The Best Tips for Storing An Electric Bike
Many people get to enjoy riding their e-bikes, whether it’s casually riding around the town or going for a more extreme ride through woods at top speeds. Or perhaps using an e-bike to get to work quickly.
Whatever the primary purpose of your electric bike is, finding a proper storage place for it – and preparing the bike for storage – is very important.
E-bikes, if not stored correctly, can endure some permanent damage. However, when I started keeping my e-bike with the correct solution for my situation, my bike maintained its pristine condition.
So, how can you properly store your electric bike?
As a general rule, electric bicycles are best stored in a dry and cool environment, away from weather changes or any moisture. Store your electric bike between 0 and 20 degrees Celsius. Store the battery of your e-bike separately from the bike itself. only with half a charge.
Now that we covered general guidelines for storing an e-bike, you might still wonder what storage method is best for your electric bike and its battery. Keep reading to find out!
How To Store An Electric Bike?
Just like most expensive gadgets, electric bikes should be stored away from the elements, in a cool and dry environment. The details for storing your bike can vary based on the climate in which you live, the type of your e-bike as well as its weight.
E-bikes can last very long if correctly maintained and stored. Electric bikes may only remain in their working condition for only couple of years if you neglect the basic rules of maintenance and storage.
Keeping your e-bike clean and safe while storing it will require some planning. Incorrectly storing your bike can damage the battery, the motor, or the frame over time. Damage to any of these components can cost quite a bit in repairs or replacements.
Some things to take into consideration before you store your electric bike for any amount of time:
- Weather exposure
- E-bike weight
- Cleanliness of the storage environment
- Battery level
Store Your Electric Bike Away From The Elements
Suppose you store your electric bike outside where it’s exposed to weather conditions. Rain and snow can cause the parts of your e-bike to rust or freeze, resulting in permanent damage. Rust is detrimental to an electric bike. once it rusts, your bike will never run the same way.
So, to ensure your electric bike lives a full life, you should keep it away from rainy and snowy weather.
Your E-Bike’s Weight Matters When Storing
Considering the bike’s weight is crucial if you’re looking to store your e-bike but aren’t sure how to do so. You most likely don’t want to hang your 70-pound e-bike on a ceiling mount in your garage over your car.
When it comes to solutions for storing your electric bike, you need to take into account the weight of your bike and the space available to you.
Do Not Store Your Electric Bike With A Full Battery
If you want to store your electric bike correctly, be sure not to hold it with a fully charged battery. Storing an e-bike with a 100% charged battery or while the battery charges can lead to battery depreciation over time.
If you want to ensure that your battery stays in its best condition for as long as possible, make sure you only store it charged to about 50%.
Store Your Electric Bike In A Clean Environment
Storing your e-bike in your backyard shed, where you do your carpentry projects, might not be the best idea. Dirt and debris can cause lasting damage to your electric bike. So you’ll want to ensure the environment is clean and not exposed to dirt and debris. Also, you’ll want to clean your bike before storing it away.
Storing An Electric Bike In A Garage
There are four ways to store your e-bike in your garage:
- On a floor rack
- With a waterproof cover
- On a wall mount
- With a ceiling pulley
The method you select will depend on how spacious your garage is and the conditions within your garage.
There’s probably enough room to store your e-bike on the ground using a floor rack if you have a one-car garage. If you want to use a floor rack in your garage, make sure nothing obstructs your floor rack in the surrounding area, so you can come and go with your electric bike.
When long-term storing your e-bike in your garage using a floor rack, ensure nothing dangerous could fall onto your bike.
If you work with wood or any materials that can cause an excess of debris, it’s in your best interest to get a cover for your e-bike to protect it from any particles that can enter its components. Other than that, a garage should keep your bike safe and dry from any inclement weather.
If you have a two-car garage, you might want to hang your bike either utilizing a wall mount or a ceiling pulley. Sometimes, space in a two-car garage can get rather tight, especially if you park both cars inside. To save you some of that floor space, you should consider keeping your e-bike off the floor.
If your e-bike is between 60 and 100 pounds, it’s probably best to use a ceiling pulley, as long as it doesn’t hang over your car. You should also take the type of garage you have into consideration. For instance, if you have a tilt-up retractable garage, there’s a chance you won’t have enough space on the ceiling for your electric bicycle.
If you can’t hang your bike from the ceiling, a wall mount is a great choice, too. You’ll want to ensure that you can still move about the garage with your e-bike mounted, as it’ll protrude around four feet from the wall.
