Raleigh’s Motus range has earned a good reputation for its combination of a reliable Bosch motor and battery, plus a quality frame and plenty of accessories, all at a great price.
For 2022, the Raleigh Motus has been heavily revamped.
Out goes the skinny-tubed alloy frame with external battery and in comes a new oversized aluminium frame with an internal battery and two new frame shapes.
Raleigh Motus Tour low-step hub gear specifications and details
There are two versions of the Motus Tour electric bike – a standard model with a crossbar and this low-step model that makes it easy to get on and off the bike.
The huge, single-spar frame design is very neatly finished, and the matt-copper colourway adds a bit of class.
Up front, a short-travel 50mm suspension fork does a decent job of taking the bumps out of the road and at the back a simple suspension seatpost combined with a shapely Selle Royal Wave saddle offers up a comfortable place to sit.
The Motus is well equipped with a rear rack that’s MIK compatible. MIK is the latest quick-fit and release, click-in system, as used by a wide range of luggage brands, so you’ll find a variety of panniers and top bags to suit.
The full-length mudguards are suitably wide, and the long front one comes with a splash-guard spoiler on its tip for extra protection. Add in a frame-mounted lock from Abus, a Spanninga rear light, kickstand and Herrmans front light and you’re looking at plenty of value in a well-equipped commuter bike.
Raleigh Motus Tour low-step hub gear battery and motor
The power behind the bike comes from a quiet, centrally mounted 250W Bosch Active Line motor that’s 25 per cent smaller than the previous version (and weighs just 2.9kg). This is powered by an integrated lockable, yet removable, Bosch PowerPack 400WH battery, which takes six hours for a full charge.
The Bosch PowerPack is fully guaranteed for two years (or 500 charge cycles) and the battery can be recycled and replaced for around £500.
The Active Line motor is Bosch’s most basic unit, and it delivers 40Nm of torque. While not as powerful as some, it does provide smooth assistance. Though it’s best suited for urban use, it will get up most hills with ample power, but you won’t be flying up without putting in plenty of power yourself.
The system is controlled via Bosch’s large LCD Intuvia display. There’s a big, easy-to-read screen and buttons to reset the trip distance, turn the system on and off, operate the integrated lights and scroll through the screen’s information.
You control power output using the Intuvia remote control clamped to the bars within easy reach of your left thumb. Here, you can also scroll through the head unit’s information and move between the levels of assistance from off, through Eco (40W assistance/30Nm torque), Tour (100W/35Nm), Sport (170W/38Nm) and Turbo (250W/40Nm).
It’s a very simple system to understand and the range display calculates fairly accurately depending on the mode you’re using and your pedalling efforts.
Raleigh claims a range of up to 99 miles for the bike, but I’d say that’s a rather generous estimate unless you live and ride in a flat area and never get out of Eco mode.
In my hillier locale, I managed a still-impressive range of 56.75 miles/92km with 2,150ft/655.3m of ascent. That’s more than enough for commuting by bike, and 50+ miles is certainly ample distance for family weekend rides for instance.
Raleigh Motus Tour low-step hub gear ride impressions
The bike rides smoothly, and the upright riding position and wide bar with its swept-back shape and swift, balanced steering are perfect for rides out in the countryside – as well as cutting through traffic come commuting time.
There are several frame sizes, from 41cm to 56cm, and Raleigh includes an adjustable stem so you can tune the ride position to suit. Want a bit more room or a lower bar? Tip the stem forwards. For a shorter, taller front end, adjust the stem back and up.
The large 700c wheels wrapped in 47mm-wide Mitas tyres get the Motus up to speed quickly and the tyres’ light tread offers a bit more grip in damp conditions than the more usual 700c slick tyres.
The Mitas rubber also has a commuter-friendly reflective pinstripe around the circumference of the tyres’ sidewall. A bit of extra visibility, especially at night, is always welcome in my book.
The Tektro hydraulic brakes do their job well, but the feel at the lever is a little squishy compared to both Shimano’s offerings and the competition from SRAM’s hydraulic versions.
Shimano also provides hassle-free, Nexus seven-speed hub gears (hub gears enable you to change gear while standing still and should require less maintenance than the more standard derailleur versions because they’re enclosed in a protective casing).
The gear range suits the Motus, with the top end providing a big enough gear to breeze past the motor’s 15.5mph limit. At the other end, a super-light first gear will make short work of most gradients, especially when you factor in the power assistance.
Operating the Nexus hub, however, is a bit of a mixed bag. Ramping up the gears, it’s quick to engage so you can zip from first through to seventh with a slick combination of smooth cadence and motor power.
Coming back the other way, however, the hub is often hesitant to move. To get the best from it, you have to stop pedalling for a moment or quickly back pedal for the gear to engage.
This is fine once you’re used to it, but if you forget and are in the wrong gear at the start of a steeper incline, you’ll end up with stuttering progress as you try to find the right gear to match the power and the gradient.
Raleigh Motus Tour low-step hub bottom line
Overall, the Motus is a great bike at a very competitive price.
It has no pretentions to be sporty, it’s just a very nice bicycle that works well as a daily commuter, grocery workhorse and weekend leisure ride.
|Features||Gears: Shimano Nexus 7 speed hub
Pedals: Raleigh 'Anti Slip' Resin
|Available sizes||41, 46, 51, 56cm|
|Brakes||Tektro T285 Hydraulic disc brake, 160mm|
|Cassette||Shimano 18t Spocket|
|Chain||KMC E1 Chain|
|Cranks||38T Steel (Silver) with 170mm Alloy Crank Arms|
|Fork||RST Volant 50mm travel|
|Handlebar||Aluminium comfort handlebar 640mm|
|Motor||Bosch Active Line motor, Bosch Powertube 400Wh battery|
|Saddle||Selle Royal Saddle|
|Seatpost||Alloy Micro Adjust 27.2x300mm|
|Stem||Aluminium Adjustable Stem, 90mm|
|Tyres||700c x 47 Mitas Flash|
|Wheels||700c double side wall rim with QR aluminium hub 36H|