Raleigh Redux IE 2018- my review

#1
So, I started planning to buy an ebike a couple years ago after riding my cousin’s Stromer. I live in Seattle and covet the ability to get up the hills I used to climb 40 lbs ago... looking for something that would serve for errands around town and summer fun rides up to 50 miles or so. I rode a 2016 Turbo (base model) and was sorely disappointed not to feel the surge of uphill power the Stromer provided, but don’t have a budget to fit that bike. I knew I wanted to buy an established make bike from a LBS that would provide good support and a solid warranty. I rode a Giant Quick-e and liked it a lot- but then the Vados came out. Mission Control sounded fantastic, and (like the Quick-e) I liked the integrated lights, fenders and slick little rack. I rented a Vado 3.0 twice from Bicycle Sport Shop in Austin, and just loved the smooth, quiet ride. I was able to climb the steepest hills I could find without lifting my butt out of the saddle. I felt like I’d made up my mind, except that I kept seeing reports on EBR about motor problems and (more significantly) flaky support from Specialized. Plus, well, Mission Control :-(.

I’d looked at Court’s review of the Redux and was intrigued- it’s a better looking bike than the Vado (imho), it’s a bit cheaper, and the battery’s slightly larger, and has the same Brose motor. I was psyched to try it when I saw it at my LBS and bought it after a couple test rides. I was concerned at first about the lack of suspension, but that’s proven to be a non-issue. I’ve always been a skinny tire guy, but the 2.4” Super Moto X tires feel great and (again, in my opinion) negate any need for suspension when riding on asphalt. The bike feels solid (duh, it’s over 50 lbs., but still) and quiet- there’s no fender rattle AT ALL. The kickstand stopped making noise when I glued a small piece of rubber to where it was making contact- that’s my most significant mod.

I liked the 2017 paint better- the 2018 has bright green accents that undoubtedly help with nighttime visibility. They changed the chain guard on the crank, the 2018 is much nicer. I think the 2017 had a Transx suspension stem and seatpost, those are gone on the 2018- apparently they didn’t do much anyway. 2018 has nicer ergo grips. The ride feels very similar to the Vado- no surprise since it has the same Brose motor. I love the smooth quiet support, which gets me up every hill I’ve attempted without pain. The motor will very ocassionally ‘drop out’ for a split second, usually while climbing in the highest assist level, but this is very infrequent, and may be because I’ve unconsciously let the torque drop. Like someone else has noted, the lowest assist level is really only useful when going downhill, leaving the bike, really, with only 2 useful settings. Like the Vado, pedaling without assist feels like riding through sand and is unpleasant. There’s a walk mode, which is nice.

I’ve been getting about 4.5 miles for each of the 10 ticks on the battery meter. I wish that meant it had a 45 mile range, but since I try to get home with 20% it’s more like 35 miles. It’s hilly wherever I go- maybe range will improve in warmer weather. Actually, I’m convinced the computer is reporting slighter greater distance and slightly higher speed than I’m actually traveling, so these estimates are probably a little high.

I bought a small, and it’s a little tight. It’s hard to get the battery in and out of the frame, and even hard to get the charging plug on the battery when it’s mounted in the frame. Mounting a water bottle cage on the provided braze-ons makes removing the battery very difficult. I like the display, which is bright and mounted well, and the controls, which are simple and effective. As others have noted, a range estimator would be nice, as would seeing distances and speed with tenths displayed. I wish the computer showed cadence. I love that it’s removable, and it charges my iPhone reliably.

Overall I’m very happy- riding this bike is a dream, and I can’t wait to put some real rides on it this summer. I’ll post some pictures soon and am happy to answer any questions.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
#2
...I’d looked at Court’s review of the Redux and was intrigued- it’s a better looking bike than the Vado (imho), it’s a bit cheaper, and the battery’s slightly larger, and has the same Brose motor...
Nice. I've been checking out this bike lately. Yes, it is better looking (to me) than the Vado. With Court's recent videos with the Brose guys and on the Brose motor, he about has me sold that my next commuter bike purchase should be a Brose bike. And this is one of the few Brose commuter style bikes available in the US. It's a great looking bike. I'll be eager to hear your experience with the Brose and your thoughts on the bike's components.

I was a bit confused looking at Raleigh's website: it seems they don't have a dealer network anymore? I tried to find a dealer locator for them and wasn't successful.

On another thought, I think Raleigh is affiliated with IZIP? And it looked to me like the IZIP Moda 3 is very similar to the 2018 Redux IE? They are priced identically as well. Anyway, great purchase and look forward to pics and some review.
 
#3
My understanding is that Raleigh would love to sell you a bike online, but I had no problem finding a local dealer here in Seattle. Yes, the iZip Moda looks pretty identical.

I forgot to say a couple things. One, many of the contributors here talk about it being easy to maintain speeds of 25-28mph on their ebikes. I’m 56 and pretty overweight, and I really can’t say that about this bike, at least in my puny condition. Seattle’s not got a whole lot of flat so it’s difficult to say exactly what speed I find easy to maintain... maybe 18-20 in tour mode, 20- 23 in Sport (highest)? That’s if my computer is reporting accurate speeds. Climbing hills in Sport I don’t think I’ve slowed below 8-9mph on the steepest hills. On the other hand, *this is exactly what I wanted*. I understand some people need to hit and maintain those high speeds, especially on a long commute. Me, I just wanted help with the hills and that unearned Superman feeling of traveling just a bit faster than normal with just a bit less effort.

The other thing I’ll mention is the brakes. Earlier I talked about the solid feeling of the Redux- that’s especially apparent at high speeds, and the brakes are no small part of that. They’re four piston hydraulics, and I can’t imagine them operating any better than they do. Truth be told, I’d never ridden with hydraulic disc brakes before (my road bike has 20 yr old Ultegra sidepulls) but these brakes are quiet and sure.

Finally, a philosophical point. For decades bike development has focused on making frames, wheels, tires and components lighter, for good reason. Ebikes have been in serious development for... ten years? Seems to me that we’re starting to see dawning comprehension that an ebike is not a year 2000 bicycle with a motor added, but a different animal entirely. The fact that most ebikes weigh 2 to 3 times what a road bike does is not simply a drawback to be worked around but a fact that carries significant implications and suggests designers make choices that take that weight (and strength, tube size, etc.) into account. All of which is just a long winded way to say that I think Raleigh was very smart to combine this rigid fork with these big road tires, and I expect to see big tires more common on speed pedelecs in the future.
 
#4
@Carterk - Thanks for your helpful post. I've been idly considering this bike for my commute and now have a good reason to go take a test ride.

Regarding speed: I have several decades of road bike experience (now on my 4th season of e-commuting) and I consider biking in urban traffic at 25+ mph borderline irresponsible. I feel much more relaxed, safe and in-control at 18mph, maybe boosting up to 22 on a late night return trip with empty roads. I think many of the folks talking about cruising at 28 are doing so in less populous areas over longer distances.

I also agree that a solid fork and fatter tires is the way to go, reducing complexity & maintenance and increasing longevity. Pretty much all bicycle suspension systems wear significantly over a small number of years, whereas a fully rigid bike can last decades.

Enjoy your new ride!
 
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