Rad Power RadCity 5 Plus Review
Cons: Only 20 mph top pedal assist speed, heavy weight, more expensive
Manufacturer: Rad Power Bikes
Compare to Similar Products
Rad Power RadCity 5 Plus
$1,999 at Rad Power Bikes
|$1,695 List||$1,095 List||$999 List|
$999.00 at Lectric eBikes
|Pros||Comfortable ride, lots of adjustability, comes in step-thru and step-over frame styles, powerful motor, loaded with features||Sky-high price-to-performance ratio, lots of included features, comfortable-smooth ride, comes in step-thru and step-over frames and 2 sizes, massive distance range||Reasonable price, high price to performance ratio, 28 mph top speed, comfortable ride for a rigid frame, in-frame battery integration||Reasonable price, no assembly required, Class 2 and 3 capable, convenient folding design, wide range of fit, loads of features||Affordable price, in-frame battery integration, responsive handling, comparatively lighter weight, sold in 2 frame styles and 2 drivetrain configurations|
|Cons||Only 20 mph top pedal assist speed, heavy weight, more expensive||Heavier weight, more involved assembly||Limited included features, motor is a little noisy, additional steps in assembly process||Small wheels, somewhat twitchy handling, smaller battery||Rigid frame and narrower tires - less forgiving ride, Not the most powerful, smaller battery equates to shorter range|
|Bottom Line||A powerful motor, impressive range, smooth ride, and loads of features make this our favorite Class 2 model||This bike checks all of our boxes and handily bested the competition in this test||Affordable and high performing, we think you'd be hard pressed to find a better bike at this price||Not only is this bike affordable, but it's the best folding model we've tested||A sporty Class 2 city-style model with responsive handling, sleek battery integration, and a reasonable price|
|Rating Categories||Rad Power RadCity 5...||Ride1Up 700-Series||Ride1Up Core-5||Lectric XP Step-Thr...||Aventon Soltera|
|Specs||Rad Power RadCity 5...||Ride1Up 700-Series||Ride1Up Core-5||Lectric XP Step-Thr...||Aventon Soltera|
|Battery Size (Wh)||672||720||500||460.8||346|
|E-Bike Class||Class 2||Class 3||Class 3||Class 3||Class 2|
|Motor Power (torque)||750W||750W||750W||500W||350W|
|Number of pedal assist settings||5||5||5||5||5|
|Top speed throttle||20 mph||20 mph||20 mph||20 mph||20 mph|
|Top speed pedal-assist||20 mph||28 mph||28 mph||28 mph||20 mph|
|Measured Distance Range||30.0 miles||32.4 miles||23.0 miles||20.7 miles||18.8 miles|
|Weight Limit||275 lbs total (up to 59.5 lbs on rear rack||275 lbs||275 lbs||330 lbs||300 lbs|
|Measured Weight||64 lbs 11 oz||63 lbs 11 oz||51 lbs 15 oz||61 lbs 10 oz||44 lbs 5 oz|
|Drivetrain||7-speed||Shimano Acera 8-speed||Shimano Altus 7-speed||Shimano Tourney 7-speed||Shimano 7-speed or single speed|
|Brakes||Hydraulic Disc||Tektro Hydraulic Disc||Tektro Mechanical Disc||Tektro Mechanical Disc Brakes||Tektro Mechanical Disc|
|Additional features||Fenders, rear rack, front and rear lights, 50mm travel suspension fork, ..?||Fenders, rear rack, front and rear lights, ..?||Kickstand, bottle cage mount||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||Integrated lights, Aventon app compatibility, ?|
|Warranty||1 year||1 year||One Year||One Year||One Year|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Rad Power is one of the most popular brands in the electric bike market with a large selection of models to suit varying needs and preferences. The RadCity 5 Plus is the latest in their RadCity line of commuter bikes with an updated frame design and semi-integrated battery for a more polished and updated look. This Class 2 model has a powerful 750W motor along with a large 672Wh battery, and it proved to be a top performer amongst the e-bikes we tested. Read on to see how it compares.
Despite the word "city" in the name of the RadCity 5 Plus, it strikes us as a bit more of a comfortable commuter than a true city bike. That's certainly not a bad thing, as this bike has super steady handling and a comfortable, smooth ride thanks to girthy tires and quality front suspension. The seated position is fairly relaxed with a somewhat tall front end, though an adjustable stem and a huge range of seat height adjustment give the rider the ability to dial it in to their needs and preferences. Rad Power has equipped it with quality components that simply work well, and it also comes loaded with all the features you need right out of the box.
