Some sequels can never match the original, but the 5th generation of the Rad Rover Electric Fat Bike is one of the most exciting evolutions yet. This titanic ebike has an appetite for adventure and its 4” wide tires will handle any kind of terrain out there. While there are plenty of new fat ebikes on the market, riders and reviewers rave about the Rad Rover 5 for its smoother ride feel and impressive design touches. Practice makes perfect and Rad Power Bikes has learned a lot from their past editions of the Rad Rover so this $1,699 model is one of the best ebikes available for the money.
Rad Power Bikes was one of the first brands to electrify fat bikes and has maintained a great track record since then. Rad Power leverages its high praise and loyal following to improve the Rad Rover in each iteration. The 2020 Rad Rover 5 E-Bike is much more refined than the original but is fairly similar to the earlier 2019 model. The 2019 version brought aboard a whole list of upgrades but the Rad Rover 5 has almost the exact same specs— and costs $200 more. In late 2020, Rad Power Bikes increased prices across their fleet. That said, the bikes are still a superb package at a solid value.
Rad Rover Tires
The Rad Rover5 characteristic fatness comes from its 4” wide Kenda Juggernaut tires, each outfitted with a K-Shield puncture resistant lining. The tread pattern is plenty grippy in tough conditions and won’t be overkill on pavement sections. The Rad Rover Fat Tires run especially well at low pressure so you can ride safely in the winter and enjoy messy mud or shifty sand. Sleek reflective sidewalls will keep you seen from all angles. The lack of punched-put rims, however, make the wheels relatively heavy and contribute to the bike’s beefy weigh-in of 69 pounds.
Almost hidden from sight, the rear geared hub motor delivers a notable 750 watts of power. The motor comes from the reliable Bafang brand and includes a 12-magnet cadence sensor for smooth acceleration. For the mid-tier price, these components on this Rad Electric Bike are intelligent choices. The motor strains slightly on steep terrain but operates quietly. Opting instead for a mid-drive motor and torque sensor would enhance the experience but could send the price tag sky high. Rad Power Bikes understands hardcore eMTB riders are not its target clientele. Still, the motor overperforms for the price and makes the husky bike surprisingly easy to handle. The bike is rated to fit riders 5’4” to 6’2” but there is a step-thru option for smaller or less mobile users. The semi integrated battery from Samsung charges in 6 hours and is removable so indoor charging in the winter is a breeze.
The capabilities on rough terrain make trail riding fun and add comfort to more casual cycling too. 80 mm of front suspension is a huge plus and is paired with lockout and preload settings. The suspension fork on this Rad Rover Electric Bike utilizes a quick release skewer instead of a much sturdier thru-axle to support the heavy bike. The 5 pedal assist levels offer plenty of choices and the half-twist throttle can get the RadRover 5 top speed upto 20 mph. You can easily disconnect the throttle cable to legally ride mountain bike trails if your local rules prohibit throttled ebikes. Review tests confirm that the Rad Rover 5 can go over 45 miles on a single charge using moderate pedal assist.
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RadRover E-Bike Weight & Drivetrain
The Shimano drivetrain and mechanical disc brakes are appropriate and cost effective options. The wide range cassette and chain guard are nice touches but the SIS index shifter is an antiquated piece of tech that feels clunky to use. The Rad Rover 5 slows down with Tektro Aries 180 mm mechanical disc brakes that cleverly link up to the rear brake light.
The RadRover 5 Weight is 69 pounds, without cargo. This make the bike better off with hydraulic brakes but it the mechanical option keeps costs manageable running disk brakes instead.
RadRover 5 Accessories
The Rad Rover 5 truly shines with its outstanding accessories and design touches. Rad Power Bikes offer a long list of add-ons to choose from if you want to purchase racks, panniers, seat post suspension, or a phone mount.
The bright LCD display provides more stats than comparable units and the battery includes a USB port to keep your phone fully charged! Even when the bike is loaded with cargo, the kickstand and bike set up keep it stationary and stable. The integrated front light should be paired with an additional lamp for safe night riding. The rear light is a well-designed brake light, a rare feature even on fancier ebikes.
The fenders are plastic rather than tougher aluminum but hold up quite well to debris. A more-useful-than-you’d-think handle at the back of the seat helps maneuver the hefty bike. Expectations for ebikes continue to climb but the Rad Rover 5 delivers a serious level of comfort and rideability.
The Rad Power Bikes RadRover 5 is a welcome addition to the already well-loved fleet of ebikes from Rad. A few tweaks from last year’s model boost performance but the fun fat bike package remains largely the same. If it’s not broke don’t fix it, right?
The Rad Rover 5 ($1,699.99) is an adventure machine for any season. If you can’t choose between performance and comfort, don’t worry, you won’t have to. Riding a Rad Fat Tire bike like this, you’ll be cracking a smile without knowing it— and maybe even without pedaling.