Rad Power Bikes RadRover Step-Thru 1 Review – $1.7k

(bell chiming) – Hey guys, we're hanging out at the
beautiful McKinney Falls, just south of Austin, Texas. One of my favorite
places, used to live here, but, we didn't have this
kind of e-bike back then, this is the brand new,
step through, RadRover, and we've got the original
RadRover over here, high step, in black. These both come in black and white. This is kind of a matte finish,
so it looks pretty cool, but it does show smudges
just a little bit. That's one of the things
I was noticing about it. These two bikes share a lot in common, but I noticed that the
steering tube up here, little bit longer, on the step
through, versus the high step they're using some spacers. So the geometry is actually
fairly similar, similar reach, very low, standover height, relatively low, minimum saddle height.

But you'll notice that
they got this riser here for the rear light, and that's
so it can clear the fender. So if you're perfectly
in line with the bike, it just peaks out, and most
time it's gonna be like a car, maybe looking from the
side, or from the rear, really like the headlight upgrade too, they've got this heat fan,
it's actually aluminum alloy up there to dissipate heat
because they've got a light ring and have really focused lens,
80 lumens on this thing. Very cool to see Rad doing all these custom like partnerships,
you can actually see their logos right here.

Check out these tyres. These are the juggernauts from Kenda, but they're Rad branded. They have puncture protected
casing, and a reflective sidewall stripe. 12 gauge spokes, front
and rear, extra sturdy, and they're black. They match the rims, they match the hubs. It's just a really nice setup. They've been refining
these bikes for years now. And for me, a bike like this is fun, it's comfortable, and it is capable. You can go off road and take
it over some bumps and stuff, and you're gonna feel stable, you're not gonna get quite
as much like jitter going on. It's really neat to see a custom, fat tire specific, fork here. This is a sprung fork, it does have this like
progressive lockout. So if you're not on bumpy
train and you don't want that, like, you know, kind of
up and down sag feeling, you can lock it out. For me personally, like the
comfort, so I leave it unlocked. And then over here we have preload adjust, so you can preload that spring.

So if you're, someone
who's a little heavier, you're not gonna use up a lot of that, that distance here, 100
millimeters of travel, just getting on the bike, so you preload. Nice to see those extra adjustments, quick release on the front
wheel there, not on the rear. They're using a 12 millimeter
axle and the reason they have to do that and use standard nuts, is because it's got a
motor, connected to it. So they really wanna tighten that down, make sure everything's
really, stable and secure. 750 Watts, 80 newton-meters
of torque on that thing. Very impressive, it's Rad branded as well. I think it's a ball fork motor
though, just so you know. This is a planetary geared motor. So, that means when you
coast, there's no friction, there's no drag, and it's able
to be a little bit smaller, more compact, which is nice.

It sorta hides behind this fairly large, 180 millimeter disc brake rotor. Mechanical disc brakes
here, that's one of the few trade-offs with the Rad bikes. So, before I get to that, I wanna point out that they are using a steel torque arm right here. And that helps to brace the motor. You can imagine all that
power, enough to like, spin this wheel and give you
throttle activation and climb, it actually does pretty well,
but that's a lot of force and this is an aluminum alloy frame, so they use these little torque arms, which is really nice to see.

And then there's a bunch
of threaded eyelets here. So you could add a rear
rack, even more right here. There's a lot of options
actually for accessories and stuff I'm gonna to get to in a second. But, it does come with fenders
now, which is really cool. That's gonna keep you extra dry, they seem pretty well built. They aren't the adjustable ones that can kind of go out of true. You know, they might
have a little bit noise, but being plastic, they're
not gonna get scratched up and rust the way that steel fenders might.

