Raleigh today announced its new lightweight Trace electric bike, a super lightweight e-bike with a hidden motor and slim design, weighing in at just 16.5kg.
This slender urban cycle is Raleigh’s lightest and one of its best electric bike models to date, with a 250W Ebikemotion X35 battery that allows approximately 50 miles of riding on a single four-hour charge. All electric assistance is hidden inside the frame using the iWoc Ebikemotion controller hidden at the top of the frame, just like other e-bike manufacturers like Ribble use.
However, the slim frame design makes the Trace look to the untrained eye almost exactly like a traditional analog bike. It has a nine-speed shifting system for a powertrain and hardly any, er, vestige of the usual thick battery bulges that other e-bikes are saddled with. In fact, it wouldn’t even register as a motor vehicle if someone didn’t know how to look for the iWoc controller.
At 16.5kgs, it’s easy to walk up a flight of stairs and store in the hallway or balcony of an apartment, or on and off a train, which is remarkable for a board that incorporates electronics. While in-frame electronics and lightweight e-bikes are nothing new, an impressive 50-mile range at less than 17kg, in a frame that doesn’t even look like an e-bike, is a neat little package.
It is sold in £2,199.00 in the UK (opens in new tab) As of today, and while there are currently no details on future pricing in the US and Australia, we want to see more e-bikes from these regions adopting this minimalist design philosophy.
Because? Because while it’s on the lower end of the power scale, a thin and light e-bike at a reasonable price opens the door for more people to buy and use one. E-bikes are set to become much more popular commuting tools as people move away from fossil fuels and expensive cars, but they are still in the ‘first-timers’ stages in many places.
Most e-bikes sacrifice range and power for weight or opt for a bulky, powerful build that looks like the motorized vehicles they are – which can often end up looking pretty ugly.
A slim e-commuter model with a 50-mile range is a good starting point for downplaying tech: after all, the dream is something with a 100-mile range that still feels indistinguishable from a push bike. Is it really that far-fetched, when you consider how quickly smartphones evolved in the mid-2000s?
Creating cheaper, lighter and more attractive versions of e-bikes will increase the rate of adoption everywhere, leading to more infrastructure and better bikes being produced at more affordable prices. If you’re looking for an alternative traveler to this Raleigh light right now, you can always check out the best folding e-bikes.