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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mrgold35
3 days ago

Once you add up two Radrover ebikes, shipping, and any extra accessories, you will be under the $2000 per if you picked the Radrover. Rad Power Bikes also makes a folding Radmini with 4" fat tires if you need a smaller storage footprint or you need something with a lower stand over height. The Radcity has pretty much the same specs as the Rover; but, has 2.3" tires, fenders, two different frame sizes, rear rack along with front suspension. I like the 4" fat tires because they can travel between paved roads, sandy beaches, and every where else in-between very smoothly. I work commute at 20-23 mph for 13 miles roundtrip on paved roads and sometimes take a detour to ride the hard packed to sandy single track trails before or after work without missing a beat.

You can find the same mix of bikes with Volt, Teo, and some others around the same price range. I would get something within the 2"-4" tire range, 48v, 11 to 17 A/h battery, twist or hand throttle with Pedal assist, front suspension forks, cargo capacity (or mounts for racks/baskets), 500-750 watts, and 180mm brakes.

Pretty much all ebikes in this range are around +60 lbs if that is a consideration. That weight is too heavy for my wife to lift on our platform bike rack even with the 7 lbs battery removed.

I don't have a RV; but, I do travel with my Radrovers on my SUV (Grand Canyon, Sedona, eastern NM). I had no problems travelling with the Radrover once I prepped for the road (removed battery, seat post with seat, rack bag, wrapped LCD in saran wrap, etc...). I even have a weather proof travel cover that encases both bikes and the rack if we run into really bad weather or if I want to cover the bikes overnight on the back of the SUV.

america94
1 month ago

Radrover owners have put anywhere from 2.5" to 4.8" tires on the existing Radrover rims. Not sure about going tubeless and what is needed to convert. I just use Kenda 26X3.5-4.0" fat tire tubes with Schrader valves, Amazon, $20. I just see the inner tube as an added layer of protection and easier to fix a server flat with a tube. I did on one occasion run over some glass at 5:30am on my work commute that put a 1/8" slit in the rear tire, Mr. Tuffy liner, and tube. The slit on the tire was too big for Stans to seal; but, a patch kit on the tube and few pumps of air got me on my way.

It really depends on your mix of urban, hard-packed trail, single track, mud/sand/rocks/inclines, and weather for the right tires for the job. For me, I would lean more towards the Maxxis if I was +95% paved roads/trails in an urban environment and 5% or less dry weather hard-packed trails. Once you air up any fat tire to +20 PSI, only about 2-2.5" of the center tread is making contact with the road anyways. The Maxxis is perfect for a fast and comfortable ride with (waaaaay) less noise and better traction than the Kenda.

I'm about 60%-70% urban with hard-packed to single track trails with occasional sandy/rocky/muddy with steep inclines around 5% of the time at 200-225 miles a month. The 120 tpi Vee8 are much better for my riding because they give me:
- less road noise
- longer tread wear
- lighter tire
- more knobs to lessen flats (all of my Kenda punctures were between the spaced out knobs, the Vee8 have a lot more knobs for added protection)
- no tools needed to seat/unseat the tires because they are 120 tpi (can be a pain sometimes because the tire is so floppy with a folding bead)

I usually set the PSI to 20-22 for commuting and I can drop it down to 12-17 PSI for 100% trail riding days. Even at 20 PSI, the Vee8 can still traverse the occasional spots of mud/sand/rocks and make you own trail situations with ease on a trail that would stop a thinner tire (less dig in and more float compared to a thinner tire). The Vee8 is like a year round all season "jack of all trades, master of none" car tire.

The other day on a slight detour riding home after work. I was riding the single track trails near the Rio Grande river and a tree fell overnight across the path. I just made my own path with the Vee8 tires around the soft sandy terrain around the fallen tree without missing a beat.
^^^^ very well put, nothing to add there :-)

mrgold35
1 month ago

Radrover owners have put anywhere from 2.5" to 4.8" tires on the existing Radrover rims. Not sure about going tubeless and what is needed to convert. I just use Kenda 26X3.5-4.0" fat tire tubes with Schrader valves, Amazon, $20. I just see the inner tube as an added layer of protection and easier to fix a server flat with a tube. I did on one occasion run over some glass at 5:30am on my work commute that put a 1/8" slit in the rear tire, Mr. Tuffy liner, and tube. The slit on the tire was too big for Stans to seal; but, a patch kit on the tube and few pumps of air got me on my way.

