RadMission 1 Electric Metro Bike Review
Single speed bikes have always been one of the least complex, and most affordable commuter bike options.
Rad Power Bikes is one of the best-selling eBike brands available today, and here’s their entry-level bike to fit a wide variety of users.
RadMission 1 Electric Metro Bike Frameset Geometry and Sizes
A dropped top tube version of the RadMission 1 is available for shorter riders or those who want a lower standover height.
The frame of the RadMission 1 is a 6061-aluminum design. If you’ve checked out other articles on this site you’ve seen info about 6061-aluminum. It’s an inexpensive but quality option. Easy to manufacturer it keeps the price down and there’s not really a downside. For the fork, Rad Power Bikes has used a steel design.
A steel fork adds extra compliance at the expense of a little extra weight.
Speaking of weight. It’s important to note this is not a light bike. Depending on the options chosen the system weight is 47.5lbs or 48lbs. That might be 30% lighter than other bikes in the Rad Power lineup but it’s a lot if you are carrying it up flights of stairs.
Given the price, the weight isn’t terrible but make sure you are aware of what you are getting. An entry-level road race bike weighs around 22lbs and a lightweight electric bike in this style can get down to mid 20lbs.
For sizing, there are two options. A traditional straight top-tube is what Rad Power Bikes calls a High-Step and they list a size range from 5’7″ – 6’4″. If you need something a little smaller the RadMission also has a Mid-Step option for those in the 5’2″ – 6’2″ height range.
The obvious difference is a change in the top tube design but look closely and there are a few other small differences. Everything adds up to be a little easier for smaller riders. Whatever frame you choose the sizing is what most brands would call a medium.
RadMission 1 Electric Metro Bike Motor and Battery
The RadMission 1 uses a 500Wh motor in the rear hub.
The motor system for the RadMission is a little bit of a black box. The company that manufactures it is Vision. That is not the same Vision as the FSA brand which does manufacture a rear hub based electric assist motor. The FSA Vision system is 250 Watt though and the system used in the RadMission is a 500Watt unit.
Whatever the details of the Vision who Rad Power Bikes has partnered with it’s the specs that matter. In this case, it’s a 500 Watt rear hub motor with a max of 50Nm of available torque assist.
When it comes to the battery things look a little more like what you might expect. The system is a 48V, 10.5 Ah (504 Wh), with Lithium NMC 18650 (LiNiMnCoO2) Samsung 35e cells. If you are comparing the specs to other options on the market what you want to know is that it’s a 504 Wh pack. The guts are Samsung parts that look a lot like a typical AA battery.
Rad Power Bikes lists a range of 25-45 miles. Based on the motor and battery size that makes sense. Expect a 25-mile range if you depend mostly on the motor doing the work. Help things out a bit and that’s where the 45-mile range comes from. If you want to hit that mileage you will need to be doing a lot of the work.
RadMission 1 Electric Metro Bike Components
A single-speed drivetrain is simple and effective. The chain tensioner makes a safer bike.
The RadMission 1 is a single-speed bike. There is no derailleur but unlike some single-speed bikes, there is a chain tensioner. Some single-speed bikes use a slotted drop-out for the rear wheel. A horizontal drop-out allows for chain tensioning by physically sliding the rear wheel back as needed. Horizontal dropouts are a simple design but they have a big disadvantage. If the rear axle is not carefully aligned on each side it’s possible to have a misaligned rear wheel. On an electric bike that could be a dangerous mistake and Rad Power Bikes has wisely chosen a vertical dropout and a chain tensioner.
At the front of the bike, a crank is a 50-tooth unit with a 170mm crank arm. At the rear of the bike that 50-tooth crank pairs with a 16-tooth freewheel. 170mm cranks don’t typically get paired with a medium frame size but I often switch between 172.5 and 170mm without any issues. Some people even consider the shorter crank arms an advantage.
To figure out the gearing, my favorite thing to do is compare it with standard road bike gearing. Most modern road bikes use a 50-34 front crank paired with an 11 speed 11-34 rear cassette. If you’ve ever spent time on a bike like that the RadMission 1 would be like riding on the big ring up front and the 4th gear from the bottom in the back.
That kind of gearing will keep you moving on the flats, or downhill. Head to the hills and it would be tough. The electric assist should help flatten out hills but if you live somewhere with a lot of hills you might consider changing the gearing a little. If you go that route, it’s an inexpensive option. The included freewheel comes from DNP and you can find an 18-tooth option for less than 25.