One of the first things that stands out about the RadCity 5 Plus is its super smooth, forgiving, and well-damped ride feel. This bike is fairly long and heavy which helps to give it excellent stability at speed, while the 50mm travel suspension fork, 27.5-inch wheels, and 2-inch wide tires smooth over cracks and bumps in the road for a very pleasant ride. It doesn't have the quickest handling, instead, we found it has a little more relaxed attitude that we found to be very predictable and comfortable at all times. Whether negotiating the city streets or bombing down a hill, the RadCity 5 Plus feels sure-footed while remaining fairly easygoing.
Our testers found the RadCity 5 Plus to be quite comfortable, with a fairly relaxed, upright seated position that feels almost like a beach cruiser. It has a fairly high front end that puts the rider's hands up in front, you're definitely not reaching down or hunching forward on this bike. Thankfully, the stem is adjustable, so you can raise or lower the handlebar to suit your needs or preferences. The high-step frame we tested has a large claimed user height range of 5'4" to 6'5", with a standover height of 30-inches. Our long-legged six-foot-tall tester had no problem finding a comfortable fit with plenty of seat height adjustment to spare. It also comes in a step-thru frame that has a much lower standover height of 21-inches and a recommended user height range of 4'8" to 6'0". Rad Power has a sizing guide on their website that can help you find the right fit for you. The touch points are also well sorted, with comfortable ergonomic grips and a well-cushioned, moderately wide seat.
Rad Power equipped the RadCity 5 Plus with quality components that we found to work very well. The 7-speed drivetrain provides a great range for tackling flat and hilly terrain alike, and the trigger-style shifters are super easy to get along with. The front and rear hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors provide impressive stopping power and confidence-inspiring control. The custom 2.0-inch wide e-bike-rated tires have a puncture-resistant liner and a relatively smooth and fast rolling tread that rolls fast on hard surfaces like roads, bike paths, and sidewalks.
It also comes fully loaded with included features that should cover most people's bases. The front and rear fenders should help to keep you dry during inclement weather. Integrated front and rear (works like a brake light) lights help to make you more visible to motorists for safety and enhance your visibility while riding at night. The sturdy rear rack can support up to 59.5 lbs, and it even comes with a bell. Rad Power also sells all the accessories you can think of, like front or rear baskets, panniers, child seats, mirrors, and more. Additionally, they sell the RadCity 5 Plus in several pre-bundled packages for commuting, hauling cargo, or carrying kids.
The RadCity 5 Plus proved to be one of the best of the bunch in our standardized throttle-only range test. In fact, it traveled the 2nd farthest of all the models we tested, beaten out by only the Ride1Up 700-Series. This is thanks to its large 672Wh battery that provides plenty of juice to go the distance.
We tested the RadCity 5 Plus on our regular range test course using the throttle only to determine the low end of its range potential. It managed to travel a full thirty miles with a total of 1,627 feet of elevation gain/loss. It did so with an impressive average speed of 16.7 mph, taking an hour and 47 minutes to finish the test. Thirty miles is quite a long distance, and that's with absolutely no pedaling. In fact, it's even a little better than the low-end of Rad Power's claimed range of 28-50 miles, and that's with the gently rolling hills of our test course. If using pedal assist and putting in some of your own power, we're sure you could get plenty more range to handle even the longest commutes.
With a 750W geared hub motor, the RadCity 5 Plus is definitely not short on power. In fact, it's one of the most powerful models we tested with great acceleration, lots of torque, and excellent hill-climbing abilities. As a Class 2 model, however, it is limited to a top pedal-assisted speed of 20 mph, a fact that decreased its score slightly in this metric. That said, depending on your needs, or the restrictions where you live, 20 mph might be ideal for you, and the 5 Plus certainly packs a punch with its powerful motor.
With a 750W geared hub motor, the RadCity 5 Plus has one of the largest and most powerful motors of all the models we've tested. This bike impressed us in our acceleration tests, easily going from a complete stop up to its top throttle speed of 20 mph in just over 11 seconds, one of the quickest in our test group. It also impressed us in our uphill acceleration test, gaining speed up our short test hill where most other bikes faltered, and only slowing to a very respectable 13 mph at the steepest part of the climb. This powerful performance was also backed up during our range test where it managed to hold an average speed of 16.7 mph over the course of 30 miles on rolling terrain using the throttle only. A few bikes had a slightly higher average speed, but 16.7 mph is still pretty impressive regardless.
The RadCity 5 Plus has 5 levels of pedal assistance that provide a broad range of support for your pedaling efforts. The amount of support and top speed increases incrementally as you shift up through the levels, allowing the rider to choose what works best for their needs or the riding scenario. This Class 2 model tops out at 20 mph using pedal assist, but the 750W motor has absolutely no problem hitting that speed and holding it, and the torque provided by the geared hub motor helps you make quick and easy work of any hills that may get in your way. The assistance of the motor reacts to a cadence sensor, and it provides the same amount of assistance regardless of how hard you're pedaling as long as the cranks keep turning. Shifts between levels are smooth and the power delivery feels refined and well-controlled. The RadCity 5 Plus loses a little ground to the Class 3 competition with 28 mph top speeds, but that's the only reason.
