A few weeks ago, I was able to get my hands on the 2017 Raleigh Redux IE Diamond Frame and it has become one of my favorite commuter-style e-bikes ever. The Redux IE is fast, very maneuverable, light (for an e-bike anyway), quiet, it strikes the right balance when it comes to value for money (regularly $3199, on sale now for $2699) and maybe most importantly, this bike is so fun I can’t wait to ride.
I’m not sure if it is the geometry, the rigid aluminum frame or the combination of all the components working together, but when you get on this bike, it simply works. It is agile, nimble and above all fun to ride.
Of course, there may be better bikes (more expensive?) and there may be cheaper bikes (lower quality?), but I think the Raleigh Redux IE hits the sweet spot in the range of commuter-style e-bikes. Is it perfect? No, it is not… but it gets as close as I’ve yet seen.
We will have this particular bike for some time and we will use it as the benchmark for similar style bikes. With that out of the way, let’s get started with the review.
BUILD QUALITY – 8/10
Any commuter bike is going to get used a lot in various conditions and needs to be able to withstand the abuse. How does this Raleigh e-bike do in that department?
The Redux IE is a light-weight electric commuter bike. It feels a little less rugged than the Trek Super Commuter +8S, but that one was heavy and built like a tank. The Raleigh does not feel fragile or flimsy however. It is a well-built, stiff, light-weight aluminum frame (AL-6061 Custom Butted Aluminum, City Geometry) with integrated wiring and all the components, such as brake levers with adjustable reach, gear shifter, display, grips, etc. are solid and work well. Personally, I liked the matte black paint with the black Raleigh logo and the metallic blue accents, but that may be a matter of personal taste.
VERSATILITY – 6/10
Versatility, i.e. rain or shine, uphill or downhill, asphalt or gravel road, during the day or the night. How does the Redux IE do?
Well, the Redux IE comes with a 10-speed derailleur, which certainly helps with both uphill and downhill sections, you may encounter. It also has somewhat wider and fatter tires than your typical road bike and they do provide adequate grip on both asphalt and gravel road. However, if things get too muddy, it could get slippery. I appreciated the nicely integrated kickstand with adjustable length. It is moved far to the back so that it stays out of the way. What I found missing though, are splash guards, a little bell, integrated lights, integrated lock (VanMoof has a nice solution), and an (optional) pannier rack. Those items would make the bike a bit more well-rounded as a commuter’s bike. Of course there is always the aftermarket but still.
COMFORT – 8/10
In my last review, I got critiqued by some fellow Dutch countrymen that a real commuter bike should have an upright riding position (and an integrated lock and chainguard, but no derailleur) to provide a more comfort. Well, I guess that is a very personal consideration and one that is also very dependent on where you use your bike. I do like a more sporty ride and I don’t mind leaning forward a bit more. It is a little more aerodynamic and puts you more in control of the bike allowing you to ride a tad more aggressive. For me, the Raleigh Redux IE was a very comfortable bike, even though I am 6’4″ and probably could use a slightly larger frame. The Selle Royale Shadow saddle is great, handlebars are the right width, grips are not ergonomic but did not give me any problems. All this resulted in a sporty but comfortable ride for me. The beefer Schwalbe Big Ben (27.5″ x 2″) tires help as well in smoothing out any rougher patches in the road. As do the TranzX antishock stem and seat post. The bike does come in different sizes so anybody should be able to find a size that fits their body size and shape. The bike has flat pedals, that were both comfortable and easy to use. Overall the Raleigh Redux IE geometry is more sporty than the Trek Super Commuter +8S
HANDLING – 9/10
I think this is where the Raleigh Redux IE shines. As soon as you get on this bike, you feel that it clicks. It is quiet, light (48Lbs), eager to get going and very willing to turn in. This is the result of both the geometry of the bike, the stiffness of the aluminum diamond frame, stiff front fork and the fact that it is a lighter e-bike. Yes, it is also less powerful than some other bikes but the lack of weight counters this so much that I didn’t even notice. The hydraulic disc brakes (no re-gen) work very well in slowing this bike down and gave me a lot of confidence on my daily commute. There is one downhill section where on this bike, I easily hit 50 mph. At the bottom of that downhill section, there are a few sharp turns. This bike brakes smoothly and precisely. Confidence inspiring. Shifting gears works well on the Redux IE. The derailleur responds quickly to your input and even though it sounds very clicky, it never missed a beat. A nice feature is the chain guide up front as it prevents the chain from coming off and protects the chain/sprocket. A big part of the handling of any bike has to do with the motor and battery integration. The Brose system works really well and improves the handling of the bike, helping you to its top speed of 28mph quickly. More on the motor and battery later though.