It really depends on your mix of urban, hard-packed trail, single track, mud/sand/rocks/inclines, and weather for the right tires for the job. For me, I would lean more towards the Maxxis if I was +95% paved roads/trails in an urban environment and 5% or less dry weather hard-packed trails. Once you air up any fat tire to +20 PSI, only about 2-2.5" of the center tread is making contact with the road anyways. The Maxxis is perfect for a fast and comfortable ride with (waaaaay) less noise and better traction than the Kenda.

I'm about 60%-70% urban with hard-packed to single track trails with occasional sandy/rocky/muddy with steep inclines around 5% of the time at 200-225 miles a month. The 120 tpi Vee8 are much better for my riding because they give me:
- less road noise
- longer tread wear
- lighter tire
- more knobs to lessen flats (all of my Kenda punctures were between the spaced out knobs, the Vee8 have a lot more knobs for added protection)
- no tools needed to seat/unseat the tires because they are 120 tpi (can be a pain sometimes because the tire is so floppy with a folding bead)

I usually set the PSI to 20-22 for commuting and I can drop it down to 12-17 PSI for 100% trail riding days. Even at 20 PSI, the Vee8 can still traverse the occasional spots of mud/sand/rocks and make you own trail situations with ease on a trail that would stop a thinner tire (less dig in and more float compared to a thinner tire). The Vee8 is like a year round all season "jack of all trades, master of none" car tire.

The other day on a slight detour riding home after work. I was riding the single track trails near the Rio Grande river and a tree fell overnight across the path. I just made my own path with the Vee8 tires around the soft sandy terrain around the fallen tree without missing a beat.

1/1
mrgold35
1 month ago

There have been threads on upgrading to hydraulic brakes and I don't know if they did the conversion? Most upgrades for the Radrover are usually:
- tires for smoother commuting or knobby tires for better snow and off road fun
- upgrading front rotors to 203mm and/or brake pads
- suspension seat posts like thudbuster, Suntour, or bodyfloat
- upgrade of battery to plug-n-play Luna Cycles 48v/13.ah or 52v/13.5ah Dolphin battery packs
- upgrade of seat for more comfortable long distance riding
- adding adjustable handlebar stem to move handlebars to more comfortable position (Radrover is one size to fit most)
- hard wiring a brighter front lights into battery
- adding fenders, rear rack, or accessories for cell phones, locks, beer bottle openers, water bottle cages, etc...

Only being $1500+shipping+ 1 year full warranty for a complete 4" fat tire ebike give you a lot of wiggle room to make improvements. Volt Yukon 750 bike is another 4" fat tire bike that is in the same price range with very similar specs and capabilities. The Radrover is basically a 4" fat tire bike with ebike components. It would be feasible to converted the Radrover into a 1000w mid-drive down the road and reuse the battery to cut down conversion cost.

The Radrover is a jack of all trades and master of none type of bike. I can work commute very comfortably at +20 mph on main roads with all my gear (work cloths, lunch, riding gear, etc...) and detour off the road and ride single track dirt trails without missing a beat before heading back to work or home. Since the Radrover is a Class II ebike limited to 750w, I can go everywhere and on any trail/sidewalk/street a regular bike is allowed (a lot more restrictions on +750w and/or Class III ebikes). The all terrain capabilities and utility for commuting fits perfectly into the way I use my ebike.

Edie
2 months ago

Hi - many thanks in anticipation of some help - everyone seems very helpful on these threads!

I am late forties, 5'1" female - looking for an bike so I can keep up with the kids despite bad knees, ankles, and a bit of asthma. Looking for pedal assist for hills only - hoping to use leg muscles for remainder.

I test drove the Raleigh Detour step through yesterday, which was nice, but wanted to widen my search. Another local dealer here in DC has the Trek Lift + low step which I could try.

I think my wishlist is
pedal assist

small frame for 5’1” -narrows down options I imagine.

lightweight

comfortable

recreational ride over paved and gravel trails (not daily use as have to drive the kids to school - sigh).

fit on a back mounted car rack (hence step-through not an option?)

removable battery charge option

Would rather pay less than $3000.

