Rad Power Bikes' RadRunner utility bikes seem to be popular around New York, based on what I see every day. And the company's original RadRunner is one of my favorite electric bikes. So I couldn't wait when Rad Power Bikes invited me to its Brooklyn store for an early ride of its brand-new utility bike, the $2,299 RadRunner 3 Plus (£2,199, about AU$3,700).
The RadRunner 3 Plus, which launched Wednesday, is an addition to the line rather than a replacement for the current RadRunner 2 or RadRunner Plus. It's a premium model, adding upgrades like more torque, hydraulic-disc brakes and support for a second battery that slides into a protective case at the bike's rear for riders who need more range. It's also got a longer step-through design, a higher maximum payload of up to 350 pounds and more padding on the seat. The bike itself weighs 75 pounds. It comes in one color: dark gray.
I test-rode a stock model with three hardshell lockboxes over both smooth and bumpy surfaces (welcome to New York). The bike handled well and felt solid beneath me. The 3 Plus sports a front suspension fork with a more padded seat and the same fat tires as the original Plus. The lockboxes, which were empty, were quiet going over bumps, and the display was bright and large enough to see in daylight.
Not all riders are the same size, and we all have different riding preferences. I like to pedal and use the throttle for taking off, while Rad Power CEO Mike Radenbaugh is always on the throttle. The RadRunner 3 Plus can accommodate either preference, with seven speeds and five levels of assistance. The pedal-assist and twist throttle will get you to 20 mph running off the 750-watt motor.
The second battery setup is simple. It works with the main semi-integrated battery to deliver a consistent power flow since the bike sees them as a single unit, so they discharge together.
It ships with a 2-amp charger. Two are necessary when charging both batteries, but they're removable. According to the company, riders should be able to travel about 100 miles on two fully charged batteries, and the single 48-volt battery that comes with the 3 Plus should provide approximately 25 to 45 miles on a full charge. (As always, take manufacturers' battery-life claims with a grain of salt.)
The e-bike line is compatible with many accessories, making day-to-day tasks less daunting. Rad Power Bikes revamped and added some new ones for this model to add tool-free removal. For instance, you can remove the lockboxes via a thumbscrew that slides upward. There's a new $129 Passenger Package (£129, approximately AU$190), which adds a rear seat and footpegs for those of us with children. And if you hate leaving your four-legged friend at home, you can bring them along in the Rad Trailer Pet Insert ($229, US only), a wagon trailer that's easy to add or remove.