Raleigh Superbe iE Electric Bike Review Part 2: Ride & Range Test [VIDEO]
A classic style with a very comfortable and super quiet ride are just some of the highlights of the Raleigh Superbe iE.
Another big highlight is the impressive range that the Raleigh Superbe iE recorded in the range test.
For the price of $1,699 the Raleigh Superbe iE eBike offers the classic Raleigh style with the modern conveniences and fun of electric assist!
In this second part of the full review you will get an idea of the ride characteristics, range test results, pros, cons, and overall thoughts on this electric bike.
Make sure you check out part 1 of this review with large pictures and specifications to get a detailed look at this e-bike.
What you can expect from the Raleigh Superbe iE:
To get acquainted with the Raleigh Superbe iE, checkout this video:
Riding the Raleigh Superbe iE:
Overall there are some characteristics of the Raleigh Superbe iE that really stand out when riding this pedelec. To summarize they are:
- Classic design and it almost doesn’t look like an eBike
- Very comfortable ride feel & quiet motor
- Impressive range
The Look & Feel of the Raleigh Superbe iE
The Superbe model has been in the conventional Raleigh bike line for decades and they have recently added electric assist with this new iE model.
Raleigh Electric did a great job of adding electric assist while keeping the classic and stylish look of the Superbe very well intact.
The 350 watt rear hub motor is very compact and the battery is housed cleanly in the lower part of the rear rack.
Even the display/ control pad on the handlebar is small and discrete.
In a lot of ways it is hard to tell that it is even an electric bike.
The roots of the Superbe iE classic style and comfortable ride come from the upright step thru aluminum frame.
The tall headtube and lower seat tube give you an upright and comfortable riding position that makes it easy to see everything around you.
A swooping top tube provides a lot of step thru area and the top and down tubes are tied together with a small piece of tubing for strength and style.
It is very easy to get on and off the Raleigh Superbe iE step thru because of the low swooping top tube design.
The step thru frame comes in 2 different sizes:
Small fits people from 5′-3″ to 5′-6″
Medium fits people from 5′-3″ to 5′-6″
For reference I tested the Medium step thru frame size.
There is also a diamond frame option. The diamond frame only comes in the Medium frame size.
Another style highlight is the chain guard that does a great job of keeping your pant legs clean while adding a lot of character to the Raleigh Superbe iE.
The swept back handlebars look good and they make the upright position very comfortable so that you can easily see all around you.
The cork style grips are also very comfortable & match the other color accents of the Raleigh Superbe iE well.
Even the wheels have their own stylish accents! The large 700 x 35c Kenda tires have tan sidewalls that have a retro look and they blend well with the overall look of the Raleigh Superbe iE.
These big wheels have a stable ride feel and they carry the momentum well for an efficient ride.
While I didn’t have any flats while testing the Raleigh Superbe iE it would be a good idea to use a tube sealant like Slime if you live in an area with a lot of sharp objects in the road (glass, thorns, etc.).
The saddle has a comfortable wider profile with springs for extra suspension.
In addition the saddle style fits the look of the Raleigh Superbe iE very well.
A compact 350 watt Currie Electro-Drive/TransX rear hub motor does a good job of blending electric assist with your pedal power.
And it does it with almost no noise which continues the theme of the Raleigh Superbe iE being a stealthy eBike!
Compared to other eBikes that I have ridden the Raleigh Superbe iE is one of the quietest and this is one of the big highlights for this comfortable commuter.
A 48 Volt 8.8 ah (422 watt hours) lithium battery pack is located on the rear rack of the bike and provides the kick to the rear hub motor.
At the higher assist levels the Raleigh Superbe iE can really get up and go! This is nice for being able to accelerate quickly from a stop and get through a congested intersection.
The battery can be charged on or off the bike and fully charging an empty battery takes 4 to 6 hours. Once the battery has been unlocked with the supplied key (it comes with 2 keys) it slides off the back of the rack.
Removing the 7.3 pound battery pack brings the weight of the Raleigh Superbe iE to 43.3 pounds which makes it a little easier to load on a car rack.
Because the battery is housed below the top of the rack it maintains the clean overall look of the Raleigh Superbe iE well.