Steps to Remove a Rad Battery (Quick Guide)
Rad batteries, for good reason, are designed to be securely mounted to the bike. It would certainly be a bad thing to have your battery fall off during a ride! Part of the battery attachment method is using a deadbolt. This is what “lock” and “unlock” mean when attaching and removing your battery.
The symbols on the Rad Battery are indeed confusing. While some people mark their key positions on the battery with paint or nail polish, I don’t think this is necessary. I only remember two positions, left and right. If I’m removing the battery, I turn the key all the way to the left. When I’m about to ride, I turn the key all the way to the right. I never keep the key in the battery.
Since the batteries are meant to be firmly secured, they can require some extra effort to get off. Don’t be afraid to use a bit of muscle. The first few times especially, the battery will be the most difficult to remove but will become easier with use.
The secret to getting your battery off your RadRover, Rad Mini, or any other model, is to push with your hand from the bottom of the battery. If you only try to pull from the sides, it will be more difficult.
What if the Battery Still Won’t Budge? (Tips)
Even if you followed all the steps correctly, for whatever reason, your battery just might be too tight. Or, you just might have enough strength to get the battery off.
Some riders have suggested using a little bit of grease or lubricant. There’s different products out there you can use that each of their pros and cons, but all seem to help.
Here’s a few suggestions from other Rad riders:
Spray dry Teflon lubricant on the carrier and you will never have this problem again.
I had that issue with my Rad City. I use spray silicone every so often to make it less stressful.
When you do get the battery off, apply a small amount of silicone oil or something similar to the bracket where the battery grabs hold to make it easier to come off the next time. Cheers!
If adding lubricant isn’t an option, some riders had success by using some type of pipe or screwdriver covered in cloth (to protect your battery) to use as a lever to push the battery upward.
Do I Need to Remove the Seat?
I heard about people needing to remove the seat to remove the battery from their bike. I don’t have this problem with my Rad Mini (check out my Rad Mini Review), but I suppose it might be true if your seat was really low (see why bike seats are supposed to be “high”). Be sure that the seat post clamp isn’t in the way when you try to remove the battery.
I would recommend storing the battery separate from the bike. I store my battery indoors and my Rad Mini in the garage for three reasons…
One is for security. Rad Batteries are not cheap (check the Rad Battery price), roughly 1/3 the cost of the bike! People already steal bikes, and electric bikes get stolen a lot more. Having the expensive battery separate from the expensive bike lessens the damage if the bike does happen to get stolen.
Second, I like to charge my battery indoors. I haven’t heard of Rad Batteries causing issues, but I know there have been other problems with batteries from other bikes. In the rare case that my Rad battery overheats or starts smoking, I can immediately unplug it. I always charge my battery where I can see it (check out other places you can charge your e-bike battery).
And lastly, I live in New Hampshire where the temperature can fluctuate a lot. Having a stable temperature indoors is much better for the battery.
It’s been over two years
The RadMission was announced in June of 2020, right in the thick of the blossoming COVID-19 pandemic.
In e-bike time, that’s like a million years ago.
Rad’s own product cycle often refreshes e-bikes after around two years, as we saw with the RadRunner 2 that followed 28 months after the original RadRunner was announced.
How long has it been since the RadMission was unveiled? 28 months.
I’m not trying to go all Da Vinci code on you guys, but c’mon!
With the RadMission surpassing its two-year anniversary this past summer, the time is ripe for an update. And considering that low-cost electric bikes are rather simple to iterate thanks to their no-bells-and-whistles designs, it won’t take the company all too long to develop a replacement. At least not as long as a more complicated bike like Rad’s flagship RadRover 6 Plus, for example.
Rad just had a fire sale to tank its inventory
As I mentioned above, the RadMission usually sold for between 999 to 450,199.
It occasionally saw brief sales of 899, which caused us all to fawn over what a great deal it was.
But last month, Rad shocked the entire industry when it abruptly dropped the RadMission’s price to just 499. Jaws hit the floor so hard around the country that orthognathic surgeons are probably on boat-buying sprees right now.
It was crazy. It was wild. I already had a RadMission, and I was half ready to get another one as a spare just because the deal was that good.
Why on earth would Rad sell an e-bike for so little? That price has to be darn near at-cost for the company.
