Electric Bike FAQs

Electric bikes are relatively new and you may not know much about them, take a look at our FAQs specific to electric bikes & submit any queries you have.

How electric bikes work

Do I have to pedal on an electric bike?

Yes! Our electric bikes are just like regular bicycles but with a little bit of added assistance so you'll need to pedal at all times to keep the bike moving. The bike's motor will then add power as you pedal to assist you at a level of your choice to provide a natural riding experience.

Electric Bikes aren't like a motorbike so won't run away with you, you'll feel in total control with the easy to use assistance adjustments.

I've heard about electric bikes where you don't have to pedal, what's the difference?

Electric bikes which don't require you to pedal and feature a full speed throttle are commonly known as 'twist-and-go' electric bikes. These bikes are able to reach their full speed of 15.5mph with a simple twist of the throttle.

New regulations came into force on 1st January 2016 which means that any twist-and-go bikes purchased after this date would require vehicle type approval. Additionally, riders would have to wear a crash helmet and register, tax and insure their vehicle.

How fast can I go on an electric bike?

Under current regulations electric bikes are able to provide assistance up to 15.5mph.

Your electric bike will not provide further assistance beyond 15.5mph although it is easily possible to reach speeds of higher than this simply by putting in more energy yourself. If you would like to read more about speed restrictions just head to our Electric Bike Laws page.

I've heard about electric bikes which go faster than that, what's the difference?

Electric bikes which can go faster than 15.5mph are known as speed pedelecs and are covered by different regulations than electric bikes.

Speed pedelecs fall into the same classification as mopeds and motorcycles meaning that they'll need to be registered, taxed, you'll need a driver's license to ride one and a crash helmet is compulsory. For more information visit our Electric Bike Laws page.

Can I turn my current bike into an electric bike?

This as a question that we get asked quite a lot! Unfortunately we would strongly advise against attempting to convert any non-electric bicycle into an electric bike.

You will find after-market 'kits' which claim to turn your bike into an electric bike however making any of these changes would invalidate any form of warranty on your product and could prove to be dangerous. Most importantly, these products have not been quality or safety checked on your bike.

All of our electric bikes have specific adjustments made to their frames to accommodate the weight of the electric components and battery. Additionally our bikes are fitted with ebike specific tyres which are designed to withstand the increased speed and pressures required and conform to all of the relevant EU quality and safety regulations. So, whilst it is possible to do this - we wouldn't risk it!

Benefits of electric bikes

Who are electric bikes for?

Electric bikes are for everyone and anyone! The only exception is that by law electric bikes cannot be ridden by children under 14. You may hear people say that ebikes are only for older people or unfit people but this simply isn't the case. Firstly, did you know that the average ebike purchaser is aged only 35? Electric bikes are for anyone who wants to enjoy cycling but might be put off by particularly hilly terrain, a long commute or carrying a heavier load. Plus ebikes are great for those who just want to keep up with a more experienced rider in their group, after all, it's no fun leaving people behind!

Electric bikes make cycling accessible to everyone and remove the barriers that usually prevent people from getting on their bike. so why not try one today? head to our store locator to find your nearest store which offers test rides.

Where can I ride an electric bike?

You can ride your electric bike anywhere that you would ride a non electric bike. For these purposes an electric bike is considered to be in the same category as a non electric bicycle so you'll be able to ride on roads, light trails, paths and in cycling lanes or parks.

Do you get any exercise riding an electric bike?

You may hear people say that electric bikes are cheating but we think quite the opposite! We hear from our customers that their electric bikes actually encourage them to ride further and for longer as well as making certain trips possible by bike which they would usually take by car. Plus, we regularly hear from customers that an electric bike has given the confidence to start cycling again after a long period without exercise.

But if you're still not convinced, a number of research studies have proven that you will still get exercise when riding an electric bike with one recent study even confirming that electric bike riders experience physical exertion 95% of the time.

Can an electric bike save me money on my commute?

Your electric bike could save you money on your commute but it all depends on the distance you usually travel, whether you travel by car or public transport and which of our electric bikes you choose. We do believe that in many cases it can be more cost effective to commute on an electric bike and have certainly heard this feedback from some of our customers!

