Bryony SymesSee other accessory reviews written by Bryony Symes
Ride off into the sunset with ease on this foldable electric bike – it is ideal for getting out and exploring when you're off on your motorhome holidays!
Seeing places from the saddle of a bike can create a wholly different impression than driving.
It provides opportunities to go places that your motorhome can't, reducing the stress of negotiating unknown streets, and providing a whole new viewpoint.
Plus, we all know that the fresh air and exercise are good for you.
For those that want the experience of cycling but with a little less of the strain, an electric bike is the perfect solution, and Raleigh has carefully designed the Stow-E-Way so that it will be great for taking on tour.
One of the key benefits is that you don't have to take your ’van off-site to explore the surrounding area, but this bike is small enough that you can easily pack it in your motorhome, without the need for fiddly bike racks or trailers.
The sleek, matte frame of this bike can be folded easily, although unfolding the centre without scraping the wheels on the ground can be a little tricky for those with weaker arms and wrists.
Folding the handlebars down, the pedals in and dropping or removing the seat can reduce the bike's dimensions to 88cm x 80xm x 44cm, so it is easy to stow either in the boot of your car or in your ’van.
This also means that it is less likely to cause damage by knocking about as you travel, as it is much easier to secure.
However, the on-board battery and sturdy frame make the bike fairly heavy – it is approximately 20kg – so this is something to take into account when thinking about your payload.
Many would think this a small sacrifice, though, for the adventures it lets you enjoy.
Top spec and easy charging
Just because this is a folding bike doesn't mean that you get any less than top spec.
It comes equipped with a kickstand, mudguards and a rear pannier rack, all of which are high quality.
However, it is the battery in this bike that makes the real difference. The TransX motor system has four levels of support, easily adjusted via the handlebar, which can help you up to speeds of 15mph. Now that will get the wind through your hair!
The battery is 260wh and, depending on road conditions, weather and the assistance level, it can take you up to around 50km (30 miles) before you need to recharge – plenty of oomph for a day's exploring.
The recharging is simple, as you can unlock the casing and take the battery out for charging. This is also helpful for making the bike lighter, if you know you won't need the assistance.
The bike has eight Shimano gears, so even without the battery back-up to help you along, you can enjoy a smooth, easy ride.
The gears are adjusted by rotating the inner cuff of the handles. However, we found that these are easily changed by accident if your grip is too strong. Having said that, the grips on the handlebars are very comfortable, even on longer rides, as is the all-important saddle.
As with most folding bikes, the Raleigh Stow-E-Way does not have full-size wheels. The 20" wheels have sturdy tyres with reflective side walls to aid visibility when riding at night.
In addition, the front and rear lights turn on automatically when you are cycling, to make sure you can be seen by other road users.
Thoughtful safety details like this make it a great electric bike, and highlight the care and precision that has gone into every aspect of its design.
This compact but stylish electric bike's boost of power makes it perfect for taking on tour, so that you can see the hidden gems and have the freedom of being able to leave the campsite without faffing around packing up the ’van.
- The battery can be removed for charging and security
- It is easy to turn the assistance on and off while on the move
- The motor is quiet and smooth, with adjustable levels of assistance
- It is fairly heavy and, when folded, can be awkward to carry
- It is easy to unintentionally change gears