I never thought I’d be this stoked writing an article about an E-Bike but when I first saw the RadPower RadRunner – I was SOLD. And after you read this review, if you find yourself being sold too, shoot me an email and I’ll send you a code to save you some $$$ on a RadPower!
For those of you who know me personally, you’re probably wondering what the heck I’m doing with an Electric Bike – and I don’t blame you at all. I grew up riding BMX and have ridden a State Bicycle Co fixed gear on most all The Awarewolfs group rides. For the most part, none of my bikes have been fancy – no disc brakes, electric motors or a dang battery that’s for sure!
So tell us Charlie, why’d you buy an Electric Bike?
This RadRunner has replaced a car and makes getting around by bike so much enjoyable and way LESS SWEATY. I still have my State Bicycle Co. 4130 All Road to roll around the dirt in but I use the RadRunner strictly for commuting and running small errands close by.
When I moved back to San Diego, my wife and I ended up living in the Hillcrest area. And for those unfamiliar, just as the area’s name would imply, our apartment was on the CREST of a very short and very steep HILL. My job was only about 5 miles away but this hill made the commute perfectly painful.
So – I purchased the RadRunner in July 2020. It was backordered two months (be aware of that when purchasing, these days you may have to wait a few months to receive). Those two months were the longest two months ever but sooooo worth the wait!
Shipping & Assembly
As far as how the bike ships / arrives – well, it arrives in a huge box and keep in mind this bike weighs like a million pounds (actually only 65lbs but feels like a million) so you need some space to build it up. If you don’t trust yourself – have the pros do it. Most bike shops will help you for a small fee. But just so you know, the bike comes about 85% assembled. The only thing I had to put on were the bars, seat, pedals, and front wheel. It really wasn’t that difficult at all.
About the Electric Bike
When I ordered my RadRunner, I also ordered the Front Basket, Full Fenders, Passenger Package, and the Center Console – all in after tax it cost almost $1700 (purchased 7/20).
The Front Basket perfectly holds my murse, lunch bag, and water bottle for my commute to work. Also holds to-go food orders, cases of beer, and blankets for picnics too.
The Full Fenders are great obviously because they keep the dirt / water away. The front one was fairly simple to install but the rear one was a little trickier and required taking the rear wheel entirely off (and why RadPower uses Loctite on ALL the screws is frustrating…)
The Passenger Package. I gotta be honest, my wife and I haven’t really utilized it that much. If we had a kiddo it’d be an entirely different story I’m sure but the rear seat does make a great area to strap items (pizza) to with a bungee net.
The Center Console is convenient for sure except for two things –
1 – I have an iPhone XR with a modest case and it doesn’t fit in the phone holder. I have found NO phone that fits here except without a case but who’s going to strap their phone to this thing with NO CASE?!
2 – Also, the drink holder barely fits a regular sized bicycle water bottle… It fits a Starbucks cup or skinny Redbull type can but come on RadPower, couldn’t make both these compartments just a tad more user friendly??
I’ve had my RadPower RadRunner since August 2020 and I rode it with all components from that initial order for over a year. Ever since I first laid eyes on the bike, I knew I wanted to put as many of my own components as I could on it. So, in June 2021, I went to town on this bike.
I ordered Haro handlebars, a Sunday stem, Odyssey pedals, and a Brooks B17 saddle. Oh also, ODI Longnecks (the best grips ever) and switched out the RadPower wrist throttle to a thumb throttle I found on Amazon.
All sounds like simple swaps but here’s some things to keep in mind regarding this bike –
The seat and seat post are all one piece. In order to put that Brooks B17 saddle on, I had to also get a new seat post. The Brooks B17 saddles are arguably one of the most comfortable saddles money can buy – especially for upright riding. Until now, I’d never owned a Brooks saddle and after the past few months, I can tell this thing wearing in very very nicely and I can see why so many speak so highly of Brooks. I am very happy with the B17 on this bike.
Another thing, where the handlebars sit in the stem, the handle bar / stem’s diameter is 31.8mm. BMX handlebar diameters are typically 22.2mm. This means, in order to put BMX bars on, you gotta put a BMX stem on too. I searched high and low for an adapter / shim to keep the original stem but was unable to find one. Also, stock, this bike comes with one huge spacer under the stem… ugly… You don’t have to do this at all but I cut the steer tube for a much cleaner look.
I swear by ODI Longneck grips. They are hands down the best grips ever but with the stock RadRunner handlebars / grips, you cant’ really just switch out the grips. RadPowers use a wrist throttle which is fine but the wrist portion takes up a considerable amount of space plus I found that my wrist started to hurt after longer rides. Which, for all those reasons, made me want to switch over to a thumb throttle set up. I found this $30 thumb throttle on Amazon and so far so good! I slid it onto the new BMX bars and it allowed for plenty of room for my beloved ODI grips.
Next on the list is getting a theft proof seat clamp, BMX cranks / sprocket, and switch out the rear seat for a basket. Other than that – I am so happy with this bike. It’s changed the way I look at bicycling and has absolutely allowed me to commute to work easily, efficiently, and effortlessly.
Things to Know about The RadRunner Electric Bike
- I seem to get 20-30 miles in range on a full charge. The real range is probably about 40 miles if San Diego was flat and I didn’t keep the throttle at max speed all the time. I’m 6’3″ and weigh about 175 lbs and almost always have some gear in the console or rack too.
- When recharging, be sure the charger is unplugged BEFORE plugging the battery in to the charger. I blew three fuses in the battery learning the hard way that if you leave the charger plugged in, power is stored up in the charger and sometimes, when you plug the battery in that excess power will zap the fuse. So – keep the charger unplugged and plug the charger in to the battery first – then plug the charger in to the wall last.
- The decals on the battery come off easily as do the ones on the center console. The ones on the bike itself do not though. I’m picky with aesthetics and this is something I always consider when ordering a bike.
Why didn’t I go with the RadRunner PLUS?
I grew up riding BMX and fixed gears. Making the jump to an E-Bike was already weird enough that I didn’t want to throw in front suspension and shifting / gears! But ugh that front light on the Plus looks nice though.
Do I regret not getting the RadRunner Plus?
There is a guy who has the same commute as me and he rides the RadRunner Plus. I only regret not getting the RadRunner Plus when he passes me lol! Seems like those gears and the ability to shift allow him to go maybe 5 mph faster.
Why did I choose the RadRunner over every other Electric Bike?
The utility and the PRICE but the fact that the components could be interchanged with regular bicycle parts, that’s what ultimately sold me. So, the overall versatility.
Do YOU have any specific RadRunner questions?
Maybe I can answer them! Shoot me an email or post a comment! firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to buy a RadPower Bicycle, shoot me an email. I can help you save money with a $50 coupon code just for you!
Thanks for reading,