Raleigh Detour iE Review

2017 Raleigh Detour Ie Electric Bike Review
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie Shimano Steps Mid Drive Motor
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie Removable Battery Pack In Rear Rack
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie Control Pad Shimano Display
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie Rubber Ergonomic Grips
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie Shimano M355 Hydraulic Disc Brakes 160 Mm
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie Shimano Acera 9 Speed
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie 36 Volt Shimano Steps Battery Removable
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie 3 1 Amp Battery Charger
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie Ebike
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie Black High Step
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie High Step Mens
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie Electric Bike Review
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie Shimano Steps Mid Drive Motor
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie Removable Battery Pack In Rear Rack
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie Control Pad Shimano Display
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie Rubber Ergonomic Grips
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie Shimano M355 Hydraulic Disc Brakes 160 Mm
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie Shimano Acera 9 Speed
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie 36 Volt Shimano Steps Battery Removable
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie 3 1 Amp Battery Charger
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie Ebike
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie Black High Step
2017 Raleigh Detour Ie High Step Mens

Summary

  • A classy, comfortable, lightweight city ebike available in high-step and step-thru frame styles, choose from light blue or black, and three sizes
  • Swept-back handlebar, ergonomic grips, comfort saddle, fenders, and a combination chain guide plus cover offer a lot of utility for commuters
  • The Shimano STePs mid-drive is efficient, compact, and well balanced, it uses an advanced sensor for smooth starts and stops and is easier on the drivetrain
  • You get nine speeds for comfortable pedaling (climbing or cruising up to 20 mph), removable battery, and a removable display panel, the charger is relatively fast but uses an adapter which can be misplaced and lost more easily

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Raleigh

Model:

Detour iE

Price:

$2,399

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban, Commuting

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1), Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Comprehensive, Lifetime Frame

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2017

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

48.2 lbs (21.86 kg)

Battery Weight:

5.6 lbs (2.54 kg)

Motor Weight:

7.05 lbs (3.19 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

16 in (40.64 cm)18 in (45.72 cm)20 in (50.8 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Step-Thru: 19" Stand Over Height, 21" Reach, High-Step: 29" Stand Over Height, 21.5" Reach, 72" Length

Frame Types:

High-Step, Step-Thru

Frame Colors:

Light Blue with White Accents, Black with Grey Accents

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid Aluminum Alloy, 9 mm Quick Release Skewer

Frame Rear Details:

10 mm Quick Release Skewer

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

9 Speed 1x9 Shimano Acera, 11-34T

Shifter Details:

Shimano Acera Mega Lite Triggers on Right

Cranks:

Shimano 170 mm Alloy Crank Arms, 44T Chainring with Plastic Guide

Pedals:

Alloy and Plastic with Rubber Tread

Headset:

Alloy Ahead 1-1/8", Five 5 mm Risers

Stem:

80 mm Length, 15° Rise

Handlebar:

Promax 25.4 mm Diameter, 630 mm x 55 mm Rise

Brake Details:

Shimano M355 Hydraulic Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Shimano Three-Finger Levers with Adjustable Reach

Grips:

Raleigh, Rubber, Ergonomic

Saddle:

Velo Commuter with Integrated Handle

Seat Post:

Promax Aluminum Alloy with Quick Release Collar

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.9 mm

Rims:

Weinmann XTB26 Double Wall, Aluminum Alloy, 36 Hole, Black

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 14 Gauge, Black with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Kenda Kourier, 700 x 35c (28" x 1-5/8")

Wheel Sizes:

28 in (71.12cm)

Tire Details:

K-Shield Puncture Resistant Tire Casing, 50 to 85 PSI

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Full Length Plastic Fenders, Aluminum Alloy Chain Cover

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, 1.6 Pound 3.1 Amp Charger

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Shimano STePs

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Motor Peak Output:

500 watts

Motor Torque:

50 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Shimano STePs

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

11.6 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

417.6 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4 hours

Estimated Min Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Estimated Max Range:

50 miles (80 km)

Display Type:

Shimano STePs, Removable, Adjustable Angle, Monochrome, Backlit LCD

Readouts:

Speed (mph or km/h), Average Speed, Max Speed, Odometer, Trip Meter, Range, Battery Level (5 Bars), Assist Mode (Off, Eco, Normal, High), Time Clock

Display Accessories:

Independent Control Switch near Left Grip, Hold Up and Down for Settings Menu

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Measures Wheel Speed, Pedal Cadence and Pedal Torque, Power Output Relative to Pedal Input: Eco 50%, Normal 100%, High 200%)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The Raleigh Detour iE is a pedal-assisted version of the traditional unpowered Detour model. It offers efficiency and utility, well-suited to urban commuters who want help scaling hills, fighting wind, or just going further. The 700c wheels coast smoothly and an all-Aluminum frame and fork keep it lightweight… but trade a bit of comfort in the process. Balancing these characteristics are swept-back handlebars, ergonomic grips, and a slightly larger comfort saddle. Notice that the rear portion is wide but the nose is still narrow, so you don’t chaffe your thighs when pedaling. This is an active electric bike, one that requires pedaling in order to activate the motor, and it’s one of the smoother products I have tested. By positioning the motor at the center of the bike, Raleigh has achieved better stability and made the wheels and drivetrain easier to service. The battery is positioned high and towards the rear (surrounded and protected by the cargo rack) but it’s relatively light at ~5.6 lbs so you don’t get as much frame flex as some competing models. Plastic fenders and a paint-matched alloy chain cover paired with a plastic chain guide keep you clean and snag-free, you can wear pants or a dress and still enjoy this bike. And the biggest highlight for me is the choice of two frames, a high-step and comfortable low-step.

Driving this bike is an efficient 250-watt centerdrive from Shimano, the same company that produces the 9-speed drivetrain, and hydraulic disc brakes. The motor peaks out around 500 watts and offers a solid 50 Newton meters of torque, a step below the more expensive Bosch centerdrive which produces up to 63 Nm. And this may be why the range estimates on the bike are so high. It’s an excellent choice for city riding. I like how compact the motor is and noticed instantly how it responded to my pedaling. I never felt like it was surprising me or jerking me forward. Rather than rely on a torque or cadence sensor alone, this motor relies on a combination of both along with the rear wheel speed. This advanced approach tends to reduce wear on the chain, sprockets, and rear derailleur but will still put more stress on them than a hub motor. The benefits are that it pulls the same chain you do and can operate more easily when climbing or cruising up to the top assisted speed of 20 mph if you simply shift gears. There was one part in the video review where I stopped the bike but neglected to shift down to a lower gear… and I could definitely notice the bike struggling a bit to start again (as was I). And to me, that’s a perfect example for the pros and the cons of any drivetrain operating mid-drive. It’s efficient, but only if you use it properly.

Powering the motor and backlit display is a healthy sized 36 volt 11.6 amp hour battery pack. I’d call 36 volt 10 amp hour standard, so you get a slightly higher capacity here and it should help you to go further and extend the life of the pack. While I do wish that the Raleigh Detour iE had integrated LED lights running off of the battery, I can understand that it would add complexity and possibly raise the price. Considering the human-powered Raleigh Detour models are in the $400 range, it’s interesting to think that the motor, battery, and display are adding nearly $2k of cost here. To me, the bike seems a little expensive, but then again, battery packs like this can cost $800+ to replace, so that’s nearly half the cost right there. Inside are energy dense Lithium-ion cells that are known for reliability and long life. You can optimize that life by storing the pack in a cool, dry location. I tend to store it at ~80% full and check in every month or two to refill if necessary. Lithium-ion packs don’t develop the same “memory” as some older battery types and given that this pack is produced at scale by Shimano vs. being a custom Raleigh design, it should be easier to replace when it eventually wears down. Expect 1,000+ full cycles, years of regular use. I do like that the battery is removable and that you can opt to charge it on or off the frame but was disappointed to find that the charging ports are different. This means you’ll have to keep track of an extra wire adapter dongle, and there’s no included leash for this part. If you set it down at work or in the garage and forget where you last left it, you will only be able to charge the pack off the bike, which requires more time to unlock and presents more opportunities for dropping the pack. I like how easily the pack unlocked from the rack, the fact that you don’t need to leave the key in while riding, and that there’s a built-in handle near the back.