And they also don't weigh as much. So this bike right here,
only comes in one frame size, 71.4 pounds. Which is kind of a lot,
for an electric bike, really any bike, but
that's partially because it is using such a powerful motor, and they had to reinforce the frame here. It's got a fairly high
capacity battery pack. I wanna call out how
they reinforce the frame. So you can see this big gusset
right here, extra plating, and that's gonna keep it
from flexing when you ride. Another one right here, this
is almost like a mini top tube. Normally a top tube is way
up here, and they just, they kind of surround the
battery to protect it, but it also gives the
frame additional strength. So I mentioned the battery earlier. This is a 48 Volt 14 Amp
hour, 672 one hour capacity. It's good to have that extra
juice when you're using the throttle a lot. And that's one of the things
I do like about these bikes, is they're class two, they can
go up to 20 miles per hour.

You can use that throttle
even in zero assist level. So you can scoot around without pedaling. If you need to take a break,
or maybe you're just kind of working into it and you
wanna lower that saddle, you're not getting full leg extension. It's nice to have the twist
throttle as an option. And then of course it has pedal assist. So you can see there's
this high resolution, 12 magnet disc right in there. And then there's a reader,
you can see on the other side. So, this is really nice, it's gonna start and stop fairly quickly. It's not quite as dynamic
as like a torque sensor, or a multi-sensor. But, on the other hand, you
have to work a little bit more with those kinds of sensors. And given that this has a
throttle, you can take off, and then you can just
start pedaling smoothly, not over exerting yourself.

And then the motor will
kick in based on pedaling, so that's nice. 170 millimeter crank arms, Wellgo platform pedals,
I really like these, they've got those nice tread
pattern, fairly grippy. This is a, its kind of
a semi-off road bike. So having higher end
equipment, not a plastic panel, that's gonna get cracked and
stuff, that's nice to see. Got a neoprene slap guard back here, and this nice nickel plated
freewheel in the back. This is DNP. That's a really nice spread
on this, a lot of times, these are like 14 to 28. So what they've done here,
with that larger sprocket, can see it here, that really big one. This is, gonna make it easier
to start, and to climb, again, this is a heavy bike so, it's nice that they went with this. A lot of times they have to
upgrade to like a cassette. So having a freewheel, with
that kind of range is nice. Seven speeds, they're using
Shimano Acera versus Tourney.

Something that would be a
little more entry level, that means it's a lighter
weight to rail your, it might hold that better over time. It does have a barrel
adjuster, so as you get some, some cable stretch over time,
or as things just settle, you can adjust this by hand, you don't need extra tools and stuff, and, they've got this nice
steel derailleur guard, which is wonderful to see, especially cause they do ship these bikes, and you know, if the
bike ever tipped over, or if it gets kicked or
something in the garage, it's nice to have the sensitive
bits, extra protected. 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 you know, as nice as these new
boxes are, and everything, and they're pretty wide,
there's still a lot of kinda mess 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, it's $149 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. Here is the shifter, kind
of a paddle shifter or thumb shifter design, fairly large.

I kind of like the trigger shifters, but a lot of times they
don't fit when you have a twist throttle like this, cause there's an extra housing going on. So, I understand why they do this, this is kind of what they
use on all the bikes. You've got these really
clear readouts for numeric, like what gear you're in. And it works really well
if you have like gloves on. So maybe it's a cold day and
you're riding this in the snow or something or an early
morning at the beach. These fat tyres really are capable. I've tested them in
Mexico, on Sandy beaches. That's not the case here,
but sometimes in the woods, you know, if it gets soft and loamy or there's just a little section or maybe you're crossing
a river or something, it's nice to have that
extra width and then, a little bit of float. So there is a decent,
a PSI range on these.

These are 26 by four inches,
traditional fat tyres. And this is one of the
most popular bikes from Rad power bikes. Again, starting out with the high step that we see over here. I mentioned the racks
earlier, you can see this, one's got a rear rack as
well as that front tray, and then a basket option. They have even larger basket,
they have panniers that fit over the rack, you can
see those right here. These are highly water
resistant, and then they have another insulated bag.

