Raleigh and Rambo e-bikes at Costco (Raleigh No Longer Available)

Browneye

Well-Known Member
No, not 'necessary'. But it's nice to see pics that document the member's adventures. Your smiling face with your new bike would be excellent.
But I get it, if you don't care I don't either. Have fun out there! đź‘Ť
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Ya know, are pictures really necessary? Not trying to be a jerk but it looks like a basic hardtail mountain bike with a frame-mounted battery and a black rear hub. Exactly like how it looks on the Raleigh site. Is there something in particular you wanted to see?
Friendly request to share... We do that here!
 

BMWzenRider

Member
I ordered one of the $1,100 Raleigh Talus ebikes from Costco on July 25th, and it was delivered to me just north of Milwaukee on August 4th.

Raleight Talus IE 2020.jpg


I ordered this bike as a "test-bed" and/or interim bike while I worked on getting back into bicycling after having some severe knee damage and years of riding recumbent bikes.
I want to do more trail riding, so a recumbent bicycle is not the ideal platform for that, and a recumbent trike does not work on single-track trails.
Combined with my bad knees, I also have had surgery done on one shoulder which removed a ligament, and had an open fracture of the opposite scapula when my knees were injured, so I did not know if I would even be able to ride an upright bicycle anymore without too much pain.

For the price, and with Costco's return policy, I felt that this was worth the risk to see how this would work for me.
So far, so good.
And it has proven that an upright ebike IS a viable option for me.
And I continue to ride this bike as I wait for my new Riese & Muller Homage to be delivered.

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Quality & Function:

It actually took me a few days for me to notice that my lower battery bracket was bent and the plastic housing was cracked from shipping, but I was able to remove and straighten the metal mounting bracket and epoxied the outer plastic shell.
Even with the bent bracket, the battery still mounted/dismounted properly and made good contact.

The torque sensing bottom bracket works well, better than any other hub drive system that I have ridden.
It does tend to pulse the power a bit in the highest setting when you are spinning up a hill in low gear, but not enough to be obtrusive, and concentrating on pulling up on my SPD pedals to have a more "round" pedal stroke smooths it out noticeably.

When reaching the 20mph assist cut-off limit, the feel is very smooth and natural.
The transition from power assist to no assist is virtually unnoticeable, either when going over the cut-off speed, or coming back down below 20mph.

As noted by the other buyer, the shifting was pretty much spot-on straight out of the box and the derailleur seems to work pretty well even under moderately heavy pedal pressure.

Yes, the Suntour 80mm XCM fork is very basic, but not bad compared to some basic mechanical spring forks I have had.
I added a small zip-tie to the right fork leg to be able to properly measure static sag and suspension travel when riding the bike and found that even with the pre-load dials backed all the way off that it was still over-sprung for my nearly 200 pounds of overfed American body.

What I did was remove the preload caps and took the plastic spacer off of the top of the springs to get close to correct static sag.
There is still no damping control, but the action of the fork is better with the reduced preload, and still does not bottom out even after dropping off of a 12" ledge.

I also added a linear suspended seatpost with 25mm of travel that I had on hand to soften up the hard-tail frame a bit, and a 3-1/2" stem riser and ergo grips to help the bike fit me a bit better.
For reference, I am 5'-10", 198 lbs, 29" inseam.
Bike frame size: Medium

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Bike Specs & Features:

I weighed my bike with the battery installed, my SPD pedals (which are a few ounces heavier than the ones included with the bike), the stem riser, and the suspension seatpost:
Measured weight: 52 lbs.

Here are the published specs of the e-drive from the Suntour manual included with the bike:
The included battery is the 417Wh unit.
Raleigh-Suntour Specs.jpg



Due to bad knees, I generally ride in the Climb(3) or Sport(4) out of the four available assist levels (Eco/Tour/Climb/Sport).
According to the manual, Climb (level 3) adds in 75% of input power, and Sport (level 4) adds in 100% power.
Using a mix of power level 3 & 4 on hilly terrain, I am using up about 20% of battery capacity per 10 miles ridden in the rather hilly Kettle Moraine area of SE Wisconsin.


Raleigh-Suntour Power Levels.jpg


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Here is a diagram of the display and control unit.
There is a walk assist mode button as well as a mini-USB plug for charging a phone or other device from the bike's battery, and functions as you would expect. I use it to keep my Samsung phone charged with a Mini-USB to USB-C cable sourced from Amazon.

One other rather nice detail is that there is a built-in sliding cover for the contacts when you remove the display from the bike.
Simply slide it up to protect the contacts when the display is removed, and when re-installing the display the cover is automatically moved out of the way by a tab on the display.
VERY SLICK!!!

Raleigh-Suntour Diagram.jpg



The BMS has the capability to show the number of battery charging cycles as well as an internally calculated "Battery Health" which purports to show remaining charge capacity versus new. (see thumbnails for full-size images of these capabilities)

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Bottom Line:

Overall, it is a VERY good value for the money that Costco charged for the bike.
Fit & finish is very good, and the choice of components is good for the price, and in some cases better than you would expect, like the brakes.

