Monday, March 13, 2017

Testing: Family Cargo Bike. Used Radwagon. Electric assist, regen breaking, 1000+ miles

Me on the Radwagon at night, before monkey bars. 
Monkey bar caboose with extra t-grip handle
I got a used Radwagon family cargo bike! Testing it and documenting it here.

I see the e-assist cargo/family movement as strong, but also the reality is a bit like RVs and Boats. They will probably be used less then one thinks by most people due to weather, maintenance, and laziness. But so far, my e-bike rides to town and with my kids are amazing!

Test though! On quiet streets. These bikes can be heavy. On a recent test of a Radwagon/Yepp Seat config, my daughter actually fractured her arm (not a bad fracture). Total parent fail, and the bike wasn't even moving! So testing is crucial. More on that soon in another post.

Here's a great summary of cargo bike reviews here from Electric Bike Review here.

I think this frame will last a long time and eventually I'd add a mid-drive system to have better hill climbing using the 21 speeds. Something like the Befrag 8-Fun BBS02 Mid-Drive, which should be cheap by the time I need it!

We tried a Yepp Maxi Easy Fit seat, it was very well made and easy to use. But setup didn't work of my wife. Too back-heavy. 

Yepp seat on back was found to be well made, and very easy to use, but the Radwagon was too back and top heavy with two kids for my wife. 

This setup worked well for me, but needed monkey bars for safety. 

Radwagon rear child handlebars, monkey bars, handles. 

 This one works for my 5 year old to hold on to so far. $12.00. Bicycle Armrest Handrail, YIFAN Bike Child Safety Cycling Rear Saddle Handlebar - Black
by Yifan.

I'm wondering bout other seats like Bell Incs. Bell Classic Cocoon Bicycle Child Carrier Link:
I wonder if the base is wide enough to fit over the rear rack?

I think Thule bought Yepp. But they did have this too: Thule RideAlong Child Bike Seat by Thule Link:

Riding the Radwagon 3-20-17

After huge work weekend for our first graduate school residency on the main Marlboro College campus I got some time to ride the Radwagon to town. It was a dream to ride on the flat surfaces and small hills to down. On the way back I went up a big hill, over 15% incline at times and that's when the motor and weight of the bike could be felt. Keeping the motor at under 500W draw as advised, on pedal assist #2, still required a little hard pedaling on the worst of the hill. With two kids, would have been hard on this hill. But at Pedal Assist #5, it would be easier and since the hill was short, that would be ok.

Got a Used Radwagon tonight
Used Radwagon in my 2009 Subaru Forester. Hatch closed, with child seat too.

So excited. I found someone in town who is upgrading to a RadCity and had a Radwagon with just over 1000 miles on it. The battery is going go probably soon. The seller gave us a wonderful deal and it fit in my Subaru Forester tonight!.

 I'll be going over the Radwagon Best Practices. And the owners manual.  

The seller emailed me the below, they were really nice. We wont' be driving at night. 

"Enjoy the bike and be safe.  Seriously think about high power lights, streets are dangerous d/t distracted drivers. Good quality lights are not cheaper but more less expensive than an ER visit. Protect yourself. Enclosed are some links you might find helpful.
Another good link.  I bought the Radwagon purposely for the regenerative braking.  I like the regen feel and appreciate saving on brake pads. and are great ebike resources.   Enjoy the ride!"  

Someday...Radwagon can take a MidDrive motor. 

1000W mid drive on the Radwagon...nice: Endless Sphere Forums conversion post.

This is definitely a movement


  1. Hows the RadWagon holding up? I thinking of getting one so I can ride my 2 kids to school and then me to work.

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