Rad Power RadMission Review
Cons: Single speed-not the best for steeper hills, simplistic controls/display, requires more athletic body position
Manufacturer: Rad Power Bikes
Compare to Similar Products
Rad Power RadMission
|Price||$999.00 at Rad Power Bikes||$1,799 at Aventon Bikes||$999.00 at Lectric eBikes||$1,049 at Amazon||$1,299 List|
|Pros||Affordable, simple city bike design, quiet-no rattle, comes in mid-step and high-step frames, comes with lights||Excellent finish quality, sleek battery integration, excellent range, 28 mph top pedal-assisted speed, comfortable ride||Reasonable price, no assembly required, Class 2 and 3 capable, convenient folding design, wide range of fit, loads of features||Great distance range, folding design, throttle cruise control, lots of features||Reasonable price, lighter weight, step-through frame, comfortable, smooth ride|
|Cons||Single speed-not the best for steeper hills, simplistic controls/display, requires more athletic body position||Doesn't come with lights, limited handlebar height adjustability||Small wheels, somewhat twitchy handling, smaller battery||Small wheels/slightly twitchy handling, battery rattle, inaccurate speed reading on display||Less powerful motor, top speed of 20 mph, limited features|
|Bottom Line||A sleek, simple, and effective Class 2 electric city bike at a great price||Impressive performance across the board make this one of the best e-bikes we've ever tested||Not only is this bike affordable, but it's the best folding model we've tested||A relatively affordable folding electric bike with a great distance range||An affordable Class 2 electric bike with a smooth ride and solid all-around performance|
|Rating Categories||Rad Power RadMission||Aventon Level Step-...||Lectric XP Step-Thr...||Rattan Folding Elec...||Aventon Pace 350 St...|
|Specs||Rad Power RadMission||Aventon Level Step-...||Lectric XP Step-Thr...||Rattan Folding Elec...||Aventon Pace 350 St...|
|Battery Size (Wh)||504||672||460.8||624||417.6|
|Motor Power||500W||500W (750W peak)||500W (800W Peak)||500W||350W|
|E-Bike Class||Class 2||Class 3 (Can be configured in Class 1 and 2)||Class 2 and 3 capable||Class 3 (Can be configured Class 2)||Class 2|
|Number of pedal assist settings||4||5||5||5||5|
|Top speed throttle||20||20||20||20||20|
|Top speed pedal-assist||20||28||28||25||20|
|Measured Distance Range||20.66 miles||28.4 miles||20.67 miles||29.74 miles||22.65 miles|
|Distance Range (claimed)||25-45+||40 miles average||Up to 45+||60-80 miles||Up to 35|
|Frame material||6061 Aluminum||6061 Aluminum Alloy||Aluminum||Aluminum||Aluminum|
|Maximum rider weight (lbs)||275 lbs||250 lbs total (up to 55 lbs on rear rack)||330 lbs total capacity (up to 75 jbs on rear rack)||300 lbs total, 55 lbs on rear seat||250 lbs|
|Measured Weight (w/o pedals, Medium)||48 lbs 10 oz||60.6 lbs||61.6 lbs||58 lbs||47 lbs 14 oz|
|Drivetrain||Single speed||Shimano Acera 8-speed||Shimano Tourney 7-speed||Shimano TX50 7-speed||Shimano 7-speed|
|Brakes||Tektro Aries Mechanical Disc||Bengal Ares 3 Hydraulic Disc||Tektro Mechanical Disc Brakes||Tektro Mechanical Disc||Mechanical Disc Brakes|
|Additional features||Lights||75mm suspension fork, front and rear fenders, rear cargo rack||Fenders, rear rack, front and rear lights, folding design, front suspension, mounting points for racks, baskets, and a bike lock, IP-65 rated for water resistance||Fenders, rear seat and foot rests, folding, head and tail light,||IPX4 rated|
|Warranty||1 year||Lifetime on frame, 1 year on components||1 year||1 year||1 year|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Rad Power bikes has slowly and steadily been adding models to their line of electric bikes, and the RadMission is one of their latest. Billed as an "electric metro bike", the RadMission has a city bike style, single-speed drivetrain, a relatively simple design, and a very reasonable price tag. While it may look reminiscent of a hipster fixie, this bike's 500W motor and 504Wh battery ensure that it is not your average city bike. We put our RadMission through its paces and came away impressed by this simple and affordable model.
