E-Bike FAQs:
Your Questions
Answered

Got questions about e-bikes? Electric bikes are marvellous things, but we understand you may have a few questions or queries about adding them to your routine.

We've put together a list of the most asked questions about everything from the electric motor to keeping your electric bike locked up safe. Whether it be technical e-bike questions, sizing queries or general safety queries, we've got you covered with our electric bike FAQs.

Electric bikes

What is an e-bike?

Great question! An e-bike or electric bike is easiest described as a regular bike with a battery and motor to assist pedal power.

To count as an e-bike, the motor can only assist you with pedalling, rather than propel the bike on its own. In practice, this means that you need your own pedal power to get the assistance from the battery and motor. Find out more about how electric bikes work.

What's the difference between an e-bike and a normal bike?

When it comes to electric bikes vs regular bikes, naturally the main difference is the electrical components that come with an e-bike. Parts like the battery, motor, controls, sensor and display are the main differences between electric bikes and non-electric bikes.

As with a regular bike, you'll still need to pedal on an electric bike - the difference is that the motor will be able to add a bit of an extra boost to help power you through challenging parts of your ride (for example when climbing hills).

How fast is an e-bike?

By law, when using the assisted speed (from the e-bike motor and battery), an electric bike isn't allowed to exceed 15.5 mph. E-bikes are fitted with a pedal assistance limiter to stop the bike exceeding the speed limit.

Of course, there's nothing stopping you from going faster under your own steam! If you pedal faster than this, it will just mean that you won't get the assistance from the motor.

Are e-bikes legal in the UK?

Yes! Electric bikes from experienced and trustworthy manufacturers like Raleigh are completely legal in the UK, just like regular bikes. As long as the motor doesn't assist when the bike is travelling faster than 15.5 mph and you abide by the normal cycling rules and regulations, you're good to go.

Is it illegal to have an e-bike with a throttle in the UK?

Electric bikes with throttles are classed as motorbikes in UK law, so you’ll have to tax and register the bike (and have a licence to ride it).

Do I need a licence to ride an electric bike?

As long as you’re over 14 years old, your e-bike’s power isn’t over 250W and the motor doesn’t assist at speeds above 15.5 mph (25 kmh), you don’t need a licence. 

How heavy is an e-bike?

How much an electric bike weighs depends on the style and model you go for. As an example, our folding e-bikes, such as the Stow-E-Way, weigh around 20 kg. By contrast, our Motus range - designed for an all-round experience - weighs in at around 25kg.

Are e-bikes waterproof?

Electric bikes are made for adventuring, so they're fine to ride in the rain or wet weather. Of course, there are still some electric bike maintenance tips you should stick to to keep your cycle in top condition after it gets wet.

If you've been cycling in the rain, it's a good idea to dry off the bike as much as possible - particularly the chain so it doesn't rust. When you are cleaning the bike, don't use a powerful pressure washer. Just give it a wipe down, avoiding getting the electrical components too wet or soapy where possible.

How much are electric bikes?

Here at Raleigh, all our electric bikes are always built with high quality in mind, this is reflected in the price. However, it's important to note that this quality means reliable electronic components and durable drivetrain components. Any decent e-bike should be considered an investment that will pay dividends over the years you own it (plus that pedal assist boost is worth its weight in gold when you get to steep hills, trust us...).

Amongst the range of Raleigh electric bikes, our entry price level bikes at £1,399 are the Array and the Raleigh Stow-E-Way, a folding e-bike for easy storage and commuting.

Which electric bike is best for new riders or entry-level cyclists?

The Raleigh Array is our most popular entry-level e-bike, and provides the best electric riding experience for a newbie. It has a lightweight frame, a 60-mile battery range and responsive disk brakes.

Can you put an electric bike on a bike rack?

You sure can, we stock a range of e-bike car racks that are built to withstand the heavier load and protect your bike. Since e-bikes often come with a bit of a larger price tag, it's so important to make sure they're transported correctly. If you're not sure which one will fit your car, get in touch with our consumer service team and we'll be happy to advise. You can read more about electric bike car racks on our Electric Bike Knowledge hub.

