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The newly released RadRover 6 Plus marks the biggest update Rad Power Bikes has ever launched and showcases brand new components like upgraded hydraulic disc brakes, new dual-screen displays and a totally redesigned semi-integrated battery.

The last few years have seen several new models released by Rad, and 2021 is shaping up to be similarly bike-packed

When the RadRunner 6 Plus was unveiled last year, it wasn’t clear if the “Plus” moniker would follow on future models, but the new RadRover 6 Plus has solidified Rad’s intentions to provide both entry-level and higher-spec e-bikes that all combine the company’s reputation for value-oriented bikes and industry-leading service.

Across my many conversations with Rad Power Bikes Co-founder and CEO Mike Radenbaugh, the phrase Mike has continuously used to describe Rad’s model is “democratizing electric bikes.” That means bringing good quality e-bikes with a reliable support system to the masses at a price that most people can afford.

When it comes to quality, the new RadRover 6 Plus definitely raises the bar. Check it out in my video review below to see me cruising Seattle in style on the new e-bike. Then keep reading for all of my thoughts on this major update to the Rad line!

RadRover 6 Plus video review

RadRover 6 Plus tech specs

  • Motor: 750W geared rear hub motor
  • Top speed: 32 km/h (20 mph)
  • Range: 45-72 km (25-45 mi) depending on throttle or pedal assist
  • Battery: 48V 14Ah (672 Wh)
  • Max load: 125 kg (275 lb)
  • Frame: 6061 aluminum, high step or step-thru
  • Suspension: 60 mm travel spring suspension fork with preload adjustment and lockout
  • Brakes: Nutt hydraulic disc brakes
  • Extras: dual displays, higher accuracy battery gauge, front and rear LED lights, 5 speed settings, half-twist throttle, higher power USB charging ports (optional), mounting for front and rear racks, fenders included standard, redesigned battery, higher torque motor

So much is new, where do we start?

There’s so much to talk about here, I don’t even know where to start.

Let’s begin with the new batteries. It’s a brand new design developed by Rad and it’s a big improvement. The batteries are semi-integrated so they sit down in the frame tube instead of resting on top. That buys you more space in your frame and simply looks sleeker.

The old plastic case has been replaced by extruded aluminum, and the battery also sheds its old key lock, which is now housed in the frame instead of coming along with the battery.

The capacity is the same at 672 Wh, but the whole thing is just a much nicer solution. It’s a bit longer, which makes it narrower and thus easier to hold in your hand. There are built-in rails on the sides that make it even easier to grip. And it even has this satisfying “pop” up when you turn the key to unlock it, like it’s just asking to be grabbed.

Next we’ve got a new motor that is torquier and thus offers better hill climbing. Terms like “better hill climbing” are a bit relative though, so Rad hit us with some hard numbers and says that the new motor helps the RadRover 6 Plus maintain a 25% higher speed during hill climbing.

I didn’t just take the company’s word for it thought – I took the bike and its new motor to some steep hills and put it to the test. See it in action in my video above.

Moving on, we’ve got new hydraulic disc brakes that use ceramic pads for the best stopping power. The levers are adjustable so big and small hands can both fit nicely, and the hydraulic brakes allow more comfortable 1-finger braking. That’s a convenient factor for every day riding, but especially for off-road riding when you want to keep more fingers on the bars while modulating the brakes.

They’re also a lower maintenance component, which is one less headache to worry about down the road. No more pulling out a 5mm hex wrench and adjusting brake cables!

There’s also a new display screen – or rather two display screens. This one struck me as odd at first, as it seemed like it would just busy up the bars.

But as soon as I started riding the new RadRover 6 Plus, I totally got it. You see, the main display right in front of you has the info you’ll want at a quick glance, things like your speed, power, distance, etc. This screen is centered on the bars so it’s easy to look down and see the info that you’ll check often.

Then on the left side of the bars is the remote that controls the lights and pedal assist setting, and it also has a large format screen that displays your pedal assist level and battery, plus a light icon to let you know when your lights are on. These are items you only look at occasionally, so they don’t need to take up space on the main screen. Also, the buttons that control this info are located right next to the readout, meaning you don’t need to look to the left to find the buttons for pedal assist settings then look back to the center to see what pedal assist level you selected. It’s all right there in one location.

