We Visit Experience Raleigh, the New City Hub Showcasing the Past and Future of Notts Cycling

Words: Adam Pickering
Photos: Curtis Powell
Thursday 01 December 2022
reading time: min, words

Raleigh have opened a new city centre cycling hub on Maid Marian Way, celebrating their star-studded history and wide range of high-tech electric options. We paid them a visit…


After 135 years which have seen Nottingham’s Raleigh Bikes become one the biggest brands in cycling, they’ve not forgotten their roots. Currently headquartered in Eastwood out in north Notts, they’re now coming back to Nottingham city centre with a whopping new experience centre, monikered Experience Raleigh, on Maid Marian Way.

If you think that’s a fancy way of saying they’ve opened a new shop, that’s where you’d be wrong, Manager Director Lee Kidger tells LeftLion: “This is about creating a community. We want customers and brand fans to come here whenever they want to and just talk about bikes, it’s not all about sales.” The site also creates a new office space for city-dwelling staff.

Of course, as well as all the new fangled e-bikes, there are classic Raleighs on show, including a dazzling limited edition gold Chopper. If you’ve got a classic knocking around and want to show yours off, you can even leave it on a podium for others to enjoy.


They’ll also be running events, bike maintenance workshops and possibly even film screenings in the spacious centre for a wide range of people. “We want to create a safe space,” says Lee, “so whether that’s women-focused events with organisations like Women in Tandem, or doing more work around LGBTQ+ inclusion, we want to make it a great place for everyone who loves cycling.” 

As well as their drive towards making cycling more diverse, Raleigh is also, Lee says, “very electric-focused, very green-focused”. Looking around the room, there’s a wide range of e-bikes on offer, with everything from folding ones more suited to getting around town (full disclosure - I’ve bought one of these and I love it) to long-distance trekking bikes, there’s all sorts on display.

But what about those criticisms we hear about electric bikes negating the health benefits of cycling and not being very environmentally friendly? There’s some useful research to counter these - a 2019 study in the journal Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, based on surveys in seven European cities, supported promoting e-bikes for their health and sustainability benefits. 

E-bikes not only allow people to travel much further, but they also use them more often, and they enable more people to get on their bike, too - particularly those in older age groups. Environmentally speaking, it’s been shown that e-bikes enable people to ditch the car, particularly for regular city commuting. As they’re relatively lightweight, they don’t require huge batteries, and can be charged renewably.


“You can go further, you can go faster, if you want to, or you can go for longer, so you do more,” Lee asserts. He bought his wife a Raleigh Motus Tour - yes, even the Managing Director pays for bikes - “because I felt like, when I go out with our daughter, she could feel more confident coming with us. Actually, now she uses it on her own because she feels safer, and she's getting more exercise, because she's not just using a bicycle once a week, she’s using it five or six times.”

Lee explains that because the power is based on pedal assist rather than a throttle, you don’t lose the cycling experience. “What I’d say is anyone that hasn’t tried an electric bike should just ride one. You can come here and demo one any time. With the cost-of-living crisis, and the cost of fuel, parking, and everything else, alongside the cycle to work schemes and finance options that are available, e-bikes are now a really viable option for people financially.”

Visit Experience Raleigh at 40-44 Maid Marian Way, NG1 6GF, or visit their website

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