Fifth generation Rad fat-tire folder makes for lighter ebike gear hauling
Back in 2016, Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes combined urban cargo hauling, off-road adventuring and folding-frame convenience for the RadMini ebike. For its fifth generation outing, the workhorse has lost weight, been given more features and treated to a new name.
Rad Power Bikes says that the new name – the RadExpand 5 – was chosen as a "nod to the ebike's expanded capabilities" and that the redesigned ride was developed with the help of input from the Rad community.
This all adds up to a 6061 aluminum low-step frame with reworked geometry for better handling, and designed to accommodate riders from 4.8 to 5.8 ft (1.47 - 1.77 m) in height – though taller folks can opt for a longer seat post.
Power for pedal assistance over four levels or via twist-grip throttle comes from a proprietary 750-W geared hub motor to the rear, and Rad has thrown in a seven-speed derailleur for ride flexibility. The 672-Wh battery sat in front of the seat tube is reckoned good for up to 45 miles (72.4 km) of per-charge range.
The company's engineers have managed to shave almost 5 lb (2.2 kg) off the overall weight, making the RadExpand tip the scales at 62.5 lb (28.3 kg) for an easier carry up the steps to the office or lift into the trunk of the car. Folded dimensions haven't been given, but Rad does say that the ebike can be stored "in the trunk of a car, the back of an RV, and even in the hold of a boat" between rides.
For improved rider comfort, the RadExpand comes with adjustable high-rise handlebars that can move forward or back, fitted with ergonomic Kryton grips. The saddle has been upgraded too, again for improved comfort, and comes with an under-seat handle for maneuvering when folded.
The ebike still rides on 20-inch wheels wrapped in puncture-resistant fat tires, but they're reported wider than before for improved handling and a smoother ride – though the spring fork of old has been replaced by a rigid steel one so you might get more a feel for bumpy terrain than previously. Stopping power comes from mechanical disc brakes with 180-mm rotors.
There's a heavy duty rear rack for hauling up to 55 lb (25 kg) of work tools, camping gear or groceries, and users have the option to add a front rack or basket to carry 30 lb (14 kg) more cargo. Full fenders are installed front and back as standard, the integrated LED headlight and tail-light automatically illuminate when the ebike is powered on for day and night visibility, and the rear light doubles as a brake light too.
The RadExpand 5 is available now in black or white for US$1,299 (two hundred bucks cheaper than 2020's RadMini Step-Thru 2), with a European release pegged for April. The video below has more.
Product page: RadExpand 5