After a lot of consideration, Jennifer and I finally got eBikes. For some time, Rad Power Bikes have been a sponsor on our RV podcast. We figured we really needed to try them so we knew what we were talking about. Besides, we are seeing more and more in campgrounds and the RVers we talked to have been raving about how much fun they are having with their eBikes.
I got the Rad City commuter bike and liked it so much, that I bought a step-through version of the same model for Jennifer. We promised that we'd show them in action and give you our thoughts. Here's the video that does just that!
Jennifer's step through version is what we used to call a girl’s bike because you don’t have to swing your leg over it to get on. But lots of people, men and women, use this version because it is so easy to get on and off. It’s like a beach cruiser bike.
Mine is also the Rad City model but has the traditional bar. I like the comfort that the high rise handlebars provide, It comes in two frame sizes for men, 16 inch, for those under 5’ 11” and 19 inches for those from 5”11’ to 6’10″. Like Jennifer’s, it has an integrated rear rack, fenders, and front suspension. Both models have a right hand twist grip throttle to provide on demand power from the 750 watt motor. That, by the way, is the most powerful electric bike motor you can get and still be street legal, meaning you can ride it anywhere you can ride a bicycle without a special license.
Both bikes have removable, locking batteries. That’s a great security feature. We’ve been getting between 25 and 45 miles per charge, depending on how many hills we’re riding and how much we pedal. There are seven gears and five different levels of pedal assist. They have very smooth front and rear disk brakes and there’s an easy to read odometer/speedometer, as well as front and rear lights.
You can ride without pedaling. But the most efficient, and in our view the most fun way to ride is using pedal assist. That way you’re getting exercise and conserving power. The pedal assist provides a very smooth ride and gives you that extra little boost. You can go up to 20 miles an hour with these bikes by using the pedal assist function, even faster down hills. If you run out of battery power or want more exercise, you can ride without any assistance from the motor.
We paid $1,500 for each bike. That s about half the cost of comparable bikes in the market because Rad Power bikes cuts out the retail chain mark up. They ship free directly to the customer and if you mention Roadtreking at checkout they will give you $75 off. We had ours shipped to the Florida home of our friend Les Shanteau and Les and his son-in-law Don Gilson assembled them for us before we could get there.
Besides the bikes, we also ordered the Hollywood Bike Rack suggested by Rad Power Bikes. It's expensive but it is a very sturdy bike rack and as we'll be transporting our two ebikes all over North America, we didn't want to take any chances with lighter racks. The rack folds up when not in use, tilts down for easy cargo access and includes a keyed alike locking hitch pin and security cable. With the bikes on, though, I am unable to open the back doors of our Sprinter, but I am looking into an optional kit that will make the rack swing away.
My one caveat about these bikes is their weight. They weigh abut 65 pounds with the battery. But even with the battery removed, it takes about all I can do to lift and position both bikes on the rack. With two people, it's no problem. But be advised that these bikes are substantial and take strength to lift
We have found these bikes very comfortable to ride. Jennifer plants to order a front basket for hers and I will be adding a cargo bag for the back of mine. We’ve found the mountain bike-type tires in our Rad City model are great for single track, gravel and pavement. They’re not very good in sand, though Rad Power Bikes also makes a fat tire version.
Needless to say, we plan to bring them on all our RV travels. And if you see us out there, we'll happily give you a test ride if you ask! They are a lot of fun!