I’ll zip over on an ebike and save myself the parking job.
The ebike era is upon us, and it’s delivering a swift upgrade to urban transport. I can’t say I’ve ever hit traffic, had road rage, or had less fun on an ebike. I don’t miss dropping more cash than my cable and Internet bills combined on a tank of gas, either.
I’ve been rolling around on Rad Power Bikes’ RadRunner Plus, one of their sleekest and most functional rides, and jotting down everything you’d need to know before buying one.
Here’s my full report.
Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Plus Overview
The RadRunner Plus offers both a comfortable, cruisey ride, with lots of functional features. While the ebike itself weighs 77 lbs, it can carry an impressive 300 lb load. The integrated rear rack comes with an attachable passenger seat, but you could also use this space to mount a small or big basket for plenty of extra storage.
This ebike comes with a powerful 48V, 750W motor that delivers about a 20-25 mph top speed and a 672 Wh battery that’ll give you 45+ miles per charge. It uses 5 levels of pedal assist with a half twist throttle to propel you along.
A few of my favorite features are the easy-to-read display, bright LED headlight, wide moped-style saddle, and imitation leather hand grips.
Things to Consider Before Buying an eBike from Rad Power Bikes
Believe it or not, Rad’s founder, Mike Radenbaugh, rigged up his first ebike way back in 2007 just to schlep himself to and from school.
Back then, he founded Rad Power Bikes as a one-man operation, helping people convert traditional bikes to ebikes. But in 2015, with the help of his childhood friend, the two brought Rad to the masses. In 2019, they approached $100 million in sales and in 2020, they tripled that number.
Rad’s ebikes are priced competitively compared to other brands and since their explosion onto the market, they’ve amassed thousands of reviews on different models.
Today, Rad offers a fleet of 10 different ebikes broken up into four use categories: Off-road, Cargo & Utility, City & Commuter, and Folding.
While most of their ebikes come equipped with a powerful 750W motor and 40+ miles of range, the four different categories help you determine which features and add-ons are most important to you based on what you’ll be using your ebike for.
Depending on which model you choose, Rad’s ebikes offer fun, sporty designs that often come with fat tires that can handle a range of surfaces and smart options for on-bike storage.
Rad’s fleet is great for a guy who’s looking to add a little fun to his life, easily cruise across his city, and take his essentials with him—whether for work, sports, the gym, or a picnic or weekend hangout.
RadRunner Plus Review
The RadRunner Plus arrived on my doorstep in a box that my neighbors must have thought was a 90-inch TV (do they even make ‘em that big?). On the outside of the box was a large QR code labeled as an assembly video link. But when I scanned it, the link didn’t work and appeared to be outdated.
Once I got into the box and flipped open the manual, I quickly found their help page, punched it into my phone, and was taken to a page with all of Rad’s assembly videos. Here, I found the RadRunner Plus’ assembly video.
I was surprised to find that being one of the largest ebike brands on the market, Rad doesn’t have a smartphone app. But nonetheless, their help page did the trick.
From tearing open the box to tearing up open roads, I’d factor in about 2 hours to get your ebike built, adjusted, and ready to ride. There’s not too many steps involved, but you’ll want to make sure you’re completing each step properly and tightening down all the right bolts. This is especially true when you’re mounting the handlebars and front wheel.
While the RadRunner Plus comes with its own small toolkit that includes a Phillips and flathead screwdriver and several wrenches, the assembly video recommends that you have other tools and items on hand during assembly like a torque wrench and grease.
I used only the tools provided in the toolkit and was able to build the bike just fine. Though, it would be great if the Rad team put a small packet of grease in each box since they recommend using it to attach the pedals.
Comfort, Handling & Ride Quality
In California’s hilly, seaside cities, we’ve got brutally steep inclines, slick, sandy pavement, and bumpy boardwalks. I took the RadRunner Plus across it all to see how it fared.
Right off the bat, I noticed how easy it was to mount and dismount this ebike and the neutral upright riding position it puts you in. Those might sound like nuances, but details add up when you’re riding your ebike daily or even weekly.
The RadRunner Plus is a step-through ebike, meaning you can step right through the frame to get on. This is a simpler design than high-step bikes which have a bar across the frame that you have to swing your leg up and over when mounting.
Let’s talk about comfort. The handlebars on this ebike sit higher than a classic road bike, which is what allows you to naturally sit upright versus hunching over in a racer-like position. This relieves nearly all the strain from your back and lets you maintain good posture while riding. I’m a big fan of this set-up.
