- A stealthy full suspension 28mph urban electric bike with comfortable plus sized tires, sturdy thru-axles with wider Boost hub spacing, lightweight 130mm air suspension from RockShox
- Available in three frame sizes and designed with a lower top tube for approachability, you could swap the slick tires out for knobby and use this as a cross country electric mountain bike
- High performance Bosch Speed motor with shift detection, larger PowerPack 500 battery provides excellent range while remaining lightweight, great 10-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain with one-way clutch to reduce chain bounce, upgraded Bosch Kiox display panel
- Powerful and consistent Magura hydraulic disc brakes with larger 203mm front rotor and quad-piston calipers for consistency and cooling at high speed, great locking ergonomic grips, solid Wellgo platform pedals, wider 31.6mm seat post for easy dropper post upgrade, matching black accents all around (including rims, spokes, and hubs)
To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This review was sponsored by Raleigh Electric. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased, this video and written review are not meant to be an endorsement of Raleigh products.
Raleigh North America told me that the Lore DS iE should be available in March 2019. Raleigh has upgraded their Lore iE model for 2019 by sinking the battery pack into the downtube, improving weight distribution, physical protection, and enhancing the look. This goes for both the hardtail, which I covered in 2018, and the brand new DS (dual suspension) model here. This ebike has always looked great to me, the minimalist branding, plus sized tires, and dark color scheme keep the drive systems hidden. Lightweight air suspension provides 130mm travel here, with compression and rebound adjust settings, you can adjust tire pressure for even more comfort, and the frame has bosses and pass-through ports for an aftermarket seat post dropper. For 2019, the DS model has upgraded from Purion to Kiox display panel, which has a functional Micro-USB charging port, color readouts, and tough Gorilla Glass screen. The rear suspension was described as four-link all-mountain, and should isolate movement when braking. Notice the little pulley wheel that elevates the chain to reduce chain slap and kickback, this is something I’m used to seeing on higher-end products like full suspension Haibikes. A sturdy alloy guard protects the proprietary Bosch chainring while keeping right paint legs clean and a tough alloy guard protects the motor from rock strikes. Compared to 2018, the motor is tipped up a bit and blends into the frame beautifully on both models. You still get the fast four-amp Bosch charger, powerful Magura hydraulic disc brakes with a large 203mm front rotor, and both brake calipers use a quad piston design for the DS. This is an ebike that looks beautiful, goes fast, keeps you comfortable, and is being made in three frame sizes for optimal fit. Priced at $4.6k, it’s on the higher end of the Raleigh price spread, but I’d consider it a good value in a fairly niche segment. Given that it does not come with reflective tires, frame paint, or integrated lights, please be extra careful when riding in low light conditions.
Bosch offered three Performance Line motors at the time of this review and they all produce a bit of electronic whirring noise, use energy faster, and introduce some reduction-gearing drag compared to the Active Line motors (and many competing products). What you get in exchange is higher torque output, up to 63 Newton meters in this case, and high-speed 120 RPM pedal support. As someone who enjoys spinning quickly (pedaling fast) it’s nice that the Bosch Performance Line Speed motor can keep up and won’t fade out when downshifting into climbs. Imagine that you’re pedaling towards a hill and begin downshifting in anticipation, to make climbing easier, the motor will simply spin faster without dropping support as you approach… and it probably won’t stress the chain, sprockets, and derailleur as much when you do. This is because the Bosch motor controller, which measures rear wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal torque 1,000+ times per second, also listens for shifting and reduces pressure automatically. Given the mid-level Shimano Deore drivetrain with ten gears and wider range of supported speeds here, zero to 28mph (45km/h) you may be shifting more frequently than a Class 1 or Class 2 product, which only supports up to 20 mph (32km/h). The gear spread on the cassette is 11 to 42 tooth, which is a step up from the default 11 to 36 tooth cassettes I see on most Class 1 & 2 products. This balances with the slightly larger 20-tooth chainring (50 tooth traditional chainring equivalent). I was able to climb efficiently in the lowest gear and keep up with the motor above 28 miles per hour. Even though part of me would like to see a Deore XT derailleur instead of just Deore, it’s great that Raleigh opted for the Shadow Plus version, which is tucked in closer to the wheel to avoid rock strikes off-road, and also got the one-way clutch. Notice the small grey lever on the side of the derailleur that tightens the chain for high-speed riding and off-road use, to keep it from bouncing off and banging the chain stay. As a second layer of protection, the right chain stay has a thick rubber slap guard attached. As you can see, many of the parts and design choices for the drivetrain have been borrowed from cross country mountain bike models. Finally, it’s interesting to see longer 175mm crank arms on the medium sized frame (which was the frame I reviewed in the photos and video above). The increased length could result in pedal strikes if you go off-road, but compliments the 20 tooth chainring to slow pedal strokes for more comfortable high-speed riding.
