Choosing between the Radrunner 2 and the Radrunner Plus will come down, not only to how much you're willing to spend, but, what you're looking for in a utility electric bike. The Radrunner Plus might seem like the best option since it's the upgraded version of the Radrunner 2, but is it really worth the extra cash?
We compared the two models from all aspects and by the time you finish reading this article, you will know which model best suits your needs.
Differences Between the Radrunner 2 and the Radrunner Plus
Motor and Power
Both e-bikes are equipped with 750-Watt hub motors, however, there might be a slight difference between the two in terms of power. In the Radrunner Plus' description, Rad Power Bikes clearly states how much torque the upgraded model can generate (80 Nm) but doesn't do the same for the basic model - the Radrunner 2.
I'm not sure as to why Rad Power did this or if it is just a mistake, but keep in mind that the Radrunner Plus is a more versatile e-bike than the standard Radrunner.
Both bikes are estimated to be able to cover around 45 miles of range on a single charge. We have compiled the real-world range numbers for both e-bikes in the table below.
Highest pedal-assist setting
Lowest pedal-assist setting
Please note that both tests were carried out by different riders under different conditions, so the table isn't meant to compare, but rather to give you an insight into how much range they can expect to get from either of the two bikes.
Nevertheless, the Radrunner 2 might be able to cover more distance on a full charge than the Radrunner Plus. This is because it weighs less than the latter and isn't equipped with a suspension fork (one of the biggest disadvantages of suspension forks is that they slow down bikes).
The Radrunner Plus' drivetrain makes it a better hill climber than the standard Radrunner. The former comes with a 7-speed drivetrain while the latter is restricted to just one gear (single-speed drivetrain).
As mentioned earlier, the Radrunner Plus is a more versatile electric bike than the Radrunner 2. It comes with a pair of suspension forks that smoothen out bumpy rides.
The Radrunner 2 on the other hand is a rigid e-bike and it might not be suitable for riding on uneven terrain.
Weight Limit and Net Weight
The Radrunner 2 weighs about 65 lbs (29.5 kg) and can support up to 300 lbs/136 Kg of weight. The upgraded version, the Radrunner Plus, has a net weight of 77 lbs (34.9 kg) and a recommended payload capacity of 300 lbs.
Both e-bikes are capable of supporting up to 300 lbs of weight, but the Radrunner does it while still maintaining a lightweight frame. So, if you're someone who's looking for a lightweight electric bike, the Radrunner 2 might be a good place to start.
Neither of the bikes is portable in the true sense of the word. The Radrunner 2 stands at over 42 inches tall (from the bottom of the tires to the handlebars) and measures up to 68 inches in length - its frame is not collapsible/foldable. Its dimensions, however, aren't as bulky as the Radrunner Plus’ which has a handlebar height of 45.75” and a total length of 71.5”.
The Radrunner Plus is also not foldable.
Display and Controls
The Radrunner 2 comes with a pretty simple LED control panel that indicates how much battery power riders have left and what pedal assist level they’re currently logged into. The e-bike also has a headlamp on/off button, a power button, and “+” & “-“ buttons for switching between PAS levels.
The Radrunner Plus on the other hand is equipped with a more advanced meter than the standard Radrunner’s. Its LCD e-bike displays speed, distance traveled, current pedal-assist level, motor wattage, battery level, etc.
The e-bike also allows riders to tweak the bike's top speed and set the wheel size for the speed sensor. If you desire a more functional cockpit, the Radrunner 2 might be the best option for you.
All Rad Power electric bikes are designed to operate optimally in wet conditions. Rad Power Bikes company doesn't specify the ingress protection rating for any of its products, however, it's safe to guess that their bikes are resistant to dust (and other small particulates) and water splashed from all directions (IP54).
According to Rad Power Bikes, their bicycles are “...designed to withstand rainy Seattle weather, meaning they perform well in wet conditions.”
Suspension and Tire
The Radrunner 2 is a rigid electric bicycle. It does not come with a suspension system. The bike's 20” by 3.3” pneumatic tires are the only components that provide some form of cushioning against terrain feedback.
