels photo 5195660

And that way it won't get your car dirty. So a lot of little tips and tricks. So I've asked Mike to help
do a folding demonstration. We're gonna do it on the high step, because it doesn't have the front rack. And I think that'll be a little bit easier for you guys to see. So we can just kind of
wheel it out this way, Mike.

And go ahead and start
doing it and I'll narrate. So the first thing we do
is fold the pedals down. You sort of push them in
and then pivot them up. Again, I really like these pedals because they are so sturdy and it compliments the sort
of robust wheels and stuff. We've already dropped the
stem all the way down.

So we don't need to do that. Now he's unlocked and
then he's pulling up, and that unlocks a pin. Mike is spinning the handlebars around, just sort of set it down. We made sure that the bike was off before we started to do this. 'Cause it'd be easy to
bump that twist throttle and give yourself a raspberry, and then the handlebars
fold to the outside. So it's actually fairly compact. You can see now how it's
pivoting a little bit.

This is where you'd wanna use that Velcro strap that they include. And a lot of times I'll put a towel between
the frame as well, just to keep things from
getting too scratched up. Do you have any other tips about the folding process there Mike? – No, everything you just said. – Okay, sweet. Yeah, I think that's it you guys. Again, it is fairly heavy. So when you're putting it
in the back of your vehicle, maybe get a friend and take
the battery off at 7.7 pounds, save your back. One of the other really
cool things Rad is doing now is they've got this Rad Mobile Service where they deliver the bike if you buy it in one
of these major cities.

It's starting out in Austin, Seattle, Vancouver, and Sacramento. And I think that's pretty cool 'cause it's nice as these
new boxes are and everything and they're pretty wide. There's still a lot of
kinda messing around. If you don't have a bike rack and you wanna get this thing set up right. It's so cool that
they're doing, it's $149. I wanted to call out
their newest model here. This is the Step-Thru RadRover. And you can see it's
a fairly sizable bike. It weighs like 70 pounds.

So having this kind of service
at your disposal really sets them apart from some of the other like online direct e-bike brands. They also do warranty
service with this too. So it's not just your first purchase. I think that's awesome, right. So other things I noticed and
appreciate about this bike is the saddle here. It's this Velo Plush with a handle, makes it easier to lift and fold. Matches these ergonomic
stitched faux leather grips. And then of course we need some breaks. This bike does weigh about
69 pounds with the battery.

The battery itself is about 7.7 pounds. The motor is 8.7 pounds, keeping most of that weight
low and centered on the frame. But coming back up, the brake levers these are mechanical. They have four finger levers
with that rubberized edge, which is really comfortable. And then the integrated bell. (bell ringing) Something that I really appreciate, it's a friendly way to signal to people. And it's not gonna get
bumped or swiveled off the way that these aftermarket bells are. It's a good design. Now there's a lot of wires here, right. And that's because in
addition to the display, the button pad and the shifter, we've got the mechanical brake
levers and motor inhibitors.

So anytime you pull those brakes, it sends a signal to the
controller, which is right here. It says hey, stop the motor. This person wants to stop. And that's good, 'cause remember this is
a fairly powerful motor. It's nice to have a setup like this that is smart, powerful. They separated the controller
which doesn't look quite as nice as an integrated controller, but it makes the replacement batteries a bit more affordable. It's also dissipating heat a
little bit more efficiently. This is a high amp controller, 'cause it is handling a more
powerful high torque system. So I get that. It does stand out on this
frame a little bit more than the black.

So I wanted to mention
that as a trade off. But anyway, back to the brakes. These are 180 millimeter
mechanical disc brakes. And for such small wheels, I mean this is really… It's the same thing as the motor, you're getting a big mechanical advantage. So the rotor size relative
to the wheel size, it's pretty big and it provides
a lot of stopping power. Now, the right brake
activates the rear brake. So this activates the rear, and that cable has to go further, and there's a little bit more friction. So it does require some hand
effort and some strength. You can't adjust the reach
the way that you could with like a hydraulic disc brakes. There's some really
fancy things out there. And this is one of the areas that I feel is kind of a cost saving.

But at least they went
with the big rotors, 'cause that means you're gonna be able to stop pretty effectively. So for me that's the one like. A little bit of a trade off happening. Again, just walking around these bikes, there's a lot to appreciate it. And it's really in the little things. But I feel personally that
the company's done a great job and they're actually kind of an ambassador for electric bikes in general, because they do have so
many different options. You can kind of get a couple of these for your family members and swap the batteries out and stuff.

That's fairly unique in the space. And they've been staying
with this battery now for a couple of years. So it feels like you're gonna have support ongoing for a while. Okay, I'm gonna boot this thing up. Hold the mode button. You know it's a really cool display. It's got this nice five
bar battery indicator. It'd be nice if it was
10 or maybe a percentage. That's one of the things I've
been asking for for a while, but otherwise it's fairly large.

It's like 2.75 inches. It's got the odometer up there. And if you hold the mode
button for a second, it goes to trip. And then if you see that up arrow there, right now we're in current
speed, miles per hour. If I hold it, I get average speed. Just hold that up arrow,
hold it again, max speed. So it's nice. There's a lot built into this thing. We have five levels of pedal assist. It starts on level one and
that throttle is always hot. So be careful whenever
you turn the bike on, I recommend kind of standing over it, stabilizing it just in
case you bump the throttle. But we can take it down to zero and the throttle still works. Then we've got watts, so that's how hard the motor is working. Now if we hold the up
and mode simultaneously, we get backlight. And you can't see it right here, but it actually produces a good glow on that menu system there. And then the headlight you can see they've mounted it right
here under the rack.

