A few weeks ago I decided to replace the electric bike that I had built with one the 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 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.