Rad Rover 6 Plus Review

by
Rad Rover 6 Plus

Our professional mechanics here at the Tower electric bike repair shop review the Rad Rover 6 Plus. The Rad Rover is Rad Power Bikes fat tire off roading ebike made for exploring new terrain. Although the Rad Rover possesses strong hill climbing ability and motor, the bike does struggle in some attributes. The Rad Rover 6 Plus scored a 61 on our Tower ebike score. Read the full review below to get a more in depth look at the Rad Rover 6. 

DISCLAIMER - Rad Power Bikes and Rad Rover 6 are trademarks of Rad Power Bikes, and use of that trademark in this review does not indicate that the reviewer is claiming any interest in the mark or any affiliation with or sponsorship or endorsement by Rad Power Bikes.

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RadRover 6 Plus

Today, we will review and rate the RadRover 6 plus from Rad Power Bikes. Rad Power Bikes is a relatively big name in the electric bike industry and is not shy about showing ads everywhere. If you have been shopping for an eBike for some time, you might have already seen their ads.

They have a wide array of differently styled eBikes, and the RadRover 6 plus is their adventurous, off-road, electric mountain bike style eBike. This is their sixth rendition of the RadRover, which is their higher-end plus model. The RadRover 6 plus scored a 61 on our 100 point tower scale, which rates it as a very good electric bike.

But before we get into the score, I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Stephan Aarstol. I am the CEO of the Tower e-Bike Repair Shop in San Diego. We see hundreds of e-bikes coming here into our repair shop a day, and we repair thousands of them a month. What we're doing here is we're getting our professional e-bike mechanics, who have years of electric bike experience to rate the e-bikes that we see come into our shop.

With our Tower score, we’re rating each of these e-bikes that we see come into our store on the seven key attributes. For each attribute, the bike can score between a one and a 10, one being the lowest and 10 being the highest. Then we normalize those seven attributes to get an rounded 100-point scale singular score.

The seven key attributes we review each bike on are:

  • Materials quality
  • Mechanical quality
  • Low maintenance
  • Hill-climbing ability,
  • Range
  • Comfort
  • Universality

There are so many e-bike brands, and just like the number of wine brands out there, it can be difficult to rate the e-bike brands into one area. It's tough to get a sense of how they compare to one another.

In many of these direct-to-consumer e-bikes, you're not really able to ride the bike and get it in your hands before making a large purchase. Since we see these e-bikes come into our repair shop, we're making ourselves the review spot so people can easily look at different e-bikes and see the ratings we give for each e-bike. We're a trusted name in the industry, and the ratings help them compare each e-bike from similar models and figure out what may be best for them.

We also have a secondary score on a 100-point scale. We call it the specialty score, which omits the last two attributes, namely comfort and universality. We're taking these two attributes on specific bikes as they are sized for certain people for particular purposes. What may be comfortable for one person may not really be comfortable for another person when it comes to size.

A lot of different electric bikes nowadays have different frame sizing. You may even see a smaller or larger frame size when shopping for an e-bike. If you are getting an electric mountain bike, the attribute you'd look at is geared towards performance rather than comfort or sizing. Thus, it's definitely nice to look at the specialty score.

Now let's get into the first attribute we look at, materials quality.

RadRover Materials Quality - 4/10

Materials quality is the first attribute we look at because we do believe it is the most important attribute when looking at an electric bike. What we’re looking at here is the outer shell of the bike. A lot of these e-bike companies will boast about their electrical components and how fast the bike can go, but that's not the full picture. With materials quality, we’re looking at what materials the bike is actually made out of, not the electrical side.

It's really important to look at that because if a company cheaps out on the quality of the materials, it usually means that they're going to cheap out on other areas. It’s the first area that you see on the e-bike. If they have low material quality, they’re going to have relatively low electrical components as well.

The RadRover 6 plus scored a 4 out of 10 on materials quality. There are a couple of reasons why we gave it a low score. The bike comes with Kenda tires, which are lower quality tires on the market. Rad Power Bikes definitely cheaped out on the tires on the RadRover 6. There are definitely a lot of better options on the market for tires, especially for a mountain bike. This is a bike that you want to make sure that you’re not getting a flat tire or is going to withstand all sorts of elements. Having Kenda tires is a bit of a poor choice.

There are also cheap pedals on the bike. The outer look and the actual build component of the frame are a little bit on the cheap side.

Some things that we did like on materials quality is there is a nice, large display that you can see and it’s super easy to run through the interface. The bike has a relatively nice seat. A lot of Rad Power bikes tend to not have comfortable seating which leaves customers needing to source their own and pay more money to get a new comfortable seat.

So on materials quality, the RadRover 6 plus scored a 4 out of 10.

