“No way, I’m too young for an electric bike,” were my initial thoughts on the topic. But, then a neighbor purchased one and raved about it. Next, a co-worker got one for himself and for his kids. They had the same enthusiastic response. So we started to think about what we might be missing out on!
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The Rad “RadCity” Electric Bike
After putting in the requisite research, we ended up purchasing the Rad “RadCity” bike. Not coincidentally, Rad was also the brand that our neighbor and co-worker purchased. Other vendors that we looked at included: Aventon, Himiway, Pedego, and Sondors. But Rad stood out for a couple of reasons:
- They are the largest e-bike provider in North America and are highly rated both by customers and the press.
- Rad has a pricing “sweet spot” among electric bike manufacturers. Competitors’ offerings start at $2000 and go up to $5000+.
- Rad bikes have a good battery range (see details below).
My biggest fear was that biking would no longer offer any sort of workout. It turns out this fear was completely unfounded. The RadCity bike offers 5 levels of power assistance as well as a zero/no external assistance option. Oftentimes, I find myself riding at zero and just flip on assistance when approaching a big or long hill. This bike still offers traditional shifting by way of a 7-speed Shimano thumb shifter, which is great for adjusting to steep downhills or smaller uphill climbs.
That being said, it’s amazing what a difference even the lowest level of assistance makes! Hills, typically my nemesis, are now a breeze. And knowing that they won’t exhaust me, I’m encouraged to journey farther/longer than I would have in the past. This makes rides so much more interesting and opens things up to whole new types of rides. Now, if I need to run to the drugstore or grab something small at the grocery, I can take my bike instead of the car!
The step-through model (version I chose) is easy to board now and will be much appreciated as I continue to age. The wider tires give a good feeling of stability. Find a comprehensive summary of Rad’s pros and cons below.
|Easy to assemble.||Online only in our area (NE Ohio). No local stores for test rides, although they do offer a 14-day free trial period.|
|No rattles, smooth operation.||The bike is heavy (63 pounds). This is not something you notice when riding, but you do notice it when putting it onto a rack or garage storage lift.|
|Easy to work on using standard bike tools.||Uses standard disc brakes versus the hydraulic brakes used on pricier models.|
|Good battery range (25-40 miles, up to 25 MPH).||Uses mid-grade shifter components.|
|More organic power pedal assistance than other bikes.||More expensive bikes may offer even more powerful, mid-drive motors.|
|Assistance is strong enough for the long, steep park hills in our area and the quick-access, twist throttle feature is handy for when you need a quick start or extra oomph.|
|More included accessories than competitors: fenders, a rear bag rack, lights, a bell.|
|Rad offers multiple bike-style options that all use the same type of battery. Convenient if you are planning on multiple bikes for your family.|
While Rad is generous with accesories, there are a few add-on’s you may wish to add to your bike. Popular options include:
- A lock.
- A handlebar phone mount for your cell phone.
- Side mirrors.
- A bag or daypack for carrying a repair kit, snacks, or storing stuff that you pick up along your ride. Alternately, maybe you want a pet carrier to bring your fur friend along.
- A water bottle and mount.
- An upgraded seat/saddle.
- An extra battery (NOTE: this is a pricey upgrade but can be worthwhile if you tend to go for really, really long rides).
What do you think of e-bikes? Are you ready to go electric? I’d love to hear your thoughts and concerns in the comment section.
Wishing you all a very happy 4th and a fun holiday weekend! Until next time,