When it comes to foldable e-bikes, there is one thing that most of them have in common: a straight handlebar with a high and narrow grip. The RadExpand 5 Plus breaks away from that status quo with a low BMX-style handlebar that sets the tone for how comfortable and fun it feels to ride it. The RadExpand 5 Plus is an upgraded version of the previous RadExpand 5, and it brings many great improvements and features that make this e-bike a tough one to compete against. The battery and motor are impressive, but being only able to go up to Class 2 means the RadExpand 5 Plus is limited in its abilities.

I received the RadExpand 5 Plus as a review unit. The e-bike came pre-assembled, and I only needed to install the handlebar and some other minor parts, which was fast and easy to do. Rad Power says all of their RadExpand 5 Plus come pre-assembled, so it should be an easy set-up. You can see a full breakdown of how to install the e-bike from RadPower here.

Pros and cons of the RadExpand 5 Plus


Handling: The low BMX-style handlebar and a well-thought-out design make the handling top-tier.

Accessible: The user-friendly controls make it easy to pick up and get to the fun parts.

Comfortable: The 4-inch tires, a padded saddle, and front suspension make this a comfortable ride.

Versatile: There are many ways to customize the e-bike and add any accessory you can imagine.


Class: Although the motor is strong and capable, the bike only goes up to Class 2, topping at 20mph.

Portability: The BMX-style bars mean it might not be as compact in tight spaces, and the 72.5 lb weight doesn’t help.

Not for tall people: The bike only works for people between 4’10”-5’10”, leaving tall people out of the equation.


Classification: Class 1 or 2 (up to 20 moh)

Brakes: Gemma Hydraulic disc brakes with 180 mm rotors

Tires: Beefy 20″ by 4″ tires with some off-roading treads

Frame geometry: Step-through frame

Lights: LED brake light, tail light, and LED front headlights.

Battery: 48V 15 Ah 720 Wh with Safe Shield Technology

Display: Full-Color LCD Display

Motor: 750W with 64 Nm of Torque

Pedal Assist: 5 Levels (magnet-sensing cadence assist with pedals)

Claimed Range: 60 mi on average, but can get up to 80 mi

Throttle: Grip twist

Weight of e-bike: 73.8 lb with battery

Rider height range: One frame fits 4’10” to 5’10”

Maximum rider weight: 315 lbs

Maximum load on the rear rack: 59 lbs

The RadExpand 5 Plus is a big improvement on its predecessor, and it should be to justify the $300 price tag increase. It now comes with 50 mm travel front suspensions with preload adjustments and lockouts so you can choose your preferred level of bumpiness; hydraulic disc brakes over the mechanic disc brakes; a much-improved LCD display over the LED one; turn signals; a battery with “Safe Shield Technology,” which improves battery fire safety; and an improved torque sensor, which is supposed to feel more natural and improve the mileage. You can see more about the specs and other details from the Rad Power website.

How does the RadExpand 5 Plus e-bike ride on the street?

Credit: Daniel Oropeza

The RadExpand 5 Plus did not feel like a foldable e-bike when I rode it, in a good way. Yes, the step-through design is the same, but the choice to go for a BMX-style handlebar was bold, and it paid off. Your run-of-the-mill folding bike usually has an elongated handlebar stem, putting your grip in a higher and more narrow place than normal. This can make handling feel less in control, especially at high speeds. The RadExpand 5 Plus’ lower grip and wider-stance handlebar gave me more control on my ride. It felt much better than other folding bikes I have ridden before. The e-bike handles like a mix between a cruiser and a mountain bike, and the four-inch-wide beefy tires have some off-roading treads, which made me feel comfortable riding it on some dirt paths. Even when going downhill and hitting around 28 mph, the handling felt so secure that I was always in control.