It's aimed down a little bit, 'cause it looks like those
blades hit the platform a bit. But this new light is great. It's nice that they kind
of relocated it up here. 'Cause if it was on top
of that suspension arch, it would potentially be
bumping into the rack. So the headlight it's
got that nice LED ring and a really focused lens on the front. It's a nice setup, it actually lights up your path. In the past It was more
of a be seen situation. And now with this new housing, you can be seen from more angles.

It's a little bit more
visible from the side, so I love that light. With the rack, you'll notice that it doesn't
point where you steer. So that's one of the trade
offs if you get that upgrade. And then this rear light, I mean I'm such a fan of this thing. It's only one led, but it's got this button down here so it can go into flashing mode, which is just awesome. It's gonna help you be
seen a little bit more. You can see the cable
running along the side there, quick disconnect if it gets damaged. But it's pretty well
protected on this rack. I'm gonna take it back to solid. And if I do these brake levers, you've got that bright
mode which is really cool. So I think at this point, I'm just gonna steal the kickstand I'm gonna take it up to assist level one. It's amazing how smooth
and just it's subtle these lower levels of assists are now.

It really feels like they dialed those in. 'Cause in the past it was
kind of like on or off, now it ramps up smoother and it's less powerful and less fast, those lower assist levels. Keep in mind with the
smaller wheel size here, you're getting a mechanical
advantage for that motor compared to like the full
sized RadRover Step-Thru. So that's one of the benefits and just a lower stand over height. Everything on this bike
is a little bit lower. So smaller tires, even though there's a little less comfort 'cause they have that higher attack angle. So I'm gonna start off, here we go. (bike moving) Here we go. It's likely shifting some gears here, take it up to a lower gear. Use the throttle, I am climbing here.

Oh boy, nice to have the stability on a bumpy trail like that. 'Cause it felt a little
precarious with the rocks and the gear shifting all
at once but we made it. Even if you broke the chain
or dropped it completely, you could still use that twist throttle. So that's something I like. And then there's a no hand shot, stable enough to do that
and that's a good sign. So take it up to a higher
level of assist here, two. (bike motor roaring) Three. (bike motor roaring) Really ramps up. We got up to like 15 miles per hour there.

And that was on level four. Now we're on level five. (bike motor roaring) Oh boy, really zippy. Oh boy, you really get going on this thing with the smaller tires and stuff. It feels a little bit more squirrelly than the full size
RadRover but not too bad. I mean especially if you
had both of your hands on the handlebar here. I don't mean to be setting a bad example. But now that we're in the shade, just wanna show you
that that display again. It's fairly easy to see that rear light.

God, I love that. And then the headlight. For me, that's a really nice perk, really nice upgrade. Okay guys, from here you can see that 48 tooth steel chain ring. The full size RadRovers they use 42 tooth. So it's a little bit larger to sort of offset the smaller wheels. And it's a new tire as well. They've got this 20 inch
diameter by 3.3 inch width. So they used to be four inches wide and they they've narrowed
them out a little bit to probably take some weight off, and makes it a bit more nimble considering this as a sort of a smaller bike it's closer to the ground. It's a good compromise. I haven't tested these on sand, the way that I have on the four inches.

But I still think if you
lower that tire pressure, you're gonna get a little bit more float. It's gonna work out pretty well. I love they've still got
the puncture protection, reflective sidewall and nice slap guard. So it's gonna keep that paint from getting kind of black and dirty
over time if it does bounce. Right now it's pretty far away because we're in the lowest gear. That's that 34 tooth cog in the back and this is an awesome freewheel. It's 11 to 34 tooth. So many times it's only 14 to 28. So you've got that smaller
cog and a really big cog. And that's gonna help you climb easier and get started a lot easier
if this is loaded up with gear. And it's gonna help you hit and maintain that higher 20 mile per hour top speed without having to spin
super fast like that. I'm gonna start off in assist level three, 'cause I find that that's my favorite. It's relatively quiet but
you still get decent power. You can override with the
throttle if you want to, to get full power.

But you don't have to. And it's just a little bit
more leisurely comfortable. So here we go. (bike motor roaring) Very nice, now just for the fun of it I'm gonna take it all the
way up to assist level five. And I'm gonna start with the
throttle just to get going. (bike motor roaring) Very nice. And I wanted to highlight
that the bikes do come with a little tool pouch, a bunch of kind of basic tools. And then this is what
the charger looks like. It's just a two amp charger. So it's gonna take six
hours if your battery is all the way empty. But it only weighs a pound
in half which is nice. Well guys I've had a blast
checking these bikes out. It's really neat to see
some of the improvements and little refinements that they've added. That is the Rad Power
Bikes's, RadMini Step-Thru for the full written
review and all the specs and some of the other models, I'll see you back at
ElectricBikeReview.com. I've got a cool comparison tool and I just go really deep on this stuff.

I measure it all by hand, trying to help y'all out. Feel free to comment and
provide any feedback. Maybe you're a Rad Power Bikes owner, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Have fun out there, ride safe. We'll see you next time. (birds chirping).

You May Also Like