So there's just a lot on offer here. Check out that rear rack,
I really liked that. It looks nice, especially
in orange, kind of pops. And then they've relocated that light, pretty well protected right there. Threaded islets on top. We've also got the Yepp
compatible windows, so they have a Yepp child seat. This would totally be a good, good setup, if you have a kid or
something, and you wanna be a, like kind of a one bike family, where maybe you're trading off
between spouses or friends, or something like that, you can raise and lower the seat, 27.2 millimeter seatpost diameter,
which is pretty standard. Okay, and they do sell, I think it's the Suntour NCX suspension seatpost, as an aftermarket accessory. So when you pair that up with
the front suspension fork, it actually feels pretty comfortable.

You know, all around, it's a capable bike. You got that headlight pointing
wherever you're steering, that's nice. We've got the safety, whole
lot of extra wires up here. Some of that is because of the light, but it's also because there are
motor inhibitors, built into both brake levers. Remember I mentioned
mechanical brake levers, a little bit more effort
required to activate these, especially the rear,
because it has to run so far along the frame.

But, it keeps them a
little bit more affordable, they're a little bit easier to
adjust, aftermarket yourself. You can just come down
here with the toolkit, that they give you, and just loosen this, and kind of pull the cable and adjust it. Again, Rad does have, in some cities, their like mobile delivery
service, that could help you out. And a lot of bike shops. I mean, this is pretty standard equipment. So a lot of it's a little
bit more, you know, it's a little more basic. That's why it's a lighter weight bike. And they're trying to keep
that 1499 price point, which I think they're doing a good job. Especially with those lights integrated. A lot of e-bikes don't
have integrated lights, or aftermarket kind of battery operated, or the ones where you have
to, you know, kind of clamp it on, to the handlebars,
and then take it off every time you park.

So, I guess what I was trying
to say is, it's nice that both of these brake levers
override the motor systems, because, with the throttle,
with a cadence sensor like this, you don't wanna feel out of
control with this much power and with a heavier bike. So it feels like they're
doing a great job, including all those extra
accessories and stuff. And you can see they're
all quick disconnects, even a threaded one here
with a little rubber gasket. So it's going to be
highly water resistant, which is awesome. Another area that I feel like
they've done a good job with is this chain guide. And for me, especially, I'm, you know, I'm out here with pants, this morning, and I don't want those
pants to touch that chain, especially if it's been lubed
and maybe it's got some dirt and grime on it. So this is gonna protect
my pant leg a little bit. And it's also gonna keep
that chain from jumping off, especially if I'm bumpy terrain. So, that's a really nice upgrade metal.

So it's not gonna crack, it
acts as like a bash guard here. If you run into a log or something, pretty high end stuff where you want it, or at least thoughtful stuff, this is, this is like extra thought
that goes into these bikes. I really feel like they're,
they're paying attention to all the details. There are some visual compromises. You can see the controller box right here, but it is fully padded. It's a nicer controller, that
provides a little bit more amperage flow, so you're going to get a, zippier feel on this bike.

Check out this plush
saddle, fairly comfortable. It's got a handle. Cause a lot of times you're
kind of picking the bike up and moving it around, and that
gives you a way to do that pretty easily. I also appreciate the
kickstand that they've chosen. So it's an adjustable length
stand and they position it pretty far back on the
bike, which is great if you have the rack loaded
and it stays clear of that left crank arm. So, I think that's a pretty good overview. I just wanna also show
you guys that they have, a step through Rad mini,
so if you're someone who's debating, you know, hey, I
want the lower entry point on a bike, well, this is
another option for you.

And these smaller tyres here, you know, these are 20 inch versus 26. They have a higher attack angle, which means they kind of run
into things and fall into bumps and different terrain
more than spanning it. See how that has a lower attack angle. So that's one of the reasons
you might wanna upgrade to the RadRover step through,
but it's nice to see this. And again, it's a little,
even more approachable, a lower minimum saddle
point and keeps the gear and stuff lower, but maybe
there's not as much room, for those big bags to
hang down on the sides.