And speaking of built-in handles, the saddle also has a plastic grip on the bottom. This allows you to more easily maneuver the bike when parking but could twist the seat tube if the collar is not tight. Given the rigid frame design, I would consider purchasing a 30.9 mm seat post suspension to smooth out the ride, but if you lift the bike with that seat handle and have one of the cheaper seat post suspension products, it could get damaged. Check out the Thudbuster Short Travel (ST) which is lighter than the LT and won’t push the saddle up so high when completely lowered. The step-thru frame is ideal for petite riders who want the ability to mount and stabilize the bike and sit on the saddle without being so high and precarious… but with a seat post suspension, the minimum saddle height is higher, and if you use a trunk bag on the rear rack, that could block the seat from going all the way down. As it is, you may have to slide the saddle all the way forward in order to lower it completely.

Operating the bike is a one step process, but it’s not as intuitive as I was expecting. You have to press a power button on the battery pack vs. one on the control pad or display. This requires some foresight because if you hop onto the bike and have not yet activated it, you might have to turn and reach way down or completely dismount. Thankfully, once it’s on, the control pad is easy to reach from the left grip and the display panel is highly adjustable so you can get the perfect angle reading it. I love that the display is removable, so you can reduce tampering and weather exposure at bike racks. It’s fairly compact but doesn’t overload the space with stats, just the important stuff like speed, battery capacity, and range. You can cycle through trip stats using the black button at the top of the control pad and arrow up or down through Eco, Normal, and High pedal assist levels. The button pad clicks, the motor delivers a noticeable increase in power and perhaps a bit more noise is produced. The Shimano STePs motor isn’t silent, nor is the rear fender on this bike, but it’s not the loudest either, and with a bit of traffic or wind you hardly notice it. I love that the display gives you easy access to a settings menu where you can change the units from kilometers to miles, turn off backlighting, and even mute the annoying beep that chimes whenever you interact with the button pad. Some people may appreciate this affirmative beep, but I don’t :)

A the end of the day, this is a great mid-level electric bike that’s approachable and comfortable. You get three frame size choice, the possibility of test riding it at a dealer, and an excellent warranty from one of the oldest bicycle brands around. Raleigh offers a range of ebike models but the Detour iE performs at a higher level because of the advanced motor sensors and upgraded drivetrain. Both colorways look beautiful and I appreciate the extra attention to detail with the paint-matched chain cover. You shouldn’t ever drop the chain thanks to the plastic guide and you should be able to go a bit further than a lot of other similarly specced electric bikes between charges because the tires are rated for higher PSI and there’s no bobbing from suspension. At ~48 lbs, this is an impressively light ebike given the rack and fenders… it’s going to be easier to load onto cars or repair with those quick release wheels, battery, and display. And when it is time for a charge, you’ll be back up and ready to ride again faster because the charger offers 3.1 Amp output vs. the standard 2 Amp. Big thanks to the Raleigh team for inviting me to their headquarters in North America to see and review the entire 2017 line. It’s wonderful to test products back to back in order to really eek out the differences. As always, I welcome feedback and input from those who have owned this bike or the prior 2016 model.

