Rad Power RadWagon 4 Review
Compare to Similar Products
Rad Power RadWagon 4
$1,999 at Rad Power Bikes
|$5,199 List||$1,999 List||$1,699 List||$4,285 List|
|Pros||Stable and damp ride quality, good distance range, quality display, tons of available accessories||Super smooth power delivery, stability, high weight limit, massive cargo carrying potential, comfortable, large user height range, tons of accessory add-ons||Sleek design, fully-featured, 400 lb weight limit, excellent stability, dual-battery capability||Reasonable price, powerful and fast, battery and range, many features, may fit on some bike racks||Huge carrying capacity, packed with features, abundant accessories available, durable construction, powerful brakes|
|Cons||Recall issues, longer assembly, custom 22-inch tires are an uncommon size||Very expensive, no throttle, difficult to transport and store||Modest range on single battery||Slightly less stable than some other models, lower cargo capacity, limited accessories offered||Interesting handling characteristics, no suspension, requires caution on turns and uneven surfaces, heavy and large - difficult to transport and store, expensive|
|Bottom Line||A sturdy, stable, and powerful Class 2 electric cargo bike with a great distance range||High-end performance and user experience combine with the largest hauling capacity on two wheels that we have tested||A Class 2 cargo e-bike with well-rounded performance and unique dual battery capability||Great range and power combine with a fair price point to make this model a smashing deal||A family-oriented, three-wheeled, front box cargo carrier best suited to flat, smooth surfaces and cautious riding|
|Rating Categories||Rad Power RadWagon 4||Yuba Spicy Curry||Blix Packa Genie||KBO Ranger||Bunch The Original|
|Cargo Carrying (15%)|
|Specs||Rad Power RadWagon 4||Yuba Spicy Curry||Blix Packa Genie||KBO Ranger||Bunch The Original|
|Wheel size||22-inch||26-inch front, 20-inch rear||24-inch||20-inch||2 x 20-inch front, 24-inch rear|
|Battery Size (Wh)||672||500||614 (with dual battery capability for up to 1228 Wh)||840||652.8|
|E-Bike Class||Class 2||Class 1||Class 2||Class 3||Class 2|
|Motor Power (torque)||750W||250W||750W||750W||500W|
|Number of pedal assist settings||5||4||5||5||5|
|Top speed throttle||20 mph||n/a||20 mph||24 mph||20 mph|
|Top speed pedal-assist||20 mph||20 mph||20 mph||up to 28 mph||20 mph|
|Measured Distance Range||26.4 miles||44 miles||23.6 miles||29.9 miles||19.8 miles|
|Frame material||6061 Aluminum||6061 Aluminum||Aluminum||6061 Aluminum||Steel|
|Total Weight Limit||350 lbs total capacity (up to 120 lbs on rear rack)||440 lbs||400 lbs total capacity (up to 150 lbs on rear rack, and up to 50 lbs on front rack)||400 lbs (up to 120 lbs on rear rack)||350 lbs|
|Measured Weight||76 lbs 3 oz||60.2 lbs||78 lbs 8 oz||77 lbs||152 lbs|
|Wheelbase length||53.76-inches (1365.7mm)||56-inches (1420mm)||53.7-inches (1364mm)||47-inches (1194mm)||83-inches (2108mm) (total bike length)|
|Drivetrain||Shimano 7-speed||Shimano Deore 10-speed||Shimano 7-speed||Shimano Altus 7-speed||Shimano Tourney 7-speed|
|Brakes||Tektro Aries Mechanical Disc||RideRever Attack-XU Hydraulic Disc||Tektro MD-M300 Mechanical Disc||Tektro Mechanical Disc||Bengal Hydraulic Disc|
|Additional features||Fenders, front and rear lights, rear cargo rack, telescoping seatpost, adjustable handlebars, mounts for accessories, deflopilator||Front and rear fenders, front and rear lights, 2-footed kickstand, bell, deflopilator, mount points for add-on accessories||Fenders, front and rear lights, USB charging, kickstand, bell, puncture resistant tires, smart mounting points for accessories, dual battery capability, deflopilator||Fenders, front and rear lights, rear cargo rack, running boards, heavy-duty aluminum kickstand, puncture-resistant tires,||Front and rear fenders, front and rear lights, large cargo box with benches and 4 safety belts, rear cargo rack, puncture resistant tires|
|Warranty||1 year||2 year||1 year||2 year||1 year|
Our Analysis and Test Results
On November 3, 2022, Rad Power Bikes issued an official recall notice for the RadWagon 4 regarding two separate potential safety issues. First, the rim strips on the wheels of some bikes may be misaligned leading to an increased risk of flat tires. Second, RadWagon 4 tires with ribbed sidewalls can unexpectedly go flat. Both issues could cause a loss of control and the risk of serious injuries. We highly recommend that RadWagon 4 owners read the recall notice and contact Rad Power Bikes' customer service team with any questions or to arrange for repair service if needed.
