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Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 5 Spec Review 2024Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 5 Spec Review 2024

For 2024, Rad Power Bikes has updated their popular cargo e-bike, the RadWagon 4with the addition of the new RadWagon 5. In our abbreviated review of the new RadWagon 5 we will take a look at the many changes made to one of our favorite cargo e-bikes, which will make it even more family-friendly.

The basics of the Rad Power Bikes RadWagon remain unchanged: This is a cargo e-bike with a step-thru frame designed to carry as many as two passengers. Providing the muscle is a 750W brushless, geared hub motor.

While those basics remain in place, preserving the cargo e-bike’s mission and basic abilities, plenty else has changed. The RadWagon 5 features an all-new frame design, with less tubing, but with greater adjustability and a better ability to accommodate smaller riders. The wheel size has been changed from 22 in. to 20. and the battery has grown from 672Wh to 720Wh.

Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 5 Spec Review: Bike Overview

Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 5 rear rackRad Power Bikes RadWagon 5 rear rack

While Rad Power Bikes has revised plenty of features in creating the RadWagon 5, one of the most important features is the cargo e-bike’s carrying ability. The rear rack remains virtually unchanged. The full collection of Rad Power Bikes accessories that could be mounted on the RadWagon 4 can be mounted on the RadWagon 5.

Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 5 Review: Specs & Features

Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 5 drivetrainRad Power Bikes RadWagon 5 drivetrain

Frame and fork

Rad Power Bikes’s new frame design for the RadWagon 5 comes with a number of benefits. By swapping the 22-in. wheels for 20-in. wheels they gave riders several benefits. First, it lowered the cargo e-bike’s center of gravity, making it a bit easier to manage, as well as more maneuverable. It also lowered the standover height 2.6 in. Plus, 22-in. tires are incredibly hard to find unless you order them directly from Rad Power Bikes. With 20-in. wheels, owners can walk into most bike shops in the world and purchase a suitable 20-in. tire.

The wheelbase also shrank a bit, which will increase maneuverability, as well as ease of parking and transporting the RadWagon 5.

The revisions in the frame lowered the standover height as well as the minimum saddle height, which will increase its appeal with moms wrangling kids. In addition to the telescoping seat tube, the RadWagon 5 also comes with a high-rise handlebar that offers increased adjustability to help a rider find the right reach from the saddle to the bar.

Where the RadWagon 4 previously came equipped with a rigid, steel fork, the RadWagon 5 comes with a 45mm-travel suspension fork. This isn’t much travel, so it won’t so much make the road feel smoother as it will soften all the bumps, making it easier to control on rough or potholed roads.

Motor and battery

The 750W brushless, geared hub motor found on the Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 5 produces a very solid 90Nm of torque. Having sufficient torque is an important part of being able to get a load up to speed, or up a hill. The new motor is said to offer a 50 percent increase in torque over its the RadWagon 4.

The new Safe Shield battery from Rad Power Bikes is the bigger story here. Yes, it’s a larger battery than the 672Wh unit found on its predecessor, but that’s not what makes this 720Wh battery special. The battery is “potted,” which is to say, that each of the cells is surrounded by a resin that absorbs heat and prevents corrosion. It also provides insulation in the event of an accident. The opportunity for thermal runaway, the great risk of lithium-ion batteries, isn’t eliminated with this new battery, but the chance of it happening is cut.

Safe Shield is a big step for Rad Power Bikes, making them the new leader in lithium-ion battery technology in e-bikes. Potting is something that’s been done with the batteries in EVs for years; it’s about time it caught on in e-bikes.

The new Safe Shield battery is certified to UL’s 2271 battery standard, and the RadWagon 5 is certified to the complete bike standard 2849. Also of note is the fact that the RadWagon 5 can now be unlocked to go Class 3 speeds (maximum assist speed of 28 mph).

Componentry

Rad Power Bikes’s decision to switch the wheels on the RadWagon 5 from 22 in. to 20 in. is a notable change that will help riders and it was an important part of the increased sizing range, particularly at the more diminutive range of things. The 3.3-in.-wide tires possess the width necessary to offer a pleasant ride at a reasonable tire pressure without risking flats.

The 7-speed drivetrain remains unchanged from the previous edition, with a thumb shifter and an 11-34t freewheel with a roughly 310 percent gear range.

Tektro hydraulic disc brakes are paired with 180mm rotors. This is a great setup and when combined with small (20-in.) wheels, it makes for a powerful setup.

EBR’s Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 5 First Look Review:

Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 5 saddleRad Power Bikes RadWagon 5 saddle

Were two people to go on back-to-back test rides of the Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 4 and RadWagon 5, here are the differences they would experience. First, thanks to smaller wheels and a hub motor with more torque, the rider would likely notice better acceleration from a stop as well as a bit more climbing power to see them over the top of hills. They would also find that the RadWagon 5 would make slightly smaller turns, giving it a bit more agility when negotiating urban settings. It would feel plenty stable thanks to the lower center of gravity.

Families with two parents would find that adjusting the RadWagon 5 to two different adults will be easier thanks to the increased adjustment range for the seat and the high-rise handlebar that offers greater adjustability compared to the old bar.

In addition to the new, safer battery, Rad Power Bikes also gave this new model a security fob that riders will use to lock and unlock their e-bike, improving its security.

Cargo e-bikes are, by their nature, more expensive than commuters and all-terrain models. Most of it comes down to the more complicated frame design, but that’s not all. As a result, cargo e-bikes rarely go for less than $2000, so even coming close to that price point is an achievement and the RadWagon 5 does come close.

While we respect what the 22-in. wheels were meant to do for the ride quality of the RadWagon 4, replacing them with the much more common 20-in. size was a smart move. This helps buyers with both choice and availability and will cut down on the possibility that supply chain issues could result in a recall like the Rad Power Bikes experienced with the RadWagon 4. The RadWagon 5 is a well-designed cargo e-bike that can be equipped to carry kids and groceries all in the same trip.

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