Is this a perfect electric bike?

The Radster Road and Radster Trail are the newest models from Rad Power Bikes. Complete with a 750w motor and 100Nm of torque they are Class 1, 2 or 3 capable electric bikes ready to tackle big days around town with the power to climb the steepest of hills. Straying away from the smaller wheels sizes Rad Power Bikes has become known for, the Radster sits on 29″ or 27.5″ wheels with a full size frame. Rad Power Bikes holds nothing back with the new Radster, along with the new tech and features introduced on the RadWagon 5 and RadExpand 5 Plus, the Radster has a few more tricks up it’s sleeve. Needless to say we were eager to explore Seattle on these new machines and by the end of the day we were rather reluctant to give the Radster back. We wouldn’t be upset to have this $1999 commuter in our quiver and neither should you.

New Tech and Features

The Radster Road and Radster Trail are built for commuting and exploring some open terrain. Starting at $1999, the Radster has a powerful motor and an impressive range of ~65 miles. This blends nicely with a full-size frame and comfortable geometry for all day adventures on or off road.

Rated as a Class 1, 2 or 3 electric bike, you have the choice to control the power output of the Radster through their new Color Display. This new display also has a new feature not seen on Rad Power Bikes yet. Auto Lock. By entering a passcode or using a keyfob, your Radster will automatically lock power preventing unauthorized users from freely pedaling away with all that Pedal Assist.

The Radster uses Rad Power Bikes 750w rear hub motor with a torque sensor. On par with the RadWagon 5 and RadExpand 5 Plus, the torque sensor makes riding the Radster intuitive with a very natural pedaling characteristic. For those of you that enjoy Class 2 bikes, the Radster still has a throttle and can support riders up to 25mph.

The battery is Rad Power Bikes new Safe Shield battery, that is semi-integrated into the downtube. The all-new Safe Shield Battery is UL Certified to UL-2271 standards. Its thermal-resistant technology is designed to prevent an accident from escalating, protecting you and your bike.

Weights vary between the two models and which frame size you choose, but expect the Radster to weigh in around 74-78 pounds. This may seem a touch heavier then other commuter bikes, but the Radster manages the weight well and it’s definitely not something you are thinking about while riding.

The Radster Road is oriented at the pavement warrior, someone looking towards commuting or general recreational riding in urban environments. The Radster Trail on the other hand is equally capable in your typical urban scene, however, the more aggressive tire and wheel setup opens the doors up to more adventurous riding.

Separations between the two bikes are primarily in the wheels and front fork. The Radster Road has 29″ wheels with 2.2″ Kenda Kwick tires and an SR Suntour fork with 80mm of travel, which is 29″ wheel compatible. The Radster Trail has 27.5″ wheels with 3.0″ Kenda Havok tires and a similar SR Suntour fork with 80mm of travel.

The Radster uses Tektro Hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors and Semi-Metallic brake pads.

With the addition of a torque sensor, the significance of a smooth-shifting 8-speed drivetrain is much appreciated. While you can use the throttle at any time, a more natural pedaling feel from the torque sensor benefits from the gears and maintaining desired speeds.

A new color display is mounted to the handlebars of the Radster, this has the Auto Lock feature, and is significantly easier to read while riding especially on sunny days. From the display you can navigate the menus and adjust the power outputs if for example you’d like to switch from Class 1 to Class 3.

The Radster Trail has a high payload capacity, a few pounds more than the Radster Road, at 370 pounds and the rear rack can carry up to 55 pounds safely.

There will be two different frame sizes to choose from, a Regular and a Large. The Regular fits riders from 4’11” – 5’8″ while the Large accommodates riders from 5’7″ – 6’4″.

Both Radster models will come equipped with fenders, full length on the Road and shorter with mudguards on the Trail. Rad Power Bikes new 200 Lumen front light will be fitted on both models, as well as, the new LED rear light with integrated turn signals.

Quick Specs

  • 750w – 100Nm

  • 720Wh Battery

  • Class 1, 2, 3

  • Shimano 8-speed

  • 29″ or 27.5″

  • $1999

Who is the ideal rider for the Radster?

With ~65 miles on the highend for estimated range, we found ourselves exploring Seattle for hours covering a lot of distance in high pedal assist modes without even using half the battery. In an environment like Seattle, with dedicated bike paths and clearly marked bike lanes, the Radster Road truly is at home for anyone that rides areas similarly. For a commuter, you get a high pay load capacity, it comes with lights, fenders and a rear rack, and has a upright riding posture that is comfortable for hours on end. On the performance side of things, the Radster is Class 3 capable with 100Nm of torque. This is a standout for commuters that are looking to carry some weight but do so quickly without fear of those steep hills getting in your way.

While we tooks both the Road and the Trail to the same place, I found the Trail equally beneficial on the road offering all the same benefits as the Radster Road with one caviaught. When dirt paths and little offroad short cuts presented themselves I quickly steered towards them to have a bit more fun on our route.

Stepping back from our time in Seattle and reflecting on both models, we agreed that they would be great bikes to have in the quiver. For the price, they are competitive in performance with bikes twice as much. Even more appealing now with the additional Safety and performance measures Rad Power Bikes has released with this new model.

If you’re a commuter, or someone that lives in close proximity to endless country roads, both models are worth looking more closely at and we’d encourage finding your local dealer to take them for a test ride.

Final Thoughts

It’s a game changer, for Rad Power Bikes. Up until now, the lineup from Rad Power Bikes has been very urban centric with a very particular design style. The Radster Road and Radster Trail show that Rad Power Bikes can do something different and do it well.

As a commuter we found the Radster Road to be a blast to ride around and hours later were very impressed with the optimization of battery management. The torque sensor integration is something we’ve long hoped for and after years of waiting are very happy with the overall package Rad Power Bikes has put together.

The Radster Trail takes all the good things from the Road and packages it into a slightly more playful and capable offroad shell. We could find ourselves happily taking the Trail out for all day or multiday rides into the woods or just simply having it with us for summer camping trips.

Overall, it’s great to see Rad Power Bikes changing things up from their typical lineup of bikes. We’re sure it’s been a long time coming, but the wait has made it worth it. The Radster Road and Radster Trail are absolutely the perfect bike for so many riders out there.  Additionally, it’s nice to see the focus to safety and performance on the Radster models. Hydraulic disc brakes for improved stopping power, reputable SR Suntour suspension, Kenda brand tires, Shimano drivetrain, and of course their new Safe Shield battery.

For $1999, the Radster Road and Radster Trail might be our new favorite Rad Power Bikes and we’re looking forward to getting more time on them to see how they stack up as the year continues.

Price: $1999
Weight: 74-78 lbs