Raleigh E-bike Demo Day at the Bike Warehouse Chula Vista.
With a new electric bike name on the block, the name is anything but new. Raleigh has been in the bike business for longer than I know. I must admit that my expertise on this brand is slim, as a kid my world revolved around Schwinn bikes. Yet many friends had Raleighs, and through the years I have ridden more than a few. I even have a couple now that came out of the expansive factories they once had in the English countryside.
As part of the Accell Group, Raleigh has been revitalized, much like their sister company Currie Technologies. The European influence is noticeable, a lot like the Currie Tech influence on the new Raleigh line of E-bikes. At Interbike I shot a video of their booth and my commentary was much to the point on the similarities. As I spent some time with these bikes this weekend I could see it better, yet I could also see they are breaking out on their own too.
With a last minute notification on Facebook I learned the new Raleigh west coast sales rep and his new van would be doing a demo day fairly nearby to me. I jumbled my schedule just enough to get by for a couple hours of intro on these just released E-bikes. And I met Marty, a long time bike enthusiast and competitor. Marty’s van had three Raleigh E-bikes, some Haibikes and a Lapierre too. He was on hand mostly to demo the Raleighs, but I talked him into getting out one of each of the bikes for some videos.
Part of the day’s fun was getting to know Marty. With some great stories of bike days past and updates on how Raleigh has moved into the E-bike world, it made for some interesting conversation. And to my joy, I got to reverse what seems to be a growing trend. It seemed he was set to demo the bikes through the lunch hour and past. As normally in a situation like this I get treated to a tasty lunch, today I had the pleasure to turn the tables and treat Marty. As we ate the stories continued to flow.
Well, onto the bikes. Even though for now they have Currie Tech drive systems, I have heard and read some talk that they have a new advanced system of their own in the works. All Marty could do is acknowledge this is true, yet any real information was not spilling from his lips. Many trust me with info like this (and I have yet to leak any inside scoop), but it was our first meeting so Marty chose to stay silent. We will all see soon enough what they come up with for their bikes.
There are many bikes in the Raleigh playbook, for now I saw 3 of them. The Tekoa and the Detour are pretty much re-branded IZIP E-bikes, but with cool colors. Still, the Detour mimics my favorite bike for the year so there is much to like here. What really caught my eye was the Venture. I love the styling and the ride. It is a smooth moving upright E-bike that many should be able to take a liking to. I did a riding video on this one (check the link below).
The Raleigh Venture made my day worthwhile. It was good to see and ride something fresh. I hope to be able to do a full melt-down test during the up-coming year on this E-bike. Also it will be interesting to see what else Raleigh offers as they get fully geared up for the American E-bike market. Plus trying out the yet to be shown new drive system has me excited.
So I did a couple videos on the Haibikes too. Haibikes all use the Bosch mid-drive that has gotten so much press. I am still on the fence when it comes to mid-drive E-bikes for the masses. I have written much on them and am waiting for some refinements to make them more palatable. A medium power set-up on a NuVinci Harmony drivetrain has been my favorite so far.
I also checked out one of the Lapierre E-bikes. Attention to detail and some cool specs help this bike show the way. It too has the Bosch mid-drive. From my on-line search there is much to like with this company that offers a large line of bikes, now with E-bikes on the list.
As you might know, I have some close ties to Accell Group here in the states. I do expect to be spending enough time with many of their bikes for full reviews and insight. It was nice to get a little closer this weekend, and hanging with Marty made it so much better. Check all the videos I posted from the day.
Go Raleigh, Turbo Bob.
“It would not be at all strange if history came to the conclusion that the perfection of the bicycle was the greatest incident of the nineteenth century’”—Author Unknown.
Raleigh on the web and Facebook
Videos I took that day and one from Interbike