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"New Rad" CEO Letter - Thoughts?

Started by Ryan, January 29, 2023, 08:36:03 AM

Previous topic - Next topic Rad E-Bike April 2024 Promotion


I'm sure many of you received this letter from Phil Molyneux, Rad's newish CEO. Curious to hear what the general consensus is of Rad after their RadWagon troubles, lineup etc. What would you like to see from the company? Full letter below:

Dear valued Rad rider,

I?d like to take a moment to introduce myself and give you a behind-the-scenes look at some of the exciting work we?re doing to improve your experience as a member of our community.

My name is Phil Molyneux, and I?m the new CEO at Rad Power Bikes. I was born in England, reside in San Diego, and consider myself fortunate to live in an area that?s ideal for impromptu ebike rides.

Our founder, Mike Radenbaugh, brought me on board in March of 2022. As with many founders, as the company grows they value bringing on more seasoned leadership. As someone who began building racing motorcycles in their youth, I was proud to accept the torch from a like-minded, former teenage tinkerer.

I was drawn to Rad because I have a lifelong affection for developing world-class products. If you?ve ever enjoyed a Dyson appliance or a Sony Electronics item within the past few decades, for instance, there?s a good chance that I?ve had a hand in it. The opportunity to work with new products that promote sustainability sealed the deal.

Since its inception, Rad Power Bikes has set both the pace and the standard for the ebike revolution. This road hasn't always been easy and we've faced numerous challenges.

As a young company, we recognize that we have made mistakes. Now we are dedicated to learning from them.

The culmination of these efforts represents the ?New Rad,? one that combines the forward-thinking innovation of our early years with the knowledge and resources to make us more customer-focused than ever before.

This begins with a laser focus on safety and reliability. From the design phase, through component validation methods, to the ever-improving quality assurance activities within our factories, we are doubling down to ensure safer, more enjoyable rides.

In addition to improving the quality of our products, we are deeply invested in delivering a delightful customer experience, both on and off the saddle.

We acknowledge that there is still room for growth in our customer support operations and are actively working to improve them. For those who need to connect with a Rad specialist, we are continuing to explore ways we can provide more immediate help, including a new chat function that we launched in December. In addition, we will be revamping our online help center to make it easier for you to find the self-help resources you need to keep riding. As we implement these remedies throughout the year, we hope that you'll notice the difference the next time you reach out to us for assistance.

These changes will keep Rad on a more sustainable path and allow us to better address your most pressing ebike needs.

We are excited about the future of Rad and the impact we can have on the world. We couldn?t be more thrilled to be on this journey with you.

Thank you for your continued support and loyalty.

Phil Molyneux - CEO


If he's serious, he'll actually build up the parts inventory such that ordering a replacement part or an accessory takes a few days, not a few months.

And I think he's fully aware that he's got his hands full competing against the Lectric brand, among others.  As your recent preview makes clear, the forthcoming Lectric Trike may not be as seemingly polished as the Rad Trike, but it's a full $1,000 less expensive and they're including carrying racks/baskets front and rear, whereas Rad still wants to charge extra for those on top of the $2,500 cost of the stripped-down basic trike.  For the "go slow, pick up groceries, bring the puppy along" practical, older audience market for a trike, who wouldn't want to just save over a thousand bucks (because what good is a trike without carrying capacity)?

And don't get me started on the Contract 5 compared to the Mini ST2 it replaces at a much higher price.  Watching the Rad model lineup changes and hearing customer experiences over the last year makes me want to go out to the garage and give my perfect, 35A supercharged, little Mini ST2 a hug in gratitude that I bought it almost two years ago.

Competition is always good; it'll be interesting to see if the new CEO can get Rad back on track.
Shucks Ma'am, I'm no "Hero Member", I just like to wear this cape.

