Rad Mini 2 Step Thru Review

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Rad Mini 2 step through

The Rad Mini 2 is Rad Power Bikes second installment of the Rad Mini series. The Mini series features fat tire bikes with a folding middle console for ease of storing and transportation. The Rad Mini 2 that we are focusing on today is going to be the step through model. This ebike scored a 60 on our tower ebike score giving it a very good ebike rating. 

DISCLAIMER - Rad Power Bikes and Rad Mini 2 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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Rad Mini Step Thru 2

Today we are going to be reviewing and rating the RadMini Step-Thru 2 from Rad Power E-bikes. Rad Power E-bikes is a massive name in the e-bike industry. If you have been shopping around for e-bikes, you've undoubtedly seen them. They are quite notorious for spending a lot of money on ads and customer acquisition. And they do have plenty of e-bike models, each made for a different purpose.

The RadMini Step-Thru 2 is their miniature folding e-bike meaning it can fold all the way down into a Bach shape which has become quite a trend within the e-bike industry. The mini model has some pros and cons, and we can get into that later in the review. The RadMini Step-Thru 2 scored a 60 on our 100-point Tower Score, which makes it a very good e-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 here in San Diego. We see hundreds of e-bikes come into our shop every week. And what we do here is we make our e-bike mechanics score and offer their insights on certain attributes of every single electric e-bike that comes in. Sometimes we see certain e-bikes come in more often than not, and some we see very seldomly.

We create a database, provide important information in the industry, and give insights into each e-bike that comes through our shop. Mainly, that is what our Tower Score does. It scores our e-bikes on seven key attributes, utilizing a 100-point scale. Each attribute can score between a one and a ten, with one as the lowest and 10 as the highest, and then we normalize that score to get a 100-point scale. We take all of these factors and combine them into a single-point total.

At the end of the day, the consumer can easily compare and figure out which e-bike is best for them. Instead of doing research and comparing each particular attribute, we condense everything into a single figure so that e-bike purchasers may have a better idea of how it will perform. Tons of e-bikes nowadays are all direct to consumers. It can be confusing to figure out if an e-bike's going to match your needs or how it is going to perform when there is no retail shop where you can test an e-bike out before you buy it.

We are trying to create a database for customers to figure out which e-bike would probably be best for them even without riding the e-bike. The seven key attributes that we built into our Tower Score 100-point Scale are the following:

? Materials quality

? Mechanical quality

? Low maintenance

? Hill-climbing ability

? Range

? Comfort

? Universality

That's the Tower Score. It is like the wine spectator score if you're familiar with it. There are tons of e-bikes just like how there are many different wine brands out there and it can be confusing and overwhelming to figure out which e-bike is going to be best for you. So what we do is we use the expertise of our e-bike mechanics and dig down into each of these e-bikes and score them based on these attributes and then provide a single score.

We also have a supplementary score, called a Specialty Score, that also follows a 100-point scale. It examines the same seven characteristics, with the exception of comfort and universality. We have this specialty score since some e-bikes serve specific purposes.

For example, a standard e-bike, as opposed to a mountain e-bike, is not designed for performance which can waste a lot of wattage, meaning it won't be able to run for a long time on a single charge or it won't be very comfortable. It may not fit a wide range of users, and the latest trend in e-bikes on the market now comes in a variety of frame sizes. It would be unreasonable to rate some of these e-bikes based just on those two characteristics.

Let's get started with our Tower 100-point Scale for the RadMini Step-Thru 2.

Rad Mini 2 Materials Quality: 5/10

The first attribute we will be reviewing is the materials’ quality. We think it is the most important attribute. A lot of e-bike brands are going to be bragging about their wattage and their electrical system but when it comes down to it, these e-bikes are also regular bikes and you're going to want to make sure that it comes with high-quality materials. If a brand compromises on the quality of its outside materials, it typically signifies that it will also compromise on other areas as well.

On materials quality, the RadMini Step-Thru 2 scored a five out of 10. There were some attributes that we liked on the e-bike which were the CST tires which are flat-resistant. It’s quite a hassle to repair flat tires on e-bikes, especially if you have a rear hub molar and your flat tire is on the back. We see it all the time here in our e-bike repair shop, so having those CST tires helps a lot. There are good-quality and comfortable grips on the e-bike, with a nice brown finish. It also features a comfy seat, which is something that many Rad Power e-bikes lack.