Rad Power is one of the most popular electric bike brands in North America, selling a full line of reasonably priced models to suit a wide range of riders, preferences, and needs. The RadWagon has been a staple in their lineup for years, and the RadWagon 4 is the latest version. This utilitarian cargo model is quite popular and for good reason. With a 350-pound weight capacity and the ability to customize it with kids' seats, cargo racks, and baskets, it could potentially replace your car. It comes with a powerful 750W geared hub motor, a 672Wh battery, and a reliable component specification.
The RadWagon 4 has a smooth, stable, and damp ride quality typical of long, heavy cargo-style e-bikes. While it isn't exactly nimble, it handles predictably with a calm and steady feel. The low frame makes it easy to get on and off the bike, and the handlebar and seatpost offer loads of adjustment to suit a wide range of user heights and preferences. It also comes loaded with useful features that help to enhance the rider experience.
Weighing in at 76.2 pounds and with a total bike length of 78.7 inches, the RadWagon 4 qualifies as being both heavy and long. These factors directly influence the bike's handling characteristics, giving it excellent stability at speed and a smooth, steady feel through long and medium-radius turns. It doesn't exactly have the shortest turning radius, and it can feel a bit bulky and sluggish at lower speeds and in tighter spots. Its handling isn't exactly razor-sharp, but it's comfortable and predictable, just a bit more relaxed. The 22-inch wheels and custom 3-inch wide high-volume tires do a great job of dampening the ride and smoothing out bumps and cracks in the road, and the smaller diameter theoretically helps to keep the center of gravity lower, particularly when the bike is loaded with cargo, which should make it easier to handle. The Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes with 180mm rotors do a respectable job of slowing and stopping this heavyweight bike, and the Shimano Tourney 7-speed drivetrain is reliable, and ours gave us no complaints during testing.
With 22-inch wheels and a low-slung frame, the RadWagon 4 has a 23.6-inch standover height making it relatively easy to step on and off the bike. The frame is designed to fit riders between 5'1" - 6'4" in height with a telescoping seatpost that provides a huge range of seat height adjustment. The bike also features an adjustable stem that allows the rider to raise, lower, and rotate the handlebar into the desired position with relative ease. The seated position is upright and casual, similar to that of a beach cruiser, with a relatively short reach. Ergonomic rubber grips are also a nice touch and a place to rest the hands while riding and we found the mid-sized padded seat plenty comfortable. This sturdy bike has a total weight capacity of 350 pounds, and up to 120 of those pounds can be carried on the rear cargo rack.
In typical Rad Power fashion, the RadWagon 4 comes loaded with features that help to enhance the rider experience. Full coverage front and rear fenders help to keep you dry when riding in inclement weather or should you happen to splash through a puddle. Head and tail lights run off the bike's battery, and the tail light also functions as a brake light when the brakes are applied. A sturdy 2-footed steel kickstand easily supports the weight of the bike and appears ready to handle years of abuse, though it could do some damage to certain surfaces. The bike's display also features a USB port that can be used to charge a phone or other device off the bike's battery supply. One of the most obvious features of the RadWagon is the large cargo rack at the back of the bike. This rack comes with a wooden platform attached, and Rad Power sells a large selection of aftermarket accessories so the rider can customize the bike for their needs.
