Rad Power Bikes is based in Seattle and has produced electric bikes since 2015.
Their electric bikes are well known for their quality and reasonable pricing. This Radrunner Plus Review will walk you through the key features and functions of the Radrunner Plus eBike.
The Radrunner Plus is a Class 2 electric utility bike designed to carry cargo or a second person. Therefore, Rad Power is marketing the Radrunner Plus to people who want to leave the car at home without losing too much practicality.
This premium electric bike has been a favorite of many cyclists looking for versatility. But Rad Power has recently given the Radrunner Plus a host of upgrades and additional accessories, sweetening the deal further.
|An excellent frame design, making it a good all-rounder. Ideal for carrying cargo, a passenger, and for commuting||The seat is a little strange to sit on while pedaling due to its moped-style design. Therefore, it takes some getting used to|
|A wide range of accessories available to provide endless customization||The brakes could be better for an electric bike with this much power. Even though the Plus is the premium version, it has the same brakes as the lower-specced Radrunner 2|
|A powerful motor, so climbing hills and carrying extra weight is not a problem|
|Low center of gravity for agile handling|
|Decent range, depending on how you use the motor assistance|
Radrunner Plus: Features And First Impressions
The Rad Power Radrunner Plus has a punchy 750W motor powered by a 48V, 14Ah battery.
This is the same package you will find on the Radrunner 2, but it’s the other components that set the two bikes apart.
The high-powered motor puts the bike into Class 2, so you must check that Class 2 ebikes are permitted in your local area.
However, the extra power is welcome when you have a passenger or are loaded up with cargo, and the 80 Nm of torque comes in handy when you have to climb hills.
Rad Power claims that the motor and battery combo can take you 30 miles between charges – although this does depend on how you use the 5 assistance levels.
Our test reveals a surprising result, so keep reading to learn about the real-world range.
Display And Controls
The Radrunner Plus has a simple but very effective LCD mounted to the handlebars.
It clearly displays vital information such as your current speed, average speed, mileage, trip mileage, battery life, pedal assist level, and power usage.
The display has a USB port built into it, so you can charge your phone while you ride. This is useful if you use your phone to navigate in the city.
To scroll through the assistance levels, you use the extra buttons mounted on the handlebars. But there is also a twist-grip throttle that allows you to ride using just the motor without pedaling.
Rad Power has built the Radrunner Plus around a 6061 aluminum frame. This material is aerospace-grade and used for its strength and light weight.
There are various mounting points around the frame for accessories such as baskets and panniers. But the standard configuration is the “passenger package,” which comes with a long and elevated seat, wheel skirt, and footpegs.
The suspension fork is one of the Radrunner Plus’s recent upgrades. It has 80 mm of travel and uses a coil spring.
Its job is to reduce vibrations and chatter from the surface you’re riding on, but it also allows you to take on light off-road trails, enhancing the bike’s versatility.
Rad Power has chosen the Shimano Altus 7-speed drivetrain for the Radrunner. This provides you with a wide range of gears, making the bike much more useable than the single-speed Radrunner 2.
Wheels And Tires
The 20″ wheels are shod with Kenda K-Rad tires, exclusive to Rad Power Bikes. They are pretty wide at 3.3″, giving them a large contact patch with the ground for extra traction.
These tires use Kenda’s K-Shield puncture-resistant liner, reducing the likelihood of getting a flat tire when riding.
Stopping power comes from Tektro Aries (MD-M300) mechanical disc brakes. These use 180mm rotors on both wheels. They are super simple to maintain and are known for their reliability.
However, we would’ve liked to have seen hydraulic disc brakes on an electric bike like this. They would provide more stopping power and control, especially on a fully laden bike with cargo or a passenger.
All in all, the Rad Power Radrunner Plus is a pretty well specced electric bike for $1,899.
It has plenty of power and versatility – but how did it fare on our road test?
Radrunner Plus Ebike Road Test
The standout characteristics of the Radrunner Plus eBike are how fun it is to ride and its versatility.
It will appeal to many different riders, whether you need something for commuting, an alternative to a car, or for weekend fun.