Rad Rover 6 Plus Mechanical Quality - 5/10

On mechanical quality, the RadRover 6 plus scored a 5 out of 10. The bike has nice hydraulic brakes on it, however they’re unbranded brakes. We do recommend that all electric bikes come with hydraulic brakes just because of the speed and the miles you’re going to put on the bike. You’re going to be wearing through a brake system way faster on an electric bike than you would on a regular mechanical bike, so having a self adjusting hydraulic system is very beneficial.

Usually, on hydraulic brakes, you would want to see that they come from a nice brand. Whether it be Tektro or just a trusted brake brand. Where here on the RadRover 6 they don’t supply you with that, there’s no branding on the hydraulic brakes that we see. So that’s definitely something to consider. It is hydraulic brakes but whether it’s going to perform as well as a branded hydraulic brake, it likely will not.

Another thing we liked about the mechanical quality on the RadRover 6 Plus was the suspension. It is nice to see that the bike does come with some nice front suspension, especially with it being a mountain bike. It is something that you’re going to need on a mountain bike when you’re going off roads or over rocks and things like that. We also like that it includes a threadless headset.

There were some areas where the mechanical quality wasn't really that great, as the bike comes with a relatively cheap derailleur. The sprocket is a freewheel which we don’t recommend mainly because it can be difficult to maintain and fix if need be.

RadRover Plus Low Maintenance - 6/10

Now we’re looking at the low maintenance score of the RadRover 6 plus. The frequency of how often are you gonna have to actually do repair jobs and bring it into a shop is definitely an important area to look at when buying an electric bike. The RadRover 6 plus scored 6 out of 10 on low maintenance, which is a relatively good score.

Within the tires of the bike is a tire liner which is super useful. It's gonna make sure that the bike doesn't get a lot of flat tires. With that liner, the tires are pretty highly flat resistant. This is something you're going to want on a mountain bike. So that was nice to see, definitely got some points there.

Since the bike comes with hydraulic brakes it will save you from the hassle of going to self-adjust or switch out brake pads as frequently as you will with mechanical brakes. With hydraulic brakes, the fluid is going to bleed through it and self-adjust over time.

The Rover 6 Plus does have some good mid-range components but one thing to consider is it does have multiple gears. This is both a pro and a con. When having multiple gears, you're going to have to stay in touch with the cable stretch. Make sure that the actual gearing system is working, and be able to switch gears seamlessly. If something does go wrong with the gears, it requires a professional mechanic to look at. So, that is something to consider for the maintenance of the bike.

RadRover Hill-climbing Ability - 9/10

On hill-climbing ability, the RadRover 6 plus scored a 9 out of 10. We took this bike to a local hill here in San Diego that we test all of our bikes at and the Rad Rover 6 actually performed really well.

The fact that it has multiple gears it can go into a lower granny gear setting. It's got a seven-gears Shimano system meaning that the bike can get to a really low gear. If you do need help getting up a steep hill you don't really need to just rely on one singular gear. You can switch to a lower gear and then add that with a nice 750-watt motor.

It's got a nice 48-volt system as well within the battery and the electrical circuit. So this bike performed way above what we expected it to do.

RadRover6 Plus Battery Range - 7/10

The next attribute we looked at is its range. One thing that's important here when looking at the range of an ebike is looking at the cells within the battery and making sure that you're getting a battery coming from a trusted brand name. Trust battery manufacturers are Panasonic, Samsung, or LG.

The RadRover 6 Plus’ batteries are Samsung cells, which means they're going to perform way longer and better than a non-branded, cheap Chinese, cell battery would. Pair that with a 14 amp hour battery and a 48-volt system, we saw that the bike definitely did live up to what Rad Power bikes details on their website as a 45 plus range.

If you're using pedal-assist while at the same time pedaling, you're going to get way more range out of the battery, whereas if you're sitting on the throttle, you're going to get closer to that 30-45 mile mark.

eBike’s Comfortability Score - 5/10

For comfort, the RadRover 6 plus scored a 5 out of 10. The positioning on this bike is a little semi-upright. It isn't fully upright with it being an electric mountain bike in nature. It does focus a little bit more on functionality than on the actual comfort. The seat is not the most comfortable, shock-resistant seat but it’s more comfortable than the seats that normally come with Rad Power Bikes.

The handlebars are easy to reach and there is a suspension aspect to them. If you are going off-road going through rebel rocks or a crack in the road, that front suspension is going to easily be able to cushion your ride and make sure you're not feeling the full terrain.

There are definitely some pros and cons to comfort on the RadRover 6 Plus.