Boasting a 672-watt-hour battery, it came as no surprise that the RadWagon 4 performed quite well in our distance range test. During our standardized throttle-only test, we rode for 26.38 miles with 1,450 vertical feet of elevation gain/loss on our rolling test course. This test took an hour and 31 minutes to complete, giving us an impressive average speed of 17.3 mph. Since this test was performed using only the bike's power with no pedaling input from the rider, we feel this is the low end of the RadWagon's range potential. On flatter terrain or while using pedal assistance, we have no doubt you could ride farther than we did during our test.
While we were impressed by the RadWagon 4 in our range test, it was bested by a few other bikes in this metric. We weren't too surprised, given the heft of this bike and the fact that it has a powerful 750W motor that uses more juice than less powerful motors. Rad Power claims a relatively vague range of "up to 45+ miles per charge" for the RadWagon 4. Unfortunately, they don't provide any real-world range information on their site as some other manufacturers do. Regardless, we doubt too many riders will require more range than the RadWagon 4 offers for general use around town.
With a 750W geared hub motor, the RadWagon 4 is not short on power. This Class 2 model accelerates quickly, holds speed well up gradual hills, and easily gets up to its top throttle and pedal-assist speed of 20 mph. The 5 levels of pedal assistance provide a great range of support and top speeds to complement your pedaling effort and suit your preferences.
Using the throttle, the RadWagon 4 has no problem starting from a complete stop, and it accelerates quickly thanks to its 750W geared hub motor. Geared hub motors, as opposed to "brushless" hub motors, are claimed to have more torque and less drag which should theoretically make them more efficient and handle inclines better. We won't disagree, as the RadWagon was quick to get up to its top throttle speed of 20 mph and it held speed well up the gradual hills of our range test course. In fact, it maintained an average speed of 17.3 mph during the range test with 1,450 feet of elevation gain over 26.38 miles. Unlike some other bikes we've tested, the RadWagon's throttle output is the same all the time and doesn't correspond to the chosen pedal assist setting. Instead, the rider can modulate the power of the throttle by how far it is twisted.
The RadWagon 4 has five pedal assist support levels that increase the amount of motor output and top speed incrementally as you shift up from 1 through 5. This provides the rider with a great range of assistance to suit varying situations, terrain, or preferences. Power delivery is quite smooth, and it comes on after about a quarter to a half pedal stroke and continues as long as the cadence sensor detects the pedals turning. Since it operates off of a cadence sensor, the motor delivers the same amount of power regardless of how much effort you put into pedaling. Shifts between support levels are quite smooth with a noticeable increase in motor output as you shift up through the modes. In level 5, it accelerates very quickly and has no problem reaching its top pedal-assisted speed of 20 mph. The RadWagon is no slouch when it comes to power, but it is limited to 20 mph due to its class 2 designation.
The RadWagon doesn't boast class-leading carrying capacity, but it's not far off and we expect it will suffice for most folks. Its total weight capacity is 350 pounds, whereas some other models can support 400 pounds or more. The rear rack deck supports up to 120 pounds and measures 28" long by 7.25" wide. Not the longest, but you can still fit two Yepp kid seats on it. Like most other cargo bike models, riders will likely want to invest in some of Rad Power's wide selection of accessories to maximize the cargo carry potential of this bike.
The large rear rack comes with a wooden top, and a plastic rear wheel cover should help to keep straps, shoelaces, and other things out of the spokes. It's fairly easy to strap items to the rack, but to haul kids or cargo, it's worth investing in some of the add-ons. Rad Power has one of the largest selections of aftermarket accessories, making it easy to deck the bike out for your exact needs. Running boards, kids' seats, pads, baskets, handlebars, and much more is available, and the mount points at the front of the bike make it easy to add a rack and basket below the handlebar. It is entirely possible to carry yourself, two children, and cargo at the front, as long as you stay below the bike's 350-pound total weight limit.
The RadWagon 4 comes equipped with Rad Power's own LCD display and handlebar-mounted controls. The controls have decent ergonomics, their use is straightforward and intuitive, and the display clearly shows all of your relevant ride info at a glance. Charging the battery is also relatively standard, and it can be removed for security purposes or charging off the bike.
