The RadRunner is one of the funniest – and one of the most affordable – the electric bikes that I have already driven. Its stocky styling is reminiscent of that ’70s moped that your mom probably wouldn’t let you have.
Now you have a second chance at freedom on two wheels. This vintage aesthetic is back in the electric bike world, with several manufacturers selling their own versions.
After several months of testing the RadRunner, I can tell you: it’s an electric bike you should consider if you’re looking to get around your neighborhood with ease.
RadRunner Review: An Affordable Electric Bike
Let’s start with the basics. RadRunner is a compact single speed electric bike with two large Kenda tires. Custom Kenda tires do a pretty good job of absorbing bumps in the road.
But unlike the competition, the RadRunner is affordable. As, really affordable. At just $ 1,200, it’s one of the cheapest e-bikes of any category. And that’s one of the things I love about Rad Power Bikes. While the Seattle-based company’s two-wheelers are packed with features, their prices are among the lowest in the market, especially for an established brand.
Electric bike with simple controls
But back to cycling. The left front grip houses a nice little bell and the RadRunner control module. The controls here are pretty straightforward. Instead of a fancy screen with a display, you have an up and down button to control the level of pedal assistance, a power button, and a button that activates the front and rear lights. integrated.
On the right grip you get a throttle that you can use to get around town without pedaling. That’s right! You can navigate RadRunner without pedaling, at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour.
And this is where things get fun. With the rider seat down and the optional passenger seat installed, RadRunner looks like all those cool mopeds you remember as a kid. Except now you’re gonna be the cool kid walking the neighborhood, and all of your friends are gonna be so jealous.
RadRunner is perfect for cruising on the hood
RadRunner is one of those hazy summer dream machines. Without using gasoline, you can walk around your neighborhood, go to the beach, run errands, or pick up a friend. All with the wind in your hair and minimal effort. If you want to use your legs, the pedal assist smoothes the slopes, making the rides even more fun.
And with a range of up to 40 miles and a weight capacity of 300 pounds, even your husky friend can go with you.
If you want to use the bike for more utility, Rad Power Bikes sells all kinds of accessories. Rad included his optional storage unit on my bike which is super useful. Not only does it have a ton of stuff in it, but the top includes cup holders and phone holders, which I use all the time.
I also attached a Thule Yepp child bike seat, which took about three minutes to install thanks to RadRunner’s native mount. Now I can bring any of my 15 kids, and they love it.
I haven’t had this much fun on an electric bike in a long time, and RadRunner’s price tag is insane. At just $ 1,200, this bike is easy to recommend.
If I had to find something to nitpick I would love to see Rad add some gears to the RadRunner. One speed is fine if you don’t run a lot of hills. But in Seattle, I found the bike struggling to get me up steep inclines at times, and even stalled on some. This will be especially true if you are carrying a passenger.
I was also surprised that the RadRunner’s 750 watt rear hub motor didn’t provide more kick or more uphill over hills. Sometimes he seems to be struggling. If you add another adult passenger I doubt it could climb steeper hills.
It also seems a bit strange to use the control module as a shifter. Since there is no actual gear, you have to press the plus or minus button to control the amount of power delivered to your pedaling aid. Since there are only four levels of assistance available, there have been times when too little power was provided for the driving situation at hand, or too much.
Rad Power Bikes seems to address some of my issues with the newly announced RadRunner + (August delivery), but this bike costs $ 500 more.
Despite my minor complaints, RadRunner is easy to recommend, especially if you live in a flatter location than Seattle. This bike is an excellent alternative means of transport perfectly suited to summer. And for the price, I don’t think you’ll find anything else like it.
Under Review is a recurring feature on The Cultcast, the official podcast of Mac Cult. The segment gives us the opportunity to talk about the products we use on a daily basis.
Rad Power Bikes provided Mac Cult with a review unit for this article. See our Notice Policy and see more in-depth notices on Apple-related items.