2015 Raleigh Tekoa iE Review

Raleigh Tekoa Ie Electric Bike Review 1
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Raleigh Tekoa Ie
Raleigh Tekoa Ie Tranzx Center Drive
Raleigh Tekoa Ie Removable Lithium Battery
Raleigh Tekoa Ie Display Panel Buttons
Raleigh Tekoa Ie 9 Speed Cassette
Raleigh Tekoa Ie 29er Tires
Raleigh Tekoa Ie 180 Mm Hydraulic Disc
Raleigh Tekoa Ie Bash Guard Chain Guide
Raleigh Tekoa Ie Rockshox Air Fork Lockout
Raleigh Tekoa Ie Electric Bike Review 1
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Raleigh Tekoa Ie
Raleigh Tekoa Ie Tranzx Center Drive
Raleigh Tekoa Ie Removable Lithium Battery
Raleigh Tekoa Ie Display Panel Buttons
Raleigh Tekoa Ie 9 Speed Cassette
Raleigh Tekoa Ie 29er Tires
Raleigh Tekoa Ie 180 Mm Hydraulic Disc
Raleigh Tekoa Ie Bash Guard Chain Guide
Raleigh Tekoa Ie Rockshox Air Fork Lockout

Summary

  • Well-balanced 29er style electric mountain bike capable of 28 mph in speed pedal assist mode
  • Quick release front and rear wheels, hydraulic 180 mm disc brakes, air suspension with lockout
  • Limited attachment points for adding a rear rack, mid-level drive system isn't quite as responsive as Bosch or Impulse, two step throttle 6 mph without pedaling 20 mph with

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Raleigh

Model:

Tekoa-iE

Price:

$3,300 USD

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Urban, Trail

Electric Bike Class:

Speed Pedelec (Class 3)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

Lifetime Frame, One Year Components

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

20142015

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

50 lbs (22.67 kg)

Motor Weight:

9 lbs (4.08 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Custom Butted Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

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

Frame Colors:

Red

Frame Fork Details:

Rockshox XC32 Air Suspension with 100 mm Travel and Lockout, Tektro Levers with Motor Inhibitor

Gearing Details:

9 Speed 1x9 Shimano Deore RD-M592 Shadow

Shifter Details:

Shimano Alivio Rapidfire Plus Triggers on Right Bar

Cranks:

Aluminum Alloy, 42T Sprocket

Pedals:

Plastic Platform

Headset:

FSA IS-3 45° Upper, NO.11N Zerostack Lower, 1-1/8"

Stem:

Raleigh 100 Series, 4-Bolt, 31.8 mm

Handlebar:

Raleigh 100 Series Flat Top, 31.8 mm

Brake Details:

Tektro Auriga E-Sub Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Rotors

Grips:

Flat Rubber Raleigh Closed-End Single Lock Ring

Saddle:

Raleigh Mountain Saddle

Seat Post:

Raleigh 100 Series, Dual Bolt

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.9 mm

Rims:

Weinmann U28, 32 Hole, 28 mm Wide

Spokes:

14G Stainless Steel

Tire Brand:

Kenda Slant Six, 29" x 2.05"

Wheel Sizes:

29 in (73.66cm)

Tube Details:

Presta Valves

Accessories:

Aluminum Alloy Bash Guard Chain Guide

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, KMC Z99 Chain, Front and Rear Modus Alloy Disc Quick Release Hubs, Quick Release Seat Tube

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

TranzX

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

8.7 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

417.6 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

35 miles (56 km)

Display Type:

Backlit Monochrome LCD, Fixed with Swivel Adjust, Currie Electro Drive

Readouts:

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

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad on Left Bar

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle (Measures Torque and Cadence)

Top Speed:

28 mph (45 kph)(Up to 6 mph in Throttle Mode Without Pedaling)

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Written Review

This review is for the 2015 Raleigh Tekoa iE. In 2016 a new version was released with silver paint, a nicer Shimano Deore XT drivetrain and a lower price point… otherwise the drivetrain and most other features on the bike remain unchanged. Read the most up to date review here.

The Raleigh Tekoa-iE is a 29er style electric bike with a centerdrive motor capable of hitting 28 mph with strong pedaling. It features hydraulic disc brakes with 180 mm rotors for excellent stopping power, a removable battery pack to reduce weight when transporting the bike and make charging easier and offers quick release wheels front and rear for easy maintenance. At ~$3,300 it’s one of the more affordable mid-drive 29″ electric bikes around and you really benefit from the low center of gravity for handling and stronger torque and efficiency of the mid-drive but if you’re willing to pay $700 more, the Haibike 29er with Bosch is more responsive and ~5 lbs lighter. What you won’t get with that bike however is a twist throttle and the Tekoa uses it in two ways. Without pedaling, the throttle can hit 6 mph and with pedaling it will go to ~20 mph. The idea is that it’s there to help you overcome hills more easily while riding in lower assist levels for efficiency.

Driving the Tekoa electric bike is a 350 watt geared mid-motor by TranzX from Currie Technologies. I was impressed with how quietly it operates and also just how small it is. You can see in the picture below that the front sprocket actually hangs quite a bit lower than the drive unit. One of the nice upgrades to the front chain ring is that it’s sandwiched between two aluminum bash guard plates that double as a chain guide to keep everything on track while navigating more bumpy terrain. The chain ring is a 42 tooth design that’s more standard in size than the smaller ring on the Bosch system (which spins much faster). the benefit is that this bike looks more normal and runs more quietly but the chain slows down less quickly when the motor cuts off. Overall, this system works well and the integrated motor inhibitors in the Tektro brake levers really come in handy for shifting gears because there is also no shift detection in this system. If you’re climbing and pedaling really hard while trying to shift, you plus the motor will add more strain on the chain and cassette.

