I haven’t taken a Falcon rocket into outer space…yet. But that’s on my to-do list for 2030. That means I can’t comment on which electric bikes extraterrestrials are digging right now. But here on planet earth, the RadWagon 4 is the best electric bicycle that money can buy.
For full disclosure, I’ve owned a RadWagon since the early days of the company. I was able to score a deal on the first generation Radwagon on eBay of all places. And I put over 3,200 miles on that bike hauling my kids to and from school and myself to and from work. While we’re still in the dawn of the e-bike movement, the first rays of the sun were barely shining when I purchased that original RadWagon. Electric bikes have come a long way in little time since then!
Now that I’ve upgraded to the recently released RadWagon 4, it clearly improves on previous iterations. And at the low price of $1,899 it makes financial sense for so many people.
Affordable? You might be asking yourself who pays nearly $2,000 for a bike!? Before you begin questioning my sanity, this article is here to convince you that electric cargo bikes aren’t ordinary bicycles and that forking over your hard earned dollars for a RadWagon would be $2,000 well spent.
I’m not the only person out there who loves this bike. The RadWagon 4 is the most affordable electric cargo bike out there according to the most comprehensive review site, ElectricBikeReview.com. The good folks at Electrek agree too! So there’s some solid expert consensus that this bike is a legitimate winner.
This article isn’t going to detail the specs of the RadWagon. You can click the EBR link for more on that. Instead, I’m going to offer clear-cut reasons in the paragraphs to follow about why you should consider buying a RadWagon and how spending the money on one can actually save you money in the long run.
There are other options beside the RadWagon
I don’t want to come across as a shill for this specific bike. There are other fantastic bikes out there. If you are up for spending a good bit more than $2,000 you can snag nicer bikes with superior components. Yuba & Xtracycle are companies worth checking out if you are looking for more of a mid-tier electric cargo bike.
But the best-selling cargo e-bikes from those companies cost at least double what the RadWagon 4 will set you back. Many of those models approach or even crest the $5,000 mark. And it’s my belief that these bikes don’t provide double the value for most riders.
There are so many benefits to riding an electric bike
Let’s first discuss how game-changing electric bikes are in general. E-bikes have soared in popularity over the past year. The pandemic has had a lot to do with that as bikes have been a staple purchase. But electric bikes were on the rise even before Covid struck and e-bike sales saw even more of a spike than traditional bike manufacturers.
That’s because e-bikes offer an insane number of benefits. Electric bicycles are cheap to operate, are a great form of exercise, and are highly efficient as a mode of transportation. The costs of operating an e-bike pale in comparison to any other method.
That’s because the cost of charging the battery is roughly 8 cents. I charge mine twice a month so that minor cost goes essentially unnoticed. You’ll also want to factor in normal costs for maintaining a bicycle – between $50 and $100 annually.
But while the benefits of owning an e-bike can’t be overstated, the biggest benefit is probably the versatility that can allow you to massively curb your car usage.
Owning a cargo e-bike can allow you to ditch a car
Whether you go with the RadWagon or another cargo e-bike, the biggest benefit is being able to ditch a car from your life. That alone will save you thousands of dollars a year.
That’s exactly what our family did. We are living proof that you can slash your transportation expenses each year thanks to the game-changing abilities of consistently riding an electric cargo bike. We sold our Nissan Leaf to Carvana at the end of last year and haven’t looked back.
I just noted that it costs me less than two dollars a year to charge my e-bike battery. Well, let’s discuss how much your current car is costing you every year by comparison.
AAA estimates that the average annual cost of owning a car is over $8,500. You probably think that sounds insane. And it does. But it’s pretty accurate! That figure includes depreciation, insurance, maintenance, fuel, etc. So if buying an electric cargo bike can allow your family to jettison a car, that bike will pay for itself in months, not years.
Driving an older model car will ensure that your annual costs will be quite a bit lower and that your e-bike savings won’t be quite as dramatic. My Nissan Leaf wasn’t costing our family that much every year, but we are still going to be saving thousands of dollars each and every year moving forward. Owning one fewer car, even if it is an older model is a financial gamechanger.
If you don’t plan on selling one of the cars you own, buying a RadWagon can still lead to lots of family fun. But, being a money nerd, one of my favorite reasons for considering one is that you can actually reduce your transportation expenses by eliminating a car from your driveway, and accompanying expenses.
One way to do that is just by biking more and driving less. You can opt to go with a pay-by-the-mile insurance company as more of your transportation needs are met by your new bike. Even just keeping a couple thousand miles off of your car’s odometer every year will save you money through decreased fuel and repair expenses. And if you can limit your driving to fewer than 7,500 miles a year, contact your insurance company and inquire about a low-mileage discount. That alone can save you hundreds of dollars.
