As a first-time mom, I have a tendency to overanalyze every possible baby-related item that orbits my child’s sphere. There is no review I will not read and no rabbit hole on a company’s Instagram page I will not dive down. So, when it came time to look for a cargo e-bike that was safe, easy to ride, and fun, I was pleasantly surprised that the Rad Power RadWagon 4 delivered all the bells and whistles for my family. Rad Power was awesome enough to provide the RadWagon free of charge for the purpose of this review. I was able to give it a whirl on the Big Island of Hawaii, where I reside.
Rad Power is not new to the electric bike space. During the early days of the pandemic, the demand for e-bikes skyrocketed and Rad Power became the largest seller of electric bikes in the country. Safety issues and a recall over RadWagon’s tire alignment in 2022 landed the company in hot water, so I was skeptical if the improved RadWagon 4 would live up to the hype from early adopters. I should note that during my research, I was targeted by an endless number of e-bike companies, but nothing from Rad Power. Of the parents-slash-friends I talked to, four different families owned a Rad Wagon.
Unboxing / Assembly
The company has videos of assembly instructions, which are useful for bike newbies. Rad Power rates the assembly of this bike on the difficult side, so my partner assembled the bike for us. He said the pre-attached lines for brakes and gears were a time-saver, but you still needed to use a lot of force to get some parts together. While the adjustable bike stem makes it feel like it’s custom fit to each rider, it loosens easily when you turn the handlebars and it needed to be tightened several times, using a few different Allen wrenches.
Attaching accessories like a child’s bike seat, running boards, and caboose were easy and didn’t require any special tool. Rad Power has a long list of accessories you can purchase to kit out your cargo e-bike any way you want.
The Ride Sum-Up
I chose their brightest color for the RadWagon — a blazing hot orange to keep me and my little one well visible on the road. While I may live in the land of the Ironman World Championships, Kona is not the most bike-friendly city in sunny Hawaii. But it matched our orange Thule Yepp bike seat, which really fanned out my mom flare. And while I do contend that the vibrant color would keep us safer on the road, it was the other features of the bike that justified my decision of the RadWagon 4 as an excellent cargo e-bike option for my family.
The first aspect I really appreciated were the larger wheels that gave the bike a heftier, beach cruiser vibe and ultimately felt more stable. I was comfortable shifting my weight from side to side, and more importantly, I felt sturdy even when my wiggle worm behind me in the child seat would move to look at every animal we saw during our first ride. It also transitions smoothly when you’re riding from asphalt or concrete to grass.
The mid-step-through frame and adjustable seat made going from my 5’2″ stature to my partner’s 5’10” height a breeze. Its full range for riders is impressive: heights of 5’1″ to 6’4″. Some e-bikes I researched couldn’t adjust to my height at all, and the ones that did came with a swoop strep-through frame that was, while fine for me, not the first choice of my partner. After all, this was a family wagon, so we both wanted to be sure it was a bike that we like to look at, as well as ride.
Another feature that I didn’t even consider at first is the double-leg kickstand. The steel kickstand is more for a moped than a bicycle, but given that the RadWagon is already pushing 100 pounds, it’s nice to have a hearty kickstand to hold the thing up. It keeps the bike’s center of gravity upright and is a heck of a lot easier to put my child in the bike seat without having to lean to one side. The only thing I would change would be to put rubber pads on the bottom to protect our garage floor and patio from the metal of the kickstands.
And now for the tech…
The RadWagon has a powerful 750W geared hub motor that tops out at 20 mph, and a 672Wh battery, resulting in a range of 45+ miles per charge. I know there are faster e-bikes out there, but let’s face it, I’m obviously not going for speed. I think any parent would be happy to cruise at the pace of a dog playing fetch.
There are five levels of pedal assist and a half-twist throttle, perfect for that much-need boost to make it up a hill or if you simply choose to not pedal. The display screen easily shows what level of pedal assist you’re in and the thumb-control levels are conveniently located on your left handle.
The RadWagon boasts a load capacity of 350 pounds, easily hauling my toddler around town without issue. On one occasion (for review purposes, of course), my partner hopped on the back to see just how much weight it could take (disclaimer: don’t try this at home, folks!). It managed just fine on flat terrain, but once we reached the foot of our hill, the throttle wasn’t enough to get all of us back home without some mompower.
Overall, the Rad Power RadWagon 4 has been a great asset for our family to get around without burning gas, which was, of course, another reason we wanted to get an e-bike: less driving! Less Co2! We’re now tricked out as an e-bike family and couldn’t be more proud.
- 25-45+ miles per charge (estimate)
- 750W geared hub motor with 80 Nm of torque
- 48V, 14 Ah Lithium-Ion battery using genuine Samsung 35E cells
- Custom Rad Power Bikes 22″ x 3″ tires
- Integrated headlight and tail light with brake light functionality
- Half twist throttle and intelligent 5 level pedal assist
- Full LCD display including speedometer, wattmeter, and odometer
- 7-speed Shimano drivetrain
- 180 mm Tektro mechanical disc brakes
- Total payload capacity: 350 lb (158 kg)
- Rear rack capacity: 120 lb (54 kg)
- Bike weight: 76.7 lb (34.8 kg)
By Kirstina Motamedi, CleanTechnica Guest Writer
RadPower supplied a RadWagon 4 to the author of this article free of charge for the purpose of this review.
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