2016 Raleigh Sprite iE Review


Technical Specs & Ratings



Sprite iE


Class 1, Class 2




Mechanical Rim



422.4 Wh

422.4 Wh

54 lbs / 24.52 kgs


VP Semi-Integrated Ahead, 4 Risers

Promax Aluminum Alloy

Promax 25.4 mm Diameter, Steel, 630 mm x 55 mm Rise

Velo Dual Density, Semi-Ergonomic Rubber

Promax Aluminum Alloy with Quick Release Collar


Velo Commuter with Integrated Handle

Resin Platform with Non-Slip Tread

Mechanical Rim

Tektro Linear Pull with Generic Levers

Video Reviews

Written Reviews

This review is for the 2016 Raleigh Sprite iE, click here for the latest version with a deeper, more updated look. The Raleigh Sprite iE is an approachable electric bike with a low-step frame that’s easy to mount and stand over. The seat goes way down (almost in line with the battery pack) and that’s perfect for petite riders. The frame is available in three sizes including an extra small 13” (I was on the medium 15” for this review) and the stem is adjustable for an even better fit. Rather than forcing you to push hard to activate the motor in pedal assist mode, this electric bicycle relies more on cadence so you just pedal along gently and it jumps into action! With four levels of assist to choose from and an optional boost button for $50 it performs well in a wide range of use cases. I like the integrated rack, the slide-out battery can be difficult to get out but it’s nice that it will charge on or off the bike. Note that as with other mid-drive e-bikes you have to change gears to achieve higher speeds (or better climbing/hauling performance) and the TranzX motor does not offer shift detection. For this reason I usually arrow down to a lower level of assist to switch gears or at least wait until I’m on a flat section so the chain, sprockets and derailleur don’t take a beating. The display panel is fixed but offers backlighting for use at night and there are 6 volt wires at the front and rear of the bike to add lights if you wish (or have your shop help you out) and there are mounting points on the front fork to add a fender while the rear rack should keep your back dry.


  • One of the smallest and easiest to mount electric bikes I’ve tested, the single-tube low-step frame offers a 16.5″ stand over height and the seat can go down to ~28″ off ground level
  • The rear rack is setup with a “cage” that protects the battery but can also work with a trunk bag or side mounted panniers, it uses standard gauge tubing that should be compatible with the widest range of accessories including clip-on panniers
  • I love that you can purchase the “boost button” and turn this into a Class 2 electric bike for $50 and that it’s pre-wired with 6 volt leads for adding lights
  • The rear rack functions as a fender to keep your back dry and there are mounting points on the front fork for adding a 26″ fender
  • The tire tubes come with Slime inside designed to plug holes and stop leaks, you could bring along a mini-pump in a bag or mount one like this to the bottle cage bosses along the downtube
  • Available in three frame sizes including the extra small 13″ which would be perfect for petite riders, it’s nice that it also goes large for taller people who just want to save money and prefer step-thru
  • The drive unit relies mostly on cadence sensing so you don’t have to push especially hard in order to make the motor go, this is good for people with sensitive knees or when riding with a heavier load but may drain the battery a bit faster than torque sensing
  • Extra attention to detail with the plastic sticker slap guard on the right chain stay, the aluminum chain guide to keep the chain on track and black painted spokes that match the tires and black highlights of the frame, I also like that most of the wires and cables are internally routed through the frame so it looks nicer
  • The electronic systems all “talk to each other” using CAN bus (Controller Area Network) which makes diagnosing issues and updating firmware much easier for shops, that’s a unique feature for a more affordable ebike like the Sprite iE
  • Nice step-thru frame that’s easy to mount, comfortable ergonomic grips, adjustable angle stem and “gull wing” style handle bars that don’t make you bend forward as much when riding


  • The battery pack has to be switched on before the display panel can be activated, it’s an extra step that takes time and can be easy to forget… also, the button pad on/off has to be held for three or four seconds and once the display begins booting up there’s an eight second countdown to wait through
  • There is a “zero” assist level that completely shuts off the motor but leaves the display active like a cycle computer (or to power integrated lights) but it’s kind of hidden, once the display is on and you’re in assist level 1 just hold the power button on the button pad for a couple of seconds and it will go to zero, another tip is to hold the plus button for a few seconds to activate the lights and display backlighting and to hold the box icon to switch from mph to km/h
  • The display backlighting only has two options (on or auto) so you can’t switch it off completely if you want to ride without light which could be annoying for some people
  • Because the Sprite iE uses a single-tube frame and the battery is mounted on a rear rack, there is some frame flex (especially if you stand up and pedal hard)
  • Without a suspension fork the bike can feel a little stiff and jarring at higher speed, the tires are medium in size which adds some bounce and comfort and the saddle is oversized but you might consider getting a suspension seat post to reduce bumps while riding (you’ll need a 27.2 mm to 29.8 mm seat post shim like this in order to make it work)

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