Rad Power Bikes Radster Review: Motor and Battery Upgrades, Range, and Value Explored

Dušan Ranđelović
eBicycles score

Rad Power Bikes has kicked off the 2024 cycling season with a few big surprises lined up for its fans, the biggest one of which is the release of the Radster Road and Radster Trail e-bikes.

The Radster electric bikes mark a significant step forward for the Seattle-based brand in terms of motor power, e-bike speed, safety, and the overall functionality. Rad has made a few bold moves when developing these bikes, which is already paying off.

The most significant of these are improvements in motor power (the 750W motor now offers 100 Nm of torque), the introduction of fire-resistant Safe Shield batteries, Class 3 speed capabilities, and additional safety and usability features.

Considering the $2,199 price tag, how much value do the Radster e-bikes actually offer? And which one would be better suited for your needs?

We’ll tell you all you need to know in the detailed review below.

Rad Power Bikes Radster Main Specs:

  • MSRP: $2,199
  • Motor: 750W hub, 100 Nm (28 mph top speed)
  • Battery: 720 Wh (48V, 15 Ah)
  • Drivetrain: 8-speed Shimano
  • Range: 25-65 Miles
  • Tires: 29″ x 2.2″ (Road), 27.5″ x 3.0″ (Trail)
  • Brakes: Hydraulic dual-piston disc brakes
  • Weight: 74.5 lb (Road), 77.5 lb (Trail)
  • Payload Capacity: 320 lb (Road), 370 lb (Trail)
  • Sizing: Regular – 4’11” – 5’8″ / Large – 5’7″ – 6’4″


Learn More on RADPOWERBIKES.com

Rad Power Bikes Radster Full Review

woman pushing a green radster trail electric bike

The Radster Road and Trail e-bikes offer some significant improvements compared to the rest of Rad Power Bikes’ lineup. However, they don’t tap into unexplored areas of the e-biking market.

Instead, these e-bikes serve similar types of riders as RadCity Plus and RadRover Plus e-bikes—urban commuters and adventurers with a knack for light off-roading.

With a price tag of $2,199, the Radster models offer solid value for a well-equipped, versatile e-bike.

However, the Radster does things slightly differently, and slightly better. It has better-optimized 29″ x 2.2″ tires for road riding and 27.5″ x 3.0″ tires for off-roading and gravel riding.

With more power, a higher maximum range, smooth and natural-feeling torque sensors, and a better display and accessories, the riding experience is much more refined compared to that offered by the RadCity and RadRover.

We’ll dive deeper into all of these aspects in the detailed review below.

Frame, Fork, Sizing, and Builds

man riding a blue radster road electric bike

As we’ve already mentioned, the Radster is available in two variations: Road and Trail. The only real differences between these two are the wheels and tires—the Road version comes with 29″ x 2.2″ tires, whereas the Trail version comes with 27.5″ x 3.0″ tires. There are a few other differences regarding accessories and handlebar shape, but everything else is pretty much the same.

Both versions of the Radster are built around an aluminum frame and feature an 80 mm SR Suntour fork, which is pretty standard for all Rad Power Bikes.

While this fork is perfect for urban riding, it’s not ideal for off-roading. It would be better if the Road Trail came with slightly more travel, but even 80 mm will suffice for gravel roads and hardpacked dirt roads.

In terms of sizing, the Radster is offered in two frame sizes—Regular and Large. The Regular size fits riders 4’11” – 5’8″ tall, whereas the Large size is suitable for riders 5’7″ – 6’4″ tall. That means that pretty much anyone can ride comfortably.

More Powerful Rear Hub Motor

What we are most excited about regarding the Rad Power Bikes Radster e-bikes is the new 750W rear hub motor. It is now much more powerful than before, offering up to 100 Nm of torque, compared to only 60 Nm previously.

This difference in torque is most noticeable when climbing, which means that the Radster won’t struggle tackling steep hills, despite its gargantuan ~75 lb weight. The acceleration is also improved, so you’ll be able to reach the 28 mph maximum speed much faster.

The Radster’s powerful new 750W motor delivers a noticeable boost in torque, making hills and quick acceleration a breeze.

