Rad Power RadMission Review
Compare to Similar Products
Rad Power RadMission
|Price||$1,199 List||$1,595 List|
$1,495 at Ride1up
|$1,095 List||$999 List|
$899.00 at Lectric eBikes
$1,199 at Aventon Bikes
|Pros||Affordable, simple city bike design, quiet-no rattle, comes in mid-step and high-step frames, comes with lights||Smooth and relaxed ride, moderately priced, great build for the price, great distance range, capable of Class 3 speeds up to 28 mph, included features||Reasonable price, high price to performance ratio, 28 mph top speed, comfortable ride for a rigid frame, in-frame battery integration||Affordable, convenient space-saving folding design, powerful motor, included features||Affordable price, in-frame battery integration, responsive handling, comparatively lighter weight, sold in 2 frame styles and 2 drivetrain configurations|
|Cons||Single speed-not the best for steeper hills, simplistic controls/display, requires more athletic body position||Doesn't have the sharpest handling, heavy||Limited included features, motor is a little noisy, additional steps in assembly process||Moderate size battery and range, fairly heavy||Rigid frame and narrower tires - less forgiving ride, Not the most powerful, smaller battery equates to shorter range|
|Bottom Line||A sleek, simple, and effective Class 2 electric city bike at a great price||A well-appointed Class 3 electric cruiser ready for trips to the beach or your daily commute||Affordable and high performing, we think you'd be hard pressed to find a better bike at this price||A reasonably priced folding model that performs alongside the more expensive competition||A sporty Class 2 city-style model with responsive handling, sleek battery integration, and a reasonable price|
|Rating Categories||Rad Power RadMission||Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser||Ride1Up Core-5||Lectric XP Step-Thr...||Aventon Soltera|
|Specs||Rad Power RadMission||Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser||Ride1Up Core-5||Lectric XP Step-Thr...||Aventon Soltera|
|Battery Size (Wh)||504||720||500||460.8||346|
|E-Bike Class||Class 2||Class 3||Class 3||Class 3||Class 2|
|Motor Power (torque)||500W||750W||750W||500W||350W|
|Number of pedal assist settings||4||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||20.7 miles||27.9 miles||23.0 miles||20.7 miles||18.8 miles|
|Frame material||6061 Aluminum||Aluminum||Aluminum||Aluminum||Aluminum|
|Weight Limit||275 lbs||350 lbs (up to 130 lbs on rear rack)||275 lbs||330 lbs||300 lbs|
|Measured Weight||48 lbs 10 oz||65 lbs||51 lbs 15 oz||61 lbs 10 oz||44 lbs 5 oz|
|Drivetrain||Single speed||Shimano Acera 8-speed||Shimano Altus 7-speed||Shimano Tourney 7-speed||Shimano 7-speed or single speed|
|Brakes||Tektro Aries Mechanical Disc||Zoom Hydraulic Disc Brakes||Tektro Mechanical Disc||Tektro Mechanical Disc Brakes||Tektro Mechanical Disc|
|Additional features||Lights||Fenders, front and rear lights, rear rack, Mozo 80mm suspension fork||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||One Year||1 year||One Year||One Year||One 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 the 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 among our e-bike test fleet 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 multiple 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 is likely more than adequate for most 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. It seems 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 few 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 when you press and hold it. 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.
Should You Buy the Rad Power RadMission?
We think the RadMission is an excellent no-frills electric city bike that's a great option for anyone 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 pretty good, and we feel it is an excellent value.
What Other E-Bikes Should You Consider?
If you're seeking a bike for city use, commuting, or anywhere that isn't too hilly, we feel the RadMission is a good choice. However, if you live in a hillier metropolitan area and want something with a bit more power, the Juiced CrossCurrent S2 is a powerful city bike — though it'll cost you around double. The similarly styled Aventon Soltera is a touch more expensive than the RadMission, but it has a sleeker frame design with a fully integrated battery and a slightly more relaxed riding position with a riser handlebar. The Soltera can also be purchased with a single-speed drivetrain or with the 7-speed drivetrain we tested for lots of gear range.
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