Ride1Up 700 Series vs Rad Power Bikes RadCity 5 Plus: A Side-by-Side Comparison
June 16, 2023
The commuter-style ebike is the workhorse of the ebike world. Whether you need it for daily trips to and from work, delivery driving, running errands, or weekend adventures, the commuter ebike has proven itself time again to be the most practical choice for riders from all walks of life.
Since 2018, Ride1Up has acrobatically balanced cost to quality, emphasizing value. We know that electric bikes are a big purchase. We recognized that the commuter options in the market were leaving a lot to be desired, while still having a pricetag that left us balancing our checkbook months, or even years later. To show how it contrasts with competing models in the market, we thought it valuable to compare the Ride1Up 700 Series to one of the biggest names in the industry, Rad Power Bike’s RadCity 5 Plus.
700 Series vs Rad City 5 Plus
From a high-level view, below are the major advantages the 700 Series has over the RadCity 5 Plus. The breakdown of each bullet point can be found in further detail below.
- More Affordable – $1,695 vs $1,999
- Increased Top Speed – 28mph vs 20mph
- Lighter Frame Weight – 62lbs vs 65lbs
- Larger Battery – 15Ah vs 14Ah
- Increased Carrying Capacity – 300lbs vs 275lbs
- Higher Quality Mechanical Components (see below for breakdown)
- Higher Quality Electrical Components (see below for breakdown)
- Sleeker Build Quality and Frame Design (see below for breakdown)
Deeper in this side-by-side comparison of the 700 Series and the RadCity 5 Plus, you’ll find the essential elements split into four sections. You’ll find the “stats section” directly below – the quick and dirty facts you see hanging from a set of handlebars at a bike shop. Next, we’ll examine each model’s electrical and mechanical features, before stepping back and highlighting the remaining qualities that glue all these elements together.
These are similar to the facts you would see advertised in a bike shop.
|700 Series||RadCity 5 Plus|
|750W (Undisclosed Peak)|
|Battery||Integrated 720 Wh|
Semi-integrated 589-672 Wh
|Range||30-50 Miles||28-50 Miles|
|Pedal Assist (PAS)||Yes|
|Top Speed||28 mph||20 mph|
|Models||Step-through & Step-over||Step-through & Step-over|
|Weight||62 lbs||65 lbs|
|Carrying Capacity||300 lbs||275 lbs|
|Lights||Front and Rear||Front and Rear|
|Display||Backlit, Color Display||Backlit, 2-tone Display|
A quick inspection of the stats shows that the 700 Series and the RadCity 5 Plus are similar, but more than $300 is piled onto the RadCity 5 Plus price tag. You would assume you’re getting more for the money you’re spending but it’s far from the case. The RadCity 5 Plus is heavier and has a smaller, semi-integrated battery with less range, a 2-tone display, and lesser gearing options. It also only operates as a class 2 ebike with a 20mph top speed and has a 25lb lower carrying capacity. Dive into the sections below and we’ll unpack why the 700 Series is the best-in-class, best-value commuter ebike compared to the RadCity 5 Plus in every category.
That magical element drives us further and faster than ever before – let’s take a look and see how the components differ between these two models.
|700 Series||RadCity 5 Plus||Comments|
|Battery||Integrated 720 Wh|
(Samsung Cells) 48V system
|Bulky Semi-integrated 589-672 Wh|
|The bigger the battery, the better the range, less range anxiety, and more confidence to ride further and faster. Why integrate the battery into the frame? It just looks better. While building a frame around the battery is much more expensive, it’s well worth it if we can keep the final price low for our customers.|
Importantly, the 700 series stocks Samsung cells – an industry standard; high performing, fast charging, and long-lasting.
The RadCity 5 Plus’ has a semi-integrated battery. It’s cheaper to build the frame around and does not clearly advertise what cells they use. We did some investigating and confirmed that most Rad bikes are packing LG cells.
|Motor||750W, 60nm Torque|
Bafang Rear Hub
Rear Hub (Rad Branded – Undisclosed Torque)
|Both models here advertise a 750W rear hub motor. |
The 700 Series is transparent in stocking a Bafang hub motor. Bafang is a well-known and long-respected manufacturer for affordability and dependability.
Rad doesn’t advertise which parts and producers they are using.
We did some digging; the hub motor is a Bafang as well which is relaced and branded with a Rad logo. All-in-all, this obscures the consumer’s ability to make an effective cost comparison.
|Controller||48V x 18 Amp|
(864 peak motor wattage)
|Undisclosed||Controllers govern and distribute energy through the electrical elements of the bike. Amp limits in the controller relate to peak motor wattage, an important stat for acceleration and speed. Multiply the amp limit on the controller and the voltage of the battery and you will get the peak wattage that the motor can produce. |
The 700 Series peaks at 864 watts, has ample power to climb hills, and gives you the acceleration you need at high speeds, especially if competing with urban auto traffic.