The more powerful motor is now also paired with torque sensors, which makes the pedal assistance a lot smoother. The torque sensing technology complements your own effort, adding a corresponding amount of power on top of it, based on which PAS level you’ve chosen. This is a much more advanced system compared to speed and cadence sensing. Learn more about this in our torque vs. cadence sensors guide.

Finally, the LCD screen is also updated. It’s now larger, full color, and easier and more intuitive to use.

Safe Shield Fire-Resistant Batteries

a closeup of a radster fire-resistant safe shield battery

Battery-related e-bike fires have become a massive problem lately, with more and more cases recorded across the US. In New York City alone, there were 267 e-bike fires in 2023, which is a 20% increase compared to 2022, according to the Washington Examiner. Sadly, these accidents led to 150 injuries and 18 deaths over the course of the year.

That’s why Rad Power Bikes has equipped the Radster with Safe Shield fire-resistant batteries. This technology uses a thermal-resistant resin coating on individual battery cells to prevent thermal runaway. If a cell malfunctions, the resin will contain the heat and fire, preventing it from spreading to other cells and engulfing the entire battery pack.

In addition to the Safe Shield technology, the Radster batteries also offer 720 Wh of capacity, which is more compared to other Rad Power Bikes models. This also results in an improved range, so you can expect to ride between 25 and 65 miles on a single charge.

The only downside is the long charging time of 7.5 hours, but this can be mitigated by charging your e-bike overnight.

Basic Shimano and Tektro Components

a closeup of tektro hydraulic disc brakes on the Radster ebike

Unsurprisingly, considering the relatively affordable $2,199 price tag, the Radster’s components did not impress us.

You get an 8-speed Shimano Altus rear derailleur combined with an 11-34T freewheel and a 50T crankset. This means that the easiest gear is a 34T x 50T, which is not super low, but you’ll still be able to climb easily thanks to the punchy 100 Nm motor.

Moreover, the Tektro hydraulic disc brakes are basic, but they are more than powerful enough to give you a peace of mind even when riding along at the 28 mph top speed.

As we’ve briefly mentioned above, the SR Suntour 80 mm fork is pretty basic and rather heavy, but it does its job well. It will make your rides more comfortable and enjoyable by filtering out vibrations and road chatter.

Smart Locking and Turn Signals

turn signals and smart locking on the Radster

More and more e-bike brands are equipping their bikes with turn signals and other commuter-friendly functionalities, which is exactly what Rad Power Bikes did with the Radster.

You get a bright 200-lumen headlight paired with a rear light with turn signals, improving your safety on city rides by allowing you to let others know where you’re going.

Smart features like integrated turn signals and a locking display give the Radster extra peace of mind around town.

The LCD display also lets you secure your e-bike by locking the controls with a keycard or by entering a personal security code. This way, nobody can mess with your bike while you’re away.

Of course, you also get USB charging to keep your devices topped up. The bike also features IPX6 weather-protection, so you can confidently ride come rain or shine.

Is There Room for Improvement?

Even though there’s a lot to like and even love about the Rad Power Bikes Radster e-bikes, there’s also some room for improvement. That’s not a big surprise considering the $2,199 price tag.

The first thing we’d improve is the charging time, as it takes 7.5h to charge the battery from empty to full. That means that if you forget to charge the battery overnight, you may need to skip riding the day after.

We also think the Radster Trail should come with a better fork with more travel, which would differentiate it more from its Road sibling and make off-road riding more realistic.

Finally, you should keep in mind that the Radster weighs around 75 lb, which is pretty heavy, even though not surprising, considering the fully equipped setup.

Other Rad Power Bikes’ Models We Have Reviewed:


What’s Our Verdict on the Radster E-Bikes?

rad power bikes radster trail version equipped with accessories

The Radster Road and Trail are big wins for Rad Power Bikes.

They deliver serious upgrades over previous models – more power, improved safety features, and a smoother ride overall.

If you want a powerful, versatile e-bike ready for commuting or tackling light trails, the Radster family hits the mark.

Rad Power Bikes tackles safety head-on with the Radster’s Safe Shield fire-resistant battery technology.

Of course, there’s still room for improvement. The 7.5h long charging time is a slight drawback, and trail riders might want a beefier fork than the stock 80mm SR Suntour one.

But at $2,199, the value is undeniable. If the Radster fits your lifestyle, you won’t be disappointed.


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