SAFETY FEATURES – 7/10
You could argue that the way a bike handles (brakes, steers, frame stiffness, etc.) is a big part of how safe a bike is to ride and I would agree with that. The Raleigh Redux IE scores high in that department. As far as additional safety features, this bike scores less high. There are no integrated lights, which I think is a shame. Also, there are reflectors in the wheels but a reflective stripe on the tire wall is a much nicer solution. The silver parts of the stickers or decals on the frame are in fact reflective, which is nice. Also, the bike comes with a front and rear reflector.
THE ELECTRIC MOTOR – 9/10
The Raleigh Redux IE comes with a class 3, Brose, mid-mounted geared motor. The motor’s output is 250 watt (with a max output of 530 watts) and 90 Newton meters of torque. This is less powerful than some other bikes but because of the light-weight and speediness of the bike, this does not seem to be an issue at all. You will get up to 28mph in no time on the Redux IE. What stands out is how silent and smooth the Brose motor is. It sorts of disappears into the background and does not interfere with your riding. It is one of the best integrations we have tested so far. Only when you are shifting gears up, can you sometimes feel that it takes the Brose motor a split second to figure out how much pedal assist it needs to provide but this may have more to do with the processing capabilities of the torque and pedal cadence sensor. The bike does not come with a gearshift sensor, so when shifting gears it is best to reduce your pedaling power for a second or so. The Brose motor is quite small and well integrated into the frame. Less bulky than on many other bikes. Lastly, there is only one press of the button needed to start up the electric motor.
You control the Brose motor’s output with a controller on the handlebar. You can choose between Cruise, Tour, and Sport, the latter being the highest level of pedal assist. The Brose display is easy to read in varying lighting conditions and provides information on the battery charge, speed, assist level, time, etc. It is worth noting that you can remove the display, which is a nice feature when you park the bike somewhere outside.
BATTERY – 7/10
In my mind, all batteries are too heavy, do not provide enough range, charge too slow and additional batteries are too expensive. The same is true for the Raleigh. However, the Brose battery is well integrated into the frame and adds to the very stealthy look of the bike. Most people will be hardpressed to recognize this is an electric bike at all. The battery charges to a 100% in about 4.5 hours. I wish this was shorter. If a bike charges quickly, the need for a second battery becomes less mandatory. The Trek Super Commuter +8S charged in about 2 to 2.5 hours. The Brose battery on the Raleigh e-bike is locked in the frame but can be removed with a key. The battery can be charged both when it is on the bike or when it is removed.
PRICE – 7/10
All good bikes tend to be expensive and this is even more true for electric bikes with expensive components such as motors and batteries. Many e-bikes from established brands are priced between $3,500 to $5,000, which is a lot of money for any bike. The 2017 Raleigh Redux IE comes in at $3199 but is discounted to $2,699as of today. At that price point, it becomes really attractive. Sure you can buy a Sondors e-bike and spend less still but then you do not get such a fast and sophisticated bike as you get with the Raleigh. When you compare the Redux IE with the more expensive bikes, there is a difference. This comes down mostly to the use of higher quality components, such as shift and brake gear but the Raleigh Redux IE performs more than adequate. You could upgrade some of the components or add features such as fenders, lights and racks that come standard on other bikes and you would still save a lot of money. The Raleigh hits the sweet spot in terms of value for money. Even more so now with the end-of-year discount.
Overall, the Raleigh Redux IE Diamond Frame comes with a two-year comprehensive warranty and lifetime warranty on the frame and is a very capable, quiet and fast e-bike at a very attractive price point (discounted). Yes, it is a little short on additional features such as lights, fenders, and racks that many commuters would want to add, but it is easy to get any aftermarket components that would suit your needs and still have money left over compared to other e-bikes. The Raleigh does have rack, fender and water cage bosses, so installation should be straightforward. The strong point for the Redux IE is the smooth way it rides and how it puts a smile on your face.
Like I have said before, the Raleigh Redux IE is one of (if not the) my favorite e-bikes so far at any price point and we will use it to benchmark other e-bikes against. If you think I am exaggerating I would invite you to try one out at your nearest Raleigh dealer. You will be surprised.
