Bike rack for radrover. Previous OPSEC Violations

Ebike Update…

I’m no wiser as to exactly what broke on the ebike than I was yesterday, but I have a surprising resolution. I mentioned yesterday that the bike is under warranty – I don’t know off the top of my head what the terms of the warranty are, no doubt they’re on the website – and it turns out the bike is really under warranty.

Like, “there’s definitely an intermittent open circuit somewhere in this wide array of related parts, so we’re just going to send you one of all those parts. Sorry about not including a technician to attach them.”

bike, rack, radrover

Wow. Okay. So here’s me, saying nice things about Rad Power Bikes customer service.

While still mentioning for the benefit of anyone interested that the bike did develop a fatal fault at mile 316 of bumpy roads.

As it happens I already have all those parts loose from the frame. The only way to comfortably get at the harness connectors which are wrapped rather tightly around the crank is to unbolt the battery tray and the charge controller so they’re already hanging loose. I won’t be re-installing them, of course.

Instead I’ll wait patiently for their replacements. And since I’m the aforementioned frickin’ hermit etc., the logistics of that are kind of clunky. It might be a bikeless week or three, but I can now at least confidently await resolution.

About Joel

Joel, I have been following you E bike journey and now after a lot or research. I have 2 Rad Rovers on order. You may want to look into a skid plate protector to protect the controller and wiring from rocks. That seems to be a common issue when using in rocky areas. There are multiple types to just protect the wiring /controller and bigger ones to protect the battery also.You can google info on it or go to the Rad Owners forum and look at the threads on it.

Russ, that’s a grand idea: So good I immediately did a search and tracked down the guy who sells them on ebay. Who unfortunately only wants to get paid with Paypal and I don’t even know how to do that even if I wanted to. So I’ll keep my eyes open for other options.

I’ve also been following your experience with the intent of buying one, glad you decided to write about it. If the bike can’t handle rocky terrain, how about the company sells optional skid plates/protectors using little check boxes on the order form based on the needs described in the owner’s forum, tsk what a radical idea. After decades of being involved in commerce with American corporations I still don’t understand why they don’t listen to their customers.

…how about the company sells optional skid plates/protectors using little check boxes on the order form based on the needs described in the owner’s forum, tsk what a radical idea.

It’s true, the bikes come pretty stripped down. Some accessories are necessary – like a cargo rack, for example – and all their accessories are super expensive. I looked on the Rad Power Bikes site and they don’t sell any skid plates at all though in hindsight it does seem like an awfully good idea. Having said that, I don’t have any evidence that a skid plate would have helped in this case – I detect no obvious rock damage. I think something just shook loose.

Ordered. You should get it by 27 July. I’ll forward tracking info when it ships. By the way, isn’t your tip jar PayPal? If so, you should have been able to order it through there depending on your balance therein…

Looks like a good addition. From the beginning I have believed that the fenders,particularly the front one, would be a good idea to prevent stuff being thrown up off of the front tire onto the electronics. In addition, I’d add an extension “mud flap” to the bottom end of said front fender to offer additional protection. RAD makes the bottom end of the front fender way too short to suit me. Wouldn’t have to be very heavy, just something like the material the skid plate is made from, extending as far down as you can get away with. Always worked for me as a kid. JMHO

Choosing a Bike Rack | Bicycling 4 Beginners

bike, rack, radrover

Because of mud, fenders would have to be mounted high. That makes them less effective and less aerodynamic. Everything on a bike is a compromise, and sometimes “less is more “.

I go back and forth on fenders. During Monsoon the mud will probably drive me to get a cheap one for the front, there are plenty available on Amazon. I nearly did it last year and we barely had a Monsoon last year. Any other time it’s just something to make noise and get bent.

To the stake with the heretic! Cancel reply

They say that Louis XIV had the inscription Ultima Ratio Regum cast into all the cannon of the French Army. It means “The Ultimate Argument of Kings,” and that always struck me as one of the most honest and up-front things any ruler or would-be ruler ever said. “We can dress it up prettier than this, but when it comes down to the unvarnished truth this is what it’s about: You’ll do as I say or I’ll send my goons to kill you.” I thought about that for a long time. If there’s an ultimate argument, it seems only logical that there must be an ultimate answer. For years I thought the ultimate answer must be the bullets in my rifle, but it never seemed quite right. I’ve got bullets – he’s got frigging Cannon Balls. I mean, if there were three hundred million rifles throwing bullets at him, then maybe. But we all know that’s not going to happen. So if there’s an ultimate answer to his ultimate argument, it sure as hell ain’t bullets. It finally came to me – and that’s when I abandoned the city and most of my stuff, and gave all that was behind me a good stiff Randian Shrug. The ultimate answer to kings is not a bullet, but a belly laugh.

