2015 Raleigh Detour iE Review

Raleigh Detour Ie Electric Bike Review 1
Raleigh Detour Ie
Raleigh Detour Ie 500 Watt Hub Motor
Raleigh Detour Ie 48 Volt Removable Battery
Raleigh Detour Ie Display Panel Throttle
Raleigh Detour Ie Chain Guide Bash Guard
Raleigh Detour Ie Hybrid Tires 700 35c
Raleigh Detour Ie Mechanical Disc
Raleigh Detour Ie Seat Kickstand
Raleigh Detour Ie Shimano Acera 8 Speed
Raleigh Detour Ie Electric Bike Review 1
Raleigh Detour Ie
Raleigh Detour Ie 500 Watt Hub Motor
Raleigh Detour Ie 48 Volt Removable Battery
Raleigh Detour Ie Display Panel Throttle
Raleigh Detour Ie Chain Guide Bash Guard
Raleigh Detour Ie Hybrid Tires 700 35c
Raleigh Detour Ie Mechanical Disc
Raleigh Detour Ie Seat Kickstand
Raleigh Detour Ie Shimano Acera 8 Speed

Summary

  • Urban style electric bike with functional rear rack and fenders available in high-step and step-thru
  • Two frame sizes for better fit, swept-back handlebars and sprung saddle for comfortable upright position
  • Powerful but quiet 500 watt gearless hub motor paired with 48 volt Lithium battery for power and longevity

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Raleigh

Model:

Detour-iE

Price:

$2,500 USD

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban, Commuting

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

Lifetime Frame, One Year Components

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

20142015

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

55 lbs (24.94 kg) (Varies by Frame Type and Size)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

17 in (43.18 cm)19 in (48.26 cm)21 in (53.34 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

High-Step (Standover Height: MD 595 mm, LG 605 mm)

Frame Types:

Step-Thru, High-Step

Frame Colors:

Pewter, Black

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid, Aluminum Alloy

Frame Rear Details:

Replaceable Hanger

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

8 Speed 1x8 Shimano Acera

Shifter Details:

Microshift TS70 Triggers on Right Bar

Cranks:

42T

Pedals:

Nylon Plastic Platform with Rubber Grip

Headset:

Zero Stack Alloy Ahead 1-1/8"

Stem:

Raleigh Alloy Forged, 15°

Handlebar:

Alloy Sweep, 640 mm x 50 mm Rise

Brake Details:

Tektro Novela Mechanical Disc with 160 mm Rotors

Grips:

Raleigh Comfort, Ergonomic

Saddle:

Raleigh Comfort, Sprung

Seat Post:

Raleigh 100 Series

Seat Post Length:

400 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Weinmann XC260 Double Wall

Spokes:

14g Stainless Steel

Tire Brand:

Kenda K-192, 700 x 35c

Wheel Sizes:

28 in (71.12cm)

Tire Details:

PRC Antipuncture, K-Shield

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Rear Carry Rack with Standard Gauge Tubing and Triple Bungee Cord, Matching Front and rear Aluminum Alloy Fenders, Aluminum Alloy Chain Guide / Bash Guard, Adjustable Kickstand, Bell on Right Grip

Other:

Quick-Connect Motor Cable with Quick Release Front and Rear Wheels, 12 Magnet Pedelec Sensor

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Currie Electro-Drive

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

8.8 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

422.4 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

45 miles (72 km)

Display Type:

Backlit Monochrome LCD, Fixed with Swivel Adjust

Readouts:

Speed, Odometer, Battery Capacity, Assist Level (1-4 and Throttle Mode)

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad on Left Bar

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle (Cruise Control)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The Raleigh Detour iE was updated for 2016 to use a mid-drive motor instead of the gearless direct drive hub, this improved balance and reduced weight by ~5 pounds. Check out the latest Raleigh Detour ebike review here.

