Last year, Rad Power Bikes released the RadRunner, a fat-tire electric utility bike with a beguiling look, a simplified-but-not-underpowered drivetrain, and an affordable price tag. The response was so great that the Seattle-based company wanted to build on the buzz with an upgraded version, which it dubbed the RadRunner Plus. And it looks great.
The original RadRunner was the company’s most affordable model (only $1,299) because Rad Power Bikes left out many of the features that typically make for a more expensive price tag. Now, with the RadRunner Plus, many of those features have been added back in to make for a more comfortable, adaptable, and expensive experience.
First of all, the RadRunner Plus (which will only have a limited run) will retail for $1,699. That makes it Rad Power Bikes’ most expensive model, but it’s still more affordable than a lot of e-bikes on the market today. What do you get for that extra $400? A seven-gear shifter, front suspension fork, LCD display, front and rear fender, and a front LED rock-resistant halo light. The Plus will also come standard with the accessories for a rear passenger seat, including a padded seat, rear pegs, and skirt guard. (Those cost extra with the original RadRunner.)
There’s also a new silver paint job and leather “espresso”-colored handlebar grips and seat. But the core look and motor remain the same. The RadRunner Plus is available for preorder in the US, Canada, and Europe starting on March 26th, though deliveries won’t start until July for North America and August for Europe. In the meantime, the company says it will lower the price of the original RadRunner for North American customers to $1,199.
The RadRunner Plus can “cross a lot of use cases and customer categories,” Rad Power Bikes CEO Mike Radenbaugh told The Verge. He recalled that the customers that come to pick up their bikes at his company’s retail shops arrive in a wide variety of vehicles, from expensive Ford F-350s and Teslas to 30-year-old Subarus with a million bumper stickers to Uber and Lyft vehicles. The RadRunner Plus is a bike that “touches everyone,” he said.
Radenbaugh says he envisions the RadRunner — and now, the RadRunner Plus — as the ultimate e-bike for city-dwellers. It’s lighter weight than the company’s other models, with a drop-frame and rear rack that make it more versatile. And while the company is pulling back on some of its expansion plans in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Rad Power Bikes’ facilities have been deemed “essential businesses” and will remain open to respond to customer orders for the duration.
“People want to get out of the house,” he said. “They need to social distance, too.”
In other words: there’s no better time to buy an e-bike.