Dave Cruikshank here, your trusty scribe from ElectrifiedMag. If you’ve been on the fence about buying an e-bike or joining the burgeoning ranks of e-mobility fans, I bring you a first account of e-bike ownership and hopefully, it will shine some light on the subject.
If I do say so myself, I was a bit of a trailblazer when I bought my Rad Rover fat-tired cruiser seven years ago. I got a lot of ribbing from my friends and most thought it was ridiculous. Fast forward to today, and those e-mobility deniers are hitting me up with questions about my bike. I’ve loved every minute of owning my e-bike, so in no particular order, here are the five reasons why I dig my Rad Rover e-bike.
Riding An E-Bike Is Pure Unadulterated Bliss
There is nothing worse than drudgery on a bicycle. Headwinds, grades, and hills can be brutal and suck the bliss out of any bike ride. With my 2016 Rad Rover, all of that is ancient history. Hills in particular are annoying and a reason I would shy away from riding my old school bike back in the day.
With my new-fangled e-bike, any upward elevation is easily conquered. Think of walking up an escalator, with every step clean, powerful, and productive. It’s the same feeling with an electric bike, I feel invincible as if nothing can stop me. The feeling is so pleasurable that I can’t wait to get on the thing and can easily ride twenty miles whether I’m feeling it or not.
The Best Cardio Is The One You’ll Do
I once asked a physical trainer friend, “What is the best cardio?” What he said was so simple and true, it remains with me to this day. He said, “The best cardio is the one you’ll do.” I love my e-bike and I look forward to riding it. I grab my helmet and the minute I step off onto two wheels and begin to glide, I feel like I could ride off into the vanishing point.
The bike tingles (literally) with energy and like man’s best friend, it’s always glad to see me and ready to go, man go. I have darn near ridden the wheels off it since I bought it and I attribute the bike to fortifying my gluteus maximus and banishing my once fluffy man udders. All while exploring gorgeous Southern California. Remember if you find something pleasurable, it isn’t a chore or a task.
The Bike Can Be Tailored To Any Fitness Level
One of the great things about an e-bike is that it can be customized to match your current fitness level. When I first got my Rad Rover, I had taken a desk job and was out of shape and stressed. But the bike didn’t care – it provided assistance until I got back into shape.
As I grew stronger, I was able to decrease the level of assistance while still enjoying a challenging ride. Some people might say that using an e-bike is “cheating” and takes the exercise out of cycling, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
You can choose how much or how little you want to participate. For example, I tackle hills on full assist in top gear and can reach speeds of 15-20 mph on an ascent. Trust me, you’ll still get a workout. And the best part? Instead of struggling up a hill for 15 minutes, you can reduce that time by two-thirds. So you’ll reach your destination faster and have more fun along the way. God bless America!
They Are Reliable And Easy To Own
In the seven years that I’ve owned my Rad Rover, I have had a few problems. This is no featherweight bike, as it tips the scales at 62 lbs, and I went through a set of tires fairly quickly. I had a connector that shook loose and it caused the bike to shut off intermittently. I simply went out to Rad’s YouTube channel and found a tutorial that was the exact remedy to the problem. It took a couple of times to fix the problem permanently, but when I figured it out, it was cured. I had to adjust the brakes as well but that was super easy.
I did buy another battery so I can have a charged spare ready at all times and I got a set of slicker 4″ tires that roll easier as I am mainly on the pavement. Lastly, I did “hack” the bike to increase top speed to 24 miles an hour and I have achieved a top speed of 27 mph downhill on my Rad Rover. After seven years of ownership, aside from the aforementioned minor glitches, the bike has never been in the shop for repairs.
It’s Fun To Smoke The Shaved Leg Guys
Lastly, I dig showing my rear end to the shaved-leg guys and gals in the cleat shoes, spandex shorts, and Team Cinzano livery. I love all my cyclist brothers and sisters, but this strain of two-wheeled enthusiasm was never my bag. I wear gym shorts, a fluorescent yellow Walmart t-shirt, trail hiker shoes, and a helmet and I hit the tarmac. With a 750-watt Bafang motor and a range of 30 miles, I’m set for a day of kicking patootie.
I follow the rules of the road and I have a front and rear light that I use regularly use for safety and I’m not one of the jerks that run red lights or ride on sidewalks. However, when I see a herd of touring cyclists on a Sunday ride, I set my sights on the pack, up my assist, and effortlessly blow past them. I’m absolutely certain they hate my guts and consider me only one slight increment above a child molester.
2023 Rad Rover 6 Plus
Of course, there are some downsides to owning an e-bike. For one, you need to be more prepared and plan ahead before going for a ride. You need to ensure your battery is charged and you have enough power to complete your planned route. E-bikes are also quite heavy, so you’ll need a sturdy bike rack and some strength to lift and secure the bike in place when transporting. Removing the battery can help lighten the load a bit, but it’s still not an easy task. They are more complex machines than traditional bicycles and replacement batteries can be expensive and have a limited lifespan.
Having said all that, the thrill and enjoyment of riding my e-bike far outweigh any of these concerns. I’ll go ahead and say it – my Rad Rover is the best thing I’ve ever owned and I can’t imagine life without it. Oh hey, Rad Power Bikes, if you’re listening, I’d love to test out your new 6 Plus model.