A little over a year ago, I received the RadRhino 5 (RadRover, in the U.S.) from Rad Power Bikes for a review. The recently launched (then) fifth-generation model came with European specs: the 250W Bafang motor and the option to use torque only when pedaling. The RadRhino is a €1,699 ($1,699) bike, so it’s not cheap, but it’s not painfully expensive either. So, how good of an investment is it really?
I got to see for myself, and here is my experience with it. Maybe it can help you make the best decision for your next e-bike.
The initial experienceThe European version of the RadRhino 5 comes with the 250W brushless Bafang gear hub motor. That means the top speed is 25 kph (15.5 mph) with pedal assist, but you can go as fast as you want on the condition you’re physically able to pedal faster. The bike has five levels of pedal assist (PAS) and a 7-speed cassette, a backlit LCD display for controls and stats, a torque option that you activate by pressing a button and twisting the handle, and rides on giant Kenda Juggernaut 26x4 tires, with K-Shield puncture-resistant liner.
As I noted in the original review, the RadRhino stands out for its size and, because of it, is the kind of bike that draws attention wherever you take it. But it also defies expectations in that it’s very smooth, fast and comfortable, and surprisingly nimble. Sure enough, you still have to account for its weight and size as you ride it, but it’s not a difficult task.
The RadRhino rides comfortably in the city and outside of it, but it was made for paved streets, back roads, and trails; that's where it truly excels. Depending on your overall tonus, you can ride it without motor assistance, just like you would a regular bike: it is a proper workout, but it’s not an impossible or dreadful option to contemplate.
Standing the test of timeThe RadRhino never stops being fun, and I can confirm that after one year and close to three months of riding it as often as I could. Whether you take it out to run errands around the city or pick up groceries, or even ferry a small child around, the RadRhino can substitute for the personal vehicle, as long as you’re willing to give it a try.
The RadRhino is perfect for day-long rides outdoors with the family: during the strict lockdowns, I used it every weekend for that purpose, whenever the weather permitted. My review sample came with two Fremont Pannier Bags—just perfect to pack for a picnic in the woods.
After all this time, the RadRhino holds up remarkably—including after a couple of mild falls on uneven ground (my fault, overconfidence) and one slightly more serious fall in the city (also my fault, exhaustion). The battery is as new, both regarding charging times (5 to 6 hours) and range (which will vary according to weather and terrain, as well as payload). The frame shows a few scratches, the pedals some wear and tear, and the color on the battery has come off on the sides. Not one of these issues is important or otherwise impacts functionality. Give it a good wash, and you wouldn’t be able to tell this is a used bike, so yes, when Rad Power Bikes says they’re building quality bikes, they mean it.
Proper maintenance is a must, still. In addition to checking stuff like tire pressure and the condition of the chain regularly and cleaning the bike after dirtier rides, you must also take it for a regular checkup at the bike shop (every 12 months for regular, daily use, and more frequently if you ride it hard). I took the RadRhino every 300 km (187 miles) or so, to make sure everything was as it should be.
Issues encounteredPerhaps the most annoying issue I encountered with the RadRhino was a flat tire (caused by one of those giant thorns from honey locust trees). To my luck, it happened at the onset of a long ride. But I had already gotten out of town and, since I did not have a repair kit with me yet, I had to push it all the way back to the first local bike shop. A patch didn’t hold, so after less than 30 minutes, I was at another LBS for a replacement. It was not fun.
Earlier on, I had issues with the bike’s weight: the RadRhino tips the scales at 32.75 kg (72 pounds) with the battery on it, and here was I, twice that weight, having to carry it up one flight of stairs, back and forth, every time I wanted to go out. If you’re in a similar position, one of two things will happen here: either you persist and you’ll be much stronger after a couple of weeks from all that hauling it, or you let this deter you from having fun. I chose the former and have no regrets about it.
The one unsolved issue with the RadRhino, which, however, has nothing to do with the bike itself, is height: my own. At 170 cm (5”5’), the frame is comfortable for me unless I stop midway on an incline or if I jump off the bike in a hurry. Long story short, my pubic bone would have been grateful for the Step-Thru version because that top tube is a bruiser.
What I got wrong the first time & conclusionsGoing through the initial review, only two things stand out. I mentioned the torque option as a “fun” but not exactly a useful one, and I stand corrected. This option delivers PAS 5 comparable power to the wheel, so it’s perfect on very steep inclines or when you rush from a dead start—for example, at the red light, in heavy traffic.
To conclude, RadRhino 5 is a solid investment, one that stands the test of time. It is a mid-range fat-tire electric bike that is both fun and practical, well built, and surprisingly versatile. Whether you like bombing down hills (guilty!) or more leisurely rides on tamer trails or need it for the kids’ dropoff or grocery runs, the RadRhino is here to serve. It can take a beating, too.