Raleigh Superbe iE Review

Raleigh Superbe Ie Electric Bike Review
Raleigh Superbe Ie
Raleigh Superbe Ie Currie Electro Drive Tranzx Geared Hub Motor
Raleigh Superbe Ie 48 Volt 8 8 Ah Panasonic Battery Pack
Raleigh Superbe Ie Relaxed Handlebar Clean Simple
Raleigh Superbe Ie Shimano Sis Shifter
Raleigh Superbe Ie Beautiful Alloy Fenders Matching Paint Color
Raleigh Superbe Ie Velo Vintage Leather Sprung
Raleigh Superbe Ie Silver Crank Bash Guard And Pedals
Raleigh Superbe Ie Matching Chain Cover Reack Bungees 7 Speed
Raleigh Superbe Ie 2 Amp Portable Battery Charger
Raleigh Superbe Ie High Step
Raleigh Superbe Ie Electric Bike Review
Raleigh Superbe Ie
Raleigh Superbe Ie Currie Electro Drive Tranzx Geared Hub Motor
Raleigh Superbe Ie 48 Volt 8 8 Ah Panasonic Battery Pack
Raleigh Superbe Ie Relaxed Handlebar Clean Simple
Raleigh Superbe Ie Shimano Sis Shifter
Raleigh Superbe Ie Beautiful Alloy Fenders Matching Paint Color
Raleigh Superbe Ie Velo Vintage Leather Sprung
Raleigh Superbe Ie Silver Crank Bash Guard And Pedals
Raleigh Superbe Ie Matching Chain Cover Reack Bungees 7 Speed
Raleigh Superbe Ie 2 Amp Portable Battery Charger
Raleigh Superbe Ie High Step


  • A vintage-styled electric bicycle with beautiful alloy paint-matched fenders, rack and chain cover, you get several frame size choices and two styles (high-step and step-thru)
  • Lots of little upgrades and accessories like an alloy chain guide to keep the chain on track, mini-USB port on the control pad for charging accessories and a triple bungee for the rack
  • Clean simple cockpit, small quiet motor (with impressive zip for it's size) and the rack-mounted battery don't attract attention... especially if you put panniers on the rack
  • Rear heavy design impacts handling and causes some frame flex, two-step power on process can be annoying, wired for lights but not included and no reflective paint on tires

Video Review

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Superbe iE



Body Position:


Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban, Commuting

Electric Bike Class:

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


2 Year Comprehensive, Lifetime Frame


United States

Model Year:


Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

50.2 lbs (22.77 kg)

Battery Weight:

7.4 lbs (3.35 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.5 lbs (3.85 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy, Custom Butted

Frame Sizes:

15 in (38.1 cm)17 in (43.18 cm)19 in (48.26 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Small Step-Thru: 16.75" Seat Tube, 21" Reach, 20.5" Stand Over Height, 71.5" Length

Frame Types:

Step-Thru, High-Step

Frame Colors:

Gloss Tan, Gloss Brown

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid Steel, 9 mm Skewer with Nuts

Frame Rear Details:

10 mm Axle with Nuts

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Shimano Tourney, 14-34T

Shifter Details:

Shimano SIS Index Thumb Shifter on Right


Aluminum Alloy Crank Arms, 170 mm Length, 42T Chainring with Alloy Guide


Aluminum Alloy Platform with Rubber Tread


25.4 mm




Steel, Swept Back, 25.5" Length

Brake Details:

Promax Mechanical Linear Pull, Generic Levers


Rubberized Cork


Velo Vintage, Leather, Sprung

Seat Post:

Promax Aluminum Alloy with Quick Release Collar

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm


Double Wall, Aluminum Alloy, 36 Hole, Silver


Stainless Steel, 13 Gauge, Silver with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Kenda, 700 x 38c (28" x 1-5/8" x 1-1/2")

Wheel Sizes:

28 in (71.12cm)

Tire Details:

50 to 85 PSI, Nylon

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve


Full Length Paint-Matched Alloy Fenders, Paint-Matched Bolt-On Rack 25 kg Max Weight (55 lbs), Triple Bungee Strap, Adjustable Length Kickstand


Locking Removable Battery Pack, 1.7 Pound 2.0 Amp Charger

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Currie Electro-Drive® (TranzX R15)

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Motor Torque:

45 Newton meters

Battery Brand:


Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

8.8 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

422.4 wh

Battery Chemistry:


Charge Time:

4.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

40 miles (64 km)

Display Type:

Currie Electro Drive DP27, Fixed, LED, Adjustable Angle


Speed, Battery Capacity (Green, Yellow, Red), Assist Level (0-4), Range

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad on Left (+, -, On/Off), Mini 5 Volt USB Port

