Rad Power Bikes' RadTrike Brings Electric Mobility to More People
This electric tricycle is a great option for people with specific needs and also for those who can't ride a bicycle.
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Joseph KaminskiSenior Associate Technology Editor / Reviews
When not juggling the dual demands of parenthood and playing basketball, Joseph is a life-long Manhattanite who can be found testing the latest tech in the CNET Labs and developing new benchmarks and testing methodologies.
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There are plenty of one- and two-wheeled electric rideables, but not everyone feels comfortable or safe riding one, and accessibility can be an issue, too. On the other hand, the three-wheeled RadTrike from Rad Power Bikes combines the convenience of an e-bike with the stability of a light electric vehicle.
We got an early hands-on test ride of the RadTrike with Rad Power Bikes' founder Mike Radenbaugh in a secret underground location. The RadTrike has been in the works for some time because one of the company's first customers was unable to ride a traditional bike for health reasons. The electric tricycle addresses the needs of those who require more stability and comfort. It's also great for those who have yet to learn how to ride a standard two-wheel bicycle.
The RadTrike ships in two parts and has a collapsible handle, making it easy to assemble and store. The low step-through frame makes for easy mounting and dismounting. The frame is made from steel and can support up to 415 pounds. As with other Rad Power Bikes, expect plenty of accessories to make day-to-day errands less tedious. The demo units I tested had everything from rear-view mirrors to front and rear baskets and hand warmers, and one Trike even had a prototype canopy.
The seat was comfortable and had a height-adjustable backrest. You'll find the same 48-volt battery that powers its other bikes coupled with a 750-watt motor; riders can expect to get anywhere from 20 to 35 miles distance depending on payload and speed. Speaking of speed, the Trike has five levels of assist and its throttle gets the Trike up to 14 mph; it even has reverse.
It was a fun ride, and it was cool riding around indoors. But for anyone unfamiliar with riding a large tricycle, when you come into the turns, it's safer to slow down or just coast, and keep your feet on the pedals. That was no different with the RadTrike. Otherwise, it handled nicely and I could easily see someone going for this for in-town errands instead of a car.