Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Ebike Review

Part cargo bike, part moped—all utility.

Rad Runner Lifestyle
The RadRunner utility ebike is Rad Power’s lowest-priced model to date.Jeff Allen

Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes designed its first prototypes in 2007, with the goal of providing affordable and high-quality ebikes to the masses. With price points still under $1,500 some 12 years later, the consumer-direct brand continues to deliver attainable transportation alternatives to urban dwellers.

Rad Power’s latest model, the RadRunner, is its lowest-priced ebike to hit the market. Billed as part cargo bike and part moped, the RadRunner is designed to carry 300 pounds, including a passenger up to 120 pounds, without breaking the bank.

Rad Runner Profie
With throttle and pedal assist up to 20 mph, the RadRunner is a Class 2 ebike.Jeff Allen

What Is a Rad Power RadRunner?

The RadRunner is a compact utility ebike with a low-slung frame, built-in rear deck, and a variety of optional accessories for hauling the stuff of life. It rolls on 3.3-inch-wide tires mounted on 20-inch rims. A 750W Bafang geared hub motor powers the RadRunner, supplying 80Nm of torque via four levels of pedal assist and a half-twist throttle. The top throttle-assisted speed of 20 mph makes it a Class 2 ebike.

The drive system runs on a 48V lithium-ion battery rated for 800 charge cycles with a 25- to 45-plus-mile range. An LED display houses the bike’s on/off and light switches, and shows battery charge and pedal-assist levels.

Rad Runner Panniers
We tested the RadRunner with Rad Power’s Fremont Panniers, but had some issues with fitting them to the rear rack.Jeff Allen

The RadRunner is spec’d with a 52-16T single-speed drivetrain and Tektro cable-actuated disc brakes with a motor cutoff switch and a bell built into the left lever. It has integrated front and rear LED lights, including a rear flash mode and brake light, and is also equipped with a dual-leg kickstand. The RadRunner weighs 67.4 pounds as tested with a front rack and two rear pannier bags.

The RadRunner is available in one size, and its step-through frame has a 16.5-inch standover designed to fit riders from 4-foot-11 to 6-foot-2. The bike’s high-rise handlebars can be angled fore or aft to fit a range of arm lengths, and the seatpost is adjustable with a quick-release lever.

Rad Runner Front Rack
Rad Power also offers an optional front rack.Jeff Allen

Rad Power’s Passenger Package includes a rear seat, retractable footpegs, and protective wheelskirt. The RadRunner’s driver’s seat is adjustable independently of the passenger bench so the pilot can pedal at an optimal height.

Additional accessory options include a center console that can carry up to 22 pounds, pannier bags, fenders, small and large baskets, a large platform for wider loads, and Thule Yepp Maxi child seats that mount directly to the rear deck. All of these accessories and replacement parts like batteries, charging units, grips, tubes, brake pads, and more are available on the Rad Power website, and replacement tires will be in stock soon.

Rad Runner Lifestyle Shot
The ebike’s 3.3-inch-wide small-diameter tires offer a stable ride.Jeff Allen

How Does the Rad Power RadRunner Ride?

Rad Power Bikes is a consumer-direct brand, so the RadRunner ships mostly assembled. It took about 40 minutes to unbox and put the bike together with the provided instruction manual and tool kit. Installing the front wheel, handlebars, and pedals was straightforward. The instruction manual indicates a torque spec of 8Nm for the stem faceplate bolts, but a torque wrench is not included in the kit. The Fremont Pannier bags tested were tricky to install because the lower attachment mechanism does not reach the rear rack. I ended up zip-tying the bottom of the bags directly to the bike, so removing them for shopping or unloading was not an option.

Rad Runner Throttle
The RadRunner’s throttle delivers quick acceleration in traffic.Jeff Allen

I tested the bike on a variety of terrain, including hilly suburban outskirts and flatter city streets. I hauled groceries, my laptop, and other necessities on several trips around town, loading the panniers and front rack with goods. The RadRunner’s low standover, beefy small-diameter tires, and relatively short wheelbase deliver a stable and comfortable ride. The throttle proved invaluable for riding in traffic. The ability to quickly accelerate a heavy bike away from stoplights was not only easier physically, but also boosted my confidence riding on busy streets. Due to the bike’s weight and gearing, I mostly used the third or fourth assist levels even on flat terrain.

The lack of an odometer on the display unit made keeping track of miles somewhat challenging, so paying attention to the battery level indicator is important—having to pedal a 65-pound-plus single-speed with no assist would be very difficult for most riders. But Rad Power states the bike’s range is anywhere from 25 to more than 45 miles, and I got 44 miles out of one charge riding a mix of hilly and flat terrain using the throttle and high assist levels while carrying moderately heavy loads. It took about five hours to recharge the RadRunner’s battery.

Rad Runner Lifestyle Shot 3
The RadRunner sells for $1,299 on Rad Power’s website. Add-on accessories range from $59 to $199.95 each.Jeff Allen

How Much Does the Rad Power RadRunner Cost?

The RadRunner is sold consumer direct on Rad Power’s website. It costs $1,299 and ships for free in the continental US. The optional pannier bags and front rack tested are also available on the Rad Power website for $89 and $69, respectively, and other accessories range from $59 to $199.95. For those who do not want to build the bike themselves, Rad Power has a partnership with mobile bike shop VeloFix. Appointments can be booked at the time of purchase on the Rad Power website. This option costs an additional $199 and includes a 30-day tune-up.

Overall, the RadRunner is a capable and affordable utility ebike with an impressive range. It’s simple to use, and the ride is stable and forgiving enough that smaller riders will feel comfortable riding with a load. The RadRunner’s compact size is ideal for those living in smaller quarters with limited storage, and the array of affordable accessories make it a versatile car replacement option for the urban family.

To learn more about the RadRunner and to purchase, visit radpowerbikes.com.