If someone were to ask me what is the best affordable electric cargo bike in 2021, I’d say the RadWagon from RadPowerBikes. The reason why has as much to do with the company as the bike. When you buy a bike online from a company possibly thousands of miles away, you want to know that company has good customer service, and a good track record. Rad Power Bikes has earned that. That’s why their bikes are always a safe bet, but that doesn’t always mean their bikes are the best one for you personally.
I reviewed the RadRunner last year, and it became a favorite cruiser along the bike path. I called it my “de-stress” bike. It was impossible to be unhappy while riding it.
The range was good. It had plenty of power to take me up hills, and it felt very safe. I loved customizing it to reflect my personality and needs. It became my “de-stess” bike during those first months of Covid. I hated letting it go, but I had my Juiced HyperScorpion coming which would address the two issues I had with the RadRunner, and that was it sorely needed suspension, and I wish it went faster.
I listed the RadRunner on Ebay on a Saturday morning, and it was sold within less than 2 hours. The buyer drove all the way from Virginia to Illinois to pick it up the same day. That’s how much demand and love there is for Rad Power Bikes.
The company is a safe bet, but as I continue my search for an electric cargo bike, I’ve been comparing the RadWagon against the Blix Packa and the Eunorau Max. At the end of this article I’m going to reveal which bike I chose.
Specs of the RadWagon 4
Motor: 750 W geared hub motor
Battery: 48 V 14 Ah
Range: 25-45 miles
Gears: 7-speed, 11-34 tooth freewheel
Lights: Integrated front and rear, including brake light
Brakes: Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes, 180 mm
PAS: 5-level pedal assist
Sensor(s): Cadence sensor
Throttle: Half-twist throttle, right side
Max Speed: 20 mph
Wheels: Custom 22″
Tires: Custom 22″ x 3″
Other: Adjustable handlebar stem; telescoping seat post
Sizing: 5’1″ – 6’4″ rider heights
Min seat height: 27″
Max seat height: 37″
Step-over height: 23.6″
Payload Capacity: 350 lbs
Bike Weight: 76.7 lbs
Rear rack weight capacity: 120 lbs
Similar bikes to compare:
–Eunorau Max Cargo
–CSC Vista Cruiser
The RadWagon 4 underwent several changes from previous versions. The most notable changed include switching from a direct drive motor to a geared motor, and it uses Rad’s own custom wheel and tire size.
Switching to a geared hub motor doubled the torque to 80 Nm which is significant and twice that of the Blix Packa and Eunorau Max. Direct drive motors are more durable because they have less moving parts, but geared motors have more torque which translates into better hill climbing abilities.
The 22″ wheels allow the bike to have a lower center of gravity which is ideal for a cargo bike. Weight needs to be low for better stability. It also lowers the step-over height which is more convenient.
A possible negative aspect of the 22″ x 3″ tire size is that it’s custom, and you’ll likely have to buy tire replacements through Rad Power Bikes. I’m sure Rad will continue to carry this size for years to come, but if they’re out of stock then you’re out of luck.
But there are added benefits of the wider tire size. The bike should be more stable and better absorb some of the bumps in the road for a smoother ride.
The range is good at 25-45 miles, but it will vary depending upon your riding style and terrain. If you use the throttle or higher pedal assist levels you can expect a lower range. Also, if you have to travel up a lot of steep hills, this will lower the range.
The RadWagon has several accessories designed for it including the caboose (hand rails for riders) and the footboards. The Packa and the Max include footboards, so you’ll save a $100 right off the bat if you’ll be needing those.
As I’m writing this, most of the RadWagon’s accessories are out of stock, and therein lies my main concern of Rad Power Bikes. Their bikes and parts are routinely out of stock.
The reason for that is because there is huge demand for their products. Also, there’s just huge demand for all ebikes and their components. Nearly every company right now is affected by back ordered components. Covid-19 stopped production for a few months in 2020, and manufacturing hasn’t caught up yet here in early 2021.
Still, even before 2020, Rad’s products were often out of stock, as the company exploded in growth. I can’t knock them for that.
What I can knock them for is their tendency to not include must-need accessories in their bike prices. The RadRunner is a prime example of this. It doesn’t include fenders, and boy were they a pain to install!
Luckily, the RadWagon does come with fenders but not the footrails. By the time you start adding up all the accessories you start getting close to the price of a bike that already comes with better components.
No, you to get up to Tern GSD cargo bike prices, and by the way, the Tern GSD is the best electric bike money can buy right now, but it comes at a steep price. We’re talking $4000+.
The RadWagon is much more affordable, but it does irk me how much we have to pay for accessories. $100 for footrails? $200 for metal handrails? And Rad isn’t the only one guilty of this. I guess that’s just business.
Having said all that, the RadWagon is a safe bet. The company is sound, and not going anywhere. The bike is built well and a lot of thought went into its design.
It has the highest torque of the bikes I’ve been looking at. The wider tires will make the bike more stable to carry cargo or a passenger. I wouldn’t feel hesitant to recommend it, but…
I’m choosing the Blix Packa. I love the sleek, attractive design and its dual battery capabilities. It has the lowest step-over height which is important for me being that I’m only 5’1″.
I also live in a part of the country that doesn’t have lots of hills, so I don’t need a lot of torque. It just seems like the most approachable cargo bike of the three.
If you need more power for hills and carrying heavy cargo, I’d suggest going with the RadWagon or the Eunorau mid-drive motor option. I’m most comfortable with Rad between those two companies because of Rad’s established good business history.
Blix also has very good reviews and is an established company. I’m looking forward to reviewing the Blix Packa soon.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line, and best wishes on your electric cargo bike search.
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