Rad Power has equipped the RadCity 5 Plus with a well-thought-out and ergonomically friendly user interface, earning it a 9 out of 10 in this metric. This includes a handlebar-mounted control/display unit by the left grip, a twist throttle integrated into the right grip, and another small display centered in the handlebar. The semi-integrated battery is easily removable and charging can be done on or off the bike.
Rad Power has been making quality electric bikes for several years, and their experience shows in the controls and displays on the RadCity 5 Plus. By the left grip is a control/display unit that has ergonomically friendly single-function buttons that are easy to reach with the thumb while riding and intuitive in their use. A large orange power button on the right side of the unit turns the bike's power on and off, and below that, the light button does the same for the front and rear lights. On the left side of the unit, large up and down arrows are closest to the thumb and shift up or down through the bike's pedal assist settings. The down arrow also engages the bike's walk-assist mode when you press and hold it. In the center of the unit is a small display that shows your pedal assist level as a number (0-5) along with ten bars stacked vertically that represent the remaining battery charge. The twist throttle is integrated into the right grip and it is easily engaged by twisting back towards you. In the center of the handlebar over the stem is another square display that is very easy to see while riding. This display shows your current speed in large numbers, with the current time and the odometer in smaller numbers at the top of the screen, as well as wattage/power output of the motor at the bottom of the screen.
The RadCity 5 Plus has a semi-integrated battery that sits in a large cutout in the downtube of the frame. This design gives the bike a much more streamlined appearance compared to earlier Rad Power bikes, but it is still very easy to remove the battery for charging off the bike using the included keys to unlock it. The charging port is protected under a small rubber cover on the upper left side of the battery, and charging is a standard affair.
The RadCity 5 Plus was among the more involved bikes to assemble in our test group, earning a 7 out of 10 in this metric. With an assembled weight of 64 lbs and 11 oz, it's also somewhat heavy, so moving it around in the box and removing it from the box can be somewhat awkward without the help of another person. Overall though, there's nothing particularly difficult about putting it together, there are just a few more steps involved that make it take a little more time-consuming than some of the other models we tested.
Like most bikes, the RadCity 5 Plus comes mostly assembled. Once out of the box, you need to remove all of the protective packaging, which takes a few minutes in and of itself. It comes with an instruction manual that goes through the assembly process step by step, but we found it easiest to scan the QR code and watch the assembly video (both the instruction manual and assembly video can also be found on the Rad Power website). The fork is attached to a small plastic stand that supports the bike before the front wheel is put on so it is less likely to topple over while removing packing materials and attaching the handlebar. Once the handlebar is attached, you also need to attach the front wheel, front fender and headlight, pedals, and plug in the display connector. Additional comfort adjustments to the seat and handlebar position are also recommended, and of course, you'll also need to pump up the tires. While none of these steps require bike mechanic skills to complete, some of the small bolts on the fender were a little fiddly, and it took us just over 45 minutes to get it all together.
Should I Buy the Rad Power RadCity 5 Plus?
If, like most people, you're a fan of Rad Power bikes, then the RadCity 5 Plus is a great option for commuting, running errands, or simply riding for the fun of it. This bike has a powerful 750W motor, and the 672 Wh battery provides loads of juice and gives it a great distance range. It's feature-packed, and the updated frame design and semi-integrated battery give it a much more streamlined appearance than previous RadCity models. Dues to its Class 2 designation, it's limited to top throttle and pedal-assisted speeds of 20 mph, but realistically, that's plenty for most people's needs. We feel this is the best Class 2 model we've tested.
What Other E-Bikes Should I Consider?
If a top pedal-assisted speed of 20 mph doesn't sound fast enough, then the Ride1Up 700-Series should be on your radar. This Class 3 model also has a powerful 750W motor, but it supports speeds up to 28 mph using pedal assist. It also comes with a slightly bigger 720 Wh battery that took it a little further in our range testing. It comes equipped with virtually all the same features as the RadCity 5 Plus, but somehow Ride1Up managed to keep the price a couple hundred bucks lower. If you're looking to spend a little less, then the Aventon Soltera is a compelling option that is lighter weight and has more of a city bike style. It's got bigger wheels, skinnier tires, zippy handling, and sleek looking frame with great battery integration. With a 350W motor, this Class 2 model isn't quite as powerful, but it still boasts speeds up to 20 mph. It has a smaller battery and shorter range, but it's still no slouch in that department. It also weighs 16 lbs less than the RadCity, making it much easier to carry or load on a bike rack, and did we mention it costs 2/3 of the price?
— Jeremy Benson
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