Welcome Rad Power Bike owners!

Buying a Rad Power Bike? Support the forum and use my affiliate link:

Be sure to sign up for a free account to see posted images.

Note: To help support to ongoing costs of running
the site we use Amazon affiliate links.

Main Menu

RadCity 5 Plus first thoughts (New to ebikes)

Started by Slowrider, October 16, 2021, 12:20:06 AM

Previous topic - Next topic Support the rad owners forum


This is my first ebike and I'm super excited!  I got my RadCity 5 Plus in today, assembled it, and went for a short ride.  I wanted to share my thoughts as a new person to ebikes and maybe get some input from the knowledgeable people here.  Sorry if this is becomes too wordy!

The box was freaking huge!  That poor FedEx lady looked like she was going to die carrying it.  When I got it in I took pictures of all four sides as suggested by Rad bikes.  Then I cut the tape on the top and thought how am I going to get this out.  I didn't want to cut up the box in case it was damaged and I needed it for return so I carefully leaned it on something and pulled it out at an angle.  Nothing was damaged at least nothing I found yet

Assembly was easy but not as easy as in the video.  That trick where he kicks away the stand and easily drops the fork on the wheel... Yeah I couldn't do that especially since it has you doing it before tightening the handlebars.  I ended up turning it upside down (on carpet) then putting the wheel on that way.  The only other thing I thought was weird was they said insert the quick release on the brake rotor side.  I've seen videos saying you should do the opposite but since Rad made a point to say do it that specific way that's what I did.  Other than setting the kickstand down on my foot it went off without a problem. 

I took it for a ride but it was dark so I had to cut it short due to the headlight being pretty much a daytime running light.  I couldn't see it illuminating anything in front of me.  It's not an issue though because I ordered the premium headlight and just waiting on the post office to deliver it.  I suspect most people don't ride at night so I can't fault Rad for not putting a more expensive headlight on because it would be a waste.  At least they give the option to buy it. 

I tried power level 0-2 and it was not bad.  Even on power level 0 without the assist I had no problems pedaling it.  I could ride it to the store like that.  On 1 I definitely could feel the help and 2 seemed a bit more peppy and maybe it went a little faster.  I'll have a better feel of it tomorrow because I plan to take it out after the battery does it 12 hour charge thing.  I think I'll love the upright riding position once I get used to it.  It feels like you're riding one of those old school bicycles and I really like the look and feel!

I forgot about the bell.  I noticed it would ring a little when I hit a bump.  Is this normal or does it need adjusting or something?

The charger gets very hot like holding a hot cup of coffee hot.  I put a fan on it so now it's cool.  I read somewhere that it's only the first few times it does this.

Sorry for the rambling and please delete if not allowed.  I just wanted to share my thoughts as someone who never had an ebike or even that style of bike before.  Any advice or suggestions are more than welcome!


Congrats on your new ride, Slowrider!  It sounds like you're doing everything right so far (Does the new Plus model require 3-ride battery conditioning for 12 hours as previous batteries do?  Don't forget that, if so.), but make sure you check all bolts and quick-release fasteners to make sure they're tightened appropriately - sometimes things work loose in shipping.  In particular, the quick-release handles on the front fork and seatpost should be quite difficult, but not impossible, to cinch down if they're tightened correctly.

Don't know about the charger, since this is a new model.  If it's the same charger used previously, it should not get that hot, mine gets fairly warm, but maybe a new design has a break-in period as you said.  Is it a 2-amp charger as previously, or greater?

My factory bell does not ding even on severe bumps; maybe yours can be adjusted somehow.  I use that for my courtesy dinger on quiet trails, but have added two more for noisy trails ( ) and window-up car drivers ( ), in increasingly-loud order.  The latter is fierce, but may be handy when needed.

The stock headlight just stinks, as you mentioned, and I hate to break it to you, but I think you'll find the "premium" headlight really isn't, and you'll end up feeling the same about it.  I kept mine only because it looks better and more in proportion than the stock unit.  My negative review  of it on Rad's purchase page, along with other similar ones, always seems to sink down well below the reviews most people see.  Somehow.

If you ride after dark, or even want to be seen during the day, here's the headlight you want:
Spend the money; you'll thank me later.  It's pretty phenomenal - I run in slow-strobe mode during the day.