Our Founder

Laddie the Amazing Torso Boy 2011-2020

  • 5 Acres and a Dream
  • 90 Miles From Tyranny
  • A Day in the Life of a Talk Radio Blogger
  • Adaptive Curmudgeon
  • Armed Non-Violent
  • Bayou Renaissance Man
  • Bill St. Clair
  • Borepatch
  • Busted Knuckles
  • Carl Bussjaeger
  • Claire Wolfe
  • Commander Zero
  • Dad’s Deadpool Blog
  • Dio’s Workshop
  • Eaton Rapids Joe
  • Forgotten Weapons
  • Freeholder
  • Home on the Range
  • Instapundit
  • Irons in the Fire
  • James Zachary
  • Ken Hagler
  • Kent McManigal
  • Leslie Fish
  • Nails and Sawdust
  • Never Yet Melted
  • Resistance Library
  • Say Uncle
  • Self Sufficient Mountain Living
  • The Price of Liberty
  • The Smallest Minority
  • The View from North Central Idaho
  • The Vulgar Curmudgeon
  • The War on Guns
  • The Zelman Partisans
  • True Blue Sam
  • View from the Porch
  • Weer’d World
  • Wendy McElroy
  • You will shoot your eye out
  • Zendo Deb

Unboxing the RadRover

When Rad Power Bikes shipped out this e-bike for review, I had some reservations. I haven’t constructed too many bicycles over the past few years, let alone one with high-tech upgrades, so I didn’t know exactly what to expect when breaking open the box.

It didn’t look too bad upon initial inspection, so I carefully began unpacking it. Some parts were loose, while others were zip-tied together and there was plenty of padding with a mix of cardboard and styrofoam.

It was nice to see that the bike was mostly constructed, but it still took some time to get the rest put together. I fully suggest reading the assembly instructions first and watching the companion video as well.

Something to keep in mind — Rad Power Bikes suggests you have a certified bike mechanic assemble and tune the bike. If planning to DIY, the company recommends having your work checked.

I decided to do it myself, especially after seeing the difficulty level on Rad’s site was closer to the “Anyone Can Do It” side of things. A nice touch was the included tool kit. I’m not going to detail every part of the process, but the key components needing to be added to the bike include the handlebar, front wheel, pedals and headlight.

It took a couple of hours and it definitely helped having a second person for help on a few steps along the way. Rad Power Bikes also provided a couple of optional accessories to install, like a rear cargo rack, straps and a rearview mirror.

Hitting the road

Before my first ride, I fully charged the battery (using the included wall mount) and then double-checked my work to make sure all the parts were tight, properly aligned and that the massive tires were aired up. As this was my first experience with any e-bike, there was a bit of a learning curve.

First, I familiarized myself with the two LCD displays. The one that’s front and center shows speed, charge level and other stats. The display on the left side of the handlebar has controls to increase and decrease the pedal assist levels. Let me just say having two separate displays is a super convenient way to get the info you need without trying to navigate everything through a single, tiny screen.

On the right side of the handlebar is the Shimano 7-speed thumb shifter, and the right side grip is the throttle. Power on the bike through the main display and it also turns on the headlight and taillight.

I started out with pedal assist set to 0, and took off like I would on any regular bicycle. Once on a straightaway in the neighborhood, I cranked it up to one, then two and notice how little effort I was having to put into actually pedaling. Twist the throttle and there’s another boost.

The RadRover 6 Plus is a Class II bike, meaning it has a top speed of 20 mph. That doesn’t seem very fast until you’re trying to associate the feeling with being on a bicycle. It takes a little getting used to, but thankfully the braking system is extremely responsive. Engaging the brakes also deactivates pedal assist.

Take the bike off-road, and that’s where you’ll appreciate the 4-inch thick fat tires — specifically their ability to handle gravel and dirt. I was a little more cautious using the pedal-assist system at first until I knew I wouldn’t spin out. It is a relatively heavy bike, after all. By the way, going uphill was an absolute breeze.

Taking it out a few times, I never even came close to depleting the battery. You’ll get about 45 miles on flat terrain with minimal pedal assist and throttle use. Even on hilly terrain with heavy motor use, you’re supposed to get 25 miles.

The good and the bad

Here’s what I really liked about the RadRover 6 Plus:

  • Comfortable to ride
  • Smooth acceleration and braking
  • Versatile for both urban commuters and off-road adventurers
  • Two separate LCD displays
  • A variety of accessories available for multiple scenarios
  • Locking battery compartment (comes with two keys)

This is what could be better:

  • Displays are a little hard to read in direct sunlight
  • Pricey when compared to some other e-bikes

RadRover Rear Rack Installation | Rad Tech

For just the essentials: Ortlieb Twin-City Urban

Take this instead of a hand bag

This around-town pannier, which you can also carry on your shoulder, provides easy access to your phone and wallet, but it can’t hold much more than a decent-sized purse or sling pack.

Buying Options

Get this if: You’re meeting friends for lunch or exploring town by bike. This bag won’t hold a full-size laptop, but it would be a good replacement for a purse, fanny pack, or sling.