Pros:

  • Available in two frame styles, high-step and step-thru, three sizes, and two classy colors with clean integrated cables
  • Relaxed, swept-back handlebar supports a more upright body position, ergonomic grips ease hand fatigue
  • Both frames have bottle cage bosses! You can bring along fluids without using a trunk bag or panniers or use this mounting point for a folding lock
  • Fenders, a paint-matched chain cover, and plastic chain guide keep you clean and snag-free, especially if you’re wearing pants or a skirt
  • Hydraulic disc brakes offer great stopping power and don’t require as much hand strength or endurance to use, the adjustable-reach levers are nice for people with small hands
  • The 9-speed Shimano Acera drivetrain is two steps up from the base and offers a comfortable range for pedaling up to 20 mph
  • Mid-drive motors are nice because they position weight low and center on the frame while also de-cluttering the wheels and making maintenance easier vs. hub motors
  • Both the battery pack and display panel are removable, this is nice for people who commute to work and have to leave the bike outside during the day (reduce tampering, scratches, and weather wear)
  • I was really impressed by how light these bikes were considering that they have fenders and a rack, at ~48.2 lbs they are lighter than comparable models in the ~52 lb range
  • Both wheels have quick release which makes maintenance and flat fixes easier but take care to lock the wheels with a cable if you park at a rack
  • The Shimano STePs motor controller senses more than just cadence or torque, this lets it operate smoothly and reduces drivetrain wear, it also feels less jerky or abrupt than TranzX and other entry-level systems
  • Having a kickstand on a bike like this really makes sense and I think Raleigh chose well, the stand is positioned out of the way towards the back and has adjustable length so you can keep the bike stable on varied terrain
  • The rack is rated for up to 55 lbs and only 5.6 lbs are used by the battery pack so you get a lot of capacity, there are spots to clip a bungee cable on both sides as well as multiple bars for hanging panniers
  • The battery has a handle built in which makes removal and transport easy and safe, you don’t want to drop the pack because it is delicate and expensive
  • The charger is relatively compact and only weighs 1.7 lbs, I like that it puts out up to 3.1 Amps vs. 2 Amps on most others because that means it will fill the battery faster
  • The saddle has a plastic handle indentation on the bottom back side which is useful for moving the bike and positioning for a ride, just make sure the seat post collar is tight so you don’t turn it accidentally, you could also damage a cheap seat post suspension this way if you add one aftermarket
  • The Shimano STePs drive system is extremely efficient, it offers incredible range and the display dynamically estimates how far you can go based on the chosen level of pedal assist so you can plan your ride without running the battery dry
  • I love how easy it is to adjust the display settings, including turning the backlight off and silencing the beep noise! just hold the up and down arrow keys on the control pad for a few seconds to launch settings
  • The motor is extremely responsive, as soon as you pedal, or stop pedaling, it responds so you feel in control and can ride safely no matter the situation

Cons:

  • The plastic fenders provide good coverage in wet conditions but did rattle a bit, especially the rear fender which does not have a mid support strut or rack connection point
  • I’m not a huge fan of rack-mounted batteries because they position weight up high and create a rear-heavy bike with more frame flex but at least the rack offers good storage potential and the battery isn’t too heavy at ~5.6 lbs
  • Given the skinny hybrid tires and the rigid all-Aluminum frame, this bike doesn’t absorb bumps and vibration as well as it could, the ergo grips, swept back handle bar, and comfort saddle help but you might want to swap the seat post with a 30.9 mm suspension post to really maximize comfort or ride a bit slower
  • It’s great to be able to charge the battery on or off the bike but I wish it used the same plug interface, instead, you have to use (and keep track of) a dongle adapter
  • You power the bike on using a button at the battery pack, not the display or control pad, if you forget to do this before mounting the bike you might have to get off or reach backward which can be time-consuming or uncomfortable
  • It would be nice to have integrated LED lights on this bike, especially considering the mid-level price point,
    instead, you will have to use your own independently powered lights that could be stolen easier

Resources:

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John Sullivan
11 months ago

We were in Amsterdam last year and saw a city full of bikes. It got me thinking about living in a similar size city and maybe commuting with a bike. I did a ton of research on-line (Electricbikereview.com was most helpful) and finally jumped into the market and bought this bike for my wife about 6 weeks ago. I got the I Zip Path Plus, which is the same bike with different handle bars. These were our first electric bikes and our first introduction into biking.

