RadMission – Electric Metro Bike. Rad power bikes radmission

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.

radmission, electric, metro, bike

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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Review of RadMission 1 — Lightest, Cheapest, and Raddest So Far

When making the RadMission 1 review, we discovered that it is the lightest and simplest Rad Power Bikes’ e-bike you can get. This cheap city commuter is ideal for urban riders who are seeking more freedom, and I thoroughly enjoyed riding it.

In some circles, e-bikes used to have a bad reputation of being heavy, clunky, and too complicated to use and maintain. However, that is changing as the number of electric bicycles on the streets around the world is booming—the industry is expected to sell 130M e-bikes between 2020–2023.

radmission, electric, metro, bike

In our opinion, RadMission 1 is the type of e-bike that helped bring about that change as it looks ordinary and down to earth. At first glance, it resembles an “analog” bike, until you spot the battery and the rear hub motor.

  • MSRP: 1,099
  • Motor and Battery: 500W / 504Wh
  • Estimated Range: 25 – 45 miles
  • Weight: 48 lbs
  • Two frame types available in two sizes
  • City-friendly single-speed drivetrain
  • Available in five modern and attractive colors

We enjoyed riding this single-speed urban electric commuter and had fun testing it inappropriate and quite inappropriate conditions.

It faired quite well showing that it’s capable of being an all-around workhorse despite the low price and limited e-power.

Specs

RadMission 1 is a class 2 e-bike with a 500W motor and a good-looking aluminum frame with a rigid steel fork. That makes it strong and durable, able to handle the stress and abuse that comes with daily exploitation on city streets.

The bike comes in two sizes and with two frame designs. The step-through frame is a size 18″ and fits riders between 5’2″ – 6’2″. The step-over frame that we’ve been testing is a size 21.5″ and fits riders in the 5’10” – 6’5″ height range.

From our experience, tall people can ride the RadMission 1, but they’ll have more pressure on their hands as they’ll have to raise the saddle higher.

This is a single-speed e-bike, which has both pros and cons. On the upside, this drivetrain is easy to ride and simple to maintain. On the downside, you might have to stomp the pedals when climbing very steep hills.

Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes with 180mm rotors lend plenty of stopping power.

For braking, this bike uses solid Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes, which is a tried-and-true choice. We found them to be quite reliable and powerful and the brake lever even comes with an integrated bell. The brakes are connected to a motor cutoff, which will help you extend the range a bit and be more efficient.

Another positive feature is the Kenda Kontact 27.5×1.95″ tires that are pretty wide. Therefore, they could easily deal with curbs, potholes, cracked asphalt, and even some light trails. These tires also feature a puncture-resistant liner and reflective sidewalls.

At this price point, you will not get fenders. But you can easily fit them yourself later on, which is a must if you ride year-round. What you will get are battery-powered front and rear lights. The rear light also acts as a brake light, so it activates whenever you engage the brakes. Both lights are decently bright so we were able to ride at night with ease.

The headlight is bright enough to illuminate the road in front of you, and the rear light doubles as a brake light.

Even though this bike does not come with many stock accessories, it abounds in eyelets throughout the frame, so you can modify it any way you’d like. We recommend fitting a front and rear rack if you plan to carry a lot of stuff with you. You can also fit a child seat on the rear rack and use RadMission 1 as a proper car replacement.

Electric Components

The 500W rear hub motor helps you conquer hills with four pedal-assist levels and the throttle.

Rad Power Bikes are known to be some of the cheapest around, but they’re also notorious for being in the heavyweight category. However, RadMission 1 is breaking the mold with a weight of just 48 lbs. and a payload capacity of 275 lbs.

The weight and price savings have mostly been achieved by changing the electrical components. Instead of a 750W motor, this bike is powered by a 500W rear hub motor and a smaller and lighter 504Wh battery (instead of 672Wh). The battery pack comes with a key and a lock, so it stays secured on the bike. You can charge it on and off the bike, whatever is more convenient for you.

As RadMission 1 is lighter than other models, we didn’t feel the difference in the pull that much despite the weaker electric components.

Even though the electronics are slimmed down, the range has remained the same. According to Rad Power Bikes, you can expect 25–45 miles of pedal assist and throttle range.