The buttons are also much bigger, which is great for when you’re bouncing around off-road and need a big target, or for when you’re wearing gloves in the winter. Older riders will especially appreciate the larger buttons and larger read out.

The frame has been re-engineered too. While it was always a good fit for larger riders (the RadRover is a big bike, make no mistake!) now the frame also fits shorter riders better as the saddle can now go even lower. The new frame has improved ergonomics and a lower center of gravity, partly helped by that new semi-integrated battery. The step-through model also has an even lower step-through since it isn’t clogged up by the battery mounted on the frame anymore.

The lighting has also been updated. The front gets a halo headlight and the rear light has been shifted onto the fender, meaning it can no longer be obscured when you’re carrying cargo or a rear rack.

Having tested the bike personally, I can say that the RadRover 6 Plus is the best RadRover to date, by far. In fact it’s one of the best fat tire e-bikes I’ve tested, even among more expensive offerings.

One small thing irks me, but it also offers a cool feature at the same time, leaving me with mixed emotions. The built-in USB charger from the previous RadRover is gone. Now there’s an upgraded USB charger that provides more power and is relocatable from the front to the rear of the bike (in case you want to power a device in your bag on the rear rack or in a rear bag). The only problem is it’s now an added accessory, not included equipment. On the plus side, you can daisy chain up to two in the front and two in the rear to power four devices from your bike. On the other hand, you’d have to buy four USB accessories.

All told though, I think Rad made great choices when it came to this new era for the RadRover 6 Plus.

Rad spent money where they needed to and saved money where it made sense. For example, unseen upgrades like ceramic brake pads instead of stock pads give riders safer, more responsive braking. That’s money well spent, even if it isn’t immediately obvious when looking at the bike. On the other hand, the 60mm spring fork is an economical and effective solution to offer good suspension but without the added cost of air forks that we find on many higher-priced electric bikes.

That’s something I asked Mike about specifically, since I find it particularly interesting now that Rad is aiming at both the budget-minded rider with low-cost $1,099 e-bikes and higher end customers with this new $1,999 RadRover 6 Plus. “To me, it’s all about whether or not something adds real value to the customer. If it doesn’t, I don’t want it on the bike,” Mike explained. He described how adding higher-performance parts like an air fork would be silly on a heavy electric bike where the weight savings aren’t worth the added cost. But investing in higher quality brakes, a battery that is easier to use and an interface that provides a better rider experience all speak to the company’s goal about making sure every component adds value.

At $1,999, Rad Power Bikes is definitely entering a different league with the RadRover 6 Plus. But from what I could tell from my day of riding the new model, they’re doing it right.

The bike features a number of key updates and new features that push it into more premium territory. By maintaining a healthy breadth of models on both the entry-level end of the spectrum and now the more premium end, Rad Power Bikes is offering a little something for everyone all under one roof. I just hope we get to see even more models get the “Plus” treatment in the future.


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Rebel Moon: Zack Snyder and Ed Skrein on ‘mad’ reaction and ‘media storms’ following first movie

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Rebel Moon: Zack Snyder and Ed Skrein on 'mad' reaction and 'media storms' following first movie

British actor Ed Skrein says he hasn’t paid attention to any of the reactions Rebel Moon has received online.

The Deadpool star told Sky News: “The weather system of media storms does not affect me, I don’t live in the media.”

Ed Skrein as Atticus Noble in Rebel Moon. Pic: Netflix
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Ed Skrein as Atticus Noble in Rebel Moon. Pic: Netflix

The first instalment of Zack Snyder’s new franchise had a limited theatrical release before being added to Netflix in December last year.

The movie was the recipient of some less-favourable reviews, a 21% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes and it averaged a two out of five-star score from over 100,000 accounts on Letterboxd.

The actor, who plays Admiral Atticus Noble in the franchise, says it’s the art itself that maintains his attention.

“The process of filming is my bit, you know, when we were out there, that’s my part.”

He adds: “I’ll pass the baton on and let people run with it.”

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Skrein returns for Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver despite his character meeting his fate in the first film.

“My friend is a painter from Andalusia in Spain and said to me the other day, when we make art, it’s like putting a message in a bottle and you throw it out and occasionally after a while you get a message back or you just get your bottle back.”

