this little cargo-looking electric bike is moving upmarket

Third generation of Winora’s 20-inch compact bike, the Radius is resolutely moving upmarket by including the Bosch ecosystem while improving its original qualities. First contact with this grip.

Winora may be part of one of the largest bicycle groups (Accell), and have existed for more than a century, but its notoriety in France is quite low. However, this brand has a solid reputation at home, in Germany. This is where it began more than a century ago. And and 2023 it has a great range of electric bikes, mainly urban and trekking.

But the origin of the firm goes back to a small cycle, the founder wanting to design a means of transport for children. It is somewhat in this spirit that the Radius, the compact in the catalog, was designed. The Winora Radius is the latest in a line started by Town:e in 2011, a year before the brand entered France.

It was not until 2016 that the Radius Tour came to give it a successor, with a redesigned design, in particular with a reinforced frame, a Nexus transmission, a pedal motor and a central battery.

The third generation therefore arrives with the “very short” Winora Radius, also marketed under the name of Raleigh Modum across the Channel (same Accell group). Let’s discover this bike during our hands-on experience in the streets of Paris for a morning.

Small tour of the owner

The compact electric bike retains its 20-inch wheel format, but gains muscle. The thick tubes give off an impression of great solidity, German style. The design is similar, but the more opulent lower beam frame integrates the battery perfectly. It therefore joins the style of the classic VAE and especially of the Yakun and Yucatan type trekking.

Also, it seems to want to differentiate itself from the small competitors that have appeared in recent years, such as the Cube Compact Hybrid, the Flyer Upstreet 1, the Kalkhoff Endeavor CB Move+, the i:sy, even the Tern HSD.

The objective of this bike is to be able to support all sizes and up to 150 kg in total. Above all, it reinforces its practical aspect with a KlickFix attachment at the front, a rear support to accommodate a Mik HD rack (27 kg max), side hooks for accessories (rigid tool kit, water bottle, etc.), as well as a a trailer hitch integrated directly into the frame.

This does not prevent this plush model from taking care of the finish, integrating the rear light, hiding the welds a little, all with a pleasant light blue matte paint. And to add it all up, the bike retains its properties for its cyclist.

Once on the Winora Radius, you can find your ideal position quite quickly, thanks to the height-adjustable steering stem. On the other hand, the stem is different from the model on the official visuals, and therefore not adjustable from front to back. On the other hand, it is rotatable to put itself on the axis of the bike, more easily housed at home or in a trunk. The telescopic saddle is also adjustable over a large height, to suit sizes from 1.60 m to 1.90 m.

However, the frame is not completely open, with this small upper bar sometimes hindering the step-over. A compromise for the rigidity of this compact VAE. The driving position is comfortable, because you can easily find your setting, and the handlebars are quite wide with ergonomic handles. Nothing makes it feel like a mini-bike.

Riding the Winora Radius 2023

Electric bike therefore, the Winora Radius no longer marries the Yamaha PW, but a Bosch Performance Line. Always central, the Performance Line delivers 75 Nm, against 70 previously. A more torquey block, less violent when accelerating, because it is more progressive and natural than the Japanese rival (which has however progressed since). Here, the Bosch Performance Line incorporates 4 levels of assistance: Eco, Tour, Sport and Turbo.

This gives a fairly wide range of use, especially since the VAE adds a Shimano Nexus transmission on the rear hub. We note that it is not a belt, but a chain, a choice that the brand was unable to explain, a pity given the advantages of the belt (less maintenance, lighter, no dirt especially here without casing ).

Winora Radius motor Bosch

If it goes to 5 gears against 8 previously, the Nexus remains versatile for simple city driving. Except our cycling experience is slightly frustrated by the large difference in gear ratio between gears. At least, we don’t end up with a single speed limiting the speed beyond 25 km/h of assistance. Downhill, or with a little more muscle strength, you can easily climb up to 30-35 km/h, and we even exceeded 40 km/h by forcing a little.

Nevertheless, this Winora Radius seeks above all to be a means of transport, and not a sports machine. Compact, the bike is agile, more than a 24 inch or a classic 27 to 28 inch city bike. It’s pretty nimble, especially by positioning the battery and motor in the middle, which are pretty low on the frame. However, two small points come to tarnish the experience in town: the wide handlebars – certainly positive for a more stable driving but less when it comes to playing traffic jams between vehicles – and the heavy weight.

Winora Radius Shimano 5

A heavyweight

With 25 kg on the scale, the Radius is as heavy as a conventional VAE. No question therefore of using it without electric assistance, unless you like the challenge. This also has an impact when handling or transporting it. We are also surprised by the telescopic saddle, which requires taking the bike by the upper bar. This saddle is present to be able to manage its height in several conditions, without having to use a tool. A trigger on the left of the handlebars lowers the saddle if you want to put your feet at a light, or get up if you put one foot on the sidewalk. Practical, then.

Finally, the comfort is rather good: the vibrations are completely filtered, with however a firm rigidity on cobblestones or the transfers of tracks on sidewalks. Without suspension and with a maximum load requirement of 50 kg, Winora entrusts everything to balloon tires from the world of cargo bikes. The Schwalbe Pick Ups are well equipped to support heavy weights on paper, but degrade comfort a little.

Winora Radius front wheel

In any case, this is our feeling over the 15 km of our course, we would prefer to say more about a real test. Finally, the Shimano MT400 brakes with dual-piston calipers are powerful, progressive enough to limit rear wheel lockup in most cases.

Bosch battery and connected world

As for autonomy, difficult to comment here on such a short trip. The 500 Wh Bosch battery was 96% charged at the start, and finished at 79% after 15 km. Or 85-90 km in theory on a full charge, on the flat and changing modes, but without saving, with strong reminders and frequent stops. At this, a 4 amp charger should allow you to refuel in 4h30.

For the screen part, it is indeed an Intuvia 100 and not the Purion as indicated on certain sites, while the Raleigh cousin has the Kiox 300. It is monochrome, perfectly readable by day, but not backlit at night. It is linked to a Bosch Smart System environment, which CssTricks has already been able to test. The Winora Radius therefore benefits from a complete connected universe with, among other things, routes, a mode, a lock, but you will need to subscribe in addition to the ebike Alarm to take advantage of geolocation which is always practical in the event of theft.

Price and review of our handling of the Winora Radius 2023

The Winora Radius is therefore a great everyday tool, for anyone looking for a practical compact bike, of good manufacturing quality, and equipped with the Bosch connected and electrical environment. Agile, efficient, enduring and visually sympathetic, this Teutonic VAE is nevertheless too heavy to be the perfect ally.

It also does away with the retractable pedals of its predecessor, while the comfort could be a little better. Despite some small shortcomings, is it worth the high price applied by the brand?

Because this Radius displays a price of 3,999 euros, 700 euros more than the old Radius Tour. It is also a gamble, since this is a unique top-of-the-range model against rivals like the Velodeville KEB with numerous configurations, from 3,325 euros, whose price is however similar with comparable options.

Winora Radius design

A substantial inflation which could therefore scare away potential customers, knowing that a Cube Compact Hybrid, certainly less well equipped, only requires a check for 2,990 euros. As for availability, Winora can count on 200 dealers in France, a 10-year frame warranty and 2 years for the rest, including the Bosch assembly.

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