The Detour iE is an urban style electric bike build around the time-tested non-electric Raleigh Detour bicycle frame. While it only offers 8 gear speeds instead of 21, the 500 watt motor with throttle mode and four levels of pedal assist makes it easy to ride in any condition. The drive system comes from Currie Technologies which has been a leader in the US ebike space since 1997. It’s a well rounded bike at a good price with a solid warranty. Coasting is efficient due to the large 700c wheels sporting narrow hybrid-tread tires. You don’t get suspension and those tires combined with the aluminum frame can be more stiff and jarring than a cruiser but that also keeps the weight down and extends range. The swept back handlebars, comfort sprung saddle, ergonomic grips and multiple frame sizes add comfort. Body position is somewhat upright so you can spot traffic and avoid a sore back or neck, it would be excellent for commuting, the rear-rack battery design makes adding a bag or panniers very easy. All you might need are some lights.

The motor driving this ebike is a high quality 500 watt gearless direct drive hub located in the rear. It’s heavier than some geared equivalents but runs smoother, quieter and will last longer. This is actually one of my favorite electric bike motors because it rides so smooth… but there is some cogging (drag from the larger electromagnets when the motor is off) and this is standard with gearless designs. One of the really neat features of how it mounts to the frame is that the motor cable has a built-in quick connect and the rear wheel features quick release! This makes transporting and servicing the bike much easier and is kind of rare in the hub-motor world. The motor itself is from the Currie Electro-Drive line which is also used on some Diamondback and IZIP models.

Powering the bike is a solid 48 volt 8.8 amp hour Lithium battery pack with high quality Manganese cells. The 48 volt configuration is above average in terms of strength and really lets you take advantage of the 500 watt motor. What might otherwise feel mushy (when using the throttle) feels zippy even though the motor isn’t geared. The pack is removable for convenient charging and reducing the overall weight of the bike during transport. The rack it’s built into sandwiches the pack between two platforms and surrounds it with metal tubing to avoid impact to the battery itself if the bike tips. The tubing is standard sized which makes adding bags or panniers seamless and it comes stock with a triple-bungee cord for securing basic items.

Operating the bike is very easy and intuitive. Once the battery has been charged up and is secured and locked in the back slot, just press the power button on the control pad and the screen comes to life. Note that the display shown below is not the correct 2015 model, it was the older version which was on a demo model for the review, the new one is similar but has two support arms and a sleeker button pad (as shown in the video review above). The display is backlit with an auto-light sensor for easy use at night and shows your speed, battery level and assist level (as well as a few other readouts). For the best range or climbing power I suggest using pedal assist but it’s also nice to have instant power from the throttle and you can always use the throttle in conjunction with pedaling to add a bit more power in the lower three levels of assist. the display actually has a range estimator built in so you can determine which level of power to use and avoid running out of juice. in terms of pedal power, you get an eight speed cassette in the rear and a trigger shifter interface on the right bar. It’s pretty standard and eight speeds is enough to get around town and climb hills without adding the complexity of a second front derailleur. I really like the front chain guide they’ve used here which doubles as a bash guard in case you hit a curb.

The Raleigh Detour-iE is an ebike that combines quality frame building and dealer support with trusted motor and battery technology. It’s two big companies coming together to offer something purpose-built for a mass audience. This is a higher quality build and you get things like cruise control, a 12 sensor pedelec system which is extra smooth and responsive and a removable battery and quick release wheelset. It’s polished and the two frame types and multiple sizes make it easier to ride for a broader audience of customers. The downside to this model is that all of the weight is in the rear but that keeps the price down and adds some utility with the rear rack setup. Frankly, it works very well for urban riding or commuting but if I was planning to do more aggressive race type riding or trail stuff I’d choose a model with a mid-mounted battery and pay a bit more. Depending on your needs this could be a good fit and the great part is, it may be available at a dealer nearby who can let you take a test ride.

