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Radio Flyer L885 Review

robb dorr
By
Robb Dorr,
Co-founder
Taylor Moon
By
Taylor Moon,
Contributing Editor
Images from manufacturer's website

40 mi

RANGE

20 mph

TOP SPEED

10 hrs

CHARGE TIME

73 lbs

WEIGHT

Rear Hub

MOTOR TYPE

Sponsors keep us charged up

Radio Flyer L885 Review: Takeaway

The Flyer™ L885 is the wallet-friendly answer to your cargo-hauling needs. This e-bike shines as an affordable long-tail cargo bike with remarkable customization options, making it your versatile, everyday companion. The careful design sets it apart – from the customizable rear rack to the “mullet” wheel setup that enhances stability for heavy loads.

With its robust 6061 Aluminum frame accommodating a removable battery and the potential for an extra one, the L885 offers impressive range potential. Quality Shimano components and reliable Tektro brakes underscore its durability.

However, there are some trade-offs. Its weight of 73 lbs can affect the range. Additionally, the motor does emit more noise than some e-bikes. The chain tensioner can add to road noise as well. Yet, for those who appreciate a budget-friendly cargo e-bike that can tackle steep inclines and carry a diverse range of cargo, the Flyer™ L885 is an exciting ride. It’s your affordable ticket to a world of customizable cargo transport and family adventures.

Best For

The Flyer™ L885 is an excellent choice for cost-conscious adventurers who want to navigate the urban jungle while hauling cargo, whether it’s groceries, work gear, or even the kids. Its customizability and robust construction make it ideal if you enjoy tailoring your ride to suit your unique needs.

Moreover, if you’re unfazed by a bit of motor noise and appreciate an affordable long-tail cargo e-bike that can conquer steep hills and carry heavy loads, this bike is for you.

Flyer™ L885 Overview

Assembly

The assembly process for this e-bike wasn’t overly complex, but it did require a bit more effort than your typical e-bike setup, especially when attaching the front rack and securing the Kid & Cargo Carrier to the rear. While these additional steps may add a bit of assembly time, they’re well worth it for the versatility they bring.

If you’re less-than-confident in your abilities to assemble a bike, take it to your neighborhood bike shop, or have it assembled for you using VeloFix which has partnered with Flyer™ to fully assemble your bike and deliver it to your door.

Frame

The Flyer™ L885 boasts a rock-solid frame constructed from 6061 Aluminum, a material renowned for its durability and lightweight properties. This frame is more than just a solid foundation; it’s designed with practicality in mind. Within the downtube, you’ll find a removable battery that’s very neatly integrated.
And one of the most exciting features of the frame is the additional battery space it offers. This strategic design element allows for a second battery, potentially doubling the e-bike’s range. This upgrade takes the Flyer™ L885 from a claimed range of 30-50 miles to an impressive 100 miles!

L885 frame provides a space for an extra battery
The frame of the L885 includes a place to mount a second battery for extended range, offering a claimed 100 miles total range.

Available in four vibrant colors — black, red, white, and blue (as American as apple pie).

To accommodate different riders, the Flyer™ L885 frame comes in various sizes to ensure a comfortable fit for a range of heights. The small frame suits those between 4’10” and 5’8″, while the medium frame is perfect for riders from 5’1″ to 6’2″. We opted for the large frame during our test rides, comfortably accommodating riders between 5’8″ and 6’6″.

Motor

Now, let’s zoom in on the powerhouse at the heart of the Flyer™ L885 – its 500W rear hub brushless motor. This robust motor has no trouble handling the weight, propelling a 200 lb rider along with an additional 50 lb of cargo. During our rigorous hill climb test, the Flyer™ L885 showcased its might and earned one of the top spots among the slew of e-bikes we’ve reviewed.

A noteworthy detail: This motor emits more noise than other e-bikes we’ve recently tested. While the sound may deter some riders, it’s important to note that this minimal noise does not impact the overall performance of the Flyer™ L885. The extra power you get from this motor more than compensates for the extra noise.

