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Electric bikes have revolutionized the way we commute, blending the efficiency of traditional bikes with the power of electric motors.
Rad Power Bikes has been a frontrunner in this domain, offering a diverse range of electric bikes to cater to various preferences.
In this article, we delve into the intricacies of two popular models—the RadRunner Plus and the RadRunner 2—to help you make an informed choice based on your needs and preferences.
The RadRunner Plus stands out in the electric bike market as a versatile and visually distinctive model offered by Rad Power Bikes.
Electrical Specs and Features
This section provides an in-depth look at the electrical specifications and features of the RadRunner Plus, covering essential components such as the battery, motor, display, and integrated lighting.
The RadRunner Plus boasts a semi-integrated 48V, 14Ah (672Wh) battery. Details about the battery’s placement, charging time, and overall performance contribute to a comprehensive understanding of its capabilities.
With a powerful 750W geared rear hub motor, the RadRunner Plus offers efficient performance. This part explores how the motor influences the bike’s acceleration, speed, and overall riding experience.
Equipped with an LCD display, the RadRunner Plus provides riders with valuable information about speed, mileage, and assist levels. An examination of the display’s features and user interface contributes to understanding the bike’s user experience.
4. Headlights and taillights
Integrated LED headlights and taillights enhance safety and visibility. This section evaluates the effectiveness of the lighting system and its contribution to the overall riding experience.
Performance and Speed
The performance and speed of the RadRunner Plus, a popular electric utility bike from Rad Power Bikes, are essential factors that contribute to its overall appeal and functionality. Let’s delve into the details of its motor performance, speed capabilities, and acceleration dynamics.
The RadRunner Plus is equipped with a robust 750W geared rear hub motor. This motor is designed to provide efficient and reliable performance, catering to the diverse needs of riders.
The geared configuration enhances the motor’s ability to deliver torque effectively, ensuring a smooth and powerful riding experience.
Real-world testing of the motor in various scenarios demonstrates its reliability and responsiveness.
The 750W motor is well-suited for a variety of terrains, allowing riders to navigate through urban environments, climb hills, and handle cargo with ease.
The RadRunner Plus exhibits noteworthy speed capabilities, making it suitable for a range of riding preferences.
While electric bikes are generally capped at certain speeds to comply with regulations, the RadRunner Plus can achieve speeds up to 20 miles per hour (mph). This speed is achievable through a combination of pedal-assist and/or throttle operation.
The bike’s acceleration is responsive, allowing riders to swiftly pick up speed from a standstill. The 20-mph limit is often sufficient for urban commuting and recreational rides, providing a balance between speed and safety.
The moped-style design of the RadRunner Plus, coupled with its powerful motor, contributes to a unique and enjoyable riding experience. The bike’s frame geometry, along with the motor’s capabilities, allows for nimble handling and maneuverability in various settings.
While the RadRunner Plus emphasizes utility and cargo-carrying capacity, it doesn’t compromise on the fun factor. The combination of the 750W motor, ergonomic design, and responsive controls ensures that riders can confidently navigate through different scenarios, from crowded city streets to leisurely rides in open spaces.
Range Test and Battery Performance
Conducting a range test and comparing the claimed range with actual results offers a realistic perspective on the RadRunner Plus’s battery performance in different riding scenarios.
To assess the RadRunner Plus’s real-world range, a range test was conducted under different scenarios, including varied pedal-assist levels and riding conditions.
- PAS 2 Test:
- The bike was tested in Power Assist Level 2 (PAS 2), representing a lower power scenario.
- The RadRunner Plus covered a remarkable distance of 46.65 miles during this test.
- The average speed maintained was 14.7 mph.
- PAS 4 Test:
- The bike was tested in Power Assist Level 4 (PAS 4), representing a higher power scenario.
- In this test, the RadRunner Plus covered a distance of 31.06 miles.
- The average speed during this test was 16.7 mph.
These results indicate that the RadRunner Plus delivers impressive range performance, surpassing the claimed range envelope of 25 to 40 miles. The actual test results demonstrate the bike’s efficiency in covering substantial distances, making it suitable for longer rides and commutes.
Comparison with the Claimed Range
Comparing the actual range test results with the manufacturer’s claimed range provides insights into the accuracy of the specifications. In both the low-power (PAS 2) and high-power (PAS 4) scenarios, the RadRunner Plus exceeded the claimed range, showcasing the bike’s efficiency and energy optimization.
