When Rad Power Bikes launched the RadRunner 2, it didn’t show off a laundry list of new updates. Instead, there were only a few key changes. And that’s because the affordably priced RadRunner was already such a popular e-bike that it only required a few small updates to make it better than ever before.
As the old adage goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
If you’re new to the electric bike industry (welcome!) or if you just haven’t heard of the RadRunner platform (weird, but okay!), then let me give you a brief rundown.
The RadRunner 2 here is basically a moped and a cargo bike all rolled into one bicycle-size package.
It offers extreme utility for hauling cargo or companions, and yet still works great as a bicycle for either fun recreational riding or fitness-inspired assisted pedaling rides.
To get a sense of all that the RadRunner 2 has to offer, check out my video review below. Then keep going for my complete written review below the video.
RadRunner 2 video review
RadRunner 2 tech specs
- Motor: 750W rear geared hub motor
- Top speed: 32 km/h (20 mph)
- Range: 45-72 km (25-45 mi) depending on user input
- Battery: 48V 14Ah (672 Wh)
- Charge time: 6 hours
- Weight: 29.5 kg (65 lb)
- Max load: 140 kg (300 lb)
- Rear rack max load: 55 kg (120 lb)
- Brakes: Tektro mechanical disc brakes
- Extras: Sturdy center kickstand, LED display, integrated head/tail/brake LED lights, bell, 4 pedal assist settings, half-twist throttle, mounting for front and rear racks/accessories
A lot to love in a little package
The RadRunner 2 is not a large electric bike by any stretch of the imagination. Walk up to a full-sized RadRover and you’ll be taken aback by how much bike stands before you. But a RadRunner, on the other hand, is a much more approachable size for just about everybody.
The 20″ wheels give you a lower bike than typical 26″ x 4″ fat tires would, and the 3.3″ width of the tires strikes a nice balance between fat and narrow tire options. The modest width keeps the tires more nimble without getting into ultra-fat tire territory.
Even though the bike is small and approachable, it can still handle big jobs. It’s got the widest sizing range of all of Rad Power Bikes’ lineup, meaning it can fit both short and tall riders from 4’11” to 6’2″ (150-188 cm). It supports loads up to 300 lb (136 kg), despite itself only weighing 65 lb (29). That’s not a lightweight e-bike by any means, but it’s still a lot lighter than many cargo e-bikes.
And that’s the beauty of the RadRunner 2, it’s part cargo bike, part pleasure bike. The tall rear rack is great for loading up with gear, and I definitely recommend grabbing the passenger package if you have kids/friends/partners in your life that you want to take for a ride. The passenger package adds a comfy bench seat, foot pegs, and clear protective wheel skirt. That allows you to carry both kids and adults back there, turning the RadRunner 2 into a handy little electric moped for two riders. I also added the passenger grab bars to give an even more convenient way to carry another person on back.
Speaking of seats, the original RadRunner seat got an upgrade on the RadRunner 2, making it more plush and comfortable than ever. It’s a bit of an odd shape, but that’s because it meshes perfectly with the passenger kit bench when you drop the seat down, turning it into one long saddle the length of the bike’s rear.
The RadRunner 2 is simply one of the coolest all-around do-anything types of e-bikes. It’s small and nimble enough for city riding, has big enough tires for trail riding, and has the utility and cargo capacity to serve as a work bike to haul just about anything you need.
It even comes with pretty decent parts on the bike component side. None of this is top-shelf stuff, but the Tektro brakes come with high-grip pads for powerful stopping on the 180 mm rotors. The single-speed drivetrain with a 16-52t setup gives a comfortable pedaling ratio at lower and higher speeds, and the dual kickstand makes for a stable, easy-to-use way to park the bike on any surface.
I’m not a huge fan of the pedals being composite instead of aluminum, but at least it does save weight. And I’d love to see accessories like fenders included on the base model, but at least we do get lights included standard. Many companies up-charge for lights to be installed, so I’m glad to see Rad still ensures you get all the proper safety equipment as standard components on the bike.
The only thing I often hear people complain about the RadRunner platform, and something I empathize with, is the desire for more speed. Topping out at 20 mph (32 km/h) is fine in some areas, but I’d love to be able to eek out a bit more. Even just 25 mph (40 km/h) would be awesome, though I guess you could always upgrade to the RadRunner Plus and unlock it if you truly needed the higher speed.
I don’t mind the simple LED display or the single-speed setup on the RadRunner 2, but the RadRunner Plus would be the option for anyone who wants this same bike, but with multiple gears and an unlockable LCD display – not to mention front suspension.
As it is, the RadRunner 2 is a more stripped-down version with just what you need in an e-bike designed for getting things done. No speedometer, no extra gears. Just a responsive throttle and good cadence-sensor pedal assist on an awesome utility bike frame.
Not to mention the fact that you get the bike delivered to you fully assembled using Rad Mobile, the delivery service and mobile bike-shop-in-a-van offered by Rad. For anyone that doesn’t want to assemble their own e-bike out of the box, Rad Mobile is an awesome option to have available. And it means the company will be able to take care of you in the future if you ever needed service or support to swap out a part.
Before Rad was forced to raise prices by $200 at the end of last year, the RadRunner was an even sweeter deal. But this is the new reality we live in, and I still call the RadRunner 2 a buy at its current price of $1,499.
It’s a bit steeper, but the bike is absolutely worth it. It’s a novel design that Rad created from the ground up, and you’re paying for that innovation, as well as for the service and support that comes with shopping from the largest electric bike company in North America.
There are certainly cheaper options for e-bikes out there, but the RadRunner 2 is so nicely designed that it holds its own when compared to budget e-bikes.
What do you think about the RadRunner? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments section below!
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