Updated: 28th August 2017
On the face of it, the Raleigh Array electric hybrid bike is an unassuming machine which doesn’t stand out from the crowd. In actuality, that low-key presence is one of the best things about it. To the casual observer, the Array is a perfectly normal hybrid bike that is well equipped to cope with every day commuting and leisurely rides. Look closer, and you’ll find a bike that can totally transform how you ride for the better, as you’ll be eager to spend more time in the saddle purely for the enjoyment of it.
The Array has a relaxed & comfortable riding position, a lightweight & sturdy frame, a compact motor that you would be forgiven for not noticing, and a style that is both understated, yet very much on-point with current minimalistic & retro trends.
The Raleigh Array eBike comes with two choices of frame: a classic ‘Dutch-style’ step-through, and a ‘crossbar’ with a flat top tube. There are no size options - the comfortable geometry is designed as a one-size-fits-all, although shorter riders (below 5ft 4in) may find the standover height of the crossbar frame a little restrictive.
The frame itself is made from a high grade 6061 aluminium. This alloy is the workhorse of the bike world, and for good reason, as it’s lightweight, stiff, and strong in equal measure. All variations of the Raleigh Array come complete with front & rear mudguards, lights, a chain guard, and a pannier rack which houses the battery. There’s also an adjustable kick stand that allows you to prop the bike up anywhere, so you don’t have to lift it up from the ground.
The Raleigh Array has a comfortable riding position, and comes well equipped with plenty of extras.
The Raleigh Array isn’t meant to be a high-performance bike. It’s meant to enjoy life in the quiet lane, and that is reflected in both the simplicity and operation of the electric drive system. The Emotion motor is built-in to the front hub, and provides 25Nm of torque with a peak power of 250W – more than enough to get you up to speed quickly. With fewer mechanical parts inside, the Emotion motor delivers power smoothly, and very quietly. A simple sensor detects when you start pedalling then switches on the motor, which puts out a constant power depending on the mode you’re in. There’s even a ‘walk’ mode which gives you a very light assist for when you’re off the bike and pushing.
Talking of power modes, there are five to choose from, selected using the handlebar-mounted LED display. From here, you can also see your battery charge level, and switch on/off the bike. The battery itself slots into the pannier rack above the rear wheel, and can be easily removed so you can charge it by your desk at work. The 300Wh capacity is enough for up to 108km* range depending on the terrain, weather conditions, and the power mode you are using. *Manufacturer quoted range between 22-108km
There are five power modes to choose from, including a low-assist ‘walk’ mode which helps out when you’re pushing the bike.
The Nexus internal hub gears are tidy and clean. Combined with the Nexus roller brakes, the Raleigh Array Hub becomes an attractive option for those who prefer ‘hands-off’ maintenance.
There are two trim levels of the Raleigh Array, and each of them uses a 7-speed Shimano gear system. The ‘Array’ models priced at £1,100.00 use a Shimano Acera 7-speed derailleur with a Revoshift grip shifter, while the ‘Array Hub’ models priced at £1,250.00 use a Shimano Nexus 7 speed internal hug gear, also with a Revoshift grip shifter. Without a derailleur hanging down by the gear, the Array Hub models are very low maintenance, and have a chain guard which completely covers the chain to keep your clothing free from oil stains.
Furthermore, the Array Hub models exchange the standard alloy V-brakes for a set of Shimano Nexus roller brakes. These are self-contained braking units mounted to the hub (a bit like drum brakes), and will typically need little-to-zero maintenance for the life of the bike. There are no pads to replace, they don’t cause wear to the wheel rims, and they perform equally well in both wet and dry conditions.
The Raleigh Array electric hybrid bike is the perfect choice for cyclists who want a reliable and utilitarian bike for the daily grind. The battery & motor give you plenty of power for effort-free cycling, and you’ll get plenty of range out of the 300Wh battery. The upright seating position is very comfortable and makes the bike easy to control, and the 7 speed gear options give you enough range for cycling uphill and around town.
Mudguards come standard with every bike, and provide plenty of coverage over the wheel to keep any water spray at bay. The rear pannier rack, which doubles as a battery compartment, is the perfect place to strap down a backpack or pannier bag and take the weight off your back. Even the front & rear lights that come with the bike are an excellent added safety feature which will come in handy during the winter months. These are all reasons why the Raleigh Array ebike has proven so popular with commuter cyclists in the UK.
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