If you'd like to know more about whether electric bikes can save you money on your commute why not check out our recent blog post comparing the cost of train travel and electric bikes.

Buying an electric bike

Are electric bikes popular in the UK?

Electric bikes are steadily growing in popularity in the UK. In 2016 the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry reported the sale of 75,000 electric bicycles which was around double the number sold in 2015.

However the UK has a long way to go to catch up with other European countries! CEBI also reported that only 5% of bikes sold in the UK are electric ranking us 7th in Europe behind Austria, Italy, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany at the top with 36%.

How much does an electric bike cost?

Our Raleigh electric bikes range in price from £1,100 up to £2,800 dependant on their specification. The factor which is the most significant in determining the difference in price between our electric bike ranges is the motor type and the electric bike system used and the range that particular bike can achieve.

Want to learn more about the motors, electric bike systems and batteries used on our electric bikes? Just head to our Motor systems page.

I've seen cheaper electric bikes, what’s the difference?

You'll be able to find electric bikes from as little as around £600-£800 however these generally feature inferior systems which simply do not deliver the quality or range of our electric models. Many of these bicycles will only provide a maximum rage of 20- 30 miles and feature unbranded and less sophisticated technology.

At Raleigh we pride ourselves on creating quality electric bicycles for our customers with good quality branded components which offer exceptional reliability.

Can I try one of your electric bikes before I buy?

Most of our stores will allow you to test ride an electric bike before purchasing so you can decide if they’re right for you and some even have dedicated demo bike models. You can use our Store Locator to find a Raleigh electric bike retailer near you.

Alternatively, you can take a look at our events page to find an upcoming event near you. Or, why not purchase your new electric bike online at www.raleigh.co.uk? We're so confident that you'll love our products that we offer have a 14 Day Free Returns policy.

 

Where are your electric bikes made?

The majority of our Raleigh electric bikes are manufactured in Hungary. Our product teams have a close relationship with our supplier factories throughout the design and manufacturing process and travel to our factories to carry out stringent sample checking and ensure the highest levels of quality for our customers.

How much does a Raleigh electric bike weigh?

The weight of our Raleigh electric bikes depends on the model that you have selected. Our lightest electric bikes start at 18.5kgs and our heaviest electric bikes weigh 26.5kgs. If you would like to view the weight of an individual electric bike this information is displayed on the product page in the specification.

The weights of our models are measured on a medium frame size with all components and pedals attached and are accurate to the nearest 1/2 kg. If you are unable to find the weight of a particular model please contact us and we will be happy to provide the information. Please note, we cannot provide weights for specific frame sizes.

How do I know what size bike to purchase?

Each of our electric bikes has a size guide which is specific to that model to help you choose which size is right for you. These size charts can be found on the individual product pages or by looking at our bike size guide page.

Can I buy a Raleigh electric bike on Cycle to Work scheme?

The cycle to work scheme is a great government initiative that allows you to get a brand new bike and accessories tax free. Our electric bikes can be bought on the Cycle to Work scheme though unfortunately we do not offer this service online currently. However Raleigh works with a network of experienced independent bike shops across the country to deliver a commuting solution for everyone.

Currently the Cycle to Work scheme only supports values up to £1,000 therefore a deposit may be require to purchase your Raleigh electric bike. Alternatively the Green Commute Initiative is a scheme designed specifically for electric bikes with no upper price limit.

What’s the difference between the motor systems you use?

We use front, mid and rear mounted electric motors on our electric bikes which each offer different advantages. Additionally we use four different electric bike systems; Bosch, Shimano, TransX and Emotion. We know that figuring out the differences between electric bike systems can be confusing which is why we've put together a page fully explaining our electric bike systems and motors.

Can I get bike insurance to protect against theft and damage? Do I need it?

Yes, you can get bike insurance on electric bikes and we would recommend this if you're able to. You may find that your electric bike is not covered by your Home Insurance and though we take precautions to protect your bike against theft it's better safe than sorry as the saying goes!

You can head to money.co.uk for a comparison of electric bike insurance.

General use and maintenance

How do I clean my electric bike?

To clean your electric bike, simply hose it down using a low water pressure and wipe clean. Try to avoid pouring water directly over any electrical components; although these are water resistant it's always best to be careful!

