The 2016 Raleigh Electric Bike Range Compared

Raleigh have some exceptionally high quality trekking eBikes. The range might be small but if you are looking for a comfortable, reliable, high quality eBike that is designed to handle both long and short distance rides the Raleigh electric bike range has a lot to offer.

What’s included in the Raleigh eBike Range?

There are three different eBikes included in the Raleigh electric bike range:

  • The Raleigh Motus
  • The Raleigh Captus
  • The Raleigh Forge

All three of these bikes come in both “Low Step” and “Crossbar” forms. Low Step eBikes, as you might guess, don’t have a bar in the middle which makes them easier to get on and off when wearing a suit or a dress. Crossbar eBikes do have this bar but have the battery frame mounted which keeps the centre of gravity of the bike closer to the middle, which some riders prefer. The Low Step versions have the battery under the back rack which makes it less noticeable.

The only other slight difference between the Low Step and Crossbar is the size of the frame. The crossbar versions of the Raleigh Motus, Captus and Forge are 2cm bigger (48cm instead of 46cm). Does this make a great deal of difference? Not in my opinion.

What are the differences between the Raleigh Motus, Captus and Forge?

As you may have noticed already there is a modest difference in price between the Raleigh Motus, Captus and Forge. The Raleigh Forge retails at £1250, the Raleigh Captus at £1750 and the Raleigh Motus at £1999

Raleigh have really tried to provide the best components at each of these price points but the Raleigh Captus and Raleigh Motus are a league apart from the Forge because they include the Bosch eBike Motor, Battery and Display system (seen by many to be the best eBike system currently available).

I will therefore split the rest of this analysis into the difference between the Raleigh Forge and the Raleigh Captus and the Raleigh Captus and the Raleigh Motus.

What is the difference between the Raleigh Forge and the Raleigh Captus?

As I said above, the main difference between the Raleigh Forge and the Raleigh Captus is the inclusion of the Bosch eBike system on the Captus.

Why should you care? Well Bosch have spent a lot of time and money on their eBike systems and as a result have produced a hard wearing, intuitive system that is used by many of the top eBike brands, such as Moustache, Haibike, BH eMotion to name a few. The version that is used on the Raleigh Captus is the Active Line System which is their entry level system. Above this they have the Performance and the Performance CX systems that are used mainly on higher performance electric mountain bikes. For most purposes the Active Line is perfect, it’s 250W motor is the most powerful allowed under EU law and it’s batter pack (The Powerpack 300) will retain it’s performance for up to 500 charges without any diminishment of performance (After this the battery will function as usual but the range you can go on a single charge might decrease slightly).

The Active Line System also includes Bosch’s Intuvia display, that shows you how much power the battery has left, the distance you have travelled, your speed, the level of pedal assistance you are currently set to and other statistics about your ride.

This all means that the Captus is a more powerful, longer range, easier to use and more flexible to use bike that the Raleigh Forge. Out of the two we would choose the Raleigh Captus every time even though it costs a bit more.

What is the difference between the Raleigh Captus and the Raleigh Motus?

The Raleigh Captus is the cheapest eBike that we know of with the Bosch eBike system and is therefore an impressive feat, but the components on the bike are underwhelming. If you stand the Motus and the Captus side by side you can clearly see where the extra £249 goes.

Whereas the Captus comes with entry level Raleigh brakes, the Motus comes with Magura HS11 Hydraulic Rim brakes. Given the high performance of the Bosch eBike system, these top of the range brakes are an excellent addition as they provide more responsive braking and therefore a safer eBike experience. The Motus also includes the SRAM Via Centro 10 speed derailleur and SRAM Via Centro 10 speed trigger shifter. This is a combination we often see with the Bosch motor as it provides very smooth gear shifting that provides the rider with a very smooth eBike ride.

The Motus also comes with an integrated front light, a better quality pure aluminium frame and bigger battery that takes the max range of the Raleigh Motus up to 180km (as opposed the the Raleigh Captus’s 145km max range). We should probably say that those max ranges, although stated by Raleigh, assume optimal conditions.

Overall if you are trying to choose between the Raleigh Captus and the Raleigh Motus we would recommend the Motus ever time. I know that sounds like a bit of a cop out as it’s more expensive but the Motus more than justifies the cost as is a joy to ride.

So which Raleigh Electric Bike should I buy?

In my opinion although all three of Raleigh’s eBikes are intelligently priced and well considered, I would bit the bullet every time and get the Raleigh Motus as either a Low Step or Cross Bar depending on what I was using it for. There isn’t a better bike in its class for under £2000 and it’s been designed and built by one of the most reputable bike brands in the world.

View our range of Raleigh electric bikes here

16 thoughts on “The 2016 Raleigh Electric Bike Range Compared”

  1. I have a Raleigh Captus and am a little disappointed with the battery. Will the battery of the Motus fit the Captus and if so what is the cost?
    I’m planning a Tour de Brittany shortly and the range problem is a bit of a concern.

    1. Apologies for the delay David, in answer to your question the Raleigh Captus has a 300Wh Battery and so you could easily upgrade to a 400Wh or 500Wh Bosch Powerpack instead if you choose. This would dramatically increase your range without having to buy an entirely new bike.

  2. Hi

    I’ve a Trans x battery type on my Raleigh Forge ladies bike, could this be upgraded to the Bosh battery powerpack?

    1. Hi Lesley, thanks for your question! Unfortunately not, as we say in the article the Forge runs on a different system to the Captus and the Motus and can’t be upgraded. That being said if you get in contact with our team by emailing info@fullycharged.com we may be able to provide you with a new Trans X battery that will probably boost your bikes performance if you have been riding it for a while.

      Best Regards,

      Nick

  3. ive got a Ralegh Dover 5 yrs old
    Raleigh have washed their hands of Panasonic & all
    after sales/service of these models.
    the chain set looks like wearing out its impossible to find another.
    £1500 down the drain.
    will Raleigh do this again?

    1. Surely not down the drain, you have had 5 years usage. Would not any good bicycle shop not have replacement chains and other gear wheels?.

  4. I prefer a more relaxed upright style of riding.
    I have a hybrid bike (non-electric) already with a cross bar but I find it makes me lean forward and put a lot of pressure on my wrists.
    I would prefer a More cross bar frame for strength and battery location but will I manage to ride upright?

    1. Unlikely, unless it’s a properly substantial towbar-mounted wheel support rack, which is going to cost you £250+. The Motus is heavy beast, even without the batteries onboard. We carried one (20+kg) and a 10kg hybrid bike around Europe on an Atera Strada DL3 which coped fine so I’m happy to recommend it. Max. load is 66kg, so a Motus in lieu of the hybrid would have been ok too. Not cheap, but well worth it

    2. They are rather heavy. I use the Thule towbar fitted cycle rack and have carried one and a conventional bike. When carrying it, you need to take off and carry within the car the display and the battery pack.

  5. I purchased my modus cycle july 2015 from Banbury cycles, I have been cycling 64 years and felt I needed a little help up the hills, the e/cycle is a joy to ride and have clock 1600 miles ,and looking forward many more rides

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