Powering the bike is a locking, removable battery pack that’s mounted at three points to the downtube. This takes the place of would-be water bottle bosses and also blocks enough room in the triangle area of the frame that they didn’t add any bosses to the seat tube. Consider bringing a Camelbak or using an aftermarket seat post or saddle mounted cage. The nice thing about the battery pack, aside from being mounted low and center, is that it’s removable for convenient charging and storage (or to reduce the weight of the frame when transporting by car or bus rack). The not so nice part is that this battery must be switched on independently from the button pad console on the left bar. This left me a bit confused when testing because I thought maybe the battery pack was empty – most newer ebike packs don’t have their own on/off switch like this.

The display panel and button pad on the Raleigh Tekoa-iE are part of the Currie Electro Drive system that’s been refined for 2015. The display is a fixed monochrome LCD with a built in light sensor (it’s backlit for night riding). The panel can swivel forward and back to reduce glare which is nice and it’s mounted at two points to be extra sturdy but is not designed to be removable. to operate the systems you first activate the battery and then press the power button on the remote pad. A quick countdown brings you into the main menu where you can see the current speed, assist level (1-4) and battery level. You can also navigate through an odometer and range screen which helps you approximate just how far the bike will go (at the current assist level) before running out. Here’s an in-depth video overview of how it works.

At the end of the day, the Raleigh Tekoa achieves two major things in my mind. It brings electric assist mountain bikes to more areas of the country, because Raleigh has a wide network of dealers, and it also delivers at a lower price point than similar products. I enjoyed riding this ebike on and off road but would have liked rear rack mounting points to further extend its utility as a part time commuter. The 29″ wheels are efficient but less maneuverable than 27.5″ or 26″ when riding off road. I think this model is best suited to trail vs. true mountain riding. The motor and battery keep weight low and center, the display pad and button interface are great and the hydraulic disc brakes are top notch. I’m mixed on the throttle since it cuts out at ~6 without pedaling but appreciate the choice it brings since most other mid-drives don’t have a throttle at all. I also felt like I had to work pretty hard to reach the 28 mph top speed vs. some other speed pedelecs that I’ve tested.

Pros:

  • Battery pack and motor are mounted low and center which improves balance and makes the bike more maneuverable and stiff for off-road riding
  • Keyed lock on battery pack for security, removable design keeps the frame lighter for transporting with car racks and makes charging more convenient
  • Large 29er wheelset can overcome roots, rocks and bumps more easily than a smaller 26″ wheel but also carries more rolling momentum which means it starts slower and isn’t as responsive for technical riding
  • Quick release skewers on front and rear wheels for trail maintenance (if you get a flat), also makes transporting the frame easier by reducing weight and size
  • Offers a unique combination of assist which can reach higher top speeds ~28 mph along with throttle mode which goes to ~6 mph without pedaling and ~20 mph with pedaling, relatively quiet motor for a geared mid-drive
  • Solid components and accessories including Tektro hydraulic disc brakes (with motor inhibitor levers), RockShox air suspension fork with lockout adjust and an aluminum bash guard chain guide to protect the front sprocket when riding off-road
  • Clean cockpit with minimal rubberized button pad on left bar and adjustable angle backlit LCD display in the middle – pretty rugged for trail riding and easy to see
  • Available in three frame sizes for a better fit with a range of rider heights and leg lengths

Cons:

  • Frame lacks mounting points for a bottle cage and rear rack which would have been nice for use in urban environments or commuting
  • Value drive system isn’t quite as responsive as something from Bosch or Impulse, measures torque and speed but not pedal cadence, doesn’t deactivate quite as quickly as more expensive systems and doesn’t have shift sensing
  • Display panel is not removable, pedals are basic plastic vs. aluminum or magnesium, half-twist throttle on right bar could compromise grip when riding bumpy terrain vs. full sized grips
  • To activate the motor systems you have to first press a power button on the battery and then press another power button on the button pad, this can be confusing at first (most ebikes don’t require two on switches) and made me wonder if the battery was charged or not during testing

Resources:

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Comments (4) YouTube Comments

Jeff Ouellette
3 years ago

After watching the review of the Raleigh Tekoa-IE I got a great deal on a used one on ebay, with only 20 miles on it, purfect condition. I have taken a bike with the Bosch mid drive for a test ride, and it is smoother when shifting. After the first couple of rides on the Tekoa I’m getting used to shifting it. The system has a delay when you start peddling, I use this delay to make smooth shifts. Just stop peddling for a couple of seconds and shift while not peddling. When you start peddling again the bike changes gears just before the system turns back on. You can also change gears when you first stop peddling when the motor drive is coasting to a stop. Once you are used to it the shifting is very smooth. This is a great bike that I paid about 1/3 of the price that a new one costs, and it looks new, a great deal one a great bike. A couple of things I would change, mounting points for a rack would be nice. I would also get bigger battery, when I replace it, if it is available. It a XL frame and there is plenty of room.
Jeff

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Well said Jeff, thanks for sharing your perspective and tips on shifting and congrats on finding a great deal on the Tekoa! I agree with your thoughts about mounting points like for a rack :)

  Reply
pavel sima
3 months ago

Battery after 3 years… junk… Rear brake… big problem… Never gonna buy again

  Reply
Court
3 months ago

That’s too bad, I think you could easily get the brake repaired by a local shop and there’s this company called FTH Power that will repack dead batteries (and even upgrade them). Most Lithium-ion packs have a good 1,000+ charge cycles, but their capacity does slowly diminish over time… just like cell phones. I hope this helps and even if your bike has reached its end, I hope you still had some good times over the years :)

  Reply

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