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    Would you trade in your car for this e-bike?


    Rad Power Bikes & apos; RadWagon is a beast of a machine, but in a good way. It is the end product of a company that was started in Seattle by two childhood friends. Their love for cycling has resulted in a growing company with a headquarters in the city of Pacific North West. It is therefore not surprising that Rad Power Bikes also has an office in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

    The European basis is obvious as the Netherlands is central to the bicycle on this side of the pond. It is also a country where you will see all kinds of bicycles. But even Dutch people, who think they have seen everything when it comes to two-wheelers, do a double take when they turn their eyes to the Rad Power Bikes RadWagon. What we have here, the company says, is an electric cargo bike.

    14Ah lithium-ion battery (image credit: Radio bikes)

    That is where the & apos; beast & apos; little of the comparison comes in. Rad Power Bikes says in its promotional blurb that this is a bike designed to replace your car. That is a bold statement, but in some ways it is quite true. The RadWagon has a longtail frame, which, although comparable in width to a conventional bicycle, is capable of transporting adults, children and cargo happily and to the same extent.

    The other, not so secret weapon in the RadWagon specification is the login details of the muscular e-bike. This two-wheeler comes with a heavier battery than when you ride a normal e-bike, partly as a result of the extra weight and the loading capacity that it has to move from A to B. What's more, once you get started and use it quickly, realize that the RadWagon is not so much a bicycle as an electric scooter. Yes, it has an accelerator pedal with accelerator pedal on the handlebars. This allows you to take off and let the wind whistle through your hair without pedaling. It is a revelation.

    Serious capacity

    Rad Power Bikes & apos; RadWagon falls under the category L1e-A electric bicycles, so it is in a very good place. Indeed, the Rad Power Bikes website explains: L1e-A ' powered cycles & apos; are defined as bicycles designed for pedaling, equipped with an auxiliary drive with the main purpose of assisting pedaling. The propulsion must be limited at a speed of 25 km / h and the maximum continuous nominal power must not exceed 1,000 W. L1e-A contains two, three and four wheel vehicles.

    Rad power bikes RadWagon hub

    750 W motor with direct drive (image suffix: Rad Power Bikes)

    So what is the deal, we wondered, having what is really an electric scooter at your disposal. Does it need a license? The back of the frame has a mounting point for the license plate, which suggests this, but after checking rules and regulations, it turned out that the bike does not need a license in the UK (where we tested it). This is not necessarily the case in other areas, but is surprising if you have a powerful 750W 48V power system at your disposal through a direct-drive hub that also benefits from regenerative braking.

    The power increase is considerable, since most standard EU-based e-bikes fall into the 250W category. Of course, the RadWagon is more voluminous and a lot heavier – more than 33 kg – but Rad Power Bikes claims that it is because it is designed to replace your car instead of your racing bike. We can actually see their point about the potential to ensure that you decide to leave the car at home.

    Rad power bikes RadWagon brakes

    180 mm mechanical disc brakes (image credit: Radocycles)

    The RadWagon, for example, makes it easy to go to the store, buy some groceries and load them onto the back of the two-wheeler without getting sweaty. And you did it all in the time that you would normally still be looking for a parking space in the car.

    Amazingly, it can also carry an adult and a few small children with child seats that are correctly mounted on the back. Even in its standard shape, there is a long wooden flat chair along with double footboards that allow passengers to climb aboard and enjoy the ride. It is quirky and it draws attention, but the RadWagon is much better able than those smaller 250W e-machines. The only real drawback is that you are stopped on your journey while people stop and ask you what it is.

    Lots of bikes for your money

    We recently tried a Rad Power Bikes RadWagon, and the giant bike is quite a thing. This substantial two-wheeler costs € 1,799 all-in (around $ 2,000, £ 1,500, AU $ 3,000), which seems a reasonably good price, although spare / replacement battery packs are a substantial € 599 (around $ 650, £ 500, AU $ 1,000 ) if you ever need one.

    Yet you certainly get a lot for your money because the bike offers a strong design, good build quality and many quality components. The chain set, for example, is Shimano and that means you get silky-smooth gear changes and reliability.

    Rad Power Bikes RadWagon tires

    Kenda K-Shield puncture-resistant tires (image credit: Radocycles)

    Other areas, such as the greasy road tires with their K-Shield leakproof linings made to withstand tough scenarios, add a different level of comfort, while the front and rear disc brakes are great at stopping you and your heavy load. Handy if you have a few children and a lot of shopping on board, for sure. Even the saddle is nice for your butt when you sit on the bike for a certain time, while the overall sitting position is upright, relaxed and really very enjoyable.

    However, there is some work to do when the bike arrives. Although most of it is composed, you must use the included toolkit to adjust the handlebars, add the pedals and also the footboards. You must also place the front fender and headlamp in place and make all other usual adjustments to ensure that the ride height is correct, and so on. The front wheel is from the quick-release variant.

    Rad Power Bikes RadWagon rear light

    Integrated taillight with brake lights (image credit: Rado bikes)

    Oh, and there is also a neat feature in the shape of the spring. This is actually a spring that runs between the frame and the forks. It makes sense for freight bicycles to carry heavier loads and the deflopilator ensures that your front wheel does not turn too far down and falls below you when you stop or park it.

    The double standard is another nice touch, which means that the bike is really safe if it has fallen. Another cool feature are the lights, with an LED rear brake strip that lights up when you pull on both brakes. Brake lights on a push bike!

    Range and charge

    Starting the bike is easy enough after you have charged the frame-mounted battery via the mains. You put a key on the battery pack and then start the LCD screen mounted on the handlebar. This shows your speed, watts and there is also a odometer so you can keep track of your miles.

    Power is displayed with a bar / block design. Rad Power Bikes thinks that you can expect between 40 and 72 km for a fee, although that depends on what you roam around and in which mode you are. Eco is of course the best way to go if you want the ultimate battery economy. You even get a USB power supply for a good dose.

    Rad Power Bikes RadWagon luggage rack

    Long rear luggage rack (image credit: Radofietsen)

    Don't forget that the RadWagon is also a normal bicycle, so the seven-speed Shimano Acera drive lets you just do old stairs if you prefer. That in itself is a good workout if you notice the extra weight of the bike. What strikes you most is the length of the chain, which is longer than on a normal bike thanks to the frame with a long wheelbase. We wondered if this would stretch over time, although it is too early to say. When it comes to charging, the battery took on average about five or six hours to get back to 100%.

    In general we found that the Rad by Radar Radewagon is a great little (or would that big) bike. While we got the impression that some of the parts were from cheaper outlets in China, the general feeling is that this is a decent quality cargo bike. The price certainly reflects that. It is also very nice, it goes surprisingly well, even if you have people or cargo on board and works great as a push bike if you have managed to drain the battery.

    The RadWagon also comes in bright orange or pearl white and both incarnations are easy to recognize, which is an extra bonus for every cyclist. Be prepared for all the attention you get when you go to your local supermarket.

    • Head-to-head: which e-bike should you buy?
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