RadRover Universality Score - 7/10

What we’re looking with the universality attribute is how likely is the bike going to fit any size rider. Whether you’re small or tall or heavy, are you going to be able to ride this bike? For universality, we gave the RadRover 6 plus a 7 out of 10.

The handlebars go up and down and the bars go back and forth. You can definitely move the Radrover and adjust it to a personalized fit. It does have a larger step-over height meaning that you need to be a little bit taller to get your legs over that bar. If you are on the shorter side or on the older side, it can be a little bit difficult to get saddled up on the bike. That's where it lost some points on universality.

Rad Rover 6 Plus Overall Tower Score (61) and Specialty Score (62)

The RadRover 6 plus scored a 61 on our tower 100-point scale giving it a very good e-bike reading. On the specialty score, the RadRover 6 plus scored a 62. It did score a little bit low on comfort. So taking that comfort out that the bike does round out to a 62 score.

There are also a couple of last things we’d like to touch on which is not included in the score. We do want to add supplementary facts and insights on the bike.

RadRover Low Proprietary Risk Score - 3/10

For a low proprietary risk score, we are tackling the unfortunate truth of the bike business head-on. We want to take a look at the service and parts that you will need from the brand.

About 95% of these bike brands are going to go out of business. A lot of them are just focused so heavily on ads or like advertisements that they really don't have sustained growth in their business model. There are just so many e-bike companies out there that are doing relatively the same thing. Unfortunately, there's no way that all of them are going to be able to last. This is something to consider further down the line.

When you do make a purchase on a bike, will you be able to purchase a new battery from them? Or get a new controller? Or can a regular e-bike mechanic be able to fix it? No one really fully understands how it works except that brand. We see it all the time here at the Tower e-Bike Repair Shop.

A customer may come in with a bike brand that we're not familiar with and they say that their controller isn't working. The company that manufactured the bike is out of business. In these cases, unfortunately, we can't help them.

The controller is proprietary and is not like any other controller that you can easily swap and put on. You're going to have to go directly to that company. If they’re out of business, then you’re stuck with a bike that isn’t serviceable so it’s something to consider.

On the low proprietary risk score, we gave the RadRover 6 plus a three out of 10. It gets a good score here because they do have a standard tire size. The RadRover 6 plus does have a 26 by four-tire size. Kenda tires are a pretty well-known tire brand. So if you do need to get replacement tires, you don't need to go directly to Rad Power. You can go to any bike store and will likely have 26 by four Kenda tires.

It does have some non-standard stuff on the bike but there are pieces of stuff that are standard as well. One of the non-standard pieces that we do want to touch is the battery pack. It is very non-standard and has a very strange size.

You cannot buy that battery pack from anywhere except Rad Power Bikes. So if they are out of stock, if you can't reach customer service, or if they go out of business, you are going to be stuck with pretty much a non electrical ebike. The controller is also non-standard where you will need to go directly to Rad Power to get a replacement.

The last thing is the motor since it’s non-branded. Usually, we like to see a trusted branded motor. It's not a motor that you can just source yourself or buy from a company that creates high-quality components.

RadRover 6 Weight - 73 pounds

The RadRover 6 plus weighs 73 pounds which is pretty heavy for an electric bike. If you’re going to put the bike at the back of your car, store it, pick it up, and put it in the back of a truck you would want to consider the weight aspect. We usually see electric bikes weigh somewhere around 45 up to 60 pounds.

RadRover Looks

The look of the bike is nice, slick, and clean. It does look like a regular mountain bike with the non-standard battery slightly hidden. It has a slimmer battery pack so it’s difficult to see that the bike is an electric bike. This gives it a cool aspect. If you are riding in the mountains, people may not realize you're on a mountain bike when you're flying by.

Conclusion

That's our RadRover 6 plus review. Hopefully, this helped provide some insight and give you a good sense of the RadRover 6 plus. Check out our site for tower scores on a growing list of other e-bikes that we see coming through our repair shop. Thanks for joining us!


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DISCLAIMER - Rad Power Bikes and Rad Rover 6 are trademarks of Rad Power Bikes, and use of that trademark in this review does not indicate that the reviewer is claiming any interest in the mark or any affiliation with or sponsorship or endorsement by Rad Power Bikes.


Stephan Aarstol is an American internet entrepreneur and author of the book The Five Hour Workday, which is based on Towers' invention of the 5-hour workday in 2015 that would eventually spread the idea to over 10 million people worldwide. Since founding Tower in 2010, it has gone on to become one of America's fastest growing companies and Mark Cuban's best investment in the history of Shark Tank. Tower has diversified into a direct to consumer electric bike company called Tower Electric Bikes, a beachfront event venue called Tower Beach Club, and NoMiddleman.com, where consumers can shop all the world's finest direct to consumer brands from one easy place.