Author Topic: A new remarkably light RadExpand 5?  (Read 770 times)

John Rose

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A new remarkably light RadExpand 5?
« on: December 01, 2023, 01:47:05 PM »
I just ordered a RadExpand 5 from radpowerbikes.ca on November 29, the day before they bumped them back up to regular price (whew!). Also a saddle bag and a mirror.

I got an email that it was fulfilled Thursday, Nov 30, along with a FedEx tracking number.
FedEx said expected delivery date was Friday December 1.
I go "Say whut?", then noticed that it was said to weigh only 0.5 pounds, and seemed to be headed for Chilliwack, BC. I live in New Brunswick, on the other side of the continent. Probably less than 100 km

So, I got to the Rad support site and started an online chat with "Drew", who managed to determine that I had been given the wrong tracking number. There should have been 3 tracking numbers, which he then gave me. Sure enough, they had a New Brunswick final destination, and an ETA of Tuesday, December 5. That sounds more like it. Yay for Drew! (I've had a couple of chats with him/her and got me some answers about different things.)

But then, the new three-piece parcel tracking info says this:
Quote
WEIGHT   4 lbs / 1.81 kgs
TOTAL PIECES   3
TOTAL SHIPMENT WEIGHT   5.2 lbs / 2.36 kgs



I'll wait and see what actually shows up.
*later*
Oh, hey, I just got email from noreply@radpowerbikes.com.
Quote
Yay! Your package has arrived!
See full order details.
Well, I guess somebody in Chilliwack got . . . something, anyway.
RadMini ST 2 / RadExpand 5

John Rose

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Re: A new remarkably light RadExpand 5?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2023, 05:51:04 PM »
The weights of the three different parcels are 4 lbs, 1 lb, and 0.2 lb.
No help there.
RadMini ST 2 / RadExpand 5

handlebar

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Re: A new remarkably light RadExpand 5?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2023, 03:55:22 AM »
Hmmm...

Fedex said mine was being shipped from Bordendown, only 32 miles from New Brunswick. Coincidence?
There was no news for a week. Then Fedex said they'd picked it up in Kernersville, 500 miles from Bordentown.

The Fedex guy snapped my picture and ran away before I could offer to carry it up the steps for him. Fedex said it weighed 105.7 pounds, and I wondered why it was so easy to get up the steps. When I opened the box, I discovered that the bike is remarkably light. It's sage, which is supposed to be gray-green but looks off-white to me.

John Rose

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Re: A new remarkably light RadExpand 5?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2023, 11:50:35 AM »

Fedex said mine was being shipped from Bordendown, only 32 miles from New Brunswick. Coincidence?
There was no news for a week. Then Fedex said they'd picked it up in Kernersville, 500 miles from Bordentown.
Heh. My "New Brunswick" is the Canadian province.
It could be worse. This is the journey of a burgonet (helmet) I'd ordered from North Carolina:

May 22, 2018, 3:41 pm
Shipping Label Created, USPS Awaiting Item
ELKIN, NC 28621​

May 23, 2018, 8:00 pm
Accepted at USPS Origin Facility
ELKIN, NC 28621

May 23, 2018, 9:15 pm
Arrived at USPS Regional Facility
GREENSBORO NC DISTRIBUTION CENTER

May 24, 2018
In Transit to Next Facility

May 25, 2018
In Transit to Next Facility

May 26, 2018, 8:50 am
Arrived at Regional Facility
MIAMI FL INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER

May 26, 2018, 8:50 am
Processed Through Regional Facility
MIAMI FL INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER

May 29, 2018, 11:49 am
Arrived
MIAMI, UNITED STATES

May 29, 2018, 8:55 pm
Departed
LOUISVILLE, UNITED STATES

May 29, 2018, 8:55 pm
Departed
WEST PALM BEACH, UNITED STATES

May 31, 2018, 2:36 pm
Departed
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES

May 31, 2018, 5:36 pm
Departed
LOUISVILLE, UNITED STATES
Your item departed a transfer airport in METROPOLITAN AREA, LOUISVILLE, UNITED STATES on May 31, 2018 at 5:36 pm. The item is currently in transit to the destination.

June 5, 2018, 3:45 pm
Departed
MIAMI, UNITED STATES

June 5, 2018, 6:33 pm
Departed
WEST PALM BEACH, UNITED STATES
Your item departed from an intermediate transfer airport in INTERNATIONAL, WEST PALM BEACH, UNITED STATES on June 5, 2018 at 6:33 pm. The item is currently in transit to the destination.