Unsurprisingly, the controller amperage for the RadCity 5 Plus and the peak wattage are not advertised, and unable to locate even with some research.
|Display Screen||Backlit, Square Programmable Color Display||Backlit, Square 2-Tone Display||The 700 Series stocks a color display, with ride data and programmable features that allow for an intelligent ride experience. |
You can adjust the total amperage routed through the controller, finetune the power settings for each level, and switch from 3 levels of assist to 5, 7, or even 9 for a more refined ride. Moreover, you can set passwords to power on the bike and view real-time wattage feedback to see how much power is coursing through your motor at any given time.
RadCity 5 Plus has a two-tone, center-mounted screen and a separate, lefthand thumbpad for switching levels or cycling basic trip data. It is not customizable. You’re stuck with the 5-level, factory settings that Rad dictates. You can view real-time wattage, however, which is a very nice feature to include.
|Front Light||Buchel Shiny Round LED |
|“Standard Rad Headlight”|
|The two light sources both serve their purpose to see and be seen, but the differences abound from there.|
Ride1Up and Rad measure the lighting differently, making it more difficult to compare. When measuring light quality, ‘lux’ is the most common metric for lighting industry professionals. This measures the number of light particles falling on a surface at a given distance vs ‘lumens’ which measures the amount of light emitted from the source. Quick and dirty, a light source brightness of 100 lumens has a lux level of 10.
By that math, the 700 Series is casting about 4x more illuminated area in front of you than the Rad ‘standard headlight’ advertised on the RadCity 5 Plus.
|Rear Light||Rear Rack Integrated Square LED||Rear Rack Integrated Square LED||Both ebikes have rear lights integrated into the rear rack and are similar in size and placement.|
Electric or not, these are still bicycles with mechanical components and their quality is particularly influential to the durability, safety, and longevity of your ebike.
|700 Series||RadCity 5 Plus||Comments|
Hydraulic Disc with Motor Cut-Off Sensor
|(“Rad Power Approved” Brand)|
180mm, Hydraulic Disc Brakes with Motor Cut-Off Sensor
|These ebikes use hydraulic brakes which require less maintenance and provide ideal stopping power to mechanical or rim brakes. A motor cut-off sensor deactivates the motor when the brakes are pulled.|
The 700 Series is fitted with Tektro 2-piston brakes and comes with the reputation, recognition, and cost of sourcing from a major player in the component space.
The RadCity 5 Plus advertises “Rad Power Bikes approved” brake calipers and levers. This leaves us left in the dark about what brakes you’ll receive, and the true cost and quality of such an important component to your safety and riding experience.
|Derailleur||8-speed Shimano RD Altus||7-speed Shimano Altus||The number of gears you have available can make or break your ride. Better gearing for the specific terrain is going to ensure your battery life is extended to the peak efficiency possible. |
The 700 Series provides a greater range of gearing ratios to deliver a richer, more efficient experience.
The RadCity 5 Plus advertises a Shimano drivetrain, however, 3rd party reviewers reported receiving the bike with different parts and brands, like MicroSHIFT.
|Suspension Fork||(Mozo Brand) Hydraulic Suspension, 100mm Travel, with Lockout and Rebound Adjustment||(Undisclosed Brand)|
Spring Suspension, 50mm Travel, with Lockout and Rebound Adjustment
|Front fork suspensions – if well appointed – increase comfort and absorb shock, thereby reducing fatigue on your ride.|
The 700 Series stocks a brand-name, hydraulic fork with 100mm of travel length and in short, is a feature designed with more care and thought put into the rider’s experience.
The RadCity 5 Plus fork is a spring fork with half the travel of the 700 Series. 50mm of travel is the bare minimum that you could provide to check the box for a suspension fork. Spring forks are older tech and accordingly are not as costly of a component. 3rd party reviewers reported it to be “under sprung” with limited adjustability and shock reduction.
|Gear Shifter||8-speed Shimano Trigger Shifter||7-speed Shimano Thumb Shifter||Shifters trigger the derailleur to move the chain between gears on your cassette and contribute to the efficiency and smoothness of your ride experience.|
The rapid-fire shifter on the 700 series, is newer tech, has a clear gearing display, and is easier to use than a less expensive, 7-speed thumb shifter.
The thumb shifter on the RadCity 5 Plus is a name-brand component, however, you may receive a different brand and when assessing the bang for buck, you will see that for the retail price of this bike, even this Shimano part is not providing high value for the cost.