We put the powerful 750W motor to the test on a long and steep hill, using the Radrunner’s various assistance levels. But we had to see how it coped on the steep slope in throttle mode first.
As the Radrunner is a moped-style electric bike, it needs to be able to climb most hills without the need for you to pedal. Another indication of how good this type of eBike is is how it manages its power. You can see this by watching the display.
In our experience riding the Radrunner Plus up a steep hill in throttle mode, the bike slowed down significantly. But it always had power in reserve, and we didn’t have to use the pedals to reach the top.
Therefore, the Rad Power Radrunner is impressive while climbing on the throttle.
Riding the same hill in Level 5 was pretty easy. We had to put some effort into the pedals, but the motor still didn’t reach its maximum output power. Therefore, it could cope with a steeper incline or carry more weight without too much bother.
You won’t find the Radrunner the fastest hill climber, but that’s not what it is about, and it will never feel like it is out of its element.
The 7-speed Shimano drivetrain works well with the motor package. It allows your legs to stay fresh, and the shifting is crisp and reliable.
The 48 V, 14 Ah battery is mounted under the saddle but can be removed for charging. But we wanted to see what range it would give you in the real world.
The range test involves riding the bike in the lowest and highest assistance levels. In Level 5 (the highest), we averaged 26.2 miles at an average speed of 17mph. This is pretty good, as the bike has an overall top speed of 20mph.
When we tested the range in Level 1, the average range was over 70 miles, at an average speed of 14mph. But this was only using half of the battery power!
There is no doubt that this is impressive, but you need to remember that the motor isn’t working very hard in Level 1.
Other testers and Radrunner Plus owners are reporting similar results. But weirdly, Rad Power says that the battery isn’t designed to last this long, so it will be interesting to see what range people get when more people buy this bike.
The Radrunner Plus Cockpit
The cockpit is the collection of controls on a bike’s handlebars. And the Rad Power Radrunner’s cockpit really lends itself to the moped-style of the bike.
The grips are ergonomic and covered in soft faux leather. They feel good in your hands, but the material isn’t very grippy. So when your hands get sweaty, you may find them a little slippery.
The area inside the right-hand grip houses the twist-grip throttle. The further you twist, the faster the bike will go. Rad Power has put a small gap between the grip and the throttle, so you don’t turn it accidentally.
Next to the throttle, you have your Shimano thumb shifter, which allows you to cycle through the gears.
In our opinion, the throttle and shifter arrangement could be more conveniently arranged, especially as the Plus version of the Radrunner is billed as premium. But this is just being nitpicky.
BMX-style handlebars put you in an upright riding position, allowing you to look forward and around you much easier than lower handlebars.
On the left-hand side of the handlebars, you have your controllers for the display. The buttons allow you to select modes and the level of assistance you require.
You have a bell behind the left-hand grip to alert people you are approaching.
We would say that the Rad Power Radrunner Plus is a comfortable electric bike to ride. The comfort comes from the upright riding position and grips.
However, the saddle could do with a little more work, as the shape doesn’t lend itself to pedaling for a long time. This reinforces the moped-style and that you are meant to use the throttle more than the pedal-assist mode.
The high-volume tires and suspension fork enhance the Radrunner Plus’s ride quality. Whether riding on or off-road, these components make the bike comfortable to ride.
The Radrunner Plus is not built for mountain bike trails, but it works well on unpaved roads.
Radrunner Plus Review: Key Takeaways
There is quite a lot of information to digest here, so what are the key takeaways you should focus on?
Overall, the Rad Power Rad Runner is a fantastic electric bike. The upgraded parts, such as the suspension fork and the 7-speed drivetrain, really take the Plus to the next level from the Radrunner 2.
The power and torque from the motor allow you to ride up steep hills with ease and carry a passenger or cargo. This, combined with the impressive range and other features, the Radrunner Plus will appeal to many cyclists.
However, even though the brakes are sufficient, we believe that a bike like this should have hydraulic disc brakes.
Whether you want an electric bike for commuting or fun, the Rad Power Radrunner Plus is excellent.
But the moped-style of this bike may not appeal to you, so you might be better off looking at more traditional bikes. If this is you, an electric hybrid or mountain bike may suit you better.