Just how important is an E-bike? Few things have the ability to change your past, present, and future. An E-bike is one of them. Read on and I’ll do all the math for you, in this RadRover Review.
All great solutions solve multiple problems.Satoru Iwata
A Blast From the Future
An E-bike is the quintessential BuyBossin’ tool. It solves 4 problems: health, safety, time, and financial issues. Each of these we will go into more depth in future articles, but I’ll touch on each one here.
Every pump of the pedal fills a little vial of health. It forces your body to burn the fat of the past, making your present body the happy temple of power and speed you always knew it could be, and adds healthy years to your future. It’s a portable gym that also transports you wherever you need to go.
Seeing as you no longer have to go the gym, you just saved 2 to 5 hours a week, and don’t forget to add travel time to that. You’re no longer doing oil changes on your weekends, sitting in traffic, sitting in an mechanic shop, sitting in an insurance shop. Your time is too important for that.
Why are you not sitting in an insurance shop? Well these things are so safe nobody bothers to insure them. With onboard power a reality it makes adding extra safety features like lighting a breeze. The easiest way to not be a statistic is to simply avoid those areas full of them, like driving cars. Things like ABS, airbags, seatbelts, and collision avoidance systems are no longer needed to mitigate risk, because you’ve side stepped it completely.
But let’s dig a little deeper into the financial side of it. I think most of us know there’s more costs associated with running a vehicle than just putting some fuel in the tank every week, but really how expensive are they? And by extension-how much of your time is devoted to transportation?
Average Price of a vehicle in Canada =$40,131
Financing charges @ 2%=$3,333
Fuel per year =$2142
Parking, Upgrades, Cleaning =$500
Gym membership =$720
As well, you can factor in health and environmental costs. The environmental costs are becoming felt directly on our wallets now with the implementation of climate taxes, and health costs through various other taxes and fees. Lets input these numbers into a compound interest calculator, minus $2500 for a E-bike and some accessories. We’ll average this over ten years coming out to an annual cost of $6464, as that’s our estimated working career. This is almost exactly half of what Stats Canada found we spend on a year for transportation “Canadian households paid $12,707 for transportation in 2017” Which makes sense, as we are looking to remove the second vehicle and replace it with something that makes much more ‘cents’.
So with $6464-$2500 as our initial investment and throwing $6464 a year into our retirement account, that sweet honey pot, after ten years we end up with the tidy sum of $98,247.72. THAT’S ALMOST ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS! And that doesn’t take into account using the Al Bundy Maneuver. That’s a lot of happiness rolled up into one nice little package.
The RadRover Review
We know we need an E-bike. But which one? Let’s take a look at the RadRover, one of three E-bikes I’ve purchased. At over 3500 kms in the last year, it’s the one that gets the most use. It’s a Fat tire, go anywhere do anything bike. It’s just as happy taking you to work or pulling a chariot full of kids, groceries, or construction supplies. When your done that you can take it off the beaten trail in all four seasons for some adventure.
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The P’s and C’s
- Pro: 26×4 Fat tires. These allow you to roll over 2×4 sized objects with ease. Even 6 inch curbs can be conquered, albeit at a somewhat slower pace. Dirt and sand are overcome with grace and snow becomes a surmountable obstacle. Road imperfections up to an inch are barely perceptible. The tires are a lot faster than you’d think as well, when inflated above 20 psi. A very versatile tire, low 5-10 psi settings work well in snow and offroad when extra traction is needed. I fitted the 26×4.6 45N wrathchild studded tire for winter use, which provided confident traction even in unplowed roads, or glare ice conditions that cars were unable to navigate.
- Con: Tires are heavier and take more energy to move than standard sizing.. Slower to turn in on corners than your mountain bike. More akin to the feel of riding a crotch rocket than a mountain bike.
- Pro: Can do Rad burnouts. Even though I do plenty of these impressive displays of power I’ve got 1900 kms on the stock tires, and I’m hoping to double this by rotating my tires this year.
- Con: I’ve impressed 2 guys and 0 girls so far in doing this.
- Pro: Has preload adjustable front shocks. They also can be easily locked out so you don’t waste energy going up hills. Deluxe!
- Con: Front shocks are spring type and thus quite heavy. To be expected at this price point. Some users have replaced them with solid front forks saving about 8 pounds, in trade for a rougher ride.
- Pro: 14.5 amp hour battery packed with good quality samsung cells. I get 25-30 kms of range riding with maximum assist in hilly terrain. This is about the worst you can expect. You can get close to 80 kms on low assist on flatter territory.
- Con: Battery is mounted mid frame, so you have to work a bit to hide it when passing those spandex wearing tightrope walkers turned bicyclists while chastising them for not going in the slow lane.
