Rad Power Bikes RadTrike Review: Is This The Best Electric Trike?
Well it happened. The largest ebike brand in the US has launched an electric trike. Rad Power Bikes is already well known for its accessible ebikes but with the RadTrike they are taking that accessibility to a whole new level. According to the company, a trike was the most requested model and after years of development, it’s finally here.
Before we get into our RadTrike review, it’s worth calling out that electric trikes aren’t new. There are a handful on the market, but most approach the $3,000 price point or even higher. The ones reasonably priced simply aren’t from brands that match that of Rad Power Bikes. The RadTrike is priced at $2,499. Some of their other ebikes top out at around $2000 so the price jump seems reasonable given the extra complexities of a third wheel and the fact that this bike was built from the ground up Rad Power Bikes. But is it the best electric trike on the market? Read on for our RadTrike written review or check out our video review below.
If you’re going to build a trike it really needs to fit a majority of riders. Not surprisingly, the RadTrike is a step-through. Rad went so far as to design the frame so that it goes even lower than the chain cover on the bike. The RadTrike will accommodate riders all the way down to 4′ 10″. This should fit riders with an inseam from around 25″ to 32.5″ – at least those who want full leg extension. The standover height is an impressive 13.4″. Be sure to check out Rad’s geometry chart for the full measurements.
The total weight capacity of the RadTrike is 415 lbs and it’s lighter than you might think for a 3-wheeled ebike. With the battery in place, the RadTrike weights 82 lbs, but removing it knocks the weight down to just 73.6 lbs. Removing the comfort seat with backrest can also help lower the weight.
Rad thought through all of the use cases and the RadTrike has a width of 33 inches to allow it to fit through most doorways. For those who want to take it on the go, the trike can be taken in two pieces and the handlebars can be folded down to put into a large SUV or van.
The frame itself is constructed out of steel for strength and durability. It also assists in keeping the bike planted through corners. While the RadTrike has a handful of orange Rad Power Bikes decals, the frame is only offered on one color: gray.
Motor and Battery
If you’re familiar with Rad Power Bikes it won’t be a surprise that this ebike has a 750 watt peak motor. However, instead of it being a rear hub motor, it is located in the front of the bike for a couple of reasons. For one, it provides more traction. Secondly, keeping the electronics including the battery towards the front of the ebike makes the RadTrike easy to disassemble. It also helps with shipping. And like every Rad Power Bike, this ebike has a right hand twist grip throttle.
The RadTrike includes the same display we’ve seen on the RadRover 6 Plus and RadCity 5 Plus. It’s a dual display system that is very simple to operate. Controls with the pedal assist displayed on the left side of the handlebars with the speed front and center. Being that this ebike is meant to be easy to use, a reverse mode has been added to the controls. Simply hold down the pedal assist until “r” is displayed. Engaging the throttle will allow the bike to go in reverse.
Rad Power Bikes chose to refresh what was previously their RadMission battery on the RadTrike. It’s a 48V 10Ah pack which is smaller than the standard 14Ah packs that come on other Rad Power Bikes models. The battery weighs 8.4 lbs and they are using high quality Samsung cells. It’s a smaller pack than we would have liked to see but it’s still good for 20-35+ miles. How is this possible? Let’s dig into the speed.
RadTrike Top Speed and Pedal Assist
The RadTrike is first and foremost meant to be an accessible electric trike. For this reason, Rad Power Bikes has capped the top speed at 14 mph to ensure stability. Like all Rad Power Bikes models, the motor is engaged with a cadence sensor (or the throttle), but the pedal assist levels have been carefully tuned. At pedal assist level 1 riders will travel at just 2.7 mph. This is to allow the bike to easily travel at a similar speed to someone walking next to the bike. The pedal assist levels increase speed from there.
In our testing, we found that the RadTrike is optimized for pedaling at 10mph in pedal assist level 4. It allows the rider to put in human effort without the cadence becoming too fast. In pedal assist 5 the cadence is quite a bit faster.
If you look on the right hand of the cockpit you’ll notice there is no brake lever. This is because the rear brakes are coaster brakes. These are the same type of brakes that you may remember as a kid where the brake is engaged when you pedal backwards. On the left side is a more standard mechanical disc brake made by Radius. An additional orange tab allows you to engage the parking brake which is an important safety feature.
Due to the 14 mph max speed Rad Power Bikes made the RadTrike a single-speed (16-42T). This also keeps it simple from a maintenance perspective. Two chainguard keeps both the front and rear gearing clean and away from anything getting caught in the gears. View the full spec list.
Rad Power Bikes offers an abundant amount of accessories that are compatible across models. In the front you can add the front rack paired with a basket. In the rear, the baskets can be bolted to the rear cargo rack behind the seat. Note that you will have to bend over to load the trike compared to the front rack/basket. The rear has a max cargo capacity of 60lbs. Beyond cargo options, Rad Power Bikes is developing a RadTrike canopy which looks awesome and would be handy to have in sunny climates.
For pet lovers with larger furry friends that don’t fit in their pet basket liners, they are also working on a pet trailer.
There’s no doubt that the RadTrike will allow more people to experience the amazing feeling of riding an ebike. It’s small form factor makes it approachable and it’s clear that no details were missed in developing the first generation RadTrike 1. Plus, customers will have the comfort that their purchase is backed by the largest seller of electric bikes in North America. We’re excited that a company is stepped into this market in a big way. Learn more about the RadTrike or if you’re lucky to live near a Rad Power Bikes store – ride one yourself!