June 7, 2018, 12:33 pm
Departed
MONTREAL, CANADA
Your item departed a transfer airport in DORVAL, MONTREAL, CANADA on June 7, 2018 at 12:33 pm. The item is currently in transit to the destination.​

June 11, 2018, 1:30 am
Customs Clearance
CANADA​

June 11, 2018, 11:30 am
Processed Through Facility
CANADA
Your item was processed through a facility in CANADA on June 11, 2018 at 11:30 am. The item is currently in transit to the destination.

Date 2018/06/14
Time 13:36
Location DIEPPE
Description Item arrived

Date 2018/06/14
Time 16:27
Location DIEPPE
Description Item processed

2018/06/15 Received in Sackville, NB


Louisville? Los Angeles? Several times in and out of Miami?

I think I'll inquire about the dubious parcel weights on Monday.
RadMini ST 2 / RadExpand 5

handlebar

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Re: A new remarkably light RadExpand 5?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2023, 03:02:07 PM »
My grandfather was a postmaster from 1930 to 1954. He had a Hammond atlas with an extensive listing of U. S. towns so he could route letters to unfamiliar places, especially if handwriting wasn't clear.

Zip codes came in in 1963. Then came four-digit extensions so every address could have a unique number. Then came bar codes. Often a machine can read even a handwritten address and apply the bar code for the 9-digit number. Sometimes a human is involved.

I guess there wasn't a 9-digit code for your address, and post-office workers were under such pressure to do so many pieces per minute that time after time, nobody took a moment to figure out where to route it.

John Rose

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Re: A new remarkably light RadExpand 5?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2023, 07:49:38 PM »
A new work week, a new Customer Service interaction.
Quote
Hi John,
It was a pleasure chatting with you today.  Thank you for reaching out to Rad Power Bikes regarding your order number 30-160823. 
Weight:
The weight for the bike is more often than not put in as 1 lb.  Based on the tracking 705412080069 should be the bike and it is scheduled for delivery Wednesday, December 6.
Shipping:
The email you received was for the wrong tracking number that was placed on your order. The bike has the tracking number 705412080069, which, as noted above, will de delivered on Wednesday.
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out.
Have a great day!

Stephanie
I gotta say, I'm not seeing any real problems with Rad customer service yet.
RadMini ST 2 / RadExpand 5

John Rose

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Re: A new remarkably light RadExpand 5?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2023, 12:20:03 AM »
Yay! it came today (Dec 6). And it's considerably more than 1 pound. The mirror came too but, sadly, the driver forgot to leave the third parcel, which was the saddle bag. The new ETA for that is tomorrow. The tracking info indicates "Local weather delay - Delivery not attempted". Yeah, right. It was on the same truck already. But, the saddle bag is the least critical of the three.

I was surprised to see that it had the Tektro brakes and Shimano shifter, instead of the Radius brakes and Microshift shifter that all the reviewers had been pointing out. The radpowerbikes.ca product description says Microshift underbar shifter too.
Oh, and it has the bell integrated with the left brake handle, like on the RadMini ST2.

The biggest problem in assembly was the front wheel. There was a plastic cap on one end of the axle (not mentioned in the instructions), and when I got it off there a piece left in the axle. I could not get the quick-release skewer through the axle. One end had what looked like a black hexagonal stud sticking out of it. I was beginning to think that maybe this was a third (and undocumented) type of axle. It deformed when I tried to get it out with a wrench, and vise-grips just mashed it further. I this point I decided it was just plastic that broke off the protective cap. I found a steel rod, put it into the axle, and tapped at it with a hammer. Out popped the plastic fragment, making it possible to install the skewer.

Then I hit another problem trying to line up the brake rotor and fit the axle onto the fork. I had to take the brake caliper off completely to get the wheel on. Now the reinstalled front brake either scrapes ever-so-faintly or else the brake handle has to travel a lot more than I'd like before the brake engages firmly. I'll have to fine-tune that before the test ride.

The handlebars are a pill to tighten. I keep tightening the four stem clamp bolts, worrying that something will break. Some kind of knurling would've helped.
Or some of these?


