Sneak Peek: 2011 Raleigh Detour Deluxe

Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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Here’s a quick look at the 2011 Detour Deluxe I just received from Raleigh. It’s only been out of the box one day, but so far I’m quite impressed with the ride quality, construction, and component mix, particularly for a bike that retails for under $900. I’ll have a full review for you after the first of the year. Raleigh

Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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47 Responses to “Sneak Peek: 2011 Raleigh Detour Deluxe”

  • kanishka new england says:

    looks so cool. wonder why they didn’t go more upright in handlbars. the locking thing is going to be really useful

  • Daniel says:

    Drum brakes? I’m surprised by how pretty this bike is.

  • Alan says:

    @Daniel

    Yes, Shimano roller brakes. It is a pretty bike, isn’t it? I love the understated graphics and clean lines.

    Alan

  • Alan says:

    @kanishka

    That’s a size Large which is equivalent to a 57cm. I’m 6’0″ and with the saddle set at 78cm the bars are about 1cm above the saddle – it’s a very comfortable position for me.

    Alan

  • Steve Grimmer says:

    Another nice looking bike from Raleigh. Too bad about the ‘rack’ on the rear, though.
    Steve in the ‘Peg

  • Alan says:

    @Steve

    We’ll see about the rack. At first look, it’s surprisingly solid. I’ll be giving it a workout with a variety of bags on my commute.

    Alan

  • John Lascurettes says:

    I absolutely love the roller brakes I have on my current bike. I have an ’08 Novara Fusion (that I incidentally also added a frame lock to) and say they’re so very great for a year round commuter. Roller brakes are near zero maintenance (just a pea-sized dawb of grease in the drum when they squeak) and are 100% reliable in all weather. That makes this new bike very tempting, but I’ve already identified that I’d like the next bike to have a Gates drive and an Alfine 11, even if I have to go with disc brakes. ;)

  • Warren says:

    Beautiful looking bicycle, can’t wait to read the reviews in the new year.

  • brad says:

    So is this a “replacement” for the Alleyway or are they still going to offer the Alleyway?

  • Gaff says:

    Same roller brakes as on the Trek Soho. If you travel in a hilly area, you’ll find them lacking. Great for low maintenance though.

  • Alan says:

    @brad

    The Alley Way will still be offered for 2011. The Alley Way is more expensive, with a higher overall spec (Alfine vs Nexus) and a belt drive, though interestingly, sans rack and lighting system. It’s a very nice bike (it hasn’t changed from the version I reviewed last year – http://www.ecovelo.info/2009/11/29/road-test-raleigh-alley-way/ ), but if a belt drive and disc brakes aren’t important to you, the Detour Deluxe appears to provide more bang for the buck ($1475 for the Alley Way versus $820 for the Detour Deluxe).

    Alan

  • Alan says:

    BTW – The Detour Deluxe has a removable drop out on the right side and an eccentric bottom bracket, so a belt drive conversion would be relatively straightforward.

  • Nicolas says:

    In France, the Raleigh brand seems to have nothing to see with what continues to be sold in other places in the world. This is now restricted to low quality supermarket bicycles with a completely different catalog.

  • BikeBike says:

    We will be offering Raleigh in our shop this coming season and – man-o! – this bike is beautiful!

    My only concern is the “rear rack”. I don’t doubt that it will hold a set of panniers well enough, just seems unfortunate that there is no top deck that one could simply bungee items too.

    Maybe I can get over that considering the great parts/accessory picks that come standard for the price…

  • Darryl says:

    I really wanted to buy this bike about 3 months ago, but couldn’t find a 2010 model anywhere in my size. So I waited on the 2011′s. Much to my suprise, the 2011′s came out with an entirely different frame, shared with the Alley Way. Previously, the Detour Deluxe had it’s own frame. I am not a fan of the low seat post on this frame. I just don’t like the way it looks. I’m sure it works fine, but I can’t get past the look. So, I passed on it for this year.

