- A mean looking cross country style hardtail electric mountain bike, beautifully integrated battery pack and motor keep weight low and center, has rear-rack bosses!
- Locking removable battery pack can be charged on or off the bike, the display is also removable and has a Micro-USB port for charging portable electronics
- Sturdy tapered head tube, 120mm air suspension fork, rigid thru-axles with Boost for plus sized tires, available in two frame sizes for improved fit
- Decent price point for a Bosch powered ebike, offers the Powerpack 400 vs. newer 500, mid-level Shimano Deore drivetrain, 180mm hydraulic disc brakes with quad piston calipers
To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This review was sponsored by Raleigh Electric. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased, this video and written review are not meant to be an endorsement of Raleigh products.
OK guys, a bit of a different approach today… I am quickly reviewing an out-of-season bike from 2018. The goal here is to offer support to those that may be buying the bike as old stock from a showroom, offer information to the community, and even help those getting one second-hand. Also, this was a bike I think looks really cool, but sadly, didn’t have room to review it last year. I am talking about the Raleigh Tokul IE. The Tokul is a hard tail electric mountain bike with plus size tires, hydraulic brakes, and powered by Bosch motor and battery. The bike is very trail capable and could even do a bit of mountain biking as well. It comes in 2 sizes (we are looking at the medium now) and this wonderful black on black sleek color scheme. It performs and looks very sturdy, thanks to these 27.5” x 2.8” plus size tires. These are a set of Kenda Havok’s and that 2.8” width puts it right in the middle of the plus size tire width range. They are complimented by boost hub spacing in the front (110mm) as well as in the rear (148mm) with through axles in each. The suspension is a RockShox Juday air fork with 120mm of travel. This has 30mm black anodized stanchions and for adjustment, you get compression lockout, rebound, and you can also sag that air pressure. Looking around the bike I see flat locking grips, a tapered head tube, and a nice slap guard to protect the frame from getting hit by the chain. Another point of mention is these rear rack bosses, so you could add fenders and turn this into a commuter if you wanted to, except, there is no kickstand or provisions to even add one. This bike is pretty much identical to the IZIP E3 Peak+, except the Raleigh is sold in dealers. It had a reasonable $2,999 MSRP, but I wouldn’t be surprised right now if you could find it for less since dealer typically try to get rid of older model year bikes taking up space in the showroom.
Driving this electric bicycle is a trail optimized mid-motor from Bosch called the Performance Line CX. It’s rated up to 75 newton meters, considerably more than the standard Performance Line and Performance Line Speed, which peak at 63nm. Given the slightly longer wheelbase of this bike, it’s a great choice. It probably inflates the price a bit, but you do benefit from a special eMTB drive mode that only the Bosch CX offers. In this mode, which is the third step up just before Turbo, the motor performance can operate from 120% to 300% based on how hard you push. The other modes (Eco, Tour, and Turbo) have more limited power bands. This drive mode was introduced as a way to make motor performance more automatic and intuitive for mountain bikers who might be focusing on trail obstacles and gear shifting. For the Tokul, which has Shimano shifting and is designed for trail riding, eMTB mode is just one more way that the bike can be ridden without distraction or thought. Just hop on, arrow up to eMTB, start pedaling, and the bike will respond naturally based on how hard you pedal. All current generation Bosch Performance Line motors weigh roughly 8.8lbs, which is more than Shimano, Yamaha, or Brose drive units. The CX produces more noise, especially in high power and a higher pedal speeds, and it also uses more energy… but it’s known for being reliable and having a good network of certified repair shops. This motor responds based on three signals: rear wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal torque. It uses some of the most advanced sensors and can even sense when gears are being shifted. At 20mph, this bike is rated as a Class 1 Ebike, so you can really take advantage of a lot more trails. Mechanically, the bike the bike is operated by this 10 speed cassette at 11-42 tooth range and it comes with a Shimano Deore derailleur that has this one-way clutch feature. It’s great because you can lock it in an upright position to keep the chain out of the way and get to some maintenance. In the front you have the Bosch CX proprietary 18 tooth narrow wide chain ring. Its equivalent to 45 tooth or so setup and it has this extra thick steel guard on the outside. Stopping the bike are these awesome set of Tektro Orion hydraulic disc brakes. The setup uses 180mm rotors in both the front and rear, however the front has quad piston calipers, while the rear is a dual piston setup.
Powering the motor, integrated lights, and backlit display panel, is an interchangeable battery pack from Bosch. The battery, a PowerPack 400, clicks neatly onto the downtube from above. You can charge the pack off of the bike frame or plug into the battery while mounted to the bike. Lithium-ion cells, including the 18650 cells used in these packs, tend to be very reliable if you maintain them at 20% to 80% capacity when not in use and store in a cool dry environment vs. extreme heat or cold. I frequently store my electric bike indoors because it isn’t as heavy or smelly as a moped or motorcycle, and this keeps it clean and safe while also protecting the battery from extreme temperatures. Charging is speedy thanks to the 4amp Bosch battery charger included. If you don’t mind a slower charge, but want something more compact, there is the lighter weight 2amp charger that Bosch offers as well. In closing, the PowerPack weighs less than the PowerTube at 5.4lbs vs. 6.3lbs, but you’ll want to make extra sure to hear it click into place on the frame when mounting before rides. If you have another PowerPack battery like the 500, it will work with the same interface as the PowerPack 400, so you can swap packs or rent and borrow if you travel frequently.