We would advise strongly against using a jet washer to clean your electric bike. Jet washers force water into seals and remove essential grease from bearings and can also damage your electrical components.

What happens if the electronics get wet?

The electronic elements of all of our bikes are sealed units to prevent the motor battery and head unit from becoming damaged by water. Each of these components are weatherproof and will withstand the wet and rainy English weather! However the units on your electric bike are not 100% waterproof so we would advise strongly against fully submerging your bicycle in water or using a jet washer to clean your bicycle.

In the unlikely event that your bicycle does become fully submerged in water always recover the bicycle quickly and allow the bicycle to dry completely before switching back on. This is particularly important for your electric bike battery as the Lithium Ion batteries used in electric bikes react badly to water.

Can I use an electric bike in the rain?

Yes of course you can use your electric bike in the rain. Although these bikes have electrical parts all of the components are protected by an exterior casing which protects them from the elements. The battery, motor and display screen are all waterproof and will be able to withstand the heaviest downpours.

Please note that neither your electric bike nor it's electrical components should be submerged in water at any point or washed using a jet wash or pressure washer.

Can I jet wash my electric bike?

We would advise strongly against using a jet washer to clean your electric bike. Jet washers force water into seals and remove essential grease from bearings and can also damage your electrical components.

To clean your electric bike, simply hose it down using a low water pressure. Try to avoid any electrical components, although these are water resistant it's always best to be careful!

When should I charge my electric bike battery?

You can charge your electric bike battery at any point; you don't need to wait until the battery is fully depleted or top it up after every time you use it.

Also if you’re storing your bike for a long period of time you’ll need to charge the battery every 3 months; if you don’t it can cause the battery to drop below residual power.

How far can I cycle on one charge?

The distance that you can cycle on your electric bike in one charge will depend on the electric bike system and the battery capacity that you choose as well as the level of assistance that you select while riding. Other factors such as your weight and the weight of any luggage you're carrying, weather conditions, terrain and so on will also influence the bike's range.

Our entry level electric bikes such as the Array can achieve distances between 22 and 108km on one charge whereas our higher end models such as the Motus can provide between 45 and 180km. If you would like to see an illustration of the factors that affect the distance an electric bike can travel on one charge the Bosch Range Calculator shows this in practice with a Bosch motor (as featured on the Raleigh Motus).

How can I adjust the power settings on my electric bike?

Each of our electric bikes have simple to use power adjustment buttons on the left side of the handlebar which you can adjust while riding using your thumb. The styles vary slightly from model to model and depending on the electric bike system used on that model.

Sometimes the adjustment buttons will be integrated with the display screen which shows the level of assistance selected and the range remaining though on more sophisticated models this screen is separate from the controls and mounted to the centre of the handlebars. Take a look at our Electric Bike Motors page for more information.

What happens if I run out of battery while cycling?

Your electric bike functions in the same way as an ordinary bicycle and just has the option to add extra power assistance using the motor. So if you run out of battery whilst cycling you will still be able to use your electric bike just like an ordinary bike without the electric assistance turned on.

Can you ride an electric bike with the assistance turned off?

All of our electric bikes can be ridden without the electric assistance turned on if you wish. A simple on/off switch is located on either the display screen or the controls which will allow you to turn the electric assistance on and off as you wish.

Battery use & care

Should I completely drain my electric bike battery before recharging?

You can charge your electric bike battery at any point; you don't need to wait until the battery is fully depleted or top it up after every time you use it. You may hear people say that you should charge you battery in a specific way to prolong it's life however this is only applicable to older style Lead Acid batteries. Modern electric bikes almost always use Lithium Ion batteries which are far more reliable, have a longer lifespan and are less temperamental. All Raleigh electric bikes use Lithium Ion batteries.

Want to know more about caring for your electric bike battery? Head to our Electric bike maintenance guide.

Can I remove the battery to charge it?

Yes, you'll need to unlock your battery and then it can be easily unclipped from your bike and carried indoors to be charged using your mains plug socket.

Is my battery locked to prevent theft?

