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Rad Power RadExpand 5 Review

Last updated 
robb dorr
By
Robb Dorr,
Co-founder
Images from manufacturer's website

45 mi

RANGE

25 mph

TOP SPEED

4 hrs

CHARGE TIME

62.5 lbs

WEIGHT

Rear Hub

MOTOR TYPE

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Rad Power RadExpand 5 Review: Takeaway

A heavyweight folding electric bike that will go off-road like a mountain goat, the RadExpand 5 is a powerful e-bike that fits in your car’s trunk.

Ideal for...

Hunting or fishing
Road trips without a bike rack
Storing in small spaces
Utility at your campsite or fishing expedition
RVing

E-Bike Overview

Comfortable to ride, the RadExpand 5 is a beefy folding electric bike you can carry in your car trunk or RV on holiday.

The 4” fat tires allow increased comfort on the road and will do rough tracks or off-road stretches very well. If you want to take the bike out to hunt smaller animals or go fishing in a remote spot on a lake or river, this folding electric bike with the fat tire configuration could well be the thing.

Controlled by throttle or four levels of pedal assist, this is an electric bike you can sit back on and enjoy the ride home after a tiring day or evening. Just be aware that on throttle only, the 45-mile max range is considerably reduced to closer to 25 miles.

Reasons to Buy

We love the big unfolded dimensions of this folding electric bike — it makes you feel confident on nearly any trail. Its 750W motor will get you where you want to go quickly.

With its 4” tires, big saddle and large frame, the bike has a real presence on the road, giving you the feeling of sitting within as opposed to on it. Other features we like are the ergonomic grips and adjustable handlebars. Where it comes to riding, the seven-speed gears allow you to ride it economically, with the LCD display telling you just how much juice you have left in the battery.

Finally, almost unique among folding electric bikes is the pannier rack that comes standard. This allows you to ride it like a normal urban/commuter bike, perhaps with a pannier bag carrying your laptop or shopping. Optional extras include a front basket for more gear, a bottle holder, and a smartphone holder — little things that make riding an e-bike really work.

Things to Consider

The first weak point is rider size. Let’s face it, the maximum rider height of 5’10” is not exactly a big guy or gal, though you could be broad-shouldered and it will still carry your weight with a maximum payload of 275 lbs.

The next weak point is its own weight. In an ideal world, folding electric bikes should be lightweight to carry, for example between the train and train station entrance. At over 60 lbs, you will need to be a pretty big guy or gal to do that.

Specs & Components

Motor
750W brushless geared hub motor
Battery
672 Wh
Power delivery
Pedal assist, throttle
Frame
6061 aluminum
Gears
7-speed, 14-32t cassette
Tires
CST BFT 20" x 4.0"
Display
Rad Power Bikes custom LED display
Rider Size
4'10"- 5'10"
Maximum payload
275 lbs
Accessories
Rear pannier, lights, mudguards. Optional front basket

The specs above come from the manufacturer and may vary from what you’ve experienced. Notice something that needs correcting? Let us know.

Ratings

Power
4/5
4

The 750W rear hub motor will make easy meat of small hills, even with cargo on board. On throttle and pedal-assist modes, the power will cut out at 20 mph, which is the speed limit of many residential neighborhoods and state parks.

On throttle alone, the RadExpand may struggle on steeper hills — especially with higher cargo loads or a heavier rider. On pedal assist mode, this will be less of a problem since you’ll be contributing.

Because of the 4” tires, there will be some rolling resistance due to friction. Even full blast on a downhill stretch, you’ll be pressed to get more than 35 mph.

Range
3/5
3

Rear-hub and throttle-assist electric bikes are never as efficient as mid-drive pedal-assist machines. Even with the 625 Watt-hour battery, you’ll only get up to 45 miles on one charge.

Given the RadExpand 5’s intended use — as a foldaway commuter or RVing runabout — you won’t likely want to do 30+ mile non-stop rides in a day. As a result, the battery size works well for its intended use.

As with all e-bikes, hills can decrease the range. So can how much you use the throttle, the weight of the rider/cargo, weather conditions, and machine maintenance.

Comfort
4.5/5
4.5

Unsuited to very tall or very short riders, the one-size-fits-all RadExpand 5 is nonetheless one of the best folding electric bikes out there in terms of comfort. You’ll ride in an upright city-bike position, which should let you do many miles without getting too tired. Ergonomic rubber grips and adjustable handlebars help you find the perfect fit.

The e-bike’s CST BFT 20″ x 4.0″ tires will absorb many of the bumps in the road that might otherwise be uncomfortable due to the lack of suspension forks, and its comfortable saddle rounds off a nice riding experience.

Durability
4/5
4

Thanks to having few moving parts and the rear-hub motor, there isn’t a lot that will go wrong with the RadExpand 5. The chain and brake pads will need looking at (but not always replacing) every 750 or so miles. Keep the bike maintained well, and you can expect many thousands of miles of good use.

Rad Power Bikes offer a one-year warranty on its frames and parts like the wheels and battery, which is pretty low compared to other high-quality electric bike manufacturers. Consumables like the chain and cabling aren’t covered.

Style
4/5
4

Thanks to its funky looks, this is an e-bike that radiates fun from end to end. More chunky, its curves and overall appearance are almost comforting and reassuring. As a foldable step-thru electric bike, it’s practical without being austere.

Offered in a choice of black or white color schemes, with optional accessories like a front rack and bags, it’s a very utility-focused machine.

Our Research Methodology

We personally research and test every e-bike featured in our reviews and guides to provide accurate, data-driven recommendations. Learn how we review.

About Our Editorial Team

robb dorr
Written by Robb Dorr
Co-founder
Robb is a massive cycling enthusiast who has more than 20 years of non-motorized cycling experience. He started eBikes.org to lower the barrier of entry to cycling and reduce the intimidation people can experience when getting into the cycling world.

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