Credit: Daniel Oropeza

When it comes to pedal assist, the RadExpand 5 Plus has a 64 Nm torque sensor that matches your level of effort, so if you pedal harder, it gives you more pedal assistance and vice versa. I can change the level of pedal assist from one to five (or zero for no pedal assist and just leg power alone). Adjusting the pedal assist and finding the right level while going up a hill was smooth and practical with the controls placed on the left side of the handlebar. Hitting the maximum speed of 20 mph in class 2 with a pedal assist of 5 was very easy and quick, but I did have to move my legs very fast, and I wish there were an eighth gear to make it easier. With torque alone and no throttle, I was able to reach 20mph smoothly as I moved up through the five levels. My terrain was flat, and it took less than 15 seconds to get there. On the left side of the handlebar, there are also the controls to turn on the turning signals and a bell to alert those around you.

Credit: Daniel Oropeza

I was pleased with the LCD display. It shows all the information you need to know, and it is easy to navigate. I just wish it showed a percentage on the battery bar. The half-twist throttle on the right side of the handlebar is powerful for a foldable e-bike. On just throttle alone, it was able to go up the meanest hill in my area with ease, which is about nine degrees. That same hill on pedal assist level five felt like I was cruising on flat ground. I am confident that if you use the throttle and pedal assist level five, the bike can go up most hills without issues. With such a responsive pedal assist and powerful motor, it is a shame that Rad Power didn’t give the rider the option to go up to class 3. It leaves a lot of untapped potential that the RadExpand 5 Plus could have on the table.

Credit: Daniel Oropeza

Rad Power says you will get an average of 20 to 60 miles on a single charge, but of course, it will depend on your use of pedal assist, throttle, weight, terrain, and other factors. Judging from my time riding it and the distance I covered, I feel like you can easily push past the 60-mile range if you’re conservative. My estimation is you can get more than 80 miles of riding on a single charge.

How does the RadExpand 5 Plus fold?

Credit: Daniel Oropeza

A foldable e-bike’s main purpose is to be portable and compact. And that’s where the RadExpand 5 Plus fell a bit short. The e-bike weighs 73.8 pounds, and it was not easy to fold or maneuver by myself. It also has a detached Velcro wrap that I’m not exactly sure where is meant to hold the e-bike together once folded. I did end up finding a place that made sense, but I think a permanent place with an easier snap-on device like Ride1Up’s Portola would’ve been an easy and smarter design choice.

Credit: Daniel Oropeza

The decision to give the e-bike a BMX-style handlebar means it isn’t as compact as a flat and narrow one. On my usual test to fit it in my 2011 Toyota Corolla’s trunk, I struggled to make it fit, almost giving up at one point. (I did eventually manage to make it fit, thanks to some smart maneuvering on my part.) If you don’t plan to take the RadExpand 5 Plus on your car, this is probably not a big issue. The e-bike does compact well otherwise.

Credit: Daniel Oropeza

The RadExpand 5 Plus is versatile and customizable

Credit: Daniel Oropeza

One of my favorite parts of an e-bike experience is sharing it with loved ones. The RadExpand 5 Plus has access to many accessories from the Rad Power store. I used the Rad Trailer with the Pet Insert to take Gambino on a ride. The pedal assist and throttle make even carrying the trailer a breeze. Even going up some hills, I was able to easily find the right combination to make it through easily. You can carry a maximum weight of 100 pounds on the trailer and 84 pounds on the Pet Insert. You can get a rear and/or front rack to be able to use many of their accessories. Some are easier to install than others, but the Rad Trailer and Pet Insert were easy and quick to assemble as well as take on and off the bike (they just need a single bolt to put on the e-bike). Unfortunately, the rear can only hold a maximum of 59 pounds, so you can’t have another adult in as a passenger on the back.

Credit: Daniel Oropeza

Closing thoughts

The RadExpand 5 Plus was a joy to ride. It felt like a comfortable BMX/mountain hybrid e-bike that also happens to fold in half. The inclusion of small details like rear light turning signals, a bell, a nice LED screen, and compatibility with many accessories makes the RadExpand 5 Plus a well-rounded e-bike that can be a good fit for most people looking to save some space at home or take their e-bike on their trunk. The five-level pedal assist with the torque sensor is very responsive and easy to use. The throttle is powerful yet smooth and easy to control thanks to the top-tier handling from the BMX-style handlebars and beefy tires. If Rad Power had made the RadExpand 5 Plus able to fit people taller than 5’10” and get up to class 3, I could see this being one of the best foldable e-bikes for comfort and versatility.