Finally, let’s circle back and examine the other features that tie all the categories together.
|700 Series||RadCity 5 Plus||Comments|
|Frame Style||Step-Through & Step-Over||Step-Through & Step-Over||Step-over and step-through frames are a matter of preference. If you are a shorter rider or have cargo or mobility concerns, the step-through frame is a good choice.|
In this case, both bikes come with a choice of either step-through or step-over frames.
|Top Speed||28||20||Getting where we need to go in less time and with less effort has been the goal throughout the history of humanity. Why stop now?|
The 700 Series has a top-assisted speed of 28 mph. In comparison to the RadCity 5 Plus’ top speed of 20 mph, you will find that these extra capabilities are incredibly important milestones to keeping up with urban traffic on roadways while commuting.
|Colors||2||2||Specs aside, color options are incredibly important to make your ride unique and appealing.|
The 700 Series comes in 2 eye-catching colors for either frame style: Graphite and Steel Blue.
The Rad step-through frame has either a gray or white colorway option. The step-over frame has only one gray color option available.
|Fenders||Hardened Metal Alloy||Black Plastic||Both come with fenders, but the hardened alloy material of the 700 Series fenders is more durable and long-lasting than the PVC plastic on the RadCity 5 Plus.|
“Rad Power Bikes Custom”
(May not include branding)
|Tires are your 2 points of contact on the road below you and their durability and quality are incredibly important to your ride experience.|
The 700 Series tires are name-brand and significantly wider with nearly a half-inch more surface area. This provides more traction and allows you to ride more confidently in a variety of situations and challenging terrains.
The RadCity 5 Plus tires are smaller and unbranded, again leaving you lost when attempting a cost comparison which makes it difficult to build confidence with the purchase and when riding.
|Range||30-50 Miles||28-50 Miles||Range estimates depend on various factors like weight, riding style, temperature, incline, and tire PSI to name only a few. |
The 700 Series battery is integrated into the frame, has a higher capacity, and stocks higher-quality Samsung cells. This helps to not only travel at higher speeds for longer, but this investment in quality keeps your battery operating for longer, over more recharge cycles.
With the reduced top speed of the RadCity 5 Plus, you will get more miles out of the same size battery, but with LG cells and a slightly lower capacity on the RadCity 5 Plus, you begin to wonder where the money you spend is going.
|Throttle Operation||Thumb-Throttle||Twist Grip||Throttle style comes down to preference, though Ride1Up stocks a left-hand thumb throttle on all commuter-style bikes. This reduces fatigue over long rides and accidental activation of the motor when walking with the bike, turning, or braking.|
That said, it comes down to preference. If you prefer the nostalgia of a motorcycle-style throttle, this is your only choice for the RadCity 5 Plus.
|Rear Rack||Integrated Rear Rack|
|Integrated Rear Rack|
|A rear rack allows for carrying cargo and increases the versatility of your ride, whether for commuting, running errands, or joy-riding. |
Both ebikes come with a rear rack – tip of the hat to Rad, as throughout this entire comparison, the 9.5lb increased carrying capacity on their stock rack is the only spec that surpasses the 700 Series.
|Waterproofing||IP-65||Undisclosed||IP-65 protects from dirt, debris, and low-pressure water. This means you can ride in the elements and store your bike outside if need be.|
Rad does not advertise the IP rating, though they do disclose that the connectors and wiring harness are water resistant. In this case, it is helpful to have a standardized rating to understand what situations may or may not be within warranty if issues arise.
Both the RadCity 5 Plus and the 700 Series are commuter-style ebikes that check the boxes for practical use such as lights, gearing, rear racks, suspension forks, fenders, hydraulic brakes, and 750-watt motors. Of course, with a $300 price increase from the 700 Series, you would assume that the quality of the components and physical features of the RadCity 5 Plus would also increase. However, paying close attention to the details of each area – physical, electrical, and mechanical – reveals that you are paying a lot more for the RadCity 5 Plus and receiving a lot less return for your money. There is a myriad of commuter ebike options to choose from and many engineers and designers in the industry know how to develop a bike that will serve this purpose.
However, where the master craft of Ride1Up shines through is orchestrating the complex platform of design, production, supply chain, e-commerce management, and product support into what you experience as a consumer – the symphony of satisfaction while riding a high-quality high-performing electric bike like the 700 Series, without the inflated price tag. Hopefully, this side-by-side comparison has made it all the easier to know how you’re money is being spent, giving you the confidence to take the leap onto an electric bike that makes sense for both your wallet and your lifestyle.