I spend a lot of time riding and testing electric bicycles. But no matter which bike I recommend, most people that I know end up buying an electric bike from Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes. If you’re not buying a complete car replacement, they are one of the best entry-level bikes for under $2000. CEO Mike Radenbaugh shaved dollars off the price tag by making Rad Power a direct-to-consumer mail order company.
Over the years, I’ve tested a number of Rad Power bikes, and they’ve streamlined the ordering and assembly process. For example, the bikes now come up to 85 percent assembled, and they also have a new mobile service to assemble and troubleshoot your bike for you. That’s important, because electric bikes can be finicky. Your local bike shop may not work on a bike made by a DTC company if they don’t have a prior relationship.
The RadMission is their most affordable, entry-level electric bike. It has a single-speed drive train on a rear hub 500W motor; a relatively light, 7-pound motor; and a 275-pound weight capacity (including the rider’s weight). It also has extras, like an integrated rear light powered by the battery and a throttle. The deal is $250 off the bike and accessories bundle. The accessories include include a (really nice) Abus Bordo lock, full fenders, kickstand, phone mount, safety stickers, and either a rear or front rack. I like rear racks better, but hey, you do you.
Is the RadMission Right For You?
WIRED: This is probably the best price on an entry-level electric bike that you’re going to find. The accessories are worth it—a top-tier lock, kickstand, phone mount, and rack will make your electric bicycle instantly more useful as a commuter vehicle, and you won’t have to search for deals on individual items. Many bikes don’t have throttles, which help give you an extra kick of power if you need to cross a busy street while carrying a load. It’s also lighter than other Rad Power bikes we’ve tested.
TIRED: I highly, highly recommend getting Rad (or a partner service) to assemble your bike for you. A Rad bike is the only bike that’s ever arced on me, where dangerous electric charge leaped from the cable to the display as I was about to plug it in. A slightly weaker rear hub motor will feel a little awkward going uphill while carrying heavy loads. Check the sizing chart and measure your inseam—it might be an uncomfortable fit if you’re under 5-foot-2.
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