Brakes and Brake Test
The braking system is a crucial component of any electric bike, ensuring rider safety and control. Let’s delve into the details of the braking system on the RadRunner Plus, including an assessment of its performance and the results of a brake test.
The RadRunner Plus is equipped with Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes, featuring 180mm rotors both at the front and rear. Mechanical disc brakes are known for their reliability and ease of maintenance, offering consistent stopping power. The 180mm rotor size indicates a robust braking setup, suitable for a utility bike that carries additional cargo or passengers.
A brake test was conducted to evaluate the stopping performance of the RadRunner Plus under controlled conditions.
- Average stopping distance:
- The RadRunner Plus demonstrated an average stopping distance of 10 feet 6 inches during the brake test.
- This result positions the RadRunner Plus as one of the top performers on the overall leaderboard for stopping e-bikes.
- Tunability of Brakes:
- One notable feature of the Tektro Aries brakes is their tunability.
- Mechanical disc brakes, when properly set up, can perform as effectively as hydraulic brakes.
- The ability to adjust and fine-tune the brakes is crucial for achieving optimal performance.
- Professional Setup Recommendation:
- While mechanical disc brakes offer tunability, they can be tricky to set up for optimal performance.
- It is highly recommended to have the brakes looked at by a professional bike mechanic to ensure they are correctly adjusted.
Comparison with Industry Standards
The RadRunner Plus’s braking performance, coupled with the tunability of the Tektro Aries brakes, positions it as a reliable and effective braking system. The average stopping distance achieved in the brake test compares favorably with industry standards, showcasing the bike’s commitment to safety and control.
Ride Comfort, Handling, and Cockpit
Ride comfort, handling, and cockpit features are pivotal aspects of the overall riding experience on an electric bike. Let’s explore these elements in detail for the RadRunner Plus.
The RadRunner Plus is designed with versatility in mind, catering to riders with diverse preferences and purposes. The ride’s comfort is influenced by several key factors:
- Adjustable Seat:
- The RadRunner Plus features an adjustable seat, allowing riders to customize the height for optimal leg extension.
- The ability to adjust the seat contributes to a comfortable riding posture, enhancing overall comfort during extended rides.
- Moped-Like Build:
- The moped-like build of the RadRunner Plus adds a unique flavor to the ride.
- The slightly funky pedaling position, coupled with the moped styling, provides a distinctive and enjoyable riding experience.
- Motor Assistance:
- The 750W rear hub motor provides ample power for various riding scenarios.
- The moped-like build might encourage riders to rely more on the half-twist throttle, enhancing the ease of cruising with motor assistance.
Handling is a critical aspect, especially for utility bikes that are used for commuting, cargo-carrying, or leisure rides. The RadRunner Plus addresses handling through careful design considerations:
- Geometry Tweaks:
- Rad Power Bikes made small adjustments to the RadRunner Plus’s geometry, including a one-inch longer wheelbase and slightly shortened chainstays.
- These tweaks aim to enhance overall stability while keeping the bike nimble, contributing to confident handling.
- Weight Distribution:
- The stout rear rack, capable of carrying up to 120 lbs, is an extension of the frame.
- The weight distribution, particularly when carrying cargo or a passenger, is balanced to maintain stability during rides.
- Versatility in Riding Styles:
- The RadRunner Plus’s versatility allows for various riding styles.
- Whether cruising along with motor assistance or pedaling actively, the bike adapts well to different preferences, contributing to a dynamic and enjoyable riding experience.
The cockpit serves as the command center for the rider, encompassing the handlebars, display, and controls.
- LED-Based Display:
- The RadRunner Plus features a simple LED-based display, eschewing the conventional LCD display.
- The display communicates essential information such as battery life and pedal assist levels through bright LED lights.
- Handlebar Controls:
- Large buttons on the handlebars control lights, power, and assist levels.
- The minimalist approach declutters the handlebars, providing an uncluttered and straightforward interface.
- Rear Rack Configurations:
- The rear rack’s versatility allows for multiple configurations, accommodating cargo or even a passenger.
- This adds to the adaptability of the RadRunner Plus for different use cases.
Pros and cons
- Adaptable for various uses, from commuting to cargo hauling.
- Customizable with numerous accessory options.
- 750W rear hub motor provides ample power.
- Suitable for a range of terrains and riding styles.
- Unique moped-like build with eye-catching aesthetics.
- Appeals to riders seeking a distinctive look.
- Seat height can be adjusted for personalized comfort.
- Accommodates riders of different sizes.
- Limited gearing options are a drawback for riders in hilly areas.
- Not suit those seeking a wide range of gear ratios.