    Some of the things I really like are the built-in frame lock mountings, lighting, and built in rack. I install a frame lock on all my bikes and really, really, like these locks for the convenience they provide for quick stops. I would have preferred the rack be slightly more traditional, but it looks like it will work out great for panniers.

  • Joseph E says:

    Re: the rear pannier-only rack.
    This was an unfortunate choice, but note the mid-fork mounting screws, which would make it easy to add a front cargo rack.

    You can read about the specifications and geometry on Bikes for the Rest of Us: http://bikesfortherestofus.blogspot.com/2010/12/raleigh-detour-deluxe-2011.html

    Alan: beautiful photos, as always. Can’t wait for the full review.

  • Steve Grimmer says:

    I just wonder about hanging panniers so low, and where the bottom hook on the panniers is supposed to go. My Garneau Cityzen had the same type of setup on the factory rack, but fortunately, I could unscrew it and replace it with one with hooks on the bottom and a deck.
    Peace, Steve in the ‘Peg

  • doug in seattle. says:

    I like that rear rack. Putting a porteur style rack would render a rear platform unnecessary. I dislike strapping things to the top of a rear rack, anyways.

  • Alan says:

    I’ve been playing around with different panniers on the rack today. It works perfectly with the newer Arkel and Ortlieb panniers. Basically any pannier that doesn’t rely on tension from a bungee and hook works fine. As you can see at the following link, a number of Arkel’s newer designs don’t even include a hook and strap as they’ve found them unnecessary with a locking cam:

    http://www.arkel-od.com/us/all-categories/laptop-bicycle-pannier/the-shopper-foldable.html

    http://www.arkel-od.com/us/all-categories/laptop-bicycle-pannier/the-shopper-foldable.html

    Some older style panniers that rely on a bungee and hook to keep them in place might be adapted to fit, but from what I’ve seen so far, you’re better off with panniers that have modern mounting systems with locking cams at the top.

    Alan

  • Alan says:

    Here are a couple of shots of the Detour Deluxe with the new Arkel Shopper mounted. –Alan

    Arkel Shopper on Detour Deluxe
    Arkel Shopper on Detour Deluxe
  • Jay says:

    Would it have been that hard to weld on a little loop of some sort that you could use for panniers that use the hook/bungee system? Seems weird to install a rack that you can only use with panniers, and not only that, but only certain panniers!

    For my money, you can’t beat a rear rack with a wire mesh basket zip-tied to it. Holds everything I need, I just toss my backpack in there and run a bungee across it so it won’t bounce out, and it can hold an enormous amount of weight if needed.

    The rack on the Raleigh does look great, though!

  • voyage says:

    It’s a comfort bike with a hard fork and welded-on rear rack.

    The problems with the rack result from the comfort bike geometry. I think Raleigh is working the stand over issue that many people have. And the maint issues that many people have with ders and brakes.

  • Don says:

    Love the aesthetic and the bang for the buck. These transpo bikes are really getting there!

    My only concern would be how this handles under load. My main issue with my compact-style frame has been that it really hates a rear load. Maybe the lower center of gravity mitigates that to some extent. I have had more luck with a front load, although in this case one would have to move and remount the light. Still, all in all, a handsome option, and I’m happy that Raleigh has returned to the land of serious bikes.

  • Dolan Halbrook says:

    Looks like if you really needed lower pannier mounts you could attach some sort of tab on either side to the fender mounts — the pictures show an extra hole there.

    Personally I don’t find myself using the lower mount with my Carradice Bike Bureau (which is a very commute-specific bag) but my older Arkel touring bags definitely like something to mount onto down low.

  • Pete says:

    From the photo, it seems that under way, with a load, a large part of the pannier would be supported only by the fender stay. Just a really poor design IMHO.
    I recently replaced the Topeak “Explorer” on my commute bike with a Topeak “Super Tourist” for exactly this reason – the new rack supports the bags much better.
    Too bad they chose to weld on their mistake – I don’t mind buying bikes where i can un-bolt the mistakes!