Nevertheless, the upgraded version comes with RST spring forks that allow for up to 60mm of wheel travel. It is also equipped with the same tires as the Radrunner 2.
Upgrades and Accessories
The Radrunner Plus is a massive upgrade from the Radrunner 2. It comes standard with a lot of useful accessories that aren’t pre-installed on the base model.
Some of these accessories include; a pair of full-length fenders, a padded passenger seat, skirt guards for the rear wheel, and foot pegs along either side of the rack’s tubing. Rad Power Bikes also made some serious upgrades to a few of the standard version’s components.
For instance, they replaced the Radrunner 2’s rigid forks with spring forks, added six more cassettes to the bike’s drivetrain, attached a more advanced meter to the handlebars, and installed a bigger headlight on the Radrunner Plus.
Even if you decide to purchase the standard Radrunner and equip it with the Plus’ accessories you’ll still end up spending close to 400$ (the price margin between the Radrunner 2 and the Radrunner Plus). That total doesn’t include the cost of purchasing a suspension fork or even fitting it onto the bike’s frame nor does it cover the expense of buying a 7-speed drivetrain and a Shimano Acera derailleur.
Design and Engineering
Both the Radrunner 2 and the Radrunner Plus come with step-through frame designs. Their frames are cast from 6061 aluminum; a versatile alloy that is well known for its remarkable resistance to corrosion.
Rad Power also does a good job in reinforcing the Radrunner 2 and Radrunner Plus’ frames against flex.
Since both models are designed for heavy-duty purposes, and step-through frames are generally perceived to be structurally weaker than step-over frames, the design team at Rad Power Bikes came up with a great idea to weld extra tubes to certain parts of the bike - there’s one just under the connection between the down tube and the head tube and the other connects the seat tube to the down tube.
Their handlebars are swept back, promoting a more upright riding position. The Radrunner 2 and the Radrunner Plus aren’t so different design-wise. They have the same build and almost share equal measurements.
For a tabular representation of the differences between the Radrunner 2 and the Radrunner Plus, check the comparison table below.
Motor and power
750-Watt geared hub motor
750-Watt geared hub motor
25 to 45 miles on every full charge
Up to 45 miles on a single charge
Can climb moderately-steep inclines
Better hill climber thanks to its 7-speed drivetrain
Great for riding on paved roads
Designed for riding on different types of terrain
Weight limit (payload capacity)
- Handlebar height: 42-45 inches
- Handlebar height: 45.75 inches - 47.25 inches
Display and controls
Simple LED panel
Grayscale LCD display with data read-out
IPX4 or IP54
IPX4 or IP54
Suspension and tire
Front suspension forks
Accessories and utilities
Frame-integrated rear rack, front and rear lights (that also work as the brake lights), and a double-leg kickstand.
Full-length fenders, front and rear lights (that also work as the brake lights), skirt guards, foot pegs, a single-leg kickstand, and a padded passenger seat.
Pros and Cons of the Radrunner 2
Pros and Cons of the Radrunner Plus
Who’s the Radrunner 2 For
If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly cargo e-bike, the Radrunner 2 might just be the best electric bike for you. Also, if you’re looking for a multi-purpose e-bike, you might want to consider this electric bicycle.
It is not as large and awkward-looking as regular cargo e-bikes so you can ride it to work or school.
Who’s the Radrunner 2 ‘NOT’ For
The Radrunner 2 is not designed for off-road riders and aggressive e-bike riders. It’s powerful but very limited in its capabilities.
It’s also not a good option for riders looking for lightweight machines. It weighs 65 pounds, which is almost two times the weight of the Ride1Up Roadster V2.
Who’s the Radrunner Plus For
Anyone from commuters to off-road riders will enjoy using this electric bike. It is even better adapted to riding in wet conditions than the Radrunner 2.
Who’s the Radrunner Plus ‘NOT’ For
The Radrunner Plus has a top speed of about 20 mph. While this threshold can be increased, don’t expect to get more than 25 miles an hour out of this bike. So, if you’re looking for an electric bike that goes really fast, find a more powerful unit, this is not the one.