As more commuters look for alternative methods of getting around, electric bikes such as the new Rad Power RadCity 5 Plus, are sure to gain traction. The RadCity 5 Plus sports a somewhat sleeker design than its predecessor, the RadCity 4, as well as a slightly longer range — and a slightly higher price.
Both RadCity 5 Plus models have slightly beefier frames to accommodate their removable batteries, which are a bit more streamlined, and don't protrude out as far as those on the RadCity 4. For those who are familiar, the 5 Plus looks more like the company's newer RadRover 6 Plus fat tire bike.
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The RadCity 5 Plus comes in both a high-step and a step-through model; the former is made for riders from 5 feet, 4 inches to 6 feet, 5 inches, while the latter is best for riders from 4 foot, 8 inches to 6 feet.
In the center of the handlebars is a small LCD display which shows your speed, mileage, battery life remaining, and more. On the left handlebar is a smaller digital readout and two buttons that let you adjust the level of pedal assist. The right side has a 7-speed mechanical shifter, as well as a twist throttle that will propel the bike, unassisted, at speeds up to 20 miles per hour.
Like the RadCity 4, the RadCity 5 Plus has a 750W rear hub motor, but the company claims that the new bike can climb hills 40 percent faster than before.
The battery locks into place using a key, and cleverly can also be used to charge other devices, whether it's plugged into the bike or not. Optional adapters let you connect your smartphone, for instance.
Owing to the redesigned motor and tires, the RadCity 5 Plus has 11 percent more range than the RadCity 4 — between 28 to 50 miles before you need to recharge the battery. Other improvements include hydraulic disc brakes and ceramic pads, which should provide much better stopping power.
I had a chance to test ride the RadCity 5 Plus in Liberty State Park, and found both models to be very comfortable; as I stand about 6 feet tall, I found the step-through model brought my hands slightly closer to my body. But both models seat you in a very upright position, which makes for a very leisurely ride. We'll be able to give it a more thorough evaluation in the coming weeks.
Among the best electric bikes, the closest competition to the RadCity 5 Plus looks to be the Charge Bikes City, which has similar specs, costs about $100 less, and also offers both step-over and step-through models.
The RadCity 5 Plus is available for pre-order; the bike costs $1,799 (CAN $2,299), and will be available in Europe this winter for €1,799.
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