Once you’ve charged and secured the battery pack, operating the bike is pretty straight forward. The control panel consists of a grayscale LCD with four surrounding buttons. The power button is built into the top edge, a + and – button is reachable along the left front portion, and a walk mode button is built into the lower edge. Pressing the power button brings the LCD to life quickly, and a faint white glow is active at all times making it readable in low lighting conditions. It’s not removable however, and the Micro-USB port on the right edge is not active for charging as is the case with the larger Bosch Intuvia. I much prefer the Intuvia for its size and additional menus (shift recommendation, clock, max speed, average speed, and trip time), and some shops can upgrade you to this display for $200. With Purion, you’ve got a streamlined and simple interface with the necessities including trip distance, total distance, and range estimate. You can cycle through these menus by holding the – key, and you can reset trip distance by holding – and + simultaneously for a couple of seconds. The main portion of the display is used to show your current speed and assist level. If you’d like to change units from miles to kilometers, you simply hold – and tap the power button. Anytime you change from one assist level to the next, the menu briefly changes. In my experience, the buttons don’t click in as consistent as Intuvia, and there’s no dedicated light button (hold + to activate the lights if you’ve got the CX motor), but it gets the job done. If this was the only display that Bosch produced, I might be a little more enthusiastic about it here, it is a great display, I think I’ve just grown to appreciate the charging, removability, color, and Bluetooth features on some of their nicer displays. Most of the mountain models I review here do spec Purion, to hide and protect the display. For me, it would have been worth an additional $50 or $100 in the price tag given how expensive the bike already is, but it’s not a deal killer by any means.
In conclusion, I think this is a nice option that looks great as well. When you couple in the fact that it is out-of-season, you could potentially get it for a deal too. There are a few tradeoffs I wanted to talk about real quick though. The key to the battery doesn’t use the ABUS ‘key-to-like’ system, so you can’t have your keys matched to any ABUS locks you may get. The charging port for the battery is at the bottom, so it could be problematic if the bike gets nudged and the pedals rotate over that cord while charging. But the biggest tradeoff would probably be commuting. I think this could do well commuting, and it even has rear rack bosses…however, there are no bottle cage bosses and there is no kickstand either (no provisions to add a kickstand either). But when you add the Bosch reliability, dealer network of support, and potential deal pricing, I think this is one of the better bikes out there and I am glad I finally got to take a look at it!
As always, I welcome questions and feedback in the comment section below. Whether you own a previous version of the bike, have taken a test ride, or are brand new to the space, my goal is to provide an objective and honest resource. You can also join the Raleigh ebike forums and share your own photos, videos, and review updates to help others! Have fun out there, and ride safe :)
- The Raleigh Tokul just looks amazing, I love the all-black, limited graphics and logos, and the big plus sized tires, it’s on of my favorite looking bikes from last year
- Beautifully integrated battery and motor, notice how they are embedded into the frame to smooth out the lines, add protection, and raise clearance, the alloy skid plate below the motor casing is vented but should provide great protection against rocks and other obstacles
- Wide Alex MD50 rims allow the tires to spread out at the top and run with lower pressure without unseating as easily, they are extra tough and should work well on trail and all mountain rides
- Strong tapered head tube and rigid thru-axles on both wheels offer control and strength, the axles are slightly longer with Boost technology to allow for a stronger bracing angle with the 27.5″ wheelset and more space for the plus sized tires
- Available in two frame sizes for improved fit and comfort, longer 350mm seat post with QR collar enables a wide range of adjustment, sold through dealers so you can take a test ride
- Both the battery pack and display panel can be quickly and easily removed to lighten the bike, charge, or store separately
- The Tokul comes with the Bosch Performance Line CX high-torque motor for sporty zippy feel and improved climbing power, you can update the display panel software with your dealer to enable eMTB mode (Sport level assist becomes more like a torque sensor with a full range of power output from very low to very high, this allows you to not have to switch assist levels at all while riding mountain terrain)
- The frame comes with rear rack bosses so you could purchase a disc brake compatible rear rack and use it for urban commuting during the week, I love setups like this because they are comfortable and sporty, can go anywhere, and still offer utility
- They had to custom engineer the yolk (where the bottom bracket connects to the chainstays) to be wider for the plus sized tires but also strong enough to handle increased forces of the motor and trail riding conditions, this yolk allows the rear wheel to stay closer to the center of the bike vs. a longer bent yolk and that makes the bike handle better
- If you purchase this bike primarily for urban riding and want to change the feel from hardtail to full suspension, you can find several great suspension seat posts that fit the 31.6 mm diameter used here, the Thudbuster ST is pretty affordable and won’t raise your standover height much
- Minor point here but the pedals are pretty great, wide, stiff, and adjustable traction points (little set screws that you can raise or lower), the only thing is that they will cut your shins if you do slip off
- The 18 tooth chainring uses a narrow-wide pattern which fits perfectly into the narrow and wide sections of the chain, this increases grip (reducing chain slip and drops)
- The $2,999 MSRP may be out of date since this is a review for a bike from last year, you could potentially get a deal or buy it second-hand
- The Bosch center drive motor is efficient and very responsive but it also produces some whirring or whining noises at high RPM, especially the CX version because it’s zippier
- The charging port is located near the crank arm, so it could be problematic if the bike gets nudged and the pedals rotate over that cord while charging
- The key to the battery doesn’t use the ABUS ‘key-to-like’ system like so many other Bosch combo bikes, so you can’t have your keys matched to any ABUS locks you may get
- The battery port is covered by a rubber plug that you can take out to make room for on-bike charging, the thing is… it doesn’t have a leash and would be easy to set down and forget, and lose
- It seems like some of the Bosch batteries can be difficult to click into place when the bike is new, I appreciate that it’s tight because this reduces rattling later on, but if you don’t click it all the way in, it could fall off and get damaged so just be careful
- I think this could do well commuting, and it even has rear rack bosses…however, there are no bottle cage bosses and there is no kickstand either (no provisions to add a kickstand either)
- Official Site: https://www.raleighusa.com/electric