Finally (after midnight) I got it all together and decided to light it up. Could NOT find the keys. I had them earlier in the unboxing. I looked all over my work area and was prepared to dump out the mini trashcan to see if they fell in there. I lifted up the can and there they were, underneath it.  ::)
It did fire up. LED display/control pad worked, headlight and tail/brake lights light up. I drove it two feet forward with the throttle. Four times.
I'll kinda' miss all the info on the LCD display for a while, but I do like having the dedicated light switch. A phone app will give me speed/odometer info.
Quote from: Weather Forecast
A mix of sun and cloud with 30 percent chance of flurries. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40. High minus 3 [Celsius]. Wind chill minus 14 in the morning and minus 9 in the afternoon.
Good enough for me.
RadMini ST 2 / RadExpand 5

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Re: A new remarkably light RadExpand 5?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2023, 05:49:35 PM »
When I assembled my first Rad bike, I discovered that the step-by-step manual skipped the front wheel. I'd never mounted a quick-release wheel or a disk-brake wheel. I had to guess. It came out okay.

My second Rad bike was worse. The skewer assembly came mounted with a hard stainless steel spacer between the nut and the dropout. I figured they wouldn't use hard stainless steel as packing material, so I used it when I mounted the wheel. Several weeks later I noticed that the nut was loose because the spacer had let it rotate. I don't know why it was there in the first place.

My Aventon came with a solid front axle. I can remove the wheel about as fast as with a quick release, and it's safer because it's foolproof besides making a stronger assembly.

The drag and long lever movement of your front brake suggest to me that the caliper is misaligned, like the rear caliper of my first Rad bike. The fix is easy. Make sure that the cable is loose enough to let the lever on the caliper open to the stop. Loosen the two bolts holding the caliper half a turn or so, allowing it to be repositioned.

With a 5mm hex bit on a shaft maybe 6" long, reach through the spokes to turn the adjuster on the spoke side of the caliper. Turn it clockwise until the wheel won't turn. Then back off a click or two until the wheel turns freely.

Now apply the brake with the lever on the handlebar. If the lever bottoms out agains the bar, you'll need to tighten the cable. If you tie the lever to the handlebar to keep the brake applied, the disk will keep the caliper aligned while you tighten the two mounting bolts.

The result should be firm lever action and no drag.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2023, 06:22:44 PM by handlebar »

John Rose

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Re: A new remarkably light RadExpand 5?
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2023, 01:22:20 AM »
...
With a 5mm hex bit on a shaft maybe 6" long, reach through the spokes to turn the adjuster on the spoke side of the caliper. Turn it clockwise until the wheel won't turn. Then back off a click or two until the wheel turns freely.
...
*facepalm* That sounds so much simpler than what I was considering, which was to slip in a very thin shim while tightening the caliper with the adjuster (and maybe the cable), then remove it.
As it is, I think I had backed off the spoke-side adjuster by maybe 3 clicks to facilitate putting it on the rotor, then lost count in going back and forth tightening and loosening it.
I shouldn't have to play with the cable length with the barrel adjuster, but that at least is a familiar procedure.

During the business of tightening the adjuster "until the wheel won't turn" I should leave the two mounting bolts loose so that the caliper centres itself to the rotor, right? Then torque down the two mounting bolts.
RadMini ST 2 / RadExpand 5

handlebar

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Re: A new remarkably light RadExpand 5?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2023, 04:51:00 AM »

During the business of tightening the adjuster "until the wheel won't turn" I should leave the two mounting bolts loose so that the caliper centres itself to the rotor, right? Then torque down the two mounting bolts.

Yes, that's it, but I want the brake on (lashed) when I tighten the bolts, so that the caliper is clamped to the disk, to keep it aligned. (Yours seems to be out of alignment with the disk. Radpower's instructions seemed to say to align it visually, and that sounded too tricky for me. If it's loose, clamping it to the disk will align it. If I release the brake, I might turn it out of alignment while tightening.)

With cables, I discovered something else. Eventually, I'd get "cable stretch" on the rear.  It wasn't the cable but the housing, which is like a coiled spring. Over time, repeated flexing from turning the handlebars would stretch the housing. Lengthening the housing would shorten the bare cable at the caliper, causing the pads to drag lightly and wear. When I pulled the lever, I'd have to compress the housing before I could get much braking.

Periodically, I'd put the rear cable housing under compression overnight by lashing the rear brake lever to the handlebar. I'd find much less "cable stretch" in the morning.

It wasn't such a problem with the front because turning the bars didn't flex the cable.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2023, 04:58:16 AM by handlebar »

Rad Power Bikes Owners Forum

Re: A new remarkably light RadExpand 5?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2023, 04:51:00 AM »