Powering the 2019 Lore iE and DS iE is a high-capacity Bosch PowerPack 500 offering 36 volts and 13.4 amp hours for nearly 500 watt hours of capacity. It’s one of the most widespread electric bike batteries in the world right now and uses the same form factor and mounting interface as the older, lower capacity, Bosch PowerPack 400. This means that finding replacements, borrowing additional packs, or renting batteries when traveling becomes much easier. The plastic casing is durable but lightweight, especially compared to the new PowerTube 500 which weighs ~6.3lbs verses ~5.7lbs. PowerPack batteries do stand out a bit visually because they mount on top of the frame tubing, but Raleigh has done their best to sink the battery down into the downtube and even added a plastic shield to cover the top portion, blending it into the frame beautifully. The pack clicks down and secures with a high quality ABUS Ampero locking core. You can order locks and other accessories to match this key, reducing clutter and making it simpler to unlock the bike and battery. I noticed that the core is spring loaded, so you don’t need to insert and twist the key when mounting the pack… just be sure to push down until you hear it click. Raleigh dealers (and really any Bosch certified ebike dealer) can help you adjust the mounting interface over time if you notice rattling or loosening, it’s a durable convenient design. And, that goes for the charger as well. With half a kilowatt-hour of capacity in this battery, the faster 4-amp Bosch charger allows you to spend more time riding vs. waiting, and yet it’s about the same size and in some cases lighter than many generic 2-amp chargers included with cheaper e-bikes. I like the wide proprietary plug design as well, because it isn’t likely to be mixed up with other chargers or get broken as easily. You can charge this battery on or off the bike frame, making it great for commuters who need to charge inside at work, and you won’t be as likely to drop the battery during transport because it has a big plastic loop handle at the top. To maximize the life of this and most Lithium-ion batteries, try to keep it above 20% capacity and avoid extreme heat and cold. If you know you won’t be riding for some time, store at ~50% to reduce stress on the Lithium-ion cell chemistry.
One of the most noticeable updates for 2019 is the Bosch Kiox display panel vs. the Bosch Purion. This thing has a color LCD with Gorilla glass screen, an active Micro-USB charging port, connects via magnets and is removable, but cannot be adjusted for glare because it mounts in a fixed position over the stem. In terms of actual use, the Kiox provides more detailed menu readouts; including 1% stepped battery percentage vs. a five-bar infographic with wider 20% steps. Its color readout provides a fast and comfortable way to interpret assist levels (grey for Off, blue for Eco, green for Tour, yellow/gold for Sport, and red for Turbo). The screen on the Kiox is smaller than Purion, Intuvia, and Nyon, but the colors make it easier to interpret without having to squint and actually read. Because of how it’s mounted, my guess is that the Kiox may also take less damage if the bike tips or crashes. And that could be more likely on an ebike with no kickstand! I think it’s actually designed to pop off vs. cracking the mounting bracket when taking direct hits. Interacting with the display involves some button clicking. You begin by charging and mounting the battery, then press the power button on the display unit. The Kiox has power and lights buttons positioned juste below the screen, but the light button doesn’t do much if you haven’t added wired-in lights. Most interactions are done through a remote button pad, which is mounted within reach of the left grip. This pad has a +, -, left, right, select, and walk mode button. It boots up in the second view, showing your assist level with a swirling color infographic. different parts of the swirl line fill based on how much power you exert as a rider and how much power the motor exerts, when active. You can arrow left or right to change screen readouts, and I especially like the ones towards the right, which show a range estimate based on remaining battery capacity and the last mile of riding. The display now loops around, so you can keep clicking right and end up back at the first screen, which shows a settings menu. This menu is very deep with options around units (mph vs. km/h), backlight brightness, and Bluetooth accessories including a Bosch eBike app. For now, Bluetooth seems to be reserved for use with aftermarket heart rate monitors and I have not fully tested it. I’m reviewing this product in North America, but Europe is a bit ahead with the release and apps. The two markets differ slightly and I’d recommend working with your local dealer to learn more and get help with software updates. Okay, all things considered, the Kiox is an excellent display unit. It brings a lot of improvements over Purion and Intuvia but probably does contribute to a higher price point. For more information and pictures of the Kiox, I’ve created a guide in the EBR forums here.