This bike features four assist levels and a throttle, with a 20 MPH maximum motor-assist speed. In our tests, the motor had decent amounts of torque and only struggled to keep up on very steep hills. The throttle is fun to use and functional but it seems to drain the battery rather quickly. So to achieve the 45 mile range, you’ll have to stick to pedal-assist levels 1 or 2.

The LED control panel is simple but gets the job done. The battery is removable and features a lock to improve safety.

Instead of an LCD display found on other Rad Power Bikes’ models like RadWagon 4 or RadRover 5, RadMission 1 features a more basic LED control panel. This straightforward panel lets you turn the bike on and off, turn the lights on and off, control the pedal-assist levels, and track your battery percentage. If you want to track speed and distance, you’ll have to use your phone or a GPS computer.

Ride Impressions and Test Results

For the purposes of this test, we aimed to ride RadMission 1 on different types of terrain and different types of surfaces to see where its limits are. The bike performed surprisingly well on paved roads, bike paths, and fire roads. It was also able to deal with moderate-to-steep hills, though the lack of power was noticeable in some instances.

It’s easier to assemble than it looks!

The main limitation is the single-speed drivetrain, which is also one of the main selling points of this bike. Because of the limited gear-ratio, you’ll have to approach big hills with some momentum to get over them. But this is only the case with 7-8 percent hills. On flat ground, it was easy to reach 20 MPH, whereas uphill you can expect to go between 10-13 MPH, which is still pretty fast.

It was pretty easy to carry it up a flight of stairs, it’s fun to ride, it looks awesome, and it’s available in five attractive colors. You can also upgrade it with numerous accessories that will make it unique and your own.

The idea behind RadMission 1 is to revolutionize urban commuting, especially for millennials who shy away from flashy electric bikes that many consider to be an eyesore.

Compared to other Rad Power Bikes models, we’d describe this bike as an entry-level model. It’s fast on the pavement thanks to the narrow 27.5 x 1.95″ tires but it’s not too comfortable on unpaved roads. We took it on some light trails just to see what would happen and we did have fun, but it was hella bumpy.

The only issue some riders might have with this bike is that it has no suspension. If you appreciate comfort or you have some back issues, we recommend getting a suspension seatpost. It costs 109 on their website and even less on Amazon.

Frequently Asked Questions

How fast does the RadMission 1 go?

RadMission 1 is a class 2 e-bike with a 20 MPH maximum pedal-assist and throttle speed. You can achieve this speed on flat roads, but you’ll go a bit slower when climbing hills. If you want to go faster, you can keep pedaling without any assistance from the motor.

radmission, electric, metro, bike

Is RadMission any good?

RadMission 1 is an excellent choice for youthful riders and anyone who wants to feel that way. This is an affordable and lightweight e-bike with a decently powerful motor and more than enough range for everyday riding. It’s a solid option for commuting and leisure riding.

How much does RadMission cost?

RadMission 1 costs 1,099, which makes it the cheapest e-bike in Rad Power Bikes’ lineup. This bike offers surprisingly high value for the money which you can see in the lightweight design, powerful electric components, good range, and various innovative features.

Final Thoughts

It’s pretty exciting to see that Rad Power Bikes is continuing to improve their lineup by making it cheaper and more accessible, instead of more expensive and more luxurious.

RadMission 1 is RADically different than the company’s previous models. Still, we feel that all of the changes were made in the right direction. The end result is an attractive no-frills urban workhorse that is certain to get more people out of cars and public transportation and enable them to start pedaling more.

We can definitely see ourselves riding it every day to commute to work, run errands, or just have some fun on a casual weekend ride through the park.

About The Author

Jeff Balton

Jeff’s been riding and racing road and mountain bikes for most of his life. It all started when he was seven years old and received his first mountain bike. He likes to write about bicycle-related stuff, help organize events for the community, and he dreams that one day there will be more free time for everyone. You can often find Jeff riding with his kids. At the moment, they’re either in the child bike seat, or he’s running next (read: far behind) their balance bikes

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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

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.

radmission, electric, metro, bike

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.

The Experience

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.

Overall

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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Top 5 Reasons Why the RadMission 1 Should Be Your First Ebike

The RadMission 1 is a joy to ride and that is in large part because of its highly efficient single-speed drivetrain. Fixie enthusiasts may find it easy to cross over into ebike territory on this bike because of the relatively high gearing of this single speed. For those haters that say riding an ebike is not really “exercising” I’ve personally put lots of miles on this ebike without engaging throttle or pedal assist modes and it rides beautifully. You wouldn’t want to tackle too many hills in “analog mode,” remembering it still only has one gear, but on flat, smooth terrain you don’t need to engage the motor if you’re just looking to get a good workout.