I also recommend this, clipped onto the back somewhere (mine is strapped to the spring assembly underneath my seat) - it's a great design, well-built, small and very bright and flashy:

How do you like the stock seat?  I tried 4 alternatives on my MiniST before I found the perfect seat for me; it's like trying on shoes.
Shucks Ma'am, I'm no "Hero Member", I just like to wear this cape.


I put together my new Rad City 5 this past weekend. I made a video of the assembly and will post it on youtube when I have finished editing. It took me about 3 hours to put the bike together and of course it did not go as smoothly as the video! Still, it was fun and an enjoyable way to spend Saturday morning, coffee cup in hand.

One of the first things I noticed is a change of shifter and derailleur.  Instead of the Shimano Altus, it came with a Microshift Mezzu (see photos). I actually like this shifter better than the Shimano because you don't have to reach as far as on the Shimano (I test rode a Rad city 4).

On my first real ride, I went out for 17 miles and it was almost effortless. I kept it mainly on PAS 3, otherwise the pedaling seems just performative. I did unlock it to the top speed of 25mph. It feels a little scary riding at that speed, but it might just take some getting used to. I did order a new ebike helmet (Bern Hudson) to account for the higher speeds.



I got mine this morning and started trying to assemble it but immediately hit a snag. When trying to take the plate off the steerer tube (the step at ~2:20 in the Rad assembly video), the bolt just spun and spun without coming out. So for now assembly is paused....

I'm hoping it's not just a poorly-machined part that is going to force me to send the whole bike back. Getting this bike delivered has already been a little bit of a chore.


Can you remove the cardboard spacer, or is it stuck? Supposedly Rad can talk you through problems on the phone.


I pulled the cardboard spacer off, but still can't get the bolt & cap removed

I emailed rad this afternoon, maybe I'll hear from them about how to proceed


Update, they said based on the video I sent them that the nut that holds the bolt is spinning rather than stationary, so the bolt isn't coming out. They don't have a solution for me besides sending a tech out to look at my bike... in two weeks.

They've been friendly and pretty responsive, which is good, but it's frustrating to have the bike show up with a defect that I have to wait weeks for them to fix. And even if I wanted to ship the defective bike back for a replacement it would be on me to get this gigantic 70lb+ box over to a FedEx somehow.

The bike looks really nice, but overall so far I'm pretty lukewarm on this Rad experience.


I put together an assembly video. I have had the Rad City 5 for about a month and a half and love it.


Okay I just noticed all of these replies so I'm writing a long reply back to everyone.  Sorry this is so long or if I missed something.

JimInPT I'm not sure if it needed it but I did the 12 hour charge thing three times.  They have a newer style charger shipping with the RadCity 5 but the one I got isn't that.  It's branded Kunshan ST electronics.  Says input 100-240 VAC and output 48V 2A.  It's not hot enough to burn you but hot enough were you wouldn't want to hold it for an extended period of time.  I wish I had a way to measure the temperature but I'd say slightly less than a paper cup with hot coffee in it.

The bell stopped ringing on bumps so maybe it just needed to break in or something?  The bell from Amazon looks nice and I added the horn to my Amazon shopping list.

It's a shame that a bike that costs close to 2k has poorly designed headlight like that.  I really hope Rad fixes this in the future.  It makes me wonder if they actually took it out at night and tested it.  The premium headlight is slightly better but still bad.  I have other removable headlights that charge with micro USB but it's a PITA compared to a built in headlight.  The built in headlight powered by the electrical system is just something you don't have to think about and if this is going to be a "car replacement" like it's been marketed as, this is a big failure IMO.  Imagine if you had to remove your car's headlights and take them inside to charge before you drove at night LOL.

The stock seat isn't too bad.  It seems to be more for comfort.  I don't have a lot to compare it to other than much harder traditional seats.  I did add a Thudbuster ST suspension seatpost and that seems to help.  Everyone talks about the Cloud 9 seats so that might be my next purchase.

geoman that's an awesome video!  I turned the box upside down to get it out since it was just me.  I think your cutters must be poor quality or worn to not cut zip ties.  I think they used some fancy side cutters but I didn't want to buy another tool so I used a safety box cutter that I had. 

After one attempt of putting on the wheel I felt that it was too heavy for one person to lift and do that without risking damage.  I turned the bike upside down resting the handlebars on pillows to protect the displays.  This should be what they should put in the Rad assembly video because it worked very well and was easy.  You could tell with those weird camera angles in their video that they had multiple people off camera holding the bike to make that happen.

