RadRunner 3 Plus Review: Crowd Favorite Utility Bike Gets a Premium Makeover
We recently had the opportunity to review the brand-new RadRunner 3 Plus! This premium utility ebike has a moped-type, step-thru frame and has the ability to carry all kinds of cargo without actually being as bulking as the typical cargo bike.
It is currently being offered at $2,299. The RadRunner 3 Plus is a step up from the RadRunner 2 ($1,499) and the Radrunner Plus ($1,999) in almost all regards. Both of these ebikes are crowd favorites and are still being sold at a lower cost than the RadRunner 3 Plus. Read ahead for our review and thoughts on the sweet upgrades this ebike has to offer.
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RadRunner 3 Plus Video Review
A Brief Review – The RadRunner 2 vs RadRunner Plus
The RadRunner 3 Plus builds on a lot of the key features of its predecessors so let’s start with a quick review. Both the RadRunner 2 and the RadRunner Plus feature a moped-type frame design. They have the same 48V, 14Ah battery, 750-watt rear motor, Tektro mechanical brakes, and BMX handlebars. The main upgrade for the RadRunner Plus is that the passenger package is included instead of being an add-on. It also moves from a single-speed to a 7-speed and adds a front fork suspension, full fenders, an LCD display, as well as the Rad premium headlight. Here is our video review about the differences between the RadRunner 2 and the RadRunner Plus. Now for the RadRunner 3 Plus.
RadRunner 3 Plus Frame Design
The frame design for the RadRunner 3 Plus is overall very similar to the prior models for good reason. The RadRunners are some of the top-selling ebikes in Rad’s flock. They have a moped-style with BMX handlebars and a step-thru frame. One benefit of the handlebars is a more upright riding position, but they are also adjustable forward and backward for increased customizability. It is a stable ebike with wider tires that is easy to mount and dismount. The standover height is only 17″.
There is a front suspension fork with 60 mm of travel with lock-out. The bike is designed for riders between 4’11” and 6’2″, with a total weight capacity of 350 lbs. This is 50 lbs more capacity compared to the RadRunner 2, and RadRunner Plus made possible by the sturdier frame. The integrated rear rack is rated at 120 lbs. The ebike itself weighs in at 75.5 lbs (67.8 lb with the battery removed), and the bike is offered in a sleek gray colorway.
One slight improvement is the pannier rails for easy mounting of bags – more on that below.
Electronics, including Motor and Battery
One of the upgrades here is that the 48V, 14Ah battery is now semi-integrated. It slides into the downtube blending nicely into the bike and is easy to get on and off. This is the battery we first saw on the RadRover 6 Plus and RadCity 5 Plus. The battery includes 10 LED lights which give you an idea of the battery life remaining.
Perhaps even more exciting is that this ebike is set up for Rad’s future dual battery add-on option. The extra battery will be able to slide under the rear frame and double the range from an estimated 45 miles per charge to 90 miles.
The 750-watt brushless rear hub motor still peaks at 750 watts as prior models but has been re-engineered to provide 10% faster hill climbing. As with all Rad Power Bikes, the RadRunner 3 Plus is a Class 2 ebike with a top speed of 20 miles per hour.
You can track your speed with the upgraded dual LCD display. These show your charge indicator, speedometer, odometer, trip odometer, motor watts, headlight/taillight indicator, trip time, clock, and pedal assist level. There are 5 levels of pedal assist enaged with a 12-magnet cadence sensor. If you prefer, you can always simply use the half-twist throttle.
Components of the RadRunner 3 Plus
The RadRunner 3 Plus has the same 7-speed gearing as the Plus. The freewheel is an 11-34, and there is a 48T chainring with a Shimano Altus MD310 7s Derailleur.
One great upgrade is the brakes. While the RadRunner Plus and RadRunner 2 have mechanical brakes, the 3 Plus features Tektro Hydraulic brakes with 180 mm rotors. Power is immediately cut to the motor when the brakes are applied. The 20″x3.3″ tires are custom to Rad Kenda branded tires with K-Shield puncture protection with a reflective strip on the sidewall for increased visibility.
It has the standard front halo headlight instead of the premium headlight found on the RadRunner Plus. The lights have an auto-on feature, so you don’t have to worry about remembering to turn them on. The integrated taillight has brake light functionality and is located on the back of the rear rack. Full coverage front and rear fenders are included and Rad also upgraded to a more comfortable (and sleeker looking) saddle.
Unique to the Rad Power Bikes RadRunner is the seat can be flush with the optional rear passenger seat for a moped feel. Alternatively, the seat can be raised for optimal pedaling – it’s the best of both worlds.
The RadRunner 3 Plus meets US Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines as well as criteria from the European Committee for Standardization.
Optional RadRunner 3 Plus Accessories
Rad Power Bikes is a company that always has great accessories. There are tons of options to customize your ebike for your lifestyle. There are actually so many options that Rad offers different kits at checkout, which makes selecting accessories a little easier. You can try the “around town” kit, the “haul it all” kit, or the “essentials kit.”
Rad’s wide variety of baskets, bags, and racks also fit the RadRunner 3 plus to make it your own. One thing we really appreciate is the Thule Yep Maxi Easyfit window in the rear rack, making it that much easier to get it set up to allow for a kid’s seat.
The RadRunner 3 Plus is the premium version of prior RadRunner models which we have recommended since they launched. It has a lot of the utility of a cargo bike but isn’t as unwieldy as a true cargo ebike. Some people refer to this type of ebike as the compact SUV of ebikes. Notable upgrades include hydraulic brakes, dual LCD screens, and compatibility with future plans for a dual battery option. The motor is still a 750-watt rear hub, but it has been re-engineered for great hill-climbing power.
We’re happy to see Rad continue to add to the RadRunner lineup, and it’s great to see three RadRunners available at every price point. You can compare the specs side by side using Rad Power Bikes’ handy comparison tool.
RadRunner 3 Plus Review
Electronics (Battery, Motor, Display)
Components (Shifter, Derailleur, Fork)
RadRunner 3 Plus Pros
Moped styling with step-thru
Ideal for a variety of rider heights
Improved hill climbing ability
New quality accessories
Hydraulic disc brakes
RadRunner 3 Plus Cons
Single Color Option
Not the most powerful motor for a moped-style ebike
Premium headlight not included
No included passenger package or protective wheel skirt (RadRunner Plus includes this)