The city bike look of the RadMission is directly reflected in its zippy, sporty ride quality. This fast-rolling bike has quick handling and a decidedly more athletic body position reminiscent of fixed gear bikes often seen in urban settings. Thanks to its simple, single-speed design, the RadMission really stands out for how quiet it is while riding. Keeping with the simplicity theme, it is relatively light on features, but Rad Power offers many aftermarket accessories to customize your ride.
The RadMission rolls on 27.5-inch wheels with relatively narrow 1.95-inch tires. It rolls fast and feels impressively smooth and stable at speed and when cornering, and it makes a variety of turn shapes well. It has a very sporty, almost racy feel to it due in large part to the more aggressive, athletic body position that the lower handlebar height requires. If you like a more relaxed or upright body position, there are other bikes that will probably suit you better. That said, the RadMission's handling feels very quick and responsive to steering input, exactly how a city bike should feel. While the tires are relatively narrow, they still have a decent amount of air volume that helps to dampen the ride slightly, and the frame feels impressively sturdy over rough pavement and if/when you slam into a pothole. While testing, we were particularly impressed by just how quiet it was and solid it felt. Unlike most other models we tested, the RadMission made virtually no noise when riding over bumps or cracks in the pavement, a testament to the simplicity of the single-speed design and robust construction.
Comfort is very subjective and means different things to different riders. In the context of the city bike style, we found the RadMission to be quite comfortable. Of course, it doesn't have the laid-back, relaxed feel of many other bikes we've tested. Instead, it has a racier, more aggressive feel that requires a more forward, athletic body position. The handlebar is on the narrow side and its position is relatively low, causing the rider to break more at the waist and lean forward a bit more. This body position may not be ideal for everyone, but we feel it's suitable for the RadMission's style. In true city bike fashion, it also comes with a relatively narrow seat, which we found to be quite comfortable. This bike has a weight limit of 275 lbs, and it comes in two frame styles, mid-step and high-step (tested), to fit riders between 5'2" and 6'4". The mid-step version has a lower top tube with a standover height of 28-inches and a recommended user height range of 5'2" to 6'2". The high-step version has a standover height of 31-inches and a recommended user height range of 5'7" to 6'4". Our test bike weighed in at 48 lbs and 10 oz, and while that isn't exactly feather light, it is easier to carry up and down stairs or put on a bike rack than most other bikes we've tested. The RadMission also comes in 5 color options.
Unlike the majority of other e-bikes on the market with multiple gears, the RadMission has a single-speed drivetrain. We found this simple setup to generally be fine, perfect for riding flat or gently rolling terrain in addition to being super quiet and requiring less maintenance. That said, we found that it often required a bit more force to start pedaling from a complete stop and we typically used the throttle to help us get going. We also found it was a bit tougher to ride up steeper hills than on bikes with a larger gear range, although the pedal assistance certainly gives you an added boost. The RadMission comes equipped with Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes and 180mm rotors front and rear that provide ample stopping power. It also comes with a headlight and a tail light (that also works as a brake light) for increased visibility day and night. Beyond the lights, the RadMission doesn't come with any other included features, although RadPower sells add-on accessories like a kickstand, fenders, and front baskets, so you can customize your bike.
While the RadMission did not take top honors in our testing, we were still relatively impressed with its distance range given its 504Wh battery capacity. In our standardized throttle-only test, we rode the RadMission for 20.66 miles with nearly 1,100 feet of elevation gain/loss. That may be a bit behind the top performers in this metric, but most of those bikes have significantly larger batteries. Regardless, 20+ miles without pedaling is still pretty far, and likely more than adequate for the vast majority of users.
While the RadMission didn't quite hit Rad Power's claimed low-end range of 25 miles in our testing, it is important to note that our test course features gradual rolling hills. We feel it is highly likely that this bike would travel a greater distance on perfectly flat terrain. Additionally, we are confident that you could extend the range significantly while using pedal assist and putting some of your own watts down into the pedals.
The RadMission comes with a high torque 500W geared hub motor that gives it plenty of power whether you're cranking on the pedals or twisting the throttle. This class 2 bike feels zippy, quick to accelerate, and easily gets up to its top throttle and pedal-assisted speed of 20 mph. It isn't the most powerful or the fastest bike we've tested, but we feel its power output suits its city bike style well.
