Radio Flyer


Updated: April, 2024

Our Score


The Via is one of Radio Flyer's new models for 2024, and it's the culmination of two years of research and product development from the Radio Flyer team. It was time well spent; the Via is one of the best electric cargo bikes I've ever ridden, and it's an easy pick for our Best Cargo Bike of the year. It's designed well, it's built well, it's safe, and it has top-notch accessories.

Let's talk design: The Via could actually replace your car (mostly)

The Via is intended as a "car replacement" e-bike, which is a popular term these days; just about every manufacturer with a cargo model throws it around. However, replacing a car is a tall order, especially if you live in an area without great cycling infrastructure. If you live in Houston you probably shouldn't trade your car for the Via (or any e-bike for that matter), but if your city has at least some cycling infrastructure it's worth considering.

For starters, the base model Via is actually quite useful for hauling both kiddos and cargo. It comes with a grab-handle frame and padded seats, so you're ready to rock and roll without making any extra purchases. Every other cargo bike I've reviewed comes with just the base frame, which simply isn't useful without spending money on extra accessories. Kudos to Radio Flyer for including the basics! On the subject of accessories: everything available for the Via is awesome. They actually sent me some additional accessories to try out:

  • The front rack, complete with a liner and zipper pocket, good for hauling another 20lbs / 9kg of cargo

  • A "Kids n Cargo" weather liner that dramatically expands the usefulness of the rear cargo area, with weather protection and allowing you to carry small miscellaneous cargo in the footwells. It's covered in reflectors and has lots of big pockets on the inside

  • A semi-rigid tote bag that fits perfectly inside the grab bars (room for up to two), with carry handles and zipper pockets. And it collapses flat!

There are even more accessories available online, notably the canopy cover for the rear bay to completely shield your precious cargo from the weather. You as the rider will still get soaked in a rainstorm, of course, but at least your kiddos will be dry.

I put the Via's cargo hauling to the test, too; I had to move to a new apartment during the course of this review so I used it for hauling some items, and I also used it to transport donation boxes to the thrift store (see it in action in the video review).

There are lots of other design touches that make the Via exceptional as a cargo hauler:

  • The rear wheel is smaller in diameter at 20", which lowers the center of gravity and makes it easier to load cargo (or small humans)

  • The larger 24" diameter of the front wheel gives it a better attack angle for rolling over obstacles (important since there is no suspension)

  • The tires are 2.4" wide, with a large volume of air providing some cushion. They have efficient tread and top-notch puncture protection built in

  • The top half of the rear wheel and hub area is completely enclosed in a plastic shield, preventing cargo (or feet) from getting tangled in the spokes, and reducing motor noise

  • There is a steering damper spring that pulls the front wheel back to straight, providing more stability while riding and while loading cargo

  • The rear stand holds the bike vertical and is quite sturdy

Let's talk electronics... it's got a torque sensor!

The Via's display is unique to Radio Flyer bikes and very well done, compact and very bright so you can see it in any lighting. It works as you would expect: up and down arrows for assist level, speed readout, and (a nice bonus) a range estimator that changes based on assist level. It's pretty accurate too! The Via is a Class 2 e-bike, which means a top speed of 20mph (32kph).

Pedal assist is activated via a torque sensor, which feels dynamic and engaging and is quite satisfying to use. Torque sensing means you have to pedal harder to get more out of the motor, which is why this e-bike is a good fit for riders who want exercise and value a traditional bicycle ride experience. If you want a bit less exercise --heading home with a full load after a busy day, say-- then you can use the thumb throttle. The throttle + torque sensor combo is a favorite of mine, and the Via's 500-watt motor feels reasonably zippy. It can get even more zippy with the Pro version if you want to spend a few hundred dollars more, which gets you:

  • a more powerful 750-watt motor

  • An upgraded Altus drivetrain with eight speeds and trigger shifters

  • A front suspension fork

Those are all solid upgrades, but I think the base Via performs pretty well on it's own. I'd definitely go for the upgrade if you live in a hilly area and expect to be hauling a lot of cargo regularly though!

