Rad Power Bikes is the largest e-bike company in the US and is known for its diverse lineup of affordable e-bikes. Now the RadWagon, the brand’s electric cargo bike, has received a major overhaul with a brand new frame, motor, tires, increased adjustability, additional accessories, and more.
RadWagon 4 gets new updates
The updated electric cargo bike is now known as the RadWagon 4.
If you were familiar with the previous version, the first major changes you’re likely to notice are the new wheels and frame.
The frame has a new patent-pending design that includes a smaller wheel diameter with wider tires to create more cargo room and lower the front and rear racks. That results in a more comfortable ride and increased stability – especially when the RadWagon is loaded down to its 350 lb (159 kg) limit with passengers and cargo.
The 750W rear hub motor (or 500W in Canada and 250W in the EU) has also been swapped from a direct drive model to a geared hub motor. Geared hub motors produce higher torque in a smaller size, and Rad Power Bikes claims the new RadWagon will have even better hill-climbing performance and acceleration with its 80 Nm of torque. This is the same motor that Rad Power Bikes uses on their off-road and utility-oriented e-bikes like the RadRover and RadRunner.
The new RadWagon also offers more adjustability and customization options than ever before. The bike features a telescoping seat post that can fit riders from 5’1″ to 6’4″ (155 cm to 193 cm) as well as a tool-free adjustable stem assembly to change the reach, height, and angle of the handlebars. That allows riders to tune the RadWagon for a comfortable upright riding position or a more aggressive forward-leaning position.
The RadWagon also comes with new mounting points for its increased line of accessories to allow riders to customize the bike with more racks, baskets, child carriers, and other utility accessories.
The RadWagon comes standard with built-in LED lights, fenders, rear rack with two half-length wooden panels, clear protective skirt around the rear wheel, mechanical disc brakes on 180 mm rotors, double kickstand, 7-speed drivetrain, 5 levels of pedal assist selectable from the LCD display and a half twist throttle. The 48V 14Ah (672Wh) battery offers a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h) and a range of 25-45 miles (40-72 km).
Color options include the original Pearl White and Rad Orange (my personal favorite), but there will also be a blacked-out option available with reflective decals as part of a limited-edition run available on launch.
The RadWagon 4 has an MSRP of $1,599 in the US, but riders who place a pre-order get a $100 discount, which effectively returns the price to that of the previous model. Don’t wait too long though, or the price will be back up to its MSRP. Pre-orders are now open on Rad’s website, with shipping planned for September.
It’s great to see that Rad Power Bikes is still innovating since it’d be pretty easy for them to rest on their laurels as the largest e-bike company in the country. But instead, Rad has pumped out several new e-bikes since last fall, including the RadRunner, the RadRover Step-Thru, and now the new RadWagon.
Generally speaking, I like the updates. The smaller wheels will be more convenient and keep the bike from feeling so tall. The added tire volume will also give a bit more cushion to the ride; they aren’t quite fat tires but they’re not skinny either. Being locked into Rad’s unique tire size is a bit of a bummer for anyone who likes to be able to modify or tinker on their bike as they see fit, but I don’t think it will be a huge maintenance concern since most people don’t go through tires very quickly anyways. And even if you get a flat, you can still repair it yourself at home or at a bike shop as long as you have the necessary 22″ tube. It does feel a bit Apple-y, getting locked into an ecosystem. But when you have Rad’s size and ability, I guess you can start playing God with bike parts.
I love the added torque and am ok with paying for that torque with the regenerative braking ability. Geared motors can’t do regen (or at least not without locking out their clutch, which removes one of the big advantages of geared motors). Regenerative braking on e-bikes has never been a huge range booster, it’s always been about extra braking power and reduced brake wear. But if I’m getting more power and torque, then I can make that tradeoff.
The only other downside is that it looks like the floorboards aren’t a standard component anymore – they’re probably an accessory. I can understand that decision – many people aren’t carrying passengers that need the footrests, and removing them keeps weight and cost down for those that don’t absolutely need them. It looks like there is also a footpeg option instead of a floorboard option, which would keep weight and bulk down.
Everything else seems like a huge plus. More torque, more adjustability, lower standover height, more mounting options, and more accessories. Sounds good to me!
To get you in the mood for more, check out our review below of the RadWagon 3 from last summer, and then imagine it with smaller wheels, a torquier motor, more adjustability, and more accessories. But you won’t have to imagine it for too long, we’re working on getting a review out for you guys ASAP!
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