You're not going to want to be the one who has to buy a new seat. But that's not the case because you're on the RadMini Step-Thru 2. Furthermore, we found a few low-quality materials on the e-bike. It has cheap pedals that are probably going to break over time. The actual shelling of the cassette and the gearing area is also low quality.

Thus, we gave the RadMini Step-Thru 2 a five out of 10 on quality.

Rad Mini Mechanical Quality: 3/10

The next attribute we looked at is the mechanical quality of the e-bike and the RadMini Step-Thru 2 scored a three out of ten. Having mechanical brakes is not recommended on an e-bike. We believe all e-bikes should come with hydraulic brakes. That way, they self-adjust over time and you don't need to continually change and tweak the caliper on the brakes. You're going to be riding an e-bike way harder and with further distance, stopping at great inertia. A full halt is heavier than a regular mechanical bike.

One positive thing that we noted was that the e-bike has good front suspension. It is not the best suspension in the world, but having a front suspension, especially if you're going to be going fast and going over a speed bump, you do not want to feel that impact in your spine, you want to have the e-bike act as a cushion instead. However, this e-bike does have a FreeWheel which is difficult to service. It will affect its score in terms of mechanical quality.

That is why it got a three out of ten.

Low Maintenance: 3/10

The next thing we looked at is the low maintenance category. How often are you going to be doing maintenance on this e-bike? The RadMini Step-Thru 2 scores three out of ten, which is a low score in terms of maintenance. This means that you're going to have this e-bike serviced more often and maybe even do some tuning yourself. This is partly because this model has mechanical breaks. It would have gotten a higher score had this e-bike had hydraulic brakes. Rad Power E-bikes really need to consider adding hydraulic brakes to all of their e-bikes.

It also has minimal rust-proofing on it. If you're riding this by the beach or on a dewy morning, those spokes and a couple of other things will rust over time. The e-bike does come with multiple gears, which can be detrimental. Having multiple gears can mean multiple gear issues as well.

Avoiding cable stretch and making sure that the gears are going to switch seamlessly is something you're going to want to check on, which is another thing to consider for maintenance.

And so, we gave it a three out of ten.

Rad Mini 2 Hill-Climbing Ability: 9/10

The next attribute we're going to look at is hill-climbing ability. The RadMini Step-Thru 2 scored well on hill-climbing ability. We gave it a nine out of ten. As mentioned earlier, this model comes with grainy gears. It consists of a seven-gear Shimano system on the e-bike, which enables you to use the pedal assist and the throttle. You can also switch into a lower gear where you're going to be able to add some push to the e-bike to get uphill.

The battery is a 48-volt system and the interior cells of the battery are Samsung, which is preferred. If you don't see branded cells then the hill ability may be really low. The RadMini Step-Thru 2 has a 750-watt hub motor and it performed well on the hill here in San Diego. While this is true for peak performance, it is not true for long-term performance which seems like a marketing tactic that Rad Power e-bikes use. Meaning you're probably going to get a 500 to a 600-watt motor.

If 750-watts are coming from max performance, meaning the battery is completely charged and the engine is going on level ground. Then you could potentially extract roughly 750-watts out of it. It will produce between 500 and 600-Watts normally. With all that said, it still performed well in our uphill-climbing test. Meaning the motor is endlessly supplemental and valuable for what it can accomplish.

Rad Mini Battery Range: 7/10

In terms of Range, the RadMini Step-Thru 2 scored a seven out of ten. This is because of that nice 14-amp hour battery and a 48-volt system combination. Not to mention that it is also a Samsung battery, which is a trusted name. A lot of these companies that have non-branded batteries are not going to have the same quality cells within the battery. They're not going to last as long, they're going to deteriorate quicker over time, and their BMS may fail at a faster rate when compared to a Samsung, Panasonic, or LG battery.

The RadMini Step-Thru 2 scored a seven out of 10 on range. It got 45-miles plus on each charge.

Rad Mini Comfort: 7/10

One of the things we're going to consider next is comfort. On comfort, the RadMini Step-Thru 2 scored a seven out of 10. When riding this e-bike, even if it is a folding e-bike, it has a nice positioning to it. A lot of folding e-bikes can put you in an awkward position and make you sit straight up, putting a lot of stress on your back. That was not the case with this e-bike. It does have a nice upright stance, yet it is not too uncomfortable.