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist (12 Magnet Disc)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The Raleigh Superbe iE is a bicycle first, with just a dash of electric. And that’s not to say it isn’t powerful or effective… just that the drive system doesn’t get in your way or change the appearance much. This is a beautiful, vintage-styled electric bicycle harkening back to Raleigh’s long, rich history of bicycle making in England. I love how approachable this bike is, especially the step-thru version. It’s available in two frame styles including a diamond high-step that rides a bit stiffer but isn’t as easy to mount. Both frames only come in one color but they are different (a cream for the step-thru and brown for the high-step). You get three frame sizes spread out across four style/size combinations. For this review, I was riding the small step-thru but was able to raise the saddle enough pedal comfortably. The geometry is relaxed and upright with swept-back handlebars, comfortable rubberized cork grips and a cushiony sprung saddle. Even though you won’t find a suspension fork or larger balloon tires here and the frame is all Aluminum (not exactly known for comfort) it actually felt pretty good to me. This is a Class 1 e-bike that can reach 20 mph in the US or 15.5 mph in parts of Europe with pedal assist only operation. You get seven gears to pedal with and a large easy to understand shifter. And while the Tourney drivetrain is at the bottom of the Shimano line in terms of performance and quality, the cassette offers good range with a Mega gear for climbing. This is, after all, a ~51 pound bicycle. The only missing feature was lights and the frame actually comes pre-wired for them so ask the dealer if you plan to ride in nighttime conditions.

Driving the bike is an average power 250/350 watt internally geared hub motor. It’s mounted in the rear wheel and almost disappears behind the cluster of sprockets. While the rating on this thing is average, it performed very well and was exceedingly quiet during my test rides. I had no problem climbing small hills and found that the 12-magnet cadence sensor was very responsive without making the bike feel jerky. As a person with sensitive knees, I appreciate how cadence sensors can take the work out of e-biking by listening only for crank arm movement and not force like torque sensors. They are bit simpler and cheaper but when the motor controller is programmed well, as it is here, they can be delightful. The only drawback is that they don’t offer power instantly when starting from a complete stop. If you haven’t planned ahead and shifted down, this could result in a very difficult first pedal stroke before the bike realizes you need assist and jumps in. Another highlight with the electronic drive system is how well the motor is wired with the power cable coming into the side of the axle vs. the end (which exposes it to bends and snags). Note that both wheels are fastened to the bike with nuts vs. quick release and the tires are more basic so you might want to bring a tool and a patch kit or cell phone in case you wind up with a leak.

Powering the motor and display panel as well as lights (if you choose to wire them in) is a rear-mounted removable battery pack. It offers efficient 48 volt power with 8.8 amp hours for an average capacity. Some older Raleigh electric bikes ran on 36 volts which didn’t seem as peppy. I don’t know what the Amperage is here on the Superb iE but as I mentioned before, it felt surprisingly capable given the size and low noise being produced under full power. The battery pack is well done with a magnetic handle at the back (great for pulling it off the bike and carrying it around safely), an integrated fuse for safety and an LED charge level indicator on the left side towards the back. You can see how full the battery is whether it’s on the bike or not and you can charge it on or off the bike which is super handy. I tend to park my bike in the garage and store my battery inside for charging and it’s the same setup at the office. Being able to remove the ~7.4 lb battery also makes the bike itself lighter and easier to work on or transport. Inside are premium Lithium-ion cells produced by Panasonic and they are covered by a leading two-year warranty. My only complaints with the battery are how it can be difficult to slide on and pull off because the track is tight… though perhaps it will loosen up over time? And also, how you have to press the LED power button before you can press the power button on the control pad near the left grip in order to actually operate the electric systems of the bike. It can be easy to get excited and hop right on the bike only to have to get off again to press the battery power button (unless you’re more flexible than me and can reach!).

Once the battery is charged and both power buttons have been pressed, the control pad will come to life with four red LED lights showing what assist level has been chosen, a red, yellow or green LED at the top right indicating battery charge level and a number at the top left indicating your current ride speed or range. I love how Raleigh was able to cram so many useful readouts into such a small, neat space. And even though it’s not as easy to see from afar or removable, I feel like it fits well on a relaxed neighborhood styled electric bike like this. The handlebar looks clean and open compared to many other electric bikes… but I do wish you got more than just green, yellow and red for charge level. It’s no fun to be outside on a nice day riding your bike, wondering how far you can go now that the battery light says yellow or red. Does that mean 60% and 30% respectively? I have no idea. And that’s where the range menu really shines, but it’s a little buried. This is the secret! In order to have the bike show how far it thinks you can go based on the level of charge remaining and your chosen level of pedal assist, you have to press the power button while in one of the four assist levels. For a brief moment, the speed readout changes to a different number and this is your estimated range… I believe in miles, at least for the US version of the bike. I welcome owners or test riders from abroad to chime in on how theirs works and whether it’s in kilometers :)