The RadMission is a Class 2 e-bike with a top pedal-assisted speed of 20 mph. It has four levels of pedal assistance, 1-4, and it can also be ridden with the pedal assist turned off. The pedal assistance is cadence sensor based, and it provides power after about a half rotation of the cranks and continues delivering power as long as the cranks keep turning. In level 1, the lowest assist setting, it provides a light level of support and a lower top speed. In level 4, the highest setting, it provides full power, quick acceleration, and easily whisks you along at 20 mph on flat terrain. Shifts between support levels feel relatively smooth, and when the power cuts out at 20 mph, it's noticeable but not too abrupt. Due to the nature of the single-speed drivetrain, however, it can feel a bit harder to turn the pedals over from a complete stop or when climbing steeper hills compared to a bike with multiple gears.
A quarter twist of the throttle and the RadMission jumps to life and has no problem getting started from a complete stop. It doesn't accelerate quite as quickly as bikes with larger 750W motors, but that's to be expected and it's certainly no slouch either. It gets up to speed relatively quickly and has no problem reaching and holding its top throttle speed of 20 mph. During our throttle-only range test, we were quite impressed by its ability to hold speed up the gradual hills of our rolling test course, further evidenced by its 16.9 mph average range test speed. Sure, there are some faster and more powerful bikes out there, but you'd be hard-pressed to find one as affordable as the RadMission.
Rad Power equipped the RadMission with a relatively basic control/display unit. Attached to the handlebar next to the left grip, this all-in-one unit has four buttons and LEDs to indicate remaining battery life and pedal-assist setting. On the other side of the bar, a twist throttle is integrated into the right grip. The removable battery is attached to the downtube, and charging is relatively standard.
The control and display unit of the RadMission is attached to the handlebar next to the left grip. This simple unit has a total of four buttons, power, lights, +, and -, and their use is as straightforward and intuitive as it gets. The power button turns the bike on and off, or the bike powers down after a minute or two of inactivity. The + and - buttons shift up or down through the pedal assist levels, 0-4, and pressing and holding the - button also engages the bike's walk mode. The lights come on automatically when the bike is turned on, but they can be turned off and on manually by pressing the light button. The twist throttle in the right grip engages the throttle to propel you forward without pedaling. The display consists of five orange LEDs to indicate your pedal assist setting, 0-4, and five more that turn off sequentially as the battery charge is depleted. While the controls have decent ergonomics and the display is perfectly functional, it falls a bit short of the more advanced systems found on many other bikes with screens that can show you additional information like current speed, distance traveled, etc.
The 504Wh battery of the RadMission is attached to the downtube of the frame. It rests on a cradle and can be unlocked and removed for security or charging purposes. Of course, it can also be charged on the bike, and the charging port is hidden under a small rubber cover to keep out moisture, dirt, and debris.
Ease of Assembly
Rad Power's years of experience selling bikes direct to the consumer are evident in their slick, user-friendly packaging and easy at-home assembly process. It seems they've thought of just about everything, from the detailed and easy-to-follow instructions to the included tool kit, and it couldn't be easier to complete the assembly unless you have someone do it for you. The whole process took us less than 30 minutes.
The RadMission arrives in a standard size bike box, but at 48 lbs 10 oz, it is a bit easier to handle than many other models that weigh significantly more. That said, due to the size of the box and moderate weight of the bike, it is generally much easier to have someone assist you in moving it and removing the bike from the box. Once out of the box, it is clear that Rad Power took steps to make completing the bike's assembly as user-friendly as possible. A stand attached to the fork supports the bike in an upright position, making it easy to cut the zip ties and remove the protective packing materials. Rad Power includes a small tool kit with everything you need to complete the remaining assembly, as well as printed instructions detailing the process. The owner's manual and an assembly video can also be found on the Rad Power website. Installing the handlebar and headlight, pedals, and front-wheel are all that needs to be done to complete the assembly. Additionally, some comfort adjustments, pumping up the tires, and charging the battery will also be necessary before taking it out for a ride.
It may be the least expensive model in Rad Power's line and our e-bike test selection, but we feel this bike performs as well or better than some of the higher-priced competition. If you're seeking a bike for city use, commuting, or anywhere that isn't too hilly, we feel the RadMission is one of the best values you'll find.
The RadMission is an excellent no-frills electric city bike that we think is a great option for riders seeking a simple yet quality bike for the city, commuting, or just for fun. While it may lack the gears and features of the higher-priced competition, that's also the beauty of it. This bike is quick, nimble, and it still packs a punch with a powerful 500W motor and 504Wh battery. Perhaps best of all, it looks good, and we feel it is an excellent value.
— Jeremy Benson