When shopping in the affordable electric cargo bike category, you’ll likely come across the RadWagon from the ever popular Rad Power Bikes and the Eunorau (pronounced You-no-row) Max-Cargo. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between these two popular electric cargo bikes, so you can make the best choice for you and your family. You might want to also check out a comparison of the RadWagon 4 and the Blix Packa.
First, let’s just take a look at the specs.
|Motor||Kuake 750-W Nominal; 1000W Peak Direct Drive; 40 Nm Torque||Bafang 750-W Peak Geared Hub; 80 Nm Torque|
|Battery||48 V 11.6 Ah, Yiklik Brand||48 V 14 Ah|
|Range||Up to 30 Miles||Up to 45 Miles|
|Top Speed||20 MPH||20 MPH|
|Payload Capacity||440 lbs||350 lbs|
|Minimum Seat Height||32″||27″|
|Bike Weight||72 lbs||76.7 lbs|
|Pedal Assist||5-Levels, Cadence Sensor||5-Levels, Cadence Sensor|
|Throttle||Yes, half-twist right side||Yes; half-twist right side|
|Lights||Front/Rear Integrated||Front/Rear Integrated|
|Display||Backlit, Full Color||2.75″ Backlit, LCD|
|Crankset||48T Chain Ring; 170 mm crank arms||46T Chain Ring; 170 mm crank arms|
|Gearing||Shimano Altus 7-Speed; 11-34T||Shimano Acera 7-Speed 11-34T|
|Tire Size||24″ x 2.4″||22″ x 3.0″|
Some important things to take away from the specs is that the Max-Cargo has a true 750 watt 1000 watt peak motor. It is assumed that Rad uses 500 watt nominal 750 watt peak motors, though they don’t list it as such. However, we do know that the RadWagon 4 has 80 Nm of torque with its Bafang geared hub motor, and the relatively unknown Kuake branded direct drive motor the Max-Cargo has 40 Nm of torque.
This means that the RadWagon with its higher torque should perform better on hills while the Eunorau Cargo-Max has regenerative charging capabilities from its direct drive motor. Direct drive motors tend to be more durable over time since they have fewer moving parts to wear. Direct drive motors are usually quieter than geared hub motors too.
Both bikes offer some adjustability for different rider heights and different riding styles. The RadWagon has a telescoping seat post which can put the minimum seat height all the way down to 27″ and as high as 37″. It also has a tool-free adjustable handlebar. For shorter riders the RadWagon has the more ideal specs not just because of the minimum seat height but also because the reach is less than the Cargo-Max.
The Cargo-Max has an adjustable handlebar that’s also telescoping which is great for taller riders or for switching between a more aggressive posture or one that is more upright. The stem also collapses to reduce the height. This is useful for transporting the bike in the back of a SUV.
The Cargo-Max is a little bit lighter (72 pounds compared to 76.7 pounds of the RadWagon) and shorter (76″ compared to 78.7″). Neither would be easy to lift nor transport but the Cargo-Max wins on specs for the bike that would be a little easier to lift.
The cranksets of each bike are very similar though the RadWagon has a little better quality derailleur in the Shimano Acera. The Cargo-Max has a slightly larger chain ring which would give the bike a slightly higher gear ratio.
A big difference is in tire size. Rad developed a custom tire size for the RadWagon 4 with their 22″ x 3.0″ almost fat-tire dimensions. The Max-Cargo uses the more standard 24 ” x 2.4″.
The shorter tires of the RadWagon helps bring the bike lower to the ground thus improving stability with a lower center of gravity. This is super useful for a cargo bike that may be carrying a passenger or two or hauling fairly heavy loads.
The wider width of the tire also adds to the stability and helps absorb some of the bumps in the road.
Neither bike has front suspension, but that’s typically not offered on cargo bikes because a rigid fork will provide better stability. You don’t want the bike bouncing up and down when you’re carrying a heavy load.
The load capacity is higher on the Max-Cargo with 440 pounds compared to the 350 pound capacity of the RadWagon, but I have a feeling the RadWagon is capable of carrying more than 350 pounds.
The Cargo-Max has a color display, but honestly I prefer the LCD of the RadWagon. They’re much easier to see in daylight. The RadWagon display also has a type-A USB port which is handy.
Range is also notably different between the two bikes. Rad wins with the higher capacity battery. The Cargo-Max lists its range of up to 30 miles while the RadWagon can go as much as 45 miles.
Both bikes use mechanical disk brakes. I’d prefer to see hydraulic disc brakes on cargo bikes, but the mechanical will get the job done.
Both bikes are Class 2 ebikes which means they have a throttle and the max speed is capped at 20 mph. That’s plenty for a cargo bike.
Since the appeal of both bikes is likely that of being able to transport kids on the back, child seats are compatible. Both can hold two child seats. You’ll want to make sure you check which brands are compatible with each bike. For the Rad, I know Thule child seats will work. Rad even sells them on their site.
Accessories and Price
For accessories the RadWagon wins on the number of different available accessories but the Max-Cargo wins on price. For $199 you can get the front platform, basket, and passenger railing on the Max-Cargo. It also comes with running boards which Rad charges $99 more. Rad’s Caboose, handrails for child passengers goes for $199 by itself.
I wasn’t able to find replacement batteries on Eunarau’s website, but it’s not proprietary and would be easy to replace when the time comes, or if you would prefer a higher amp hours for extended range.
Most of Rad’s ebikes use their same branded battery which is great if you or another household member owns a Rad.
On total price for the bike and the accessories I would need, Eunorau beats Rad by quite a margin.
If I were to just buy the RadWagon without any accessories the price including tax is $1805. I can buy the Max-Cargo with running boards which are included and the rear grab cage, a large basket, and a front rack for a total of $1706. That’s with a 3% coupon code. The RadWagon with the same type of accessories would add another $426 for a total of $2231. That’s $525 more than the Max-Cargo.
Of course these prices can change and sales tax may be different where you live. Both companies offer free shipping for their bikes in most of the United States. You may have to pay shipping for accessories though.
The Bottom Line
Pros of the RadWagon
- Well-known brand
- Lots of accessories
- Higher re-sale value
- Highly adjustable seat post (good for short and tall riders)
- Shorter reach for comfortable upright riding position
- 3″ wide tires for increased stability
- Bike sits lower to the ground for increased stability
- More torque than Max-Cargo due to geared hub motor (better hill climbing ability)
Cons of the RadWagon
- Proprietary tire size (you’ll have to buy from Rad)
- More expensive components compared to Eunorau
- Higher overall costs when equipped with components
Pros of the Max-Cargo
- You get more for a lower price
- Collapsible stem for storage or transport
- Telescoping stem for height adjustment
- Affordable accessories, especially when purchased with the bike
- Longer warranty (2 years on motor and battery compared to 1 year for Rad)
- Standard tire size (easier to find tires and tubes)
- Non-proprietary battery so you can shop around for price
- A little lighter and shorter than the RadWagon
- A true 750 watt motor (1000 watt peak); regenerative braking
- Quieter motor
- The overall price for the bike plus accessories is very attractive
Cons of the Max-Cargo
- Not as well-known brand in the United States
- Less known about the bike (not many reviews)
- Less torque than the RadWagon
- No bottle cage mounts
For me, it comes down to a matter of trust. I know Rad’s track record is very good it terms of customer support. They’re also the largest ebike retailer in the United States and will be around for many years to come. Eunorau is relatively new but making a good name for themselves with some very attractive and capable electric bike models, as the company continues to grow.
Whichever bike you choose, either would be a very capable cargo bike that you (and maybe a passenger or two) will likely have a ton of fun riding.