He continues: “In filmmaking, I thought about it, it’s like you have your initial reaction but then five years later, 10 years later, it’s like, now we can judge it.”

Djimon Hounsou as Titus and Staz Nair as Tarak. Pic: Clay Enos/Netflix
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Djimon Hounsou as Titus and Staz Nair as Tarak. Pic: Clay Enos/Netflix

Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver continues with the storyline of orphan and ex-soldier Kora, played by Sofia Boutella, who looks to protect a peaceful colony from the ruthless Mother World.

Inspired by a rejection

Aside from Skrein, the cast includes Game Of Thrones Staz Nair, Gladiator actor Djimon Hounsou and The Age of Adeline’s Michiel Huisman.

The Rebel Moon franchise came into being after director Zack Snyder pitched the idea to Disney as a Star Wars film, but was rejected.

Pic: Clay Enos/Netflix
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Rhian Rees as The Queen, Cary Elwes as The King, Sofia Boutella as Kora and Stella Grace Fitzgerald as Princess Issa. Pic: Clay Enos/Netflix

He signed an agreement with Netflix to create an entirely new franchise with the plan to extend into other formats like comic books.

The Army Of The Dead director recently went viral for his comments comparing the success of the first Rebel Moon film to Barbie, suggesting to the Joe Rogan podcast that “more people probably saw Rebel Moon than saw Barbie in the theatre”.

‘Everyone got mad at me’

Speaking to Sky News, he stands by the statement and says he’s “really impressed” by Netflix‘s business model.

Zack Snyder talking at the Rebel Moon Part Two: Songs Of The Rebellion Album release event in New York. Pic: Noam Galai/Netflix
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Zack Snyder talking at the Rebel Moon Part Two: Songs Of The Rebellion Album release event in New York. Pic: Noam Galai/Netflix

He explains: “I think that was what I was getting at with the whole Barbie thing.”

Then adding: “Everyone got mad at me, but I’m just telling you what I heard, like, sorry if Netflix has such a giant audience. The point of what I was getting at was that the pipeline is so robust that it’s unbelievable. What a filmmaker wants is the movies to be seen.”

A third film hasn’t yet been greenlit by Netflix but the storyline and recent interviews with the director suggest there could be more on the horizon for Rebel Moon fans.

Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver is available to stream now on Netflix.

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Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department streamed more than 300 million times in one day

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Taylor Swift's The Tortured Poets Department streamed more than 300 million times in one day

Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department has become the first album in Spotify history to reach more than 300 million streams in a single day.

The 34-year-old singer also became the most-streamed artist in a single day on the platform when her record was released on 19 April, according to the streaming service.

Spotify wrote on X: “History made! On April 19, 2024, Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department was the first album in Spotify history to have over 300M streams in a single day.”

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Swift’s 11th studio album includes collaborations with Florence And The Machine and Post Malone.

Fortnight, featuring Post Malone, is Swift’s first single from the album and also became Spotify’s most streamed song in a single day.

On social media Post Malone, whose real name is Austin Richard Post, said: “It’s once in a lifetime that someone like @taylorswift13 comes into this world.

More on Spotify

“I am floored by your heart and your mind, and I am beyond honoured to have been asked to help you with your journey I love you so much. Thank you Tay.”

On 18 April, Swift announced that Fortnight was the first single on her record and said a music video would drop after the album.

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She also said she had been “a huge fan of Post because of the writer he is, his musical experimentation and those melodies he creates that just stick in your head forever”.

She added: “I got to witness that magic come to life firsthand when we worked together on Fortnight.”

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Fans react to new Taylor Swift album

The music video for the track includes an appearance from Dead Poets Society stars Ethan Hawke and Josh Charles.

Hours after dropping the 16-song edition of her album the US pop superstar announced an expanded version with an extra 15 songs, titled The Anthology.

Swift, who has 11 chart-topping UK albums, had announced the arrival of her latest record live on stage at the Grammy Awards in February.

The performer will bring her Eras Tour to the UK from 7 June, when she kicks off with three shows in Edinburgh with the run of London shows beginning on 21 June.

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The female gamers competing for thousands of pounds at first event of its kind in UK

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The female gamers competing for thousands of pounds at first event of its kind in UK

The UK’s first professional women’s gaming tournament of its kind starts on Saturday.