Why it’s great: As panniers get smaller in size, the experience of using them becomes more streamlined, and that’s why we love the Ortlieb Twin-City Urban pannier. It handles more easily and attaches more easily than any of its bigger cousins.

The mounting system on this bag sits at an angle, so that when the bag is on your bike, its bottom corner is up and out of the way of your heel as you pedal. Photo: Rozette Rago

You can stow the shoulder strap in a to keep it out of the way while you ride. Photo: Rozette Rago

The bag has some interior organization, but it’s minimal. Here, part of the insert has slots for pens and a small Photo: Rozette Rago

The mounting system on this bag sits at an angle, so that when the bag is on your bike, its bottom corner is up and out of the way of your heel as you pedal. Photo: Rozette Rago

That’s mostly because it uses Ortlieb’s QL2.1 attachment system, widely regarded (and confirmed in our testing) as the best pannier mounting system there is. It latches onto a bike rack with less hassle than anything else, and it doesn’t let go—and in the case of the Twin-City, you don’t even have to mount the bottom half of the bag.

Because it’s a 9 L bag, it won’t comfortably carry a laptop (you might be able to jockey a small one in), but it will fit a big pile of commuter stuff—a tablet, a notebook, a water bottle. We like the Twin-City because it has an exterior key that actually zips shut, and interior s for your wallet and phone make it simple to get to your phone or wallet if you need it.

Shoulder-bag panniers provide easy access to everyday-carry items better than any other design. A lot of backpack panniers have exterior s for small items, but for some reason they often don’t zip shut—instead, they’re secured by magnets or covered by a flap. Those of us wound a little tighter know the acute anxiety of having a wallet out of reach, behind you, in an unsealed on a crowded subway.

The Twin-City provides a place to stow its shoulder strap without your having to open the bag, as most well-designed bags of this type do. It’s also weatherproof—it will withstand splashing water and dust as long as the top is rolled down and secured. Ortlieb offers a five-year warranty that covers defects in craftsmanship.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Learning the sequence of moves that converts this bag from pannier to shoulder bag takes some attention, but after a few tries it becomes automatic.

bike, rack, radrover

To carry big loads in bad weather

A fully waterproof, seam-welded touring classic made for rain and snow and lots of gear, this pannier (sold in pairs) is nearly indestructible.

Buying Options

Get this if: You’re often hauling heavy or oddly shaped gear and you ride in near-constant wet weather. These panniers are waterproof, seam-sealed, and so tough that cyclists have found all sorts of uses for them. One long-distance touring rider we met empties his out, fills one with clean water and the other with soapy water, and uses them to do his dishes.

This is the Ortlieb QL2.1 mounting system: hooks at top, hook at bottom. It’s as unfussy as anyone has figured out how to make one of these things. Photo: Rozette Rago

The shoulder strap is functional, if a little uncomfortable, but it works much better as a compression strap on the outside of the bag. Photo: Rozette Rago

This is the Ortlieb QL2.1 mounting system: hooks at top, hook at bottom. It’s as unfussy as anyone has figured out how to make one of these things. Photo: Rozette Rago

Why they’re great: The Ortlieb Back-Roller Classic panniers, which come in pairs, are considered the gold standard for touring panniers. They feature Ortlieb’s QL2.1 mounting system; this design is beloved for its simplicity. During testing, we had no issues with wobbling, shifting, or loose panniers. We also think that this has something to do with the size of the bags. We noticed 20 liters is about as large as you can make a pannier before the handling of the bike changes significantly. In spite of the fact that the components of the mounting system are plastic (we’d prefer metal), we’ve had these bags in long-term testing for three years and they haven’t broken or worn out.

This pannier works best as a big bucket you can dump anything into; the bottom sits squarely on the ground, so it’s easy to rummage through it. However, it has no exterior s, and the rolltop requires attention to open and close, so it’s not an easy bag to access on the go—you’ll need to keep your keys and phone on your person. On the inside, there is a narrow sleeve suitable for documents or a laptop (though there’s no padding) and a flat mesh zippered. but both are minimal. Ortlieb offers a five-year warranty that covers defects in craftsmanship.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: This aren’t bags for your average commute, as Back-Rollers don’t make great shoulder bags. It can be done… but the included shoulder straps are thin and uncomfortable. If you take a lot of public transportation or do much of your commute on foot, a backpack pannier or a smaller shoulder-bag pannier might be a better choice.

The specific waterproof rating for the bags is IP64, which means the bags can withstand splashing water in all directions but they’re not as impermeable as dry bags (the sort of thing you’d take on a boat).

Dimensions: 16 by 12 by 6 inches (upper section); 16 by 9 by 6 inches (lower section)Capacity: 20 liters each (40 L total capacity)Other sizes: Back-Roller City, Back-Roller Plus, Back-Roller UrbanOther styles: Back-Roller Free (PVC-free), Back-Roller Hi-VisColors: black, asphalt/black, red/black, petrol/black, yellow/black

Leave a Comment