While fat-tire bikes can be a blast to ride, their big wheels can make them tough to lug around. But the RadMini Step-Thru solves that problem with 20″ fat tires and a folding frame. Finally, a high power electric fat bike that fits in a trunk!
RadMini Step-Thru fat tire e-bike
My first experience with a fat tire electric bike from Rad Power Bikes was definitely a positive one. I previously reviewed their Rad Rover, which checked a ton of boxes for me. But the main downside was just how big the bike was. While that made it great on the trail and street, it was a bit tougher to navigate in an elevator or through my building’s bike room.
But now that I’ve gotten a chance to spend some time in the saddle of a RadMini Step-Thru, I’ve found that it packs in most of the advantages of its larger big brother, yet in a smaller and more portable package.
And for someone like me who lives in a crowded city, portability is practically a necessity.
RadMini Step-Thru tech specs
- Motor: 750 W geared hub motor
- Top speed: 32 km/h (20 mph)
- Range: 45-72 km (25-45 mi) depending on throttle or pedal assist
- Battery: 48V 14Ah (672 Wh)
- Charge time: 6 hours
- Max load: 125 kg (275 lb)
- Frame: 6061 aluminum
- Suspension: Front RST spring suspension fork with 60 mm travel
- Brakes: Tektro mechanical disc brakes
- Extras: LCD display with speedometer, wattmeter, battery gauge, PAS level indicator, odometer, tripmeter, light status indicator, front and rear LED lights with ambient light sensor on front, 5-speed settings, half-twist throttle with disengage button, USB charging port, mounting for front or rear racks
Want to see the RadMini Step-Thru in action? Check out my video review below!
RadMini Step-Thru performance
The RadMini is a great performing little e-bike. In fact, I’d call it the biggest little e-bike I’ve ever ridden. It packs in the performance of a larger fat tire bike but in a smaller, folding package.
Just like its big brother the Rad Rover, the RadMini Step-Thru excels at transitioning between different types of terrain. Between the front suspension fork and the 4″ fat tires, riding off-road is a breeze. It feels quite comfortable, especially considering that there’s no rear suspension. I was amazed at how smooth my video turned out in sections where I was riding through the middle of a park. The big tires really help at smoothing out the terrain.
And yes, while many hard tail folding electric bikes can be ridden off-road, the transition is usually pretty jarring. Other hardtail folders bounce and buck around, protesting the whole time. But the RadMini Step-Thru just laughs and asks, “What’s next?”
When you take it back on the street, the RadMini Step-Thru feels like any other e-bike. It doesn’t feel overly large or hard to handle, it just rides smooth and straight. The 20″ wheels would normally make potholes a bit more noticeable, but again, the fat tires handle that beautifully. Between the suspension fork and the super cushy tires, the ride is wonderful.
When it comes to power, the RadMini Step-Thru has power to spare. Its 48 V battery provides plenty of strength to run that 750 W rear hub motor. Acceleration is quick and smooth, even on grass and dirt. And with a 14 Ah battery, the RadMini Step-Thru offers 672 Wh of capacity. That’s easily enough for 40 km or 25 miles of range on throttle only. But with 5 speeds of pedal assist, Rad Power Bikes claims you can achieve 70 km or 45 miles of range.
I enjoy having the option for both throttle and pedal assist on the RadMini. If I want exercise, I can get it. Or if I want to ride the bike like an electric motorcycle, I can do that too. And the throttle disengage button on the handlebars is a nice touch, especially for a bike that is meant to be portable like this. You don’t want to accidentally twist the throttle when you’re moving it around, so a throttle disengage button is a smart addition. My Zero FXS electric motorcycle I’m currently riding has a throttle disengage button, so why shouldn’t an e-bike too?!
Speaking of portability, the folding option is quite useful for putting the bike in a car trunk or backseat or taking it on a train. Many trains and subways only allow folding bikes. The RadMini Step-Thru allows you to bring your fat bike with you on such trains – not something you can say for most fat bikes.
The bike isn’t light, at around 31 kg (68 lb). So don’t think that you can just fold it and carry it around all day. But it’s light enough that you could lift it into a trunk or up a flight of stairs without too much struggling.
Is it worth it?
I’d say yes. For $1,499 you’re getting a really fun little folding fat bike. You can ride it just about anywhere – something you can’t say for most folding e-bikes. And you get a decent amount of nice features, like integrated lights with auto-light sensing to turn on at night, a built-in wattmeter in the display, support for Rad’s line of racks, USB charging, full metal folding pedals, etc.
What you won’t get are high-end components. The RadMini Step-Thru isn’t a budget e-bike, but it’s in a class just above budget e-bikes. What that means is you get brand name components like Tektro brakes and Shimano shifters/derailleurs. But they won’t be top of the line Tektro and Shimano parts. You can’t expect that from a $1,499 bike.
In my opinion, the components are a good match for the bike though. They are good enough quality without forcing the price to be any higher than it needs to be. If you want hydraulic brakes, super precision shifters, mid-motors, belt drives or any other higher end components, you’re going to have to fork over significantly more cash than Rad is asking.
So that makes the RadMini Step-Thru a nice option for riders that want a good quality e-bike without breaking the bank.
What do you think of the RadMini Step-Thru? Let us know in the comments below!