In my opinion, the Raleigh Superbe iE is a fantastic electric bike. It uses older, more basic drive systems (hub motor, cadence sensor) but has refined how they work so you aren’t suffering from a loud, weak or jerky ride. You get the benefits of these proven systems, the simplicity of pedaling and shifting independently from the motor, a less expensive product and a more hidden design, while still feeling decent power and performance. For me, it was actually beyond decent but I tend to pedal actively and don’t weigh a whole lot at ~135 lbs. I love how these bikes look, the matching fenders are both functional and beautiful with silver accents. Your chain shouldn’t bounce off even though the fenders might rattle a little on bumps and your pant legs will stay clean thanks to the chain cover. The brakes are nothing special, linear pull v-brakes, but they’ve worked for decades on non-electric bikes. The brake levers aren’t a real high point compared to new hydraulic ones that offer adjustable reach, but they match the silver accents. At ~$1,800, you get decent value here, especially if you can buy from a dealer and get setup properly. Whether you’re planning to commute or just ride for fun, the Raleigh Superbe iE is a great platform to work with. It does have some lower-end parts and is rear heavy but it exceeded my expectations for comfort and I love how the kickstand was mounted (out of the way of the pedals and motor) and that both frame styles come with bottle cage bosses. They got the little things right and it’s hard to argue with something this beautiful. Big thanks to Raleigh for partnering with me on this review and inviting me to their North Amerian headquarters to test ride several models back to back.


  • These bikes are beautiful, very classy frame designs and paint schemes that include the fenders, chain cover and rear rack
  • Great electric bike for a his-and-hers setup, the step-thru will be easier to mount but the high-step is stiffer (less frame flex), there are three frame sizes to choose from in total
  • The cockpit is simple and clean, there’s less to keep track of and be distracted by than a lot of other electric bikes… and possibly less to break
  • Sometimes electric bikes skip bottle cage mounts because they don’t have space or just don’t think people need them, but this e-bike has them! both the step-thru and high-step frames (great for folding locks or mini-pumps as well as water bottles)
  • Plenty of utility here with the rack and fenders, the only thing missing is lights but the frame comes pre-wired so your shop could add some or you could get independent rechargeable lights
  • The bike feels pretty zippy with a peak torque rating on the motor of 45 Newton meters and electricity is spent efficiently with the 48-volt battery system, note that I’m a 5’9″ guy weighing ~135 lbs
  • The motor is compact and nearly hidden behind the 7-speed cassette… with some panniers over the battery rack it would blend in even more look just like a regular unpowered bicycle
  • I love how the chainring has two Aluminum alloy plates sandwiching the chain so it won’t bounce off as easily when riding, this can be a big problem with some electric bicycles
  • The battery pack can be charged on or off the frame and is easy to remove to reduce weight or store safely away from the bike
  • Sometimes the cables on ebikes get in the way but the Superbe has them organized well and the motor power cable is very well protected (entering at the base of the rear axle vs. the end)
  • The battery has a magnetic handle at the back that won’t rattle (and makes it easy and safe to carry around), it has a fuse built in for safety and the battery charger has a tough metal cap… the one thing I struggled with was how tight the battery slides onto the rack
  • I like that the control pad has a little Mini-USB port built in so you could charge a phone to use GPS or play music
  • This electric bike uses a cadence sensor which can sometimes be jerky on/off vs. smooth but it performed well and was responsive with a 12 magnet sensor while a lot of other ones only have 5 or 6 magnets, one big benefit of cadence sensors is that they don’t require force when pedaling to activate… that’s good for people with sensitive knees
  • One of the really neat things about hub motors, compared to mid-drive systems, is that they operate independently from pedaling and don’t put as much stress on the chain, sprockets or derailleur