Mine also had the Microshift Mezzu.  I didn't notice it wasn't what was listed till you mentioned it.  It seems to work perfectly for me.  The position of the shifter takes getting used to compared to my MTB but I'm not shifting nearly as often so no big deal.

I go from PA2 to PA3 plus sometimes use the throttle for taking off at lights when I'm not in the right gear.  I've even rode it on PA0 and I was surprised it wasn't more difficult.  Of course that's on flat ground.  I couldn't imagine going uphill on a 74 pound bike with a 250 pound rider.  As to the 20 MPH limit I'm not messing with it just yet.  It's fast enough for my comfort zone and if I'm in a hurry and want to go faster I'll drive my car.

I looked at the "ebike" helmets but I suspiciously feel that they're relabeling bicycle helmets and putting some good marking on it.  I couldn't find any certifications to distinguish between the two.  Also if you get a helmet make sure it's MIPS.  I noticed some ebike helmets didn't even have that.  I need to research this more though.

PlacePerson did Rad ever fix your stuck bolt issue?  I can imagine getting a new bike and finding out something needs fixing would be bad.  This is the downside to buying a bicycle that needs assembly.  I have a feeling this would be an easy fix for an experienced bicycle mechanic but for someone like you or me not so much.  Rad really can't do anything other than give advice over the phone and if that doesn't work exchange the bike for another one.  It would be nice if they could ship it a little bit more assembled.

I've had it for a month and a half now and it's been going well for the most part. For the first two weeks or so I had some anxiety about leaving it locked up outside at my work but I came to realize that if it stays in my room then it was just a waste of money.  I bought a very heavy chain that I used to lock it up.  I have some difficulty getting on and off it since mine isn't a step through model.  I think I underestimated this since I didn't have any issues with my MTB but it doesn't have a basket or weigh 74 pounds.  I think this is just something I'll have to work on with my technique.  Riding it has been fun.  It's a little dangerous on the road here but I usually wear a reflective vest and the lights help.  I put on the wheel reflectors and even the reflector on the mud guard.  I did lay it down once going too fast around a corner.  That was a painful lesson to be more careful.  Just some bruises, road rash and a little embarrassment.  I can't let that discourage me though.


I'm quite enthralled and lusting after  the City 5 after having and returning the city 3 and now have a Mini-4 I am quite happy with but look forward to either adding a City 5 or converting my Cannondale to a kit bike with longer legs than the mini has.   My S/O has both a mini ST and a City 3 ST which she confirms has "longer Legs" speed wise then the mini with geared hub higher torque.    I have been thru all the aftermarket seats including cloud9, FIDO and Walmart Italian cushion seat and find the stock seat with Suntour NCX shock post the most comfy for me..

I think City 5 is more of an Evolution of the 3 than a revolution with much more coming in the years ahead with vast improvements.  Kinda reminds me of harley davidson in the 70's which made mechanics of all riders including me! 


I'm new here, and wanted to say thank you the RadCity 5 is what I am looking at for my wife and I.  All your experiences are PRICELESS!!!! Thanks again - BooneDawg!


I'm still undecided on either the RadCity plus 5 or the 6. No need to hurry to purchase as the weather is poor for riding.
They are both the same price and wondered if they are exactly the same mechanically as I'm not thrilled with the fat tires of the 6 model.


Good Morning,  5 plus and 5 plus step-thru are ready to be picked up this morning and I'm stoked.  Former cross country rider but 8 surgeries later (3 knee replacements) and I'm looking for a little help to keep riding. I'm sure hoping the step-thru for my wife will bring her over to my preferred way of travel.  My question, has anyone replaced the stock headlamp with something that really works at night?  I've got a decent USB charged portable light for my mtn bike (800 LUM) and can add to the RAD but I'm looking for an actual wired replacement. (1100 LUM would be great)  Where I ride, it's very dark with lots of potholes and wildlife to watch out for.  Looking forward to learning from everyone.

Radding Along

Plugging/rigging an aftermarket headlight into an ebike is just asking for trouble. Why risk damaging the controller and voiding your warranty? There are so many headlight options out there that have rechargeable batteries. And mini battery storage devices for cell phones that can be used as backup power for the headlight.

Support the rad owners forum