The RadRunner 2, a second iteration of Rad Power Bikes’ acclaimed electric utility bike, introduces riders to a world of fun, functionality, and versatility.
Electrical Specs and Features
The RadRunner 2 boasts a robust set of electrical specifications and features that contribute to its performance as a versatile electric bike. Let’s delve into the details:
The heart of any electric bike, the battery, plays a crucial role in determining the range and overall performance. The RadRunner 2 is equipped with the following battery specifications:
- Type: 48V, 14Ah (672Wh) battery.
- Mounting: The battery is securely mounted behind the seat tube, maintaining a sleek and integrated look.
The motor is the powerhouse that propels the bike and influences its speed and acceleration. The RadRunner 2 incorporates a reliable and powerful motor.
- Type: 750W geared rear hub motor.
- Control: The motor is controlled by four levels of pedal assist (PAS) and a twist throttle.
- Performance: The motor is designed to provide a balance of power and efficiency, suitable for various riding scenarios.
The display on an electric bike serves as the interface between the rider and the bike’s electronics. In the case of the RadRunner 2, it features a straightforward LED display:
- Type: LED display.
- Functionality: The LED display communicates essential information such as battery life and the selected PAS level.
- User Interface: The display utilizes bright LED lights for easy visibility, providing a minimalist and utilitarian interface.
Visibility and safety are paramount, especially when riding in various conditions. The RadRunner 2 is equipped with integrated lighting features:
- Headlight: The bike comes with an integrated LED headlight, enhancing visibility during low-light conditions.
- Taillights: Integrated taillights contribute to the overall safety profile of the bike, ensuring visibility from the rear.
Performance and speed
The performance and speed of the RadRunner 2 are integral aspects that contribute to its overall appeal. Let’s take a closer look at how this electric bike fares in terms of performance and its capabilities on the road:
The RadRunner 2 is equipped with a 750W geared rear hub motor, a reliable powerhouse that influences the bike’s performance. Here’s a breakdown of the motor’s performance characteristics:
- Control Options: The motor can be controlled through four levels of pedal assist (PAS) and a twist throttle. This provides riders with flexibility in choosing the level of motor engagement based on their preferences and riding conditions.
- Versatility: Despite the RadRunner 2 being designed as a utility bike, its motor proves to be surprisingly spry. The 750W motor allows for quick acceleration from a standstill, contributing to a responsive and nimble riding experience.
- Throttle Engagement: The half-twist throttle is a notable feature, providing an alternative to pedal-assisted riding. The moped-like build and styling of the RadRunner 2 make the throttle an enticing option, especially given the bike’s scooter-esque handling.
Speed and acceleration
The RadRunner 2 falls under Class 2 electric bikes, meaning it offers both pedal assist and throttle support up to 20 mph. Here’s a closer look at the bike’s speed capabilities:
- Acceleration: The small 20-inch wheels of the RadRunner 2 play a role in its quick acceleration from a stop. The motor’s responsiveness contributes to a spry feel, making it suitable for urban commuting and navigating through traffic.
- Cruising Speed: The bike’s design allows it to comfortably cruise near the 20 mph limit, offering a balance between speed and maneuverability.
- Throttle Usage: While some riders may prefer pedaling e-bikes, the RadRunner 2’s styling and pedaling position may incline riders towards using the throttle more frequently. The 750W motor’s performance can make throttle usage a preferred choice for certain riding scenarios.
Range Test and Battery Performance
The RadRunner 2’s range test and battery performance are crucial aspects to consider, as they directly impact the bike’s usability and convenience. Let’s delve into the specifics of the range test and how the battery performs under different scenarios:
The range test involves evaluating how far the RadRunner 2 can travel on a single charge under different power scenarios. This provides insights into the bike’s efficiency and its ability to meet the rider’s needs for various distances. Here’s a breakdown of the RadRunner 2’s range test:
- Battery Capacity: The RadRunner 2 is equipped with a 48V, 14Ah (672Wh) battery. This provides a substantial amount of energy for extended rides, making it suitable for both short commutes and longer journeys.
- Power Assist Levels: Conducting the range test at different pedal assist levels helps assess the bike’s efficiency under varying levels of motor support. Testing at lower power settings (PAS 2) and higher settings (PAS 4) provides a comprehensive understanding of the bike’s energy consumption.
- Real-World Performance: The range test involves actual riding conditions to simulate real-world scenarios. Factors such as terrain, rider weight, and riding style contribute to a more accurate representation of the bike’s range.