To me, the Raleigh Lore DS iE is beautiful and practical… as long as you aren’t trying to haul a lot of gear or riding in dark/wet environments. The oversized tires add comfort, stability, and traction if you need to jump onto a dirt or gravel trail for part of your ride, and the high-speed motor it tons of fun. Handling does feel a bit different with the larger tires, it almost feels like riding a motorcycle where you push outwards as you lean and turn in. Even though the bike weigh quite a bit at ~57lbs, it zips up to speed very quickly and climbs well because of the Bosch Performance Line motor and wider range of gears. It balances urban and trail features, delivering something sturdy and capable that will get you just about anywhere that’s paved or sufficiently packed in a delightful hurry. As someone who only has enough space for one ebike at a time, I appreciate how a second set of tires could basically transform the Lore DS iE from urban to cross country… though it is still a Class 3 product and therefore may not be legal on all trails. I trust Raleigh because they are one of the oldest bicycle brands in the world and have recently become part of the Accell Group (which includes Haibike, Lapierre, Diamondback, and others). You can get this bike setup professionally by visiting a Raleigh bicycle shop or order direct from their new website. I mentioned fenders earlier and want to point out that with the plus sized tires, there may not be room for adding traditional fenders here. So, you may want to experiment with plastic mud guards, as used on cross country and mountain bikes. I’ll do my best to answer questions in the comment section below and invite you to connect directly with other users and share your stories/photos in the Raleigh ebike forums as well.
- This is one of the coolest looking, best outfitted, full-suspension, urban speed pedelecs that I have seen for 2019, it comes in three frame sizes and has an angled top tube so it’s very approachable
- Raleigh included two bosses below the top tube and an internal channel near the seat tube so you could add a dropper post and run the wires neatly… very thoughtful
- I really like the battery choice and mounting design here! They opted for the lightweight, less expensive Bosch PowerPack 500, but sunk it into the downtube for lower weight distribution and a nicer look
- Satin black was an excellent color choice, it compliments the black rims, tires, seat post, stem, handlebar, fork, pedals, and drive system components (battery and motor casing), the gold accents and branding aren’t overdone
- Comfort becomes more of an issue at high speed, so the high-volume plus sized 2.8″ tires and 130mm air suspension are really good upgrades, the bike feels steady and plush
- Thru-axles and boost hub spacing provide strength to the wheels and wider 45 mm rims, you could easily swap out the Schwalbe Super Moto-X slick tires for some studded Nobby Nic or Rocket Ron tires and use the Lore as a cross country mountain bike
- Excellent hydraulic disc brakes, Magura levers actuate consistently and are lightweight, I love that Raleigh opted for a larger 203mm front rotor because it provides a mechanical advantage and better cooling, both brake calipers offer quad piston calipers for smooth powerful stops and decreased hand fatigue
- It’s great that this ebike comes with the highest capacity battery available from Bosch for the 2019 season, the PowerPack 500, because faster riding tends to drain batteries quicker (due to wind resistance), but the interface is backwards compatible for use with the PowerPack 400 if you already own one and want to extend your range, the PowerPack is more universally available to rent or borrow because it has been around for a long time now
- Larger batteries mean longer charge wait times, so it’s great that the Lore DS iE comes with the fast Bosch 4 amp charger
- Mid-drive ebikes tend to be very efficient if you shift gears appropriately (lower gears for climbing and higher for reaching high speeds), the Raleigh Lorie DS iE has a decent 10-speed drivetrain with a one-way clutch to keep the chain tight, and the Bosch motor controller offers automatic shift detection to reduce mashing and premature wear
- Both wheels offer quick release, this is another benefit of using a mid-drive motor, maintenance and transport are much easier with quick release axles but it also means you need to lock both wheels when you park each time, consider a u-lock for the frame and long cable for both wheels which I demonstrate in this forum post
