Rad Power Bikes‘ RadCity is one of the best-selling ebikes in the US. The bike series has traditionally offered a solid balance of power, features, and affordability, and it recently received arguably its biggest update ever. We got the chance to go hands-on with the RadCity 5 Plus, which looks like a compelling entry into the reasonably-priced ebike market at a price of $1,799.
The changes this time around aren’t totally surprising — they largely reflect the same changes given to the RadRover 6 Plus, which received its own redesign in July. The bike comes with what I think most people would consider a much sleeker design, thanks in large part to a battery that is semi-integrated into the body.
I much like what Rad Power Bikes has done here. It’s not hiding the fact that it’s an ebike, and it leaves the battery easy to access and remove for charging or security purposes. In fact, the new battery pack has a grip that makes it much easier to carry around. It’s a subtle, but welcome touch.
Here are some of the other key highlights you should be aware of:
- The bike comes in both high-step and step-through designs for accessibility.
- It has a speed limit of 20mph.
- The battery is rated at 672 Wh (48V X 14Ah).
- It comes with a 60mm suspension fork.
- It comes with hydraulic disk brakes (previous versions used mechanical disk brakes).
- You get a bright headlight and a taillight that glows extra bright when you start to brake.
- It features a new custom dual-display system with more information at a glance.
- Fenders are included.
- The bike is water-resistant (Rad Power Bikes is from Seattle, after all).
- Included rear rack (removable), optional front rack. On previous bikes, the rear rack was integrated, so it couldn’t be replaced.
- Adjustable stem to fit many riders.
- A wealth of other accessories.
- New custom puncture-resistant tires are more efficient for urban environments, allowing for 11% more range (Rad Power Bikes says “up to 50+ miles” overall)
- You still get 5 levels of cadence-based pedal assist and a twist throttle.
- The new 750W hub motor is now geared to climb hills 40% faster.
Indeed, riding the bike through one of my frequent bike loops, I found the RadCity 5 had no trouble carrying my 250 lb frame up hills. The overall ride experience belies the price point, and as with previous Rad Power Bikes, it feels like an easy recommendation for newcomers and long-time ebike riders alike.
Honestly, there’s very little to complain about the bike at this price point (although the bike is a bit more expensive than the RadCity 4). It rides smoothly, pedaling isn’t jerky, it brakes smoothly, it has a larger-than-average battery, and it looks better than ever. There’s very little the company hasn’t addressed.
The bike is still heavy, at 65 lbs, but that’s par for the course for an ebike with these specs. Motors and batteries just weigh a lot (plus the extra beefy frame to support that kind of power).
My one big wish is that the company would spend the extra dough on a torque sensor, which could offer even smoother, more intuitive pedaling. Or perhaps it could be offered as an upgrade option. But hey, maybe that’s something for the RadCity 6.
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