- Pro: They use the same battery pack in the RadRover as in all their bikes so if a friend or partner get a bike you can swap as needed or carry a second for more range.
- Con: To upgrade you have to look for third party options. A 52 volt upgrade is quite common as you can use the same controller and motor with no ill effects, and a bit of a performance and range boost.
- Pro: They have a good selection of well made accessories like racks and fenders.
- Con: They are pricey, and the fitment can make installation difficult on occasion. RAD Power please refine the manufacturing tolerances on your accessories.
- Pro: Plenty of pre-drilled and tapped holes to mount various accessories in well thought out locations.
- Con: Every single one of these is painted, making it difficult to thread the Allen key bolts in , which are naturally prone to stripping. A fellow smarter than me would run a thread chaser through the threads before installing anything.
- Pro: The seat is a good compromise between comfort and firmness. I found it great when starting out, as I have sensitive buttocks every since that stint in the local jail. However I found after 3000 kms I wanted something firmer and narrower so as to not chafe my ever firming glutes.
- Con: However I found after 3000 kms I wanted something firmer and narrower so as to not chafe my ever firming glutes, others may find they like something softer. They are a good compromise. After about 1000 kms I purchased a suspension seat post. This was a great upgrade. It’s like riding on a cushion of air. Be sure to get a 27.2 mm post.
- Pro: Headlight comes standard on the RadRover. This is one of the big advantages of having on board power, it allows all sorts of easy implementation of lighting and accessories. The headlight is a very bright led light.
- Con: If it fails and you’re out at dark you’re in trouble. Get a secondary light if you do any amount of riding at night. I use this one. It’s awesome. Case in point: One morning I took an offroad shortcut and when I hit a bump. The tire hit the light and spun it so it was directly pointed in my eyes. This was going downhill, you can imagine how I looked as I blindly tried to keep it upright. I failed in a spectacular crash. Rad Power please shorten the mount for the headlight on the front rack. It can contact the tire under some circumstances.
- Pro: Battery charger is small enough to pack along and cheap enough to have a second one at work to charge your RadRover.
- Con: My bike takes between 6 to 9 hours to charge, which is fine once you adapt your schedule, but 1 hour quick charging would be greatly appreciated . I’m sure these improvements will come in time.
- Pro: 7 speeds. This allows you to conquer virtually any hill, in combination with the motor. “Hi! Don’t you wish you had power?” becomes your standard greeting as you pass other cyclists on hills.
- Con: The ratio between first and second gear is quite large, leaving you wishing for one more gear. I’ve seen some people bolt a smaller crank set gear on for better low range if they do a lot of off road or hilly terrain.
- Pro: Rear tail light. This also doubles as a brake lt which is really cool and another great benefit of an E-bike. Also has a selectable strobe mode that I use regularly.
- Con: The old slam on your brakes and have your partner behind you slam it into the ditch trick doesn’t work anymore.
- Pro: 500 watts of power. This is equivalent to a couple pro riders pushing you along. It’s almost magical how good this feels and the versatility this provides. It’s hard to describe the feeling when you first ride one of these, but I think the closest thing is that overwhelming feeling of wonder when you were a kid and you first were able to ride a bike. Your mind immediately fills with ideas of grandeur and the places you can go with this new found freedom. It truly can be a vehicle replacement. This assumes you are following the first rule of ByeBossin’: Live within 15 km of everywhere you need to go. This alone is enough to allow many to retire early.
- Con: The American RadRover gets 750 watts for the same price. There are some times you wish you had just a little more. But it’s hard to complain too much as this just provides a better workout, which is a long term better plan. If you really want more power Bolton E-bikes sells a cheap upgrade kit that turns this bike into a wheelie machine.
- Pro: Builds a sense of Community in your life. People everywhere want to talk to you when your booting around on a RadRover. I’ve lost count of how many friends I’ve made pedalling around town.
- Con: Texts asking when your gonna be back.
- Pro: USB port. This allows you to charge your phone or run other accessories.
- Con: Why didn’t I think of this?
- Pro: Come virtually assembled. Throw on a couple parts and your off.
- Con: Some bikes are coming fully assembled now.
- Pro: Everyone’s doing this now. Which means great support with RadRover forums.
- Pro: The only way to ride hands free, short of buying a Tesla.
An E-Bike is ultimate representation of BBB. It saves time, saves money, improves health and happiness, and improves sense of community. If you’d like $50 off a RadRover feel free to use my referral code ‘Byebuyboss 30-5153‘. I’m in no way affiliated with them, but have bought 3 bikes of theirs so far, the RadRover, RadWagon and Radmini Step-thru. Happy trails!