If you think this ebike looks familiar it’s because it does. The RadExpand 5 is the next generation folding ebike in the Rad fleet. It takes cues from the RadMini Step-Thru 2 but with a brand new name and some slight changes. Let’s jump into our RadExpand 5 review.
RadExpand 5 Review – Component walk-around, Top Speed, and Hill Climb Test
RadExpand 5 Pricing and Colors
The RadExpand 5 is priced at $1,599 in the U.S. and $1,849 in Canada. At the time of publishing, this makes it tied with the RadRunner 2 as the second most affordable Rad Power Bike next to the $1,199 RadMission. It’s offered in two colors: black and white.
Changes from the previous generation RadMini
While the RadMini (currently $1,499) will be phased out, it’s helpful to call out the changes that have been made. The RadExpand 5 will only be offered in a step-thru variation. This allows for more accessibility as well as a cleaner look than the old high step RadMini.
Next, there is no longer a suspension fork but instead Rad has gone with 4″ wide tires (up from 3″) to help cushion your ride. Lowering the pressure on the fat tires will help soak up bumps even more – the difference is noticeable.
The lack of front suspension also helped the bike lose some weight – 5 lbs to be exact (6.5 lbs when compared to the RadMini Step-thru). The RadExpand 5 weighs 62.5 lbs or just 55 lbs with the battery removed. And while it might not sound like much, these extra pounds matter, especially if you’re lugging your ebike in the back of a vehicle or just moving it around frequently.
Rad also changed the handlebars to BMX-inspired ones that adjust forwards and backward instead of up and down. This will be especially nice for shorter riders and those with shorter arms.
One surprising change is the RadExpand 5 now comes with the rear rack with a 55 lb capacity. The RadExpand rack is compatible with all of the great cargo accessories that Rad Power Bikes offers but is not compatible with the Thule Yepp Maxi child seat.
Finally, the RadExpand has an LED display as opposed to the LCD display. This is the same LED display found on the RadMission and RadRunner 2. Note that you can upgrade to the monochrome LCD display for $99.
Check out our comparison below and move the slider to get a closer look at the RadMini versus the RadExpand.
RadExpand 5 Motor and Battery
Leveraging the same 750 watt peak motor found on many of the Rad Models, the RadExpand 5 can reach speeds up to 20 mph while using throttle or pedal assist (Class 2 ebike). Like all Rad Power Bikes models, the bike comes equipped with a right-hand twist throttle.
The RadExpand 5 comes with the shark style 14 Ah (672 watt-hour) externally mounted battery. We really like the battery position in front of the seat tube because it is easy to remove and replace when you need to charge. The controller is mounted behind the seat tube, opposite the battery. Because the electrical components are mounted externally, this will make any future repairs easier (though it doesn’t look as clean compared ebike with an integrated battery and controller).
Frame and folding
In my opinion, the main selling point of the RadExpand 5 is the frame design. There’s a reason the RadMini was one of the more popular Rad Power Bikes models. Because of the RadExpand’s step-thru design, the standover height is just 16″. Rad Power Bikes recommends this ebike for riders 4′ 10″ – 5’10”. This makes the RadExpand 5 the most accessible ebike in the Rad lineup. It has a total payload capacity of 275 lbs.
What’s great about any folding ebike is the ability to store it in tight spaces and transport it without an ebike rated rack. The RadExpand folds down to 28″ x 25″ x 41″. We recommend purchasing a large tote with handles to transport the RadExpand 5 since this makes it easier to load and unload. When folded, the RadExpand 5 has a built-in stand that prevents the bike from falling over. A sturdy latch holds the frame together at the bottom of the frame.
Check out the full geometry specifications on the Rad Power Bikes website.
Rad Expand 5 Drivetrain and Brakes
The RadExpand 5 has mechanical disc brakes that Rad Power Bikes has been using for years on their electric bikes. The levers feel great as far as mechanical disc brakes go, and most importantly they function well. You’ll also find a 7-Speed MicroShift RD-M26 rear derailleur on the RadExpand 5. The derailleur is paired with a Microshift under-bar-mounted thumb shifter.
Other Included Accessories
Besides the rear rack, the RadExpand 5 includes front and rear plastic fenders. For increased safety, you’ll find an integrated front light that mounts to the front fork and in the rear another integrated light that mounts to the rear rack. The tires have reflective sidewalls for increased visibility. Check out Rad’s full lineup of compatible accessories to see how you can customize it to make it your own.
RadExpand 5: Is it a Buy?
The RadExpand 5 packs a lot in and in some ways builds on what was already one of the best affordably priced folding ebikes on the market. Some might miss the front suspension but the ebike is now lighter because of it. Electric bikes can be unwieldy for some so it’s great to see Rad focus on removing weight while not compromising on battery capacity and motor power. Finally, we like the inclusion of the rear rack and the improved handlebars. See the full specs of the RadExpand 5.