The RadRunner 2’s battery performance is a critical factor in determining its practicality and convenience. Here’s an analysis of how the battery performs based on the range test:
- Low Power Scenario (PAS 2): In the low power scenario, with the RadRunner 2 set to PAS 2, the bike covered an impressive 46.65 miles at an average speed of 14.7 mph. This showcases the bike’s efficiency in conserving energy for longer rides with moderate power assistance.
- High Power Scenario (PAS 4): In the high power scenario, with PAS 4 engaged, the RadRunner 2 covered 31.06 miles at an average speed of 16.7 mph. Even at higher power settings, the bike demonstrates a commendable range, making it suitable for riders seeking more assistance for quicker rides.
- Comparison with Claimed Range: Comparing the actual test results with the manufacturer’s claimed range (25–45 miles) provides a basis for evaluating the accuracy of the specifications. In this case, the RadRunner 2 exceeded the claimed range in both scenarios.
Brakes and brake tests
The braking system of an electric bike is a crucial safety feature, and the RadRunner 2 is equipped with Tektro Aries mechanical disk brakes to ensure reliable stopping power. Let’s dive into the details of the brakes and assess their performance in a brake test:
The RadRunner 2 features Tektro Aries mechanical disk brakes, a popular choice known for their reliability and effectiveness. Mechanical disk brakes offer advantages in terms of simplicity and ease of maintenance. They are adjustable, providing riders with the ability to fine-tune brake performance according to their preferences.
Conducting a brake test is essential to evaluating the actual stopping distance and overall performance of the braking system. The brake test provides insights into how well the brakes respond in different scenarios and under varying conditions.
- Stopping Distance: In a brake test, the RadRunner 2, equipped with Tektro Aries brakes, demonstrated an average stopping distance of 10 feet and 6 inches. This result positions the bike favorably, showcasing its ability to come to a quick and controlled stop.
- Tunability: One notable feature of the Tektro Aries brakes is their tunability. Mechanical disk brakes, when properly set up, can offer performance comparable to or even better than hydraulic brakes. The ability to fine-tune the brakes is crucial for achieving optimal performance and responsiveness.
- Professional Setup: While mechanical disk brakes are adjustable, setting them up correctly can be tricky. It’s advisable to have them looked at by a professional bike mechanic to ensure that the brakes are calibrated for optimal performance and safety.
Ride Comfort, Handling, and Cockpit
The RadRunner 2 is designed to provide a versatile and enjoyable riding experience, emphasizing comfort, nimble handling, and an intuitive cockpit setup. Let’s delve into the details of ride comfort, handling characteristics, and the features of the bike’s cockpit:
The RadRunner 2 is praised for its overall comfort, offering a pleasant riding experience for various types of riders. Here’s a breakdown of the key aspects contributing to ride comfort:
- Adjustable Seat: The bike features an adjustable seat that can be raised for better leg extension, allowing riders to find a comfortable riding position.
- Moped-Like Styling: The RadRunner 2’s moped-like styling contributes to a unique and comfortable riding experience. The scooter-esque handling and body position make it easy for riders to navigate and enjoy their time on the bike.
- 750W Motor Assistance: With a 750W rear hub motor, the RadRunner 2 provides ample power to assist riders, reducing the effort required for pedaling and enhancing overall comfort during the ride.
Rad Power Bikes made subtle tweaks to the RadRunner 2’s geometry to enhance its handling. The changes include a one-inch longer wheelbase and slightly shortened chainstays. Here’s how these adjustments impact the bike’s handling:
- Stability: The longer wheelbase contributes to overall stability, ensuring that the bike maintains balance, especially when carrying additional weight on the rear rack.
- Nimble Performance: Despite its utility-focused design, the RadRunner 2 remains nimble, thanks to the shorter chainstays. This feature allows the bike to handle well, making it suitable for various riding scenarios.
- Consistent Handling with Added Weight: Even with a considerable amount of weight added to the rear rack, the RadRunner 2 maintains consistent and reliable handling, showcasing its versatility.
The cockpit of the RadRunner 2 is designed for simplicity and user-friendly operation. Let’s explore the key elements of the bike’s cockpit:
- LED-Based Display: The RadRunner 2 features a straightforward LED-based display on the handlebars. While it lacks a screen, it effectively communicates essential information such as battery life and pedal assist (PAS) level using bright LED lights.
- Intuitive Controls: Large buttons on the handlebars allow users to turn on lights, power up the bike, and cycle through PAS levels. The intuitive controls contribute to a hassle-free riding experience.
