Analysis: Rad Power Bikes RadExpand Five Here’s What’s New in Rad’s New Fat Tire Folding Electric Bike.
RadExpand 5 Bikes
When RadExpand 5 was first unveiled, I was surprised to see the company go in this direction and replace RadMini with a new model. But now that I’ve had some good time in the saddle, I can see exactly what Rod thinks, because the folding RadExpand 5 e-bike draws some of the best parts of every e-bike company.
Let me start off by saying that it is difficult for Rad Power Bikes to top their own RadRunner e-bike with such an innovative and high utility design that holds a special place in my heart.
But the cool thing about RadExpand 5 is that it’s almost like a folding version of RadRunner, though I’ll cover it soon with some major differences.
That design direction takes RadRunner-like features and applies them to the folding e-bike, which means great utility in the RadExpand 5 package, which is more convenient for anyone who needs to carry or fold their e-bike on a regular basis. Fits in tight space.
To get the low-down and ugly sense of the new e-bike, check out my video review below and join me on my rides. Read on for my full thoughts on this new electric bike model!
RadExpand 5 Technical Specifications
Motor: 750W rear geared hub motor
Maximum speed: 32 km / h (20 mph)
Battery: 48V 14Ah (672 Wh)
Range: forty five to seventy two km (25-forty five mi) relying on person input.
Bike Weight: 28.3 kg (62.5 lb)
Maximum load capacity a hundred twenty five kg (275 lb
Rear Rack Maximum Load: 27 kg (59 lb)
Brakes: mechanical disc brakes
Additions: sturdy kickstand, LED display, 7-speed shifter, integrated head / tail / brake LED lights, bell, 4 pedal assist settings, half-twist throttle, mount to front and rear racks / equipment
Fold, unwind, ride, repeat
RadExpand 5 brings the same rad performance that we know and like from the company’s other e-bikes. That is 20 mph (32 km / h) on the throttle or pedal assist and a range of 25-45 miles (40-72 km) per charge.
Whether you use the bike for leisure, travel or local work, this is quite the range for most everyday riders. As much as I would love to see a Class 3 Rad bike with a top speed of 28 mph (45 km / h), we set it to 20 mph until Rad’s lawyers allowed us to go faster.
I’m definitely happy to see the built-in lights stick to this model as the fenders and rear rack do. All of those tools are standard so you don’t have to start adding accessories. If you want to deck the bike, the Rod of course has an industry-leading option to choose from. Seriously, they have so many e-bike accessories, they even have items for your dog.
Enjoy Rad Power Bike
I’m a big fan of that tall handlebar setup because it helps give the bike its upright seating position and comfortable geometry.
In addition, the handlebars also fold, making it easier to attach the bike to the wall or behind the couch and take up less space as the bars are flat against the fork rather than sideways like the bicycle handlebars.
This is a great trick to use when loading a bike on the back of an SUV or minivan.
On other bikes, I often have to loosen the bars by loosening the four bolts that hold the bars to the trunk and letting them fall down. This allows the bike to be small enough to stand on most SUVs or minivans. But it’s not great for a bike because you can wear those strands over time with repetitive tightening and loosening. This folding handlebar setup instantly lowers the bars and means you can easily slide RadExpand 5 into lower areas, no tools required.
Rad Comfort Grips
Rad Power Bike display, Metre,…….
The display / remote is borrowed from Rad’s other economic bikes, Radrunner and Radmision. This means we get a simplified LED dot display to tell you the battery capacity, pedal assist power mode and headlight / tail light status. There is no odometer or speedometer, which is a bit of a bummer for people who really like data, but don’t need a deal breaker.
Unlike economy bikes, RadExpand 5 borrows its wide tires from Rad’s true fat tire e-bikes, with a size of 4 to give the ride more cushioning and more off-road riding control. The loss of a suspension fork (every other flow from the Mission / Runner Playbook) method that fat tires are even extra essential for journey comfort. I did a lot of trail riding on grass, mud and sand (as you can see in my video above), and I couldn’t tell you what the lack of bike suspension was. Those fat tires are great for soaking up bumps.
I also like the step-through frame and I am glad that it is more or less compatible with RadRunner’s step-through frame. This is a very easy way to hop on and off the bike, especially when the rear rack is overloaded. I don’t own my own children, but I can imagine how the back seat baby seat would be a winner in the step-by-step design – the junior doesn’t kick in the face every time you hop on!
A minor problem with the step-through setup is that the battery is stuck on the front side of the downtube and sometimes rubs my leg when I pedal. The obvious answer is, “Duh, you shouldn’t ride with the key on the battery.” And that’s okay. However, many of us do this sometimes (this is a great way to not lose your key!), And this is something I have contextualised. But a friend who tried the bike with me said it wouldn’t go away, so I pedalled more narrowly.
Rad Rearview Mirror
I’m referring to a lot of RadRunner style inspirations here, but RadExpand 5 also goes its own way in many respects. For example, the 7-speed shifter is a great improvement over the Radrunner for anyone who deals with hills or wants to downshift for extra torque.
One of my few grips on the bike – believe it or not – is the bell. For some reason (almost certainly “supply chain issues”), the rod switched from brake lever-integrated bell to standalone bell. Although I prefer the index finger-operated brake lever bell it is usually better. However, there is one problem here. The display / remote at the top of the left bar is quite wide, which means you have to go behind it to place your thumb on the bell. If you don’t have big thumbs, it means that you have to slide your hand too far and loosen your grip on the bar to extend it. You can swap the bell and display, but then you will have the same problem (you use too much) to reach the display.
It may admit a small inconvenience, but it is a disadvantage. An easy to use bike bell is really important to me as I often ride in areas where pedestrian traffic is high and it can be very helpful to ding angrily at people going down your lane. I really want to go back to Rod Brake Lever Bell, because in my opinion it’s a big winner.
Rad Power Bikes
All that said, I have very little to complain about here. The bike was a killer deal at its promotional $ 1,299 introductory price. Now at its new $ 1,499 price tag (thanks, Inflate), the RadExpand 5 is still a lot of bike for your money, not to mention Rad’s industry-leading service and support. But boy was he seriously tempted at the price of that introduction, right?
I still recommend it to people who want the benefits of the Radrunner, but prefer the folding package (and for people who don’t need the amazing passenger capabilities of the Runner).
ABUS Bordo Granit X-Plus 6500 Folding Lock
The RadExpand 5 certainly seems like a worthy replacement for the RadMini line, and it makes me excited to see continued updates and innovations from Rad.
credite: Micah Toll