Electric cars have revolutionised personal transport, enabling us to travel long distances while minimising our carbon footprint. Yet, for shorter journeys, deep down many of us know we should still be using our four-wheeled vehicles a little bit less.
On average, we each take five short car journeys of under two miles each week, a significant proportion of which could easily be walked or cycled. Furthermore, two-thirds of all journeys in the UK are under five miles, a distance that can easily be covered on an e-bike in less than 25 minutes. It’s estimated there are over a million unnecessary car trips per day in London alone.
If we can convince people to leave the car at home a little more often then we can reduce congestion for everyone. Many will argue that’s all well and good when simply getting yourself from A to B. But what about when needing to cart children around or transport a heavy load? Step in the Raleigh Stride 2 e-cargo bike which aims to such journeys possible – is it suited to dropping the kids off at school or doing a grocery shop?
Raleigh Stride 2 cost
Raleigh markets the Stride 2 as a second (or even a first) car replacement that is perfect for short journeys that include transporting people and stuff. Or as a useful option for local businesses and tradespeople to carry their tools or make deliveries.
It is in these terms that you have to consider the price. It retails at £4,395, which is a considerable sum of money for an e-bike. However, that is just a fraction of the price of an entry-level EV such as the Volkswagen e-up! or the Smarteq Fortwo.
For a family struggling to justify keeping two cars on the road, it could be a very good option for their bank balance, their waistlines and their parking situation too. Those able to invest through the cycle to work scheme could also reduce that cost by up to 39% with nothing to pay up-front, making it an even more affordable option.
Raleigh Stride 2 design review
On taking delivery of the Stride 2, the first thing to note is its size. At 2.58m long it is almost the length of a small car which means steering and manoeuvring the bike takes a little getting used to. It takes up a lot of room so is really only suited to those with an available dedicated secure space in which to store it – its dimensions are 258x78x110cm.
We were initially worried about how we’d navigate it around some tight corners in order to access our own storage facility. However, for such a large bike, it’s actually rather nimble once you get used to it. The Stride 2 has a front 20″x55 Schwalbe Pick-Up front tyre and comes fitted with a rear 26″x55 Schwalbe Pick-Up.
The second thing to pay attention to is the impressive storage capacity. The front carrier can hold up to 900 litres and transport up to 80kg of cargo. That’s very nearly the weight of the average UK adult male. Add in the additional 20kg carrying capacity of the rear panniers and you’ll very rarely struggle to fit everything in.
Inside the front carrier, you’ll find a wooden bench and safety straps that are adequate for transporting an older child. A range of accessories are also available to purchase as additional extras, which enable the Stride 2 to be adapted to safely carry younger children.
Raleigh Stride 2 performance review
For the first couple of minutes riding the Stride 2 can feel rather alien. That’s largely down to the large distance between the handlebars and the front wheel making it steer differently from what you’re accustomed to.
Nonetheless, one quickly adjusts and soon you’ll find yourself cornering in confidence. With a tested range of 40 miles from its 500 Wh Bosch battery, pedal support up to a maximum speed of 15 mph and a walk assistance mode, it is well equipped for the purposes it is designed for. One thing to consider, however, is that it takes 4.5 hours to charge the battery from empty to full via a 3-pin socket – while it’s not quick to charge, it will suit those who cycle to work.
One of the main factors that makes the Stride 2 largely enjoyable to ride is the responsive top-of-the-line Bosch Performance CX Cargo Line motor. It kicks in almost immediately which is much appreciated when moving off from a standing start and is even more prominent when carrying heavy cargo. The riding experience is also aided by the smooth gearing thanks to Enviolo’s Cargo Stepless Shifting Hub, and the powerful 160mm Magura CT disc brakes that give you the confidence to stop at a moment’s notice. At 60 kg the Stride 2 is not a light bike, but you won’t notice this when riding.
An irritating flaw does however emerge when riding with no weight in the front basket. In these circumstances, the 20″ front wheel has a tendency to judder when riding on anything but the smoothest of tarmac. It handles much better with weight in the basket but given that tends to be only half of any given journey it can quickly become annoying.
Raleigh Stride 2 features review
In terms of features, the Stride 2 is very well thought through. Even down to small touches such as the quick release on the seat post that ensures two or more people can share the bike with no hassle. It comes with integrated lights and a pump built into the frame. The rear wheel also comes with an integrated lock that is operated with the same key that unlocks the battery. It’s a very useful feature as, while you can secure the front of the bike with a regular lock, it is not always easy to fit the Raleigh Stride neatly into your average bike rack.
The Bosch Purion user interface is for the most part simple and intuitive, allowing you to switch between the Eco, Tour, and Turbo modes with ease. Monitoring, speed distance and battery life is simple, as is engaging the walk assistance mode when required.
The one exception is turning on the lights which is not immediately obvious. Given the logical layout for the rest of the user interface it’s surprising this wasn’t given its own obvious button – via the onboard computer, you’ll need to press the ‘+’ button for a few seconds, then an ‘h’ will be displayed on the screen to notify that they’re on.
At the front, the Stride 2 is fitted with a Hermanns black MR 8 LED 6-12V and at the rear, an Axa Blueline 12V 50MM.
TotallyEV’s verdict on the Raleigh Stride 2
The Stride 2 isn’t for everyone as many simply won’t have the space in which to securely store it. However, for those households or local businesses that do, it can reduce reliance on a car and offers a practical means of transporting children or goods over small distances. That would be good news for their wallets, for congested roads and for cities where parking is often a problem.
If it fits well with your current circumstances, and you can live with that front-wheel judder’ then the Raleigh Stride 2 could quickly pay for itself and become a very worthwhile purchase.