Braking gets taken care of with Tektro mechanical disc brakes at both ends. The rotors are 180mm and the tires are 650b in a 1.95″ width. While mechanical disc brakes aren’t my favorite they work well. The nice bike rotors will have no trouble slowing things down while the high-volume tires will make for a cushy ride.
RadMission 1 Electric Metro Bike Optional Accessories
The RadMission 1 comes with a basic control panel standard. An upgrade is available.
One of the defining characteristics of the RadMission 1 is that it is a bare-bones experience. This is a feature, not a bug, in that it’s what makes the bike worth covering. There are lots of electric bikes on the market but there are not a lot of electric bikes in this price range.
There are some quirks to the bare-bones bike experience though. For better, or worse, everything is ala carte. The first place this becomes an issue is when you look for the kickstand. There’s not one there, but it’s available. For 15 extra you can grab a kickstand from Rad Power Bikes. I have plenty of bikes without kickstands but none of them are city bikes. City bikes need a kickstand so expect to add one either directly through Rad Power Bikes or at your local bike shop.
Aside from the kickstand, there is an impressive array of other accessories available. There is a RadMission specific rear rack and fenders then for the front you can choose a basket or a rack. If you choose a rack there are a couple of options for adding a larger platform. Given the impressive 275lb max payload, all the options for carrying cargo are tempting. If you would rather add lighting there is also an upgraded light that is not compatible with the front cargo options. The rear light comes standard.
One of the more interesting upgrade options is the option to upgrade the control panel. Many electric bikes use an LCD display for showing what mode the electric assist is in as well as battery information. There are also a handful of electric bikes that use no display of any kind. The RadMission comes with a half step between the two approaches. A simple series of lights shows what mode the motor is in and there are four buttons for controlling the bike. If you’d prefer a more involved display Rad has it available.
If you need to carry a child Rad Power Bikes lists the Thule Yepp Maxi child seat. Filter the accessories for compatibility with the RadMission and the Yepp Maxi still shows up. Don’t get your hopes up though, it’s not compatible and it says that clearly on the product page for the Yepp Maxi accessory.
RadMission 1 Electric Metro Bike Assembly
Like most bikes the RadMini 4 Electric Folding Fat Bike comes in a box mostly assembled. Once you’ve got the bike unpacked the assembly needed includes the pedals, the handlebars, the fenders, the front light, and the front wheel. All of the tools needed come in the box and the instructions are clear. If you’d like more info, check out the RadMini 4 Assembly Instructions on YouTube.
Other Rad Power Bikes Models
- RadMini: A folding 20×3″ electric bike.
- RadCity: Hybrid electric bike.
- RadRover: Fat tire electric bike.
- RadWagon: Electric cargo bike
- RadRunner: A 20″ wheel commuter eBike
In my coverage of the RadMission 1 Electric Metro Bike, there might be more warnings than some of my other articles. This is a very inexpensive electric bike and it’s not without compromise. That doesn’t mean it’s not a good choice.
Single-speed bikes are a lot of fun. The RadMission 1 is an inexpensive way to add pedal-assist to a winning formula.
Be aware of what you are getting for your money. Set your expectations ahead of time and know that there will be features on more expensive bikes that you might not get. As long as you’ve got the right mindset going in, this is a great bike.
The raw components on an electric bike add up and they add up pretty fast. If your budget puts you in the 1000 range then you are likely looking at a range of unknown options from unknown companies. Instead of taking a leap on a company you’ve never heard of the RadMission 1 Electric Metro Bike gets you into the Rad Power Bikes brand.
Rad Power Bikes is a company that has been around and isn’t likely to disappear anytime soon. They have support if you need it and they are responsive. The RadMission represents the basic formula for an inexpensive commuter bike that has been around for a long time. Rad Power Bikes took that formula and added an electric assist.
RadMission – Electric Metro Bike
The RadMission is a slick, stylish single-speed electric metro bike for city riders craving more excitement and utility than your average fixie.
Don’t let its simplicity fool you. With a 500W high-torque motor and up to 45 miles battery range, it’s ready to handle any mission.
Best Affordable Electric Bike of 2021 ElectricBikeReview.com
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Save Up to 700 Off at Rad Power Bikes With This Early Black Friday Sale
Grab the brand’s flagship hybrid electric bike, the RadMission, for 499 today.