- Nice thick rubber slap guard protects the right chain stay, large sturdy alloy platform pedals vs. narrow delicate cages or plastic provide stability, and an alloy chainring guard reduces drops and keeps pant legs clean
- Clean cockpit, the Bosch Kiox display panel is mounted over the stem and stays out of the way, it offers lots of deep menus and options, the color LCD is easy to interpret, and it can even charge portable electronics (like your phone) because it puts out 5v 1amp of energy through Micro USB
- I love that Raleigh opted for a 3.16 mm seat post size because it makes upgrading to a dropper post much easier, the thicker size is sturdier as well
- Pedaling with assist on a Bosch Performance Line motor feels very responsive and fluid, the motor controller measures rear wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal torque over 1,000 times per second, it’s one of the most advanced drive systems around
- You can charge the battery on or off the bike frame and it has a big loop-handle at the top for secure transport, the charging port on the bike is near the left crank arm which could collide but the proprietary Bosch plug is very sturdy compared to most other chargers so that’s less of a concern here, I like the rubber cap and leash system that Raleigh designed to cover the charging port, it was easier to seat and won’t get lost
- Sturdy alloy shield protects the base of the motor while providing some air flow and cooling, many other designs use plastic shields, I like how Raleigh tilted the motor up to provide more ground clearance and help it blend into the frame
- Another feature of the Bosch Performance Line motors that I really appreciate is how they can support higher pedal rates without fading out, you can reach 120 RPM (pedal strokes per minute) and the motor is still there for you, this means you don’t have to shift gears as frequently if you prefer to spin instead
- It’s a little thing, but I like the pedals that come stock with this ebike because they provide a larger surface area and tougher build than many of the cheaper plastic and cage style pedals
- Bosch Performance Line motors tend to produce more noise because of the power on offer and reduction gearing design, the 20 tooth chainring here will spin 2.5 times for each crank revolution and that produces a bit of drag if the bike isn’t powered on or you’re tryin to pedal beyond the maximum supported ~28 mph top speed… it will not impact coasting beyond ~28mph
- I really like this ebike, but you definitely pay for the Bosch drive systems, name brand Schwalbe tires, upgraded hydraulic disc brakes, and multiple sizes… it’s nice that you can buy Raleigh products from dealers and take test rides + get service over time (and that also contributes to the higher price)
- Raleigh is also selling direct online and ships products ~95% assembled with a two-year comprehensive warranty, they partnered with Beeline mobile bike repair for those who want some help with delivery and setup for an extra fee
- The larger tires and comfortable and stable but also heavier and less efficient, the increased surface area (especially at lower tire pressure) changes the way that turning feels, it reminded me more of a motorcycle where you almost have to push out as you turn
- It appears that there was not room in the main triangle for adding bottle cage bosses and Raleigh opted not to add them on the top tube or below the downtube, this is pretty standard for full suspension electric bicycles but there aren’t any rack mounting provisions so you might need to wear a hydration backpack
- The bike doesn’t come with a kickstand and there are no provisions for attaching one! It would be nice if there was a tab on the left chain stay for bolting on a kickstand for those who don’t have a great place to lean the bike, perhaps an adjustable stand like this could be made to work with the bike
- For an urban electric bike that goes fast, the all-black paint job might not be as safe in low light conditions… especially since the tires don’t have reflective stripes, and there are no lights built-in. Some shops can add lights aftermarket (wiring into the Bosch motor system, running off of the main battery)
- Frankly, I was surprised at the big jump in weight from ~49lbs to ~57lbs going from the hardtail Lore iE to the full suspension Lore DS iE, perhaps this comes from the rear swing arm and second shock absorber?