Flyer L885 cassette from Shimano

The Flyer™ L885 is a Class 2 e-bike, which typically restricts speed to 20 mph, but it managed to raise our eyebrows by reaching speeds of up to 24.4 mph when using the throttle. This impressive speed highlights the L885’s robust power, and it’s completely evident when riding on flat terrain.
However, remember that it’s a heavier e-bike, weighing in at 73 lbs, which means you’ll need a bit more power to get it moving and experience that natural bike-like feel. But once you’re cruising, you’ll appreciate the power at your fingertips.

Controller

The Flyer™ L885 keeps it simple with an easy-to-read LCD display. You’ll get the lowdown on your speed, battery juice, and pedal assist levels, plus an odometer and light indicator.
The pedal assist comes to life with a cadence sensor. But here’s the scoop: during our first spin, we had a teensy issue with the controller. The odometer and speedometer readings weren’t quite on point.

No biggie, though!

We gave the Flyer™ customer support team a shout-out, and they had our back. Within a day, we had a date with Velofix, who swung by super quick to swap out the part. The fix-up took 30 minutes, and the L885 was back in action, good as new.

What was the issue? A malfunctioning PCM (don’t sweat it if you don’t know what that means) had to be replaced. These kinds of things happen with e-bikes, and this experience highlights how crucial great customer service is when dealing with direct-to-consumer e-bike outfits. Flyer™ doesn’t drop the ball on this one.

Plus, they throw in a 30-day risk-free trial. That’s like an extended test ride, which is music to the ears of any e-biker.

Battery

Now, let’s talk battery business. The Flyer™ L885 packs a 48V 15Ah (687Wh) UL-tested Lithium-Ion Samsung 50E battery, complete with 21700 cells for that extra oomph. It fits snugly into the downtube, like a well-kept secret.

L885 charge port
The easy-to-access charge port let’s you charge the L885’s battery in our out of the frame. Convenient!

But here’s the deal – this battery isn’t a featherweight. It’s got some heft, but that’s no surprise considering the watt-hours it’s packing. We took it for a spin, and the battery gave us a decent 20-mile run before hitting the 50% charge mark. That puts our estimated range on a single charge of about 40 miles. That’s smack in the middle of the claimed range.

Obviously, things like weather, terrain, and cargo weight, as well as how aggressively you ride the e-bike will impact your range. You may not always get the same results from the same bike every time, but for most riders, 40-50 miles per charge is more than enough.

Drivetrain

Now, if you plan to roll with the Flyer™ L885 for the long haul, especially with a cargo load, here’s a hot tip: snag that extra battery for $500. That way, you’ll be riding without worrying about those pit stops (for up to 100 miles).

Alright, let’s shift gears and dive into the drivetrain. The Flyer™ L885 comes fully loaded with all Shimano components (and that’s a win in our book). You see, Shimano is a big name in the game, and almost any bike mechanic can give it a good once-over when needed.

L885 rear motor and drivetrain
The drivetrain on the L885 isn’t the flashiest, but it is Shimano and the 500W motor makes up for whatever power the gears can’t provide.

Now, if your stomping grounds include some city slopes that could give San Francisco a run for its money, you might want to think about upgrading the drivetrain. A little larger gearing ratio for those uphill battles could make a world of difference. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself giving more throttle, which can nibble at your range.

The drivetrain features a 44T chainring and 170 mm cranks up front, and when you kick in some pedal assist and those handy 7 gears, it’s a breeze to pedal. We found ourselves cruising in PAS levels 2 or 3 and hanging out in the middle of the cassette most of the time.

Here’s something worth noting: with that extended tail on the bike, you get an extra-long chain. But they’ve got that covered with a chain tensioner wheel that’s neatly tucked underneath the chainstay. Which is all fine and dandy but does chime in with a bit of chatter during the ride — nothing to stress about, just a little something to keep in mind.

Brakes

Tektro mechanical disc brakes are doing the job here, and they’re packing a punch with 180 mm rotors. Trust us; they provide more than enough stopping power for this heavyweight e-bike.

One thing we’ve got a soft spot for is the Tektro brakes’ integrated bell. It’s perfectly positioned for your index finger to give it a ring (and that little “ching-ching” it belts out is simply delightful).