So that's kind of what I think about. And any, of course the fold
ability of this is nice. If you don't have a whole lot
of space or if you're an RVR or someone who just wants to pack this up in the back of your SUV. And then of course here's
the original, RadRover looking really good. You'll notice that with the
black, all the wires and stuff really blend in and they're
just a lot more hidden. They're fairly internally
routed, but they do protrude a little bit here at the bottom bracket.

pexels photo 4542985

Again, that's why it's nice
to see this, chain guard, this, double-sided guide
keeps the chain on track, but also just prevents those
wires from taking any contact as you cruise along. So, I think that's about it. I'm gonna go ahead and jump
into the display system, over here. So we got the battery charged and mounted, I love that the battery is
interchangeable by the way, between all these cause you
could get a couple of Rad bikes and then swap the batteries, or someone's going on a big
adventure, you can toss it in your backpack and go a little bit further. So anyway, battery is charged and mounted, locked to the frame. So, you know, we got a
little four LED charged level indicator right there, it's
nice, kind of, you know, 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 Rad minis, 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, you know, 48 volt,
14 amp hour, 672 watt hours, these weigh about, you
know, 7.6, 7.7 pounds. They do you 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 one year 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, has three different slots. So right now you can
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, 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, or
don't want people tampering, kind of lock it, and turn the bike off. I think that's, that's really nice. And, there are a lot of other
bikes that don't do that so, good job Rad. And having a removable
battery, for all their bikes is really a nice feature
cause it means you could commute with the bike,
and park the bike outside, bring the battery inside,
where there's a charging port. Also, you want to avoid extreme heat cause these lithium ion cells, while they are higher
quality, I think they're Samsung cells. The heat just degrades them
and you won't get as many full charge cycles. And then we've got this
little button pad up here. We hold the mode button,
comes to life pretty quickly, I believe this is a King
meter display, but again, Rad branded.

These guys have been doing a
good job for quite a while. I've reviewed their bikes,
like four or five years now, and, every year they just, they
tighten things up even more. So, five ticks on the battery indicator, which is roughly 20% steps. Be nice if they were like
10 ticks, would be, 10% or even a percentage, but, you
know, it gets the job done. We got our odometer up
here, current speed, and then pedal assist
level, starts out in one, but we can take that down to
zero, and then it would just pedal like a heavy bicycle. But that throttle still
works, that's kind of nice.

If we press the mode button here, it cycles from the odometer
to the trip distance. And if we hold the up button,
it cycles from current speed, to average speed, and then max speed. So, there's really a lot
of different options here. To get the headlights to go, you hold up, and mode simultaneously. And then this display
actually, it's really nice. It's backlit and there are three steps. This is a headlight, I can see
that circle, really visible, on their older lights, you
couldn't see them as much from the side. So I feel like that's a big
upgrade, for these new ones. And then there's that, that rear light, there's a button underneath.

And if you press that button,
it turns to flashing mode, which is really nice, it's
gonna keep you extra visible. And then if you pull those
brake levers, in addition to having motor inhibitors,
there's also like a bright mode on that rear light. So, just very thoughtfully
done, a metal bracket, I mean, this is what I'm talking about.

They spend a little bit of
extra energy and really tighten things up around safety, especially, but also just functionality. It's nice to see, really nice to see that. If we hold the down arrow for
a second, we get walk mode. (tyre spinning) There we go, and you do
have to be in one of the five levels of assist for that to work. If you're in zero, it's not gonna work. So keep that in mind and, there we go. You can see the branding
on the motor, right there. It's pretty nice. And if we hold the up and
down arrow simultaneously, get into some secrets. So here's the kind of the menu system, and change some settings,
wheel size 26 inches, that's correct. And then if I press the mode button, we get onto the 32 kilometers per hour, but we can actually lower
that all the way down to 12. So you can lower the top speed for people who might feel uncomfortable
at the higher speeds. I think that's kind of a nice feature. And then the next thing is, brightness. So, backlight brightness,
I had it up at three, and then miles per hour,
kilometers per hour.