Water Doc

We are happy with our 3 Rad Bikes. But I think if they want to stay competitive they need to expand their lineup,   1) a mid-drive bike 2) lighter weight bikes, 3) improved color selections - bright colors are safer on the streets, 4)  a better supply of replacement parts, I would like new tires for my RR+ but they have been back ordered, 6000 miles in 12 months and mine are shot - 5) hydraulic brakes 6) I have been purchasing most of our accessories from Amazon, where prices and shipping are more competitive (seats, seat posts and bags) - Rad is missing out on a lot of sales to their customers, 

Trikes are nice, but most of us are riding 2 wheeled bikes, that is where sales growth will be coming at - look what the competitors are doing, Aventon has my interest for a 4th bike and companies like Lectric  are doing their best to attract customers,

Here is a biggie I was on the faculty at a major University - University Extension programs on line offer out standing tutorials for individuals looking for help,  Rad needs to establish a good trouble shooting site for owners of Rad Bikes,  most of us understand the old 10 speeds we rode to college, but add a battery, controllers, and disc brakes - this is a whole new world,  we need better and easier to understand tutorials from Rad, 
RadMini4 and RR+


I think everyone has access to the same type of technology and the same components. There is not going to be a bike that will suddenly perform much better.

It used to be that Rad had the best available at the lowest price point. When I bought it it was all I could afford. You go any lower and the quality is not assured. It was a kit bike in the sense you need to put it together and have some self-diagnostic skills and some tools if things don't work out. I think that market is tapped out so if Rad wants to expand, it would have to sell to people who are not handy with tools. The low-price situation has changed too. Some low-price products have had decent reviews.

So Rad has to cater to a more prosperous community that expects higher quality and less thinking.  It is not a putdown. By analogy, I suppose I have the brains but when I buy a stove, I don't want to deal with adjusting the flame myself depending on if I use propane or natural gas. I just don't want to think about it.

I think Rad is going to have to focus on some sort of value that one would not get if one were to buy from a low cost company. Rad is not going to compete with high end bikes and can't compete with bottom end priced products.  It is going to have to have some name recognition, a buzz, - like hydroflask.

I think as other have said, having replacement parts helps - even if they are way expensive.  At least you can get a brake lever or a spare tire. I broke a brake lever and it took 6 months to get a replacement.  I hope going into the future, even if things are high priced, having replacement parts would be a big plus.  I might actually buy it - when you consider the hassle of driving to a bike store or ordering from Amazon and making sure the parts fit. Sometimes, Amazon doesn't even have it.  High price don't bother me as much because I understand the cost of stocking parts.  Not having it is a big hassle.  Sell battery mounts and stuff.  Why not.  So your customers can customize their bike any way they want. Sell all the wheels so people can make custom bikes.  Got to keep tires and tubes in stock. 

It is OK to have a no return policy on parts. I understand the cost of keeping inventory. At least customers have a choice of buying from you rather than having a bike not work for 6 months. They can also buy from Amazon if they want returns.  It is nice to have access to parts.


I have a Mini 4  I bought a lectric lite to give for as gift.  I wouldn't by any Rad quality and pirice can't compare.  They will be gone soon.


The biggest issue in my opinion with RAD is, that they don't resell trough stores expect their own. If you live east of the Rockies and west of Florida there are none. I personally would never buy a new bike which I cannot test fit and test ride. A bike needs to be tailored to your body and buying a bike blind based measurements is a no-Go for me. On top of that I want a bike store take care of my issues during the warranty period and maybe even later. Many bike stores are just not willing to work on these bikes and not everyone is capable to work on their bikes. Long story short I am not a fan of online presence only.
This is one of the reasons I only buy used bikes. I can actually test ride the bike, I can fix most issues and I pay a fraction of the price compared to a new bike. This offsets the disadvantages of not having a dealer close by. But not everyone has the skills or means to do that.
Another issue I have is them using proprietary parts. When I started looking into electric cargo bikes about two years ago the RW4 became an instant no-GO for me when I learned that they were using 22" tires. And that was before they even had the tire issues. This is why I ended up with a used RW3.
If you resell your bikes online only then please use standard parts one can buy anywhere else as well. Especially when it comes to consumable items. I don't want to rely on parts I can get from the manufacturer only. If that company goes bust I might have a heavy doorstop on my hands and not a working bike. I have my share of experiences with bikes from manufactures which are no longer around.