Four teams of professional gamers will play the first-person shooter game Valorant, which is the most-watched esports game in women’s leagues.

It is the first time Europe’s best teams have battled it out in the UK, and organisers hope it will bring more women into gaming.

Meg ‘Megsoundslikeegg’ Gardner is one of the hosts of the Red Bull Instalock tournament
Image:
Meg ‘Megsoundslikeegg’ Gardner is one of the hosts of the Red Bull Instalock tournament

“The more people see you can enjoy gaming as somebody who’s not native to it, the more confident they’ll get and the more they’ll enjoy it,” said host and streamer Meg ‘Megsoundslikeegg’ Gardner.

The players are competing over two days at London‘s Red Bull Gaming Sphere for a prize pool of £15,000.

Michaela ‘mimi’ Lintrup, who is the one of world’s best Valorant players and has been professionally gaming since she was 18, said: “Back then it was not a big thing like it is today.”

The 26-year-old Dane added: “We fought for a case of Red Bull or something, it was not a prize pool with money. I just played because I had passion for it and I loved it.”

But that’s all changed.

Last year, fans watched more than 28 million hours of professional women’s esports, according to industry tracker Esports Charts. The competitions are usually streamed on places like Twitch, TikTok and YouTube.

Those figures don’t even include people watching in China, where esports are so big that more people watched them than traditional sports at the 2023 Asian Games.

In esports, where people play competitively in a variety of video games, there are leagues, prizes and hordes of fans just like in other sports.

Professional gamer Mathilde ‘Nelo’ Beltoise plays Valorant Karmine Corp
Image:
Professional gamer Mathilde ‘Nelo’ Beltoise plays for French team Karmine Corp

French player Mathilde ‘Nelo’ Beltoise, who is in a team called Karmine Corp, said the level of fandom in France is off the scale.

“Karmine Corp is so huge that everywhere you go, someone will recognise you. Every time I go into the street, I see someone with the jersey. It’s really huge,” she said.

The popularity of her team in France helped Beltoise’s parents, who are teachers, warm to the idea of her playing video games for a living.

“Sometimes one of their students has a Karmine Corp jersey on and they’re like, ‘Is that you?’ Now they just love it,” she explained.

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Being a professional gamer means glamorous-sounding international travel and online streaming, but it is also a regular nine to five job.

“We practice from Monday to Friday but when we get close to tournament time, we will add Sundays,” said Lintrup.

“We have four games a day which usually last for 50 minutes. Then we can talk a little bit about the mistakes we made [for 10 minutes before the next one]. Then we have about one and a half hours of theory time.”

Michaela ‘Mimi’ Lindtrup is one of the world's best Valorant players
Image:
Michaela ‘mimi’ Lindtrup is one of the world’s best Valorant players

Lintrup is the in-game leader of G2 Gozen and her role is fairly similar to that of a football captain.

She said: “After practice, I will usually stream or review which means I will go back and watch our games and point out the mistakes. I have to put in a bit of extra work. I love it like that.”

British competitor Sarah ‘sarah’ Ahmed is 18 years old and from Derby. She has been playing professionally for six months and became interested in gaming because of her brother.

She said: “He had a laptop and I didn’t so when I was 16, I got my first PC, and that’s when I started playing games, just like my brother.”

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Now, she is travelling the world, having recently competed in Turkey in the first-ever mixed-gender tournament. She described the moment she discovered the women’s gaming scene on Valorant.

“When I was younger, none of my friends played video games so whenever I played, it was just by myself, it was hard making girl friends.

“So when I saw there was a big community with a lot of girls just playing, I wanted to be a part of it.”

Sarah 'sarah' Ahmed from Derby has been playing Valorant professionally for six months
Image:
Sarah ‘sarah’ Ahmed from Derby has been playing professionally for six months

Valorant was released during one of the COVID lockdowns, when there was a surge in the number of people playing video games. Host Meg Gardner thinks it is more popular with women because of its storytelling.

She said: “Valorant is very good at being inclusive so you’ll see a lot of female characters that aren’t just in a supportive role, but like people that are very strong in the game. People want to pick them to play with.”

The Red Bull Instalock tournament is being streamed live on Twitch from 12pm UK time on Saturday and Sunday.

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