The only two reasons I could think of at the time were that the RadMission would soon be replaced and thus they needed to burn through existing inventory, or that the company massively overbought during the height of supply chain uncertainties and were now left with a warehouse full of bikes. But now the new evidence below makes it seem like the first option was correct…
The RadMission is gone and it ain’t coming back
Perhaps the most damning evidence that the RadMission is being replaced is that Rad Power Bikes almost comes right out and says it. Or at least they’ve revealed that the RadMission is finished. Kaput. Down for the count.
Now the company’s RadMission page has been updated to not only show that the bike is out of stock (that’s what a 499 sale will do!), but also that the bike will not be restocked.
Could they simply be sunsetting the RadMission? Maybe.
But Rad doesn’t retire e-bikes very often. Though to be fair, it’s not unprecedented. That RadMini was recently deep-sixed when the RadExpand was unveiled as its replacement; but that was the exception at Rad, not the rule.
Generally speaking, Rad is known for pumping out new and improved versions of its e-bikes every few years, tacking on a new number. Meet the RadWagon 4, the RadRunner 2, the RadCity 5 Plus, etc.
What I liked about it
Right from the start, the RadTrike is well thought out. It comes in packaging that makes it quite easy to assemble. The two halves of the bike need to be bolted together, but that’s the bulk of the assembly.
I originally thought the bike would be foldable in the middle when I first saw the design as it was unveiled online, but I soon realized that the middle joint is a solid bolted connection. You could take it apart in a minute or two with a 6mm allen wrench, but it’s not a quick fold connection. There IS a quick fold connection at the handlebars though, which is perfect for when you want to load the bike into the back of an SUV or van, since it essentially chops off the extra height of the handlebars.
The saddle is nice and comfortable, even coming with an adjustable back rest. I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t feel great when pedaling since there’s much more saddle there under you (more like a tractor seat than a bike saddle), but it actually felt just fine while pedaling.
The saddle also drops surprisingly low. If you don’t pedal much and want to just throttle around, you can drop it lower than you might otherwise and benefit from even further lowered center of gravity. Plus the ability for the seat to drop so low means it can fit riders as low as 4’10” (I can almost hear my mom rejoicing).
When I took the bike off-road on gravel trails and grassy fields, I was glad to have a comfortable seat under me. There’s no suspension and the 18″ tires aren’t particularly big, so I definitely bounced around a good bit, but a wide saddle under me meant I wasn’t bouncing on a banana, I was bouncing on an office chair. That makes a big difference.
I also found it neat that there’s an easy to use reverse feature (just hold the “down” button on the display for a couple seconds to enter reverse mode).
To be honest, I never once used the reverse feature out of necessity, it was more just playing around with it since it was there. But I can see how it would be useful if you pulled headfirst into a garage spot and needed to back out, or wound up in another tight situation like that.
Though another thing to note is that the turning radius is so tight that you can basically turn in the trike’s own length. I could do full 360-degree turns in the width of a sidewalk.
Next, let’s talk about braking.
There’s a disc brake up front and a coaster brake in the rear. The front brake is really all you need, but if you’re the kind of person that has weaker hands or just doesn’t want to let go of the bars to reach for the brake lever, having the option to stop with your feet is kind of nice. Both brakes are strong and sufficiently powerful to stop the RadTrike by themselves. If you really want to stop on a dime, slam the two simultaneously. It will feel like you dropped an anchor.
I also really like the built-in parking brake. Since there’s no kickstand, the trike could theoretically roll backwards on a hill, but the parking brake keeps it in place. I’ve tested other electric tricycles without parking brakes, and it’s 100% true that even a slight hill will see that thing rolling away.
Finally, let’s talk battery. I thought that I would have to worry about range due to the rather small 48V 10Ah battery with its lower than average 480Wh capacity. But since the RadTrike isn’t very fast, it sips slowly at that battery. I’m not sure I’d ever see the 55 mile (88 km) maximum range that Rad touts, but it seems that 35-40 miles is easily achievable in higher power modes. If you use lower power mode, I think you might even exceed that advertised range. The trike just doesn’t use as much battery as I had expected, and is thus surprisingly efficient.
What I didn’t like about it
I really enjoy riding the RadTrike. It’s a pleasure. But like any e-bike, it’s not perfect. There are several smaller complaints I have with this electric tricycle.