When it comes to popular e-bike brands, it’s hard not to love Rad Power Bikes. The company produces some of the most reliable and affordable electric bicycles on the market, and with an eye for style, value, and user-friendly design, it’s become one of our favorite manufacturers today. It’s why we have several nods to Rad Power Bikes in our guides to the best e-bikes, the best affordable electric bikes, the best fat-tire electric bikes, and the electric mountain bikes.
So when we say you should act fast on these e-bike deals from the brand, you should probably act fast. Rad Power Bikes is giving us a head start on holiday shopping with a special Black Friday Preview Sale that’s happening right now. Right now, you can take hundreds off of two of its e-bikes through Oct. 31. You can also save up to 60 percent off select accessories sold at the retailer.
Our expert editorial team has spent countless hours scrutinizing, comparing, and riding a slew of models from Rad Power Bikes over the last few years, and its e-bikes are consistently impressive. Most of its bikes are highly accessible and available in multiple sizes and frame types, and unlike some e-bike companies, Rad Power Bikes actually integrates lights, fenders, and other accessories into its e-bikes, saving you extra money when you buy one of its rides.
If you’ve already got a bike from Rad Power Bikes, or if you’re considering grabbing some bonus goodies with your purchase of one of its e-bikes, make sure you check out the company’s Black Friday Preview deals on its accessories. Right now, you can save big on items like a clamp-on rearview mirror, front rack, caboose, and a water bottle cage. Keep in mind that some Rad-branded items only work for specific e-bikes, so make sure to check each item’s specs and details before purchasing.
Otherwise, take a look down below to see which one of Rad Power Bikes’ beloved models is on sale for its Black Friday Preview Sale, happening right now through Oct. 31.
Rad Power Bikes RadMission
Rad Power Bikes’ most affordable e-bike is now even cheaper. The brand is knocking 400 off its original price of 900 through the end of October, making this reliable single-speed e-bike only 500.
This e-bike tops out at a max speed of 20 mph, with an added throttle that will help you climb hills or reach that top speed faster, via a 500-watt hub motor that delivers 50Nm of torque. It can also provide up to 45 miles of range per charge. It comes equipped with 27.5×1.95-inch-wide Kenda Kontact tires, and though they’re slightly narrower tires than we’ve seen on most commuter e-bikes, they still provide plenty of cushion on pavement and bumpy bike paths.
Like all e-bikes from Rad Power Bikes, the RadMission also comes with integrated lights and a sleek style that makes it perfect for commuting or taking weekend rides. You can find the RadMission in mid- and high-step frame sizes. We consider the RadMission one of the best e-bikes on the market, so don’t hesitate to jump on this deal.
Rad Power Bikes RadRover 6 Plus
If you’re looking for a fat bike that you can take from the city streets to the mountain trail, we highly recommend the RadRover 6 Plus—especially now that it’s 700 off. This adventure machine is one of our favorite mountain e-bikes, as it’s extremely comfortable, user-friendly, and can topple potholes, snowy paths, and gravely roads like a breeze.
The RadRover 6 Plus has a 750-watt motor that helps overcome rolling resistance and it comes with huge tires and two mounted easy-to-read displays, and tops out at 20 mph. Its four-inch-wide tires can handle pretty much any terrain, and though the e-bike weighs a whopping 74 pounds, with pedal assist and plump, puncture-resistant tires, it’s cake to take out on any type of ride. We even found its battery lasted longer than its advertised 45-mile range when putting it to the test around New York City.
Get one in a high-step or step-thru frame at 700 off its typical cost of 2,000.
Kevin Cortez is a Commerce Editor for Popular Mechanics, Bicycling, and Runner’s World. A culture and product journalist for over ten years, he’s an expert in men’s style, technology, gaming, coffee, e-bikes, hiking, gear, and all things outdoors. He was most recently the style editor for a leading product-recommendation site and previously covered music and podcasting at Mass Appeal, Genius, and The A.V. Club. His work can also be seen in WSJ, Leafly, Input, and Vulture. He enjoys reading graphic novels, birding, and taking long, meandering walks in his spare time.
The RadMission Is An Affordable Fun Entry-Level eBike
Rad Power Bikes makes some of the most approachable, well-built ebikes around, so when they announced the 1,099 RadMission, our ears perked up.
