2020 RadRover Step-Thru review: Rad Power Bikes’ upgrades are better than ever

Rad Power Bikes essentially needs no introduction. They’ve been a heavyweight contender in the modestly-priced e-bike space for years now. With a wide selection of e-bikes ranging from $1,299 to $1,499, they’ve become the go-to comparison in the industry. And thanks to the latest updates to the Rad Power Bikes lineup, the bikes are better than ever. Today we’re checking out the new 2020 RadRover Step-Thru, which I’ve had the opportunity to test out over the last couple of weeks.

The bike brings a new level of accessibility to go-anywhere fat tire electric bikes. Check it out below.

Rad Power Bikes RadRover Step-Thru tech specs

  • Motor: 750W geared rear hub motor
  • Top speed: 32 km/h (20 mph)
  • Range: 45-72 km (25-45 mi) depending on throttle or pedal assist
  • Battery: 48V 14Ah (672 Wh)
  • Charge time: 6 hours
  • Max load: 125 kg (275 lb)
  • Frame: 6061 aluminum, step-through style
  • Suspension: 80 mm travel front RST spring suspension fork with preload adjustment and lockout
  • Brakes: Tektro mechanical disc brakes with 180 mm rotors
  • Extras: LCD display with speedometer, wattmeter, battery gauge, PAS level indicator, odometer, tripmeter, light status indicator, front and rear LED lights, 5 speed settings, half-twist throttle, hidden USB charging port, mounting for front and rear racks, fenders included standard

RadRover Step-Thru video review

Check out my video review of the updated 2020 RadRover Step-Thru below!

What’s new?

The RadRover Step-Thru has a number of new features compared to last year’s RadRover (which we also reviewed).

First of all, the RadRover Step-Thru obviously offers a new, lowered frame design that drops the standover height by 10 inches (25 cm). There’s still the standard RadRover if you don’t want or need the step-through frame, but it definitely makes mounting and dismounting the bike easier, which could be an advantage to everyone from shorter riders to those with stiffness or mobility issues. And heck, I’m a healthy 30-year-old dude and I still like it simply because it’s so convenient.

But more than the frame, we’re seeing a number of new additions.

The new Rad Power Bikes upgrades included fenders as a standard accessory instead of a paid addition. Anyone who lives in the real-world and occasionally sees wet roads will love that feature.

There’s also an update to the headlight, turning into a spiffier motorcycle-like halo headlight. The throttle also sheds its old disengage button, which I imagine most people never used and is now more streamlined. If you want to not use your throttle, you can just not use it. There’s still pedal-assist of course, so you can treat the e-bike like a Class 1 e-bike by ignoring the throttle entirely and using the 5 different levels of pedal assist. Or you can drop the assist level to 0 and get a serious workout by pedaling this big bike all by yourself.

Other than those updates, the rest of the bike is the RadRover that we already know and love. You get the big Kenda Juggernaut fat tires, the suspension fork, the LCD display, ergonomic handlebars, grab under the seat, etc.

So what did I think?

In a word, the RadRover Step-Thru is simply “awesome.” It’s a big, powerful, fun-loving e-bike that can go anywhere. It’s not perfect, but it’s still a great bike for so many applications.

The front suspension isn’t fancy, but it works for everyday use. And with the big tires, anything the front suspension absorbs will be muted by the 4″ of air and rubber between you and the road or trail.

There’s obviously no rear suspension at this price (which is $1,499 – did I mention that?), but again, that big fat tire in the rear will do most of the suspension work for you on moderate bumps. Combine that with the plush saddle that spoils your cheeks and this is a very comfortable ride indeed.

The motor is powerful without being overpowering. I’ve ridden overpowering bikes, and they’re fun, but they are also essentially motorcycles. The RadRover Step-Thru is not a motorcycle. You can ride it like a moped without pedaling thanks to that throttle, but the power is reasonable and not overbearing. It will climb a moderate hill just fine, but it’s not going to get away from you.

rad power bikes radrover step-thru

The pedal assist is nicely tuned to not feel overly jerky. It’s cadence-based, which means you’ll need most of a pedal turn before you get any help, but that’s of course standard with bikes in this price range. Fancy torque-sensors that can provide immediately responsive pedal assist cost many hundreds of dollars more.

At the end of the day, the RadRover Step-Thru is simply a series of sensible compromises that result in good bang for your buck. The bike components aren’t top shelf, but they aren’t low end either. Every part has been selected for value, giving good bang for your buck.

There are other bikes and companies that are encroaching upon Rad Power Bikes’ turf in terms of moderately priced e-bikes, but Rad is still king. They’re a known and respected entity, responsive to customer concerns and are even growing their physical presence across the country and around the world.

That makes the $1,499 RadRover Step-Thru an even better value proposition, knowing you’re getting a bike from a company that is likely to still be around in a few years.

At least that’s how I feel, knowing I have that peace of mind.

But I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the new RadRover Step-Thru. Hit me up in the comments section below and let me know what you think!

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Avatar for Micah Toll Micah Toll

Micah Toll is a personal electric vehicle enthusiast, battery nerd and author of the Amazon #1 bestselling books DIY Lithium Batteries, DIY Solar Power and the Ultimate DIY Ebike Guide.

You can send him tips at Micah@electrek.co