Pros:

  • Available in high-step and low-step designs and multiple frame sizes to suite different rider types… I actually prefer the low-step because I can avoid swinging my leg over and banging my knee on the rear rack
  • Proven frame from Raleigh has been used on non-electric bikes for many years, 6061 aluminum is sturdy and relatively light weight
  • Excellent accessories including matching aluminum fenders, chain guide and bash guard, rear rack with standard tubing and bungee adapter and adjustable kickstand
  • Comfortable and safe upright seating position with swept-back handlebars, ergonomic grips and an oversized sprung saddle
  • Very quiet motor considering the high power 500 watt design, also known for being durable and long lasting
  • Battery can be charged on or off the bike, slides on easily and locks to frame, has a magnetic clasp so the handle stays folded in and won’t get bumped and broken as easily
  • Quick release wheels including the rear with a special easy disconnect cable for the hub motor, makes tuneups easier for the shop and also easier for you if the tire goes flat and needs a quick fix at home
  • Solid warranty, available at lots of locations throughout the USA for easier test riding, fitting and future service
  • Disc brakes stay cleaner in wet or dirty conditions, offer good stopping power and the brake levers have a cutoff switch to the motor for safety
  • Good price considering the higher end drive system and frame options available, cables are all tucked away in the frame for a nice aesthetic

Cons:

  • Rear-heavy design makes the bike less stable and less agile than something with a mid-mount pack, frame can flex if whipped back and forth
  • Narrow tires and aluminum frame can be jarring over bumps but do increase efficiency and reduce weight, basic plastic pedals aren’t as grippy when wet
  • No included lights or chain guard, considering this has thee rear rack and fenders it would be nice to have lights as well to run off of the main battery

Resources:

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Comments (12) YouTube Comments

Tommy T.
5 years ago

The flex you had in the high step bike is much worse in the low step bike. This bike is hard to ride for riders with balance problems. The tall wheels, tall frame and the battery sitting so high dooms this ebike to be hard to ride for some people. I removed the power wheel, battery and re installed the original wheel. I enjoy riding my Raleigh as a pedal bike. Healthy riders can handle this bike with no problems and as an Ebike it is fun to ride. Good review.

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Thanks for your perspective Tommy, glad you enjoyed the bike but yeah, the low-step doesn’t have the strength of a triangle frame and can feel more flexible. It is a rear-heavy design and does have some negatives because of that.

  Reply
Tony
3 years ago

Thank you for the thoughtful review Court. I recently test road this bike and a 2015 Misceo. Two of the design shortfalls mentioned above bothered me enough to pass on the Detour for the moment: the cogging and the extreme rear-bias weight. The combination made pedaling without assist seemed quite difficult, but this may be only in comparison to the Misceo. Electricbikereview.com has been an immeasurable resource in my hunt for an ebike to replace my old Curry Phat-flyer standing scooter. Keep up the good work!

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Thanks Tony, glad the site is helping with your research, appreciate the updates with your feelings on both designs. Interesting to see more bikes with mid-drive vs. the hub motor setup as you get balance and easy wheel adjustment but sometimes more sound. I’d love to hear what you end up with :)

  Reply
Tony
3 years ago

Court, to report and update, I went with the Detour iE 2015. The final factors were price, manufacturer, and local service. It was available at half the price of every mid-drive system. When compared to the cost of a regional bus pass, the expense will be recovered within 14 months. I was also sold by Raleigh’s deep lifetime warranty on the frame and Currie’s track record and warranty of 2 years for motor, and 1 year on battery and other components. Local bike shop, Mikesbikes, had swell sales folks and sold me an extremely affordable 5 year service package.

I weigh a svelt 240 lbs. The 500 watt motor on a half-full battery was adequate to assist at level 4 through modest hills without taxing the battery too greatly. I monitored changes in reported available range during inclines. Raleigh Usa claimed their steel frame bikes are tested to 280 lbs. I submitted the question on their website instant message. The manual stipulates 242 lb load, rider, clothing, gear, and packages. So, I tend to be an overload.

5 miles down and hopefully many joyful miles to come over the next 2 years. Thanks again for your most helpful reviews!

Rich
3 years ago

I would like to see the weight capacity listed in the specs and reviews. Great reviews!!

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

I’ll keep an eye out for them and list when provided. Thanks for adding your voice Rich… In my experience most electric bikes offer 250 lbs of carrying capacity but battery weight, frame type (like folding vs. cruisers) and even spoke gauge can all make a difference.

  Reply

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