  • The display doesn’t show as many readouts as a full LCD panel might (time, average speed, max speed, precise battery level) but you do get speed, 3-color battery capacity, assist level and range estimate which is pretty solid
  • Because the battery pack and motor are both mounted at the back of the bike, it tends to feel rear heavy which impacts handling, makes the bike easier to tip and can make it wonky to lift the front and move (ideally, weight would be as low and centered as possible)
  • Consider adding some lights if you ride at dusk or dawn when it gets dark out, the Superbe iE doesn’t come with reflective tires or integrated lights but some ebike shops can add them easily since the frame comes pre-wired
  • My test rides felt good enough thanks to the swept-back handlebars, hybrid tires and sprung saddle but you don’t get suspension, you could add a 27.2 mm short-travel suspension seat post but that will raise the minimum saddle height which could be too high for petite riders
  • The saddle comes pretty close to the rack when you lower the seat so make sure you also slide the saddle forward a bit to make it fit right… some trunk bags might not fit very well with the saddle lower and slid back
  • This shouldn’t be a big concern for relaxed neighborhood riding or basic commutes but the Shimano Tourney drivetrain (rear derailleur) is at the lowest end of the performance/quality line, they work alright but might need more tuneups over time
  • There’s an on-switch at the battery as well as the control pad near the left grip…
    this two-step process is easy to forget and many newer bikes only have one power button that can be reached while seated, which I appreciate
  • The fenders do clink around a bit while riding over bumps and the bolt-on rear rack might require tightening over time
  • I love that the fenders offer full coverage protection against water but if you have longer feet, it’s possible to clip your toe on the front fender when turning


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Comments (6) YouTube Comments

2 years ago

I’m in love with the Faraday Porteur – a classically beautiful, quiet, natural-riding bike that doesn’t look like an e-bike at all and doesn’t weigh a ton so you can ride it without assist—but the price is too high, so I’m looking at Raleigh Superbe iE, Blix Aveny, and Public D8 as alternatives. I’m leaning toward the Aveny but its noisy motor and lack of a full length chainguard give me pause. I like the Raleigh but the low-end drivetrain and lack of a throttle give me pause. I like the Public but the conspicuous hub motor and exercise-biased torque sensor give me pause (my wife has the M8, and it winds up making you ride in too high a gear so that you’re straining hard enough on the pedals to wake up the motor).

Meanwhile my LBS says 350 Watts is too little for a 200 pound guy and wants to put me on a 500 watt Magnum Metro, which is looks like a mashup of classic cruiser and modern mountain bike and weighs in at 60+ pounds (!). I figure if I really wanted a faster and more modern looking ebike then I’d be a bit more inclined toward a final-year Blix Stockholm (500 w motor, front shocks).

Or I could try putting a Bafang or Tongsheng mid drive kit on my beloved existing Kettler Berlin Royal, assuming the bottom bracket is compatible, but that would require upgrading to disc brakes too, and sounds like a lot of risk and hassle for no cost savings.

My use case, BTW, is to commute 3-4 miles each way to work and back about half the week (with a moderate but relentless incline getting there in the morning), and leisure riding on weekends.

Any thoughts?

2 years ago

Hi Dennis! Lots of options there, I have enjoyed the Faraday products but agree that the style and drive system integration puts the price a bit high. Magnum has been doing a great job expanding their dealerships and I like that the Metro and others offer pedal assist and throttle mode (it sounds like that’s something you want right?) IZIP/Raleigh offer nice looking products and with a mid-drive I think you would be alright using a 350 watt nominal motor (which peaks closer to 500). The local ebike shop might just want to sell you what they have, but it’s not bad to go local because they can offer support and get you setup right from the start. I hope this helps, I think you could be happy with most of those options.

2 years ago

Thank you, Court. Your input was really helpful in making my decision!

I was very attracted to this Raleigh—gorgeous bike, especially the root-beer brown high-step model, and a terrific price—but decided I wanted either a throttle or an internally geared hub (to avoid getting stuck in a high gear at a stop). I almost went with the Blix Aveny when, lo and behold, I found a “demo” Faraday Porteur on a bike shop’s website for a price I couldn’t pass up…so, one FedEx box later, I’m now the proud owner of my dream bike! The Porteur’s small internal battery turns out not to be a problem for range, because the bike is so light that you ride with the assist off most of the time. Which is good, because it turns out that I substantially underestimated the distance to work!

I will caution others, though, that there’s risk in buying sight-unseen. The website promised that all demo bikes were reconditioned to like-new, and the guy on the phone said it had been hardly ridden. Turns out it had been used as a rental, parked carelessly outside daily, and wasn’t even wiped off before shipment, let alone “reconditioned.” I was miffed at first, but decided to embrace the patina and enjoy the ride. E-bike ownership truly is a joy.

Loopy Loo
1 year ago

This is listed as a Class 2 but in the review you say it’s Class 1 only. Can you clarify please?

1 year ago

Great question Loopy Loo. I think that this is a Class 1 product by default (no throttle) but that they sell a throttle button aftermarket for $50 that can be installed. I didn’t write much about it in the review but have seen other IZIP and Raleigh models and think it works here too, so that’s why I put both categories. Would be worth checking with your local dealer :D


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