Yes, all of our electric bikes are supplied with two keys to lock your battery in place whilst you're out and about. For security reasons your keys are unique to your bicycle. Always make sure that you register your keys with us under warranty using their unique registration number so that we can replace them for you if you lose them!

How long does it take to charge an electric bike battery?

It will take between three and four hours to fully charge your electric bike battery dependent on the system that you select. However your battery will be charged to 50% capacity in approximately an hour and a half.

You can read more about battery care on our electric bike maintenance page.

Do I have to charge my battery to full after every ride or every time I charge it?

This is quite a common myth! You can charge your electric bike battery at any point; you don't need to wait until the battery is fully depleted or top it up after every time you use it. Older style Lead Acid electric bike batteries did need to be fully charged to maintain optimum battery life however this is not true of Lithium Ion batteries used on Raleigh electric bikes or, in fact most electric bikes sold in the European market. It’s also worth noting that leaving your battery on charge won’t harm it; it will automatically cut off the power once fully charged.

for more information visit our electric bike maintenance page.

Can I charge my electric bike battery by pedalling?

No, none of our electric bikes will recharge whilst you pedal them. Some manufacturers advertise electric bikes which will recharge as you pedal however we've found that most of these systems are quite inefficient. The regenerative technology requires specific components to be added to your bicycle to enable this which all increases the weight and price of your bicycle and results in insignificant gains.

How much will it cost to charge an ebike battery?

How long it takes to charge your bike will depend on the type of battery it has. Raleigh electric bikes either come with a 300wh, or a 400wh battery.

It takes between 3.5 and 4.5 hours to charge an electric bike battery which equates to around 5p to 10p worth of electricity, depending on your electricity tariff. In comparison, it costs about 2.5p to boil a kettle, or 30p to run a washing machine on a 40 degree cycle.

Servicing and aftercare

Do I need to get by electric bike serviced? How often does my ebike need to be serviced?

Yes, you will need to get your electric bike serviced to keep it in good working order in a similar way to a traditional bicycle or a car. How often you need to service your bike depends on a range of factors, such as how many miles you ride, how often and on what terrain. however because electric bikes are heavier than standard bikes and often travel faster and for longer distances, we recommend servicing them more frequently than you would a traditional bike.

If you use your bike a lot, for commuting every day for instance, then servicing it every two to three months will help keep it in top condition. If you only use your e-bike once or twice a week, for leisurely rides, you may only need to service it every four to six months.

Where can I get my electric bike serviced?

You will need to get your electric bike serviced at your local Raleigh Electric store. Your local store will have the experience and expertise to keep your electric bike in top shape.

Each of our electric bike stores receives specific training on the electric bike systems that we supply as well as access to the software required to resolve any fault or error codes. Visit our store locator to find your closest shop.

What warranty is available on Raleigh electric bikes?

All Raleigh electric bikes are covered by a manufacturer's warranty. Our warranty covers a 5 year frame guarantee, a 2 year electric electric components guarantee and a 1 year non wearable mechanical parts guarantee.

Laws & Regulations

Do I need a licence, tax or insurance for an electric bike?

In most European countries you do not need a license, registration, tax or insurance to ride an electric bike on public roads or paths and trails. These exemptions only apply to standard electric bikes which provide electrically powered assistance up to 15.5mph and have not been de-restricted.

However in Northern Ireland exemption laws have not been passed yet which means that you will need to get a moped licence for your electric bike and meet a number of other legal requirements. Take a look at our Electric Bike Laws page to find out more.

How old do you have to be to ride an electric bike

By law you must be at least 14 years old to ride an electric bike.  Take a look at our Electric Bike Laws page to find out more.

Accessories & compatibility

What car rack do I need to carry an electric bike?

If you are looking to transport your electric bike on a car rack we would recommend making sure that your car rack is suitable for carrying electric bikes.  Due to the increased weight of electric bikes they are frequently not compatible with some car racks.

If you want to buy a car rack to carry your electric bikes why not check out our Electric Bike Car Rack Guide for more information.

Alternatively if you're looking for a quick solution we would recommend the Pure Instinct 2 Bike Rear Carrier for carrying up to two Raleigh electric bikes.  This car rack has been specifically designed to accommodate electric bikes without the need to remove the battery and can be fitted to cars without towballs.

Want to start your search?

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