The extra-wide moped-style saddle adds comfort and stability to your ride, though it could be a bit more cushioned. The front shocks and thick 3.3” tires are working overtime on this ebike, absorbing nearly all the impact of the road and eating up speed bumps and small potholes like snacks.
Overall, the RadRunner Plus is noticeably more comfortable than other more distance-driven commuter ebikes.
Because this ebike is so heavy and built around comfort and cruise-ability, it doesn’t handle as nimbly as lighter ebikes. The small, thick tires grip the road well, but turning isn’t as smooth or quick.
For a 90-degree turn, I tended to slow down and really lean into the turn. But this is an expected tradeoff for a bike with as much utility and cargo storage as the RadRunner Plus.
Motor, Battery, & Drivetrain Performance
Big bike, big engine.
The 750W rear hub motor delivers a steady stream of power through the throttle and five levels of pedal assist. The RadRunner Plus doesn’t shoot off the line, but it accelerates plenty fast and swiftly brings you up to your top speed. I weigh about 200 lbs and reached a top speed of 20 mph on flatter surfaces.
The 672 Wh battery will give you between 25-45 miles of range. Your range will largely depend on how many hills you’re tackling and if you’re riding alone, with a full cargo load, or with another rider.
The RadRunner Plus is equipped with a Shimano SL-TX50-7R thumb shifter with 7 speeds to flick through. The chain feels resilient and well-built and I had no problem clicking through gears on any kind of gradient. The last thing you want is chain issues on an ebike and I’m impressed with the chain and all the mechanical parts Rad built in.
Unlike other ebike brands that design the battery to sit flush against the ebike’s frame, Rad tucks the battery neatly behind the seat tube in plain sight. I usually prefer the look of a hidden battery, but the exposed battery works on the RadRunner Plus.
Rad leaned into a sleek industrial design for this ebike that’s both stylish and distinct. It’s equal parts street cruiser and motorbike.
Braking & Safety Features
Hands-down, the RadRunner Plus has the best brakes on any ebike I’ve ever ridden. I wasn’t surprised to learn they were Tektro, one of the leading bike brake makers anywhere. But the aluminum alloy comfort grip levers give you an immediate brake response without being too sensitive.
When you’re pedaling downhill with a full load, it’s great to have peace of mind knowing that if you have to firmly squeeze the brakes, you’ll lurch to a smooth, safe stop and keep precious cargo intact.
The stand-out safety features on the RadRunner plus are the integrated LED headlight and tail lights with a flash mode option. From far away, the big, round headlight on the RadRunner Plus looks like a cafe racer motorcycle — just don’t get any ideas waltzing into a gruff local biker bar (unless you’ve got local ebiker bars I don’t know about).
My other favorite safety feature is the ability to turn the battery ignition on and off with your key. This way, even if someone tried to steal your ebike while you were away, they’d be manually pedaling it. And unless they were a Tour de France rider, they likely wouldn’t get very far pedaling a 77 lb hunk of metal and rubber.
Accessories & Storage
Like most of Rad’s models, the RadRunner Plus can be extensively tricked out with accessories. I opted for a small basket, front rack, and cargo straps to cinch everything down. But between locks, panels, and even a pet carrier, Rad produces about 80 different accessories to customize your ebike to suit you best.
The RadRunner Plus comes with a cushioned back passenger seat in the same cognac brown imitation leather as the saddle. The back passenger seat would work best if you had a young child to tote with you or you and your partner weigh less than 300 lbs combined.
I attached the small basket to the rear rack instead of the passenger seat for extra storage and it offered loads of space. The day I built my RadRunner Plus, my girlfriend was out of town and asked me to go pick up a package from her doorstep.
I rode over, strapped the package down with two cargo straps, and it stayed perfectly snug for my downhill ride back. No more awkwardly carrying cumbersome objects under my arm or doing a haphazard balancing act on the handlebars.
My gym bag fit well in the small basket too. But if you really wanted to up your storage game, you could fit a large basket to the rear back and a small basket in front and securely fit a work bag and gym bag, a whole trip of groceries, or a full beach set up (save for maybe the umbrella).
There’s no shortage of storage possibilities on the RadRunner Plus. And the 300 lb payload capacity and fat tires mean that if you can store it, you can wheel it along wherever you’re headed.
Rad offers a 1-year warranty for manufacturing defects in material or workmanship on all of their ebikes. This ensures that your ebike functions exactly how it’s advertised out of the box. You can have your ebike assembled at one of their service centers, but it’ll cost you a fee.