On the other hand, if you’re not in great biking shape you might find it a little difficult to get a quick start on this bike because of its relatively high gearing. There’s obviously no shame in riding this bike exclusively as an ebike which is undoubtedly what most people are buying an ebike for. A simple twist of the throttle will propel you forward with ample thrust. We also found the pedal assist modes to be highly responsive and comparable to some 750W motors we’ve tested as far as acceleration.

When you combine a torquey gear ratio, a well designed crankset and a strong 500W motor that produces 50Nm of torque, what you get is an ebike that feels faster than an 1100 bike should be able to go. I found myself loving the acceleration at first but quickly grew frustrated when the motor would cut out at exactly 20 mph. To be fair, this is exactly what the RadMission, rated as a class 2 ebike, is designed to do. One easy way to get around the 20mph restriction to unlock an extra 3-4mph of speed is to spend 99 on the LCD screen upgrade. There are several videos on YouTube, like this one, that explain how to access the speed limit settings on your bike. After all, 24mph is plenty fast for a city commuter bike.

It’s safe, sturdy and dollar for dollar one of the best values you can get in an ebike

There are little things about this ebike that remind you that it’s made for the budget category. The battery kind of looks like it’s just bolted onto the frame and the controller is completely exposed, as well as all of the wires. It kind of looks like a plain, steel frame bike that Mike Radenbaugh converted in his shop back in the days when Rad was just a one man operation.

But what the bike lacks in aesthetics it more than makes up for with sensible, high quality components and a sturdy aluminum frame. One of the things we like about this bike is that it comes with a 40 lux front light and an integrated rear brake light, components you don’t expect at this price point. You can add a rear rack for only 79 and in our test we were pleased at the sturdiness of this high-quality rack. It’s only rated for 40 pounds but we think that’s very conservative. In fact, we think this rack feels a lot more solid than some of the free racks we’ve seen with other ebike models

Like all Rad Power Bikes, the RadMission comes with puncture resistant tires but at 27.5×1.95 inches, these are the narrowest tires Rad sells. On city streets these tires allow riders to easily reach speeds above 20 mph but are stout enough to handle some light off-road duty. We found them to be more than capable on rough grass or hard packed dirt. It wouldn’t be a Rad bike if the tires didn’t offer some good versatility.

It’s versatile, light and easy to store

Some of the more expensive ebike options offer beefier frames, bigger tires, added suspension, and larger batteries with more range. Those bikes have their merits of course but they’re almost never going to be under 60 pounds. So good luck lugging that thing up and down stairs if you don’t own a garage. For many of us that live in apartments or condos this is a big impediment to buying an ebike.

The RadMission on the other hand, is only about 48 pounds. There are definitely lighter ebikes on the market but they probably won’t offer the same performance or safety as the RadMission. This is a bike that won’t take up too much space in your house and that you can feel comfortable hanging on a sturdy, wall mounted bike rack.

The RadMission is super affordable

When you buy an 1100 ebike you usually have to make a few compromises. You might have to go with a lesser known brand that might not have a robust service network. Or you might get a bike that requires a ton of assembly when it arrives on your doorstep. Or you might have to settle for low quality components and a less powerful motor.

With the RadMission 1 you’re getting a high quality bike with a powerful motor that arrives at your house almost completely assembled. You even get the option of a high-step and a mid-step frame, not one size fits all, and the option of four gorgeous colors; some of the prettiest we’ve seen on any ebike on the market.

You’re simply not going to do much better than the RadMission 1 for 1100 and even by adding a few extra components, like a kickstand, a rear rack and fenders, you can still go home with one for around 1300. Sure you can find cheaper ebikes that include all these components but there aren’t that many companies that can compete with Rad’s service and support.

In a lot of ways buying a Rad Power Bike is like driving a Honda. Yeah there might be sexier looking cars out there but dollar for dollar you aren’t going to do better than a Honda. Besides, you know you can always find a Honda mechanic to work on your car that wont charge you an arm and a leg and that’s kind of like owning a Rad Power Bike is like. No one ever regrets buying one.

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