L885 Tektro brake lever
The Tektro brakes on the L885 provide plenty of stopping power, plus… there’s a bell! *ring ring*

These brakes are the real deal. Stopping power is solid, and we never felt like we were playing a game of ‘will we stop in time?’. Heck, we even managed to pull off a couple of skids just for the thrill of it. So yeah, you can put your trust in these brakes, no question.

When stopping under heavy payload the brakes did their job but took us longer to stop, obviously. Don’t expect to stop on a dime when you’re heavy-hauling, and learn how your bike performs under stress so that you can safely stop.

Wheels and Tires

The Flyer™ L885 rocks a unique “mullet” setup. Up front, you’ve got a beefy 26”x2.6” wheel and a sturdy 20”x2.6” wheel in the back.

Why is this so cool?

Well, it gives the space for an extended and robust integrated rack, making it a champ at handling heavy cargo, boasting a 150lb capacity. Plus, it brings that center of gravity down low, which is a real bonus when you’re lugging around substantial loads.

Now, those tires are the versatile, hybrid city/all-terrain kind. They keep things rolling smoothly on the pavement and have the grit to handle some sand and gravel. But here’s the sweet part – these meatier tires let you ride with lower pressure, helping to smooth out those bumps along the road.

Racks and Bags

This long-tail cargo e-bike comes ready to haul, and as for the racks and accessories, the Flyer™ L885 offers a smorgasbord. From wood panels to foot rails, a kid and cargo carrier, a Thule® Yepp Maxi Child Seat, and even a Front Storage Basket, you’ve got a literal toolkit at your disposal.

L885 kid cargo basket
The Kid and Cargo Basket on the back of the L885 cargo e-bike. Comfortable, easy to clean, easy to convert from basket to jump seat.

Here’s the lowdown:

Integrated Rear Rack:

  • Built to last, with removable wood panels for customization
  • Wood foot rails for passenger comfort
  • Rear rack capacity: 150 lbs
  • Max Rider capacity: 220 lbs
  • Payload capacity: A whopping 400 lbs

Here are some awesome accessories you can easily snag at checkout:

  • The best of both worlds – a large capacity rear basket and a versatile second seat for kids
  • Easy conversion with zippers and clips Easy-to-clean removable fabric, which is great because, let’s face it, kids spill stuff
  • Comfortable padded seat
  • Sturdy safety hoop
  • Handy fabric curtains for added safety

Thule® Yepp Maxi Child Seat ($249.95):

  • Direct mounting to the rear frame
  • Works seamlessly with other Flyer™ accessories

Front Storage Basket ($99):

  • Sturdy construction, headset-mounted
  • A heavy-duty space for your gear (able to carry up to 25 lbs)
  • Features convenient water bottle holders
  • Easy-to-wash fabric
  • Zippered pocket for your keys, snacks, or whatever

Cargo Net ($10):

  • The “peace-of-mind accessory” for any basket
  • Keeps your stuff secure; plain and simple

Hill Climb Test:

When conquering those uphill battles, this bike showed its strength. With tons of power, it ascended hills with remarkable speed. It’s worth noting that the bike’s hefty weight played a role here, but even so, it impressed us.

Hill Climb Test Results:

Attempt #Pedal Assist LevelAvg. Speed (mph)
106.4
217.5
3210.2
4313.3
5416.2
6516.4
7Throttle only15.2
Test details: Rider weighs 200lbs

Braking Test:

Braking, no sweat. Those Tektro brakes delivered ample stopping power, and the rotor grip was firm and reliable. We even had some fun skidding the big rig a few times – talk about control!

Braking Test Results:

Braking Attempt #Stopping Distance (ft)
119.25
215.5
313.3
Test details: Rider weighs 200lbs

Reasons to Buy

The Flyer™ L885 is an affordable cargo hauler with abundant customization options. Designed to evolve with your needs, it features a versatile rear rack for groceries, kids, and all sorts of other cargo. It’s powered by a robust 500W rear hub motor, it conquers hills and heavy loads, as well as a sturdy 6061 Aluminum frame with an integrated battery and the option to double your range with accommodations for an additional battery.

Things to Consider

Affordability is undoubtedly a key feature of the Flyer L885, but like many things in life, it comes with a few trade-offs. First of all, the bike’s weight is something to consider. At 73 lbs when unloaded, it’s not exceptionally heavy for an e-bike, but it’s essential to remember that this added heft can affect the e-bike’s overall range.