And that's kind of it,
when you wanna get out, you hold the mode button
for a couple seconds, there we go. And this display is adjustable angle, so if you're getting glare,
you can, you can fix that. It's not removable, so I liked
that it's center mounted. Cause if you're at a bike
crack, you don't want this thing to get scratched, it is just plastic. Down here, we have a full
size USB type A charging port. So you can plug your phone
in, maybe you get a mount, they do sell that as an option as well, like a little phone
mount, so you can use GPS, or maybe play some music
or something like that while you're riding.

It's, it's a pretty nice setup. I wanna call out, ergonomically, see how short that stem is,
and it's actually a riser stem, so it positions the bar up higher. And then we have these
mid rise handlebars. So you can swivel those
backwards like this, and that's gonna shorten your reach, and just having them up like this, this is a more upright ride. Whereas a lot of mountain
bikes, traditionally, they have this longer stem
and flat bars, wide flat bars. And that's to give you a
lot of steering control, which is really nice if
you're a technical rider, or you're going really fast.

But for more of a neighborhood cruiser, occasional trail bike,
which is what I think this is really designed
for, this is perfect. It's a lot more comfortable,
works well with these stitched full leather ergonomic grips,
they tie into the saddle. It's just a good setup,
you know, again, I've, I've reviewed this bike a bunch of times. So each year I just look for
what the big differences are. And, I just feel like it's so
nice that they've got these racks that are interchangeable
across all their bikes, that they've got all the
right mounting points, that they got the integrated
lights, nice fenders, nice tyres that are puncture resistant.

I mean, that's all the stuff you want. And again, the price really hasn't changed for quite a while, 1499, I consider that to be pretty affordable, same price point for a
lot of their other bikes. By the way, here's the
charger, 1.1 pounds, super lightweight, two amps,
so it might take you six hours to charge the thing if
it's completely empty. This is a fairly high capacity battery, by comparison to some of the
standard 500 watt hour packs, you know, 672, or I should say
7.7 pounds for that battery, 8.7 pounds for that motor. So, a lot of the weight
they're trying to keep it low and center. It's still a little bit
rear heavy on this bike, but it's not too bad, the
forks actually weigh a lot. So that kind of, kind
of balances things out. I think that's about it you guys, I'm gonna hop on this thing,
and give us some ride footage. Okay guys, I'm starting
off in the lowest level of assist and I'm really
impressed because, it's not overwhelming. Like, especially with cadence sensors, they're some of the older
designs it really felt like (bike accelerating noise) you know, and it was like,
oh go, now it eases in.

And it's a lot more
subtle, which is perfect, sometimes you just wanna cruise along. Same thing with being able
to lower that top speed, It's nice to have a bike that feels, like it's not out of control. So I'm gonna start off
pedal assist level one. (motor running) And now I'm going up to
two, three, four and five. Oh boy! Really nice to have those big stable tyres on a gravelly section of trail like that. We were, we were climbing and you know, a lot of times I'm filming with one hand, so it's, it's nice to have
a bike that feels so stable.

Even the motor, it's
starting off a lot smoother. (motor running) It was fairly smooth
and stable in terms of the no hand test. A lot of times I'm wondering
on these low step frames, if they're, you know,
there's a lot of frame flex, but I think they've really,
it really reinforced this. So it feels solid, which is no small feat given
how big and heavy those tyres are, I'm taking it down
to assist level three, gonna head out on that dirt trail. From here, you should be
able to see that suspension going up and down a little bit as we ride along the trail. And I'm also gonna shake
the frame, just to try to demonstrate any frame flex. (bike shaking) Yeah, it's feeling really solid. (motor running) I could hear a little bit
of chain mounts going on, But, I'm in one of the higher gears so, you know the chain is
a little bit longer here.