We live in downtown Nashville and use this for our daily commute – about 5 miles each way. The trip is mostly flat but here are some hills to contend with. Here’s our comments:

  • We LOVE this bike! Step through frame makes it easy to get on and off. It weighs about 50 lbs which makes it easier to load into our bike rack at our building. Still somewhat hefty but manageable
  • The battery gives us about 25 miles on a charge and takes about 3 hours to re-charge. Plenty for us.
  • The pedal assist is awesome!! It makes the hills super easy and is very seamless. It helps make pedaling easier, but you do have to pedal. It’s not a motorcycle!
  • Plenty of power. I take my 85 lb dog with me some days , being towed behind in her cart (Solvit HoundAbout) , Our combined weight is 310 lbs, with me being 225 ( hence the need for a bike…). This bike pulls us both- no problem. There are a few steep hills and simply down shifting makes them easy to climb!
  • Great city bike- comfy seat and we like to ride more upright

Only con would be the lights are not integrated and you have to remember to turn on and off. Besides having to buy them as an accessory in the first place….

Really a sweet ride– we could not be happier with this bike!

Reply
court
11 months ago

Hi John, I checked out the dog trailer and thought that looked really fun! Thanks for sharing your experience with the Raleigh Detour iE and complimenting the site. I’m doing my best and it’s always motivating to hear from real live customers out there! Keep having fun :)

Reply

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matt wade
11 months ago

Hi. Great channel! What is your view on pros and cons of battery in the back tech versus on or built into the down tube? Thanks.

Lori-Ann Leavitt
1 year ago

I added a Bionx S350RL system to my mountain bike. NO NOISE at all. It also has a throttle, LOVE THAT. I love the look of this black Raleigh, but holy noisy!

yoma measureacher
1 year ago

dont forget get off keys from accum lock while riding
you may loose them

ElectricBikeReview.com
1 year ago

Yeah, I should have taken the keys out because they rattled a bit during the review as well, sorry about that :/

Michigan Mister
1 year ago

just another fine review. nice design here, but a lot of clunking going on as well as motor whine. I wouldn't be surprised if Shimano doesn't rule with their component's soon. Court, looks like you'll have to do another Pedego review soon with the Airstream? I'd really like to see an updated review on their (mine) Boomerang as well? thanks buddy.

Michigan Mister
1 year ago

with 'ya. my buddy is ready for one, I'll send him this link. I'll be glad, no more puppy eyes from him asking for ride time w/ mine, lol...

ElectricBikeReview.com
1 year ago

Just reached out to Pedgo and learned that the Airstream is just "the polished aluminum Interceptor" so the name corresponds to a color choice, polished Aluminum alloy. Here's my review on the Interceptor if you're interested in more info: https://electricbikereview.com/pedego/classic-interceptor/ though it's a bit older than the Platinum Interceptor review :)

Michigan Mister
1 year ago

talked to my dealer after I wrote you. don't bother. it is an Interceptor with just a different front badge and the chain guard that both say "Airstream". no new components, BUT, the same price. (promotional deal, unusual for them?) still like to see a more in-depth review of the Pedego Boomerang Plus? (black)thanks as always, Court.

ElectricBikeReview.com
1 year ago

Hmm, I hadn't seen that one yet... thanks! I wonder what's different about it, kind of looks like the Platinum Interceptor

IronMongoose1
1 year ago

Did I hear correctly that the step-through weighs about seven pounds more than the diamond frame? Looking forward to written review.

ElectricBikeReview.com
1 year ago

Not sure about that... I believe they are less than 0.5 lbs different if you look at the same frame size. I measured it at 48.2 lbs which is fairly light :) also just fixed the link... sorry I forgot to update that when posting!