Rad Power Bikes is back with a new version of the company’s RadRunner Plus. The new model, known as the RadRunner 3 Plus (not to be confused with the RadRunner 2 that is still available as the more budget-friendly model), is the brand’s new high-end electric utility bike. This latest model sees several important upgrades to bike’s components, design, and performance.
A brief RadRunner history
For those that aren’t aware, the RadRunner line is THE budget utility e-bike. It was unveiled back in 2019 (which is practically “vintage” considering the short timeline of e-bikes in the US), and it launched a new wave of low-cost utility e-bike copycats. The step-through design, ease of carrying a passenger, and conveniently short wheelbase made it a runaway hit. The design has been imitated all over the place but never truly matched.
The RadRunner was refined over the years, first with the RadRunner Plus and then with the RadRunner 2. And now we’ve come up to the present with today’s launch of the RadRunner 3 Plus.
The RadRunner 3 Plus carries the same basic performance specs as all the earlier models, namely a 20 mph (32 km/h) top speed and a range of 25-45 miles (40-70 km) on throttle or pedal assist. The company is working on a second battery option to boost the range to 100 miles (160 km), though more on that in a moment.
While the flat land speed remains unchanged, the 750W motor has been reworked to offer improved hill climbing performance that should help riders summit local climbs 10% faster.
The bike’s frame has also been revised to improve the handling and offer a longer bench seat for more cargo on back. That’s a key consideration for a bike rated to support up to 350 lb. (160 kg).
Several other new components grace the bike, such as the brand’s updated battery that is now half-integrated into the frame. The 48V 14Ah design offers the same 672 Wh of capacity, but it’s a slicker-looking package now than on the former RadRunner Plus.
Tektro hydraulic brakes bring the bike to a quick and controlled stop, and the levers even include adjustability so that smaller and larger hands can feel equally comfortable reaching for the levers.
In fact, the bike has a wide rider height range as well. Anyone from 4’11” to 6’2″ (150-188 cm) should feel at home on the bike.
For those that opt for pedal assist, there are five levels to choose from. For throttle-only riders, well they’ve got that too. But the RadRunner 3 Plus design makes it one of the few moped-style or utility-style e-bikes that is actually comfortable to pedal thanks to a real bike saddle featuring true adjustability.
For those who want to pedal even further, a second battery that will slot in under the rack will help offer up to 100 miles (160 km) of range.
However, it looks like that second battery isn’t quite ready for purchase yet. Hopefully Rad can get that option out soon, because it looks like a great add-on for delivery riders or anyone else who regularly travels long distances on their e-bike.
The RadRunner 3 Plus is compatible with a pile of accessories including locking center console, upgraded passenger seat in back, hardshell locking panniers, a new RadTrailer for towing cargo behind the bike, and more. In fact, Rad says there are over 350 accessory combinations for the new e-bike, meaning you could have a pretty darn unique setup if you want to go nuts with the accessory options.
It’s a major part of the design, as CEO of Rad Power Bikes Phil Molyneux explained:
“Designed for work, play and everything in between, the latest additions to our lineup of e-bikes and accessories are as versatile as our riders. We know our e-bikes are an extension of our riders’ lifestyles, and we’re excited to see how each individual within our expansive Rad community customizes their ride to upgrade their lives and make everyday experiences, even errands, joyrides.”
That new RadTrailer is particularly interesting, especially with the pet insert that gives you a stable setup to safely carry your four-legged friend with you.
The RadRunner 3 Plus is already available for purchase online and in Rad’s brick-and-mortar stores around the US where prospective riders can test out the bike in person.
The bike is priced at US $2,499 in the US. Canadians, Brits, and the rest of Europe can pick it up for CA $2,999, UK £$2,199, and EU €2,499.
I’m a huge RadRunner fan. I own one of the first RadRunner’s to ever come off the line, and it’s a point of pride. This is truly the model that opened the door to utility e-bikes for so many people, especially at a time when e-bikes were largely considered either recreational or for purely commuter use. The RadRunner showed you could have a fun e-bike that offered big utility in a small package.
The RadRunner Plus only made it better by adding suspension, gearing, and a slick colorway. And the RadRunner 3 Plus takes it even further with even nicer refinements.
Top comment by David Mac
I own a Radrunner 2 and an Ariel Rider x52 step-through. Here in hilly Carlsbad, CA nobody in my family wants to ride the Radrunner down to Carlsbad Village because on the ride home, uphill, the best the Radrunner can manage is about 9mph. Whereas the x52 plows through the hills at 20mph!!! I'll be looking to sell my mint condition, low mileage Radrunner 2 this Spring and plan to replace it with an x52. Radrunner 3 10% faster hill climbing? So that's 10mph vs 9mph? Whoopdy do!
But as much of a RadRunner fanboy as I am, this pricing is killing me. $2,500 is steep new territory for Rad, at least in the two-wheeler space. That’s especially true when you consider that the original RadRunner debuted at $1,299 – though that was admittedly in the before times.
Sure, you definitely get a lot from Rad. The bikes are solid, and the company is always there to stand behind them – something you don’t get from cheaper fly-by-night companies that seem to spring up every month. Rad has a smattering of physical retail stores where you can test out their bikes. Rad even has the largest customer service team in the industry, and second place isn’t even close. So there’s more to the equation here. But wow, that $2,500 sticker shock hits me like a fully-laden RadRunner 3 Plus loaded up to its 350 lb. weight capacity.
I’m sure the bike is awesome, and I look forward to testing one soon and letting you all know. Maybe once I try it, the $2.5K price will make sense. And speaking of trying it out, I’m also super stoked to try pulling that RadTrailer around.
I really like the utility of a cargo platform trailer from Rad, and the pet insert sounds like a great idea. As someone without a car, back in 2014 I built a wood and chicken wire trailer to take my pup to the beach behind my e-bike, though it wasn’t anywhere as slick as Rad’s. Something tells me she would have preferred the upgrade.
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