Do you have a Raleigh Redux IE or a bike that you think is even better? Do you have any suggestions on aftermarket components to make this bike a better commuter bike? Let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!
|PRICE:||$3,199, on sale now for $2,699|
|SUGGESTED USE:||Urban, Commuting, Road|
|ELECTRIC BIKE CLASS:||Speed Pedalec (Class 3)|
|WARRANTY:||2 Year Comprehensive, Lifetime Frame|
|TOTAL WEIGHT:||48.6 lbs (22.04 kg)|
|BATTERY WEIGHT:||6.8 lbs (3.08 kg)|
|MOTOR WEIGHT:||6.61 lbs (2.99 kg)|
|FRAME MATERIAL:||6061 Aluminum Alloy, Custom Butted|
|FRAME SIZES:||17 in (43.18 cm)19 in (48.26 cm)21 in (53.34 cm)|
|GEOMETRY MEASUREMENTS:||Small: 17″ Seat Tube, 23.5″ Reach, 28.5″ Stand Over Height, 71.5″ Length|
|FRAME COLORS:||Satin Black with Blue and Grey Accents|
|FRAME FORK DETAILS:||Rigid Aluminum Alloy, 100 mm / 15 mm Thru-Axle with Quick Release|
|FRAME REAR DETAILS:||142 mm / 12 mm Thru-Axle Release Skewer|
|ATTACHMENT POINTS:||Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses|
|GEARING DETAILS:||10 Speed 1×10 Shimano Deore, 11-32T|
|SHIFTER DETAILS:||Shimano Deore Two-Way Triggers on Right|
|CRANKS:||FSA 170 mm Alloy Crank Arms, 48T Chainring with Alloy Guide|
|PEDALS:||Generic Aluminum Alloy Platform|
|HEADSET:||Alloy 1-1/8″, Four 5 mm Risers|
|STEM:||TranzX Antishock, Aluminum Alloy, 90 mm Length, -3° Rise|
|HANDLEBAR:||Aluminum Alloy, Low-Rise, 27.5″ Length|
|BRAKE DETAILS:||Shimano Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Front Rotor and 160 mm Back Rotor, Shimano Three-Finger Levers with Adjustable Reach|
|GRIPS:||Raleigh, Flat Rubber, Locking|
|SADDLE:||Selle Royale Shadow|
|SEAT POST:||TranzX Antishock, Aluminum Alloy with Quick Release Collar|
|SEAT POST LENGTH:||350 mm|
|SEAT POST DIAMETER:||31.6 mm|
|RIMS:||Double Wall, Aluminum Alloy, 32 Hole, Black|
|SPOKES:||Stainless Steel, 14 Gauge, Black with Nipples|
|TIRE BRAND:||Schwalbe Big Ben, 27.5″ x 2.0″|
|WHEEL SIZES:||27.5 in (69.85cm)|
|TIRE DETAILS:||Active Line K-Guard Puncture Protection, 35 to 70 PSI|
|TUBE DETAILS:||Presta Valve|
|MOTOR TYPE:||Mid-Mounted Geared Motor|
|MOTOR NOMINAL OUTPUT:||250 watts|
|MOTOR PEAK OUTPUT:||530 watts|
|MOTOR TORQUE:||90 Newton meters|
|BATTERY VOLTAGE:||36 volts|
|BATTERY AMP HOURS:||13.8 ah|
|BATTERY WATT HOURS:||496.8 wh|
|CHARGE TIME:||4.5 hours|
|ESTIMATED MIN RANGE:||30 miles (48 km)|
|ESTIMATED MAX RANGE:||60 miles (97 km)|
|DISPLAY TYPE:||Brose, Removable, Backlit LCD|
|READOUTS:||Speed, Assist Level (Off, Cruise, Tour, Sport),
Battery Level (10 Bars), Odometer, Trip Meter,
|DISPLAY ACCESSORIES:||Integrated Button Pad on Display (On/Off, Light, Menu),
Independent Button Pad on Left (Up, Select, Down),
5 Volt Full Sized USB Port on Display Mount
|DRIVE MODE:||Advanced Pedal Assist (Cadence and Torque Sensing)|
|TOP SPEED:||28 mph (45 kph)|
|OTHER:||Locking Removable Battery Pack, 1.9 Pound 2.5 Amp Charger|
Upcoming reviews: VanMoof, Pedego Ridge Rider, Trail Tracker, Sondors X and Sondors Fold.
Btw – we will be giving the Sondors Fold away as part of our Electrek Rewards Program, probably towards the end of this month, so keep an eye out for that one on our site, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Disclaimer: like the Trek Super Commuter +8S review, the Raleigh Redux IE review is an unpaid review. We simply love riding different e-bikes and we write about our experience here on Electrek.
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