Overall the Via gets top marks for safety, with some room for improvement

The Via is equipped with Tektro hydraulic disc brakes which provide plenty of stopping power, and it has an impressive amount of safety certifications: The battery and entire system are UL certified, the motor is safety certified, and the frame is even DIN certified. That's a load-bearing test for cargo bikes that I didn't even know existed until now!

It also has excellent lighting, with bright integrated lights in the front and the rear. This includes brake activation and turn signals for the rear, and they are seriously some of the brightest turn signals I've ever seen on a bike. The one downside to the taillight is that it's mounted underneath the rear rack and recessed a bit, so it's kinda hard to see when you're close to the bike; if you have the weather liner accessory then it almost completely hides the rear light. Having it mounted a bit further back would help out a lot.

There are also no reflective stripes in the tire sidewalls, a surprising miss for a design team that has nailed just about every other aspect of this bike. There are reflectors in the spokes and side cutouts for the headlight, so side visibility isn't terrible; the weather liner is covered in reflective material which helps out a lot.




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Reasons to Buy the Via

  • Excellent design and build quality

  • Ready for kid and cargo hauling out of the box without requiring extra purchases

  • Included and optional accessories are excellent quality and highly functional

  • Torque sensor is responsive and engaging, providing a satisfying riding experience and promoting rider fitness

  • Thumb throttle allows full speed override in any assist setting, useful for a temporary speed boost or for extended use if you're tired (though this will eat into your range)

  • Display is extremely easy to see, intuitive to navigate, and has accurate range estimates for different power levels

  • Motor is very quiet and won't attract attention

  • Top-notch safety certifications for all components

  • Total payload capacity of 400lbs (181kg)

  • Bright integrated lighting with brake activation and turn signals

  • Available in three frame sizes, should fit any size of rider

Reasons Not to Buy the Via

  • Have to order online (unless you live near Radio Flyer's flagship store in Chicago) which means assembling it yourself. The bike is mostly assembled, but you have to do a few things and of course mount any accessories that you get. The manual is excellent and it's really more time consuming than anything; you might want a second person to help as the bike is bulky and awkward

  • No reflective striping on the tire sidewalls, and if you have the weather liner accessory it blocks visibility to the rear light and turn signals

  • Limited to 20mph (32kph) speeds as a Class 2 e-bike. That's generally a good top speed for cargo platforms, especially if your cargo is children; but higher speed has its uses, especially for delivery riders

  • No suspension, which you probably don't need thanks to the high volume of air in the tires (provided you stick to city streets). If you want a suspension fork consider upgrading to the Via Pro

  • The weight of 72lb (33kg) is actually pretty good for a full-size cargo bike, but it's still very big and awkward, difficult to store inside a house or apartment. Storing in a garage is the way to go!

Bottom Line

The Via is a purpose-built cargo hauler, designed extremely well and built even better. It has many small touches that give it tremendous utility, and it includes everything you need to start hauling cargo (or kiddos) without spending any extra money on accessories. Additional optional accessories are heavy duty and designed for maximum utility. The choice of three frame sizes makes it accessible for any size of rider, and the combination of a throttle and torque sensor makes for a dynamic and engaging ride experience.

Our Scores

Ride Quality

Build Quality



Review by Tyson Roehrkasse
Photo of the author, Tyson Roehrkasse

Tyson Roehrkasse is a technical specialist who has worn just about every hat there is in the IT and software development fields. He began working with PEVs in 2018 as a developer for Electric Bike Review, and immediately became obsessed with learning about e-bike technology. He soon began creating his own reviews on the EBR platform and to date is the second largest contributor of review content there. After a five-year tenure with EBR Tyson moved on to work with other companies in the industry, building websites for other reviewing companies and e-commerce platforms for EV manufacturers. He also continued working as a freelance reviewer, eventually partnering with the Micromobility Industries to produce reviews and other content for their partner site, Ride Review.

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