The controls of the RadWagon 4 consist of a small unit with three buttons attached to the handlebar by the left grip and a half-twist throttle integrated into the right grip. Simply twist the throttle while the bike is any of the five pedal assist modes, and you'll be propelled forward under full-electric power without the need to pedal. The control unit by the left grip has a total of three buttons that are easy to reach with the thumb. In the center of the unit, the mode button is used to turn the bike's power on and off or switch between total and trip odometer on the display. The + and - buttons are used to shift up and down through the bike's pedal assist modes. These three buttons also control other functions of the bike such as turning the lights on and off, engaging walk mode, or making changes in the display settings. Display instructions are included in the owner's manual and on the Rad Power website.
Rad Power's LCD display is centered in the handlebar over the stem in a location that is easy to see while you are riding. The useable screen measures 2.25-inches wide by 1.5-inches tall, and there are a total of six data fields displayed. At the top left of the screen, the battery indicator shows the remaining battery charge graphically as five bars that turn off sequentially as the battery is depleted. Distance is shown in the upper right of the screen, and this field can be switched between total odometer and trip odometer by pressing the mode button. The speed field is in the center of the screen in large numbers and it shows your current speed (default), average, or maximum. A narrow field below that is the operational mode of the bike, showing your pedal assist mode (2-5) in letter format, eco, std, power, or speed. In the lower left of the screen is the light indicator as well as your pedal-assist mode shown as a number, 0-5. The lower right is the wattmeter which shows the motor's output as wattage at a given time. The display also has a 5V, 1 Amp USB charging port so you can charge a smartphone or other device while you ride.
The 672Wh battery pack is attached to the downtube of the frame. Using the included keys, you can lock the battery to the frame in either the on or off position, or unlock it for removal for security or charging purposes. The charging port is located on the side of the battery pack hidden under a small rubber cover to keep water, dust, and debris out. Connecting the included smart charger is straightforward, and Rad Power claims a charging time of up to 7 hours for a fully depleted battery.
While it is certainly somewhat involved, completing the remaining assembly of the RadWagon 4 is relatively straightforward and can be completed at home. This bike comes mostly assembled with a handful of steps remaining to get it ready to ride. The size and weight of the RadWagon present the biggest challenge, so you will likely want to enlist the help of another person when moving the boxed bike and removing it from the box. Once out of the box, following the detailed printed instructions (and/or the instructional videos on the website) and using the included tools makes the process easy enough, but still a little time-consuming. If you are unsure of your ability to finish the assembly, we'd suggest bringing the boxed bike to a bike shop to complete it for you.
Weighing in at just over 76 lbs, the RadWagon 4 is fairly heavy. Due to its length, it also comes in a slightly oversized bike box. Once out of the box, remove all of the protective packing materials and follow the detailed step-by-step instructions in the user manual. Rad Power has laid out the assembly process in the order that makes the most sense and causes the fewest headaches. They have also included a zippered tool kit that includes all of the tools needed to complete the process. It is helpful to have a smartphone, tablet, or computer on hand, as the instructions direct you to some short assembly videos for several of the steps. The remaining assembly includes installing the stem and handlebar, attaching the kickstand, installing the front fender, front wheel, headlight, "deflopilator", and pedals, then making adjustments for comfort and safety. In total, it took us right around an hour to complete the process.
Should You Buy the Rad Power RadWagon 4?
The RadWagon 4 is a dialed electric cargo bike from one of the leaders in the e-bike market, and its huge range of accessory add-ons will appeal to many. However, its recent recall issues provide room for hesitation. We had no issues with the model we tested, but when spending this amount of cash on transportation, it is something to consider.
What Other E-Bikes Should You Consider?
For a similar price and performance but without recall issues, check out the Blix Packa Genie. It offers very similar performance to the RadWagon 4 but with fewer worries. Plus, if you spend a bit more to upgrade to the dual-battery system Blix offers, you can blast far beyond the range of this Rad Power model for seriously long distances. If you need even more cargo-carrying capability, the Yuba Spicy Curry has you covered, but you'll pay a lot more for this high-end Class 1 model. The extra long rear rack, 440 lbs weight limit, and huge selection of accessories offered by Yuba open the door to haul even more cargo.
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