(motor running) And I hit the, the gears here. (motor running) Now that we're in the shady section, you can really see that headlight pop. I mean, it's, it's fairly bright, and with that focus beam in the past, it felt like kind of a be seen headlight. Now it actually feels like
the ring helps you be seen, but the other one, it's fairly
focused and it gives you, it gives you enough
visibility to spot the trail. There's the rear light, which,
you know, it's, it's desent. It's only one LED, but when you
pull that, that brake lever, it's nice that it goes bright. Okay guys, from here, you can see that 42 tooth steel chain ring
and it's sandwiched by these aluminum alloy guides or guards. So it's gonna keep the
chain from bouncing off. It's gonna protect my pants, just a really nice set up down here. It's also a kind of a bash
guard, if you encounter a big log or a rock or something, that way you won't mess your chain up.

I love that there's a slap
guard, it's gonna keep that frame looking good over time. White frames, you know,
there's aluminum alloy underneath this. So, they don't show chips as much, but they would show kind of
the black grease and other things that could get on there. So it's still a really nice thing to have. Then back here, we have Shimano Acera, that's a great derailleur, it's kind of a, a value price point, but it's not the lowest
end, it's three steps up in the Shimano group set. And then this awesome DNP
in nickel coated freewheel, 11 to 34 tooth, that's great. So many times, these
freewheels, they're only like 14 to 28 tooth, which means,
you have a harder time getting started, or climbing,
and you can't really maintain those high speeds without
spinning really quickly. So this is really a great part. Again, the value part, but
one of the best out there.

I'm gonna start off, in the
highest level of assist, just so you can hear that motor. But then I'm gonna take
it down to, level two, cause it's, it's really subtle, it's really amazing how quiet it is. And I just love how quickly
the system responds. (motor running) Okay, now we're going to level two. (motor running) Yeah, to me, level two and
three, they're just perfect. You end up going around 10 miles per hour, but you hardly hear the motor at all. And it's just really subtle
and smooth, it ramps up, a lot more smoothly than,
than some of the other systems and maybe some of the
older, Rad bikes or it was, just like offer on, now,
yeah, it's just, it's nicer.

I'm gonna use a throttle this
time so you can hear that and I'm gonna twist it all
the way, so full power, and I love that you can
override assist at any time with full power to help you
climb, or catch up with a friend or just to get out of a sticky situation. So here's the throttle. (motor running) Very nice. So you can actually see the
light on the ground now, so it's got that like blade in it. It's not really dark enough
to see how big it is, but it's clearly, it's a lot
more focused than in the past. I wanted to do a little ride test, so I'm going to hand you guys
off to Eric and, go for it.

(yells in excitement) (laughs cheerfully) It actually climbs pretty well, like going up the, up the rocks and stuff, it's still pretty zippy. (motor running) It ramps up really smoothly. Oh, wow, that was cool. So one of the new things
about electric bikes is that, a lot of times you can see wildlife. Like we just saw that deer,
cause they're a lot quieter than gas powered vehicles. (motor running) I'm really liking level three,
in terms of pedal assist. It's, fairly powerful,
but, not quite as fast. It doesn't feel as overwhelming. Well guys, I think that's about it, it's been a blast here at McKinney Falls. Really cool to get to see
these bikes back to back, and just, take them off
road, and really test that.

For the full written review
on the RadRover step through, and all the other models, I'll see you back at
@electricbikereview.com got a cool comparison tool, so you can, see the weights and, the
prices are really similar, but, just get more details on these. I really go deeply, I
measure these by hand, wanna help you guys as much as I can, have fun out there, ride safe, love ya. See you next time. (birds chirping).

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