I do agree that they need to change how the bike is packaged for shipping.
The battery should be shipped inside of a separate box secured inside the outer carton rather than shipping the bike with the battery mounted to the frame.
Somewhere along the way the cartons are obviously seeing a rather severe shock in shipping which is bending/breaking the mounts.
The rest of the components are well packed and padded.

The front suspension fork is rather basic, and is sprung for a much heavier rider than 200 pounds, which can be fixed by a LBS if you are not handy enough to do it yourself.
If you decide to shorten the springs rather than just remove the plastic spacers you will need an abrasive cutoff wheel due to the spring being hardened steel.
If you are 250 pounds or more, the fork will work well as stock.
Once I managed to get the preload into the correct range the fork works fine for a bike at this price-point.

The torque sensing works well and I would have it over ANY cadence based PAS, but is not as nice as having a mid-drive for flattening hills due to not being able to use the bike's gearing to multiply the motor's power.

The transition between assist/no-assist at the 20mph cut-off speed is very smooth both when accelerating and slowing down.

The range seems very good for the rather modest 417Wh battery.
Using a mix of power level 3 & 4, I am using up about 20% of battery capacity for every 10 miles ridden.
My longest single ride has been 36 miles, and I still had 26% left at the end of that ride.

YMMV.
 

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pocomo

Active Member
Great writeup @BMWzenRider! That's how it's done :) Thanks for putting in the time for the benefit of the EBR community.

I really do think this bike is something special, and I'm glad it has allowed you to get back to an activity you clearly love after your injury.

Hopefully the coming R&M ride is your 'forever' bike!
 

BMWzenRider

Member
Great writeup @BMWzenRider! That's how it's done :) Thanks for putting in the time for the benefit of the EBR community.

I really do think this bike is something special, and I'm glad it has allowed you to get back to an activity you clearly love after your injury.

Hopefully the coming R&M ride is your 'forever' bike!


Thank you.
I agree that this model offers a lot of bike for the money.
It doesn't have the raw power of some of the Bafang hub motors, but it more than makes up for that in how smooth and naturally the torque sensing works versus any other hub-drive bike I have ridden.

The R&M Homage is not going to be here until the end of the year at the earliest, so I will be putting more miles on the Raleigh until then.
This was yesterday's ride:
1602179838468.png

Top speed of 41.6mph on a short but steep downhill section!!!
 

PineNut

New Member
This is the Raleigh Talus IE model that Costco had available earlier this summer for $1,100.

Looking over at the Costco website today I see that it is not currently listed, but that the model is still listed on the Raleigh website.
https://www.raleighusa.com/electric/trail/talus-ie-stepover
First, thanks for the great job you did on your review! Maybe you should work for Court? ;)

I did see the Raleigh Talus for sale a few days ago (I think late last week) on the Costco.com website for the same $1,100 price but it's gone now. If someone is looking for one it might be worth the time to keep checking at the Costco site. The Rambo bike shows up there now and then too. The Raleigh does seem to be a very good bike at that price. Too bad the battery case gets cracked now and then in shipment (as also reported in the Costco.com reviews). My guess is you could get Raleigh to replace it if you don't want to do your own repair assuming you are willing to wait, which would be a problem for many of us with a brand new e-bike.
 

BMWzenRider

Member
First, thanks for the great job you did on your review! Maybe you should work for Court? ;)

I did see the Raleigh Talus for sale a few days ago (I think late last week) on the Costco.com website for the same $1,100 price but it's gone now. If someone is looking for one it might be worth the time to keep checking at the Costco site. The Rambo bike shows up there now and then too. The Raleigh does seem to be a very good bike at that price. Too bad the battery case gets cracked now and then in shipment (as also reported in the Costco.com reviews). My guess is you could get Raleigh to replace it if you don't want to do your own repair assuming you are willing to wait, which would be a problem for many of us with a brand new e-bike.

Thank you for the kudos on my review.
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As far as the battery mounts, there is a small stamped and spot-welded steel bracket under the lower mount which was bent on my bike.
That bracket removes easily with two socket-head screws after the plastic cover & battery contact bar is taken off.

I have the proper tools so that it was fairly easy for me to straighten the steel bracket, and though it was not needed, I also epoxied the cracked corner of the plastic cover (purely cosmetic).
But it would be very easy to have Raleigh to ship out replacements for either/both of those small parts to someone who owns one of these, or to your favorite mechanic.
That should be a free warranty replacement part if they were damaged in shipment.

My bike/battery worked fine, even with the bent battery mounting bracket.
I didn't even notice it for a week until the first time I removed the battery from the bike and saw the cracked cover and that it felt like the battery was a bit tighter fit than it should be.
And I didn't bother correcting it for another few weeks till I had a stretch of cold/rainy days forecast, because I didn't want to stop riding long enough to take it apart...

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As I said before, the way to prevent this from happening in the future would be for Raleigh to pack the battery into a separate box inside of the main carton. They already have another smaller box in the main carton with the other parts which need to be assembled.