Can I have a belt-driven e-bike?

Yes you can. Our all Centros models use belt drive technology for a smoother ride and luxurious feel all round.

Where can I try an electric bike out for myself?

It's always a good idea to go and test ride an e-bike so you can understand the parts, see how it feels and get to grips with the different models. So, head over to our store locator and see which Raleigh store is closest to you.

How to charge an electric bike battery

The powerful Bosch systems that Raleigh uses for e-bike batteries means you need to plug the battery into a power source to charge. You can ride electric bikes without the battery being charged, you just won't have the extra power assist and you might find it a little heavy. Our batteries have extensive capacities, so you can complete lots of rides before you need to plug it in.

How long does a Bosch e-bike battery last?

At Raleigh our electric bike batteries are made by Bosch and all use lithium-ion batteries. As well as having excellent battery life, they hold their charge much better than NiMH batteries. Many models of Raleigh electric bikes can last up to 1000 charges. Of course, how long your particular battery will last depends on things like the battery capacity (sometimes measured in kilowatt-hours or watt-hours), how much you cycle, the model of your bike, and the system your bike uses.

For example, the Raleigh Array has a maximum range of 60 miles on a single charge, while the Raleigh Centros has a battery capacity that lasts up to 130 miles. Take a look at the spec of a few electric bikes to figure out which is best for you.

How do Kilowatt hours relate to amp hours?

The electrical energy in kilowatt-hours is equal to the charge in amp-hours times the voltage, then divided by 1,000. All a bit complicated, isn't it? Our batteries are usually sized in watt-hours to make it a little easier. Plus, on each electric bike page on our website, you'll see the maximum battery range so you'll know roughly how long your bike can last on a single charge.

... isn't an e-bike cheating?

We get this question a lot, and the answer is a resounding no! It's a common misconception that an e-bike is 'cheating' and that you are exercising less than with a non-electric bike. 

However, an e-bike can simply provide you with a little assistance when you need it most, like going up a steep incline or tackling multiple hills. You have complete control over the level of assistance and it can often mean your rides are longer, you explore more and you exercise more.

Are e-bikes worth it?

We might be a little biased, but we absolutely believe investing in an e-bike is worth it. Reliable electric bikes are durable, reliable and dependable. They can make cycling even more fun, take some of the hard work out of taxing inclines, and they’re great bike options for elderly riders or those with mobility issues.

A couple with the Raleigh Motus and Centros ebikes
Raleigh Motus Tour Low Step

Spares and Repairs

Where can I get spare parts for my Raleigh e-bike?

If you’re looking for spare Raleigh e-bike parts, get in touch with our consumer support team and they may be able to point you in the right direction.

How to repair an electric bike battery

In most cases, electric bike batteries are extremely reliable, long-lasting and require minimal maintenance. If you do find that battery performance drops, there are a few easy fixes you can try yourself before taking it to a specialist bike repair shop.

If your battery stops retaining full charge, it can help to do a full 24-hour charge to clear any negative energy within the battery management system. Similarly, making sure the area around the battery and frame ports is clean and free from dust or debris can solve lots of issues. You can also invest in a multimeter tool to get a voltage reading for your battery to learn more about what's going wrong.

However, it's important to remember that it is an electric component and it shouldn't be messed with unless you know what you're doing. In most cases, taking a faulty or underperforming battery to a bike shop or dealer is the best call.

Sizing

What size electric bike do I need?

Although we do have size guides on our website, there's no substitute for the real thing. So if possible, head down to your local Raleigh dealer and try them out. The staff will be able to find your perfect fit. If you can't get down to a store, we do offer a 14-day free returns service for online orders just in case your bike is not quite right.

Should I get a crossbar or low step electric bike?

In general, we tend to advise that shorter people would benefit from a low step frame so they can mount and dismount easily. However, it all comes down to what you're comfortable with. So get down to your local store and try some on for size and see what suits you.

For more of your e-bike FAQs answered, head to our Electric Bike Knowledge hub.

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