Raleigh Tristar iE Electric Trike Review Part 1 – Pictures & Specs

raleigh-tristar-ie-electric-trike-1The Raleigh Tristar iE step thru trike is in for testing and review!

Comfortably cruising around the neighborhood with enough cargo capacity for running errands is what the Tristar iE is all about.

This eTrike features a 350 watt mid drive motor and a 48V 8.7ah lithium-ion battery with the option to add a second battery for double the range!

The Raleigh Tristar iE is priced at $2,599 USD.

In this first part of the review you will get a detailed look at this bike with a BUNCH of pictures and the specifications.

Part 2 of the Raleigh Tristar iE review will give you info on the ride characteristics, results from the range test, pros, cons, and overall thoughts on this eTrike.

Alright, let’s take a closer look at the Raleigh Tristar iE!

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The Raleigh Tristar iE is ready for cruising around the neighborhood and running errands. 

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The 21″ x 14.5″ x 8″ metal cargo basket on the back can carry a lot of cargo. This is handy for getting groceries, carrying a daily commuter bag, etc. On the left side there is a place where a flag can be attached for additional visibility out on the road. 

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The Raleigh 6061 aluminum step thru frame has been designed with relaxed geometry that makes it very comfortable to ride. The step thru design makes it very easy to get on and off this eTrike.

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This is a closer look at the mid drive motor area with a gusset for reinforcement and solid looking aluminum welds.

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The Tristar iE is a pretty unique eTrike because it features a mid drive motor which helps it climb steeper hills by leveraging the gears of the trike. This is a 350 watt Currie Electro-Drive motor that provides assist up to 12.5 mph is pedal assist level 1 and up to 15 mph in pedal assist levels 2, 3, and 4. Upright trikes generally have a lower speed to provide stability when cornering. 

A stylish chain guard does a good job of keeping your pant legs clean and the pedals have a grippy rubber surface. 

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This is a Class 1 electric bike that is pedal assist only (no throttle) and provides assist up to 15 mph. 

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This is a view of the Sturmey Archer 3 speed internally geared rear hub that is mounted near the back of the Tristar iE. The main chain from the mid drive motor drives the cog on the left side (of this picture) of the internally geared rear hub and the cog just to the right transmits the leveraged gear back to the rear wheels axle. 

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This angle shows the chain from the Sturmey Archer 3 speed internally geared rear hub to the rear wheels axle. The right rear wheel of the trike provides the power while the left side spins freely. 

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Just above the drivetrain and below the cargo basket is where the 48V 8.7ah lithium-ion battery is located. Another unique feature of the Raleigh Tristar iE is the extra battery option for double the range! As you can see in this picture the stock Tristar iE comes equipped with all the battery connection hardware; just slide in the extra battery pack and go. The extra battery adds $499 to the $2,599 base price. 

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There is a handle on the back of the battery that drops down for battery removal after the battery has been unlocked with the supplied key. The battery weighs 7.3 pounds. 

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Here’s a look at the battery pack after it has been removed from the trike and the charger plugged in. The charger is about the size of a laptop charger and it takes 4 to 6 hours to fully charge the battery. The battery can be charged on or off the trike. 

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Let’s take a look at the handlebars of the Raleigh Tristar iE. They have a swept back and upright position for a comfortable ride style. The handlebar stem height can be varied to fit your riding preferences. 

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On the left side of the handlebar is the front brake lever and Currie Electro-Drive control pad. The button with spring on the brake lever is a brake lock button for keeping the trike in position when you park it. To lock the brakes, squeeze the brake lever, push the button, and then release the brake lever. To unlock the brakes squeeze the brake lever and release and the button will unlock. 

The control pad varies the pedal assist with the + or – buttons. The button below that cycles through the different information (speed, trip distance, odometer, range) on the display and the button to the right of that is the on/off button. 

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In the center of the handlebar is the LCD display that shows the current pedal assist level (there are 4 different levels), the current battery level, speed, trip distance, odometer, and estimated range. The estimated range is a cool feature because it will estimate your range remaining based on the current battery level and what pedal assist level you are in.