  • bongobike says:

    It’s a very beautiful bike, but as another reader pointed out, too bad about the “rack”. Even if it is sturdy and able to carry two big, heavy bags, it doesn’t have a top rack for strapping stuff on–style over substance.

    Another minus is the chain. They really should make this a belt-drive bike. All manufacturers should be switching over to belts by now on all their single-speed and internal-gear hub bikes. It’s the future, get with it.

  • Alan says:

    @Pete

    It may look that way in the photo, but the bags don’t touch the fender stay – the seat stay and lower rack strut support the lower portion of the bags.

    Alan

  • Andrew says:

    While I understand the complaints about the rack precluding strapping things on top, it does make some sense given that their intention is to make riding and using it more pleasant – that is, reducing standover clearance at the rear end. What I don’t understand are concerns about strength or loading. Given that it is frame-integral chromoly tubing, it should be at least as robust as a Tubus rack, which are usually regarded as the holy grail of rear racks…

  • AzZenCyclist says:

    What would it take to upgrade to a belt drive? Can anyone comment on the difference between rim brakes vs. roller brakes? I am resistant to roller brakes. Not sure why but I just like rim brakes. I think it is familiarity and simplicity.

  • Alan says:

    @AzZenCyclist

    I can’t definitively answer the belt question. Obviously you’d need the belt and matching chainrings and cog, but I’m not sure if there would be other issues to deal with in regards to alignment, etc.

    My experience with drum/roller brakes is that they’re not as powerful as good rim or disc brakes. Some are better than others – these new Shimanos aren’t bad, and they’re a big improvement over Strumey Archer drums and the older Shimano rollers. Their advantages include the fact that they’re protected from the weather and they don’t eat rims.

    Alan

  • Tom says:

    Hi Alan,

    Great pics and good info – the pannier mounting setup was one concern that was holding me back from pulling the trigger on this bike.

    One other question, though: looking at the Raleigh web site, it shows the standover height as 792mm for a medium size. This seems more in line with what I would expect to see for a large or XL size bike. I’m 5’7″ and normally fit fine on a medium. Any thoughts on this issue?

    Also, I’ve heard people express concern about the use of roller brakes on both wheels (in general, not about this bike in particular). Any thoughts on the effectiveness of the brakes on this one so far? Thanks!

  • Jon says:

    While it does look like a great bike for commuting/etc, the rear rack design is certainly not multifunctional, and the color is nice, as a professional mechanic, I would like to address a few points:

    -The Shimano roller brakes (especially the models with mounted cooling fins!) are excellent brakes, hills or not. Most people expect disc brake performance from every brake out there. I’ve got customers on a Nihola cargo bike with two kids in it saying that the bike doesn’t stop fast enough for them; that it doesn’t feel “safe”. Well, if that bike stopped on a dime, it would pop a small endo, and dump all your cargo into the front of the box. Not so great.

    The fact is, when you’re not aiming for a 40mph descent, a roller brake is perfect. You can hold it down all the way down a hill without burning out a brake pad, or overheating a disc (causing it to warp slightly, which is the bane of my job when disc brakes come in the shop!). These brakes are rarely “lacking” for anyone, so long as they understand that they are not using hydraulic discs, or road calipers on a 18-lb. racing bike. Being able to lift your front wheel with the brakes is not a requirement of a commuting/cargo bike. Stopping is. These brakes will stop you, have no fears.

    If you’re on the fence about them, don’t be. The maintenance is nearly zero. One barrel-adjuster to tighten up when the cable goes a little slack. Some Shimano-specific-overpriced grease, but one bottle is enough to last you a lifetime. I would highly recommend a model with a cooling fin built into it: it will reduce the need to add grease.

