Clearly a city bike aimed at the fashionable commuter, the Raleigh Strada Electric’s swish curves definitely elicits a ‘ooooh’ response from all who see it. The grey (with a hint of mauve) frame sports a gently curved crossbar as it reaches the head. The solid forks end in a clip-off wheel, which is supported by Schwalbe 50 Energizer Plus tyres, which are just about the toughest ebike-specific tyres you can get. On a 28” 1.50 size, they’re also fast-rolling with enough tread for wet surfaces.
Powered by the Shimano Steps system, it’s a system that has already received plenty of plaudits in it’s relatively short lifespan. Shimano offer something neither Bosch nor Yamaha do, which is the integration of motor, controller AND gears, via Shimano’s own Alfine Di2 electronic gear hub. Two controllers sit on the handlebars: on the left, you control the power assistance (Eco, Standard and High) and on the right you have the control for the digital gearing, which you can either set to Automatic (based on speed and how fast you’re pedalling) or Manual. The Di2 system gives a satisfying little shift sound every time you change gear, and it’s instant and seamless.
The handlebar display can be slid off and placed in your pocket when not in use, and the battery detaches via key lock for indoor-charging while the bike stays outside.
As you might expect, brakes are also supplied by Shimano, and perhaps the only oversight on the Strada Electric is the lack of a quick-release on the saddle post.
The Strada Electric is one of the new breed of e-bikes that really do look so good, there’s a primal desire to own one and tap into it’s powerful electric assistance.
(NB The battery was charging at the time these photos were taken - it sits on the down tube)