Because it’s a single speed, it is difficult to start pedaling from a standstill. I always blip the throttle to get rolling and then start pedaling. It’s a bit easier to start on pedal-assist alone if you remember to come to a stop with the pedals horizontal (one forwards and one backwards) instead of vertical (one at the top and one at the bottom). That way you can really push on that front pedal with your weight. Because it’s a cadence sensor, there’s a lag between when you start pedaling and when the pedal assist kicks in to fire up the motor, so that first half a pedal turn or so is all you.
The pedaling gear ratio seems to be optimized more for around 10-ish mph (16-ish km/h). Pedal assist level 4 feels perfect to me. That’s my comfort sweet spot. The highest level (PAS 5) has my feet spinning a bit faster than comfortable when I’m zipping along at full speed. And getting started, well, that’s a doozy as I described above. Though another little cool note is that PAS 1 is walking speed, so you could roll along with a partner at about 2-3 mph. It’s a bit harder to pedal at that speed with the higher gear ratio, though.
Next, the bike is quite heavy at 82 lb (37 kg). You can lose nine pounds or so by taking the battery out when you lift it, but it still ain’t light. Rad used a steel frame, which isn’t doing weight any favors, but the extra weight also adds up from the wider rear end, extra wheel, coaster brake hub, tractor seat, etc. I could lift the RadTrike out of a vehicle just fine, but I’m also a healthy 33 year old with my masculinity on the line and something to prove. If you’re up there in years or have a back injury in your past, lifting a heavy steel electric tricycle might not be part of the doctor’s orders.
I also wish Rad Power Bikes had included baskets as standard equipment. At the minimum, I believe the trike should come with a rear basket. The rear of the RadTrike looks a bit naked and it’s just begging you to use that flatbed area for storage. Plus with the ultra-low center of gravity that’s Rad’s rear end design creates (combined with those low 18″ wheels), it would be an awesome cargo platform.
I get that it likely comes down to money. It would cost more to ship the trike in a larger box due to the rack, and it would probably cut into the accessory business model as well. So I get it, they have an awesome line of accessories with many cargo options in that list, but I still think a rear basket would have been awesome as standard equipment.
I also would have loved to see Rad include their secondary display that shows speed, odometer, etc. I’ll admit that it’s unnecessary (you don’t have to worry about speeding tickets on the RadTrike), but it’d still be fun to see your speed and also keep track of your odometer reading. The mileage is useful for both the maintenance cycle and as a personal motivator of hitting big milestones (“Congrats on your first 500 miles!”).
Is the RadTrike a good deal?
The last issue here is the price. At 5000,499, this is the most expensive bike in the Rad Power Bikes lineup.
I keep going back and forth regarding how I feel about the price. It’s not that it isn’t a good bike. It’s a great bike. It is intelligently designed, rides well, feels well constructed, and is surely to get thousands of riders back in the saddle after thinking their biking days were over. But if you look at the components themselves, I’m not sure where all of that 5000,499 is going.
The battery is smaller than Rad’s other batteries, the brakes are basic (but certainly quite good), there’s no complicated aluminum forming needed for the frame. Even the packaging is cleverly designed to be both effective and economical without requiring a freight delivery – it can show up on a normal FedEx truck. It’s all quite cost effective.
If you compare it to a bike like the RadMission that Rad used to sell for under 450,000 (and then bumped to 450,199), the RadTrike basically gets a similar loadout of parts, with the exception of an extra wheel, a parking brake, coaster brake, comfort saddle, and a more powerful motor. So I get that there’s more here, but is there twice as much?
But then again, there just aren’t very many good, cost effective e-trikes on the market yet. The few that exist in a cheaper price range are basically from boutique builders and simply aren’t that great. The few e-trikes I’ve seen and tested over the last few years are either budget priced and junky (to the point of feeling dangerous) or they are 3,000 to 5,000 and thus feel out of reach for average riders. So now here comes the RadTrike as a moderately priced, nicely made and well thought-out electric tricycle. And it even comes from a large US-based company with great product support and a vast ecosystem of compatible accessories. So I guess I can justify why you have to pay for that convenience.
Is it worth this much of a premium? I think so, yes. At least it is if you’re absolutely in the market for an e-trike. You can of course get better bang for your buck with e-bikes, but e-bikes aren’t for everyone. Adding that extra wheel seems to add a lot to the cost due to the design that goes into developing a purpose-built electric trike, but that may be worth it for thousands of riders who want and need that extra wheel to open up a whole new world of e-biking to them. And trust me, once you roll into that new world, you’re never going to look back!
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