Rad Power Bikes’ RadRunner is a compact cruiser of an electric bike that combines a lot of fun and functionality in a smaller, more affordable package. At its core, the RadRunner is a speed electric utility bike built on a sturdy low-step frame with tons of options to customize it to suit your nefarious purposes. It has an integrated luggage rack that can be used as a seat for a passenger or in a variety of luggage configurations.
Disclaimer: Rad Power Bikes sent the RadRunner and accessories to the author free of charge for the purpose of this review.
The extremely accessible frame is reinforced by Rad Power Bikes’ decision to use 20 “x 3.3” tires. These bulky tires lower the ride height of the bike and still offer a surprising amount of cushioning. At the same time, the Kenda K-wheel tires have a strong tread pattern that provides additional stability for heavier loads and taller riders.
This is important because the RadRunner is one of the most versatile electric bikes that will come into our test garage. The integrated luggage rack can be equipped with a wide range of accessories from Rad Power Bikes, including a child carrier, an extended rear seat for a passenger, wooden panels for a more retro look, complete mudguards, a luggage rack, luggage racks, baskets, platforms and much more.
It’s an impressive amount of functionality considering how affordable the RadRunner is for just $ 1,299. In the world of e-bikes, that’s an absolute bargain considering that this is a branded bike from one of the most respected companies in the industry, and frankly, it’s just a solid bike. At the front, the RadRunner has the front fastening screws from Rad Power Bikes, which enable an even greater load capacity. The RadRunner itself can carry loads of up to 300 pounds, for a variety of options.
We screwed the front basket of Rad Power Bikes onto the RadRunner to get our new pup Wattson on all of our electrified adventures, and he seems to be enjoying it so far. Rad Power Bikes has an enclosed pet pet carrier and a few other fun, pet-friendly accessories to make bringing your furry friends with you even easier.
Additionally, the frame of the RadRunner has been designed to house a unique new storage bin called the RadRunner center console. This strange device allows owners to install a lockable hard case in the passageway area of the frame. The shelf has a capacity of 22 liters and has an integrated cup holder and mobile phone holder. It’s such a unique container that embodies much of what this bike is all about. The bike and center console have been redesigned from the ground up to maximize the number of options for the owner.
We took the RadRunner for a jaunt through town and were impressed with how well it works on any terrain. On the miles of descents that lead down to the beach, the bike felt solid and stable, with a lot of braking power thanks to Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes and their 180 mm rotors.
Our test bike also came with a set of Tannus Armor tire liners that we had previously installed on our personal RadRover Step Thru. At just over $ 100 a set, these gemstones aren’t cheap, but they are lifesavers for commuters who travel down rubble littered streets. On our ~ 20 mile test track, we regularly come across random screws, roof nails, and broken bottles that want to derail an otherwise enjoyable ride.
Tannus Armor is a multi-cell foam liner that installs between the tire and a new, smaller tube. It offers up to 15mm of protection against penetrations and provides a more stable, solid feel for the tire. Installation takes a few minutes as the original pipes need to be removed and replaced with the tannus armor and a new set of smaller pipes. Ideally, these could be installed at the factory, but we had them installed in the RadRunner within 15 or 20 minutes.
With the Tannus Armor installed, we confidently brought the RadRunner onto a few off-road trails, along train tracks and even to the beach. Granted, the chances of getting a flat tire in the sand at low tide are slim, but hey, it was a great test drive. On the wet sand, the fat tires came back into play that kept us afloat as the tide gradually subsided to lap on the tires.
The RadRunner is clearly optimized for maximum use and lots of fun, but it’s not perfect. From the factory, the RadRunner is a single speed bike, which means you lean into the battery to help out on all the hills along your route. That’s fine for a lot of riders, but riders who live in hilly areas or just want a bit more mechanical flexibility should consider the full-featured RadRunner Plus, which comes with a 7-speed rear kit. It’s a bit more expensive at $ 1,799 but comes with a well-stocked accessory kit including the rear passenger package, an upgraded headlight, suspension fork, and rear wheel protector, to name a few.
Besides, we wouldn’t be talking about this seat. The seat of the RadRunner is one of the strangest shapes a bicycle saddle can take. It’s a bit angular, a bit wedge-shaped, and not at all seat-like. It’s designed to seamlessly transition to the back seat for those looking for a more moped or motorcycle look.
If you want to sit down to work from home and step on the gas with little or no pedaling, that’s fine. On the other hand, if you enjoy pedaling and plan on building some muscle on your chicken wing legs, you will likely be looking for a more traditional bike saddle as an early upgrade. The included saddle is firmly attached to the seat post, so you have to choose one for each retrofit seat upgrade. The accessory store has some comfort saddle options for those looking to buy a seat with a bike.
Overall, the RadRunner is a lucrative offering from Rad Power Bikes that offers impressive value at a price that makes it our top choice for under $ 1,500 electric bikes. The ability to add gears and a suspension fork with the RadRunner Plus is a nice option that is still a very attractive proposition for riders who are looking for a compact utility e-bike but don’t want to break the bank.
The low-step frame and plush tires make it very accessible to riders of all abilities. Older riders will appreciate how easy it is to get on and off, and I don’t take that lightly. As our bodies get older, it becomes more and more difficult to assemble a traditional triangle frame bike. That goes double when you’re carrying groceries and other goodies.
RadPower Radrunner E-Bike Specifications
- engine: 750W Gear hub motor
- Range: Up to 45 miles per charge
- battery: 48V, 14 Ah lithium-ion battery
- display: Simplified LED display with battery indicator, power indicator, power, assistance and light control.
- lighting: Integrated LED lighting at the front and rear
- Brakes: Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes with 180 mm rotors
- Seat post: 390mm x 27.2mm
- tires: Rad Power Bikes from Kenda K-Rad 20 ″ x 3.3 ″, K-Shield puncture-proof inner shoe
- payload: 300 lb
- Colours: Forest green or black
- price: $ 1,299