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On the right side of the handlebars is the rear brake lever with the lock button and the Sturmey Archer 3 speed twist grip shifter. 

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On the front of the Raleigh Tristar iE is the 24″ wheel with steel fork and front steel fender. 

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A Promax V-brake is spec’ed on the front wheel. 

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The rear brake is a mechanical disc brake with 160 mm rotor that is attached to the Sturmey Archer 3 speed internally geared rear hub that then transmits the braking to the rear wheel via the chain and axle. 

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Here’s a look at the Innova 24″ x 1.95” front tire that has a good tread pattern for mostly road riding but it can also handle some off road conditions. 

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Slime tire sealant comes stock in all 3 wheels on the Raleigh Tristar iE. This is a very nice feature because the Slime sealant helps to prevent flats from thorns, glass, etc. 

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Here’s a look at the 20″ rear wheels with Innova tires (20″ x 1.95”) and steel fenders. 

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The rear steel fenders have built in reflectors for a clean look and additional visibility. 

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The Velo Comfort saddle has a wide profile with a center relief area for a comfortable ride. 

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Raleigh Tristar iE Electric Trike Specifications

Frame: 6061 custom butted aluminum frame with step thru design

Fork: Steel rigid fork

Motor: Currie Electro-Drive 350 watt mid-drive motor

Battery: 48V Lithium-ion, 8.7Ah, 417Wh. The battery weighs 7.3 pounds. Recharge Time: 4-6 hours. Optional additional 48 V 8.7 ah battery for $499. 

Assist Options: 4 levels of pedal assist

Display: Large LCD display with information on: pedal assist level (4 different levels), battery level, speed, trip distance, overall odometer, and estimated range.

Drivetrain: Sturmey Archer 3 speed internally geared rear hub

Brakeset: Front v-brake and rear mechanical disc brake

Tires: Innova front 24″ x 1.95”, rear 20″ x 1.95” 

Sizes: One size step thru frame

Accessories: 21″ x 14.5″ x 8″ steel cargo basket and steel fenders

Weight: 85 pounds. 77.7 pounds with the battery removed

Price: $2,599 USD at the time of this review

Here is a link to the specifications page of the Raleigh Tristar iE electric trike.

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Now checkout part 2 of the Raleigh Tristar iE review with info on the ride characteristics, the range test, pros, cons, and overall thoughts!

-Pete

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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Comments

  1. says

    I won’t be even thinking about buying one of these trikes……..Too expensive for one…….Too slow………I can buy a Recumbent trike from Utah Trikes for $200.00 less and get a better deal!!

  2. Eugene says

    I agree. I am planning on a world tour in 2018. This type of an electric trike is out of the question, but à recumbent tadpole, even à folding tadpole is à possibility.

  3. Michael says

    I think you miss who this is for. An older woman or man who just wants a little exercise and might need help pedaling while going to the neighborhood store would be the target market for this trike.
    I helped put an electric hub motor on the front of a trike for a man in his eighties so he could get out and pedal a little or as much as he wanted while going to the store.
    This trike helps older people keep riding and provides transportation if they no longer drive a car.

    • says

      Good point – this trike is not designed for the younger crowd like the recumbents are. I have ridden this trike and If anything, I think the 12.5 mph may be on the high side for it’s expected audience. This is the first center drive e-trike I have seen and as such it is a market leader.

  4. Robert tomkinson says

    Just looks like an old fashioned bike with old gears tin mud guards not moved with the times but for the the up to date price tag

  5. Pete says

    Expense?? People mention this about e-bikes all the time. A $2000 bike isnt expensive if you have looked around at the offerings in the pedal only arena that go way beyond it. Look for some of that price to go down as battery technology improves even better than it already is.

    I’m sure Raleigh did its marketing research to find out there is a customer base already waiting for this product. The first few commenters obviously arent in that group..

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