Thanks so much!
edie

Edie
2 months ago

Hi - many thanks in anticipation of some help - everyone seems very helpful on these threads!

I am late forties, 5'1" female - looking for an bike so I can keep up with the kids despite bad knees, ankles, and a bit of asthma. Looking for pedal assist for hills only - hoping to use leg muscles for remainder.

I test drove the Raleigh Detour step through yesterday, which was nice, but wanted to widen my search. Another local dealer here in DC has the Trek Lift + low step which I could try.

I think my wishlist is
pedal assist

small frame for 5’1” -narrows down options I imagine.

lightweight

comfortable

recreational ride over paved and gravel trails (not daily use as have to drive the kids to school - sigh).

fit on a back mounted car rack (hence step-through not an option?)

removable battery charge option

Would rather pay less than $3000.

Thanks so much!
edie

mrgold35
2 months ago

So what I understand from your reply is that an e-bike is a very fun device to use, but you would only use it as a mean of transportation if you know you have a safe place inside to store it (and possibly charge it) at your destination. With this said, you would still count on a car in a few occasions. Does that sum it up?

Pretty much sums it up.

I still like to have a car for after-work errands once I get home, doctor's appt during the day, just feeling too tired to ride that day, or bad weather (extreme wind or rain/snow). I would still ride my bike to work if I couldn't store indoors because I can remove the battery to re-charge in my office (probably keep a water proof bike cover in my office to use when needed). I just moved my errands to the weekends mostly (or one day during the week) to combine my car trips to 1-2 outings. I think I would still ride my Radrover to/from work if my mileage was up to 15-20 miles one-way. E-biking +20 miles one-way would be harder because of the inclines and windy afternoons impacting my range sometimes. Ran out of juice once about a mile from home after taking a +20 mile single track trail ride detour near the Rio Grande River on a windy day. Didn't enjoy pedaling a +70lbs fat tire ebike with zero power in a +15 mph headwind.

mrgold35
2 months ago

I have around 2000 miles between my two Radrovers and I use mostly commuting to work 13 miles roundtrip. I purchased another charger to leave a work and top off in the morning. If the weather is nice, I sometimes take a detour to ride the paved bike trails, hard-packed, and/or single track trails near the river before heading home. I sometimes put 17-25 miles on the RR on those rides on a single charge with no blinking bar on LCD when I get home. I try to keep the tires at 20 PSI and PAS level between 2 or 3 for efficiency. It is always windy and my commute takes me from 5400 ft at my house down to 4900 ft to work. I'm 270lbs and I once weight my RR on the bathroom digital scale and it was 380 lbs (winter commuting gear, bike, lunch, work cloths, spare battery, bike tools, bike accessories).

Depending on the headwind and incline(s), I can go around 22-27 miles with the PAS around 2 or 3. The furthest I've gone on a single charge was 36 miles at PAS 2 only with my mph around 11-13 mph (old controller programming, level ground, zero wind, good amount of leg power).

I've noticed my battery level drops almost instantly to 4 bars when I get a few blocks down the road. I think the LCD screen is showing my load instead of my battery level (PAS 3-4 when trying to fight a strong headwind/incline). I can stay at 1-2 bars on the screen for a long time before I get the blinking bar.

I'm lucky to have a place to store my RR indoors at work to recharge and have my wife's spare battery to 2X my range if the weather is extremely cold or windy. I don't ride when it is extremely windy because I use 4 bars of power trying to ride the 6.5 miles home when it is +20 mph headwind with gust +25 mph.

kathik
3 months ago

I am also 5'2" but not skinny(120 lbs.) and probably much older than you. I gave up cycling five years ago due to lung capacity issues. This past year I have started to ride thanks to finding info on e-bikes. My first purchase was a Raleigh Detour 350w/28mph bike purchased at my local bicycle shop that I had been dealing with for years. I love this bike for road riding but thought I would like to try some easy mountain biking trails in my area. I purchased a Women's Turbo Levo FSR in December. The Levo is a beautiful bike! I have not ridden it as much as I wanted due to winter weather. My personal experience with the Levo is it's great in the woods at lower speeds, but I do not enjoy riding it on hard surface roads. I find myself having to work a lot harder at pedaling which in turn aggravates my breathing issues. Hopefully as I get in better shape this Spring this will be less of an issue. I do want to add that the Levo in a Women's small fits someone my size almost perfectly. As other people have already mentioned try riding many different bikes before you make a choice. I realize this is difficult because when you are petite in size it's hard to find demo's that will fit you. Good Luck with your purchase!