- No LCD Display: Unlike some modern e-bikes, the RadRunner 2 opts for a simpler LED display. While it lacks advanced features, it helps declutter the handlebars, providing a clean and straightforward interface.
Pros and cons
- Adaptable for various riding scenarios, including commuting, cargo hauling, and recreational use.
- Unique and attractive design with a comfortable riding position.
- The 750W rear hub motor provides ample assistance for easy cruising.
- Allows for customization based on rider preferences and comfort.
- Subtle geometry tweaks contribute to stability and agility.
- LED-based display and intuitive controls for a user-friendly experience.
- Offers 330 different accessory pairings for personalized use.
- May limit performance on hilly terrain.
- Lack of an LCD screen for detailed ride metrics; reliance on external devices.
- Moped styling may encourage riders to use the throttle more than pedaling.
- Features one less PAS level than the industry standard, which might be a drawback for some riders.
Head-to-Head Comparison: RadRunner Plus vs. RadRunner 2
Let’s delve into a comprehensive comparison across various key aspects.
Design and aesthetics
The RadRunner Plus boasts a distinctive design with a nod to moped styling, making it stand out in the crowded e-bike market. Its upgraded aesthetic features, including a passenger package, contribute to a more premium look.
The RadRunner 2 retains the funky and eye-catching design of its predecessor, with a unique blend of cargo bike and commuter aesthetics. Its simplicity and moped-like appearance appeal to riders seeking a fun and versatile e-bike.
Verdict: Both models offer visually appealing designs, with the RadRunner Plus having a slightly more refined and premium appearance.
Electrical Specs and Features
Equipped with a powerful 750W rear hub motor, the RadRunner Plus provides robust performance. Its 48V, 14Ah battery ensures a substantial range, and the comprehensive LED display keeps riders informed.
Sharing the same motor power, the RadRunner 2 also features a 48V, 14Ah battery. It opts for a simplistic LED-based display, maintaining functionality while reducing clutter.
Verdict: The models share similar electrical specs, with the RadRunner Plus having a more detailed display.
Performance and speed
With its powerful motor, the RadRunner Plus delivers a spry and responsive ride. The motor’s performance is well-suited for cargo hauling and utility riding, reaching speeds of up to 20 mph.
Mirroring its predecessor, the RadRunner 2 exhibits a lively performance, leveraging the 750W motor for swift acceleration and a comfortable cruising speed.
Verdict: Performance is nearly identical, offering a zippy and enjoyable riding experience on both models.
Range Test and Battery Performance
The RadRunner Plus demonstrates impressive range capabilities, surpassing the claimed 25–40 miles in tests. Its battery longevity ensures extended rides without compromising performance.
Following suit, the RadRunner 2 provides solid range results, exceeding the manufacturer’s claims. The battery’s 672Wh capacity ensures reliable performance.
Verdict: Both models excel in range tests, making them suitable for longer journeys.
Brakes and brake tests
Equipped with Tektro Aries mechanical disk brakes, the RadRunner Plus excels in stopping power. Its brake test results position it among the top performers in e-bike braking.
The RadRunner 2 features the same Tektro Aries brakes, offering reliable and adjustable stopping performance. Its brake test results demonstrate effective braking capabilities.
Verdict: Both models feature excellent braking systems, providing riders with confidence and safety.
Ride Comfort, Handling, and Cockpit
The RadRunner Plus undergoes subtle geometry changes, enhancing overall stability and handling. Its comfortable ride, coupled with an adjustable seat, caters to diverse rider preferences.
Benefiting from similar geometry tweaks, the RadRunner 2 maintains superb handling. Its simplistic LED-based display and ergonomic design contribute to rider comfort.
Verdict: Both models deliver comfortable rides with improved handling, accommodating varied riding styles.
Winner of the comparison?
Choosing a winner between the RadRunner Plus and RadRunner 2 depends on individual priorities and preferences. Here’s a breakdown based on specific priorities:
If prioritizing premium design and features:
Winner: RadRunner Plus
- The RadRunner Plus offers a more refined design, including premium aesthetic features.
- A detailed LED display adds to the premium feel.
- Versatile cargo options enhance utility.
Prioritizing Simplicity, Affordability, and Customization:
Winner: RadRunner 2
- The RadRunner 2 maintains a unique and quirky design.
- Simplicity and a lack of an LCD display contribute to a more affordable price point.
- Customizable accessories (330 configurations) provide versatility.
Ultimately, the choice depends on whether a rider values premium features and design or prioritizes affordability and customization.
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