The riding experience itself is worth the money
Even if you plan on keeping all your cars around and just riding the RadWagon for fun, this bike is a joy to ride. The pedal assist features make your legs feel bionic as you zip around town. You can avoid some of the most congested streets by hopping on different paths around town too.
The RadWagon allows you to go up to 45 miles on a single charge at battery-assisted speeds of up to 20 mph. You can load up to 350 lbs of cargo on this bike, including riders. So not only is it fun to get around town on an electric cargo bike, it can also go for hours and offers a lot of utility. You can now make that grocery run on your bike instead of taking the car.
Riding my RadWagon instead of driving the car frequently saves me time, too. That’s how bad Atlanta traffic has become!
You can still get lots of exercise while riding an e-bike
There are some folks who get an electric bicycle and decide to never pedal again. I don’t recommend that. For one thing, you’ll drain the battery far quicker if you refuse to expend your own energy. Also, getting your blood pumping by pedaling is good for you.
The RadWagon offers 5 levels of pedal-assist. Level one helps you feel like there’s a light wind at your back, ever-so-gently propelling you forward. If you click all the way up to level 5 it’ll feel like you’re going downhill even if you’re going uphill!
I tend to stick to level one to get that small boost while still pushing myself in order to get the exercise. But you do you!
The RadWagon 4 is the perfect cargo e-bike choice for most folks
The memories our family has made zipping around town on our RadWagon are reason enough for me to recommend it to others. From rides home with the kids after school to weekend neighborhood explorations, the RadWagon has made it easy and fun to get outdoors as a family. I love that bike riding has become an essential part of our family culture.
The more comfortable you become riding that RadWagon the more you’ll see how much value you can garner from it. Simple grocery store trips are a thing of ease with a pannier bag attached to the frame. And it’s pretty easy to take your kid to school with the simple addition of a Yepp bike seat.
Those add-on purchases will help you get the most out of your new electric cargo bike. Rad Power Bikes also sells a slew of additional accessories like front-mounted baskets.
The RadWagon also made me fall in love with biking again. I didn’t really think of riding my bike as a legitimate form of transportation beforehand for some reason. Now I ride my non-electric bike more than I have before too.
That’s why I believe most folks would do well to consider purchasing a RadWagon. But before you do, make sure to research thoroughly and read other reviews. I’m just one guy offering his opinion here. Just because owning a RadWagon has been a massive win for our family doesn’t mean that it will be for yours too. But I sure hope it is!
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How about security? do these bike get stolen? that is my biggest fear, i go into a grocery store and the bike would be gone.
The Radwagon comes with a key that allows you to lock the battery in place so it doesn’t get stolen. And then I just lock the frame to a bike rack like I do with my road bike.
I just turned 2100 miles on my radwagon. Had it for about 2 years. The kids love going to school on it, and I take it to work (at Costco) and haul the groceries home. Now I am trying to talk the wife into getting one of her own.
Nicely done, Pete! I’m trying to get my wife more comfortable riding the one we own right now too. But these Radwagons are just insanely versatile. I feel like it does so much and it brings a lot of enjoyment at the same time.
I got one four months ago. Absolutely love it. I don’t drive my other car anymore. I live in a beach area. Couldn’t be better place to have it. Happiest man in the world that I bought this bike. I ride it everyday. 64 years old. The knees don’t work as good as they used to. I feel like a kid again riding around. I love it love it love it. I have a 7-year-old that rides on the back. She loves it too. And my dog loves a ride in the front basket.
eCargos are the future and the future is now! I’ve got one on order arriving next week, fingers crossed. All my short trips around town will be on this magic carpet while the car will only be used for ski trips. Thanks for the tip on low mileage insurance!
I own a Rad runner utility bike, as do my son. We take our bikes to the grocery store, church, his work and doctors visits. My question has to do with the length of the rad wagon. Any problems there ? I was thinking of transportation issues. We rode from Pittsburgh to Washington DC on a bike trail with our rad runner utility bikes. We would have no way to transport them in a vehicle. Any ideas, besides purchasing a larger trailer ? We have no nearby dedicated bike trails within 25 miles of our house..
Hey Richard. Good question. Transporting the Radwagon could be a legit problem. I know they make bike racks that claim to be able to hold the Radwagon, but those are quite expensive. So if you really want a Radwagon and have to transport it in order to ride it, there’s no inexpensive solution that I know of.