Seniorchief93
3 months ago

I purchased 2 detour ie's a small for the wife and a large for me. I am disabled and needed the step-thru model. I did two identical as this gives me multiple batteries and chargers to play with. I will not fully retire for another year so I only managed to put on about 600 miles on my bike and she did 200 on hers. Normally I have a trailer with 1 or 2 grandkids be hind. Central pa has lots of steep hills and these bikes Work!! I can't believe the enjoyment of this ride. Ienjoy this as much or more than my Greg lemond that I rode prior to my disability.

mrgold35
3 months ago

Hey Vincent. thanks for the tip about riding paths in Flagstaff. We usually stop for a gas or hotel in Flagstaff and love hitting Diablo Burger downtown or Fractured Prune Doughnuts at the Aspen Place at the Sawmill.

I'm not planning to hit the parks until the 2nd week in May. My kid runs college track and their Mountain West Conf Championships are in Logan, Utah. It worked out pretty good to be in Utah at the same time as the Bike Expo in Salt Lake City at the end of the week after the track meet. I was planning to take a detour either up there or back home to hit 1 or 2 of parks if I can (Arches & Canyonlands). I will need to dig a little deeper and find out if some or all parks are even bike friendly (let alone ebike friendly). Having to share to the main roads with distracted tourist in cars, SUVs, and huge travel trailers doesn't feel that safe to me on our usual 10-15 mph ebike cruising speed.. I rather be on a separate dirt or paved trail parallel to the roadway if possible. I had to share the road a little bit at the Grand Canyon and you are either holding up traffic or having very close calls with almost every vehicle pass (no paved or dirt shoulder lanes with park roads).

I have another trip planned to Las Vegas in September (wife is a Bruno Mars fan). Thinking about making another detour to check out the other parks closer to that area. Thinking about spending a 4-5 days at the north rim of Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National park before heading to Las Vegas for the weekend.

loginhater
3 months ago

I rode the Trek XM700+, the Raleigh Misceo iE with the Alfine hub, and the Raleigh Detour IE. I liked them in that order, although none of them were an XL frame. Hoping to ride a Juiced Cross Current next week.

Cross and 29er are similar but 29er is lot more versatile and has better componentry (better shocks, drive train and MTB rims). You could always run street tires on them and make it a nice commuter.
Also, the Large frame of 29er is slightly bigger than the cross. and I think for your size, large- 29er would be a more apt.

What bikes have you tried so far?

mrgold35
3 months ago

The wife and I have several trips planned to Utah, Arizona, and Nevada over the next 6 months. We wanted to check out as many of the "Mighty 5" National Parks in Utah (Zion, Bryce, Arches, Capital Reef, & Canyonlands) since they are only a slight detour on our travel paths. I wanted to find out how friendly are the Parks to bikers and especially ebikers in Utah? I figured we could see more and still be part of the environment on two wheels compared to just driving or hiking the park(s). We do have our Transeo GT 700c commuter bikes that can ride hard packed trails if they are not fat tire ebike friendly.

We took our ebikes to the Grand Canyon and Sedona in Nov/2016. The south rim of the Grand Canyon was ebike friendly and we were able to see more and stay away from the crowded tourist lookout points at bus stops.
In Sedona, no ebikes were allowed on trails shared with walkers, hikers, and MTB in city limits. I could only ride the trails with other motorized vehicles if I wanted to ride off road. High powered gas powered vehicle hauling butt down a twisty dirt road while I'm pedaling at 13-15 mph; what can go wrong. Might as well put up a sign saying "ebikes not welcomed!"

Prefer the paved roads/trails or at most hard packed "bunny trail" levels for the wife. The wife wouldn't want to ride if the local bike/ebike trails are more challenging.

Lori-Ann Leavitt
2 weeks 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
3 weeks ago

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

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 weeks ago

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

Michigan Mister
3 weeks 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
3 weeks 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
3 weeks 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
3 weeks 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
3 weeks 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
3 weeks 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
3 weeks 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!