Author and daughter, enjoying a leisurely afternoon ride on the RadWagon 4. [credit: Jim Salter ]
I tried the $1,899 RadWagon 4—a large, aggressively utilitarian, and very configurable cargo bike aimed at folks who need to haul passengers or groceries. After spending three full months with the RadWagon and putting several hundred miles on it, I'm happy to recommend it as an outstanding e-bike at a low price.
Drivetrain and integrated electronics
This is RadWagon 4's 750W geared hub motor, direct-mounted to the rear wheel and protected behind clear Plexiglass splash-guards on both sides. [credit: Jim Salter ]
The RadWagon 4 uses a standard chain-drive mechanism offering seven speeds on one ring. The gears only work with muscle-driven power—the RadWagon's electric motor spins the rear wheel directly, independent of the gearing. The motor can be engaged by both a standard power assist with selectable aggressiveness, or by an auxiliary throttle grip on the right handlebar—neither method is exclusive, which turns out to be a great feature on a big cargo bike.