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Rad Power's RadRunner is the compact cargo bike you want

Starting at $1,299, the rugged little e-bike has a lot of charm and a lot of accessories.

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Sarah Tew

RadRunner is the latest e-bike from Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes. This pedal-assist/throttle utility bike is the company's seventh and also happens to be its most affordable at $1,299. The single-gear bike's 750-watt motor can haul and hits a top speed of 20 mph via its twist-grip throttle or using one of its four levels of pedal assist.

The bike's 48-volt, 14-Ah battery has a key lock that both starts the bike and secures the battery to frame -- a feature I appreciated having while zipping around the city. The custom puncture-resistant 20-inch Kenda tires made going over the bumps of New York's streets less painful and they also have reflective hits on the walls for extra safety. For increased visibility, the RadRunner is equipped with a headlight and a recessed tail light that brightens when applying the brakes. Speaking of, Rad Power uses dual 180mm disc brakes making stops painless, but are a little squeaky when wet.     

The optional rear flip-down foot pegs and bench-style seat make it easy for someone to hop on, so I took my kids for a few rides and they loved it and I loved having that assistance when I came across hills. The main seat is uniquely shaped and takes some getting used to (at least for me). What's nice is that you can drop it so it fits flush with the rear seat to give you one long seat to let your passenger scoot closer.  

The low-step frame on the RadRunner makes it comfortable for just about anyone to get on and ride. The sturdy frame and Bafang brushless motor support a weight capacity up to 300 pounds. Plus, the dual-leg centered kickstand keeps it stable when you and your passenger are getting on. 

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No flashy displays here. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Since the RadRunner is a comparatively inexpensive utility e-bike, you won't find any flashy displays or speedometer and the battery level is indicated by simple light dots as well as the ride mode. But, from its comfortable ergonomic grips to single-speed drivetrain, the bike handled very well and ran smoothly. The overall package got a lot of looks and inquiries as I rode it around the city. 

The bike is fully customizable with a wide selection of accessories. For instance, the model we received shipped with a rear bench seat, footpegs, fenders and wheel shields to prevent anyone's foot from going into the rear wheel.  

The Rad Power RadRunner comes in two colors -- black and forest green and will be available to order starting Sept. 10. In addition to the US, it will also be available in Canada and Europe.