    -Belt drives are not necessarily the future of cycling. Even in this particular mode of cargo/transport/commuting. The major benefit of a chain is: it’s everywhere. It’s cheap. Belt drives do have their benefits: longer wearing, lube is unnecessary, lighter weight, etc… However, for most people lacking deep pockets and a shop nearby to supply them with parts and service, chains are still excellent, and will continue to be.

    If you swap out a cog or ring for another size, you won’t have to buy another belt that may or may not fit. Also, when something goes wrong in the middle of nowhere, the nearest shop most likely won’t have the tools to reattach and check the tension on the belt. And once more companies arrive on the scene, cross-compatibility will definitely fly out the window.

    Belts are definitely a good option if you want to run a stock setup, and don’t plan on any modifications in the future. But just like running internal gears, using a chaincase, or panniers vs.basket, they are simply an option that is yours to decide on.

  • Alan says:

    @Tom

    I’m not convinced the dimensions as listed on the site are accurate. I have a 34″ inseam, and according to the website I should only have around 1″ of standover, which is not even close to being accurate (there’s far more clearance). I have to wonder if they’re measuring standover based upon the “virtual” horizontal top tube. If that’s true, you should fit the medium just fine.

    Regarding roller brakes, these are the most powerful I’ve tried so far. They’re far better than the S-A and the last-generation Shimanos. That said, they don’t have the power of a good disc or rim brake. In the rolling terrain where I live they’re perfectly fine, though if I lived someplace like SF or Seattle I’d have to consider their strength more carefully. I’ll have more on this in the review.

    Alan

  • Pete says:

    I, too, like the idea of belts. But until I can buy belts and cogs and chainrings from any of a half dozen manufacturers at any shop anywhere in America, and have them be fully interchangeable, I’ll wait. Personally, I’m not interested in buying a proprietary system. Eventually, a standard will emerge, or they’ll remain a tiny niche or die off. I would imagine that during the formative years of the safety bicycle there were a lot of different unique chain and cog designs out there, and they eventually got it sorted out (unlike BB threads, which only recently started to come around!)

  • Androo says:

    Haha, Pete, BB threads may be starting to get sorted out, but the shells certainly aren’t! We’ve got BSA, BB30, Press Fit 30, BB90, BBright, not to mention eccentric BBs…

  • Jon says:

    @Alan

    I look forward to your review, as my shop doesn’t carry Raleigh. Housing length can have an effect on brake feel/power, but leaving bare cable on this bike would be redundant. Looks like manufacturers targeting the US are starting to come around!

  • rafe says:

    Great blog! Clarifying question for you on the Raleigh Detour: you mention in one of your comments that the Alley Way is higher spec because it has an Alfine versus the Detour’s Nexus, but when I looked at the specs for the Detour on the rei.com site and a few other review sites say it has an Alfine 8-gear hub. Just curious if you misspoke or if the model you received did in fact have a Nexus… Thanks!

  • Alan says:

    @rafe

    The IGH is definitely a Nexus. I think the confusion is resulting from the fact that the Raleigh spec sheet lists the “shifter” as an “Alfine 8-speed”, while not listing the hub at all. The trigger shifter at the bar is, in fact, an Alfine, but the hub is a Nexus. My guess is that people are misinterpreting the Raleigh spec sheet.

    Regards,
    Alan

    PS – I’m glad you enjoy the site!

  • rafe says:

    Are you willing to give a pre-review on the shifting of the Detour Deluxe yet? I’m curious if you were satisfied with the Nexus hub on this bike. I’m a hair’s breadth from buying this bad boy. It looks terrific from the bang-for-the-buck perspective. I’m holding off a bit because I’ve never owned an IGH-outfitted bike, but in theory they seem like a great system for winter commuting in hillier cities.

