Many years ago, Rad Power Bikes specialised exclusively in fat tire bikes with off road capabilities. Times have since changed. As the market has grown, North America’s most popular e-bike company has broadened its horizons. Today, Rad is releasing models with the urban rider in mind.
This is where the RadMission comes in. The RadMission 1—the first of this new line of bikes—is designed for hasty commutes and urban explorations. It’s also Rad’s cheapest bike to date. At a very competitive price, this model is vying to become the go-to bike for city living.
Whilst the RadMission 1 offers a great entry point for new riders in terms of cost, does it deliver in the performance and design departments? Read on for our review.
The RadMission 1 offers a lot in spite of its modest pricing. It’s still equipped with the high-spec technology and durable design that users have come to expect from a Rad bike.
Its components are especially suited to the demands of a busy and unpredictable life in the city. Whether you’re rushing to work or going for a spin on the weekend, the RadMission 1 proves to be an e-bike that is both fun and effective.
The first thing that you’ll notice when riding the RadMission 1 is that it still feels like cycling. This is meant in a good way; Rad has engineered a bike that incorporates the best features of a great commuter bicycle—responsive tires, free weight distribution, reliable brakes—with the extra power of an electric motor.
It’s also the lightest bike that Rad has ever made, which is good news if you need to get the RadMission 1 up a flight of stairs. At such a competitive price in the market, you will struggle to find another bike that can dominate the city so effectively.
Continue reading to learn about the RadMission 1’s features, design and performance.
Motor: 250W geared hub motor
Battery: 48V 10.5 Ah Samsung 35E battery pack / 504 watt. Rated for 800 charge cycles.
Charge Time: Five hours for a full charge.
Max Mileage/Range: Up to 45 miles.
Max Speed: 20 mph
Braking System: Front and rear brakes.
Tires: 27.5” x 1.95”
Max Load: 275 lbs.
Bike Weight: 47.8 lbs.
Product Material: 6061 aluminium alloy.
The RadMission 1 is more stripped back than your typical Rad bike. At this price, that is to be expected. That said, it still has a range of convenient features that make riding easy.
This is a single-speed bike that does away with gears and all the complications that can come with them. As a result, the drivetrain is simpler, quieter and more intuitive for the rider. No gears also means less maintenance. There are, of course, problems that come with single speed bikes, but the throttle function and pedal assist go a long way to dealing with these.
Safety is key when riding around the city, and the RadMission 1 takes this into account. The bike has a powerful, 40-lux headlight mounted high up on the stem of the handlebars for better frontal visibility. Reflective LED rings line the tires, helping to illuminate the bike at night for drivers. The integrated rear lights auto-activate when the brakes are squeezed. The front and rear lights both come with three different customisable settings: solid, bright and blinking mode.
The bike has its own battery that differs from most other Rad models. It’s considerably lighter, weighing in at just over six lbs. This is really handy, as it means that you can carry the battery pack around with you in the day to charge between commutes.
The display and control panel is bare-bones and does not share the same level of detail as Rad’s more expensive models. It tells you the battery charge, pedal assist level and lights indicator, but you won’t be able to glean anything about your speed or distance travelled.
If the RadMission 1 is too limited for you, you do have the option to buy accessories and upgrades offered by Rad across all of its models. For this bike, you might consider investing in the kickstand, fenders, rack and side mirror.
Design and Build Quality
The RadMission 1 offers customers the option of two differently sized frames—mid-step and high-step. This is quite uncommon for a bike at this price range and helps to accommodate a wider range of rider heights. Five different colourways to choose from is also a nice addition and will help to give your bike a more personal touch.
As mentioned earlier, the RadMission 1’s design and build draws inspiration from a traditional commuter bicycle. The aluminium frame is sturdy and durable but also lightweight. This ensures that the ride is zippy enough for fast-moving city travel whilst always feeling secure.
Rad’s choice of tires for this bike is also excellent. With a width of 1.95”, these are the narrowest tires that the company has ever used on one of their models. Some of the bike’s competitors go even narrower, but Rad was justified in its choice; the RadMission 1 occupies that sweet spot between free movement and stability.
In the other build departments, Rad keeps it simple. The single-speed design means that there are fewer parts to worry about. The chain stays tight and is aided by a chain tensioner for extra security when riding over bumpy ground. Owing to these choices, you can expect less day-to-day maintenance of your bike.
The minimal design also helps to keep the weight down. Whilst Rad promotes this model as its lightest ever bike, it should be noted that you can find lighter options out there. The RadMission’s weight of around 48 lbs isn’t awful though; you should still be able to carry the bike across short distances.
Performance and Range
Don’t be fooled by the no-frills design: this bike moves really well.
A muscular 500W geared hub motor provides ample oomph and won’t be bested by any other affordable bikes on the market. 50 Nm of torque makes for a smooth and confident ride where you always feel in control. The bike can reach a top speed of 20mph, which represents the standard for rides in this price bracket. We also noticed that the RadMission 1 turns smartly.
At such an affordable price, it’s probably unreasonable to expect hydraulic brakes. In truth, the RadMission’s mechanical brakes still perform well. They’re very responsive and offer riders sufficient braking power when faced with sudden traffic light changes or unobservant pedestrians.
The single-speed drivetrain is probably the biggest point of contention with this bike. Prospective buyers should note that the one gear is geared quite high, making for more challenging starts from a standstill. However, the throttle exists for this reason and essentially plays the role of the lower gears, helping to get you going when stopped at an intersection.
The other time you’ll need help from the throttle is when climbing hills. The 500W motor is certainly capable of getting you up inclines, but the bike will require some input from yourself and you may be left wishing there was more power in reserve.
In terms of the battery, 48V and 10.5Ah are some of the better specs that you can find at this price. It means that the RadMission 1 offers a max range of 45 miles that measures favourably against competitors. A five-hour charge time and an estimated 800 charge cycles are also positive features. All of this from a lightweight battery is thoroughly impressive.
What We Like About the RadMission 1 Electric Metro Bike
- Price. Few bikes can offer the same level of performance at such an affordable price. With the RadMission 1, you’re getting a powerful engine, reliable battery and functional design all for under $1000.
- Functionality. It’s easy to use, making it suitable for people who are new to the e-bike field. The single-speed drivetrain means you don’t have to worry about gear-switching and should save time on maintenance in the long run.
- Performance. Affordability and functionality don’t compromise performance. You still have a top-of-the-range motor and battery which make for a fun and dependable bike.
What We Don’t Like About the RadMission 1 Electric Metro Bike
- Display. The battery level is indicated by five imprecise bars which will leave you wondering whether you’re at 3% or 18%. Also, you don’t get the more detailed readouts that Rad offers on its other models. This is something that you lose with the reduced cost.
- You may have to buy accessories. Some people won’t be able to go without certain accessories like the kickstand. These become added costs to factor into the pricing.
By blending the latest technology with a simplistic design, Rad has produced an entry-level bike that is perfectly suited to the urban environment.
The combination of quality, functionality and affordability makes this a great option for first-time e-bike buyers.
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