Although they’ve only been around since 2007, and in its current incarnation since 2015, Rad Power Bikes already enjoys a lofty reputation among e-bike users. The appeal of Rad Power Bikes reaches across a variety of demographics and user groups. Whether you cycle at the weekend over varying terrain to keep yourself fit, use a bicycle to commute to and from work, or both, there’s a Rad Power Bike for you.
In this guide, we’re going to look at the RadRunner 1 Electric Utility Bike.
The RadRunner 1 has received widespread praise, both from across the industry and from consumers who have bought and used it.
What do you get when you buy this bike and is it worth it?
If you’re looking to buy an entry-level electric bike and aren’t too worried about the specifics, let us save you reading this review. If you need an e-bike for commuting or getting around your local area, go and buy it right now.
With an accessible price of $1,199, the build quality of and around the aluminum frame gives fantastic value. The RadRunner 1 doesn’t lack in the performance stakes, either. The bike can reach an impressive top speed when powered by the user pedaling and throttle input, while also being capable of getting you over hills on your journey. It’s also more than capable of carrying work equipment, groceries, or whatever else you need to transport.
The flexibility of the RadRunner 1 is perhaps its greatest asset. Rad Power’s range of accessories means RadRunner 1 users have 330 (!) potential accessory combinations. Whether you want to carry shopping bags or your child on the back of your e-bike or add extra storage on the front, you can do whatever you need.
Read on for the full RadRunner 1 review!
Motor: 750W rear geared hub motor, 80 Nm max torque
Drivetrain: Single speed, 52 – 16 gearing
Top Speed: 32 kmph / 20 mph, with dual pedal assist and throttle input
Range: 45-72 km / 25-45 mi depending on manual pedaling volume and other factors
Battery: 48V 14Ah Samsung 35E Lithium NMC battery pack / 672 Wh. Rated for 800 charge cycles
Battery Charger: 48V, 2 Amp, Rad Power smart charger
Charge Time: 5 – 6 hours for a full charge
Weight of Bike: 29.5 kg / 65 lb
Maximum Weight of Rider: 140 kg / 300 lb
Rear Rack Maximum Load: 55 kg / 120 lb
Brakes: Tektro mechanical disc brakes, 180mm
Wheelbase: 44 inches / 111.76cm
Bike Length: 67 inches / 170.18cm
Tires: 20 inches x 3.3 inches, Kenda puncture-resistant
What’s Included with the RadRunner Electric Utility Bike?
- RadRunner 1 Electric Utility Bike.
- Samsung Battery Pack.
- Rad Power Smart Charger.
- Center Kickstand.
- Front and Rear Rack Mounts (accessories sold separately).
The RadRunner 1 combines stylish design with practical features. Owing this bike will ensure you can ride to work or around town looking great, safe in the knowledge you have an e-bike that can do whatever you need.
Although not a feature in itself, we can’t talk about the RadRunner 1 without mentioning its versatility through the potential accessory combinations. With 330 possible combinations, you can make your bike anything you want it to be. The ease of swapping out these accessories means your RadRunner 1 can go from being ready to carry a passenger, be this your child or a friend, or set up to take shopping. You can even add a center console, which includes a cup and phone holder, and gives you even more storage space!
A feature of the RadRunner 1 is a simplified LED display console. Although not as impressive as Rad Power’s other models, which have an LCD display, it has everything you need. The LED display tells you your battery capacity, controls your lights, and shows you the degree to which you’re using pedal assist. You can also turn the motor on and off as you need, ideal for saving battery if you’re not in a hurry or can pedal on gentle terrain and smooth roads. What we would have loved to see on the console is the speed as well, but this is unfortunately missing.
From a safety perspective, the RadRunner 1 has integrated front and rear lights, both powered by the battery. Reflective sidewall striping on the wheels complements these lights. If you’re riding home or around town at night, you’ll be easy to spot.
A dual leg kickstand stabilizes your bike, whether you’re locking it up securely, loading cargo, or waiting for your passenger to climb aboard.
Design and Build Quality
Rad Power delivers the low price of the RadRunner 1 through stripping back on certain features, as seen in the different display console and the single-speed drivetrain.
However, the design and build quality of this e-bike are still excellent, as expected from Rad Power. If there’s one potential criticism, we will point to the design of the handlebars, which is quite old-school, and probably not deliberately! At the same time, this isn’t a dealbreaker and wouldn’t make us not want to buy the bike.
The handlebars themselves are high rise and easily adjustable to reach and preferred riding position. They’re also comfortable and easy to grip, facilitating the straightforward operation of the throttle and the brakes. The frame of the RadRunner 1 is made from 6061 aluminum alloy and gives a low standover height at just 16.5 inches. This design feature makes the RadRunner 1 Rad Power’s most accessible e-bike model. People with a broader range of leg lengths able to comfortably pedal and stand over the bike compared to other RadPower models.