With regard to its suspension, the e-bike does feature front suspension, which will make riding much more pleasant. If you run over a speed bump, you'll have padding, so you won't feel the full impact. Which means you can take this e-bike off-road. It has easy-to-reach handlebars and has a pedal forward design. They're not directly under your seat, which gives a laid-back feel to it.

Universality: 8/10

The last attribute we're going to touch on is the universality of the e-bike. So what we're looking at here is if this e-bike is suitable for any sized rider. Meaning can different people with different heights or different weights ride this e-bike? How easy is it to get on it?

The RadMini Step-Thru 2 has a low step-through range, which makes it easy to get your leg over that middle frame and saddle onto the e-bike. We prefer step-through frames since they are better suited for all riders. The only area where it was critiqued was the e-bike's bars. It can't go back and forth. This means, being a foldable e-bike, the stem only goes up and down and you can't tilt the handlebars closer to you. If you are a smaller rider, that can be an issue.

Tower e-Bike Score (60) and Specialty Score (54)

That ends our Tower Score rating. Again, the RadMini Step-Thru 2 scored a 60 on our 100-point score giving it a very good e-bike rating. Going back to that specialty score we had talked about at the beginning. The RadMini Step-Thru 2 scored a 54, giving it a mediocre e-bike rating.

The last two things that we like to touch on are the weight and the looks of the e-bike.

Weight: 69 lbs

The e-bike does weigh heavy, coming in at 69 pounds. Primarily, you're buying a folding e-bike because you have limited space. For a foldable e-bike, you want to be able to easily pick it up and move it or put it in the back of your truck or store. Typically, we'd like to see foldable e-bikes weighing between 45 to 60 pounds. That's something to think about when it comes to this e-bike, and just make sure you're comfortable taking up that size.

Appearance

When it came to appearance, we loved the e-bike. It features a good step-through frame and comes with front and back fenders, which aren't of good quality but provide a lovely touch. It also comes in different sizes. The only kind of strange thing that we saw was the battery placement, which is on the outer side of the middle stem. As far as I can recall, it is called a fish or a stale fish.

Normally, it is placed at the back end of the stem, behind the seat post. The battery for the RadMini Step-Thru 2 is placed at the front, where a water bottle would be.

Low Proprietary Risk: 3/10

The last thing we consider is the Low Proprietary Risk of this e-bike. The unfortunate truth of the whole e-bike industry is that ninety-five percent of these e-bike brands are likely going to go out of business, whether it be in a year from now or five years from now. There are so many different e-bike brands out there creating different e-bike models that it is a cutthroat business. Most businesses are completely based on ads. It could be something to consider because you want to make sure that you're buying an e-bike from a company where you're going to be able to reach their customer support.

Further down the line, you want to make sure that the parts on your e-bike aren't all proprietary. When a company does go out of business, you can still source those parts yourself. We see it all the time here at our tire e-bike repair shop, a customer may come in and they have an e-bike brand that's no longer in business, and they need a new battery. Unfortunately, there isn't much that can be done. If the e-bike has proprietary parts, you're going to need parts specifically from that brand.

We're not trying to scare people here, but we do want to make sure you purchase an e-bike with standardized parts or from a respectable business with easy-to-reach customer support.

For the Low Proprietary Risk Score, we gave the RadMini Step-Thru 2 a three out of 10 because it has a standard battery pack on it. The positioning may be weird and it might not slide into place like a typical battery that you may be able to source. It could be another thing to consider. It has a standard LCD screen, which is nice if you don't need to go straight to RadCity to probably get that LCD screen. The controller is extremely proprietary. If there's an issue with your controller you're going to have to go through RadCity to get them.

The e-bike also lacks a branded motor. You absolutely want to see where they're obtaining their motor from. If you encounter motor issues, you have to go straight to RadCity. As a result, it suffered a minor setback in that regard. These are all the things to consider when buying a RadMini Step-Thru 2. You want to make sure that you're able to reach customer service and get an e-bike that's going to suit you for a long time, and you're not going to feel stuck looking for parts further down the line.

Conclusion

That ends our full review on the RadMini Step-Thru 2. We hope you liked it. You can check out our site for Tower Scores and a growing number of additional reviews.


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DISCLAIMER - Rad Power Bikes and Rad Mini 2 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.