Rad Has Done it Again: RadWagon 4 Review

RadWagon 4 Review

Our 2018 RadWagon has just shy of 4,000 miles which is why I was excited to do a RadWagon 4 review. The RadWagon 4 is now on its third iteration. The original RadWagon sported a steel frame. Then in 2018 Rad Power Bikes completely redesigned the RadWagon with an aluminum frame. The result was a much nicer looking cargo ebike in my opinion. And those changes convinced me it was time to jump into the ebike world. Note that in 2019 there were only incremental changes to the Rad Power Bikes RadWagon and the frame remained the same.

In May 2020, Rad Power Bikes released the RadWagon 4, redesigning the bike for the second time. This time, they opted for completely new wheel sizes and moved to the 750 Watt Bafang geared hub motor that is found on the majority of the other Rad models. The new wheel size required a brand new frame design and at the same time, Rad Power Bikes refreshed the accessories available for the RadWagon.

RadWagon 4 Pricing

When we purchased our 2018 RadWagon it was priced at $1,599 which at the time made it the most expensive model offered by Rad Power Bikes. At some point, the company decreased the price to $1,499 to put it in line with all of the other models (again, at the time). At the $1,499 price, I believed it was the best value ebike in the Rad Power Bikes fleet. Keep in mind that pre-2020, many of the Rad Power Bikes electric bikes did not include fenders, but the RadWagon always had.

When the RadWagon 4 was released Rad Power Bikes went with introductory (pre-order) pricing of $1,499. In late summer the price increased to $1,599. Once fall hit and those who pre-ordered the RadWagon 4 started receiving their bikes Rad Power Bikes increased the price to $1,699. This matches the price of the RadRunner Plus. Rad Power Bikes also increased the price of two of their other ebikes.

While of course, we’d all like the spend less, the RadWagon 4 is still the best value cargo electric bike on the market. It benefits from being the third iteration and Rad Power Bikes’ significant scale. You also have the option of purchasing accessories from Rad and not to mention the unrivaled customer support.

RadWagon 4 Pros and Cons

The goal of the smaller tires was to decrease the overall height of the bike making it more stable. While this difference can be felt when loading cargo and kids on the back of you RadWagon it isn’t quite as pronounced as I had imagined. The tires are 22″ by 3″, not exactly a common tire size (20″ or 24″ are more prevalent). This was probably the biggest complaint I’ve seen about the RadWagon 4. At this point, you’ll be hard-pressed to find tires or tubes from a third party online.

Rad Power Bikes has said that they are committed to keeping both tires and tubes in stock (check to see if they are in stock here). I believe Rad will deliver on their promise once things calm down in the supply chain for bikes generally. They have a lot to lose if they can’t keep these items in stock. I’m also hopeful that third parties might fill any gaps.

One of the benefits of the new wheel size is the 3-inch fat tires. While not as wide as the 4-inch tires found on the RadRover they do provide extra stability and cushion – a nice benefit since the RadWagon lacks a suspension fork.

As I mentioned earlier, the motor was the other big change for 2020 and I appreciated the extra torque of the 750-watt bafang motor. The previous models did include a direct drive motor which allowed for regenerative braking. However, regenerative braking in my experience never added a significant amount of extra range and I’d much rather have nearly double the torque.

One other downside to the RadWagon 4 is that it no longer comes with running boards. These are available as an optional $99 accessory. If you’re hauling kids either the running boards or the footpegs (sold for $25/set) are absolutely a necessary accessory.

Comfort

Rad Power Bikes included a new adjustable stem on the RadWagon 4. What makes this stem unique is that is its tool-less adjustability. If you have multiple riders in the family it is nice to be able to adjust the stem easily. Note that you do need to move the LCD screen out of the way slightly to make adjustments.

Another benefit of the new frame geometry is the lower standover height, which is 2.4 inches less than the standover height on the previous generation. In order to make this possible with the new frame, Rad also moved to a telescoping seatpost. On the plus side, the 375 mm maximum length is capable of accommodating riders in a huge height range, from 5’1″-6’4″. On the downside, this limits your ability to install a suspension seatpost. See my post on RadWagon 4 accessories for more on one option that might work.

The swept-back handlebars allow for a more upright riding style. The adjustable stem allows you to change just how upright you want to ride. Many people prefer the higher adjustment, as it lends itself towards a more laid back or cruising riding style as opposed to being hunched over.

Performance

The RadWagon isn’t going to win any ebike races. This is not to say that it isn’t able to achieve speeds of 20 mph without too much effort, it is just less nimble than a standard frame ebike. I view it as the minivan of ebikes. With the lack of performance and speed, the RadWagon makes up for with capability. The frame is a beast, capable of hauling kids, groceries, or anything else you can dream up. The RadWagon 4 weighs 76.7 lb, a factor that should certainly be considered before purchasing. Total payload capacity is 350 lb and the rear rack capacity is 120 lb.

RadWagon 4 Accessories

Part of the allure of the RadWagon 4 is the number of accessories that Rad offers. Of course you can always buy your own accessories elsewhere, it’s nice to know that Rad Power Bikes’ website is a one-stop-shop. These accessories include deckhands (for passengers), deckpads, caboose, Thule Yepp Maxi (my favorite), front rack, large/small baskets, panniers, delivery bags, pegs and the running boards. Being able to customize your RadWagon is what makes this ebike so versatile.

It’s worth noting that the included rear deck boards have noticeably improved. Not only do they seem higher quality but they now are two separate pieces. This allows you to take one off for say a Thule Yepp Maxi and leave the other deck board attached for the other passenger. It’s these touches that really make the RadWagon 4 stand out.

Besides the iconic orange that Rad Power Bikes is known for, the RadWagon 4 is also available in black and white. While I appreciate the sleekness and limousine-esque of the black, my preference has always been the high vis frame colors. With any color you choose I guarantee you’ll be impressed once you see it in person.

RadWagon 4 Review Summary

Other aspects of the RadWagon are similar to other ebikes in Rad’s lineup. From the mechanical disc brakes (180 mm rotors) to the integrated front/rear lights, twist throttle, included fenders, 7-speed shifter and of course the 14 Ah battery with Samsung cells. I am not exaggerating when I say that the RadWagon 4 is the best value cargo ebike on the market today. There are few, if any options below the $2,000 price point and I haven’t found an electric bike brand that can match Rad Power Bikes’ support.

If you’re looking to purchase a RadWagon 4 please consider using my affiliate link which makes reviews like this possible. Below is my full video RadWagon 4 review.