New Electric Bike
A few weeks ago I decided to replace the electric bike that I had built with one that was factory-produced. I made this decision for a few different reasons:
- I wanted a bike with components that were better integrated (vs strapped to the frame)
- I wanted a build that had refinements like internally-routed cables, that I couldn't easily do on my own build
- I wanted a bike that was more stealthy and didn't really look like an eBike
- I was becoming a stronger rider and wanted something that would encourage me to contribute more energy (getting more exercise) during a ride
- Getting a factory warranty on the bike and components was icing on the cake
I ended up choosing the Sprint iE from Raleigh. This was a 2016 model that had been introduced around March of 2016. It was originally out of my price range (about $3,200 when it was first introduced) but Raleigh had replaced this mike with a new 2017 model so prices were drastically cut. I ended up picking the bike up brand new with free shipping for $2,400.
The box the bike ships in - remarkably intact considering how shippers usually treat bike-boxes
Everything was well secured inside the box
How the bike itself arrives. Note the wrapping around the frame to protect the paint
The bike arrived well packaged and in good shape. All the accessories were well organized.
Once the bike was all assembled it was ready to be charged and taken for a ride
The ride experience
After a few weeks of riding the bike almost daily—commuting back and forth to work and riding for fun around town—I can say that this has been one of the best purchases I've ever made. The one thing I really like best is that this eBike doesn't use a throttle. Instead is uses a combination of sensors to detect your pedaling force and cadence along with the bike's speed, and provides the appropriate power to assist. All you have to do is pedal like you would with a regular bike, but you get a big power boost from the electric motor (mounted in the bottom bracket between the pedals). There are 4 assist levels with 1 being the least amount of assist, and 4 being the greatest amount. I have a 10-mile round-trip commute between home and work, and even at the highest assist level I get two days out of the battery. I have no doubt that I could commute all week on a single charge if I were to drop the assist all the way down. I do like being able to maintain a higher average speed and getting a lot of assist going up hills without arriving at work soaked in sweat, so I keep the assist up higher.
It's so nice being able to just hop-on and ride this bike without having to worry abut stuff the way I previously did on my self-built bike. That original bike was more powerful, but since it was attached to a regular frame, nothing was nicely integrated and all of the wiring was exposed, so I always had to check on stuff with that. With the new bike all of that is no longer a concern.
If you'd like to learn much more about this bike, and watch a video review of the bike in detail, you should check out Electric Bike Review's article about the Raleigh Sprint iE.
eBikes in Atlanta
Also, if you think you'd like to check out an electric bike for yourself, but maybe aren't sure what style you'd want, or don't want to spend as much as I did, you definitely should check out ElectroBike, a new eBike shop right here in Atlanta, or Edison Bicycles, an amazing eBike builder also based here in Atlanta.