For 104 years, Radio Flyer has made toys for kids, from wagons and push-pedal bikes to motorized go-karts and even a pint-size Tesla Model S. But while the company has been focused on kids, “we’ve really been focused on families, and families transporting kids,” says Radio Flyer CEO Robert Pasin (who is also referred to as the company’s Chief Wagon Officer).
While parents may load their kids into a Little Red Wagon to take them to a local park, that’s not an option for longer trips. But with its new new line of e-bikes—including a long-tail cargo bike and accessories like the “kid and cargo carrier”—parents can take longer Radio Flyer rides. “You could imagine dropping off your kids at school, grocery shopping, going back home,” Pasin says. “It becomes very doable when you have the additional help of the battery and the motor.”
E-bike sales boomed during the pandemic, and that spurred families to look to cargo e-bikes as a more sustainable alternative to short car trips. While the Radio Flyer adult e-bikes may not have the same vintage look as the company’s red wagons or tricycles, they were designed with function in mind, Pasin says, to meet what parents need out of an electric bike.
“Having such a classic brand, there’s an inherent tension between the nostalgia and being current and modern,” he says. Across Radio Flyer’s product categories, customers can still buy the original red classics, and also new versions that are gray or black, more “high fashion,” and decked out with new features. Even with color and design changes, those updated wagons and tricycles still “look like Radio Flyer,” Pasin says. “We really took the same approach with the bikes.” That’s also why the company branded its adult line differently, as Flyer. It’s a sub-brand that stands out from the toy company’s other products but harks back to its well-known name.
The Radio Flyer e-bikes and e-scooter will be sold direct to consumer on the company’s website. The product line is launching with two e-bikes, with long-tail and mid-tail frames, five levels of pedal-assist, a throttle-only option, and a 500-watt motor that can reach speeds of 20 miles per hour; price starts at $1,699. There’s also one e-scooter, which starts at $599 and can reach a top speed of 16 miles per hour. (And while it may not be the best mode of transporting your kids, Pasin says this offering was a “natural progression” from the kids’ scooters Radio Flyer has long made.)
Pasin hopes that brand recognition is what will inspire people to choose a Flyer e-bike out of the many other options now available on the market, along with the fact that Flyer e-bikes and their accessories are designed with families, and not only the lone rider, in mind. If parents are still intimidated by e-bikes, a Radio Flyer version could make the electric option more accessible, Pasin adds, since people have grown up with the brand.