Built around Rad’s proprietary 750W geared hub motor that they say climbs hill 40 percent quicker than the old bike, the new RadCity 5 Plus is a near spitting image of Rad’s flagship e-bike, the RadRover 6 Plus (just with smaller tires).
Released several months after Rad totally reinvented their look with the Rover 6 Plus, the RadCity 5 Plus has a similarly updated frame shape that gives the bike a very mature, more serious look, and the battery has also been partially sunk into the downtube of the frame for a more integrated look. That battery is a 48V, 14Ah (672Wh) unit that also has been redesigned, but this time to stretch the bike’s range.
Giving the rider control over the motor is a nicely refined cadence sensor, which engages the motor via pedaling, or a half-twist throttle on the handlebars, which engages the motor on demand. Both of which are limited to a max motor assisted speed of 20 mph, making the RadCity 5 Plus a Class 2 e-bike.
Slowing the bike down is a set of NUTT hydraulic disk brakes that clamp on 180 mm rotors front and rear. NUTT is a brand we’ve almost exclusively seen on the Rad e-bikes we’ve recently reviewed, but they’ve consistently been solid performers despite being relatively unknown.
Though Rad’s website says the RadCity 5 Plus comes with a mixed Shimano 7-speed drivetrain using a Altus derailleur and Tourney shifter, our review bike came with a microSHIFT Mezzu groupset. Rad reserves the right to substitute components as an ongoing parts shortage has made certain parts difficult to source, and that appears to be what’s happened here.
The microSHIFT groupset is an equivalent to the Shimano setup, but there are some marked differences. The first is in performance: I’ve found the Mezzu groupset to shift slightly clunkier than the Shimano components, but they get the job done. The second is in ergonomics: While the advertised Shimano Tourney shifter is an overbar design where the shift paddles are situated on top of the handlebars, the Mezzu shifter is an underbar design with the paddles below the bar. I personally prefer the Mezzu’s under bar shifter design, but I’m a stickler for shifter location.
Also a cool new feature is Rad’s redesigned dual display system, which utilized two screens to simplify the user interface and make everything easier to see. Like many of the other new Rad e-bikes we’ve reviewed over the past few months, we really dig this new setup with one small caveat: The left hand display can be a little tough to read in direct sunlight.