The UK has an illustrious bike history, and Nottingham’s Raleigh cycle brand has been a huge part of that. Sensibly, Raleigh has continued to evolve and diversify its bike range, which now includes this monster, the Raleigh Stride 2. It’s what is more generally referred to as a cargo bike, the sort of which is popular in cycle-friendly locations like Holland. Granted, you will not find something like it in our best electric bike list because the appeal is a bit niche.
However, as our roads get increasingly snagged up in traffic while cycle paths and infrastructure continue to improve, owning a cargo is starting to make more sense. That’s especially so if you need to get small children to and from school, or you like to do your shopping without the hassle and costs of parking a car. While the Raleigh Stride 2 is actually about the length of a small car, it’s more practical, and you can park it up pretty much anywhere without cost.
So, on paper, then, the Raleigh Stride 2 makes a lot of sense for certain types of people. It’s big, expensive to buy and requires space to store, but it’s also easy to ride, has plenty of range and power and looks pretty funky too. Expect to get many enquiring glances when you’re on it. Although the Raleigh Stride 2 comes with some fits, you might want to check out the best bike lights and explore our best cycling helmet guide so you can be seen and stay safe.
(First reviewed January 2024)
Raleigh Stride 2 review
Raleigh Stride 2 review: price and availability
The Raleigh Stride 2 is available to buy now and can be purchased directly from Raleigh. It’s got an RRP of £4,299 and is available with 26-inch wheels, a 50cm frame size and features default black and yellow styling. However, the high price does also include extras such as front and rear lights, a lock, mudguards, a rear carrier and stand.
Raleigh Stride 2 review: design and build
The Raleigh Stride 2 is a long and very bulky bike. In fact, it’s around 2.6 metres long (actual dimensions 258 x 78 x 110cm), which could prove intimidating if you’re not very confident on two wheels. Just getting it set up for the first time and exploring its expanse is quite a lot to take in. Adding to the bulk is the weight, which is in the region of 60kg and again, this takes some manhandling if you’re moving the steel-framed bike around at standstill or low speed.
The upside of this is the 80kg cargo capacity, which makes it more than capable for carrying small children on a school run, your shopping, or indeed both. It’s a neat looking thing too, with a combination of black and yellow colouring that makes the Raleigh Stride 2 distinctive without being showy or ostentatious. Always a good thing if you’re in possession of a bike that costs well over £2k. There’s an integrated Dutch-style bike lock, but additional security measures would be wise as a result.
That lengthy frame design sits on a 26-inch back wheel, while at the front there’s a small 20-inch wheel and both are shod with quality Schwalbe rubber. Just as well as with all the weight to carry they’re going to be put through a lot. There’s no suspension either, save for the comfy Selle Royal Orbis Zonder saddle. The bike I’ve been trying has lots of extras fitted as standard too, like front and rear lights along with full mudguards, both of which I see as essentials, particularly in the UK.
All-important powertrain credentials are solid too, with the Raleigh Stride 2 propelled by a Bosch Performance CX Cargo Line motor. The single-speed setup means there’s no non-assisted gearing but rather relies on hub gearing, which can be managed via the manual shifting controls on the handlebars and monitored using a Bosch Purion digital display there too. Stopping comes courtesy of Magura 160mm discs front and rear.
Raleigh Stride 2 review: the ride
Before I get to the ride, I must mention what the Raleigh Stride 2 is like when it’s stationary or when you need to move it around. This is a big, heavy big cycle and is awkward in tight spots. If you’re short on space it might actually be an unworkable solution, especially because of its width, with the basket part of the design proving the most awkward to get through side gates and doorways. Just turning the Raleigh Stride 2 around outside crowded supermarkets can be problematical and ditto for busy school gate scenarios too. You really do need to bear that in mind if the Raleigh Stride 2 looks like it might fit the bill.
Despite all that, the Raleigh Stride 2 provides a very enjoyable ride once you’re up on it and on the go. There’s no doubt the Bosch powertrain is central to this, with a 500Wh battery pack and Bosch Performance CX Cargo Line motor combination providing you with more than enough to get from one place to another. There are mode options too, with Eco proving handy if you're low on battery and Turbo if you, well, need a boost.
Bosch reckons it’s good for around 40 miles of range too, which I see no reason to argue with. Loaded with maximum payload might knock this down a bit I guess, but it’s sold enough.
Controlling the power and stopping is all easily managed via the controls on the handlebars, with the disc brakes feeling nicely matched to the size and weight of the bike. Even pulling up from a reasonable speed can be done without fuss, and in that respect the Raleigh Stride 2 feels very capable and, crucially, safe too. However, it’s vital to remember the bulk of this bike, particularly if you’re riding through town where obstacles (sometimes hidden) may rear up and catch you out. Cycle lane bollards, for example, require care if you’re passing someone else.
While the Raleigh Stride 2 isn’t a fast bike – it isn’t meant to be, the two-wheel cargo king is perfect for what it is designed to do. There’s plenty of torque, which is good news if you’ve a heavy load on board. The shifting is leisurely and no-nonsense too, while it never feels like it’s struggling either and you’re always given plenty of information from the LCD screen. Carrying an awkward or fidgety load like an unruly child can present some challenges seeing as most of the weight is towards the front. Take it easy though and this is a bike that rides surprisingly well.
Parking up requires a combination of technique and strength mind, as the bike needs to be flipped onto its built-in stand. I found this to be quite tricky to do without pinching toes or fingers without car. It gets easier the more you do it as long as it’s on flat ground. Attempting the same when parking on a hill isn’t quite as straightforward.
Raleigh Stride 2 review: verdict
I’ve already got a couple of cargo bikes and I think they’re brilliant at what they do. I’m not sure I could justify paying over £4k for the Raleigh Stride 2 though, simply because it wouldn’t work hard enough to justify the cost. However, if you’ve got a young family or regularly need to carry hefty lads from A to B it makes total sense.
The Raleigh Stride 2 is designed and built sufficiently well too, so I think it’ll probably hold its value quite well if your kids outgrow it and you need to move it on. Granted, this is a big and awkward thing at slower speeds, as well as being tricky to navigate in busy or narrow areas.
Get it on a decent cycle path though and it’s a dream with plenty of electric assistance on tap and bags of comfort. Just make sure you check those dimensions though, as this is one big bag of tricks that needs plenty of space for storage.
Raleigh Stride 2 review: also consider
Considering they sit in what you would think is a fairly limited marketplace, there is actually quite a lot of choice when it comes to cargo e-bikes. Having the advantage of a battery and electric motor powertrain makes these bikes seem like even more of a good idea, just as long as you’ve got space to accommodate one, as they’re mostly much larger than a standard-sized two-wheeler for obvious reasons.
For the sake of comparison, try taking a look at the likes of the Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 4, which is my pick of the crop as it’s great value, rides well and carries enough without being huge.