 I bought my Mini probably a bad decision.  Quality is bad  customer support worse. I should have bought something locally m


Quote from: Muskie1 on January 30, 2023, 12:08:56 PM
I bought my Mini probably a bad decision.  Quality is bad  customer support worse. I should have bought something locally m

When did you buy your Mini?  My ST2 was delivered in March 2021 and I think that was nearing the end of production with originally-spec'd parts; within a short time, I think, they were swapping in different shifters, brakes and other parts due to supplier shortages.  I was seeing reports here and elsewhere of the substituted components not being as good as the originals, so I'm just curious.

I upgraded my controller/display to the 35A setup as soon as the warranty expired, along with installing Bolton's hybrid hydraulic-mechanical brake calipers.  Both are an improvement but there was nothing wrong with the factory parts when I removed them.
Shucks Ma'am, I'm no "Hero Member", I just like to wear this cape.


My mini ST2 was the best and cheapest bike available when I bought it.  Of course, that is why I bought it because it was the best deal on the market at that time.  The situation has changed since then and I don't know what I would buy today. It was very cheap back then.  But then I've rode bikes for decades so I know how to fix everything. I also know exactly what I want except for the electric motor.

Back then, I considered I bought a "kit" of a bike and fixing things here and there seem natural. 

Sometimes, when you buy a kiddy bike from a toy store, some parts are so cheap they were never meant to work.  But this was not the case with the Rad.
All the parts worked well enough.  Considering the price and Rad had to make a living, I do not begrudge them for not having top shelf parts.  Also, top shelf parts are not so important on a 70 pound ebike.


 We bought 4 RAD's in 2021.  Still have the mini's left.  Had no issues with replacing under warranty multiple parts.   I would like to see them make a tire size that is universal not only able to get from them when when in stock -  the 20 x 3.3 tires.   overall I'm pleased but any company that stands still will be passed in this new and expanding market.    When I upgrade there is nothing in the RAD line for me.   I too want lighter weight, more battery and a belt drive.    If the CEO is smart he has someone overseeing forums like this.   I was contacted to be an Ambassador like I am sure many of you have.  Not interested until they have something new to be excited about. 


 I have mine a about a year.  Junk


I have mine just over a year. One of the best purchases I've ever made.


I agree with the first comments of JimInPT and Water Doc. Rad bikes are good (especially for their price) but they definitely need to upgrade their part system and their customer service. In order to stay ahead of advances other bike companies are demonstrating they also will need to upgrade the components included on the bikes when purchased.
Thus far I haven't had a complaint about their customer service but the part system has been lacking a lot lately. Probably mainly due to supply chain issues but, I have noted, MANY complain about their bikes being unusable due to parts shortages.
Having said that, I bought my RW4 because of the price and the reputation of Rad. I have upgraded a few things as time moves along and am going to continue to upgrade. I would have loved to buy a more expensive bike, like the Blix Packa, for example. But a starting price of $8000.00 for a bicycle? No way I could justify that kind of expense. As time goes on I can and will, upgrade my RW4 so it is every bit as capable as the Blix Packa. Basically I can buy a Rad bike and upgrade it slowly over time rather than initially buy a very expensive bike. I can afford one but not the other. I'm probably not unique and Rad needs to be aware of that mindset and act accordingly.


You mean the "seasoned leader" who built my Sony tv and Dyson?

Guys who toot their own horn are so exhausting.

Love the product and the people who work there and wish them the absolute best.


Among a small circle of friends and family, I've been an ebike influencer. Despite having a generally positive experience with my RW4, I haven't pushed other people to buy Rad.

IMO, Rad has fallen behind some of their competitors. For example, just looking at specs for those in the budget cargo bike market I'd recommend Lectric over Rad. The Lectric Xpedition offers hydraulic brakes (requiring less adjustment), a motor with more peak power, and dual batteries for less money than a RW4. What is the value proposition in getting a RW4? Obviously the tire debacle didn't help.

If Rad can't scramble and produce more compelling products for the price, I think that many of their offerings are going to need a price drop.