Last year, I wrote about features I would like to see in the next RadExpand. As a happy owner of a RadExpand 5, I still had my wishlist for improvements. You can read that article, here. It looks like Rad Power Bikes took my advice, or somebody’s, and upgraded the RadExpand is some welcome and notable ways. Is it worth upgrading, or should you purchase the RadExpand 5 Plus over the less expensive RadExpand? Well,…

My wishlist last year included a torque sensor, included display, hydraulic brakes, and the option for front suspension. Those are all now included on the RadExpand 5 Plus, for $300 more than the RadExpand 5, which is also still available. That was another of my wishes. Rad still offers both versions of their popular folding bike.

Other advantages of the Plus model are its UL Certification, which may be required, depending upon where you live, and IPX6 water resistance.

I’ve been very happy with my RadExpand 5. It’s been reliable and durable. It’s fun to customize and add accessories, too. I don’t miss having front suspension, due to the fat tires that absorb much of the bumps in the road. If you plan to ride mostly on pavement or crushed limestone, there’s no need for suspension. I’m okay without it.

A display would also be nice. One can be purchased for the RadExpand, but it’s $99 and not as nice as the display that comes with the Plus model.

I love the UL certification for peace of mind and insurance purposes. However, Rad’s batteries have a long record of safety and the battery for the regular RadExpand 5 is built to certification standards. I’m not worrying about it burning my house down, but it is a plus that the Plus model has it.

The one feature that would compel me to choose the RadExpand 5 Plus over the base model is the torque sensor. I enjoy pedaling a bike for exercise, and a torque sensor is much better for that than a cadence sensor. It provides a more natural pedaling experience.

RadExpand 5
My RadExpand 5

Some may prefer the cadence sensor of the cheaper RadExpand, though. If you have sensitive knees, or other health conditions that benefit from less force having to be put into each pedal stroke, then a cadence sensor is a godsend.

A torque sensor gives power depending upon how much pressure you put onto the pedals, so you can have smoother takeoffs, or more power when climbing a hill, based upon how you’re pedaling.

A cadence sensor is more like an on/off switch. You’ll get the same amount of power, regardless of how hard you push down on the pedals.

Something else important to consider is the weight of each bike. The standard RadExpand 5 weighs in at 62.5 lbs, while the Plus model is 72.5 lbs. Neither are featherweights, but 10 lbs is quite a bit more when lifting a bicycle into the back of a vehicle. The weight difference is mostly due to the front suspension.

For me, I’m still content with my RadExpand 5. It’s been good to me, I’ve had a blast riding it, and it’s only a year old. If I personally were deciding between the two models today, I’d go with the Plus, for the torque sensor, improved comfort from the front suspension, display and hydraulic brakes. But then, I’d have a hard time lifting it onto a bike rack, unless it had a ramp.

---Ads---

-------------

Either way, you’re going to get a fun folding ebike. You just need to consider how you’ll be using it, and your specific needs.

You can check the both out at RadPowerBikes.com.

Categorized in:

How-to & Tips,

Last Update: June 17, 2024