You can use traditional bike bags and panniers with the rack and they would further hide the battery from sight.
Okay now let’s take a look at the controls and display of the Superbe iE.
There are 4 levels of pedal assist and they each provide a distinct amount of assist.
Levels 1 and 2 are pretty mellow for easy going rides and levels 3 and 4 really have some kick for getting around town quick!
The power curve of the system can be adjusted with the control pad per the information above. The lower power curve levels provide a mellow ride feel and the higher levels provide a quick sporty ride feel. These are settings that you may test for the first couple of rides and then leave where you want them.
The LED display and control pad on the left side of the handlebar is small and discrete which fits the clean look of the Raleigh Superbe iE very well.
It is simple with information like current speed, battery level, pedal assist level, and estimated range remaining!
The control pad buttons adjust the pedal assist up (+) or down (-) (or off) and turns the bike on/off.
A quick press of the on/off button while the bike is on provides the estimated range based your current pedal assist level and current battery level.
With a full battery these are the estimated ranges:
Pedal assist level 1 = 49 miles
Pedal assist level 2 = 37 miles
Pedal assist level 3 = 27 miles
Pedal assist level 4 = 15 miles
In the range test results below you will see how the Raleigh Superbe iE did in a pedal assist level 4 test.
In direct sunlight it was hard to see the speed on display (upper left) and the size of those numbers are small.
The battery level indicator light changes colors depending on the amount of charge. Here are the colors and corresponding battery charge levels:
Green = 100% to 60% charge
Orange = 60% to 20% charge
Red = 20% to 0% charge.
When the battery is close to empty the light flashes red.
There is also a battery level indicator with bars indicating 20% levels of charge on the battery pack but you need to get off the bike and look at the battery on the rear rack.
The pedal assist is activated with a cadence sensor and wheel speed sensor system.
It has a pretty intuitive ride feel with the assist starting pretty soon after the cranks start to turn and it stops assisting as soon as you stop pedaling.
A 7 speed drivetrain made up of quality components from Shimano provides a nice range of gears.
The 42 tooth chainring powers back to the 7 speed freewheel that ranges from 14t to 34t.
This gear range is just right for the Raleigh Superbe iE as it is able to cruise comfortably at 20 mph on relatively flat roads while the lower gearing works well for climbing steeper hills.
The Shimano SL-TX50 7 speed shifter has a light action making it very easy to shift through the gears.
The lever on the top of the shifter shifts up to the larger (easier) cogs for climbing hills and the button on the bottom shifts down to the small cogs for cruising along flatter roads.
Slowing the Raleigh Superbe iE down is handled with alloy V-brakes which blend with the overall style of bike well.
The brakes do a pretty good job of slowing the bike down but they are the one component area that could be improved. It would be nice to have disc brakes because of their power and ability to handle wet weather well.
It is understandable that V-brakes were used to maintain the classic style and keep the price of the Raleigh Superbe iE in check.
Like the other design points on the Raleigh Superbe iE, the accessories follow the classic styling well.
For instance the front fender has a cool looking chrome accent piece on top that has that retro look.
The aluminum rear rack features solid construction with 25 kg (55 pounds) max load and it can carry a wide variety of traditional bike bags and panniers for commuting or touring.
As mentioned earlier the battery blends in well with the look of the rack by being housed below the top of the rack.
There are connections for lights (not included) that can run off of the main eBike battery and they can be turned on/off by holding down the – button on the control pad for 2 seconds.
And last but not least is the kickstand that looks good and the construction quality is very good.
Okay, let’s see how the Raleigh Superbe iE did out on the open road!
Raleigh Superbe iE Range Test Results:
Here is the real world information on how the Raleigh Superbe iE electric bike performed on a riding circuit that includes hills, flats, traffic, wind (when available) etc.
While testing these bikes I like to put them through the toughest conditions to see where their bottom line is in regards to range and speed. I tested the Raleigh Superbe iE in the highest pedal assist level (level 4) with relatively easy pedaling.