The front fork is responsive and helps you ensure control when riding and made with aluminum. At the same time, the wheels are durable and sport feature resistant tires.
You will find the battery pack on the seat tube. While it’s visible, it fits effortlessly into the bike design and doesn’t scream what it is.
Rad Power has made this e-bike available in black and forest green colors. Both look stylish. However, some of Rad Power’s accessories do include different colors. The black model might be a better idea if you’re conscious of how your bike looks and don’t want too many color clashes.
Performance and Range
As well as being durable in function, the RadRunner 1 gives you a lot of power for your money when it comes to performance.
Before we talk about what you can get out of your e-bike, let’s look at the tech specs.
A 750W rear geared hub motor, built with 80Nm max torque to help you deal with hilly and more challenging terrain without needing to pedal at all, drives the performance of the RadRunner 1. The drivetrain is single speed. Although you get lower performance potential than other Rad Power e-bikes, you won’t feel like you’re riding a sub-standard or cheap model. All this is powered by a 48V Samsung battery pack, which Rad Power has rated as good for 800 charge cycles. Depending on how you use your bike, your battery pack could last for years.
With a combination of the motor and your pedaling, you can expect to reach up to 32kmph / 20mph on flat terrain. One battery charge gives you a range of between 45 and 72 kilometers / 25 and 45 miles. How far you can travel on a single charge will depend on several factors such as terrain, cargo loads, and how much manual pedaling you do. You’ll need just 5 – 6 hours for a full battery charge.
Tektro mechanical disc brakes on both the front and rear deliver reliable braking. The brakes deliver high performance whether you’re slowing down gradually or need to come to a sudden stop, including in wet conditions. The motor is quiet enough that you’ll barely notice it, particularly as you’ll be trying to stay aware of what’s going on around you.
What We Like About the RadRunner 1 Electric Utility Bike
- A price of $1,199 represents stunning value for an e-bike/moped hybrid such as this. While it’s possible to nit-pick around the absence of certain features, such as the lack of a speed display, that would not put us off buying this model.
- The tires have a lot going for them. Puncture-resistant doesn’t mean bulletproof, but they’ll be robust enough to get you through typical use without needing to worry about replacing them. The size of them and their grip gives added stability to your ride, too.
- Performance and Range. For the price you’ll pay for the RadRunner 1, getting the speed and range you do is impressive. Once you get used to riding your e-bike, you’ll quickly learn how carrying cargo and manual pedaling helps you to get even more out of your battery life.
- While the RadRunner 1 isn’t a bike we’d recommend for off-road use, it’s versatility means it can be anything you want it to be. If you’re looking for a commuter solution, or need a specific mode of transport for getting around your local area, it’s a winner.
- Simple Control Panel. The control panel tells you everything you need to know about how you’re using your bike and managing your battery life. A speed display isn’t essential – it’s not like we’re going to try and take a photo for Instagram!
- Lights & Reflective Features. The versatility of any bike must go beyond how you can use it and include when you can use it. With lights and reflective sidewalls built into the bike, the RadRunner 1 comes out of the box ready to ride, whether in brilliant daylight or after dark.
What We Don’t Like About the RadRunner 1 Electric Utility Bike
- The design is brilliant, but the RadRunner 1 is very heavy. If you never need to load it onto your car or take it on public transport, you’ll be fine, but beware of its weight if you won’t be 100% cycling from door to door.
- Lack of Suspension. The tires do a fantastic job of dealing with the terrain, but the lack of suspension on this model means that a ride isn’t always as smooth as possible. The lack of suspension isn’t going to pose a risk to your safety. Still, you’ll experience a bumpier ride and shocks through your joints that you otherwise wouldn’t! The RadRunner Plus model features suspension, although that bike will cost you $500 more than this one.
- Replacement Battery Cost. The battery on the RadRunner 1 is brilliant. If you’re going to be a “power user” of your e-bike, requiring daily or twice daily full charges, you may need a battery in a couple of years. At $549, a replacement battery isn’t cheap. However, it is still exceptional value against what you’d spend on refueling and maintaining a car or using public transport over that time.
The RadRunner 1 is a brilliant e-bike. There’s no other way to put it. If you’re on a budget or looking for your first e-bike, order this bike today. When making your decision, think about what you’re going to want to use your bike for, and check out the RadRunner website to see how much the accessories you will need might cost. However, your accessories will be interchangeable with any Rad Power model. If there’s more than one Rad Power bike owner in your household, or you upgrade to a more powerful model in the future, you’ll be able to re-use your accessories and get even more value for your money.
If you need to know more, think we’ve missed something in this RadRunner 1 review or want to ask us some questions then comment below or connect with us on Facebook.
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