It seems Rad Power Bikes has an e-bike for just about everything. Need to haul a ton of cargo? They have a bike for that. Need a fat tire e-bike for crushing trails? They’ve got that, too. Need an efficient, powerful commuter e-bike? Then you’re also in luck, because that’s what we’re reviewing today. The RadCity 4 electric bike is the ultimate commuter e-bike from Rad Power Bikes.
Let’s dive in and see if this e-bike is right for you. Oh, and stick around, because we’ll also share with you an exclusive deal to get a free $100 accessory with the bike.
RadCity 4 e-bike tech specs
- Motor: 750W direct drive rear hub motor
- Top speed: 32 km/h (20 mph)
- Range: 45-72 km (25-45 mi) depending on throttle/pedal assist
- Battery: 48V 14Ah (672 Wh)
- Charge time: 6 hours
- Max load: 125 kg (275 lb)
- Frame: 6061 aluminum, step-through style
- Tires: Kenda K-Rad 26″ x 2.3″, K-shield puncture liner
- Suspension: 80 mm travel front RST spring suspension fork with preload adjustment and lockout
- Brakes: Tektro mechanical disc brakes with 180 mm rotors
- Extras: LCD display with speedometer, wattmeter, battery gauge, PAS level indicator, odometer, tripmeter, light status indicator, USB charging port for cell phones or other USB-powered accessories, front and rear LED lights, 5 speed settings, half-twist throttle, built-in frame rack in rear as well as mounting for front and rear racks/accessories, fenders included standard
RadCity 4 video review
Check out my video review of the RadCity 4 from Rad Power Bikes. Then read on for the rest of my review afterwards.
The RadCity difference
What separates the RadCity from the rest of the Rad Power Bikes lineup?
The main differences are the frame and motor. While most of Rad’s bikes use a smaller diameter geared hub motor, the RadCity has a bigger direct drive hub motor. This motor is also found in the RadWagon and is better suited to the abuse of heavier loads or long term usage, plus it offers regenerative braking.
While geared motors are great for reducing weight, they have more moving parts and thus more parts that can potentially fail. A direct drive motor has no internal gears — it’s just a big ol’ hunk of copper wire and magnets. The design is basically bulletproof and could easily last a decade or more. The only things that can really destroy a direct drive motor are extreme heat (which would demagnetize the magnets) or submerging in water (which would rust out the motor and cause it to seize). If you can avoid riding through a lake or an oven, then your motor should last longer than you’ll ever need it to.
The other main distinguisher on the RadCity is the frame. While most of Rad’s other bikes use smaller frames or offer fat tires, the RadCity offers a larger commuter bike frame and reasonable 2.3-inch-wide tires. These aren’t super skinny like on a road bike, but are much narrower than most of Rad’s other bikes and make for better commuter performance via increased efficiency.
While the frame is a bit larger than most of Rad’s lineup, it still fit me fine despite my shorter 5’7″ (170 cm) stature. But long-legged riders will certainly appreciate this model.
Another thing I like about the frame is how it incorporates a rear rack directly into the frame itself. That means you don’t have to worry about bolting anything on (though you can of course add baskets or other accessories to the rack). It also helps get the rear light further back and above the wheel where it is most visible to cars.
Bang for your buck
While those are the differentiators, the rest of the bike is true to form for Rad Power Bikes.
It comes with an 80 mm suspension fork, 180 mm mechanical disc brakes, Shimano drivetrain, plastic fenders, Velo grips and saddle, Promax seat post, Zoom adjustable stem, etc. All of these are pretty good parts, but nothing fancy. For just $1,499, Rad does a good job of providing decent bike parts that keep the price reasonable. There are of course better e-bikes out there with higher-end components, but they cost significantly more.
Ride experience is where it all comes together. This is an excellent hybrid-style commuter bike that will perform well for years.
The front suspension and decently large air volume in the tires offer a nice ride on reasonable quality roads. I even did a bit of grassy field riding and found it to be acceptable, though I’d definitely prefer the RadRover from Rad Power Bikes if I did more off-road than on-road riding.
The range is pretty much par for the course on the RadCity. The 672Wh battery gets me around 30 miles of range when I’m using mostly throttle-only, which I’m guilty of doing quite often. Using the five different levels of pedal assist definitely helps extend that range, though I’m rarely going more than 30 miles in a trip anyways.
The new lights and fenders that Rad incorporated into their new 2020 models work well and help make this a functional e-bike right out of the box — you don’t need to start adding accessories to get a useable electric bike.
Speaking of accessories, though, Rad Power Bikes does offer a ton of them. My favorites for the RadCity are probably the front and rear basket accessories. They can help turn the RadCity from a commuter e-bike into a utility e-bike. And for a limited time, Rad is generously offering Electrek’s readers a free accessory (up to $100) with the purchase of an e-bike. All you have to do is enter the code ELECTREK at checkout.
Suffice it to say that the RadCity 4 from Rad Power Bikes is a great example of a high-value commuter-friendly electric bike. It’s not the fanciest or the highest spec’d, but it is well made to withstand the test of time and offers excellent bang for your buck.
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