Range: As you can see from the GPS info that I recorded, the Raleigh Superbe iE traveled 30.5 miles and did a total elevation gain of around 2,700 ft. Considering that I weigh 190 lbs and I pedaled very lightly this is very good range for a 48 Volt 8.8 ah battery pack (422 Watt Hours) with a 350 watt motor assisting up to 20 mph.
Based on the 15 mile range estimate for pedal assist level 4 it appears that it was a bit conservative and the lower assist levels for the Raleigh Superbe iE will probably go beyond their range estimates.
Watt hours are the total energy in a battery pack and it is based on the volts x amp hours of a pack. This is a way to compare the size of the “gas tank” of electric bikes.
Please keep in mind that if you pedal more, weigh less than me, ride slower and/or you use the bike in terrain that is not as hilly you will get more range. These results are from tough testing.
Speed: The Raleigh Superbe iE will assist up to 20 mph.
Weight: The Raleigh Superbe iE tips the scales at 50.6 lbs which is a fairly average electric bike weight. Removing the battery brings it down to around 43.3 pounds which makes it a little easier to load onto a car rack.
The weight distribution of the Raleigh Superbe iE is back heavy because of the rear hub motor and rear rack battery and you can mainly feel this when you try to pick the bike up to take it up stairs or lift it onto a car rack.
Stylish & Comfortable: The Raleigh Superbe iE is a very stylish electric bike that has that classic look. Raleigh Electric has done a great job adding electric assist to this popular model while keeping its good looks.
It is a very comfortable bike to ride with it’s upright position and cushy seat and grips. The upright position is also great for seeing everything around you.
Easy to Ride & Quiet: The Raleigh Superbe iE step thru is very easy to get on and ride with its low step frame design and swept back handlebars.
The 350 watt Currie Electro-Drive/TransX rear hub motor does a good job of blending electric assist with your pedal power and it is one of the quietest hub motors I have ridden on an eBike.
Impressive Range: 30.5 miles is a lot of range from the tough range test in the highest assist level 4. At the lower assist levels and flatter terrain the Raleigh Superbe iE will go even further.
Price: For $1,699 you get a good looking Raleigh eBike that is comfortable to ride and comes with a solid spec of components and accessories.
Back Heavy: Because the battery and motor are on the back and rest of the bike is relatively light it makes the Raleigh Superbe iE back heavy. You will mainly notice this when picking the bike up to carry it up stairs or load onto a car rack.
Brakes: The V-brakes match the style and price point of the Raleigh Superbe iE well but in some ways it would be nice to have disc brakes for better braking performance.
Overall the Raleigh Superbe iE is a very impressive electric bike. It has that classic Raleigh style, clean integration of the electric assist, and a smooth, comfortable and quiet ride.
The range is very impressive and the overall component spec is solid for the Raleigh Superbe iE that is priced at $1,699.
This is a great eBike for the around town commute and easy going weekend rides.
Please keep in mind that this is a relatively short term test. This testing can’t really give you the long term review of durability and reliability. My thoughts on the quality of this bike are from previous experiences with similar bikes. If you own this bike and have some input on the long term durability, please share your comments with the Electric Bike Report community below.
Where to buy a Raleigh Superbe iE? Check with Raleigh Electric for a dealer near you.
Do you have any questions about the Raleigh Superbe iE? Do you own a Raleigh Superbe iE? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Review Note: Each company pays a fee for a review on Electric Bike Report because of the considerable amount of time that it takes to provide an in-depth review of each eBike. A lot of time is spent on the full range test with distance & elevation profile, the wide variety of detailed pictures, in-depth video, and the write up with the specifications, ride characteristics, pros, cons, and overall thoughts. The reviews on Electric Bike Report are focused on providing you with a detailed “virtual” look at each eBike to help you determine if it is the eBike for you or not.
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Jennifer Gutowski says
I’ve had this bike for about 5 years and it needs a new battery or possibly other repair. Do you know any good sources for the battery? I have not been able to source one. Also recommendations for ebike repair in east Los Angeles area would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
Griffin Hales says
Best place to start is reaching out directly to Raleigh https://www.raleighusa.com/electric
When you look up bike shops in your area you can see if they have received their LEVA certification. That means they have a mechanic on hand who can handle most anything motor/battery related.
Hope this helps!