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If I had $1500 to upgrade my Radwagon 4

Started by Mkonrath72, February 16, 2023, 05:13:54 PM

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Hello.  I want to upgrade the performance of my Radwagon.  I love the size and look of my cargo bike but I don?t love the performance.  It accelerates slow, my battery drains fast because I?m allergic to pedaling, it has no shocks, no torque with heavy loads, etc. if u experts had $1500ish to upgrade the hell out of this bike what would u do?  P.s.  I often break the 350lb limit by 50lbs. Thanks.


Not to sound insulting, but you are asking a lot out of a bike at 350lbs. as that is the max payload for this bike... and you are exceeding it.

I wouldn't be looking to put any more money into this bike because there is not much you can do which won't increase the weight of the payload thereby decreasing any performance gain.

If anything, you should look to be reducing the weight of the bike's payload and that is what will make it peppier.  If you are like me and have a bike lock and a set of baskets, then you are far exceeding the payload capacity and nothing you can do will change that.

The things you named off (accelerate slowly and battery drains fast) are directly correlated to weight.  The fact  that you don't pedal compounds the problem.

Odds are if you doubled the battery and the motors, you would also increase the weight by a large margin.

In stead of upgrading your current bike, you might try looking into an Aventon Adventure (400lb payload), Himiway Cobra (400 lbs), Blix Packa Genie (450lbs), <--- most recommended.

If you are really averse to pedaling, then forgo entirely and look at something like a a Surron (well above $1500).  Either way, I would put that $1500 towards a Blix, sell the Rad and pocket whatever you get back.


agree with the previous poster, and i know this isn't what you're asking, but instead of tweaking your bike to try and force it to fit your needs, instead do research and put that $1500 towards something that actually does fit your needs.

Trying to force a bike to do something it's not meant to do usually doesn't end well, no matter how much money you throw at it.


If you want a scooter, you should just go buy a scooter. There are several great electric scooters out there.


Lectric XPedition Electric Cargo Bike says its weight limit is 450 pounds.  Maybe it would work, but I recommend against it.  Can the spec be trusted? How will the motor handle a triple load - compared with a 150-pound rider.

It is not going to be a fun bike to ride, especially if you have to stop on an incline, going up, going down and going traverse (very bad). Traffic lights will force that on you. I think it can be dangerous on any bike.  If you have to carry that much cargo, maybe a car is more enjoyable.

The rules and regulations and safety equipment set a minimum standard of safety. We should all try to aim for a higher standard for ourselves. If I had to haul a total of 400 pounds, I'll only feel comfortable in an electric trike or a car.

Be safe and best wishes.


The two things I'd look into would be an upgraded controller to increase the peak power output of the motor and hydraulic brakes. I'd look into a suspension seat post before I'd consider running a cargo bike with a suspension fork.

It also might make sense to sell the RW4 and buy the Lectric XPedition. Read the article on this site. It appears that it has more power and torque for hill climbing than the RW4, even though both are nominally 750W motors. I look forward to ebike Escape running a hill climb on the XPedition.

I plan on getting a few more years out of my RW4 before looking to update to a better cargo ebike.


If you are going over the weight limit, then I'd go with something else. If you can keep your loads in check, then a simple controller swap will get good torque out of the stock Rad 750 watt motor, which is actually fine with 1600 watts peak. Upgrade your brakes though, as getting up to speed quicker will put you in situations where you need to stop quicker.

The Lectric XPedition mentioned by BeachWagon is a good choice with a higher weight capacity. The Lectric is 750 watts nominal, 1310 watts peak, while the Rad is 750 watts nominal, 750 peak because Rad wants to stay legal. Even if it means a poor public perception for people hanging on wattage numbers. Rad could do a 1000 watt peak motor with ease, but bigger companies are more frequently targeted by lawsuits.

Start your decision by being honest about the weight capacity, and start with a good foundation that handles that weight, even if it isn't Rad.


You're about to become an "EBike Engineer."

I know those 22" tires are given (go away).  You can add a suspension fork, and you have to figure out which one.   Adding a 2nd or 3rd battery is easy.  That frame has plenty of mount points.  Upgrade the rear motor to a 1000-1500w.  Maybe add a front motor?  You'll need a new controller.   Perhaps (the best solution) a DATEX device (from biggamebikes dot com) load balances all batteries and could even include a single charging port.  It depends on the battery.  RAD will not sell a battery plate.  There are reverse-engineered battery plate templates on Thingiverse dot com for 3D Printing.  Suspension seat post!

You've got lots of measuring, calling, emailing, and pondering unless you find someone who's already done this... hard to say.  There are not quite ten e-bike forums that I've found.  Let Google be your guide.  Hang out at your local e-bike shop. Bring them treats, don't be annoying. My local shop has a "reading room," which is fantastic! 

Happy learning!
Sorry I haven't used ICQ, AIM, MSN, YIM for over 15 years.  Neither should you.  Search my name on FB, YT, TW, & those others.  I've been online since 1992. Most of that time as a Systems & Network Engineer.


Or just go ahead and buy a Urtopia Carbon 1/1s, city cruiser and mountain bike.

Urtopia Carbon 1/1s is a very good choice for $2000-ish carbon fiber ebikes, very light bike body (~35lbs) and stylish design.

Also, use coupon code ZACK650 to receive $650 off MSRP.


Quote from: miltondodge315 on July 03, 2023, 10:11:25 PM
Or just go ahead and buy a Urtopia Carbon 1/1s, city cruiser and mountain bike.

Urtopia Carbon 1/1s is a very good choice for $2000-ish carbon fiber ebikes, very light bike body (~35lbs) and stylish design.

Also, use coupon code ZACK650 to receive $650 off MSRP.
That's a nice bike, but for this particular use, it's a terrible choice. The motor has half the torque of the Rad, and the frame will shatter with the payload.


I have a Rad Wagon 4 (my wife's), a Rad Runner, and a Kona Brewing Beach cruiser I turned electric.

I have lots of hills in my area and upgraded all my ebikes.

Rad Wagon - Area 13 Ebikes (or 35 amp controller with color display.  $225 bucks. 1600 watts of power. **Best Upgrade**
I did the motor swap just recently as it was collecting dust and when I changed tires I swapped it. See youtube videos (a few of them). Easy to insert the motor. Barely noticeable, but slightly better. Very slightly.
Rad Wagon runs 2 batteries (48v) I did myself mounting on bottle cage screws. "No DateX" needed for same voltage. My Rad Runner has 3 x 48v batts in parallel. 2 years and no issues. I charge through one port unless I am in a rush then separately.

Next best upgrade - Get hydraulic Brakes. Magura, Sram, Tektro, Shimano. And opt for a larger front rotor. Original rear brake would never be able to lock up rear tire.

Tires. - Motorcycle tire. Yeah its heavier. Amazon reviews rave about these and I put them on instead of waiting for the recall as I could see my innertube ever so slightly I was scared to ride with the kids. MMG Tire 2.75-18 Front or Rear Motorcycle Dual Sport On or Off Road ... There are a couple others people like. I chose these and love them.

Rear pads - Go on  OC Cafe Racer or search Rad Wagon seats. The OC Cafe Racer seats are awesome quality and I will put them on my Rad Runner when I have money to splurge.

*Keep the wooden rear decks. You will need to mount the larger controller underneath the spot it is currently in so the cables reach. You can cut one of those decks to use for mounting and a clean look. Need jigsaw etc. wood tools. And now I keep a small bag in that area for gloves and keys and water etc.

Hope this helps if you have a Rad Wagon 4.