Keep in mind, there are a lot of moving parts on an ebike, and sometimes one of those parts doesn’t work or breaks along the way. Rad foresaw this issue and built a robust service department around it.
On their page, Rad lists 4 options to get support: a visit to one of their many Rad service centers scattered across the US, a house call in which a mechanic will come directly to you, a visit to a local bike shop partner, or live support to troubleshoot your problem. If you opt to go into a local shop, call ahead, as pricing seems to differ per location.
What Do Other Reviewers Say About the RadRunner Plus?
I knew Rad was getting big, but I was mind-boggled to discover that they’ve collected over 17,000 verified reviews.
Rad riders praise their ebikes for their reliability, sturdiness, and high-quality builds. I saw lots of reviews mentioning how easy it was to install accessories and customize ebikes for different use cases, too.
One poor fella unfortunately said he encountered a flock of geese on his ebike and “went down hard.” But, despite sustaining a concussion himself, he claimed his ebike was barely damaged and ready for the trails when he recovers!
Another guy noted that he had to upgrade to the comfort saddle since the stock saddle was too uncomfortable. I would agree that the standard seat is a bit unforgiving. It would be nice if Rad cushioned each saddle a little more.
Overall, RadRunner Plus riders were generally very happy with their ebike and the dependency it gave them to consistently get to where they need to go.
My Overall Thoughts on the Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Plus
What I Like
- From the wheels to the motor and frame, this ebike feels durable and built to last.
- Unlike most ebikes, the RadRunner Plus comes with a rear passenger seat and a carrying capacity of up to 300 lbs.
- The elevated handlebars put you in a neutral upright riding position that — paired with thick tires — deliver an extremely comfortable ride.
- The near-endless ability to customize the RadRunner Plus with extra storage and accessories is terrific.
- The powerful LED headlight, imitation leather access, and industrial design, give the RadRunner Plus a sleek look compared to other ebikes.
What I Don’t Like
- Because this ebike weighs 77 lbs, it’s not as nimble as other ebikes in its price point.
- Due to the weight and thick tires, the RadRunner Plus doesn’t turn as sharply as lighter ebikes.
- The extra-wide saddle gives you plenty of material to sit on, but it could be slightly more cushioned.
Who Is the RadRunner Plus For?
The RadRunner Plus is for the do-it-all guy seeking a cruisey ebike with storage and functionality. With a spacious rear rack and the ability to easily add front and middle storage, you could take this to the gym, office, and back home and bring all your bags with you.
Similarly, if you’re a young dad looking for a bigger ebike to plop your kiddo on the back of, the RadRunner Plus would be a stellar option.
This ebike also provides a sleek, industrial design and comfortable upright riding position that makes it a good weekend cruiser. This is handy if you’re just headed downtown and don’t want to bring your car or you have a few closeby errands to run.
The RadRunner Plus is built for functionality and fun. With a sleeky, sturdy frame, imitation leather accents, and a powerful LED headlight, it’s both a stylish and durable ride. The strong 750W motor and Tektro brakes give you the freedom to cruise for 25-45 miles and stop on a dime.
I’m a big fan of how the elevated handlebars put you in a neutral upright riding position that — paired with thick tires — creates an extremely comfortable ride. This ebike also comes with an included passenger seat and delivers a whopping 300 lb carrying capacity that allows you to bring a second rider with you or add loads of extra storage.
Because the RadRunner Plus can carry up to two people, it weighs 77 lbs, more than most ebikes. This added weight makes it a bit less nimble and less smooth on sharp turns.
If you’re looking for a durable, stylish, and functional cruiser with plenty of room for storage, The RadRunner Plus is the bike for you. Whether you need a sidekick for errands, a ride that you can schlep your work and workout bags on, or just something fun to cruise to the beach with, this ebike can deliver, and it’s made with quality materials that feel built to last.
Is the RadRunner Plus worth it?
If you’re looking for a well-built, stylish cruiser bike with tons of storage capacity and the ability to bring a second rider, the RadRunner Plus is definitely a worthy option to consider.
Why are Rad Power Bikes so cheap?
Rad Power Bikes makes entry-level ebikes and have scaled their production massively over the last few years. Rad’s bikes are made in Asia and shipped all over the US and Canada.
What’s the difference between the RadRunner and the RadRunner plus?
The RadRunner Plus is a heavier, upgraded version of the RadRunner, and includes a suspension fork, 7 speeds, and front and rear fenders.
How many miles do Rad Power Bikes last?
Most Rad Power Bikes run for up to 45 miles on a single charge.