  • Alan says:

    @rafe

    The Nexus/Alfine-shifter combo is excellent. Shifts are crisp and clean. It really feels no different than the pure Alfine set-up on the Civia Hyland I rode for a couple of years. I’ve only had the bike a short time, but I’d be surprised if any issues crop up with the shifting. So far, it appears the Detour Deluxe is a super value in a mid-level commuter.

    Alan

  • TheCritic says:

    Alan, I’m eagerly awaiting your review, as I think this may be the bike for me. A bit disappointed that it’s not the Alfine hub, I’m hoping you might be able to compare the Raleigh Detour Deluxe to the Novara Fusion, also from REI. Do you think the Alfine is worth $150 more, and having to switch to the battery rear light plus the less masculine frame? Disks and a more useful rack on the positive side though…

    Any idea if there is likely to be any sale worth waiting for with REI? Would love a percentage off that didn’t exclude bikes (above the membership rebate)…

    I absolutely love your photography, by the way!

  • Alan says:

    @TheCritic

    Both are nice bikes for the money.

    Regarding the Alfine versus the Nexus Red Band, honestly, I can’t tell the difference on the road. Perhaps the Alfine is more durable, but I haven’t heard anything to definitively indicate that. Personally, I wouldn’t let it sway my choice of bike unless everything else was perfectly equal.

    The Novara bikes are spec’d nicely for the money. REI has a super return policy as well, which is a plus. I’m not particularly enamored with the look of that frame, but that’s just me. I’m also not a big fan of Shimano mechanical discs – the Avids are much nicer.

    REI does have some nice closeouts on bikes, but that’s usually not until the Fall, and you never know if they’ll run out of stock before then. It’s probably best to just decide which you prefer and bite the bullet… :-)

    Regards,
    Alan

  • rafe says:

    hey alan, just thought i’d follow up: after weighing various mid-range commuters with a bias toward the Detour Deluxe, I ended up buying a new 2010 Torker Graduate — for the ridiculous price of $425. for the gearheads out there, it might fall short; it has a five gear sturmey archer IGH. but it also has drum brakes, which while they don’t stop on a dime like disc brakes, they’re nonetheless fantastic from the maintenance perspective and definitely adequate, even for me, a guy who lives on a pretty steep hill. i like the sturmey archer IGH a lot actually. it’s more than adequate for a city/winter commuter. the ride is somewhat heavy at about 30lbs, and there’s no dynamo hubs. i’ve ridden it for a couple of weeks now, and so far, definitely so good. with the money i saved between the detour deluxe and the graduate, i reckon i can afford a lot of LED lights and batteries to make up for the lack of the dynamo hubs.
    anyway, thank you very much for all the thoughts.

  • Murali says:

    Alan:

    Love you site and am avid follower!

    Been on the look out for a classic Euro style City bike and have been considering the Globe Daily 3 (have you checked it out yet?) Then came across your post above and am really looking forward to your in-depth review of the Raleigh Detour Dlx.

  • Tom says:

    Hi Alan,

    I just wanted to add that I’m looking forward to your full review of the detour deluxe. I’ve had my eye on this bike since the 2010 model came out, and this year’s looks to have several upgrades (perhaps not the rear rack however). Thanks and keep up the good work!

    -Tom

  • EcoVelo » Blog Archive » Road Tests on the Horizon says:

    [...] currently have a Raleigh Detour Deluxe in-house. The review is in the works and scheduled for publication in [...]

  • Tom says:

    Hi Alan,

    Commented on this a while back – enjoyed the road test that followed. FYI, after several parking lot tests, it came down to the detour deluxe and the 2011 Novara Fusion. Actually went with the Novara (new version) because of:
    - Alfine hub (even if I can’t tell the difference, the engineer in me demands max efficiency!)
    - rear rack that can accommodate a full over-the-top pannier/garment bag but that is still far back like the Raleigh rack (see pics of the new version to see what I’m talking about)

    Thanks for the great coverage – made it a tough decision.

    - Tom
    Alexandria, VA

 
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