Raleigh, a name synonymous with British cycling. A brand that is as big a part of modern British culture as it is within cycling culture. A brand that will bring fond memories to many people. Now thanks to their electric bike range you can be nostalgic about Raleigh whilst having the very latest cycling technology.
Raleigh is offering more e-bikes for 2017 than it had in 2016. This means you may need a little help in deciding which model you need.
For 2017 there are the following ranges.
- Roundsman E-Cargo
With models from just under a £1000 and up to £2600, you would think it may just be a matter of picking the bike that suits your budget. Whilst this is an integral part of the decision, it is not the only thing you should be considering when thinking about your new bike.
One of the most striking differences between the other models is their looks. Some come with a low step and other models come with a crossbar. The low step is great if you have mobility problems as they have a low stepover. The other models come with a more traditional top tube arrangement.
The Strada with it’s sleek, racy lines is only available in a crossbar model, it looks fast even standing still.
The bike’s battery pack is also affected depending on if you pick a low step or crossbar model. The low step bikes have in order to keep their step over low, their battery pack secured on a pannier rack above the rear wheel. Crossbar models have their battery pack on their down tube, this helps to keep the bikes slimline shape and pushes the battery’s weight down towards the bottom bracket, for many people this feels like a better place due to weight distribution.
Raleigh uses three different brands for their standard range of e-bikes, they use either Bosch, E-motion or the brand new Shimano STEPS system. STEPS is found on the Strada, Bosch on the Motus and Captus and E-motion on the Array. Price wise Raleigh starts with the Array and then it moves up on to the Captus so we will look at those models first.
The Array and Captus
The Array is the cheapest model in the Raleigh electric bike range and comes in nicely at a price point suited to most cycle to work schemes. The E-motion setup on the Array provides the bike with the ability to cover up to 108km on a full charge.
This is Raleigh’s quoted distance. We would like you to be aware that this figure is based on a flat road in the lowest assist setting. We want you to be aware of the fact that this is how all manufacturers will state the achievable distance of their e-bikes, worth baring in mind if you live in the Yorkshire Dales. That should be more than enough for commuting, getting to the shops or getting lost on a ride.
The Captus is using a Bosch system, most people will know about Bosch and the quality that having their name on something brings. Their electric bike systems carry on this trend, Germany being a huge market for electric bikes and as such, they have spent years perfecting their system. This means the Captus can go that little bit further than the Array by being able to reach up to 145km on a full charge.
An obvious upgrade for the Captus is that it has more gears than the Array. Coming with a Shimano 9 speed system rather than the 7-speed system found on the Array. This will allow you a few more options should the road get a little bit hilly. Both bikes are also available with hub gear systems if you want to make maintenance super easy, by super easy I mean almost non-existent.
The Captus comes in at £1750, with this price increase you also get front suspension, great for the mean roads of the UK. It also has a kickstand that I think is just that little bit nicer than the one on the Array. You may think that is a small point but if the small points are taken care, then the big points are most definitely taken care of.
The Captus and Modus
Costing £1999 the Modus has a price difference of £250 over the Captus.
What do you get for your extra £250? You still get Bosch kit on your bike and as we have established Bosch is great. We have now though moved up in their range. This allows you to get up to 180km on a full charge.
At Fully Charged we have assessed this manufacturer’s distance claim by testing the bikes before we stock them. This means we would say that you are looking at 20 miles for full assist on hilly roads. On a flat road and set on low assistance you can expect up to 80 miles. No one wants to see you stranded somewhere. So we will expertly guide you to your correct choice. Now instead of just riding to the shops for a pint of milk, you are riding out into the country to the dairy to get your milk.
Gears and brakes
Your gears have also changed allegiance from Shimano and moved over on to SRAM’s 10 speed Via Centro groupset. The gear changes from this change are really smooth. This may seem like a small thing. Smoother and better gear changes, though, make it easier should you suddenly have to change gear on a slope.
We have also moved from rim brakes to Shimano hydraulic brakes. Your wheel rims will now last longer and you will find it much easier to stop in the rain. It may seem weird that you have Shimano brakes and SRAM gears. This is Raleigh picking the best products regardless of the brand name for your budget.
If we look at the Array, Captus and Modus we can see that there is a very logical progression and all of the 3 models are available in a low step model, making them a great choice for everyone. The next model up in the range is the Strada.
Looking like a much more racy proposition than the previous three bikes. The Strada is designed around being light weight. As such it uses Shimano’s new STEPS system. STEPS is one of the lightest on the market. You have lost the front suspension. There is now a carbon fork to help keep that weight down. Allowing you to be a little bit faster for less effort.
The other real neat thing is that it also uses the Alfine DI2 groupset. So not only do you have an electric motor but you also have electronic gears. This bike is about as space age as you can get. Gear changes now are so fast you may well be changing gear before you have even finished thinking about changing gear. Especially as the system can be run in an automatic mode. This system also needs very little maintenance. Keeping you on the road for much less effort.
The Strada is the one to pick if you fancy speed and a great looking bike. It comes in at £2600. With all the technology packed into it, it is a bargain.
The Roundsman and the eStowaway
Both of these bikes fit into niches that the other models do not. The Roundsman is a cargo bike. As such, you can use it for making deliveries or getting your weekly shop. With a weight limit of 180kg that is a lot of biscuits that you can carry on it. Its niche compatriot, the eStowaway is designed for people with limited bike storage or who have to get on and off of public transport as well as cycling. As such it is a folding e-bike.
Costing £2600, the Raleigh Roundsman is designed for carrying big loads and has a very distinctive look thanks to its frame’s reinforcements, to be honest, I think it looks great. To help you cart those big loads around it comes with a time-tested Bosch system. When you are carrying heavy loads you want to know that you are running one of the most reliable systems out there. Having to push a bike laden with 100kg of deliveries would not be fun. Raleigh has made sure that this does not happen to you.
Carrying on the great looks of the new Raleigh bikes is the e-Stowaway. This bike looks amazing in its stealth paint job. It comes in at £1100 and as such is one of the more affordable folding e-bikes on the market. Coming with the Taiwanese Trans X battery and motor set-ups. It may be a budget option but again they are time served and it will make getting from work to home fast and easy, giving you a much more relaxing evening.
If you want to know how testing went for a bike that you would like to buy, either comment below or give us a call on 0207 111 0977.
You can view all of the bikes in more detail on our site by clicking here