The RadMission offered all the familiarity of a traditional mountain bike form factor with the benefits of an electric motor and batteries for just 1,099. The question we had was whether the compromises necessary to achieve the lower price point impacted the functionality or quality of the bike. Thankfully, Rad Power Bikes sent a RadMission our way for us to run around town, up and down hills, to the beach out back to see what it was really made of.
Disclaimer: Rad Power Bikes sent us a RadMission free of charge for the purposes of this review.
The RadMission was born out of a desire to amp up the mountain bikes founders Mike Radenbaugh and Ty Collins grew up riding. Electrification was the future, but these cheap, lightweight bikes were what called them to bikes in the first place. There is a beauty to it. In their early years, bikes meant freedom. Freedom to explore. Freedom from the house. Freedom to live life on their own terms.
Life was simple back then and that simplicity found its way into the RadMission with a simple fixed gear that swaps out the flexibility provided by complex front and rear gears with a rear hub motor. Instead of leaning on gears to take the edge off of inclines, the RadMission leans on the 500-watt rear motor. This 500-watt motor is the smallest in Rad Power Bikes’ stable and is one of the ways they were able to bring the cost down.
Powering the motor is a 48V, 10.5 Ah, 504 Wh battery pack stocked with Samsung 18650 lithium cells. That’s smaller than the standard 672 Watt-hour pack common on Rad Power Bikes other offerings, but lines up nicely with the smaller motor. The result is an impressive 45 mile range per charge. As with ever ebike, this figure will vary depending on rider weight, assist level, terrain, and weather. In our experience, we were able to get close to the stated range even with a slightly over average rider weight.
Rad Power Bikes sent us the mid-step RadMission. Low-step ebikes are my personal preference as they make it easier to get on and off the bike. That is doubly true when the bike is equipped with front and rear racks, baskets, and cargo. Our RadMission came with the optional kickstand, and a range of purpose built accessories are available from Rad Power Bikes, though many are regularly out of stock.
Heading out on our first ride of the RadMission, that simplicity was on fully display. The single 16-50 gearing is well suited to riding around town without assist and we found it to be a breeze to ride around town with. The 30mph speed achieved on a few of the downhill sections in the sprint exceeded the capacity of the gearing, but not by a significant amount.
The result is simplicity. It’s a throwback to simpler times. To beach cruisers and 5 cent candy. Not more clicking gears. Just pedal and go. If you need help on a short hill, just twist the throttle for full power and instant torque from the motor. Or tap the small controller on the left side of the handlebar to increase the amount of pedal assist the motor provides. It’s that easy.
Of course, there are those who will miss the gears, but the vast majority of casual riders putting less than 20 miles on the bike per ride won’t notice much of a difference at all. Smaller riders also won’t be as impacted as they can get farther on a single charge. Blasting around town, the bike delivered on the promise of fun mountain biking around town.
The battery and motor not only boost the riding experience, they also offset my out of shape legs. I ride tens of miles most weeks, but that’s hardly enough to correct for far too many hours sitting in front of my laptop trying to change the world with words. It’s like I have the strength I used to have when my bike was my only link to the outside world of school, soccer, friends, and family.
The weight of the RadMission, at just 48 pounds, is noticeable when blasting around town as it shaves off nearly 20 pounds from the weight most ebikes on the market. In case you didn’t catch it, we had a lot of fun on the RadMission. It far exceeded our expectations in just about every circumstance. The smaller motor and lack of gears were noticeable on some of the larger hills, but Rad Power Bikes has a range of fully built out ebikes to suit more aggressive riding.
Most ebikes eschew standard tire sizes in favor of more plush balloon tires as a way of adding a bit of extra cushion in the ride without have to add any suspension to the frame. The RadMission keeps it simple with a set of 27.5 x 1.95″ Kenda Kontact puncture-resistant tires that are a breeze to motor around on.
The RadMission does carry forward many of the fundamental design tenets of the classic mountain bike in a simpler, streamlined ebike package that won’t break the budget. In my time reviewing it, I found it to be a great fit for my wife, where the 500-watt motor had no issues carrying her lighter weight up even the steepest hills. She actually preferred the lack of gears on the RadMission, quickly propelling it to the top of her list of favorite ebikes.
After spending some time on the RadMission, it is a clear leader for smaller riders and riders living in areas without significant elevation changes. The straightforward design of the RadMission ensures it will find a place as a no-nonsense commuter to work, to class, or just around town. The lower price point also makes it a great first ebike for anyone looking for a more affordable entry point into one of the most reputable companies in the space.
All images credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica
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