The motor noise may be another potential downside for some riders, as it’s a bit more noticeable compared to some other e-bikes on the market. Additionally, the chain tensioner on the underside of the chainstay can create some extra noise while riding.

While these aspects might not be deal-breakers for many, they are worth considering, especially if noise levels are a concern. Nonetheless, when evaluating the Flyer™ L885, it’s important to remember that these trade-offs are part and parcel of the balance between affordability and performance.

Specs & Components

Battery
48V 15Ah (687Wh) UL Tested Lithium-Ion Samsung 50E 21700 Cells
Controller
48V 500W
Motor
500W brushless hub motor
Throttle
Half twist throttle
Charger
54.6V, 2A smart charger Operates on 100-240V AC outlets
Charge time
Up to 10 hours
Display
LCD display that shows speedometer, battery charge level, pedal assist level, odometer, and light indicator
Pedal Assist
5 level pedal assist with cadence sensor
Speed
Up to 20 mph
Lights
Front: LED headlight Rear: Integrated tail light with brake light
Brakes
Tektro Aries MD-M300
Brake Rotors
Tektro 180 mm front and rear
Frame
6061 Aluminum
Crank set
44T, 170 mm forged alloy, dual-sided aluminum guard
Derailleur
Shimano TY300 7-speed derailleur
Cassette
Shimano TZ500 7-speed freewheel
Shifter
Shimano SL-TX50-7R shifter
Wheels
Front: 26" x 3.0" puncture-resistant liner Rear: 20" x 3.0" puncture-resistant liner
Rims
Steel rims (26" front, 20" rear)
Handlebars
Aluminum, 680 mm wide, 48 mm rise
Handlebar stem
100mm, adjustable handlebar angle up to 60°

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
3/5
3

The L885 boasts a substantial power output, making it a formidable performer. However, due to its heftier build, a significant portion of this power is dedicated to getting the bike moving with ease. This weighty nature has affected its power rating, but, in our opinion, it’s a fair trade-off for the stability and cargo-carrying capacity it offers.

Range
3/5
3

The range of this e-bike is affected by its substantial weight. While adding an extra battery is possible, it further increases the bike’s overall heaviness. For short, everyday rides, this won’t pose a problem. However, if you seek an e-bike with extended-range capabilities, you might explore alternative options. In reality, most riders don’t cover 30-50 miles on a single charge, so this range should suffice for typical usage.

Comfort
4/5
4

Comfort is at the heart of the L885 experience. Its ergonomic saddle is exceptionally comfortable, providing an upright riding position. Many saddles need a “break-in” phase, but this one feels perfect from the get-go. Thanks to this thoughtful touch, you’ll find yourself not wanting to get off the bike.

A note about the handlebar grips: They are not the most cushy grips on the market and since this bike comes at a budget-friendly price, it will leave more money in your wallet to pick up some after-market grips.

We recommend the GP1 Rohloff grip from Ergon. We recently tested the GP1 Evo and they are by far the most comfortable grips out there, and worth the price to upgrade. Ergon is known for its dedication to improved cycling ergonomics. 

Durability
4/5
4

The L885 impresses with its remarkable durability. Boasting sturdy construction and including name-brand components like Shimano, it ensures a long-lasting and highly serviceable ride. Your local bike mechanic will find it a cinch to maintain and fine-tune, meaning this e-bike will be your sidekick for many miles to come.

Style
3.5/5
3.5

The L885 definitely embraces a more utilitarian look. Its distinctive design, featuring a thick downtube that intersects with steel tubing at the bottom bracket, emphasizes function over form. Every component on this bike serves a purpose and underscores its dedication to delivering a reliable and straightforward riding experience. This makes it an excellent choice for those who value substance over style.

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.
Taylor Moon
Edited by Taylor Moon
Contributing Editor
Taylor Moon is a seasoned editor and content marketer with a diverse background spanning journalism, entertainment, travel, B2B SaaS, technology, and digital and creative marketing. Outside of her professional realm, she cherishes moments with her husband, daughter, and two dogs, drawing inspiration from both her work and family life.

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