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.